With Ghost, MSI has packed a ton of power into a thin lightweight machine with Intel’s Haswell processor and a brand new Nvidia Geforce GTX 800M graphics card. It packs a punch and plays to a particular niche just like the Razer Blade. It serves gamers who want the power of a fully-fledged gaming machine without sacrificing aesthetics or portability. This is just a small portion of the notebook market and the Ghost fits in very well. It is powerful, thin and pleasurable to use but is not perfect, though. Compared with the Razer, its Kepler-based graphics processor doesn’t make NVIDIA’s new Battery Boost shine, and its battery life is disappointing.
* 2.4 GHz Intel Core i7- 4700HQ with 6MB Cache
* 1TB 7200 rpm Hard Drive (128 GB SSD)
* 12GB DDR3L SDRAM
* NVIDIA GeForce Graphics card
* 15.6” Screen
* Windows 8.1
The Ghost delivers high demanding titles without difficulty. Thanks to its Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M GPU, Intel Core i7 CPU clocked at 2.4GHz and 16GB of memory. Even though the base clock speed of the CPU is relatively low, the Ghost has a huge Turbo mode that can make the cores to dynamically overclock to up to 3.2GHz, making the CPU to be as fast as the high-clocked dual-core CPUs.
In a test, it was incredible in handling Assassin’s Creed IV, Tomb Raider and Titanfall at high setting and at a reasonable frame rate of 30fps or higher. At high settings, Assassin’s Creed IV it managed 30 fps, Tomb Raider also knocked 30 fps while Titanfall did 45 fps.
Its display is also great with wide viewing angles and good colour reproduction. The screen does not have the high resolution found with machines like the Razer Blade, but 1080p is more than sufficient for the 15.6” screen. The gaming experience is further boosted by the Windows 8
The Ghost has a pair of relatively quiet fans that keep the keyboard and the surrounding surface cool during long gaming sessions. There is a slight problem, though. The bottom of the laptop gets very hot in a short amount of time. It may require you to remove it from your lap in less than one hour when gaming.
The GS60 Ghost Pro – 052uses Lithium-ion batteries. In terms of battery life, this machine is not a good performer. You will get about 4.5 hours of browsing using 40 percent brightness. And while gaming, you will not be able to go very far. For instance, you will get about one hour while playing Titanfall before it turns off. With Assassin’s Creed IV, you will get about one and a half hours when the Wi-Fi is turned off, and while playing TESO you will hardly get an hour on the battery – enabling the battery boost only adds about 3 minutes. According to Nvidia, the battery boost was supposed to extend the gameplay time by up to two times on average by automatically lowering the game settings to decrease power consumption. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
The GS60 Ghost Pro-052’s 15.6-inch display does not disappoint. This IPS LCD panel has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 at 141 dpi, providing HD clarity. It offers excellent gamut, bright colors and wide viewing angles. It also boasts an antiglare matte finish.
DESIGN AND FUNCTIONALITY
Ghost Pro-052 is one of the lightest gaming laptops of its class. It weighs only 4.36lbs which is surprisingly light compared to its competitors. The chassis measures 15.35 x 0.78 x 10.47 inches making it easy to carry around.
It has a premium brushed aluminum finish bearing an MSI Gaming logo. If it wasn’t for this logo, it could easily pass for a premium Ultrabook. The build quality is nice but can not be compared with Razer’s machines or similarly priced laptops from Apple. It lacks the solid and unibody frame found in the Razer Blade or MacBook. The screen has a bit of flex but feels solid considering how thin it is.
This device has a chiclet SteelSeries backlit keyboard whose keys are having a satisfying travel and response time. The keyboard allows you to change color and even choose lighting effects from the SteelSeries control panel. While a tad bit on the squishy side, the keyboard feels good when knocking out some quests in Torchlight II and also for being able to create custom color profiles for the backlighting, and to assign macros.
The Touchpad is not very comfortable to use but is average at best. Compared to those of Assu Zenbooks and Apple, it just feels inferior; but is superior to those of Y500 and Y520 series. Scrolling is not smooth in some instances, though not much. If you are used to buttonless touchpads, the right and left clicking will feel pretty natural to you.
The laptop offers all the connectivity options and ports that you would want from a gaming PC. It has three USB 3.0 ports, SD card reader, microphone and headphone slots. It also has a HDMI and minidisplay ports plus Ethernet. The machine supports 802.11ac wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.0. For storage, it packs a 1 TB 7200 rpm Hard Drive coupled with a 128GB SSD. These can serve almost all your storage needs.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER
MSI offers a 2-year US warranty or a 1-year global warranty. They don’t offer extended warranty options so you can go for third party options like Square Trade.
For gaming, the Ghost has enough power to justify its price tag. It costs less than the Razer’s laptops though it has poor build quality in comparison. It is great for PC gamers who are looking for a light and thin machine that can be their travelling companion. You will enjoy all your games; just ensure you are close to a power source lest the battery lets you down.