MSI GE40 2OC DRAGON EYES
MSI G-Series products represent the company’s offerings to gamers, and according to MSI, each G-series product has been designed for gamers by gamers. Its offering in the 14-inch ultraportable gaming notebook segment is the GE40 2OC Dragon Eyes.
The GE40 2OC Dragon Eyes is called thus because of the unique decoration on its lid: Two slits of perforated holes that light up to look like the eyes of a dragon when the notebook is turned on. Admittedly, this design cue does come across as gimmicky, but it does well to add some spice to an otherwise uninteresting-looking notebook.
In terms of overall dimensions, the MSI GE40 comes in at just under 30mm thick and tips the scales at around 1.9kg. This means that although it is slightly slimmer than the Aftershock XG13, it is still considerably bulkier than the Razer Blade. Nevertheless, it is still one of the more portable and compact gaming notebooks in the group.
The GE40 uses a mixture of aluminum and plastics to keep weight down. The lid and palm rest are aluminum whereas the rest of the chassis are made out of plastic. Unfortunately, unlike its competitors, the GE40 does not feel as solidly built. The chassis felt flimsy in some areas, and when typing, we noticed some flex in the keyboard. That said, the keyboard is wellsized and decent to use, while the trackpad is responsive and accurate but too small to be used for extended periods.
Output connectivity is provided in the form of two USB 3.0 ports, a single USB 2.0 port, memory card reader and a full-size Ethernet jack. The GE40 also incorporates MSI’s Matrix Display technology, which lets it output video via its HDMI and VGA ports simultaneously. This means that including its native display, it can drive a total of three displays.
Speaking of display, the GE40’s display is not one of its strong suits. The 14-inch display uses a TN panel and sports a resolution of 1600 x 900. Though not Full HD, the resolution is decent, and one upshot is that compared to playing games at Full HD resolution, playing games at a resolution of 1600 x 900 pixels will net appreciably higher frame rates. That said, the TN panel looks badly washed-out and is disappointing when compared to the competition.
As for specifications, the GE40 is powered by a quad-core Core i7-4702MQ processor with 8GB of RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M discrete GPU. The GeForce GTX 760M has the same number of cores as the GeForce GTX 765M found in the Aftershock, Dell and Razer notebooks, but has a lower core clock speed - 657MHz on the former, versus 850MHz on the latter three.
Storage is possibly the GE40’s strongest suit because it features MSI Super RAID technology. This means two 64GB mSATA SSDs in a RAID 0 configuration and an additional 750GB HDD for storage purposes. This is truly the best of both worlds. On the flip side, demanding users might find the combined 128GB capacity of the two mSATA SSDs insufficient for game installations.
“STORAGE IS THE GE40’S STRONGEST SUIT BECAUSE IT FEATURES TWO 64GB MSATA SSDS IN A RAID 0 CONFIGURATION.”
The GE40 can power two external displays at once via its HDMI and VGA outputs. There’s no optical drive, the bay has been converted to house the 750GB HDD.