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MSI GS30 Shadow with GamingDock Laptop Review

MSI GS30 Shadow with GamingDock – First Impressions

A complement that allows we to a take a skinny and light ultraportable laptop and block it into some arrange of desktop wharf that contains a absolute graphics label has prolonged been a holy grail of mobile computing. Plenty of companies have attempted their palm during a solution, yet they’ve possibly never done it to marketplace or been too costly and singular to get any traction. The latest association to give it a try is MSI, with a GS30 Shadow and GamingDock combination.

Unlike many prior systems a GamingDock uses a classical laptop wharf complement with connectors on a underside of a laptop, rather than a cable. This allows MSI to use a tie that can broach a full 16 PCI-E lanes, definition it can take full advantage of a energy of a Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 that sits in a dock.

SEE ALSO: Best Laptops Round-up

MSI GS30 with ShadwoDock

MSI GS30 Shadow – Design

The GS30 Shadow laptop is a comparatively slim and light 13-inch appurtenance that could simply be carried around any day. It’s a small heavier and thicker than a latest ultrabooks yet it’s still good within a operation of being comfortable. Comparing to something like a Dell XPS 13 2015, a GS30 Shadow has measure of 320 x 227 x 19.8mm and weighs 1.2kg, while a Dell measures 304 x 200 x 9-15mm and weighs 1.18kg.

It’s identical story with a styling. It’s a good adequate looking machine, with purify elementary lines and a pale matt black finish, while a bit of aptitude comes in a form of a frame of white light that runs along a front edge. Ultimately, though, it’s clearly not a truly premium, slim line laptop of a Macbook Air cover – we positively won’t be broke by it by conjunction will it make others envious.

Related: Best Laptops and Ultrabooks
MSI GS30 with ShadwoDock

MSI GS30 Shadow – Features

Where a GS30 Shadow lacks for unequivocally small is in a underline list. This is a unequivocally able and good versed laptop that should simply cope with many bland tasks, and even some light gaming.

The heart of this preference is an Intel Core i7-4870HQ processor with Iris Pro Graphics 5200, that is about a many manly CPU/GPU multiple we can get for a laptop. The CPU is quad-core with hyperthreading (so appears as eight-core) and runs adult to a whopping 3.7GHz, while a Iris Pro Graphics 5200 is a uprated fortitude that uses onboard eDRAM for considerable graphics performance, something that has traditionally been a diseased indicate of Intel CPUs.

Related: Best Windows 8 Laptops and Tablets

MSI GS30 with ShadwoDock

The one downside of this choice of chip is that it will shake by battery energy many quicker than a some-more medium solution. This could exceedingly bushel a altogether interest of a laptop-plus-dock solution, as a pivotal cause is that a laptop on a possess is a truly practical, unstable bland option. We’ll have to wait until we do a full examination to find out accurately how a GS30 Shadow binds up.

Otherwise, it’s all good. There’s adult to 32GB of RAM, both a tough expostulate container and room for dual m.2 SSDs, that can be run in a RAID configuration. Connectivity is also excellent, even yet a dock. There’s dual USB 3.0, an SD label reader, full distance HDMI, Ethernet and both headphone and microphone sockets.

The 13.3-inch shade is also good specced, with a 1080p resolution, IPS row record and non-reflective coating. It didn’t seem to be a excellent shade we’d ever seen on initial viewing, yet it should positively be some-more than capable.

The keyboard and trackpad were also impressive. The former has a well-defined action, creation it easy to tell if you’ve pulpy a pivotal or not. It also has a good blueprint and is backlit, too. The trackpad, meanwhile, is good and vast and responded good in a brief test.

MSI GS30 with ShadwoDock

MSI GS30 Shadow GamingDock

Decent as a GS30 Shadow is on a own, a loyal interest is of march when total with a dock. This is a corpulent thing that a laptop sits on tip of, and as such it creates a many of a bulk to incorporate a horde of other features.

Speakers are a categorical addition, with dual speakers flanking a executive underling woofer, any of that is rated during 5W. There’s also space for an additional 3.5-inch tough expostulate and there’s some additional connectivity too, with Killer Gb Ethernet, mic and headphone sockets, and 4 USB 3.0 ports.

MSI GS30 with ShadwoDock

The star of a show, though, is a Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 graphics card. This is among a fastest graphics cards we can now get and is plenty to make usually about any diversion run during limit settings during a 1080p fortitude of a laptop’s screen. Not that you’ll be regulating a laptop’s screen, as a complement is meant to be bending adult to an outmost monitor.

The label is a customary form factor, so houses a common preference of outputs, with one DVI, an HDMI and 3 DisplayPorts. Theoretically we can also reinstate a graphics label with another one, yet for now MSI is usually charity a GS30 Shadow with a GTX 980.

The one other aspirant that’s creation a laptop wharf fortitude during a impulse is Alienware, with a Alienware Graphics Amplifier, yet crucially it usually uses a PCI-E x4 connection, that boundary a bandwidth accessible between a graphics label and laptop. This impacts a limit performance. It also doesn’t have a speakers, a tough expostulate space and utterly such good connectivity, yet it certain does demeanour nicer. It’s also accessible yet a graphics card, permitting we to select your own. The GamingDock will be accessible yet a graphics label in a US yet will usually be sole as a finish gold with a GTX 980 in a UK.

As expected, a total laptop and wharf positively monstered by all a demos we saw, so a energy is unequivocally there. What stays to be seen is usually how arguable a fortitude it is in bland use.

SEE ALSO: Best Gaming Laptops Round-up

MSI GS30 with ShadwoDock

Early Verdict

We’re unequivocally happy to see another try during formulating a graphics label wharf and laptop solution, and MSI seems to have done a decent try with a GS30 Shadow and GamingDock. We’re not unequivocally sole on a inclusion of speakers or a styling of a dock, yet functionally it’s spot-on. We usually wish MSI was offered it yet a GTX 980 here in a UK so that users had some-more options than to compensate £2199 for a full kit.

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