MSI FX720 review

Barry de la Rosa
25 Jul 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

The FX720 may have a powerful processor and graphics chip, but looks overpriced compared to HP's dv7-6000sa



17.3 in 1,600x900 display, 2.8kg, 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

The MSI FX720 is a beast of a laptop. It has a 17.3in screen, a powerful Intel Core i5-2410M processor and a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GT 520M graphics chip. It weighs almost 3kg, so you're unlikely to want to lug it around with you, which is fortunate as the battery lasts for two hours and 37 minutes between charges. It's clearly aimed at those wanting to 'upgrade' from a desktop PC but still have a large screen.

For well under £700, it's no surprise there's no Blu-ray drive, and the graphics card isn't the fastest model. It scored 29fps in our Dirt 3 benchmark, proving that it can play some games, but you may have to sacrifice some of the graphical effects to achieve smooth frame rates.


The GT 520M has no problem decoding HD movies, however, and the large screen has a glossy finish that adds vibrancy to colours. It has a 1,600x900 resolution, so it can't display 1080p movies in all their glory, but it still has the same 16:9 aspect ratio as an HD TV. The backlight isn't the brightest around, but it's even. Contrast is surprisingly good: the screen produces deep blacks and there's detail in shadowy areas.

MSI FX720 right ports

Vertical viewing angles are tight, however, and the glossy finish also attracts unwanted reflections from overhead lights. When you want to watch movies on a bigger screen, there's always the HDMI output and, if you have an AV receiver with HDMI, you can plug the FX720 straight in. The internal speakers are quite loud and less tinny than most laptops. Peripherals are catered for by four USB ports, two of which support the faster USB3 standard, and there's also a memory card reader.

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