MSI GE62VR 6RF Apache Pro Review: A Pascal-Powered Gaming Laptop

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MSI GE62VR 6RF Apache Pro Design and Layout

Even though the GTX 1060 in the Apache Pro is basically a desktop GPU, don't expect laptops armed with Pascal to be overly chunky. NVIDIA says that VR-ready laptops with Pascal inside will be as thin as 0.70 inches (18mm) and light as 4 pounds. The Apache Pro isn't quite as slim or light, but at 15.07 x 10.23 x 1.06 inches (WxDxH) and 5.29 pounds, it compares well to other laptops in its performance category.

MSI GE62VR 6RF Apache Pro Closed

MSI seems to have mastered the art of subtlety. There's a fine line that hardware makers dance when designing products for gamers, and oftentimes they go overboard in trying to separate their products from traditional or business-class machines. That isn't the case with Apache Pro. It has a few raised lines on the lid for a slightly aggressive look with a faux brushed aluminum motif. MSI's reflective logo and G Series gaming badge add a touch of flair without going crazy—neither are oversized or call attention to themselves with LEDs.

It's when you touch the Apache Pro that the illusion is broken. Though the chassis gives off a premium vibe, the brushed aluminum jacket is really a made of plastic. It doesn't have a quality feel like aluminum or carbon fiber, or even those rubberized finishes that have gained traction in recent years. The Apache Pro is another in a growing number of well configured laptops that trade premium materials for a more affordable price tag. We saw the same thing with the ASUS ROG Strix GL502VT-GS74, and like that laptop, the Apache Pro's lid has a bit of play to it if you force the issue.

The other thing to note here is that the lid grabs onto fingerprints like Sloth does candy bars in the Goonies. If it attracts enough of them, it will look like Sloth too, though a quick wipe down with a lint free cloth restores that new laptop shine.

MSI GE62VR 6RF Apache Pro Open

The Apache Pro wields a 15.6-inch eDP IPS-level display with a native Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) resolution. Going with Full HD 1080p screen gives the GeForce GTX 1060 more legs than it otherwise would have if MSI chose a 3K or 4K display. Combined with the Core i7-6700HQ processor and 16GB of RAM, there's plenty of horsepower and resources underneath the hood to keep this kitten purring for a long time to come.

What you don't get here is touch support or G-Sync, the latter of which we'd prioritize over the former. That's a bit of a disappointment, though for the asking price, we're not overly critical that G-Sync isn't part of the package.

The overall quality of the display is above average. It offers good color color reproduction with decent brightness, along with somewhat flexible viewing angles. Brightness and details tend to fade rather quickly once you veer too far off from the center, but there's some leeway before that starts to happen. You can also adjust the color output using MSI's TrueColor utility, which includes a variety of customizable modes such as Gamer, Anti-Blue, sRGB, Designer, Office, and Movie.

MSI GE62VR 6RF Apache Pro Keyboard

MSI partnered with SteelSeries to power the Apache Pro's low profile keyboard. If you play in the dark, the multi-color backlight provides ample illumination to find the keys you're hunting for, and you can use the included SteelSeries Engine 3 software to customize key inputs, create macros, and save profiles, which are synced to and accessible from the cloud.

The backlight shines through the high-grade silver lined printed keys and also spills up around the edges. It almost gives the illusion of key caps floating on a cloud of colors, and the effect is especially enticing when using a rainbow of colors across the key set. Like the lid, the wrist rest and areas surrounding the keyboard are faux brushed aluminum.

As for actually typing on the keyboard, it's a laptop plank, so don't expect the same level of comfort that your favorite mechanical board offers. That said, the key action is consistent and tight—you're not going to accidentally mash a key, whether you're frenetically typing up an email or frantically punching keystrokes in the heat of battle.

A silver lined touchpad sits slightly off center to the left and offers good response gestures and swipes. It keeps the brushed aluminum illusion intact, but with a bit more friction than the rest of the Apache Pro's deck.

MSI GE62VR 6RF Apache Pro Ports Left
Ports (Left)

MSI GE62VR 6RF Apache Pro Ports Right
Ports (Right)

The Apache Pro offers a decent amount of ports and connectivity options. On the left side you'll find a Kensington Lock slot towards the rear, followed by a GbE LAN port (Killer Networking E2400), blue-colored USB 3.0 port, HDMI 1.4 and Mini DisplayPort 1.2 outputs, another blue USB 3.0 port, a USB 3.1 Type C port, and dedicated microphone and headphone (audio out) jacks.

Over on the right side is the AC power connector, an SD (XC/HC) memory card slot, a USB 2.0 port, and DVD burner. It's a curious combination of new school and old school amenities—if sticking with an optical drive, which adds to the system's waistline, we'd prefer a Blu-ray drive over a DVD burner. We also have to question why MSI bothered with a USB 2.0 port rather than slapping another USB 3.0 port into the mix.

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