Unlike many gaming desktop replacement notebooks, the GT627 isn’t a pain to tote around. In fact, the notebook has a reasonable footprint and weighs approximately 5.6 pounds. By comparison, some desktop replacement notebooks weigh nearly double that of the GT627. The notebook’s power adapter isn’t a brick, either; it’s about average for what you would expect from a laptop.
In order to incorporate a full numeric keypad, MSI was forced to make some sacrifices in terms of the size of some keys; most notably the Ctrl, Shift, and Enter keys are a bit small. Additionally, the spacebar is narrower than some because it makes way for arrow keys located below the right Shift key. Even though some keys were smaller than we were accustomed to, we had little problems typing on the keyboard after a short adjustment period.
Since the touchpad is located directly beneath the spacebar, some users may find that they accidentally tap the touchpad and move the mouse/cursor to a different position while typing. This can be really annoying. Thankfully, we didn’t have any problems with accidentally tapping the touchpad while typing, although this is sure to be an individual experience.
The touchpad of the GT627 is large and smooth during navigation. The right side of the touchpad has traditional scrolling controls even though they’re not marked. We weren't fond of the touchpad buttons—they feel a bit stiff and could be annoying if you’re doing anything that requires frequent clicking.
MSI’s marketing material made a point to show us the GT627’s USB ports are laid out in a side-to-side, rather than top-to-bottom layout, making them more usable (wide plugs / devices won't block the adjacent port). MSI also distributed the USB ports among both sides of the machine.
The system’s power, VGA, and HDMI ports are on the back of the machine, making it easy to route cords behind a desk.
The GT627’s stereo speakers are located underneath the grill that surrounds the media control buttons. The speakers sounded OK, but you’ll definitely want to hook up a better sound system if you want to enjoy the full effects from games and movies. Thankfully, the GT627 offers 7.1 surround sound audio output for a richer audio experience.
Heat and noise are always a concern with any performance-focused system. While we didn’t notice a lot of noise coming from the GT627, the notebook did get fairly warm after hours of use. Some spots were definitely warmer than others were. The power brick also became warm but not so warm that you couldn’t pick it up. Right-handed users who connect an external mouse will definitely notice a constant stream of warm air from the ventilation hole on the side of the machine. This heat could become uncomfortable for the user over time.