MSI has branched out into primarily gaming focused systems, but they also use the same gaming chassis as workstation devices too. This year at CES, MSI also launched a very nice looking gaming tower, which is very small but incredibly powerful.

First, MSI showed me their workstations. I have to admit; I’ve often wondered why companies don’t leverage existing gaming systems as the basis for workstations. A bit of extra validation, and some different components, and the system should be a pretty capable workstation. That’s exactly what MSI has done. The have taken their GS60, GS72, and GT72 gaming systems, and converted them to workstations with optional Xeon processors and Quadro graphics.

The WS series is the slimmer models, and the WT model has the most cooling capability, and carries the most powerful graphics card of the trio, with the Quadro M5000M, which is a 1536 CUDA Core, 8 GB, 100-Watt card. The smaller WS series have the M2000M model, which is a 640 CUDA core, 4 GB, 55-Watt professional GPU. MSI has kept a lot of the same styling, including the colored backlit keyboard, and other gaming touches. I pointed out that they can’t compromise the keyboard like they have on a workstation class device, because even on the largest model the number pad and arrow keys overlap.

The rest of the gaming laptops were on display, but they remain basically untouched at this point, other than the refresh to Skylake. The GT80 Titan was being shown off with the dual-GTX 980 desktop class cards on MXM modules, which is a step up on the SLI GTX 980M cards which were installed in our review unit. This is still a beast of a notebook, and no other vendors have really stepped up to compete against it quite yet, although there are a couple of other 18.4-inch devices now.

The one new gaming model was the GT72S Tobii, which takes the basic GT72S and adds Tobii eye tracking to the bottom of the panel. MSI was demoing the capabilities, but their focus is gaming, which means the eye tracking could be used to help navigate in a FPS. The demos looked interesting, and if nothing else, the Tobii system is being certified for use with Windows Hello to offer biometric login.

MSI also had an interesting AIO called the PRO 16 Flex, which has a Braswell N3150 CPU behind a 15.6-inch display. The interesting bit is that the AIO also features a small battery, so it can be used unplugged for short periods of time. This is an upgraded version of a previous model which had a J1900 Celeron.

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  • jasonelmore - Friday, January 15, 2016 - link

    I wonder if anyone else will make a unibody aluminum gaming notebook like Razer. I really love the design, but razer's prices are crazy expensive. Except for the newest mackbook air like model. Can't believe it started at $999
  • Flunk - Friday, January 15, 2016 - link

    That's what the MacBook Air starts at and the Razer has a better screen. You can't have a fancy aluminum body, thin system, performance and a low price.
  • MrSpadge - Friday, January 15, 2016 - link

    He's saying he can't believe that the 999$ air-like model isn't any more expensive.
  • jasonelmore - Friday, January 15, 2016 - link

    yeah expected it to be $1299 coming for razer.. these are the people who charge $200 for a mini bluetooth speaker.

    I now see they reduced the price of the 15" by $400 last week., but it was $2500 for 256GB storage.

    And on black friday, they didn't even have a 1% discount on any of their products, they just offered a free sweat band and t-shirt with orders over $150

    I just want MSI or Asus to make a unibody gaming notebook..

    @WoldwithoutMadness The aluminum is great at dissipating heat.. thermodynamics man.. plastic, not so much.
  • Hrel - Friday, January 15, 2016 - link

    I don't care how thin or how heavy it is. $1000 for what's basically an Macbook Air is actually a really good price. I think he was saying he was surprised it was ONLY $999. But their 15" gaming laptop is hugely overpriced for what it is.

    I can get a much better value from MSI or Gigabyte.
  • WorldWithoutMadness - Friday, January 15, 2016 - link

    Because up until now, it is not really the efficient design in thermal dissipation but you can see the trend is changing because thunderbolt 3 (external graphic dock) is coming. It is not really the most elegant solution but if you prefer good looking design then you have to make some sacrifice.

    For example like the newest razer blade stealth although the processor might be a bottleneck in near future.
  • BrokenCrayons - Friday, January 15, 2016 - link

    Well, Tobii certainly has that whole HAL-9000 look going for it. In any case, no thanks on gazing long into the computer abyss only to have the computer abyss gaze into me. :)
  • kgardas - Friday, January 15, 2016 - link

    So Xeon in spec and no ECC RAM? What the waste of functionality...
  • digiguy - Saturday, January 16, 2016 - link

    That GT80 is really part of this marketing madness without consideration for user experience that we see these days. This is probably the only laptop that could play most AAA games in 4k at 60fps+ and has a full hd display... What's the point? Spending that outrageous amount of money and bearing record breaking noise to play on an external monitor? Similar story with the EVGA laptop, that has a 4k screen, which with a 980m is mostly good to drain the battery, since 980m is definitely not a 4k GPU....
  • johnbarlow - Saturday, April 2, 2016 - link

    Real helpful article, I recently bought one for my son from http://bestreviewz. org/best-gaming-laptop/, where I found best quality gaming laptops.

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