updated 03:35 am EST, Wed January 5, 2011
Latest G Series, F Series and C Series
MSI has taken wraps off of the latest generation of its three series of notebooks making use of Intel's new Sandy Bridge chipset, starting at the top with the gaming minded and aptly named G Series, followed by the F Series, which MSI says is intended to offer a blend of performance and fashion appeal, while the final third of the trio comes in the form of the business oriented C Series.
For those looking to take the latest gaming titles with them on the road or to the next LAN party, any one of the GT780, GT680, GE620 and GR620 notebooks will likely fit the bill. All come with the second generation Intel Core i7 quad core processor, as well USB 3.0 ports.
The GT780 comes with a 17.3-inch while the GT680 features 15.6-inch display with nVidia GTX 500 and 400 series graphics cards. When it comes to audio, MSI claims that the G Series notebooks feature the world's first audiophile grade audio output thanks to the co-development with Dynaudio.
MSI also incorporated its own Turbo Drive Engine (TDE) technology into the G Series notebooks, a technology aimed at users seeking the ability to overclock their notebooks. In addition to accelerated dual SSD storage, the GT680 also includes 4 SO-DIMM DDR3 memory slots to boost system memory capacity to 16GB.
The GT680 will begin shipping towards the end of the month, priced from $1,499.99, while the GT780 is expected to begin shipping during Q2 2011. MSI promises a total of six G Series models to hit the market in the first half of 2011.
If an all-out gaming machine and the associated price hike and battery life drop are a bit more than you need, the F Series is intended to offer a fashionable alternative that still packs a fairly potent performance punch.
The F Series utilizes Intel's second-generation Core processors (also known as Sandy Bridge), Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 and Hyper-Threading technology. Graphics come from the latest built-in technology coming out of Intel in the form of the GMA3000 display chips. For high performance graphics needs, the FX420, FX620 and FX720 units all include discrete graphics modes which support DirectX 11 through NVIDIA GeForce GT 500 Series cards with 1GB of display memory.
The F Series will be launched in Q1 of this year and start at $699.99. A total of five F Series models will be available to consumers before the second half of 2011 kicks off.
The C Series is aimed for business users and business owners looking to get the most bang for their buck, while still making use of Intel's Sandy Bridge chipset - which of course also means USB 3.0 comes standard.
While the main selling point of the G Series if extreme performance for gamers, and the F Series is aimed at those looking for a functional-yet-cosmetically appealing notebook, while the C Series' main selling point comes in the form of longer battery times to give more reliable computing availability in remote environments and while traveling.
MSI says C Series battery life can last as long as eight hours with optimal usage patterns, but failed to specify the lower end of the spectrum. While not packed with quite the computing power or cutting edge goodies as the G or F Series, the C Series packs noteworthy value and battery longevity.