MSI GT70 LCD Quality

I noted earlier that the GT70 display is merely “okay”, and here’s where you’ll see why I have such a mediocre opinion of the panel. It actually delivers good colors overall once you calibrate it, but out of the box the colors are horribly skewed towards the “cool” end of the spectrum, with highly oversaturated blues. I used our tablet display testing workflow to gather this image, showing a relative representation of what the colors on the GT70 look like out of the box compared to what they should look like (the "desired color" is on the bottom). Most devices you’ll see minor differences, but the tinting of the various colors is extremely noticeable on the GT70:

I’m not quite sure why so many displays have such inaccurate colors, but my best guess is that in order to hit higher maximum brightness values (e.g. 350 cd/m2 – or “nits” if you prefer), the LCD panel makers are just pushing the LED backlights as hard as they can. Most seem to end up with very blue tints, and rather than correct that via the LUTs and end up with a lower maximum brightness value, we get poor colors.

It’s not just the colors that are disappointing on the GT70 display, though. With tablets helping to pave the way, people are becoming more knowledgeable about display quality, and the poor viewing angles of TN panels are finally earning the scorn of consumers they deserve. Most Ultrabooks are now using IPS (or similar technology) panels, and while I don’t necessarily feel every laptop needs a high quality display, it’s pretty sad when $400-$500 tablets have substantially better displays than $2000 notebooks. Given the woes of Windows DPI scaling and the continuing lack of broad application support for High DPI displays, we may not need or want QHD or QHD+ panels on a 15.6” or 17.3” notebook, but a slightly higher quality 1080p display would certainly be nice.

Below are the galleries and charts for uncalibrated and calibrated colors on the GT70. We’ve switched our LCD testing to use CalMAN 5.3 with an i1 Display Pro spectrometer, which gives far better results than our previous testing using ColorEyes Display Pro with an i1 Display 2, so we can’t really compare older scores directly with the new results. However, the brightness, contrast, and gamut should all be within a few percent regardless of which testing method was used. What we see is that the MSI GT70 is at least a better display than the budget TN panels, but it’s definitely not one of the top displays these days. That’s not too surprising considering the actual panel appears to be the same as in previous GT70 notebooks, which means it’s now at least a few years old in terms of the core technology.

LCD Analysis - Contrast

LCD Analysis - White

LCD Analysis - Black

LCD Analysis - Delta E

LCD Analysis - Color Gamut

Overall, the display in MSI’s GT70 is certainly better than what you’ll find in budget notebooks and it will work well for gaming, but if you prefer higher quality displays you might just need to wait for the next round of updates and hopefully well see some IPS/AHVA/PLS or some other similar technology start showing up in the gaming notebooks. The colors can be calibrated to the point where they're quite good, but out of the box the display doesn't look very good at all.

MSI GT70 General Performance MSI GT70 Battery Life, Temperatures, and Noise
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  • kishorshack - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    Again an amazing gaming notebook from MSI
    Overall Gaming Experience Amazing
    but
    LCD should have been a bit better
    Specially in gaming notebook
    Where what you see forms the basis of your overall experience
    Reply
  • Meaker10 - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    There are not that many good 17.3" panels out there if any. The 15.6" version ships with a PLS screen though. Reply
  • lukedaly - Thursday, October 9, 2014 - link

    Well the LCD still isn't any good, it's no where close to matching the top notebooks that are on the market. /Luke from http://www.consumertop.com/best-laptop-guide/ Reply
  • phdchristmas - Saturday, April 19, 2014 - link

    I bought last years G70 with the GTX 770M. I needed a laptop to play FFXIV:ARR as my ole dependable Z575 wasn't going to cut it.

    I agree the LCD is poor at best. very uncomfortable viewing angles.

    came with CAS 11 memory and 5400 rpm hdd's in a raid0.

    And they threw in windows 8, without the bios update to fix a S3 wake error which complicated a lot of things, because the bios update from the MSI website would say "THIS BIOS IS NOT FOR THIS DEVICE" then shutdown. I took it back to the store and they just ended up giving a replacement with the same problems. The way transactions work in this country i couldn't return for a full refund, only store credit.

    Ended up gutting it and installing win7 to make it work. Warranty voided, but that was going to happen anyways. The point is that i shouldn't have to apply my technical skills and spend 12+hours to get a damn $1600 gaming laptop to work as intended.

    I'll be sure to avoid MSI in the future
    Reply
  • kosmokenny - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    They announced that the GS70 will be available with the 870m, is there any word yet on when that will be arriving? Reply
  • rxzlmn - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    You can already buy that, depending on where you live. Both GS60 and GS70 with 870M are avalaible (albeit at limited stock) here in Singapore. Reply
  • willis936 - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    Heavy and loud but that's a lot of hardware. Please review the P34G v2. Reply
  • highbrow - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    Or maybe Jarrod could finish the full review he promised of the P34G v1? It's only been 6 months. Reply
  • willis936 - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    I would agree with you but I'm not considering buying a P34G v1 this summer. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, April 17, 2014 - link

    The P34G review had to be canceled -- basically, something died on my test unit during stress testing. Sorry for the lack of an update, but I didn't want to make a big deal about it and it was basically at the point where by the time I could get a replacement it would be too old to worry much about the review. I'm going to try and get one of the newer 800M Gigabyte laptops at some point, but no promises! Reply

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