Graphics power has always been an issue with gaming laptops, and it is nigh impossible to install a full sized GPU without losing all semblance of portability. MSI’s solution to this problem is to provide the new GS30 Shadow gaming laptop with a GamingDock that will boost performance when the two are combined.
The MSI GS30 is a 13.3-inch laptop fitted with a 2560 x 1440 backlit LED display. Inside is an impressive Intel Core i7 processor; although there is no indication of which type is in it. It also features the rare Intel Iris Pro graphics and up to 16GB of DDR3 RAM. Giving it impressive specifications for a laptop, although perhaps a little underwhelming for a gaming machine. Considering that it doesn’t have a discrete graphics card installed. However, the space not taken up by a GPU is used to provide for two SSDs in a RAID configuration.
For actual gaming performance, the GS30 will have to be docked with the aptly named GamingDock. This dock is, in essence, a massive enclosure to hold a single graphics card that will be connected to the gaming laptop. MSI claims that any full sized card will fit in the dock via the PCI-e x16 slot. It all sounds great, except that the dock itself is the size of a desktop computer and doesn’t look like it will be moving anywhere without a lot of effort; and it appears that users may have to purchase a graphics card separately.
MSI is aiming for a January 2015 launch for the GS30 Shadow and GamingDock, and has not revealed a pricing range for the duo.