MSI's new workstation is built for 3D modelers and consumers who don't mind a large device.
I recently tried out the MSI WE75 mobile workstation. Touting a ninth generation core i7 Intel processor, MSI says this line of workstations not only allows users to complete day-to-day tasks but create content such as motion graphics, animation, and 3D modeling.
When the box arrived, I was floored. This device is huge and packs a lot of tech specs including:
- 32GB of DDR4 RAM (max 64GB)512GB NVMe SSD for storage
- NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 6GB GDDR5 RAM
- 17.3-inch IPS HD screen with 60Hz refresh rate
- Intel Core i7 9750H 2.6-4.5GHz clock speed
We're talking some serious horsepower here, folks. The chassis of this mobile workstation is large and can't really be considered a laptop (unless you're a giant human being). This is designed more for desk use in an office. I don't recommend designating this as your travel laptop. It's large, heavy at 5.73 pounds, and barely fits in most backpacks. I personally don't have an issue with the weight and size, but I understand why most consumers or creators wouldn't want to use this particular model (WE75) for travel.
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What I enjoyed
The power of this laptop lives up to the hype. Quite frankly, with this design aesthetic and internal hardware, you should get a device that performs at an extremely high level. I did my very best to make this laptop beg for mercy as I threw large 4K, 3D motion graphics at it via After Effects, laced with several adjustment layers and particle animations. The WE75 did "yell at me" a little as these rendered, but it was only the fans speeding up to higher RPMs to keep the awesome RTX 3000 graphics card and CPU cool. Fortunately, the chassis has a well thought out industrial design, which provides the device with plenty of vents to allow sufficient airflow in and through the WE75. Here's a view (Figure A) of the bottom of the chassis as you can see plenty of lift is given with the rubber feet and a sufficient amount of vents let the device breathe.
There are also plenty of ports (Figure B) to get work done, including three USB 3.1 ports, an HDMI port, USB-C port, headphone jack, separate 3.5mm microphone jack, and also an ethernet port. It also includes a full-sized SD card reader. I enjoyed this option more than the PS-Modern laptop I reviewed, which only provided a micro SD card slot. There's a fingerprint scanner as well as a larger, backlit keyboard with 10-key input. It's pretty good for typing, not perfect, but pretty good.
This device is truly capable of showing off lots of power and zipping through video renders or CAD modeling, all while leveraging its eight hours of battery life. Eight hours may not seem like much to most average consumers, but when you're crushing CPU and GPU cycles to get your magnificent 3D animation published, you're bound to use a lot of wattage. Eight hours is adequate on a single charge.
What I didn't like
My main gripe with the WE75 is the trackpad and keyboard spacebar. When I'm not using an external mouse, I found the trackpad sensitivity to be hit or miss. One minute it registered my touch, and the next minute it wouldn't. The backlit keyboard feels just fine for typing, but the spacebar seems a little stiff. I checked to make sure there wasn't any debris on the keyboard, but eventually just learned to really "smack" the space bar when I needed to. I'm a content creator. I'm not only shooting video or photography, but I also write. I need a highly functional keyboard for an efficient typing experience.
This next gripe is for those creative artists that may have issues with the girth of the WE75 for portability. This isn't ideal for people that think a four-pound laptop is heavy. Weighing more than five pounds, this device is heavy to most. I used to carrying a lot of gear in my backpack for shoots and projects, but other consumers may not feel the same.
You can get the WE75 starting at $1,999, but the price can vary based on configuration. Adding different hard drive options or RAM will change the price.
However, if you're a high-end content creator or 3D modeler, I recommend this piece of hardware for your tasks.
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