MSI has announced the GE76 Raider Dragon Edition Tiamat (yes, that’s the full name), which undoubtedly has one of the most unique laptop designs you’ll see this year. Take a look at the eye-catching pattern in the picture above — it’s actually engraved into the 17.3-inch GE76’s lid. MSI says the design is inspired by the ancient goddess Tiamat, who was known in Mesopotamia as the mother of all gods. Why Tiamat? Like her, MSI claims, the GE76 Raider represents “supreme power.”
If you’re confused, settle in — this kind of thing is MSI’s shtick. Last year, the company released a “Dragonshield Edition” of its GE66 Raider designed to look like a spaceship. (Or rather, a panel that fell off a spaceship. There’s a story and it comes with a model, it’s a whole thing.) Hey, it won’t be for everyone, but I love that the company’s thinking big.
In addition to the Dragon Edition, MSI has unveiled a few other devices for its GE Raider series including a regular GE76 Raider (no fun lid design) and an updated 15.6-inch GE66 Raider.
The big news is that the GE Raiders have been upgraded to Nvidia’s new GeForce RTX 3000 graphics cards. The GE66 and the Dragon Edition can include an RTX 3070 or RTX 3080; the standard GE76 goes down to a 3060 as well. This means they’ll have access to Nvidia’s modern technologies, including resizable BAR technology and Dynamic Boost 2.0 (which leverages AI to balance power between the CPU, GPU, and GPU memory on a per-frame basis). The new Raiders will pair those GPUs with Intel’s 10th Gen Core i7 processors (the Dragon Edition has a Core i9 option). MSI claims the laptops can “masterfully handle all triple-A games.”
They’re also among the first laptops in the industry to support the latest Wi-Fi 6E, or 6Hz Wi-Fi that’s meant to offer better bandwidth with less interference.
Here’s the regular GE76 Raider. Image: MSI
Chips aside, the most noticeable feature of the GE Raider series is the colorful LED bar around the front edge of the chassis. Together with a customizable RGB keyboard, it creates a flashy splash of color. They also have plentiful port selections: I count 10, including two USB-C ports, three USB-A ports, an audio jack, an HDMI 2.0 port, Mini DisplayPort 1.4, an Ethernet port, and an SD card reader. All models can come with a 1080p 300Hz or 240Hz IPS display — the Dragon Edition also has a 4K UHD option, and the standard GE76 has a 1080p 144Hz option. Both GE76s have an MSI-developed “Duo Wave” speaker with noise cancellation.
And they all have a 99.9Wh battery, the largest battery you can bring on a plane (and consequently the largest size you’re likely to see in a consumer device), though I still only got about four hours out of the 2020 GE66 in my testing.
Pricing on the GE76 Raider Dragon Edition is still to be announced, but it’s supposed to hit shelves in mid to late February. You can preorder the regular GE76 and GE66 models now. They’ll start at $1,499 and $2,199, respectively.