There are a few key things that keep PC gamers tethered to their desks, one of them being the awesomeness of having the "click clack" of a quality mechanical keyboard punctuate their gameplay. Impressive as they may be, laptops haven't been able to replicate that experience... yet. MSI to the rescue!
Today the hardware developer unveiled its latest in a long, long line of spiffy gaming laptops: the GT80 Titan. This one stands out from the pack because, as a representative for the company proudly stated in an email to Kotaku, it's "the world's first gaming laptop with a mechanical keyboard." It's an 18-inch machine with a clicky keyboard made by prolific peripheral producer SteelSeries built in.
The company's press release didn't give a full rundown of the GT80's hardware specifications, but it noted a few details that might stand out to the hardware buffs out there. The keyboard "uses standard Cherry switches and a standard keycap with 27mm of thickness, nearly 5 times of traditional laptop keyboards." They also claim that it's "the world's slimmest and lightest 18-inch gaming laptop, measuring 17% thinner and 22% lighter than its closest competitor." MSI Pan America president Andy Tung therefore promises that the new device "blends the performance of a high-end gaming desktop with the mobility of a laptop."
We'll see if that's actually the case once we get our hands on the thing. But regardless of the specifics of this particular piece of hardware, I have to admit that I'm thrilled by the simple fact that someone's trying to make something like this in the first place. I recently finished rebuilding my high school era gaming PC from the ground up and got my first mechanical keyboard to go along with the new rig, and... what's that phrase: "I once was lost, but now I'm found?"
Playing games -- even something like The Sims 4 -- just feels better when your every movement is registered with a resounding "clack". Hell, it just makes writing more enjoyable. I'd go as far as saying that this kind of haptic feedback is more important than having the best CPU or graphics card that money can buy. That, in turn, makes the trade-off of choosing between a desktop rig and laptop arbitrarily frustrating if you can only get your ideal mouse-and-keyboard on one of those systems. So while I don't imagine this first attempt by MSI will be perfect, necessarily, I find the prospect of gaming laptops that take some of the best ideas from desktop peripherals pretty darn exciting. Hopefully, at the very least, the GT80 will be good enough that it inspires other hardware developers to start tinkering with the idea of pairing mechanical keyboards with laptops as well.
I've reached out to MSI asking for more info about its new laptop, and will update this story once I hear back.