MSI's CES 2016 PC lineup is all about gaming power

— 8:00 AM on January 6, 2016

MSI has pulled back the curtain on the products it's been working on for CES 2016, and it's safe to say the company's firing with both barrels. The firm is announcing no less than four new or upgraded laptops and two gaming-oriented desktop PCs today. Let's get started.

GS40 Phantom

First, we have some gaming laptops. MSI is announcing the GS40 Phantom, which it bills as an 'ultraportable 14" gaming laptop with the power of full-sized desktops.' Despite being 0.87" (2.2 cm) thick and weighing a very reasonable 3.75 lbs (or 1.7 Kg), the Phantom still packs Intel Skylake CPUs and Nvidia GTX 970M graphics cards. MSI says the GS40 Phantom should be available immediately.

GT72S Tobii

The GT72S Tobii has what appears to be a strange name, but that's easily explained: MSI says it's the first PC ever with integrated eye tracking tech, courtesy of Swedish company Tobii. MSI goes on to say that it's supporting "thousands of forward-thinking developers," in order to create games where the "game characters and environments recat to your gaze, focus and attention."

The eye tracking tech also integrates with Windows Hello and should augment Windows 10's biometric authentication. The notebook will be available sometime during January, bundled with a copy of The Division with support for eye tracking enabled. If you're curious, Tobii has a list of games with support for its tech. I admit that at first sight I wasn't all that thrilled, but then I saw Elite: Dangerous in that list. This definitely warrants a second look.

GT72 Stealth Pro

The GT70 Stealth laptop gets an upgrade in the form of the GT72 Stealth Pro. This 17" model is available with 4K display option. It's also reasonably thin, at 0.78" (2 cm). MSI says you can get one of these fairly soon.

WS72 Workstation

We may have been talking about red-and-black gaming laptops all this time, but more serious professionals aren't forgotten. MSI has updated its WS72 Workstation notebook with support for the latest Intel Xeon processors. The company says its workstations are certified for use with a number of software packages including AutoCAD, SolidWorks, Maya, and Revit. Architects and engineers can get their hands on the WS72 right now.

Vortex Gaming Tower

Now it's time for something a little different. The Vortex Gaming Tower is a somewhat-cylindrical compact desktop PC packing a pair of Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 graphics cards. The Cylon-esque design is a little strange at first sight, but also a little more imaginative than Darth Vader's ashtr... I mean, the Mac Pro. Unlike that particular machine, though, MSI says the Vortex has an easy-to-upgrade design, allowing users to expand the machine as they see fit. The Vortex should be available sometime this year.

Gaming 27XT

Let's end this with a bang. "All-in-one computer" and "full-sized graphics card" are two things you don't tend to see together, but MSI has found a way to actually make that marriage happen in its Gaming 27XT desktop. The almost-unholy matrimony is exactly what it sounds like: a sleek-looking 27" AIO PC at the front, with a dedicated compartment for a discrete graphics card at the back. The goodies don't end there, either. The 27XT's 1080p screen can hit a 144Hz refresh rate, while LAN connectivity is provided by a Killer Ethernet adapter.

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