Yesterday MSI announced their latest notebook addition, the GT80 Titan. I'm a bit unsure what to think of the notebook, but it's obviously unique in that it offers a SteelSeries keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches. It also has a tweaked keyboard/palm rest area, somewhat reminiscent of the Acer R7 in that the keyboard is at the front…only now you have to throw in shades of Razer's Switchblade touchpad/UI as there's apparently a configurable touchpad/screen on the right of the keyboard.

I get the idea of doing a notebook with a mechanical keyboard, though obviously that will result in a thicker chassis. I'm not so sure about shifting the keyboard forward and turning the 10-key into a touchpad and getting rid of the palm rest. For actual gaming, most users will still use a dedicated mouse, but I for one like having a place to rest my palms when gaming (or just staring at the screen trying to think of what to type next), and with a notebook that will likely be a couple inches thick that's a bit of a problem.

As far as the remaining specifications go, MSI is not officially announcing the supported CPUs or GPUs, and the GT80 Titan isn't actually available for purchase yet. My bet is the GT80 Titan will support at least the GTX 980M, and given it's an 18-inch chassis it could very well include support for SLI 980M. Given the name, it's also possible the GT80 will support desktop components (e.g. GTX Titan GPUs), but that's less likely; a desktop CPU on the other hand is certainly a possibility. Hopefully the screen and other elements can keep pace with the high-end mechanical keyboard. You can follow MSI from the GT80 Titan's page to receive updates if you're interested in hearing more.

Source: MSI PR

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  • SeannyB - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    That's gotta be heavy.
  • cosmotic - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    Brown key switches? I thought Red was the gaming switch....
  • greatcaffeine - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    People think that, but here's the thing: no switches will make you any better at playing games, nor will they make the games themselves any better. There's this notion that you want switches to be as light as possible in order to play games, and if that's what we're going on, Browns should be just fine; they have the exact same resistance as Reds.

    In practice, the only time I've ever noticed my keyboard while playing a game was when I was using a Logitech G510 with a weird shift key. As long as everything works (predictably), no keyboard will ever make a difference.

    Source: played games with Reds, Browns, Blues, Clears, Greens, buckling springs, and Matias switches. And of course, rubber domes.
  • ImSpartacus - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    I game with browns and it's a fine experience.

    Admittedly, I haven't used any other kind of switches aside from rubber dome, so my data point isn't particularly good.
  • dragonsqrrl - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    I've used blues, browns, reds, and rubber dome, and definitely prefer brown for general use. Although I also like blues I just can't see myself using them all the time (just a bit too loud and clicky I think). Reds... idk, I just don't like, at all. No tactile feedback, I guess if you want a quality linear switch that you don't need to bottom out.
  • MrSpadge - Saturday, November 1, 2014 - link

    I'm fine with gaming with Browns. Prefer them over Blacks. However, the Browns in my Zowie with metal backplate feel so much better than the ones at work in a (relatively) cheap Cherry. So I'm wondering how good they'll be in the MSI, assuming they don't put a heavy metal plate into that notebook.
  • althaz - Sunday, November 2, 2014 - link

    A good keyboard absolutely makes a difference when gaming. I'm a former Starcraft competitor and playing with somebody else's equipment that is of lesser quality translates to missed actions and could cost you a game. Good equipment wont make you good, but bad equipment will make you worse. Also, most other competitive gamers I've spoken to prefer browns to reds. Same force, better tactile response on the browns.
  • LostAlone - Sunday, November 2, 2014 - link

    But that's about familiarity and personal taste not that there are some keyboards that are just 'better'. Like the guy above said, the thing that matters is a keyboard that reacts the exact way you expect it to. Things like the travel and the resistance that feel different and make you question if you have actually hit the button or not and that's bad, but that'll happen whenever you change gear at all, even when you move to better gear. You don't get better by playing with better gear, you get better by being more practiced with it.
  • althaz - Sunday, November 2, 2014 - link

    If you don't have a good keyboard, you wont get consistency. Rubber dome keyboards are good for about 3-6 months, after that they are too inconsistent to be usable. Most pros use mech keyboards or constantly replace their 35 for a reason.
  • TheLogicBringer - Sunday, November 2, 2014 - link

    I don't know where you picked up these "notions", why would anyone want them as light as possible. You want a consistent amount of force needed for actuation, if you are playing any game where speed is key you don't want to have to think about when you have or have not pressed a key, you feel the actuation and you are on to the next one. Mechanical keys are much better than caps and the feel makes a lot of difference between games. I suppose if you play mobas or fps games the difference would likely be negligible depending on skill, any rts or fighting game and you will notice right away.

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