As a repeat customer of the MSI GS series laptops, I’m virtually accustomed to the…
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For the purchase price, the MSI GS65 Stealth is among the finest gaming laptops you can purchase today. That is officially the most impressive Nvidia Max-Q gaming notebook that we’ve tested to date, outclassing most rivals by trouncing them in style and design. Get best black Friday & Cyber Monday sales, Deals.
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Attractive, subtle design
Gorgeous, fast display
Effective thermal management
Underside gets burning hot
Forthcoming biometric login
Poor native audio
With the MSI GS65 Stealth (2018), MSI has finally elevated its leading type of laptops to elite status, making the very best of the technology afforded it. The effect is a sleek, lightweight 15-inch laptop computer built in a 14-inch device that sees you through high-end gaming and intensive productivity work without breaking the money box.
The MSI GS65 Stealth (2018) gaming notebook has taken immense power within an understated yet attractive package unlike nothing you’ve seen prior, earning our coveted Editor’s Choice award. But, we enjoy it so much that we’ve also named it the very best MSI gaming notebook computer of 2020.
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If you’re looking for the best crowd pleaser laptop, you’ve just found it in the MSI GS65 Stealth (2018) – and for cheaper than key competitors.
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This is actually the MSI GS65 Stealth configuration delivered to TechRadar for review:
CPU: 3.9GHz Intel Core i7-8750H (quad-core, 9MB cache, up to 4.2GHz)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5, Max-Q)
RAM: 16GB DDR4 (8GB x 2, 2,400MHz)
Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080), anti-glare, wide view angle display (144Hz, 7ms response, 72% NTSC color gamut, 16:9)
Storage: 512GB SSD (M.2)
Ports: USB 3.1 Gen2 x 3, Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C), miniDisplayPort, HDMI-out, RJ-45 Ethernet, 1/1 SPDIF (ESS Sabre HiFi)
Connectivity: Killer N1550 Combo 802.11ac Wi-Fi (2×2 MIMO); Bluetooth 5.0
Camera: 720p HD webcam
Weight: 4.14 pounds (1.88kg)
Size: 14.08 x 9.75 x 0.69 inches (357.63 x 247.65 x 17.53mm; W x H x D)
Price and availability
When it launches later this season, MSI will require $1,799 (about £1,289, AU$2,349) to get started on because of its GS65 Stealth. That price includes all you see on the proper save for a lower-tier GTX 1060 and half as much solid-state storage (SSD) capacity in the NVMe format.
For the configuration you see to the proper in full, which will cost you $1,999 (about £1,429, AU$2,609), meanwhile the highest-end model simply doubles the memory to 32GB and maxes out the storage to two 512GB NVMe SSDs for $2,999 (about £2,139, AU$3,919). This puts the GS65 Stealth pretty near its main competitors, just like the Asus ROG GX501 Zephyrus and Gigabyte Aero 15X.
Asus’s laptop computer demands $2,299 (about £1,639, AU$3,000) you should definitely on sale for similar hardware inside, albeit a somewhat slower, 120Hz 1080p display that to its merit can be an Nvidia G-Sync panel. In addition, it brings half as much storage to the table and doesn’t yet feature Intel’s latest H-series processor.
Meanwhile Gigabyte’s Aero 15X requires $2,199 (£1,999, AU$3,199) for practically identical hardware inside, save for a mature Kaby Lake Intel processor.
For all intents and purposes, the GS65 Stealth handily outclasses its closest competition from a value standpoint. This notebook computer provides the same or even more within its admittedly stunning chassis for less overall compared to the rest – basically. Talking about which, let’s speak about that design.
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MSI has thankfully gone in a different direction about the appear and feel of its flagship thin-and-light gaming laptop, concentrating on a device with far wider appeal. You won’t find stark angles or red LEDs around this notebook – rather, you’ll discover a sleek, all-black device with subtle gold accents on its lid, within its dual hinges and surrounding its touchpad.
Those gold accents are also found highlighting the laptop’s heat vents, but nowhere else on the brushed, black aluminum frame. The effect is the most understated gaming laptops we’ve seen to date – the one which we’d haven’t any problem whipping out in a restaurant significantly less at a eSports tournament.
As for the way the notebook feels, the GS65 Stealth weighs just 4.14 pounds (1.88kg) and measures a measly 0.69 inches (17.53mm) thin. The notebook computer fits just fine inside our backpack and doesn’t weigh us down, which is impressive considering MSI tells us it might have gone even thinner and lighter but chosen an Ethernet port and the purpose of eight hours of battery life.
Having said that, while MSI evidently made an attempt to increase the size of its charging brick, its size negates a lttle bit of this hard work. Regardless, that is still the most lightweight gaming laptops around.
Being just thin enough has afforded the notebook computer not merely room for a lot of ports, but also a SteelSeries keyboard with a good amount of travel and forceful feedback. Plus, the keyboard is RGB backlit with 16.7 million color options and SteelSeries’s GameSense, which changes the lighting behavior to sync with gameplay in supported games.
The glass-coated touchpad feels just fine, and doesn’t trigger movements when typing, telling us it has strong palm rejection.
Now, another reason we suspect MSI went just a little thicker with the GS65 Stealth’s frame and heavier using its weight was to create room because of its three-fan Cooler Boost Trinity thermal system. More on that in a bit. However, with that extra room, MSI didn’t loan a lot of it to the tiny and tinny speakers, which fire down from beneath its base. Just bring a headset and you’ll be fine – especially taking into consideration the amount of tuning MSI did to boost that experience.
Alternatively, we’ve little to no complaints about the brilliant, practically bezel-free display MSI has embedded in to the lid of the laptop. Specifically, the display achieves an 82% screen-to-body ratio with bezels just 4.9mm wide, cramming a 15.6-inch display right into a 14-inch frame.
Even still, MSI were able to maintain a standard webcam position with a decent resolution of 720p, but back again to that screen. Sadly there’s no Windows Hello facial recognition technology included in the webcam, you will find a fingerprint reader included in the energy button, and MSI tells us that its functionality will be unlocked in another update.
Refreshing at 144Hz and with a 7ms response time and in-plane switching (IPS), this screen makes games like Warhammer: Vermintide 2 look simply sublime, creating little to no