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Say hello to my skinny friend. At only 4.1 pounds and 0.7 inches thick (reviewed at $1,999, or $1,799 starting), MSI’s GS65 Stealth Thin is probably the company’s slimmest gaming laptops to date. It is also among the first gaming systems to feature Intel’s 8th gen, six-core Coffee Lake processor, which promises 20 percent more performance than its predecessor, causeing this to be model an excellent system for productivity. Black Friday is here for you to get amazing deals and discount.
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But MSI hasn’t skimped on the gaming power, cramming a VR-ready Nvidia GeForce 1070 Max-Q GPU into that slim chassis and all but guaranteeing the notebook will deliver high frame rates and smooth virtual reality experience — all within an unbelievably pretty frame. We wish this machine ran cooler, but overall the MSI GS65 Stealth is among the finest gaming laptops you can purchase for many who value portability.
Editors’ Note: MSI is currently selling a fresh version of the GS65 Stealth, an upgraded model with a 9th Gen Intel processor, Nvidia RTX 2070 graphics and 240Hz display. We are reviewing this notebook soon.
Design: The Golden Touch
Adorned with gold accents and beautiful without having to be ostentatious, the Stealth Thin may be the Bond girl of gaming laptops. The entirety of the laptop’s chassis is manufactured out of black, matte sandblasted aluminum alloy. Rather than the usual backlit red-and-white dragon sigil logo, MSI employs just a little Midas touch, replacing it with a printed black-and-gold emblem. A thin, diamond-cut golden strip lines the most notable of the lid. The business also added some gold aside vents for a stylish flash of color.
Since it’s suitable for work and play, MSI equipped the Stealth with a flexible hinge which allows you to lay the display flat, for those who need to do an instant collaboration. Pressing Ctrl + Alt + Down Arrow will flip the screen orientation 180 degrees to supply an improved view for the individual sitting across from you.
The inside of the notebook computer is stately, with an increase of black aluminum. The energy button and touchpad are lined in gold, with a glowing, gilded keyboard. While I’m a fan of the entire look, my favorite section of the interior may be the top-mounted vent, using its delicate floral designs.
As the Strealth’s frame is obviously thin, it still has a lot of ports. On the proper sits a USB 3.1 Type-A port, Thunderbolt 3, a Mini DisplayPort, HDMI and the energy jack. You’ll discover a couple of USB 3.1 Type-A ports, Gigabit Ethernet, a secure lock slot, a microphone jack and a S/PDIF jack for high-res audio.
So, precisely how slim may be the Stealth Thin? Extremely. At 14.1 x 9.8 x 0.7 inches, the 4.1-pound notebook computer is among the slimmest gaming laptops available to buy. The 5.5-pound Asus Zephyrus ROG M GM501 is a close second, with a 15.1 x 10.3 x 0.7~0.8-inch frame. The PowerSpec 1510 is on the heavier side of the equation at 6.5 pounds, 15.3 x 10.8 x 1.3 inches and the Alienware 15 R3 may be the thickest and heaviest of the bunch at 7.4 pounds and 15.3 x 12 x 1 inches.
MSI GS65 Stealth Thin price and configurations
The MSI GS65 Stealth starts at $1,799, with a Core i7-8750H CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB M.2 SSD and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU with 6GB of VRAM.
I felt just like the belle of the ball reviewing the $1,999 style of the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin, that includes a 3.9-GHz, six-core Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB M.2 SSD and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q GPU with 8GB of RAM.
Want more storage? MSI includes a $2,999 iteration that doubles the RAM and SSD capacity to 32GB and 1TB, respectively, in a brilliant RAID 4 configuration.
The Stealth’s 15.6-inch display only will come in 1920 x 1080 resolution. But while I wished for a QHD or 4K version, I appreciated the 144-Hertz refresh rate, that ought to help lessen screen tears and latency. I also marveled over the incredibly vivid hues, just like the pink and green neon holographic controls in the Tears of Steel short. Details were sharp enough that I possibly could start to see the individual scales in a snakeskin jacket and also the dirt and grime that settled in to the cracks and crevices of the well-worn red garment.
I scoured the countryside searching for a rampaging griffin in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, but took a while to avoid and smell the hellebores. As I stopped to choose the potion ingredient, I noticed a sizable bloodstain in the unscrambling ahead and many gore-soaked bones — a calling card of my prey.
So much vibrancy! The Stealth can reproduce 150 percent of the sRGB color gamut — an achievement that beats not merely the 141 percent average, but also the Zephyrus (120 percent), the Alienware 15 (114 percent) and the 1510 (113 percent).
The Stealth’s panel averaged 293 nits whenever we measured for brightness, topping the 288-nit premium gaming score. That’s brighter compared to the Zephyrus (286 nits), but nowhere nearby the 1510 (306 nits) nor Alienware 15 (374 nits).
Wow. These. Speakers. Kick. Ass. While I typically detest bottom-mounted speakers, the pair on the Stealth are actually very good. As I paid attention to Janelle Monae’s “Make Me Feel,” I was impressed by how loud the machine actually was. It filled my bedroom with sharp percussion, clean synths, feisty guitar and Monae’s mewling, sex-kitten vocal.
Wow. These. Speakers. Kick.
The forest in Witcher 3 was quiet, save for the wind and the slight swoosh from the grass as I tracked the trail. A shrill call from a bird overhead broke the otherwise bucolic sounds of nature. A couple of seconds later, I heard much beating of wings and an unearthly roar. The tambourines and violins of the familiar Witcher fight music swelled alive and punctated the meaty thud of silver sinking into flesh.
Nahimic and MSI continue steadily to make beautiful music with the 3rd iteration of the former’s audio tracks software. The retooled software keeps it simple, removing its myriad presets, going instead with Music, Movie, Communication and Gaming. According to the preset, you can modify the bass, treble or voice. There’s a good Volume Stabilizer to keep your music from disturbing the persons around you. The very best area of the new software may be the Surround Sound effect, which adds noticeable depth to anything you’re hearing, giving the illusion you are in a tiny concert hall.
Nahimic also adds static noise suppression and echo cancellation to the microphone settings. You additionally have Lateral Sound Cancellation, this means the mic is only going to record what’s directly before it. The business kept the Sound Tracker feature, gives you a visual representation of in-game sound, showing you which direction the noise is via. The feature happens to be appropriate for 70 games, including Witcher 3, Rise of the Tomb Raider, World of Tanks and Wolfenstein: THE BRAND NEW Order.
Keyboard and Touchpad
Normally, with a notebook computer this slim, the keyboard keys are somewhat shallow. Not with the Stealth. Despite approaching short using what we prefer to see for key travel (1.4 millimeters rather than 1.5 to 2 mm), the island-style keys have a solid, 77-gram force actuation. Because of this, the keys are surprisingly springy, and I hit my usual 70 words each and every minute on the 10fastfingers typing test.
While I appreciate the 24K magic MSI has choosing the keyboard, I’m glad to see that the business is still dealing with SteelSeries to provide 16.7 million colors in its SteelSeries Engine software. That way, I could create my very own custom, jewel-toned color scheme, because what’s gold with out a few gems? And since each key has its individual lighting, you can aquire as granular as you want and pick colors and effects for every single and every key.
Furthermore to making the keyboard look purty, SteelSeries Engine 3 software permits you to create macros. As soon as you’re done customizing and programming, you can even set what applications will launch together with your new configuration.
Gaming, Graphics and VR
So slim and intensely powerful. The Stealth is packing an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q GPU with 8GB of VRAM. Sitting snugly between a normal GTX 1070 and 1080, the GPU is powerful enough to provide good frame rates at the best settings and support VR. However, because of its give attention to power efficiency and consumption, the machine runs more quietly and at a cooler temperature than regular systems.
The Stealth Thin packs an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q GPU, which is powerful enough to provide good frame rates at the best settings.
My griffin battle in Witcher 3 was tense. I was constantly rolling taken care of in order to avoid an airborne beast’s razor-sharp talons. When it finally landed, I hit it with my Axii spell long enough to stun it and chop away at its breast. The Max-Q GPU never faltered, rendering the action at 54 fps on Ultra at 1080p.
Whenever we ran the Rise of the Tomb Raider benchmark (high, 1080p), the Stealth delivered 44 fps, which sailed past our 30-fps playability threshold. However, it missed the 57-fps premium gaming average and the 1510, Zephyrus and Alienware 15’s (GTX 1070) results of 56, 53 and 52 fps, respectively.
On the Hitman test, the Stealth obtained 79 fps, that is a frame short of the 80-fps category average, but enough to clobber the 1510’s 60 fps. The Zephyrus notched 87 fps, as the Alienware 15 achieved 98 fps.
Through the Grand Theft Auto V test, the Stealth produced 61 fps, missing the 67-fps average. Still, it were able to sneak at night 1510, which scored 60 fps. The Alienware 15 hit 68 fps, as the Zephyrus delivered 70 fps.
The Stealth fared pretty much on the SteamVR test, scoring 9.5, inserting it in the high quadrant, which is somewhat below the 10.5 average. The Zephyrus (10.9) posted a slightly higher score, as the 1510 and Alienware 15 maxed out at 11.
The Stealth Thin is probably the first gaming laptops to launch with Intel’s new 8th Gen Coffee Lake processor. One of the primary improvements is these new chips have six cores rather than four, which deliver more performance compared to the previous generation.
All that new power definitely showed as I watched an bout of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy on Netflix while running Windows Defender with 25 tabs open in Google Chrome. The Stealth’s 3.9-GHz Intel Core i7-8750H processor with 16GB of RAM brushed off the duty, showing no latency.
The notebook also performed well on our synthetic tests, scoring 17,184 on Geekbench 4, easily surpassing the 15,942 premium gaming average. The Zephyrus, which includes its Core i7-8750H CPU, notched an extraordinary 20,590, as the Alienware 15 (Core i7-7820HK CPU) hit 14,932, and the 1510 (Core i7-7700HQ) delivered 14,223.
Through the Handbrake test, the Stealth took 12 minutes and 1 second to transcode a 4K video to 1080p. That’s faster compared to the 14:10 category average and the 1510’s 14:00. Still, it had been no match for the Zephyrus, which finished in 9:43.
The Stealth’s 512GB M.2 SSD produced a transfer rate of 193.3 megabytes per second when duplicating a 4.97GB mixed-media file. The score is well below the 640.5-MBps premium gaming notebook average. The Alienware 15 (512GB PCIe SSD) got due to 299.3 MBps, as the 1510 (256GB NVMe SSD) produced an interest rate of 391.5 MBps.
Usually, on a gaming laptop, you should trade power for battery life. Not with the Stealth. Because of that power-efficient GPU, the machine lasted a fantastic 5 hours and 40 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, shattering the 3:49 premium gaming notebook computer average. The Zephyrus tapped out after 2:47.
I went questing in Witcher 3 for a quarter-hour. When I was done, I took the Stealth’s temperature in three strategic places. The touchpad measured 82 degrees Fahrenheit, as the center reached 101, which is warmer than our 95-degree comfort threshold. However the center of the laptop’s bottom was even hotter, at 122 degrees.
MSI retooled its last-gen fans for the Stealth with thinner fan blades and added five heat pipes rather than three. That meant when the fans fired up within my Witcher romp, these were relatively quiet. However, there is a noticeable, but low, whistle when the fans primarily kicked in.
We measured those spots again once everything cooled off, but this time around, after a quarter-hour of running an HD video. The touchpad and middle of the keyboard measured 87 and 94 degrees, respectively, as the bottom hit a fairly warm 102 degrees.
Take notice, Dell and Gigabyte. You could have a “barely there” bezel without inserting the webcam within an unfortunate position. With the lens located near the top of the bezel rather than below the screen, you don’t need to worry about giving persons an up-close-and-personal raised your nose when video conferencing.
Still, because that is a comparatively expensive laptop, I wish MSI could have devote a webcam with an increased resolution than 720p. The test shots I took in my own bedroom washed out almost all of the colour, including my bright-orange shirt, which looked pale compared to using the article. The image had little to no detail, because of the strong visual noise. It appeared as if I had a significant Instagram filter going rather than an actual pic.
Software and Warranty
MSI includes a solid suite of gaming utilities to optimize your current experience. Resembling a futuristic cockpit, the brand new Dragon Center is where you’ll check your notebook’s diagnostics via System Monitoring. It is also where you could tweak power settings with System Tuner and modify in-chat voice settings with Voice Boost. You may also access system software including Battery Calibration and Burn Recovery. There’s a good button to release some memory.
The notebook also features the machine Control Manager (SCM), where you could toggle Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Webcam and the Display on / off as well as adapt the quantity and brightness. Talking about the display, MSI True Color enables you to change the colour temperature to get the very best viewing experience, according to your environment.
Insufficient utilities? Then have a look at Nvidia GeForce Experience, that provides Battery Calibration, Game Optimization and WhisperMode, which can only help the machine run even quieter. Players seeking to livestream the action may take good thing about XSplit Gamecaster. MSI also contains Killer Control Center, which examines all open programs and assigns more bandwidth to data-intensive software rather than making all system processes share software equally.
Unfortunately, much like all Windows laptops, the Stealth has a lttle bit of bloatware, including Bubble Witch Saga 3, LinkedIn, Evernote, CyberLink PowerDirector 14, CyberLink PowerDirector 8, Music Maker Jam, Spotify, March of Empires and a 30-day trial offer of Dolby Atmos for Headphones via Dolby Access.
The MSI GS65 Stealth Thin includes a one-year limited warranty. Determine how MSI fared inside our Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Gaming Brands special reports.
Some gamers don’t want something that doesn’t light such as a techie disco ball. They’re looking for a thing that performs such as a gaming notebook computer but appears like a business notebook. For them, and kidults like me, there’s the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin.
For $1,999, you get yourself a notebook computer with powerful gaming and efficiency, excellent music and a comfortable, customizable keyboard. However, if you are looking for something with somewhat more oomph and want to keep things fairly slim, browse the $2,199 Asus ROG Zephyrus, which includes similar specs, but a dimmer display and a thicker, heavier chassis. But if you are buying a slim, advanced notebook computer that kicks ass when gaming or crunching numbers, the MSI GS65 Stealth Pro is a superb choice.