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Typically, once you have a gaming notebook computer as slim as the MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro (starting at $1,599, reviewed at $1,899), you should sacrifice some performance. Not with this model. Because of its powerful Core i7 processor and Nvidia Pascal video card, the 15-inch GS63VR will keep up with speedy desktop replacements, but without the backbreaking weight. Better still, the skinny system can support VR headsets just like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive without breaking a sweat.
Overall, the MSI GS63VR offers an excellent combo of small frame and big performance, but you will need to live with some unpleasantly warm temperatures as long as you’re gaming.
The Stealth Pro is a master class in feng shui. Somehow, MSI were able to fit those powerful pieces in a 4.2-pound, 14.9 x 9.8 x 0.69-inch chassis. It’s among the slimmest 15-inch gaming laptops out there, and it creates the Gigabyte P55W (5.8 pounds, 14.9 x 10.6 x 1.1~1.3 inches), Alienware 15 (7.1 pounds, 15.2 x 10.6 x 0.9~1.3 inches) and Digital Storm Equinox (4.2 pounds, 15.3 x 10.5 x 0.9 inches) look chunky in comparison.
However the Stealth Pro is greater than a slim chassis — it is also an attractive little minx. The laptop’s black, brushed-aluminum lid gleams in anticipation of your touch. As pretty since it is, I had to restrain myself from running my fingers down the couple of raised ridges — the inky metal does show fingerprints. Instead, I thought we would admire the red and white backlit dragon emblem in the heart of the lid along with the fine red accents along the trunk vents.
From there, I turned my focus on the notebook’s black aluminum interior, where I was greeted by a design that’s similar to previous Stealth laptops. There are several slight changes, including an orange power light that now lurks at the guts of the top-mounted heat vent and the red, chrome-lined touchpad. Among both sits the backlit keyboard, glowing expectantly in its recessed dock. The laptop’s undercarriage is lined with a gray, textured soft-touch material.
Along the Stealth Pro’s right, you will see a USB 2.0 port, a USB 3.1 Thunderbolt port, HDMI, a Mini DisplayPort, the energy port and the energy button. There’s a trio of USB 3.0 ports along the left, with a Sdcard reader, Gigabit Ethernet, a secure lock slot, a Hi-Fi headphone jack and a microphone jack.
For such a covert name, the Stealth Pro’s 1920 x 1080 matte display is begging to be observed. The matte, 15.6-inch panel delivers gorgeously vivid colors, particularly if it involves red. Watching the Hidden Figures trailer, my eyes were immediately attracted to the many red lipsticks worn by almost all of the ladies. Janelle Monae’s shade only served to highlight her warm cocoa complexion also to offset her taupe trench coat. Finer details for instance a few flyaway strands of hair glistening in the midday sun were simple to make out.
I started heading downstream through the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt with Geralt trudging through waist-deep water, creating miniscule ripples in the blue-green liquid with every step. When the water was deep enough, I dived down, admiring the warrior’s ashen hair flowing freely about his face.
A lot of the Stealth Pro’s vividness originates from its capability to reproduce 111 percent of the sRGB color gamut (completely is great), which is preferable to the 90 percent mainstream average. The Stealth Pro’s score matched Equinox, edged out the P55W (110 percent) and flat-out beat the Alienware 15 (60 percent).
Measuring 1.9 on the Delta-E benchmark (0 is ideal), the Stealth Pro’s accuracy leaves something to be desired, however, falling short of the two 2.5 average. The Equinox, P55W and Alienware 15 are far better at 1.4, 1 and 0.5, respectively.
The Stealth Pro also fell short on the brightness test, averaging 242 nits, missing the 264-nit mark. However, that was still much better than the Alienware 15’s 222 nits, however, not the common for the Equinox (293 nits) or the P55W (321 nits).
Although they’re relatively small, the couple of bottom-mounted speakers packed a potent punch, filling my bedroom with Sade’s sultry, yet plaintive alto during “No Ordinary Love.” The audio tracks was clear enough for me personally to listen to the strident strums of the guitar and the piano chords. However, the bass wasn’t as pronounced since it must have been, and the drums took a backseat to all of those other action.
I had an improved result when I commenced playing Witcher 3. The meaty sound of my sword cutting through drowner flesh was just as satisfying as the staccato drumbeat, hand claps and violins that define the game’s battle music.
The Nahimic 2 software offers several presets to optimize your listening experience. For gaming, you have Role Play, Shooter, Strategy and Racing. Multimedia settings include Music and Comms. The iphone app offers several cool features that will help get the join your gaming foes. For instance, the SoundTracker feature highlights your enemies’ places predicated on sound. There is also Audio Launchpad, which maps sound files to keyboard shortcuts, permitting you to quickly accentuate a sweet move.
MSI and SteelSeries continue steadily to make an excellent team. The island-style keyboard gives firm, bouncy feedback, so that it is among the finest keyboards I’ve used this season. Because of the 1.9-millimeter key travel and 59 grams of actuation, I easily hit my 65-word-per-minute average on the 10FastFingers typing test. The multicolored backlighting illuminated my keystrokes, despite having the lights off.
Nevertheless the keyboard is greater than a assortment of glowing caps. Because of SteelSeries software, you can assign among the three zones of the keyboard with one out of 16.8 million colors and four effects, for a cool custom creation. There is also the GameSense feature, which maps the keyboard zones to a particular game. For example, the CounterStrike Go profile gets the left side of the keyboard corresponding to your wellbeing, as the middle and right side map are associated with your Armor and Bullet inventory. Each portion of the board will flash whenever a significant change in status occurs.
Performing gestures such as for example three-finger swipe and two-finger rotation on the 4 x 2.7-inch Elan touchpad was relatively smooth. However, while I was typing this review, there have been several instances where in fact the mouse inadvertently jumped to some other portion of the page, which became annoying.
Gaming, Graphics and VR
The Stealth Pro is probably the slimmest VR-capable gaming notebooks that you can buy, because of its Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU (with 6GB of VRAM). The notebook computer hit 7.4 through the SteamVR Performance test, besting the P55W’s 6.6, however, not the 8.4 category average.
Nvidia Pascal also offers a significant boost to traditional games like Witcher 3. Within my travels, I became surrounded by a pack of wild dogs. I rolled from the mangy beasts, switching between sword strikes and fire spells, even while maintaining the average 42 fps on ultra. Knocking the settings right down to high raised the frame rate to a good 56 fps.
The Stealth Pro notched 58 fps on the Hitman benchmark on HIGH at 1080p, which didn’t match the 70-fps average, but will do to top the P55W’s 57 fps. The MSI held onto its lead through the Grand Theft Auto benchmark, scoring 49 fps, and beat the P55W’s 33 fps, however, not the 49-fps category average.
The Stealth Pro is outfitted with a 2.6-GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor with 16GB of RAM, which is related to most gaming laptops out there. The notebook streamed an bout of “Stranger Things” with 14 open tabs in Google Chrome while owning a full system scan.
The notebook was on a par with other gaming laptops in its class, scoring 13,339 on our synthetic performance test, beating the 7,780 mainstream average. Built with Core i7-6700HQ CPUs of their own, the P55W, Equinox and Alienware achieved 13,530, 13.525 and 13,494, respectively.
The Stealth Pro’s 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD, which is paired with a 1TB, 5,400-rpm hard disk drive, tore through the File Transfer Test, duplicating 4.97GB of multimedia files in 9 seconds for a transfer rate of 565.5 megabytes per second. That absolutely roasted the 294.9-MBps average, and also the Equinox, which obtained 424.1 MBps using its 256GB SSD. The Alienware 15 (256GB PCIe SSD) hit 201.1 MBps, as the P55W (128GB M.2 SATA SSD) delivered 124.1 MBps.
Through the OpenOffice Spreadsheet Macro Test, the Stealth Pro paired 20,000 names and addresses in three minutes and 38 seconds, coasting at night 4:40 average. The P55W scraped out the win at 3:37, as the Alienware 15 and Equinox finished at 3:50 and 4:40, respectively.
All that power comes at a price, and in the Stealth Pro’s case, it is the battery life. The notebook computer lasted just 2 hours and 54 minutes on our battery test (continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi). That’s well below the 6:32 mainstream average. The Equinox lasted 3:09, as the Alienware 15 tapped out after 7:13.
After a quarter-hour of questing in Witcher 3, the touchpad had a temperature of 84 degrees Fahrenheit. The guts of the machine hit 96 degrees, which is merely above our 95-degree comfort threshold. However, the notebook’s undercarriage measured a hot 123 degrees, so don’t try balancing the GS63VR Stealth Pro on your own lap.
The Stealth Pro can run just a little hot, even though you’re doing mundane tasks like watching a video. After a quarter-hour of streaming a full-screen Hulu video, underneath of the notebook measured 103 degrees. The area between your G and H keys and the touchpad were somewhat cooler at 92 and 86 degrees, respectively.
The 720p integrated webcam captures video at 30 fps, that will come in convenient for streaming. However, the webcam isn’t big on detail, as I possibly could see pixelation throughout my test shots, which almost obscured my eyebrows. The colour was also just a little off — a bright blue wall had a grayish tone and my salmon shirt looked neon orange.
Software and Warranty
MSI has given the Dragon Center iphone app a makeover, creating an easy-to-access hub, positioning useful applications such as for example SteelSeries Engine, Nvidia GeForce Experience, MSI True Color and Killer Network Manager under tabs.
THE MACHINE Monitor tab enables you to check your system’s status, as the LED Wizard allows you to create custom indicator lighting. System Tuner enables you to create profiles that control VR optimization, display color temperature and more. Finally, there’s Tools & Help, where you will discover software for Burn Recovery and Battery Calibration.
Third-party programs include Flipboard, Candy Crush Soda Saga, Twitter and Magix Music Maker.
The MSI GT62 Dominator Pro ships with a two-year limited warranty.
Our $1,899 review style of the Stealth Pro includes a 2.6-GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor with 16GB of RAM, a 512GB M.2 SATA SSD with a 1TB 5,400-rpm hard disk drive, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU with 6GB of VRAM, a 1920 x 1080 display and a Killer N1535 Combo (2×2 ac) wireless card.
The $1,549 base model also offers the same specs as our review unit, except that it only includes a 128GB SSD and an Intel 8260 802.11ac (2×2) wireless card. For those who have the money, gleam $2,099 edition, which upgrades to a 3840 X 2160 panel.
Don’t take the $1,899 MSI GS63 Stealth Pro’s slimness for weakness. Beneath that 0.69-inch-thick chassis lies a real gaming laptop computer with the capacity of delivering great frame rates and playing nice with VR helmets. It’s even got blistering transfer speeds, a comfortable keyboard and a pleasant display to boot.
All that svelteness doesn’t come with out a few caveats — namely, heat and subpar battery life. Our review unit was just a little on the pricey side, but when you can manage a smaller SSD and do not value the wireless card, you can find similar performance with the bottom style of the Stealth Pro.