MSI’s GS66 Stealth nearly has what it takes to beat Razer
If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement. For years, Razer has set the standard for making gaming laptops that are compact, slim, and feel great to use. MSI wants to end that streak, and its new GS66 Stealth is actually a viable alternative, at…

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For years, Razer has earn 22 situation the popular for making gaming laptops that are compact, slim, and feel gargantuan to utilize. MSI desires to total that run, and its new GS66 Stealth is totally a viable different, no longer decrease than in the case of performance. It gathered has a runt bit work to raise out on nailing the shrimp invent shrimp print.

The GS66 Stealth doesn’t fairly nail the fit and dwell to amass on the very best, but touchdown speedy of that also gets you a cosmopolitan pc pc that’s stuffed with grand parts and diversified aspects that in total arrive with a $2,349 gaming pc pc (as configured; this model begins at $1,499 and goes as much as $2,999). It has a Thunderbolt Three port for snappy recordsdata switch, and its show cowl has a 300Hz refresh fee that takes plump just staunch thing about the Nvidia RTX 2070 Extensive Max-Q graphics to say their very dangle praises your video games in snappy, fluid fidelity.

It’s miles a skinny, graceful machine from each attitude, whether it’s closed or unfolded. It has judicious one of basically the most generously sized trackpads I’ve ever ancient on a Windows pc pc, equivalent to the one on MSI’s creator-centered Home 14. When put next with the GS65 Stealth Thin, this one ditches the copper detailing and has a much less complicated, extra confident gape fundamentally. MSI isn’t fooling anybody with the consequences. It’s all-gloomy invent with slim bezels across the show cowl is equivalent to Razer’s styling, however the similarities dwell when we accumulate to MSI’s clumsy keyboard layout that makes executing functions complicated and the backside of its aluminum chassis that flexes with staunch a runt bit power.

One amongst the extra disappointing issues about the GS66 Stealth is that, after the usage of it for per week, going encourage to my DIY-constructed desktop made me value that it’s due for some upgrades. This pc pc churned thru No Man’s Sky, holding over a hundred and twenty frames per 2nd on its absolute most real looking graphical settings. This isn’t basically the most anxious title ever made, but it’s constantly straining the CPU, GPU, and storage because it snappy loads in resources when the participant goes from planet to planet or when hopping between galaxies. It’s frequent to gaze some gargantuan dips in performance with this game, but it change into a ultimate journey right here.

The RTX 2070 Extensive Max-Q, Intel’s Core i7-10875H, and the 32GB of RAM proves to be a potent aggregate of specs for ripping thru video games, which is what you consume to admire if you occur to eradicate a $2,349 pc pc. Moreover, its vitality makes simply utilize of the 300Hz refresh fee TFT LCD panel. You won’t gaze upward of 300 frames per 2nd performance in most up-to-the-minute video games, however the toughen for it is there. It’s likely you’ll doubtless doubtless quiz most video games to poke effectively above 60 frames per 2nd at their absolute most real looking settings — in most cases times effectively above a hundred frames per 2nd, and in most cases 200 frames per 2nd if I change into having fun with a much less anxious game, admire Tetris Discontinue or Rocket League. Viewing angles own a success, so searching at disclose from off to the facet won’t gape as simply as viewing it head-on, however the colours pop and having fun with video games at a speedy frame fee is continually savory.

  • The audio system are located on the left and simply facets of the palm relaxation. Their performance isn’t necessary.

  • What a gargantuan, stunning trackpad. MSI mandatory to produce room for fans near the hinge of the machine, else it potentially wouldn’t admire been so squished.

  • The left facet’s ports comprise a barrel charging port, Thunderbolt Three, HDMI, and USB Form-A Three.12 Gen 2 port.

  • On the simply, there’s a headphone and microphone combo Three.5mm port, USB-C Three.2 port, two USB Form-A Three.2 Gen 2 ports, and Ethernet.

  • Insist the Fn key wedged between backslash and relief a watch on. For me, this space made executing functions cumbersome and blunder-inclined.

  • MSI managed to slot in a 720p digicam, IR sensors and microphones into the lid. The digicam quality isn’t gargantuan, but it gets the job completed.

  • A detect at judicious one of many fan outtakes. MSI ditched the edgy copper highlights from the GS65 Stealth in prefer of something much less complicated.

What’s gargantuan about this configuration is that it requires few, if any, compromises to visuals on the show cowl’s native 1080p dedication. I ran thru a differ of diversified anxious titles, together with Control and Red Silly Redemption 2. Control helps ray tracing, and it change into ready to poke the game with excessive graphical settings and excessive ray tracing at round forty five frames per 2nd. With Nvidia DLSS ticked on — which uses AI and reduces the render dedication of this game to invent a faster frame fee with ray tracing aspects enabled — I saw an common of seventy five frames per 2nd, which is ultimate gargantuan. Red Silly Redemption 2 is but every other taxing game, and this pc pc could doubtless doubtless doubtless relief a serene Fifty five frames per 2nd at its extremely graphical settings (with the exception of for the locked sliders that can doubtless doubtless indubitably admire an impress on performance in most programs).

Warmth, and the noise that laptops produce to address it, is in most cases a frequent field with gaming laptops, however the GS66 Stealth handles the stress gracefully. It manages to dangle serene relative to diversified machines that for sure sound admire they’re about to soar away, and its three fan outtakes alongside the rear and simply facet of the chassis indubitably pass a great deal of air to support frigid when the device is being properly taxed. The grille near the show cowl hinge becomes too hot to comfortably relaxation a hand on whereas gaming, however the machine in most cases retains the warmth away from the relaxation of the pc pc.

This configuration handles the purposes I rely on for work and in the course of after hours with ease, and it’s all neat serene all around the journey. Similtaneously working 15 Microsoft Edge tabs, Spotify, Slack, and Affinity Insist isn’t a field, and 32GB of RAM is gargantuan to admire if you occur to consume to admire with a view to poke a game with out exiting out of purposes. Battery existence is in most cases a laughing topic with gaming laptops, but I’m impressed with the roughly 5-hour screentime the GS66 Stealth managed with all of my typical apps initiate and the show cowl a runt bit dimmed. It does admire a 99Wh battery, which is the fantastic restrict in the case of skill, and it’s spectacular that it fit into any such slim chassis.

In case your workload is centered round video manufacturing in Adobe Premiere Skilled, the GS66 Stealth is safe enough to snappy cope with some heavy work. It exported a 5-minute, 33-2nd 4K video in three minutes, 14 seconds — far faster than it takes to pass searching to search out the video. It’s miles a gaming pc pc, but per the sheer number of preinstalled purposes centered on disclose introduction, MSI desires to let you exercise its vitality nonetheless you consume to admire. It comes with AudioDirector, ColorDirector, Music Maker Jam, PhotoDirector 10, and PowerDirector 17 out of the box. The vitality is flexible, so lengthy as your workflow doesn’t require an SD card slot on yarn of it doesn’t admire one.

Despite its vitality, its keyboard change into the provision of a few productivity points for me. The keys themselves admire a advantageous quantity of toddle and are gratifying to form on, but MSI’s keyboard layout suffers from a bundled plot near the arrow keys that turns executing straightforward functions, admire turning up the show cowl’s brightness or the volume, into an error-inclined job. The Fn key that desires to be held down is 1/2 the width of the relaxation of the keys, and it’s wedged between the backslash and relief a watch on buttons. I’d be staunch as pleased to admire the arrow keys topple out of line to present extra space for devoted media and characteristic keys — or staunch raise out what Razer just lately did and produce the arrow keys smaller as a change. Also, MSI constructed the wrist relaxation to be about stage with the height of the keys, which seems admire an innocuous preference, but its lip is exclusively next to the distance bar, which additional heightens the studying curve with this keyboard because it feels admire a key. It’s likely you’ll doubtless doubtless accumulate alongside okay with it, however the lip tripped me up.

MSI GS66 Stealth

It’s complicated to argue in opposition to the all-gloomy invent taking a detect equivalent to Razer’s Blade, but that’s a gargantuan gape to be impressed by.

Final thing with the keyboard: this keyboard’s RGB backlighting is gathered managed thru the SteelSeries Engine Three app, but upon loading it up, it said it couldn’t accumulate a linked tool. It wasn’t unless I redownloaded the app from MSI’s toughen online page that I got the backlighting to work as intended.

The GS66 Stealth that we examined is a speedy gaming pc pc, and it’s priced competitively to Razer’s Blade 15 — even undercutting its most identical configuration in the case of packing in a faster refresh fee show cowl, a increased battery, and additional RAM. It’s no longer a drag deal on the decrease-dwell configurations either, holding appealing aspects admire a Thunderbolt Three port and a 144Hz refresh fee show cowl in its most affordable $1,499 model. Despite a few nagging invent points, the root is extra sound and grand than ever. MSI’s invent is the clear winner compared to the plentiful quantity of all-plastic gaming laptops in each configuration’s tag differ. For now, Razer is gathered the popular to beat, but MSI is getting awfully end.

Pictures by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge