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MSI - 15.6" Gaming Laptop - Intel Core i7 - 16GB Memory - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 - 1TB Hard Drive + 256GB Solid State Drive - Aluminum Black-Front_Standard

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Rating 4.8 out of 5 stars with 2514 reviews

98%
would recommend to a friend

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent Gaming Laptop

    Posted
    Chris

    As a College Student in an Information Technology Bachelor’s Degree program¬—and the unfortunate fact that the hard drive on my MacBook Pro failed for the second time—I decided that I would purchase a high-end PC Laptop to run the PC programs required for my classes, directly on the Desktop locally instead of having to run them inside of Guest Operating System installed inside of a Virtual Machine. The bonus to purchasing such a laptop would also be my entrance into PC Gaming as a whole, on top of currently owning a Sony PS4 500 GB, Nintendo Switch, and “New” Nintendo 3DS XL – Hyrule Edition as dedicated gaming consoles. At first glance, the MSI GS63 Stealth-10 is a beautiful piece and a work of art that doesn’t immediately scream Gaming PC when it is closed, holding true to its name. The aluminum case is black and appears like it has been carefully sandblasted to create the vertical wood grain appearance that sets the tone for its sophisticated appearance comparable to a luxury car. It is incredibly lightweight—4.39Lbs—compared to its competitors and even lighter than my MacBook Pro! The main air vents are on the left and right sides, the back and on the bottom adjacent to the vents in the back, with a few more areas for air to flow in to keep it cool. There’s even six evenly spaced feet on the bottom that keeps the entire laptop slightly raised when it is sitting on a table or flat surface. The display is not a touch screen, but it is 15.6 inches and outputs to Full HD Widescreen LED in 1080p (1920 x 1080). The Storage is 256GB Solid State Drive (C:\) and 1TB Hard Disk Drive (D:\), which should be plenty of storage for all your PC games and programs in the long run. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 included in this laptop will certainly handle any game you choose to throw at it, and there are even some games that are specifically supported by it—one of which I’m going to include in this review. 16GB RAM will be enough to run most games at their highest settings, except for far more demanding titles like Final Fantasy XV that recommends 16GB RAM, even though it needs a bare minimum of 8GB RAM just to run. Should you choose that you want to get the most out of such a hefty title, the RAM is upgradable up to 32GB. This laptop holds nothing back with the Intel 8th Generation Core i7-8750H does have a base speed of 2.2 GHz, but it makes even a deep antivirus scan of every single file in the computer take about an average of five minutes. Webpages load within a second, and there is literally no input lag while typing documents over OneCloud during everyday use of the laptop. There is one USB 2.0 Type A and 3 USB 3.0 Type A Ports, one HDMI Outlet, one Thunderbolt 3 Port, one Ethernet Port, built-in webcam, HiFi Headphone jack, microphone jack, and Kingston Lock, and Card Reader. The Audio Technology is Dynaudio Premium Sound Technology, ESS SABRE HiFi audio DAC technology; which provides excellent spatial sound separation even without headphones on. The GS63 Stealth-10 comes preinstalled with all the additional software you could ever think of needing for gaming on a laptop, including: Dragon Center, SteelSeries Engine 3, Nahimic 3, and GeForce Experience. I will be going a little more in detail on these four programs below, along with my impressions of the software. Dragon Center is MSI’s all-in-one dashboard that includes System Monitoring, System Tuner, Gaming Mode, Voice Wizard, Mobile Center, and Tools & Help. System Monitoring monitors the percent use of CPU, GPU, Memory, and the Disk in real time along with the current Device Information and Loading Status. System Monitoring also has the options Free Up Memory and Clean Up Disk. Device Information lists the CPU and GPU by name, the amount of RAM, the SSD and HDD space that is occupied and available for use. Loading Status includes the current Power Plan, Ethernet Speed, Wi-Fi Speed, and the rotation speeds for both fans. System Tuner allows the user to change the setting based on already configures presets that determine such things as the DPI, Shift, Fan Speed, and the MSI’s RGB display setting. System Tuner comes with six different modes to readily choose from called: Current, Performance, Theater, Meeting, Profile 01, Profile 02. Each of these modes have their own setup that can be changed at any time with their own changeable settings that are uniform across all the six modes. I will just be going over the settings in the Current mode for this very reason. Inside of Current, there is a switch to turn the Windows Key on and off, a switch to swap the effects of the Windows Key and the Function Key, a VR Ready Switch, and the earlier mentioned presets. The DPI option can be changed in 25% intervals from 100% to 200%, (i.e. 100%, 125%, 150%, etc.) The Shift option contains the presets Turbo, Sport, Comfort, and ECO along with power options to manually change the power options on the laptop. Fan Speed can be changed from Auto to Basic, Advanced, or Cooler Boost. The MSI’s RGB has the following options: Standard, Anti-Blue, Gaming, Movie, Office, and Light. For games that are supported by it, Gaming Mode can optimize system performance and provide auto-tuning function for the game you are playing. Compatible with TeamSpeak, Raidcall, Skype, SkypeHost, Discord and Steam Client Bootstrapper; Voice Wizard uses VoiceBoost, which Dragon Center describes as an audio mixer than manages the VOIP and game volume proportion that also automatically adjusts. Mobile Center allows you to connect to the Dragon Center remotely with the MSI App. Tools & Help includes Burn Recovery for creating a recovery image, User Manual, Help Desk, Product Registration, Battery Calibration, and Feature Navigator. SteelSeries Engine 3 is a program that allows you to manage, synchronize, and configure any devices that are compatible with the engine, offers a suite of applications that you can configure to interact with your SteelSeries devices, and even allows you to configure custom device configurations for any game that you add to the Engine’s Library—even software you downloaded from Steam. The RGB Keyboard on the laptop is completely customizable in this engine, and comes preinstalled with the following configurations: Aqua, Chakra, Default, Disable, Disco, Drain, Free Way, and Plain. If you’re feeling creative, you can also create your own customizable preset, which will be added to the list of the already existing presets, and all presets can be deleted, renamed, and saved and infinite amount of times. I personally had a lot of fun just experimenting with the presets and customizing my own, especially making color schemes based on a few of my favorite games. This is a very powerful tool to really personalize the laptop and really make it your own. Nahimic 3 is a powerful tool that you can use to optimize the audio coming out of your headphones and going into the microphone, while also providing a Sound Tracker that you can use to track the audio relative to your position in-game. The Audio Effects each include the following effects that you can turn on and off to your personal preference: Surround Sound, Volume Stabilizer, Voices, Bass, and Tremble. Audio Effects are divided into four categories that share the same effect options: Music, Movie, Communication, and Gaming. In each of these categories—in addition to turning the effects on and off—you can readily adjust the DB on Voices, Bass, and Tremble to get the most optimal sound quality from your speakers or headset. The Microphone Effects are divided into two categories named Chat, and Conference; both of which have the same following options that can be turned on and off: Static Noise Suppression, Echo Cancellation, Lateral Sound Cancellation, and Microphone Boost. Static Noise Suppression is the only one of these options that can be adjusted, based on how quiet or how noisy your current environment is at the time—especially cutting out the noise coming from the fans. GeForce Experience gives you access to adjusting the framerate on games, updating the latest driver for the GTX 1060, and the settings that you would want to use for any voice chat or streaming. It even gives you the ability to open the in-game overlay to record video or even to broadcast live without having to open a separate window. I will be concluding this rather lengthy review with my impressions on how well the laptop runs and renders Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, which is also one of the games that is fully compatible and recognizable by GeForce Experience. Upon playing several hours of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, I have found the GTX 1060 really helps to bring out the crisp details even at a far distance at very high settings as well as particle effects such as leaves almost having the appearance that they could just fly out of the screen. I experienced absolutely no lag at all. Additionally, the Surround Sound audio was extraordinary, and I could hear the voices of the disembodied characters from my left, right, and even every angle behind me. Overall, I am beyond satisfied with this laptop, and I would highly recommend it to anyone on the fence of getting a Gaming Laptop. I can certainly guarantee that you will not be disappointed.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    An Excellent, Efficient Gaming Laptop

    Posted
    Gonfonix

    I am in college double majoring in Computer Science and Multi Software development. My major requires me to have a laptop with a minimum of 16GB of ram and at minimum, a GTX 1050. This laptop meets this requirement most definitely and functions very well. To begin, this laptop has a nice design to it. It does not spell at "gamer" rather than looking more on the luxuries side, and that is what I personally like. Plus the laptop is quit thin and only weighs around 4 lbs. This laptop is equipped with a GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5, 16 GB of DDR4 memory @2400Mhz, an 8th generation Intel i7-8750H, 256 M.2 SSD Storage, and an 1TB SATA HDD at 5200 RPM. This laptop, with the new next gen. Intel processors, is powerful enough to handle just about any games and intense programs at ultra settings 1080p @60Hz (yes the screen is only 60 Hz). As far as ports go, the laptop has a decent selection of ports. There are images displayed above for the product showing the ports. No USB-C though, but it does have three USB-3.1 Ports and one USB-2.0 port. It also has a thunderbolt 3 port. Setup: The setup process wasn't all that bad to me personally like it has been for other laptops I've used in the past. When you first startup the laptop and set it up, the CPU will be (or at least was for me) quite high. To begin, you should want to remove all or mostly all bloatware from the laptop (especially Norton Security, as this will drive your CPU to max at times. Unless you personally use it or want to use it, keep it. Otherwise, remove it). I recommend not removing any MSI, Intel, or Rival gear software, as those software work independently with the laptop. Once you do this, make sure to update most programs on the laptop, including software such as MSI and Intel. After that update the graphics card drivers in the Geforce Experience application. Then restart the computer and update Windows. This can be a pain since there has been so many updates released over the past months for Windows 10, so make sure to do download and install them all. The issue is it will try installing them all at once which it cannot do since some need to be installed before others. To ensure no issues, troubleshoot the Windows Update software in the settings. If it detects issues, make sure they are resolved and restart the computer. Then continue updates. When you're all done, you should have the new Windows Feature update, released back in April I do believe. After all this the computer should be functioning normally and be much faster. The battery modes (using MSI Dragon Center) and Battery Life: The laptop has different battery modes that are all handled by MSI through the Dragon Center application. The dragon center application allows you to check the temperatures of your GPU and CPU, free ram, and free disk space. It also allows you to change the battery modes of course and many other things. Speaking of the battery modes, there are a few. Those include Turbo (which is mostly used for gaming), Sport, Comfortable, ECO, and Power Settings. ECO is mostly used when you're not gaming and the AC power adapter is unplugged. This will ensure your battery life is more efficient and has long legibility. Power Settings mode makes it so MSI uses the default settings in Windows in the power management section (aka. Balanced Mode, High Performance, etc). When the AC power adapter is plugged in, you have access to all the modes. When unplugged, you only have access to ECO and Power Settings. Because of this the performance of the laptop during heavy applications and games, when only running on battery power, is jeopardized compared to when running the laptop with the AC power adapter plugged in. As far as battery life goes, when running on ECO mode and not gaming but maybe doing some light tasks (such as web browsing, YouTube videos, word, and etc), I was able to get close to around 4 hours of battery life, which is pretty decent for a gaming laptop. When gaming on the laptop on battery power, I was only able to get close to an hour of battery life. The charger for this laptop does not use USB-C unfortunately, however, it does have a 90 degree turn capability to it, so you can situate it in an different position depending on where you're sitting. Temperatures: The only caveat about this laptop really is the temperatures. When idling, the temperatures of the CPU hover around 30 - 40 degrees Celsius. This is not all that bad, however, when running intense applications or games, the temperatures of the CPU can hit an astonishing 80 - 98+ degrees Celsius. Do keep in mind that the max limit the CPU can take is 100 degrees Celsius and this laptop reaches those temperatures at only around 30/40 percent usage on the CPU. So don't count on doing anything more intensive involving the CPU. The GPU isn't any different either. When the GPU hits around 98/99 percent usage (which it should on all games and heavy programs involving it), it hits an astonishing 91/92 degrees Celsius. The max temperature an GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5 can take before shutting down via downclocking due to temperature throttling is 93 degrees Celsius. This is right on the edge of that. And do keep in mind that I had reached these temperatures in only a few minutes of using a heavy application. Afterwards, they didn't seem to change. I also had the laptop on a flat surface with enough airflow. Other than the temperatures, the laptop is solid. Even though the temperatures are high, as long as you don't overdo it, the laptop shouldn't have any temperature throttling and applications will utilize the laptops hardware fully. The laptop also has padding on the bottom of the chassis to keep your lap from burning when having the laptop on your lap. The keyboard and palm rest area does not get that hot either, so the laptop is comfortable to use when gaming or doing intense work. Keyboard and Trackpad: The keyboard on this laptop is really solid. It has good key travel and you should be able to get used to the laptops keyboard rather quickly and type decently fast with it. The keyboard's lighting was designed by Steel Series, so it has really good RGB lights and the keyboard's lighting can be customized via the Steel Series application on Windows. I personally have a Steel Series gaming mouse and I think the Steel Series application is one of the best in managing your peripheral hardware, by Steel Series of course. The keyboard also has custom function keys to manage the lighting profiles of the keyboard, as well as edit things such as the screen brightness, the keyboard brightness, the system sounds, and so forth. There is also a macro key assigned to F4 on the keyboard. To use it, hold down Fn + F4 to set what the key does. Then when you hit Fn + F4, it will launch an specific application you set. The trackpad uses windows precision drivers, however, the surface of the trackpad is plastic. Therefore, the trackpad isn't all that solid. It is kind of hard to get used to and doesn't work all that well sensitivity wise due to its surface material. You can of course edit the settings of the trackpad in windows, but it will take a lot of tweaking until you can get it just right. Audio: The speakers on the laptop are not that terrible. They are rather decent. The issue is that they are facing downward on the bottom of the laptop making them more unclear and washed out. Also there is no bass what so ever, so don't expect to listen to music all that often using the speakers of the laptop. The headphone jack is decent of course though. Summary: This laptop is a really good choice if you're looking for a gaming laptop that can do both gaming and work. The laptop is packed with decent features and 2018 hardware. The keyboard is fairly good, but the trackpad's surface could use a slight touch-up. The battery is great for a gaming laptop and the battery software ensures good battery life but also a great gaming performance. The speakers aren't all that bad, but would rather function better being placed on top of the chassis rather than the bottom. Temperatures are by far the worst part of this laptop, however, when reapplying thermal paste and positioning the laptop differently, you can sufficiently lower temperatures but not by a huge margin. The setup for the laptop took some time but afterwards, the performance of the laptop has been up to expectations. The overall design of the laptop is very well done and the laptop has a good selection of ports. Needless to say, this is a great laptop for the value of your money and I could not say enough that I do personally recommend this laptop to you.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Good portable gaming laptop with some fatal flaws

    Posted
    SuperSVGA
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    This laptop is good for gaming, but somewhat mediocre for other tasks. Performance: Overall, the GS63 Stealth performed well in most games. In my tests I found the laptop to perform similarly to an older GTX 970, if not maybe a little better. So long as the game isn't too dependent on the CPU. This model packs one of Intel's new 6 core processors. Unfortunately they did not design the thermals well enough. Under load the CPU suffers from thermal throttling, approaching temperatures of 98C (208F). I can't see past the case to see what the heatsinks look like, but there is only a single fan cooling the CPU, while the GPU has two fans. There's even a space for a second fan in the case design, but it's sealed shut as it appears MSI thought one fan would be enough. The pads designed to elevate the computer aren't quite tall enough either, as even on a regular desk the computer gets very hot. Propping the laptop up on some objects helped with the cooling immensely. I didn't have much luck doing things other than gaming on this laptop. There is some sort of critical driver issue going on causing the laptop to "stutter" every so often. If you search the web it's a fairly common issue with this hardware and a fix was supposed to come in March, but we're still waiting. Basically what will happen is you'll just be doing a normal task, like browsing files in File Explorer or moving a window. Suddenly, the laptop will completely lock up for a few seconds, and the power light will change color indicating that the laptop has switched to its dedicated graphics. Moments later the laptop will switch back to the integrated graphics, until the next time the problem happens. It's very irritating, but I don't notice it happening during games. I tried editing video footage in Premiere Pro, and system entirely locked up and crashed, something I haven't seen before. It was repeatable too. There's also some sort of glitch that occurs when you have multiple monitors connected. For example, if I have a Youtube video on one monitor and attempt to move the mouse between monitors, the video will freeze for a moment, while the audio is unaffected. Fullscreen or not, different browsers, doesn't matter, the issue still occurs. The Trackpad: The trackpad's click takes way too much force to click, and feels more like you're just bending the corner of the trackpad. I shouldn't need to tire my finger out just clicking on things. The palm rejection is poor. I very frequently found myself selecting other places in the text field while attempting to type. You should probably expect to have a mouse with you at all times. The Keyboard: When you look at the laptop, it looks like a nice, sleek, elegant laptop, until you get to the keyboard. It's got one of those horrible "gamer" fonts you see on the cheap chinese gaming keyboards, but somehow worse. The 7 key for example I always though looked like a scythe at first, because of the way it was curved. It completely ruins the nice aesthetic of the laptop. Additionally, instead of having a Windows key on the bottom left of the keyboard, it has an Fn key in its place. I have no idea why they would do this, because for me the Windows key is much more heavily used than the Fn key. The MSI Dragon Center has an option to switch the Fn and right Windows keys, but annoyingly enough they switch back after a reboot. I eventually discovered that there is a setting in the BIOS to keep them swapped. In addition, the keyboard has an odd layout. There is a backlash key in the bottom row, reminding me of keyboards from 30 years ago. The left Control key is extra wide for some reason. Because of how the arrow keys are squished in there, I found myself hitting the wrong arrow keys at times. Audio: The speakers didn't seem like anything special to me, just as bad as most laptop speakers, and not as powerful as for example the 2017 MacBook Pro's speakers. One software issue is that volume levels get shared between speakers and the headphone jack. So if you have the speakers maxed out and decide to plug in some headphones without lowering the volume first, you might get some hearing loss. Same thing works the other way, if you're jamming to your music in the coffee shop and your headphones get unplugged, everyone is going to hear. Interestingly enough the included "Nahimic" can tell the difference between outputs, but the system cannot. The soundcard and its abilities are nothing special, even when fine tuning things with the equalizer or any of the special features. It's easily beat by a cheap soundcard, even an old one. Storage: The included SSD is in an M.2 slot, but is only a SATA SSD, not PCIe/NVMe. This gives it sluggish performance compared to other laptops using faster PCIe SSDs. The hard drive is a 5400 RPM drive, so don't expect any performance there either. The more serious issue is the inability to upgrade the SSD or hard drive without voiding the warranty. There's a nice "warranty void if removed" sticker over one of the screws preventing access to any of the components. Many other laptops I looked at allow you easy access to the components without voiding the warranty. Even the MacBook Air you can open up, replace the SSD, and close without voiding any warranty. The Alienware gaming laptops even give you a nice little coin slot you turn and the back easily pops off, no screwdriver required. Display: The display is pretty average. Only 1080p, 60hz, no G-Sync, putting it under many other gaming computers in this price range. Build: The overall build quality is pretty good, except for the hinges on the monitor. They seem especially small and fragile, and if you search online you can find reports of them breaking very frequently. The laptop is much more portable than most high performance laptops. Software: The laptop comes with Windows 10 (Home). That's right, for $1,500 you don't even get the Pro version of Windows 10. Most of the included software is stuff that you'll find more annoying than useful, the Norton software especially.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A Non-Gamer's Point of View

    Posted
    NyowNyowNowNow
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    Up until now, I have been an Asus fan. Nevertheless, when my last Asus laptop started to act up to the point I could no longer use it, I thought I would take the plunge and try an Alienware laptop. They look so darn cool and have the reputation to match. However, I am not a gamer. I mainly do bookkeeping and administrative work; so, whatever laptop I purchased had to meet my business and personal needs first. And while gaming laptops are overkill for what I do, I have always preferred the power, responsiveness and speed of them. I take comfort in knowing that no matter what I throw at my laptop, it will be more than enough. In searching for my replacement laptop, I had three requirements: backlit keyboard so I can work easily in the dark . . . numeric keypad to enter and calculate data faster . . . and ample portability so that I can painlessly throw it in and out of my backpack. I do a lot of work on the go since I double as a Stay-at-Home Mom and thus drive my son and his friends to all their afterschool activities four to five times a week. It’s a lot of waiting around. Therefore, working in the car while I wait is essential to getting my work done. Portability is a must; so, a 15” laptop seemed like the perfect size for me and if a laptop didn’t have a backlit keyboard, it was not considered. When I looked at the 15” Alienware, it lacked the numeric keyboard but was just OK weight-wise. The 17” one had the numeric keyboard but could be used as a very expensive weight to sink a body. So, that’s when I kept researching, reading reviews and set my sights on this MSI laptop, and I haven’t regretted my decision even for a second. It may sound strange to purchase a gaming laptop when I’m not a gamer, but I am impatient and like to be ready for any situation. While it isn’t the norm, sometimes I do find I need a powerful enough computer to process some rather large photos, videos, graphics and CAD files. Plus buying more computer than I need also tends to prolong the time I have a laptop. As time passes and technology gets better, my laptop remains current a little longer than if I had bought a normal business laptop. Also, let’s face it . . . those business laptops are a bit stuffy and not as fun. I want to enjoy using my laptop, since I use it so much . . . and this MSI laptop has not disappointed me in the least. My favorite part of this laptop is the keyboard – and yep – it has that numeric keypad I desperately need to do my work. I also love how bright the backlit keys are. I work a lot in the dark, because I do the bulk of my work next to a sleeping spouse or child. I also love how I can customize the keyboard using the SteelSeries software. I’m still learning how to program it, but it was easy enough where I could jump in and make changes with little instruction. Now, I can have my keyboard reflect my mood whether I’m feeling blue, red hot or a little rainbow-y. I also love how the keys feel under my fingers. Compared to my last laptop, the keys are so much quieter, except the spacebar and the touchpad. I do wish they were as quiet as the rest of the keyboard, and as another reviewer pointed out, you do have to put a little more effort when clicking down on the touchpad. Not a deal breaker for me. First world problem. Speaking of quiet, the laptop itself is also super quiet – as in I cannot hear it at all. If the keyboard lights and display weren’t on, you would have no idea this thing was working – another great perk for working at night. With that said, there have been a few times the fans kicked on and became a little loud, but the noise was short-lived, and it was back to the norm in no time. Since I was only doing administrative work, I have no idea why it did what it did, but it was not enough concern to take any pause. Since getting this laptop, my husband has gotten into Fortnite and now steals my laptop from time to time (note he has a Mac), so he can play with my son (who plays on the PS4) at the same time. I do notice the loudness of the fans when he’s playing the game, but outside of that kind of gaming, it’s super quiet. Side note – not sure if it’s a testament to the speed of this laptop, but Fortnite seems to load a lot faster on this laptop than my son’s PS4 Pro. One bonus I hadn’t considered . . . it’s a sleek looking computer that could easily pass as a regular/business laptop – a hybrid of sorts. It’s only when you open it, that it has this beautiful keyboard surprise inside. And if you turn off the keyboard lights or use one light color, most people would probably not know it’s a gaming laptop. And the MSI logo is fierce – but not overpowering the entire case. So, it doesn’t scream I HAVE A GAMING LAPTOP AND YOU DON’T . . . well, you don’t . . . but maybe you should. The one last thing I love – the portability. I know I already touched on it earlier, but it is so much lighter than the Alienware laptops. When I was at Best Buy to make my final decision, I again picked up the Alienware laptops versus this MSI one – just to be absolutely sure I didn’t want the Alienware – and it was a no brainer. This MSI was way lighter than either the 15” or 17” Alienware laptops. It was remarkably lighter than my non-gaming Asus which didn’t have half the features or specs this computer has. Maybe if I didn’t need to lug around a laptop all the time and could just sit my laptop down as a desktop replacement – maybe I would have gone with the 17” Alienware, but after owning this MSI one, it is hands down, my favorite laptop to date. When the time is up on this one, I would not hesitate to buy MSI again. Full disclosure - my mother is Taiwanese; so, supporting a product with roots in Taiwan also influenced my decision to buy this MSI laptop.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    The Laptop That Can Do It All

    Posted
    Kevin

    I will soon be venturing off to college, and because of our society's current technological requirements, I would be needing a laptop. As someone who also likes to dabble in PC gaming, I wanted a laptop that would be able to run all the current games respectably. Therefore, my perfect laptop would consist of these characteristics: - Thin and light: I want a laptop that is easy to carry around from class to class. - Powerful: I was looking at laptops with at least a GTX 1060. - Great Battery Life: Since the laptop would be used in class, I desired 5+ hours of battery life to make it through a typical day of classes. - Subtle Design: I did not want a laptop that broadcasted to the entire campus that my laptop was a gaming laptop. After a significant amount of time researching different laptops, I settled on the MSI GS63 Stealth-010. Packaging: The laptop is packaged in very secure and impressive packaging. I would not be afraid of having it shipped to my house. Size: This laptop is thin. Really thin. For perspective, the laptop itself is thinner than the diameter of a dime; if you set the laptop and a dime on a level table, the laptop is a shade thicker because it has rubber pads that elevate it off of the surface. It is also very light. It fits well in my standard backpack and it does not feel noticeably heavier than the school-issued Chromebook I carried around this past school year. The power brick on the cord is also smaller than I expected for a gaming laptop (6 x 2 7/8 x 7/8 inches). It fits nicely for transportation. Set-Up: The set-up process was actually relatively frustrating for me and my dad, but the issues were not related to the laptop at all. Other reviews complain of bloatware, but what they really are complaining about is the default Windows 10 applications. Those are stupid to say the least. However, the laptop itself only has a couple default apps and they are all useful. There is the Dragon Center, which allows you to montior your system and is the performance center. There is the SteelSeries Engine app for the keyboard. And there is a photo and video editing software that is not a trial, but a full version and seems serviceable (PhotoDirector and PowerDirector). The set-up issues primarily came from the Windows Update 1803. YouTube videos would not play. After hours of research and restoring backups, I simply downloaded the latest Intel Internal Graphics Card Drivers and everything was working perfectly. After that, set-up was a success. Keyboard and Audio: The audio is not horrible, better than what I was expecting. Don't anticipate booming bass. However, the keyboard is a dream. The keyboard itself is easy to type on and is very responsive. After typing on it for a couple of days, I find it hard to switch to regular keyboard. In addition, there is infinite possibility with the SteelSeries Engine for programming the RGB backlights. The UI for the app is simple and easy to learn, within 5 or 10 minutes I was able to program an American Flag configuration that appears to be majestically billowing in the wind. My keyboard is a bit squeaky, I do not know if this is a common problem but it does not bother me. Outward Appearace: I'm happy that MSI did not decorate this laptop with the cliche gaming laptop bright colors and extravagant designs on the outside of the laptop. It is a simply bushed metal look; the only sign that the laptop is a gaming laptop is the MSI Dragon logo on the top, which is tastefully subtle. There is also a nice felt covering on the bottom of the laptop which is nice for carrying and also when using on your lap. Ports: For being such a thin laptop, MSI was able to squeeze everything you would need. The battery cable also has a 90 degree bend so it does not get in the way. Trackpad: Others have complained about the trackpad. I think it is pretty good. The one issue is that you have to put some pressure to get a click to register, but I use a Bluetooth mouse anyhow (and the connectivity is great.) Battery: This was one of the most important characteristics to me, and the Stealth checks every box. This laptop can get a consistent 6+ hours of battery life when doing light work (such as writing this review), watching videos, etc. When I'm not gaming, I set the laptop to the best battery settings which is quite simple to do. First, I set the laptop to Windows Battery Saver, which is one click in the toolbar. Then, I turn off the backlighting on the keyboard, which is for me FN + 0, then I set the laptop to ECO mode through dragon center, which is FN + F5. All in all, 10 seconds to let your laptop get plenty of battery life. And when gaming, just plug the laptop in. No one should expect any great battery life when gaming. Gaming: This laptop can really do it all. It has a 6GB GTX 1060 and 16 GB RAM. Most importantly, this is a full 1060 and not a MAX-Q variant. The full 1060 is able to perform a little worse if not as good or a little better than a MAX-Q variant of the 1070 in a lot of thin gaming laptops. I have no worries when I download a new game. For example, I can get solid 60 FPS on Destiny 2 with max settings and 100+ FPS on Overwatch's max settings. Storage Space: The 256 GB SSD leaves something to be desired, but there is no issue in using the HDD to save and launch applications, so I do not have a problem. The screen: The one negative point of this laptop. The screen is only a 60 HZ refresh rate. It personally doesn't bother me, especially because this laptop is incredible in all other aspects. Overall, this laptop checks every box that I had for a classwork computer and a gaming computer for a comparatively low price. Anyone who is searching for a laptop with the same expectations as I have without having to spend $2000+ on the only competitor in the Razer Blade should get this laptop.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great for a gamer&computer engineer student

    Posted
    AhmetCadirci
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I searched so much before i buy this. Firstly, i am a computer engineer student who is a pc game freak... So i decided to buy a windows os system instead macbook. Also a macbook is too expensive unnecessarily in honest opinion and as you know too much uncompatitables with pc games and even some programming languages... So after unticking macbook,i think on which brand should i go for? well, i was between razer, asus and msi mainly because they have better gaming laptop models... i am glad that i picked msi because: The display is not a touch screen, but it is 15.6 inches and outputs to Full HD Widescreen LED in 1080p (1920 x 1080). The Storage is 256GB Solid State Drive (C:\) and 1TB Hard Disk Drive (D:\), which should be plenty of storage for all your PC games and programs in the long run. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 included in this laptop will certainly handle any game you choose to throw at it, and there are even some games that are specifically supported by it—one of which I’m going to include in this review. 16GB RAM will be enough to run most games at their highest settings, except for far more demanding titles like Final Fantasy XV that recommends 16GB RAM, even though it needs a bare minimum of 8GB RAM just to run. Should you choose that you want to get the most out of such a hefty title, the RAM is upgradable up to 32GB. This laptop holds nothing back with the Intel 8th Generation Core i7-8750H does have a base speed of 2.2 GHz, but it makes even a deep antivirus scan of every single file in the computer take about an average of five minutes. Webpages load within a second, and there is literally no input lag while typing documents over OneCloud during everyday use of the laptop. There is one USB 2.0 Type A and 3 USB 3.0 Type A Ports, one HDMI Outlet, one Thunderbolt 3 Port, one Ethernet Port, built-in webcam, HiFi Headphone jack, microphone jack, and Kingston Lock, and Card Reader. The Audio Technology is Dynaudio Premium Sound Technology, ESS SABRE HiFi audio DAC technology; which provides excellent spatial sound separation even without headphones on. The GS63 Stealth-10 comes preinstalled with all the additional software you could ever think of needing for gaming on a laptop, including: Dragon Center, SteelSeries Engine 3, Nahimic 3, and GeForce Experience. I will be going a little more in detail on these four programs below, along with my impressions of the software. Dragon Center is MSI’s all-in-one dashboard that includes System Monitoring, System Tuner, Gaming Mode, Voice Wizard, Mobile Center, and Tools & Help. System Monitoring monitors the percent use of CPU, GPU, Memory, and the Disk in real time along with the current Device Information and Loading Status. System Monitoring also has the options Free Up Memory and Clean Up Disk. Device Information lists the CPU and GPU by name, the amount of RAM, the SSD and HDD space that is occupied and available for use. Loading Status includes the current Power Plan, Ethernet Speed, Wi-Fi Speed, and the rotation speeds for both fans. System Tuner allows the user to change the setting based on already configures presets that determine such things as the DPI, Shift, Fan Speed, and the MSI’s RGB display setting. System Tuner comes with six different modes to readily choose from called: Current, Performance, Theater, Meeting, Profile 01, Profile 02. Each of these modes have their own setup that can be changed at any time with their own changeable settings that are uniform across all the six modes. I will just be going over the settings in the Current mode for this very reason. Inside of Current, there is a switch to turn the Windows Key on and off, a switch to swap the effects of the Windows Key and the Function Key, a VR Ready Switch, and the earlier mentioned presets. The DPI option can be changed in 25% intervals from 100% to 200%, (i.e. 100%, 125%, 150%, etc.) The Shift option contains the presets Turbo, Sport, Comfort, and ECO along with power options to manually change the power options on the laptop. Fan Speed can be changed from Auto to Basic, Advanced, or Cooler Boost. The MSI’s RGB has the following options: Standard, Anti-Blue, Gaming, Movie, Office, and Light. For games that are supported by it, Gaming Mode can optimize system performance and provide auto-tuning function for the game you are playing. Compatible with TeamSpeak, Raidcall, Skype, SkypeHost, Discord and Steam Client Bootstrapper; Voice Wizard uses VoiceBoost, which Dragon Center describes as an audio mixer than manages the VOIP and game volume proportion that also automatically adjusts. Mobile Center allows you to connect to the Dragon Center remotely with the MSI App. Tools & Help includes Burn Recovery for creating a recovery image, User Manual, Help Desk, Product Registration, Battery Calibration, and Feature Navigator. SteelSeries Engine 3 is a program that allows you to manage, synchronize, and configure any devices that are compatible with the engine, offers a suite of applications that you can configure to interact with your SteelSeries devices, and even allows you to configure custom device configurations for any game that you add to the Engine’s Library—even software you downloaded from Steam. The RGB Keyboard on the laptop is completely customizable in this engine, and comes preinstalled with the following configurations: Aqua, Chakra, Default, Disable, Disco, Drain, Free Way, and Plain. If you’re feeling creative, you can also create your own customizable preset, which will be added to the list of the already existing presets, and all presets can be deleted, renamed, and saved and infinite amount of times. I personally had a lot of fun just experimenting with the presets and customizing my own, especially making color schemes based on a few of my favorite games. This is a very powerful tool to really personalize the laptop and really make it your own. Nahimic 3 is a powerful tool that you can use to optimize the audio coming out of your headphones and going into the microphone, while also providing a Sound Tracker that you can use to track the audio relative to your position in-game. The Audio Effects each include the following effects that you can turn on and off to your personal preference: Surround Sound, Volume Stabilizer, Voices, Bass, and Tremble. Audio Effects are divided into four categories that share the same effect options: Music, Movie, Communication, and Gaming. In each of these categories—in addition to turning the effects on and off—you can readily adjust the DB on Voices, Bass, and Tremble to get the most optimal sound quality from your speakers or headset. The Microphone Effects are divided into two categories named Chat, and Conference; both of which have the same following options that can be turned on and off: Static Noise Suppression, Echo Cancellation, Lateral Sound Cancellation, and Microphone Boost. Static Noise Suppression is the only one of these options that can be adjusted, based on how quiet or how noisy your current environment is at the time—especially cutting out the noise coming from the fans. GeForce Experience gives you access to adjusting the framerate on games, updating the latest driver for the GTX 1060, and the settings that you would want to use for any voice chat or streaming. It even gives you the ability to open the in-game overlay to record video or even to broadcast live without having to open a separate window. I will be concluding this rather lengthy review with my impressions on how well the laptop runs and renders Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, which is also one of the games that is fully compatible and recognizable by GeForce Experience. Upon playing several hours of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, I have found the GTX 1060 really helps to bring out the crisp details even at a far distance at very high settings as well as particle effects such as leaves almost having the appearance that they could just fly out of the screen. I experienced absolutely no lag at all. Additionally, the Surround Sound audio was extraordinary, and I could hear the voices of the disembodied characters from my left, right, and even every angle behind me. Overall, I am beyond satisfied with this laptop, and I would highly recommend it to anyone on the fence of getting a Gaming Laptop. I can certainly guarantee that you will not be disappointed.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent Laptop

    Posted
    Aaron