MSI Stealth Thin GS65

PROB­A­BLY THE BEST ALL-ROUND NOTE­BOOK WE’VE EVER TESTED

PC & Tech Authority - - CONTENTS - NICK ROSS

MSI make a mind-bog­gling ar­ray of note­books but we’re bet­ter off for it. Not only is there a shape, size and con gu­ra­tion for ev­ery­one, the com­pany seems to learn and evolve with each gen­er­a­tion. The GS65 Stealth Thin is the lat­est ver­sion of its all-rounder line which strives to be por­ta­ble, pow­er­ful, of ce friendly and great for gam­ing - all at once. These note­books are typ­i­cally the most de­sir­able but fre­quently have aws. So, how suc­cess­ful is this one?

Our rst im­pres­sions are very good. The lid looks great with its matte black and sub­tle, gold-out­lined rim. The low-rent MSI logo is gone and so has the red MSI dragon: both re­placed by an un­der­stated, gold, dragon print. It won’t be for ev­ery­one, but it’s more sub­tle and classy than its pre­de­ces­sors. The lid feels solid and doesn’t ex much while the hinge is solid and doesn’t wob­ble. Only a very thin bezel sur­rounds the screen and yet the HD we­b­cam and mi­cro­phone ar­ray are still mounted above it.

How­ever, the main body is a touch creaky – it feels like a light­weight ex­oskele­ton has been draped over a rigid chas­sis. It’s also lit­tered with air vents at the top, bot­tom, sides and back which might de­tract from its ap­pear­ance in some quar­ters. You’ll be dis­tracted from it all by the new Steelseries RGB key­board. This doesn’t just look great but the keys are all full-sized and very com­fort­able to type on. The gold-rimmed track­pad is com­fort­able and ac­cu­rate.

We’ve seen medi­ocre screens on MSI’s win­ning all-rounders in the past, but not this time. Its IPS foun­da­tions mean that view­ing angles are good and colour re­pro­duc­tion is im­pres­sive. It also sports a 144Hz re­fresh rate for silkys­mooth gam­ing. It’s uni­formly lit and very im­pres­sive for both of ce work and gam­ing.

De­spite only be­ing 18mm thin, its in­sides are stacked. In­tel’s lat­est 2.2GHz hexa-core Core i7-8750H CPU is anked by 16GB RAM plus a 512GB NVMe drive. These pro­pelled it to a score of 4,804 in PCMark. That’s im­pres­sive in its own right, but this was boosted to 5,165 when the built-in, Turbo-mode over­clock­ing was turned on.

In 3DMark’s FireStrike Ex­treme, it scored 6,343. This is a very good re­sult for a note­book this size and there won’t be a game it can’t play very well on the Full HD screen. The only is­sue we had with the GPU is that, when fully over­clocked, it re­fused to run some pun­ish­ing apps like 3DMark and cryp­to­min­ing. It’s hardly a deal breaker: when cryp­to­min­ing, de­spite get­ting warm, it ran con­sis­tently-fast and the fan never ramped up to its max­i­mum, loud whine (there’s just an au­di­ble whoosh). We’ve seen plenty of thin, over­pow­ered lap­tops slow right down if they can’t han­dle the heat caused by their own power. This strikes a very good bal­ance.

Con­nec­tiv­ity is im­pres­sive thanks to a USB-C 3.1 (Gen.2) Thun­der­bolt port join­ing three USB-A 3.1 (Gen.1) ports, two 3.5mm jacks, Gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net plus HDMI and mini Dis­playPort. We rarely men­tion bun­dled soft­ware but MSI’s Dragon Cen­ter pro­vides im­pres­sive ac­cess to mul­ti­ple mon­i­tor­ing, per­for­manceen­hanc­ing and func­tion con­trols.

It ran PCMark’s bat­tery test for three hours 21 min­utes (al­beit at 77 per cent of the plugged-in score) but ran our test movie for over six hours! Com­bined with its 1.88KG weight, it’s a very-por­ta­ble pow­er­house.

Ul­ti­mately, it’s pow­er­ful, but not over­pow­ered, it’s great to in­ter­act with and it’s highly-por­ta­ble – the per­fect tri­fecta. The ex­oskele­ton chas­sis can’t beat the likes of Ap­ple or HP’s busi­ness ma­chines on the cat­walk, but it stomps on the pretty boys ev­ery­where else. At $3,399 it’s good value yet not cheap... but then what do you ex­pect from, what is very likely, the best lap­top we’ve ever tested?

KEY SPECS

2.2GHz In­tel Core i7-8750H CPU • 16GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM • Nvidia GTX 1070 GPU

• 512GB M.2 SSD • 15.6in 1,920 x 1,080 144Hz dis­play • HD we­b­cam • Thun­der­bolt 3/ USB 3.1(Gen2) Type-C • 3 x USB 3.1 (Gen.1)

• HDMI 2 • DP 1.4 • Gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net • 2x 3.5mm au­dio jack • 1.9KG • 1yr RTB war­ranty $3,399 • www.msi.com

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