Buy the best MSI gaming laptop for a fabulous gaming experience? The MSI GS65 Stealth was one of our favorite gaming laptops last year, a stylish thin-and-light premium machine at a fair price. The new GS66 Stealth (starts at $1,499; $2,699 as tested) is a sturdier build with more power, but it loses some of the sleekness and unique flair of its predecessor. Internally, the brand-new Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super (Max-Q) GPU and Intel Core i7-10750H processor power the GS66 to super-high frame rates, shown on a blazing 300Hz display. But considering the expectations raised by our test unit’s price and parts, it doesn’t quite blow away the competition—between our performance and design nitpicks, the Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX502 remains our high-end gaming Editors’ Choice. We’ll wait to see other systems with these flashy new components before possibly picking a new favorite.
The upgrade to AMD’s Ryzen 4000 series processors is the single biggest component difference between the Alpha 15 and the Bravo 15, and it’s a big difference maker, too. The six-core, 12-thread Ryzen 5 4600H (3GHz base, 4GHz boost) in the base model is plenty fast to take on Intel’s same-core-and-thread-count Core i7-10750H, but my test unit’s eight-core, 16-thread Ryzen 7 4800H (2.9GHz base, 4.2GHz boost) hits far above it in overall performance.
The GE66 and its more diminutive cousin, the GS66 Stealth, are both revamped for 2020, though they’re not clean-sheet designs. The GE66 replaces last year’s GE65 Raider, bringing many external and internal changes and improvements. The most visually obvious changes include an additional measure of design restraint in the display lid, which ditches the red-striped ridges in favor of a completely smooth surface. It’s a welcome improvement for people who cringe at the gamer aesthetic. MSI also toned down the shield logo on the display lid, removing its color so it blends in with the dark silver surface. See extra information on MSI gaming laptop.
My test unit (model A4DDR-023) is the better value of the two United States-bound Bravo 15 models because of its stronger processor and extra memory (16GB versus 8GB). The storage for both is a single 512GB solid-state drive with Windows 10 Home, and they also share the 4GB Radeon RX 5500M graphics chip that was used in the Alpha 15. The laptop is backed with a one-year international warranty.
It’s possible to get a notebook sporting a faster 6GB GeForce GTX 1660 Ti at this price, though the models I’ve seen (such as the Lenovo Legion Y545) tend to skimp elsewhere to keep the price down, usually offering just 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 60Hz screen without Nvidia G-Sync. A per-key RGB backlit keyboard to match the Alpha 15’s is usually left out, as well. Overall, this MSI is attractively priced for its specifications and features. The silver top half of the Alpha 15 is a refreshing departure from the usual solid black of MSI’s gaming notebooks. Most of the build is plastic, including the lid, which is a slight turn-off considering that the budget GL65 9SC uses aluminum for the palm rest. The back of the Alpha 15’s lid is made of aluminum, although I’m not a fan of the garish green logo there. It’s not backlit by the display and doesn’t look like it belongs. Discover even more details at this website.