MSI GS65 Stealth 8SF laptop review: Beauty and the beast meets portability

MSI GS65 Stealth 8SF laptop review: Beauty and the beast meets portability

The latest iteration of the MSI GS65 is a serious performer but falls short when it comes to seamless heat management Rahul Saha  |  New D

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The latest iteration of the MSI GS65 is a serious performer but falls short when it comes to seamless heat management

Rahul Saha  |  New Delhi 

or Micro-Star International Co. is known for their gaming hardware. From motherboards to sleek laptops, the Taiwanese company is a trusted brand among the community of gamers and GS65 Stealth 8SF is the latest addition to their extensive portfolio of gaming laptops that promise serious gaming on the go.

While meant for hardcore gaming, the laptop comes in a black-and-gold color scheme that gives the machine a luxury look.Very narrow screen bezel surround a 15.6-inch full HD display that produces great colours and sharp images, enhancing the gaming experience. The IPS panel of the screen comes with a 144Hz refresh rate that produces smooth viewing experience even while playing AAA high FPS (Frames per second) games.

On the outside, the 2019 update of the GS65 is identical to the 2018 model in terms of design and build quality. Overall the design looks sturdy, stylish, and practical. However, the laptop rattles a bit when grabbed or lifted and the screen is flimsy too, but rest assured the laptop isn’t an easy nut to break, thanks to the metal chassis and plastic reinforcements underneath. The laptop weighs around 2 kilo grams and is reasonably thin. Portability is not an issue, however, the power adapter increases the overall carrying weight to some extent.

As far as security is concerned, fingerprint scanner and IR cameras are given a miss and the good old password protection is the only security barrier provided in the GS65 stealth. There’s no NumPad as well, and its a huge bummer when for a person like me who loves using a traditional full-sized keyboard.

The GS65’s port comprises of two USB ports, mic and headset jacks, and an Ethernet jack on the left side and the right flank includes the power connector, another USB-A port, a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 3 support, a mini DisplayPort output, and an HDMI port. However, a micro-SD slot is given a miss and its a huge turn down for the photographer in me.

The review sample of Stealth 8SF boasts of an Intel Core i7-8750 HK coupled with 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD and RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics. The laptop is a serious performer and the innards belt out tremendous performances if tweaked properly. The Max-Q graphics, 16GB RAM combined with the i7 Coffee Lake CPU produces seamless experiences while playing high-performance games like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Far Cry 5 or Need For Speed: Payback and the presence of a 512 GB SSD results into a very smooth overall experience. However, a secondary Hard Disk drive is given a miss and I suggest an external hard disk or have another SSD in the empty M2 memory slot, if your looking for large storage space for your movies and games.

The laptop is a great performer but when it comes to heat management, it falls behind other RTX 2070 Max-Q laptops. The auto mode is unable to cool the CPU and GPU, and as a result the chips clock down in order to prevent overheating. The laptop heats up heavily after 2 hours of continuous gaming and the performance stutters as a result. The Cooler Boost profile cools down the system but the fans make a great deal of noise at higher speeds and a headphone is recommended in such scenarios. Lastly, gaming on battery offers reduced performance, as both the CPU and GPU are only able to run at limited frequencies.

When it comes to battery life, is loaded with an 80 Wh battery that lasts well over 2-3 hours on full charge and continuous gaming but carrying a power adapter is recommended in order to have lag-free gaming experience.

The Steelseries keyboard on the GS65 is different than the ones on the larger MSI gaming laptops and comes with slightly larger key-caps and shorter 1.4mm key travel which results in a flat keyboard. The keys require a firm hit in order to actuate and the feedback is pretty good. There was hardly any problem in using the keyboard and the extended touch pad is pretty much standard and works fine in executing Windows 10 features.

Overall, at Rs 2,09,990, it does burn a significant hole in your pocket but if you are looking for performance and heavy gaming without compromising portability, this might be a great option for you. Nevertheless, it is gonna face fierce competition in this price range and in case you are willing to check out other options then Asus Zephyrus S is a great option to check out as well. The Apple Macbook Pro at this price range is also a great option if you are willing to shift to Mac OS.

First Published: Tue, June 25 2019. 18:22 IST