In 2018 MSI won a lot of fans with its GS65 Stealth, a sleek gaming laptop with great looks and a ton of power. Today the company is announcing an updated model, the GS66 Stealth, that looks to improve on its predecessor in every way. They also have a new full-sized gaming model and an impressive media creation machine.
MSI GS66 Stealth
The GS66 Stealth is the flagship of MSI’s growing laptop collection. The last model was pretty low-key for a gaming laptop, with only a few gold accents demonstrating its intent. But this one is downright subtle, with a matte black finish over every element, including MSI’s dragon shield logo on the lid. MSI told us that they wanted to build a laptop that looks great, whether you’re using it in your gaming refuge or a board meeting.
It’s just .71 inches thick, which is impressive, given that it’s packing a massive 99.9 watt-hour battery (MSI says it’ll last nine hours), the latest CPU and GPU options, and a full Ethernet port. Unlike some other full-sized gaming laptops, the GS66 can be powered by either its proprietary power supply or a regular USB-C adapter—assuming you’ve got one that can deliver 65 watts of energy. A maximum of 100w charging is supported.
But the GS66 doesn’t just look the part, it has the specs to back it up. That starts with a 15.6-inch 1080p screen panel, with upgrades offering an incredible 300 Hz refresh rate for super-smooth gameplay. MSI calls the display “IPS-level,” which presumably means that the colors are quite accurate despite it not actually being an IPS panel. (Cheeky.) That 300 Hz panel probably won’t be on the base unit, though. Under the hood you get 10th-generation Intel processors up to an i9 level, NVIDIA RTX mobile “Max-Q” graphics, maxing out at a RTX 2080 Super.
Other features MSI wants to highlight are a SteelSeries keyboard with greater key travel, a redesigned and more steady lid hinge, and the ability to share audio to two Bluetooth devices at once. I’m most excited about the upgrade options. Like the ThinkPad X1 Extreme, you can pop off the bottom cover to access dual M.2 SSD and standard laptop RAM slots, making the GS66 extremely easy to upgrade with off-the-shelf memory and storage. That’s a huge feature if you’re shopping for value. If you prefer to get your silicon straight from the manufacturer, it tops our at 32GB of RAM and 2TB of storage.
The GS66 Stealth goes on sale April 15th, with a starting price of $1600.
MSI GE66 Raider
Elsewhere in MSI’s 2020 laptop lineup, the GE66 Raider is a more conventional “gaming” machine, with a big chunky build and a flashy RGB LED light strip right on the front. This model is much bigger and heavier, almost an inch “deeper” than the GS66, though it still manages to cram everything into a .02-inch-thick chassis.
You get the same 300Hz 15.6-inch screen option, the same processor and GPU options, and the same 99.9 watt-hour battery. But the bigger case means there’s room for more ports, including two USB-C, standard HDMI with a mini-DisplayPort chaser, and a full-sized SD card slot. Naturally, the GE66 has access to top-of-the-line CPUs and GPUs, maxing out at a Core i9 10980HK and RTX 2080 Max-Q Super, respectively. MSI claims the top GPU gives a 52% performance boost over last year’s model.
The extra space allows MSI to include more powerful side-firing speakers, a more robust internal cooling system, and a “Killer” networking system. Naturally the light bar and RGB keyboard layout can be customized for specific apps and games. The GE66 Raider will be $1800 for the entry model when it goes on sale on the 15th.
MSI Creator 17
Last, but far from least, the Creator 17. This full-sized 17-inch laptop is aimed not at gamers, but content creators, shooting straight for the segment of the marked dominated by MacBook Pros and high end Dell XPSs. While the shiny laptop’s internals top out with a still-impressive 10th-gen Core i7 and an RTX 2060 HPU, the real draw is the screen.
17 inches of 4K would be impressive all on its own, and the screen is pre-calibrated to match 100% of the DCI-PR color gamut, the big news is that this LCD panel is using mini-LEDs. That refined backlight gives it an eye-searing 1000 nits of brightness (more than double the usual), 240 local dimming zones, and a 100,000:1 contrast ratio. For the creative pros who want to make or edit photos, videos, and renderings on the go, it’s an incredible tool. For the layman: it’s really pretty.
Other creative-focused features include a full number pad, a super-wide touchpad with integrated fingerprint reader, and a super-fast MicroSD card reader. MSI claims the 82 watt-hour battery can go for seven hours on a charge. It’ll cost $1800 for the base model when it goes on sale on April 15th.