Verdict

8.2 Awesome

Stunning outlook with an above average battery life and equipped with latest Intel Center i7 8th gen processors for a better gaming experience. MSI GS65 Stealth Thin is one of the best Max-Q designed gaming laptops we have reviewed this year. It is a bit pricey and lacks G-sync. The TechSeer gave it an 8.6 out of a solid 10.

  • Design 9.2
  • Display 8.5
  • Performance 8.2
  • Battery Life 8.4
  • Value for money 6.5

The MSI GS65 Stealth Thin (begins at $1,799 USD) is the latest gaming laptop with the 8th gen “Espresso Lake” processor to go through our labs. Worked with Nvidia’s Maximum Q innovation to fit a tuned-down GTX 1070 designs card into a thin case, it’s a strong HD gaming workstation with a 30% better battery life compared to some famous gaming laptops of its age. The reinforced processor has proved its worth in our testing phase.

The build quality on MSI GS65 Stealth Thin is somewhat flimsier when compared to its high price tag but it is sleek, pretty, light-weight and packed with huge upgrades. The MSI GS65 Stealth Thin is an extremely capable, light gaming machine with some valuable MSI programming and additional items tossed in. This laptop is the front banner of the MSI website and it comes in the golden limited edition as well.

Purchase your MSI GS65 from Amazon.

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin Review

Favorable

  • Alluring and inconspicuous outline
  • Brilliant illustrations execution
  • 1.88kg, thin but powerful
  • Up to 8-hour battery life

Unfavorable

  • Underside gets hot during gaming
  • No G-sync
  • Poor local sound
  • A lot of suspension flex at the cost

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin Specs:

  • Latest 8th Gen. Intel® Core™ i7 processor
  • Windows 10 Home / Windows 10 Pro
  • GeForce® GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5
  • 15.6″ Full HD (1920×1080), 144Hz 7ms, IPS-Level gaming display panel (Optional)
  • World’s first 144Hz thin bezel gaming laptop
  • All new Dragon Center with exclusive gaming mode
  • Per-Key RGB gaming keyboard by Steelseries
  • Productivity 8+ hours of battery life
  • Sound by Dynaudio and High-Resolution Audio ready
  • 360° virtual surround sound powered by Nahimic 3
  • Ultra-thin 17.9mm, ultra light 1.88kg
  • Xsplit Gamecaster free premium license for 1 year
  • WTFast free premium license for 2 months

Price & Availability

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin does not come with too many configurations. You can perhaps choose between 2 models.

  • MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF
  • MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RE

The only difference they have is the graphics card. MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RE has a starting price from $1,599 USD (about £1,389, AU$2,549). The package includes 256GB NVMe SSD with 16GB of 2400Mhz memory and NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5.

Purchase your MSI GS65 from Amazon.

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF is the second option which has a starting price of $1,999 USD (about £1,889, AU$2,949). The package includes 512GB NVMe SSD with 16GB of 2400Mhz memory and NVIDIA GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5.

You can change the 16GB RAM to 32GB RAM and SSD to 512GB NVMe. This would cost you some extra bucks but you can compete with high-end gaming laptops such as ASUS ROG G703GI.

You can purchase MSI GS65 Stealth Thin directly from MSI website in some countries or you can have a look at their partners. There are always discounted prices you can find on MSI gaming laptops. Amazon in the USA and the UK is a good option to start from. You can have a look at  JB-Hifi deals or Alliance computers in Australia.

Design

Believe us when we say we have never seen a more remarkable gaming laptop design. You will fall for MSI GS65 Stealth Thin if you see it in its golden variant. This is one of the reasons MSI has put this laptop as their flagship and on the main screen of their front page. You will not find typical MSI design on this laptop and they have chosen a different strategy for its marketing. It doesn’t look like a gaming laptop from any side. Of course, it is not as powerful as Alienware R5 17 but its nowhere near its weight as well. Measuring at 14.1 x 9.8 x 0.7 inches MSI GS65 Stealth Thin is only 1.89kg with a far wider appeal. You will find gold accents on the lid and dual hinges which surrounds the touchpad.

These gold accents can be seen on the heat vents as well. It is finished with black aluminum just like its sibling MSI GS73VR but the former lacks the gold part. You can literally use it anywhere you want to. MSI GS65 Stealth Thin has got the design, the build, and the weight to appeal to anyone. It measures 0.69 inches thick and would fit in any 15-inch laptop bag. Even with this design; it has got the Ethernet port and manages 8 hours of battery time.

You will find 1 Type-C (USB3.1 Gen2 / DP / Thunderbolt™3), 3 Type-A USB3.1, 1 RJ45, 1 (4K @ 60Hz) HDMI and 1 Mini-DisplayPort on the sides. There’s nothing missing in the ports section actually.

The touchpad is glass-coated which feels good and does not trigger the movement whenever you are typing. So it has strong palm rejections unlike some of the gaming laptops out there. It feels soft and it uses Windows synaptic drivers. It has the same per-Key RGB gaming keyboard by SteelSeries like its sibling MSI GS73VR. You can change the lighting according to your needs and you can also sync it with games to change the behavior of lightning during gameplay. The keypad is a bit different but you will get used to it eventually.

There are tiny speakers placed on the bottom of the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin. These speakers are loud but you will miss clarity due to their positioning. Don’t expect much from them as there wasn’t enough space to cater for nice and big speakers this time but you can use your AI packed earbuds if you are not a headphone person like me. 

Also, there is 3 a fan Cooler Boost Trinity thermal system to cool off the system during heavy gaming. It’s not easy to get into the laptop even if you know your way but MSI has promised not to void the warranty if you get in there and do your changes.

Display

MSI has done a great job with a bezel-free display on the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin. This is the first gaming laptop which has an 82% screen-to-body ratio. Razer Blade 15 2018 has managed to do the same. Compare them to any other laptop and you will feel the difference. The bezels are 4.9mm wide only and it has an IPS panel. It’s a completely new design this year. The screen’s brightness is pretty decent and you can easily see the dark contents in games like Resident Evil 7. The Adobe RGB is at 100% while the sRGB is almost equal to 100% thanks to MSI true Color 2.0. You can go for a gaming mode if you don’t like its standard colors.
  • Brightness: 300 nits
  • RGB: 100%
  • sRGB: 97%
MSI GS65 Stealth Thin features a 144Hz screen with a 7ms response time. It is the same what we found in Razer Blade 15 2018. There was a time when gamers wanted to have a 120 Hz/5 ms or 120 Hz/3 ms and those laptops used to come with thick bezels. But not anymore, MSI is breaking the trend. Games on this laptop look next level. We found almost no screen tearing during our Legend of Zelda gameplay. but wait, is there a G-Sync? No there’s not. That is actually a downgrade if you are a true gamer. I won’t recommend it to you if you are into really smooth gaming motions. But an advantage here is that the overall laptop cost is down because G-sync would cost you another 200 bucks from the pocket and you will consume less battery as well.

You can find a decent 720p camera on the front of MSI GS65 Stealth Thin. We can’t actually hope for a 1080p camera with this size. But it also lacks Windows Hello which usually comes in the latest laptops. It is a technology to recognize face which comes builtin in the webcams. But gladly there is a fingerprint reader embedded into the power button which will function in the next upgrade. 

You can also turn the screen upside down when the lid is at 180 degrees hence making it a good choice for business and education purposes. It could be useful in group meeting and sessions.

Performance:

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin is not as wider as its predecessor and its response time is not as fast at 7ms comparatively. But still, it packs a bigger battery, better processor, and GPU with per key RGB lightning. You would want this laptop not only because of its looks but also how it performs. MSI GS65 Stealth Thin is packed with latest 8th generation processor together with Nvidia Max-Q GTX 1070. We cannot say you’d be able to play high-end latest games on ultra settings with smooth graphics. Because let’s be honest here, it has a Max-Q design which somehow compromises on the performance due to its thin design, lacks G-sync and there is no option to upgrade it to GTX 1080.

Here is how MSI GS65 Stealth Thin (i7-8750H + GTX 1070) performed in some of our tests.

  • Graphics: 107 fps
  • Geekbench 4 Single-Core: 4,815
  • Multi-Core: 18,140
  • Battery Life: 5 hours and 36 minutes
  • Battery Life (Movie test): 4:05 hours with 80% brightness
  • PUBG: 75 fps (1080p, Ultra)
  • Fortnite: 110 fps (1080p, Ultra) 
  • Witcher 3: 55 fps (1080p, Ultra)

We cannot say thatMSI GS65 Stealth Thin has crushed the number or benchmarking. Yeah, it performed well but we have seen better results especially on the gaming side. We played some latest titles on this machine and it averaged around 70 fps on medium settings which is not bad. G-sync is missing but it won’t have much effect on higher fps. So if you are really into multiplayer gaming such as Dota 2, PUBG or Fortnite then this laptop is for you because these games don’t require too much higher graphics options and you can literally play them anywhere.

You can expect a slight difference in graphics due to Max-Q design but it not noticeable. Of course, at this price range, you’d want this laptop to outperform every other laptop but keep in mind this laptop is not made specifically for games only. It has stunning and polished high detailed graphics and an amazing 144Hz display. You can enjoy the latest games and even record them for your channel, unlike MSI GS73VR which could not be able to record our gameplay due to 4K screen issues.

Battery and Heat:

MSI has upgraded the design and battery this year. MSI GS65 Stealth Thin has an 82 watt-hour battery. The company claims that it will go over 8 hours but we achieved around 6 hours on normal usage and 4 hours on our movie test. The AC adapter is 180 watts and its charging port is positioned weirdly in the middle of the side of the laptop.

You can change the fans speed or turn them on and off manually from the built-in software in MSI GS65 Stealth Thin. It gets loud but not too loud during heavy gameplay. It’s better to put the fans on auto. Temperatures remained under control overall when playing the games but it gets a bit hot from the bottom.

Purchase your MSI GS65 from Amazon.

Verdict:

If all you do and want is gaming then we won’t recommend MSI GS65 Stealth Thin. In fact, you can have a look at Alienware R5 17 or Gigabyte Aorus X9. This laptop is made for people who’d want to do some gaming and use it for their routine tasks such as in their office or university. A cheaper version of this could be Dell G7 7588 and it comes with Max-Q design as well. I would definitely recommend this laptop if you would want to take advantage of its multicore features like 6 cores. The TechSeer will give it an 8.6 out of a solid 10.

  • Tags UK: MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RE-011UK Review, MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RE-010UK Review
  • Tags Australia: MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RE-061AU Review, MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF-212AU Review, MSI GS65 Stealth Thin-050AU Review
  • Canada Tags: MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RE-060CA Review, MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF-073CA Review, MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF-074CA Review, MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RE-059CA Review
  • Tags USA: MSI GS65 Stealth Thin-051 Review, MSI GS65 Stealth Thin-054 Review, MSI GS65 Stealth Thin-0051 Review, MSI GS65 Stealth Thin-047 Review, MSI GS65 Stealth Thin-068 Review

 

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