This is our personal favorite category of gaming laptops: portable designs with tons of power. We’ve already reviewed a handful of these devices over the last few years, but a few stand out that come loaded with the latest Core i7-8750H from Intel. The best of the bunch so far is the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin.
We were fans of MSI’s previous thin gaming laptop in the GS63, but the GS65 is an improvement in every way. It has slimmer bezels surrounding a faster 144Hz 1080p display, and that helps shrink the entire footprint of the laptop. It’s still very thin and light for this class of device, and the new design with gold highlights looks better than ever. It’s MSI’s most refined laptop build yet.
As for gaming performance, the GS65 comes with two GPU options, a GTX 1060 or GTX 1070 Max-Q. Either option is a sound choice at their respective price points, though the GTX 1070 Max-Q model is better suited to gaming on the 1080p high-refresh display, and gives you more power in the same form factor. Other features like 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD are standard for this laptop and its competitors.
We opted for the GS65 over competing laptops from Gigabyte and Asus for a couple of reasons. The GS65 is quieter than the similar Gigabyte Aero 15X during gaming, and the build quality is superior, with both laptops coming in around the same price. It was a tough choice between the GS65 and Asus ROG Zephyrus M GM501; the Zephyrus is more powerful with a full GTX 1070 inside rather than the Max-Q variant, but it’s also louder, hotter, and more expensive as a result. The GS65 has a larger battery and lasts longer, too, and that’s important for a portable gaming laptop.
Either the GS65 or the Zephyrus would be our pick depending on what you were after, but if we had to choose just one, the more well-rounded GS65 gets our vote in this category.