It’s our first heavy review for the year and we wanted to make it special so before the year closes and kick 2016’s sorry ass goodbye, we want to share our thoughts on the MSI GS63VR 6RF Stealth Pro Gaming Laptop from MSI.

First lets look at the specs for the Stealth Pro:

Specs

CPU 2.6-GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor
Operating System Windows 10 Home
RAM 16GB
RAM Upgradable to 32GB
Hard Drive Size 256GB
Hard Drive Type NVMe M.2 SSD by PCIe Gen3x4 (SSD Drive)
Secondary Hard Drive Size 1TB
Secondary Hard Drive Speed 7200rpm HDD
Secondary Hard Drive Type SATA Hard Drive
Display Size 15.6
Native Resolution 1920×1080
Optical Drive None
Optical Drive Speed n/a
Graphics Card NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 GPU
Video Memory 6 GB
Wi-Fi 802.11ac
Wi-Fi Model Killer N1535 Combo 2*2 ac
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.1
Touchpad Size 4.0 x 2.7 inches
Ports (excluding USB) Mini DisplayPort
Ports (excluding USB) Microphone
Ports (excluding USB) Headphone
Ports (excluding USB) security lock slot
Ports (excluding USB) HDMI 2.0
Ports (excluding USB) USB Type-C
Ports (excluding USB) Killer E2400 Gigabit Ethernet
Ports (excluding USB) USB 3.0
Ports (excluding USB) USB 2.0
USB Ports 5
Warranty/Support two-year limited warranty
Size 14.9 x 9.8 x 0.69 inches
Weight 4.2 pounds
Company Website https://us.msi.com/

Design

The Stealth Pro is a thing of beauty. Coming out with that sexy black aluminum alloy case it definitely makes it worth the price. But don’t be fooled, not only did it attend the party in stunning black with the MSI dragon logo prominently placed where everybody can see it, the MSI Stealth Pro is also the lightest. How they packed all that stuff in this slim and light frame is mind boggling. What you need to know is that it weighs 4.2 pounds and is on top three of the lightest 15-inch gaming laptops available today.

The Stealth Pro’s front with El Ultimo dragon

In case you’re wondering, there’s a ton of plastic at the bottom panel designed together with an additional cloth surface in various areas; an ingenious way of protecting users from the high surface temperatures the unit hits when it’s on beastmode.

My biggest (actually the smallest) qualm with this gaming laptop is IT being a magnet for your fingerprints. That’s the only drawback I could see design-wise. Other than the we love it. The hinges work great, is sturdy and very compact.

Never gonna be unhinged with this design
Fingerprints!!!

Display

The Stealth Pro’s output is pegged at 1920×1080 and comes out of the box with a 15.6 inch matte panel. It carries MSI’s brand of color which is really eye-catching in terms of contrast. Let me tell you something they do love the color red too as its got the most “distinct” feel on the display. And we’re not even talking about the dragon.

We can all thank the vividness that we see from this gaming laptop’s ability to recreate around 111 percent of the sRGB color gamut. You read that right, its 111% better than the other brand’s laptop products. Hey you’ll be happy to know that the MSI laptop you plan to buy (and the product we absolutely love) just beat out an Alienware rig which only scored 60 percent.

I wasn’t a firm believer of the MSI’s True Color technology till I actually tried playing games with the MSI GS63VR 6RF Stealth Pro. While some gamers would be peeved that the product comes only with one display option which is Full HD, it worked extremely well with the gaming experience. You can actually see how different the sharpness of the screen is when doing a side-by-side with a laptop with a 4K screen. Do I wish it had 4K resolution? Yes.

 Another fascinating thing about the GS63VR design and display-wise is that the matte display surface works well in outdoors. Well, that depends on the type of outdoor your plan on using it on. We tried it on a Starbucks in Ortigas and the images were still doing good. Common sense dictates however that playing with direct sunlight will ruin everything. The viewing angle stability of the IPS though is still great and you’ll only notice contrast drops here and there, nothing glaring.

Audio

I’m satisfied with the audio quality for the Stealth Pro. Actually I’m more than satisfied. It’s got the right amount of bass for such a thinly-designed product. My wife and I had a baby at the point where MSI lent me the unit to test out and only a fool of a father would not use this bad boy to play lullabies. And so far it worked fine.

It’s when you start a game where you really get the flavor in the audio department. We worked on Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm during the review part and it was glorious. The drums beats were intense and you really get a kick at the explosions and all the dialogues.

There’s also one small thing I’d like to mention and that MSI’s built-in Nahimic 2 software is a gift from the gaming gods…

What is Nahimic 2 you ask, its that software that lets you change your audio settings. So if you’re playing Overwatch you can use their Shooter setting and hear that POG theme with crystal clear clarity. Other settings include Role Play, Racing and Strategy. Back on the subject of shooting games the Nahimic 2 software also increases your chances of getting more kills with the SoundTracker feature which helps points out your enemy’s location in the map based on the sound they make.

The Nahimic 2 software offers several presets to optimize your listening experience. For gaming, you have Role Play, Shooter, Strategy and Racing. Multimedia settings include Music and Comms. The app also offers several cool features that will help you get the jump on your gaming foes. For example, the SoundTracker feature points out your enemies’ locations based on sound. There’s also Audio Launchpad, which maps sound effects to keyboard shortcuts, letting you quickly accentuate a sweet move.

Keyboard

One of the best keyboards that have been made for this year is attached to the Stealth Pro. There I said it. It’s got a hundred different reasons why the keyboards are the best and I do not have the time to list them all down. But we’ll cover the basics and what I thoroughly liked.

The Stealth Pro comes with another quality SteelSeries keyboard on it. It delivers a bouncy-yet-firm feel to it making it paradise to touch. The lights are definitely entertaining to look at especially when writing blogs and playing games outdoors. So in a way, yes I am totally in-love with the backlighting on this baby.

Typing has also been waaaay easier with the 59 grams of actuation in this thing. You’ll be surprised at how fast you can actually type with this keyboard. Also if ever you do get one, do me a favor and go test your typing speed online and compare how you do using a different keyboard/ laptop. The results will amaze you.

To add in the treat, the SteelSeries keyboard found in the MSI Stealth Pro can let you assign one of the three zones of the keyboard with different colors and four effects. Totally upping the ante in terms of customizing your gaming laptop.

 

Gaming, Graphics and VR

If you’re looking to get the power of a gaming god without the huge weight that you need to lug around then the MSI Stealth Pro is definitely your thing. It’s the world’s slimmest VR-capable gaming notebook that’s currently out in the market and that’s something they wouldn’t be able to pull off without Nvidia. Specifically the NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 GPU.

If frame rates are your thing then we’re happy to also report that there it goes from great to holy-shit-did-I-just-sidestep-that-monster?

Sorry though, no VR on our end. We weren’t really in to the whole VR shenanigan and even until now, still not too fond of it.

Performance

One thing that we truly loved about the MSI Stealth Pro is that it packs quite a punch in the performance department. This is all thanks to the 2.6-GHz Intel Core i7-6700 HQ processor complemented with 16GB of RAM. It certainly up to par with the other gaming laptops, a little lagging to some extent but it performs extraordinarily well.

Speed will never be an issue for this machine and its evident with the way it transfers data and information. The pairing of a 1 TB, 7200-rpm hard drive together with a 256GB NVMe M.2 SSD by PCIe Gen3x4 will make sure that you never skip a beat on anything you do.

Battery Life

Battery life is important especially if you’re gaming. That’s why we also took the time to take a look at this aspect for the MSI Stealth Pro.

We’re still far away from the day when we can have a gaming laptop that can actually last the whole day; we’re still a decade or so from getting a laptop that we won’t have to worry about not getting juice because we left the charger at home. What we’re trying to tell you is that the battery life for the MSI Stealth Pro is average to outstanding. Nothing really to blow our minds, just something to worry about because without a charger/cable you’re stuck with a machine that’s got a maximum battery life of 2 hours and 54 minutes. And that’s just with wi-fi connection and basic web browsing even.

Still that’s a long time to play your favorite game or do some writing on the fly. My only regret is not being able to take this laptop out of town and actually use it in the airport to watch TV series or anime.

Of all the good things I’ve written about the product, this is where it really falters big time. I did a bit of research and I’m seeing that similar machines can exceed the battery life for this bad boy. Alienware’s Alienware 15 conks out at around 7 hours and 13 minutes (that’s according to other tech bloggers) while the Equinox can work till around 3 hours and 9 minutes total.

aesthetically pleasing vents

Webcam

The MSI Stealth Pro comes with an integrated 720p web camera The 720p integrated webcam captures video at 30 fps, which will come in handy for streaming. However, the webcam isn’t big on detail, as I could see pixelation throughout my test shots, which almost obscured my eyebrows. The color was also a little off — a bright blue wall had a grayish tone and my salmon shirt looked neon orange.

Ports

This is MSI we’re talking about here so you can bet that they’ll want to keep up with whatever’s current and nothing is more current than having Thunderbolt 3.1 USB Type C ports. This will give you more powerful and faster transfer rates compared to other products out in the market.

 

VERDICT

The MSI GS63 Stealth Pro is an absolute darling for everything except battery life. The slimness is just right for both gamers and casual users alike and its definitely packs such power in a slim frame. It’s got great frame rates, perfect audio and smooth-working keyboards. Transferring files is such a breeze too.

VR or not, the Stealth Pro is definitely worth every peso you spend on it.

RATING

 9/10

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