With the launch of Intel’s new and powerful Coffee Lake-H mobile processors, many of its partners have been scrambling to launch their own notebooks fitted with the CPU. For MSI, this was an opportunity to try something different with the new GS65 Stealth Thin gaming notebook.
On the outside, the GS65 Stealth Thin shows off that same slim and thin form factor that defined the GS63 and GS73. Instead of black and red though, the GS65 Stealth Thin comes with a gorgeous blend of matte black and “gold diamond cut” accents.
You’ll find USB 3.0 and a USB 3.1 Type-C ports on both side of the notebook, but what we think really stands out here is the new polygonal-looking vent. Compared to the standard “jailbar” grill vents of the GS63 and GS73 (and basically all other laptops), this new design looks outstanding and understated at the same time. We definitely like this over the aggressive designs that usually appear on gaming notebooks.
The GS65 Stealth Thin also comes with a Steelseries per-key RGB LED backlit keyboard. As its description suggests, you can customise the lighting effects of each individual keyswitch via the notebook’s on-board software.
One very minor (but equally important) change that we’re very glad to see is the placement of the power button just above the keyboard and not at the bottom right edge of the base, like the GS63. This alone makes a world of difference because it eliminates any chance of accidentally powering down the notebook, when all you actually wanted was to shift the position of the notebook ever so slightly.
And then there’s the overall weight and slimness of the thing. The GS65 Stealth Thin only weighs 1.8kg and has a thickness of 17.7mm. Oh, and the display can open up a full 180 degrees.
But while it felt ethereally light, like all thin and light notebooks, the GS65 Stealth Thin chassis had a noticeable amount of flex. Having said that, it’s best to note that our model was an engineering sample, meaning that the build quality of the retail model may be sturdier.
Moving on, let’s talk about specs. Inside, the notebook houses Intel’s latest Coffee Lake-H mobile processor, and on top of that, it’s also got a GeForce GTX 1070 with Max-Q Design discrete GPU to help run even the most demanding of current titles. The model we had also contained 16GB of DDR4 RAM to help the entire system along. Regarding the storage; the engineering sample we had came with a 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD, but MSI states that the final product will come with a 512GB SSD.
The display of the GS65 Stealth Thin is something of an oddity: it’s a 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) display, has a high refresh rate of 144Hz and a response time of 7ms, yet it still doesn’t have G-Sync support.
We feel like it’s a missed opportunity on MSI’s part, especially since two of its major competitors, ASUS and Acer, made the anti-tearing technology available in their respective ROG Zephyrus and Predator Triton 700 since their debut last year.
Lastly, there’s the 82Wh battery of the GS65 Stealth Thin. MSI says that the larger battery allows for the notebook to sustain itself for 10 hours off a single charge, but given that this is an engineering sample, we’ll put that to the test in a full review.
For what it’s worth, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin definitely one of the most interesting releases from MSI in a while. Look out for our full review when it launches later this month.