Picking the best MSI gaming laptop will deliver a mobile machine capable of offering high gaming frame rates, outstanding build quality, and excellent all-around functionality. It’s a name that’s often associated with powerful gaming components and some of the best gaming laptops. In fact, these notebooks appear so frequently in our list of favorites; it makes sense to gather the best MSI laptops for gaming and list them in one place.
If you’re after true portability without sacrificing performance, the Stealth Thin takes full advantage of Nvidia’s Max-Q technology with a slim-line chassis that weighs in at less than five pounds. You’d have a tough time finding a better gaming laptop that delivers the freedom you’d expect with specs that can handle pretty much any game you care to throw at it.
But if you’re only interested in performance and don’t mind owning a larger machine to house more powerful components, the MSI GT75 Titan is a solid option. And with a choice of full-fat GTX or RTX graphics, the aptly named Titan is easily capable of handling tasks such as recording, streaming, and editing too.
MSI GL75 Leopard |Intel Core i7 | RTX 2070 |
$1499 $1399 at Newegg
Looking for a laptop to replace your aging gaming desktop? The GL75 Leopard is a great mid-range gaming laptop for work and play.
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The best MSI laptop for gaming
Until the advent of the GS65 Stealth Thin, every thin and light gaming laptop was either too expensive or too inefficient to be a viable replacement for your desktop. Or even your existing clamshell, for that matter. In a way, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin disrupted an increasingly complacent subsect of computing that, to this day, is in dire need of a revolution. Black with gold accents, it took the banal red and black gamer’s palette of the past and subverted it. Its gold-trimmed lattice exhaust breathes opulence. It’s economical at the low end, and its recent configurations are capable of raytracing in real-time.
Should you crave the Razer Blade’s winning desktop-level performance, not to mention its narrow screen bezels, but all for a lower price, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin is the best MSI laptop for gaming 2020 can afford. However, if it’s (roughly 10 percent) weaker Max-Q graphics aren’t for you, perhaps this next entry will be.
Read the full review: MSI GS65 Stealth Thin
Against all odds, the runner-up to the best MSI laptop for gaming is the polar opposite of thin and light. Lugging around a 10.05-pound gargantuan might sound like a chore, but we assure you it’s worth it for the genuine desktop power on offer. It’s not supposed to be travel-size; the MSI GT75 Titan is a sight to behold. For one, its desktop-class Intel processor is joined by your choice of full-fat, non-Max-Q Nvidia GeForce GTX, or RTX graphics.
For day-to-day tasks, you’ll enjoy fewer typing mistakes since the GT75 Titan boasts a deeply satisfying SteelSeries mechanical keyboard. Tactilities aside, the “HK” moniker of the housed Core i7-8750HK or i9-8950HK silicon indicates overclock ability. You can raise the CPU’s stock frequency using the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility or by toggling on Turbo in Dragon Center.
But what sets the Titan apart from the 17-inch MSI GS75 Stealth is its screen. Unlike most gaming laptops, you don’t have to prioritize refresh rate over resolution. Instead, you can take your pick between a 1080p 144Hz screen and a 4K 60Hz one. Oh, sweet freedom.
At the cross-section between the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin and the GT75 Titan, the GE63 Raider RGB, a midrange gaming laptop that—while thin and light—foregoes shortsighted industry trends in favor of uninhibited balance. Despite its RGB surname, don’t be confused: ostentatious lighting is not the real value proposition here. Performance is.
The Raider packs Nvidia’s formidable RTX graphics; absent is the stifled Max-Q design of the GS65 Stealth Thin. In other words, the GE63 Raider’s RTX 2080 is about 10 percent faster than its GS65 equivalent. If you care more about frames per second than cosmetic appeal, it might be for you.
As for the LEDs, yes, it’s stacked. To no surprise, the keyboard is graced with per-key illumination, meaning you could theoretically assign a different backlit color to every key on the keyboard if you’re a total sadist. The keyboard itself is rather deep for a gaming laptop of this stature, with 2mm of travel guiding each press.