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Monday, September 21, 2020
From: St. Albert
Price for what you get. Weight and form factor.
Screen. Battery life. Keyboard. Thermals. No Wi-Fi 6.
This is an updated review. I had this laptop for ~3.5 months and the screen failed. I'm in the middle of the RMA process, so hopefully it gets taken care of. That said, now that I've used it and gamed on it for a while I can say that at best, this is an average to below average gaming laptop. The specs are good on paper, but in everyday use, it doesn't hold up. First, what I like: The form factor and weight are great. Mine weighed under 5lbs and the overall size was a lot smaller than other 15.4" laptops I've owned. The styling is nice too. It's not over the top and would be at home in a meeting room if you turned off the red keyboard backlight. What I don't like: The screen it TERRIBLE. slow response rate, very poor colour gamut, ghosting galore. Colour calibration helps, but the already dim screen will be dimmer after. It is seriously unfortunate how bad this screen is. Considering a laptop screen is one of the most important aspects of a laptop, this screen does the rest of the laptop a disservice. The cooling fans are completely covered and temps rise into the high 80's/low 90's with even a moderate CPU/GPU load. In gaming, undervolting was required to maintain 4.0ghz on the CPU and the GPU was still thermally limited. This also resulted in the deck getting noticeably warm and almost uncomfortable. The battery life is awful, even with undervolting. It's a small battery to start with, but even so, 60-90 minutes with just video streaming (not gaming) is all I was able to get before reaching 10% battery. Conclusion: If MSI had put in a better screen (even if the laptop was $50-100 more because of it) and had vents/cutouts under the fans to aid cooling, this would have been a very nice laptop. Sadly, it seems like some significant corners were cut. I really wanted to like this laptop given the price point. Sadly, this is good hardware held back by a poor screen and crippled cooling. Given the price point, and now that inventory is improving, I would look at other options.
Saturday, June 06, 2020
-Aluminum lid and deck -Second unpopulated M.2 for extra storage -My sample takes an under volt very well -Temps with under volt in gaming are very well controlled -Nice sized keyboard -Manual fan curve control with included software -Light and compact for a gaming laptop -No obnoxious styling -Side vent for cooling is on the left (doesn't blow on mouse hand)
-Screen is not great, poor sRGB and anything less than max brightness setting is dim -Short keystrokes on the keys, still ok to type on, but longer keystroke would have been better -Only red back light on the keys, would have preferred white or addressable -Awkward power plug location -Small battery
Overall I'm fairly happy with the laptop. Due to Covid-19 and the need to get a laptop for work my options were limited. The screen was able to be calibrated and this helped. Under voting allows the cpu to hold 4ghz in gaming and stay under 85c. The build quality and use of metal on the lid and deck is nice. If this were available with a better screen it would be 5 star.