MSI GL65 Leopard Review
Learn all about the MSI GL65 Leopard laptop in our 2023 review. We cover performance, value, and more to help you make an informed decision.
MSI Laptop brand Review
Micro-Star International Co., Ltd, or MSI for short, is a Taiwanese multinational information technology corporation with its headquarters located in New Taipei City, Taiwan.
It designs and builds a range of devices; from computer hardware to laptops, desktops, their related products, and services, as well as other infotainment products, among others.
A major player in the gaming and content-creation industry, MSI develops and delivers a steady stream of laptops from its gaming, creation, and business series in that order.
Their gaming laptops do not necessarily command attention with their outward appearance, but under the hood of these laptops is a gaming powerhouse equipped with all the extra gear and wheels to take on the most intensive games available.
For every price point and series on offer, and there are quite a lot, the account is the same; a thrilling gaming experience that can rub shoulders with the very best in the game.
And there is something for the business-centered professionals too. It might not be as popular as the gaming series or the creator series, but it gives as much value in productivity.
A majority of the gaming laptops being rolled out from the MSI stable seem to have been designed with resources gotten from the same playbook.
The signature matte black finish on aluminum or metal alloy chassis is their build staple.
Generally, their physical looks are pretty basic, even bland, with the only highlight being the red backlit logo on the lid, and sometimes a couple of lines stretching diagonally from top to bottom of the screen.
There are some exceptions to this pattern, of course, plastic casing is employed by some models, and the backlit logo might sport a different color.
The laptops can go from very light to bulky. Advances in cooling tech serve to reduce headroom required under the carriage and this rubs off on the heft of the chassis, as can be found in the stealth series.
Under the hood, RGB backlighting is a constant feature of their mostly mechanical keyboard decks, and it is perfect for gaming.
MSI laptops are primarily middle to top-tier gaming machines, so their price stickers are mostly not eye-catching, not that you’ll be forced to roll your eyes when you walk past one though.
You will most likely not find their gaming laptops below $500, but you’ll get decent options just above $1000, and the big guns go for a pricey $3500 at the least.
While heavy hitters like the MSI GT76 Titan can go as high as $4,599, some of their budget laptops start from $700 dollars.
The MSI GS66 Stealth at around $1599.99 can compare favorably with its direct competition like the Razer blade 15 or the Asus Zephyrus G14 for price and performance level.
Durability and Reliability
Gaming laptops do not come with a great lifespan expectancy guarantee, but the typical MSI laptop can give you around 3–4 years of regular operation, with the caveat that you play your own part of course.
The predominant brushed metal or alloy chassis build of their laptops presents them with a solid and sturdy profile that is befitting of a gaming laptop.
Even though the MSI brand does not consistently churn out laptops of a rugged build, they will most likely survive light impacts and might not be dented as a result.
And the sophistication of the cooling system employed in some of their laptops serves to prevent them from the occasional heat-induced meltdown. This helps to inadvertently prolong the lifespan of hardware components inside the carriage.
The typical MSI laptop battery life might fall short of your expectation. Not entirely surprising though, the laptops come with powerful processors, and their attendant power draw is massive.
Your MSI laptop will most likely spend a large chunk of its lifetime plugged into a power source. This can be a real bummer, but it is the price to pay for all the thrills of gaming that you’ll be regularly served.
The MSI GS65 from the stealth series, which is the choice pick for most people will give you a decent 5 hours after full charge, that is as much as you can get from the Asus ROG Zephyrus S, and even much better than the Razer blade 15, with all three laptops running on same core i7 processor.
On the other hand, the high-end Titan series leaves much to be desired with its meager offerings of runtime.
While the MSI brand is easily associated with gaming laptops, there is a line of laptops from its stable that is dedicated to the work of professionals in the creative and business end.
Step in the Creator series, a fleet of laptops that gets support from powerful graphic processors.
These laptops are capable of executing the most advanced 3D rendering techniques, as well as photo and video editing, graphic designing, the list is impressive.
Notable picks include the creator M16 and creator 17 with their impressive coverage of the RGB color spectrum, high fidelity audio, and colors that are so bright and vivid, they seem to pop out of your screen.
For the business-minded person, the Prestige series serves up among its other offerings, some pink flavor, with the notable prestige 14 Evo pink that will spice up your office as much as it will power it with speedy connections, ample storage, and snappy execution of productive tasks.
It is in the gaming genre that MSI holds sway, the vast array of laptops from its gaming series will leave you spoilt for choice. They include the following series;
GT Titan Series
GS Stealth Series
GE Raider Series
GP Leopard Series
Pulse / Crosshair GL Series
Katana / Sword GF Series
Support and warranty
The customer support system is one area where MSI can do much better, customers have often complained of difficult access and slow feedback. The Hp and Dell brands do much better in this regard.
On the flip side, MSI still probably remains the only company to provide free accidental-damage protection cover for their laptops, this is music to the ears of many people.
And its one-year warranty covers its hardware components too, which is pretty good for consolation.
The fastest and most powerful processors take center stage in almost every MSI laptop on offer.
The top-tier graphic cards join forces with powerful video cards, just what you’ll need for a thoroughly enjoyable gaming experience.
A wide range of graphic processors are employed too, the best from NVidia Geforce and AMD Radeon, MSI spares no expenses to meet its speed and efficiency goals.
Their high-end laptops will run HD VR and high-ultra AAA games and create the most stimulating visual content with minimal fuss.
And the CPU almost always comes fully dressed to the party, with a minimum of four cores and a decent processor base speed across all models and configurations.
Laptops like the GT76 from the Titan series-MSIs’ apex gaming series, engage 9th and 10th generation intel core i9 processors, their performance is at par with heavy hitters such as the much-hyped Alienware m15.
While new entrants like the Alpha 14 packs in the powers of the Ryzen 4000 series, with the promise of even better with the MSI bravo series.
And with the help of the “Dragon Center” customization software, it can only ever get better.
Most laptops from the MSI brand will come with a sprinkling of issues, nothing out of the ordinary, and nothing that can not be properly managed. In some models, the hinges, touchpads, or login delays might be a cause for concern.
The bigger problems are the battery power deficit which is the bane of the stealth series, the unsettling heating( mostly with older models) that will inevitably result from binge-gaming, as well as the disturbing lack of tech support.
Another problem, if you can call it so is the glaring lack of options with the MSI brand, while some people will like to see more focus on business-centric or any other thing-centric MSI series, others will want the laptop maker to stick with its winning formula.
In a Nutshell
The MSI laptop is the jack of one particular trade, and it goes without saying that they make great gaming laptops.
Their laptops strike a good balance between affordability, performance levels, and build quality to an extent. The graphic performance is optimized and the display is stunning in whatever configuration is on offer.
If you’re an avid gamer or a keen content creator with a rich taste and comfortable pocket, there is just the right fit for you here, any other thing will be too much for asking.
There are some downsides to making laptops of a dedicated utility and design, attention might be diverted from the nuances of other laptop specifics.
The MSI laptop brand has its own fair share of issues, none so much as the prevalent battery challenge.
One thing is certain, however, MSI is very good at what it does.