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MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro gaming laptop review


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MSI GS63VR 6RF Stealth Pro

You’ve likely come across MSI’s GS60 if you’ve shopped for gaming laptops in the last ten years. Built with an off-the-shelf enclosure from Clevo, and whichever Nvidia GPU is currently trendy, this is not the first time we’ve unboxed this perennial offering, and it won’t be the last.

But this time felt a little different. Intel’s mobile CPU offerings are more power efficient than ever, and Nvidia’s mobile line performs very similarly to the desktop chips. That could mean a bigger leap forward than normal for this year’s edition, which is just under seven tenths of an inch thick.

More: Acer Predator 15 review

To that end, MSI has picked the Intel Core i7-6700HQ, paired up with 16GB of RAM and a GTX 1060 for gaming. For storage, you’ll find a 256GB SSD and a 1TB HDD, and a 1080p screen, with a $1,700 MSRP that often falls closer to $1,1550. Is this the year the GS60 finally rises from evergreen option to true competitor?

A fuzzy bottom

MSI’s GS63VR might look familiar. If it does, it’s because the system uses an off-the-shelf enclosure, one that isn’t exclusive to MSI. In fact, you can buy an almost identical laptop from Origin, the EVO-15. It’s a bland affair, but the bright side is a lower chassis that feels sturdy and svelte, whether tucked under your arm or out in a meeting. Turn off the RGB keys, and no one would guess you’re using a gaming laptop.

The screen is a different story. It’s slightly flimsy, bending and curving a bit when you open or close the lid. MSI’s logo at the center of the screen on the bottom bezel is even worse, flexing dramatically at the slightest touch. It’s not an uncommon problem for smaller systems, although most higher-end models avoid it.

msi gs  vr rf stealth pro reviewBill Roberson/Digital Trends

msi gs  vr rf stealth pro reviewBill Roberson/Digital Trends

msi gs  vr rf stealth pro reviewBill Roberson/Digital Trends

msi gs  vr rf stealth pro reviewBill Roberson/Digital Trends

Strangely, the MSI has a fuzzy bottom – no joke! The underside is coated in a thin fabric. This is a design choice we’re not clear on. Theoretically, this helps keep any heat from radiating as badly into the user’s lap. It never seemed to get too hot around the bottom, so if that was the goal, it works as intended. It also keeps an otherwise slick laptop from sliding around on a desktop much, although most systems accomplish the same without getting warm-and-fuzzy.

Rich set of plugs

What the MSI lacks in looks, it makes up for with a healthy number of wired connections. Up the left side, you’ll find 3.5mm audio in and out, a full-sized SD card slot, Ethernet, and three USB 3.0 ports. Around the right side, there’s a full-sized HDMI port, Mini DisplayPort, Thunderbolt 3, and an extra USB 2.0 for good measure.

That’s a lot of connection options for such a slim machine, even among other gaming systems. Full-sized video outputs are always appreciated, particularly the inclusion of HDMI 2.0, for 60Hz 4K. That’s an option the best gaming monitors are frequently supporting.

A familiar keyboard

Like the system’s design, the MSI’s SteelSeries keyboard is one we’re very familiar with. It packs in a numpad, an increasingly uncommon feature on 15-inch laptops. It’s a bit narrow, a problem that expands to the whole keyboard. Thankfully, important buttons like “backspace” and both shifts are full-width, a blessing for gamers.

Though bland, the chassis feels sturdy and svelte.

Gaming laptops are typically fitted with comfortable, responsive keyboards, and what the MSI lacks in spaciousness, it makes up for with chunky switches that have a clear activation point and solid movement. They’re bolstered by full, bright back-lighting in RGB zones, allowing you to customize the look to your liking.

The touchpad isn’t as exciting. The integrated buttons are a bit mushy, and there isn’t a clear indicator between the left and right click areas. It’s spacious, but not as wide or tall as some of the massive touchpads we’ve grown used to seeing in more expensive laptops.

Deep contrast, hurt by gamma

The MSI’s 15-inch, 1080p panel is the baseline resolution for gaming systems these days. More and more, high-end systems have reached for 1440p or 4K panels — unfortunately, mobile gaming hardware can’t always keep up with the latest games at native resolution. We have no problem with the MSI chosen here, and feel it’s a good match with the GTX 1060 graphics chip.

While the GS63VR’s display isn’t impressive, it scores well enough across the board. Its maximum brightness and contrast are both right at acceptable levels, without really excelling in either category, particularly when faced off against recent OLED panels that have made their way into systems like the Alienware 13. Color gamut is average, so nothing to complain about there. The gamma is too low, resulting in slightly washed-out images, and color accuracy is off, but that’s not likely to matter too much.

The result is a panel that fits all the needs of the gamer on the go. Contrast is one of the most important aspects when it comes to gaming, allowing for deep, dark blacks and brighter explosions and light sources. In that sense, the MSI’s display performs well, but you’ll typically have to tweak the in-game gamma to get the most out of it. Once you do, you’ll find a pleasantly deep image, even if it doesn’t keep up with newer OLED panels in terms of black levels.

MSI GS63VR 6RF Stealth Pro Compared To

msi gs  vr rf stealth pro review alienware r product

Alienware 13 R3

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Acer Predator 15

msi gs  vr rf stealth pro review avadirect avant p dm g press

AVADirect Avant P750DM2-G

msi gs  vr rf stealth pro review razer blade product

Razer Blade (2016)

msi gs  vr rf stealth pro review

MSI GS60 Ghost Pro

msi gs  vr rf stealth pro review predator

Acer Predator 17 G9-791-79Y3

msi gs  vr rf stealth pro review alienware

Alienware 15 (2015)

msi gs  vr rf stealth pro review asus rog g

Asus ROG G501

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Digital Storm Triton

msi gs  vr rf stealth pro review acer aspire v nitro black edition press image

Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Edition

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Alienware 17

msi gs  vr rf stealth pro review avadirect

AVADirect Clevo P157SM-A

msi gs  vr rf stealth pro review global gt dominator press image

MSI Global GT60 Dominator Pro

msi gs  vr rf stealth pro review lenovo y press image

Lenovo IdeaPad Y500

msi gs  vr rf stealth pro review origin eon s

Origin Eon 17-S

Movies are less appealing, simply because there isn’t always an easy way to adjust the gamma back to standard levels. As such, you may find that darker scenes in media look overexposed, and washed out.  On the bright side, VLC allows easy adjustment for video files, making off-kilter gamma an easily solvable problem.

Louder isn’t always better

If there’s one thing the MSI’s speakers do well, it’s volume. They are loud. Yet turning the volume up all the way, even while playing music, is ill-advised, as the tone becomes a serious issue. Even at half volume, the GS63VR’s speakers crack and sputter, and bass is non-existent. Granted, most gaming laptop users are going to bring a pair of headphones, and audio quality is a sore spot for slimmer laptops. But the MSI performs worse than most.

We’ve seen this chip before

Our review unit was equipped with an Intel Core i7-6700HQ, the most common quad-core chip for laptops. It’s a familiar chip to us, as we’ve tested it in multiple systems over the last year. We didn’t expect any surprises.

Apart from the AVADirect Avant’s desktop-grade CPU claiming several victories, the MSI’s Core i7-6700HQ is one of the stronger options we’ve seen in a gaming laptop so far. It claims victories over both the Acer Predator 15, and Surface Book with Performance Base.

We have more systems to compare in our older Handbrake 4K video conversion test, and the MSI keeps up there too. It even beats out the desktop-grade AVADirect Avant’s CPU, at least in some of our test situations.

More: Razer Blade (2016) review

Of course, CPU isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to gaming. Everything from the solid state drive to the graphics chip can make a huge difference in framerate and gaming quality.

Life in the fast lane

Our review unit came packed with two hard drives. The boot drive was a 256GB Samsung SM951 — a common PCIe SSD — with a 1TB data drive for some extra games or media.

The NVMe SSD in the MSI screamed past the competition in terms of read speed. Not surprising, considering the only other comparable system we’ve tested with a PCIe SSD is the Razer Blade. Even in terms of write speed, where mid-tier NVMe drives tend to fall behind, the GS63VR’s offering holds a strong lead. It might not feel a lot faster than a SATA SSD moment to moment, but it makes a big difference in both longevity and SSD-intensive tasks.

GPU test track

This time around, the GS63VR is powered by an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, the equivalent of last generation’s GTX 970M. It’s a powerful mobile chip, and one that should be more than capable of handling modern games at the system’s native 1080p resolution.

The GS63VR trades blows with its closest competitor, the Acer Predator 15, in the synthetic 3DMark graphical tests. Both systems are remarkably similar, so it’s no real surprise that the difference between the two is never more than three percent. The AVADirect Avant’s GTX 1070 steals a win over both laptops, partially thanks to its full-power desktop Core i5, but mostly it’s the higher-end GPU that deserves credit.

On the open road

We’ve tested the GTX 1060 in several situations, and out on the open road, it handles 1080p gaming without breaking a sweat, and can even stay competitive when the resolution goes up.

The MSI’s 75 frame per second average in Battlefield 1, with the settings cranked up, is a strong start, and the score is exactly where we’d like to see it. It should be more than capable of holding the 60FPS ideal spot.

While the average framerate in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided might not look so sharp, it’s a very demanding game, and the MSI’s score is reasonably average. With a little tuning in the settings, you should have no issue pushing the game to 60 FPS or higher, which is all you can really ask from a slim gaming laptop.

More: Alienware 13 R3 review

All in all, the MSI’s performance in-game isn’t going to set any records. But it’s more than enough for gamers looking to take their evening of Overwatch into the living room, and it should be able to keep up at 1080p for at least a few years.

Thin without sacrificing battery life

There are two aspects to portability — size and battery life. In the former, the MSI excels, with a slim footprint and an efficient use of space that allows for a full-sized numpad and trackpad. At just under .7 inches thick, the GS63VR has a waistline.02 mm thinner than the Razer Blade. It feels great.

Typically, a slim chassis means less room for batteries, and you trade backpack space for longevity. The MSI packs in a surprisingly mid-range 54Wh battery. Yet it manages to hit almost five hours in our video loop, which is good news for travelers and movie lovers.

The MSI also manages to power through just over three hours of the Peacekeeper browser benchmark before collapsing from exhaustion, a score that either ties its competitors, or beats them by up to an hour. It doesn’t quite keep up with non-gaming systems, but among laptops with discrete graphics, it holds its own well.

So very bloated

While other high-end system manufacturers have worked hard to cut back on unnecessary bundled software, MSI has embraced the bloatware life with a swath of intrusive software of dubious utility. In fact, there was so much extra software on our review unit that the first thing we did was run a fresh installation of Windows 10, as we were having compatibility issues with our benchmarking software.

msi gs  vr rf stealth pro reviewBill Roberson/Digital Trends

msi gs  vr rf stealth pro reviewBill Roberson/Digital Trends

It’s not a rare problem for gaming laptops, which often pack in extra software and optimization utilities. To have them be so bad that you need to reinstall the OS is another issue entirely. The upshot is that it’s an easy fix that doesn’t take very long. If the idea of installing your own OS is a completely foreign one, it’s worth noting you might struggle with the MSI right out of the box.


MSI provides a one year warranty on all of its laptops. That’s fairly standard for laptops of any category, and right in line with the MSI’s competitors. It doesn’t cover accidental drops or other damage, but warranties almost never do.

Our Take

MSI’s GS63VR packs familiar components into a common chassis, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring or useless. In fact, MSI manages to provide competitive gaming performance, paired up with a decent 1080p panel, in one of the slimmest designs we’ve yet to see from a gaming notebook.

Is there a better alternative?

While the gaming laptop world grows more crowded every day, the MSI GS63VR is now one of the slimmest on the market. If you don’t plan on using a gaming laptop as your daily driver, the AVADirect Avant or the Asus ROG G752 bulk up a bit, but offer better performance options.

The DT Accessory Pack

Razer DeathAdder Chroma gaming mouse


Sennheiser PC 373D – 7.1 surround sound gaming headset


Razer BlackWidow Chroma Clicky mechanical gaming keyboard


If backpack space is at a minimum, or you need to fly under the radar with your gaming, the Razer Blade is an option. Origin also offers almost the exact same chassis with its EVO-15, but expect to pay a couple hundred dollars more for it. Paying more for the Origin does net you better customer support, and provides additional customization options.

How long will it last?

With the latest generation Nvidia graphics and a PCIe SSD, now is a good time to pick up the MSI GS63VR in terms of longevity. The only knock against it is the 6th-generation Intel hardware, but MSI announced at CES 2017 that the GS63VR will move to the 7th-gen soon– so wait if that concerns you. The 1080p screen is limiting in some ways, but also ensures you have enough overhead to keep playing the latest games at native resolution for a few years.

Should you buy it?

Yes. This MSI doesn’t turn heads like an Alienware, but it’s perfect for weekend warriors looking to keep a low profile, while still churning out smooth performance in modern games. Plus, it’s well-priced, with a $1,700 MSRP that often falls under $1,600 fully tricked out, without making any major compromises, apart from needing to uninstall a bunch of bloatware. Previous models of the GS60 didn’t impress us, but this new version is a huge step in the right direction.


Android 11 event and beta postponed: ‘Now is not the time to celebrate’

"We'll be back with more on Android 11, soon."What you need to knowAndroid 11 has been delayed.An event and beta

How much data does video streaming use?

When it comes to internet usage, video watching is one of the main interests of users. Most users are mainly inclined towards streaming videos so it matters a lot to know how much data is required for it. Of course, we do require a smooth internet connection to be able to stream our favorite content online.If video streaming is your preference then you must consider high-speed internet like Spectrum internet for instance, that do not offer data caps. This means you do not have to worry about any extra fee surprises in your bill that are bound to happen if you run out of your data limit. Most of the providers in the United States do impose data caps so it is very important to find out an internet plan that assures a no data cap policy. For that, let us first have a look at the data that is needed for various video streaming platforms.YouTubeJust like using any other app on your smartphone, YouTube being one of the popular platforms needs data too. It nearly takes 562.5 MB of data per hour. This holds valid when you stream at around 480p resolution. In case you want better resolution, then you might require 1.86 GB per hour for 720p. For 1080p you might require 3.04 GB. For watching videos in 4K, you will require a massive 15.98 GB of data per hour.NetflixWe all agree with the fact that how much we love Netflix as it has successfully evolved as one of the most popular video streaming services. For subscribers exceeding 130 million, the internet speed is not much of a problem. An hour of video streaming in standard definition would need around 1 GB of data. If you want to enjoy high-quality video streaming, you might need up to 3GB. For ultra-high-definition, you can require up to 7 GB of data per hour.The selection of accounts can help you decide a suitable resolution for your connection. If you want to save your data, you can check the settings option and click the save button when you want.Amazon Prime VideoAmazon Prime Video was launched by Amazon as a streaming service in 2011 and has ever gained popularity among the users. Nowadays it is seen as one of the biggest competitors for Netflix. This service provides up to three resolutions for the users. Among them include good, better, and best. The Good enables streaming videos at around 480p in standard definition and utilizes a data of 800 MB per hour. The Better option allows an HD stream with a data requirement of around 2 GB per hour. The Best option consumes nearly 6 GB of data per hour. You should also know that accessing Amazon Prime Video on your mobile app results in low data consumption as compared to the desktop app.HuluHulu is another important video streaming option that uses somewhat less data as compared to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video This makes Hulu as one of the most economical options available. You require around 680 MB per hour of data for the standard definition. If you switch to a 720p high definition setting, the data requirement may jump to 1.3 GB per hour. 1080p resolution can need data up to 2.7 GB per hour. You can also stream live TV if you are using Hulu’s $39.99 monthly plan.SpotifySpotify is one of the best-known music streaming platforms but not everyone knows that it also provides a video service in certain areas. The company does not disclose much about the data requirements of the video streaming service. However it only notifies that video streaming requires more data as compared to music streaming and is much like the ones needed for other video channels. Mostly the videos are in high definition and can consume up to 3 GB of data for an hour streaming.VimeoVimeo does not have any details regarding data usage. The standard definition content can need up to 353 MB of data per hour. As far as the HD videos are concerned, they need up to 2.75 GB per hour.StanMany of us might not have heard of Stan as it is accessible in Australia only. The app usually provides four-tier quality. The lowest standard definition setting can require up to 1.13 GB per hour while HD and 4K can require around 3 GB per hour and 7 GB per hour respectively.DirecTVThe DirecTV website also does not display clear information about the required bandwidth. In case if your provider puts a data limit, you can always reduce your video quality. The data consumption parallels to the aforementioned video streaming platforms.Sling TVSling TV is another one of the highest quality video streaming service that uses around 2 GB per hour of data for its highest quality option. The data required for medium quality is 540 MB per hour that further lowers to 360 MB per hour for low-quality streaming options.Summing UpYou need to be aware of the data consumption involved in the video streaming service you are using. This can save you from exceeding your data limit and paying any additional cost.EDITOR NOTE: This is a promoted post and should not be viewed as an editorial endorsement.

This portable UV-C wand sterilizes your items and work space

In an age when cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer aren’t easily found, it’s a little tough to keep your personal items and space clean. Not wiped down and washed, but free from germs and bacteria.Rather than fighting your way through a store to find only to find out there are no wipes left, take a smarter approach. The SANITECH UV-C Wand, on sale for just $72.99, is the sort of thing you buy once and get to use over and over. Try that with those Clorox Wipes.About the size of an electric toothbrush, the SANITECH UV-C Wand emits a UV-C light that kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria within ten seconds. It cleans all sorts of surfaces, including clothes, bedding, phones, keyboards, laptops, and more. If your hands touch it, you can probably clean it with the SANITECH UV-C Wand.FeaturesUV-C light kills 99.9% of germs, bacteria, & viruses within 10 secondsChemical-free for your safety & can be used on baby products, cosmetics, pet supplies, on home and public spacesLasts up to 90 minutes w/ full chargeBuilt for travel & convenienceBuy it NowPurchase the SANITECH UV-C Wand for just $72.99, a savings of 18% off the normal $90 price. Choose from Winter White, Flamingo Pink, and Seabreeze Green.Best SellersEarn Credits!For every $25 you spend in the AG Deals Store you get $1 credit added to your account. And, if you refer the deal via social media or an email that results in a purchase, you’ll earn $10 credit in your account.First Time Buying?If this is your first time buying, you are also eligible for 10% discount! Just be sure to subscribe for email updates.Free StuffNot looking to spend any money today? No worries. You can still visit the AndroidGuys section for freebies and pick something anyhow.

How to set up a Messenger Room in Facebook Messenger

With the launch of Messenger Rooms, you can now participate in video calls from the comfort of your smartphone and without any extra apps.If you’re using WhatsApp, Instagram, or Messenger, you can now make a virtual room and invite your friends in a matter of seconds. This saves you the trouble of installing extra apps like Zoom.Today we’re going to look at how to set up a Messenger Room in Messenger.How to set up a Messenger Room in Messenger – The easy wayThe only real pre-requisite here is having the latest version of Facebook Messenger installed on your phone from the Google Play Store. Download it here.Step 1Tap on the People tab at the bottom on the Messenger app and choose to Create a RoomAt the bottom center of the screen, you will have the option of Share Link. Tap on it.With the Who Can Join, you can also control who joins the Messenger Room if you wish to keep the room exclusive to friends, family, etc.Step 2Copy the link in the box and paste it to the group or people you wish to share it with. They will also need to have the Messenger app installed and on the latest version of the app for it to work best.You can share the link via any app or medium you wish, but whoever has access to the link can join your room, unless you modify the Who Can Join settings in Step 1.From here, you just wait for your friends to join and carry out your business. When you feel the room has met its purpose, you can close the room by tapping on the X button at the top right of the room.Leave will mean that the room will still be there to return to for anyone who has the link. End Room will close the room and make the link invalid. This means you’ll have to make a new room if you do End Room here.We also wrote a guide on how to start a Messenger Room from WhatsApp. The feature will soon go live on Instagram globally, so be sure to look out for that as well!If you’ve used Messenger rooms, let us know what you think of it in the comments section below!