MSI’s new Stealth 15M looks to give Razer some slim competition in the 15-inch gaming portable space, while also bringing along speedy next-gen internal and external storage options. Maybe it will even knock Razer off our Best Gaming Laptops list. Weighing in at 3.7 pounds and just 0.63 inches thin according to MSI, the Stealth 15M is slightly thinner and substantially lighter than Razer’s Blade 15 Advanced (4.7 pounds and 0.7 inches). The aluminum chassis will be offered in carbon gray or white, with a combination of an Intel 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPU and Nvidia RTX 2060 Max-Q graphics inside.
The other notable internal change should interest storage enthusiasts. MSI says the Stealth 15M supports PCIe 4.0, and the company will include a PCIe Gen4 x4 SSD in the laptop, in capacities up to 2TB. Given what we’ve seen from PCIe 4.0 SSDs on the desktop front (many with bulky coolers), it will be interesting to see how a speedy next-generation drive will affect battery life, as well as how MSI will keep the drive (and everything else) cool in a chassis so slim.
The next-gen speed theme carries over to the connectivity front as well, as the Stealth 15M includes Thunderbolt 4 (TB4) support. This also means you can charge the laptop over USB-C PD, though you’ll want to use the power brick for fast charging and gaming, as TB4 tops out at 100 watts. Killer Wi-Fi AX1650 is also included for fast and stable downloads and file transfers. Other aspects of the Stealth 15M are somewhat less exciting. The 15.6-inch “IPS-level” display boasts a 144 Hz refresh rate, and the keyboard sports a white backlight, rather than RGB. You do, though, get a 720p webcam , unlike many of Asus’ gaming laptops of late that have eschewed a camera altogether. And there is a Micro SD card slot on the left edge.
There’s no word yet on pricing or exact availability for the Stealth 15M, but we’re excited to get it in for testing. MSI’s slim laptops have impressed us in the past, but some also have a tendency to run hot. It will be interesting to see how MSI manages thermals in such a slim laptop -- especially with the addition of PCIe 4.0. Battery life will also be interesting, given the new Intel silicon paired with the Stealth 15M’s unimpressive-sounding 52 Whr battery. The company says you can expect “9+ hours” of unplugged productivity time. This is a U-series laptop, though, so we’re likely due for another refresh whenever Intel releases an H-series Tiger Lake lineup.