The thin and light MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro-034 contains a 6th generation Intel Core i7 and Nvidia's new GTX 1060 Pascal GPU. At just under 0.7", can the Stealth Pro perform well, or does its thin profile introduce unnecessary compromises?
MSI’s gaming laptop series offers a number of models, ranging from the budget-oriented Leopard Pro to the gaming behemoth Titan Pro. The aesthetics are defined by sleek black finishes and MSI’s signature red and white dragon logo. The GS line consists of thin and light systems, and the MSI Stealth Pro-034 seems to fit its moniker perfectly.
The top hood features a black, brushed-metal finish similar to the MSI GT73VR Titan Pro and GE72VR Apache Pro. The metal finish provides a sleek aesthetic that works well with a thin, light system, but it tends to attract fingerprints during regular day-to-day handling. The MSI Gaming Series shield and dragon logo is stamped on the middle of the hood. When the system is powered, the white dragon is illuminated in white.
The bottom has four vents, which provide vital airflow to the system's exhaust fans. Unlike the top hood’s metal finish, the bottom features a velvet-like cloth, which adds a premium touch. The laptop has virtually zero flex, but the panels feel rather flimsy. You can hear a bit of creaking if you apply pressure to the body, which is troublesome considering how tightly packed the internal components are.
The exhaust vents can be found on the Stealth Pro's sides and back. These vents measure 2.25 x 0.25" on the left and right, and 5 x 0.25" for the two on the back.
The workspace inside shares the hood’s brushed metal finish. While it’s satisfying to behold, the fingerprint issue strikes again. You’ll have to be proactive in keeping the Stealth Pro-034 clean. A dotted exhaust grille is located on the far end closest to the hinge. When the system is powered, an On symbol can be seen near the grille.
The smooth hinge extends the display over 180°, which is more than enough for a gaming laptop.
The Stealth Pro's four speakers offer decent quality, and they don't distort much at 100% volume. Unfortunately, they’re placed on the bottom of the laptop, which diminishes an otherwise good sound reproduction.
Starting from the right, you’ll find the power button, a USB 3.0 port, a Thunderbolt over Type-C port, an HDMI 2.0 port, a mini DisplayPort, and the DC power jack. On the left, you’ll find a headphone jack, a microphone jack, three USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader, a gigabit Ethernet port, and a Kensington lock.
The MSI Stealth Pro-034 features a 15.6"= 60Hz IPS display outputting at FHD. The IPS panel delivers excellent viewing angles. The HDMI port and mini DisplayPort offer room for additional displays.
The Stealth Pro has an evenly-spaced chiclet keyboard, which offers a comfortable typing experience. The thin 15.6" laptop even managed to include a numbed pad without compromising the overall typing experience. The LED Wizard in the MSI Dragon Center software lets you tinker with the keyboard's backlighting.
The trackpad features a smooth matte finish with a metallic red border. It provides accurate, responsive tracking. The click function is satisfying, but clicking the trackpad too aggressively leaves it vulnerable to catching dust and debris.
Building a smaller profile system like the Stealth Pro presents some design challenges. Unlike most laptops, which have enough space for their bottom panels to include robust clamping and minimal screwing, the Stealth Pro’s bottom panel has thin clamps and 15 screws. This makes accessing the internal components a hassle.
Removing the bottom panel reveals just how tightly the system is packed. The CPU has one fan on the bottom right, whereas the GPU has two on the bottom left. The 2.5" hard drive is located on the top right, next to the battery. The memory and SSD (M.2) slots are beneath the motherboard, making them inaccessible, and therefore you cannot upgrade the memory or the system's boot drive.
The MSI Stealth Pro features MSI's signature Dragon Center software. From here, you can customize the keyboard's RGB backlighting and access pre-installed programs such as Nahimic 2 and SteelSeries Engine 3. MSI Gaming Center comes standard on all of its systems, and more information can be found in our review of the MSI Titan Pro.
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