MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro Gaming Laptop Review

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.

Specifications

Exterior

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.

Display

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.

Input Devices

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.

Interior

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.

Software

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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  • cats_Paw
    When I saw the Price I thought to myself "let me guess, a 1060".
    See, back in the day of the 570M and the 580M, an MSI laptop with a 570M would set you back 1.5k, the 580M would be at 1.7k (the cheapest I could find them).

    Now, with no need to make both desktop and mobile chipsets (so, lower costs), the price has gone up. Now I know everything is going up (even if they say there is no inflation), but electronics used to go DOWN in price, not up.

    And older gen hardware used to go down when new came up, not stay the same...
  • Niva
    Ok, bottom of page 1:

    "Removing the bottom panel reveals just how tightly packed the system is packed. The CPU has one fan on the bottom right, whereas the GPU has two on the bottom left. The 2.5mm hard drive is located on the top right, next to the battery. The memory and SSD slots are beneath the motherboard, making them inaccessible."

    You can remove the first "packed" from the opening sentence and it will read better.

    The memory and SSD slots? You mean the M.2 slot is my guess, since the 2.5" drive can also be an SSD. So when you say "inaccessible", does that mean that memory cannot be upgraded and the boot drive cannot be replaced at all? I'm guessing you're trying to say that accessing those components requires to remove the motherboard from the chasis... or perhaps removing the keyboard, which in some cases is just as easy as opening up the back of the laptop.

    Bottom line, that's a very poor paragraph. You're welcome editor!
  • FritzEiv
    Anonymous said:
    Ok, bottom of page 1:

    "Removing the bottom panel reveals just how tightly packed the system is packed. The CPU has one fan on the bottom right, whereas the GPU has two on the bottom left. The 2.5mm hard drive is located on the top right, next to the battery. The memory and SSD slots are beneath the motherboard, making them inaccessible."

    You can remove the first "packed" from the opening sentence and it will read better.

    The memory and SSD slots? You mean the M.2 slot is my guess, since the 2.5" drive can also be an SSD. So when you say "inaccessible", does that mean that memory cannot be upgraded and the boot drive cannot be replaced at all? I'm guessing you're trying to say that accessing those components requires to remove the motherboard from the chasis... or perhaps removing the keyboard, which in some cases is just as easy as opening up the back of the laptop.

    Bottom line, that's a very poor paragraph. You're welcome editor!


    You're right. I edited this piece, and I remember making a note about the accessibility issue. Bad job on my part. Thanks for pointing this out. I'll clarify it and update this shortly.
  • Rookie_MIB
    Also, I didn't realize that they made a spinning HDD that was only '2.5mm' - might want to touch that up as well...
  • brucek2
    I was close to buying a MSI Titan the other day when I saw a post claiming there is no service option available that will get a defective laptop (in warranty) repaired in less than several weeks, during which time the customer is dead in the water. (it was something like 25 business days for repairs, then 5-10 days more for processing/shipping.) That nixxed the purchase for me. I don't know what the ASUS situation is but it may not be any better?

    My point is that I think these details should be included in these reviews. They may not be technical but they could be important factors in a purchase decision. (And shedding more light on them might help motivate saner policies in a competitive marketplace or at the very least make sure more consumers went into their decision knowing the risks they are taking.)
  • Clamyboy74
    Please do a review of the Sager NP8152-S/ clevo P650RP6-G make sure its the -s version or the -G version for g-sync(toggleable between that and optimus)
  • Clamyboy74
    Could you do a review of the Sager NP8152-S (Clevo P650RP6)? The verison with g-sync
  • hst101rox
    I really like how the MSI has 3 fans! Though 1 of the three are smaller than the other 2, which causes beat waves. Do any of the other laptops tested in this article have 3 fans, or just the normal 2 count? I think the Clevo P650RP6 has 3 fans as well but not sure if identical thermal design.
    I am very impressed with the thermal engineering effort put into this laptop. Will probably get the 17" 120HZ version fully specced out when the Kaby Lake version comes out, hopefully with a good 300MHZ CPU boost or so.
  • realpetrolium
    Late 2014 I bought a MSI GS30.
    CPU fan failure in 2015 and they had no replacement parts on hand. Replaced from ebay after months of monitoring.
    2016 the screen cracked and they have no replacement parts either.

    MSI does not stand by their products support wise. Purchase if you'd be ok with owning a paperweight after 2 years.
  • hst101rox
    Could probably have found a replacement panel online easily?
  • realpetrolium
    Anonymous said:
    Could probably have found a replacement panel online easily?


    Tell you what, if you find one I'll send you a 100 finders fee
  • hst101rox
    You'd need to look at the back of the panel in the lid of your laptop to see the model of the panel. Or maybe find it with some Googling.
  • hst101rox
    Limited upgradeability. Yea it sucks you can't get a bigger SSD down the line when say, 8TB m.2 SSDs exist, but that's OK. Get a 512GB SSD and 32GB of RAM and then put in a huge 2.5" SSD down the line.

    You can use a high end desktop video card with this laptop via the thunderbolt connection.
  • hst101rox
    You tested the thermals of the GPU with Furmark, but what about the CPU?
  • Robert_402
    At this level, I'd look at some of the boutique makers. @Xi has one that has a better price/performance ratio than any of these. Build quality and support are top notch on many of the smaller companies.