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Narrow bezel on a metallic chassis – MSI PS42 14” Thin & Light Laptop Review

16 November 2018 - 07:59 AM

In recent years, MSI has established a strong reputation for its industry-leading gaming notebooks and also offers a robust Workstation series for professionals.
With the recent exhibiting of the PS42 at Computex 2018 in Taipei, MSI now sets its sights on providing premium laptops for those who prioritize portability without a sacrifice in performance.
At just over a kilogram with a chic metal chassis as well as a gorgeous narrow bezel design, let’s delve into a closer look at the PS42.

The PS42 belongs to the Prestige series and is a newly-designed model.
The silver hair-brushed metallic chassis is not only classy but also less susceptible to fingerprints.
Its dimensions are 322 x 222 x 15.9 mm at a weight of only 1.19 kg with a discrete graphics card (MX150).
The electronic scale weighs the PS42 to be 1203 grams, though this is likely due to systematic error.
While this is very light for a 14-inch notebook, there are other models that are even lighter.
However, the PS42’s metallic chassis is strong enough that, when pressed, does not give; the PS42 achieves a balance in weight and durability.

An MSI Dragon Shield Logo on the A-side painted in an understated silver.
Exhausts are towards the rear on both the left and right sides of the chassis; the PS42 contains 2 fans and 3 heat pipes.
The rotating shafts are on the left and right edges of the A side, allowing a large opening angle.

The B-side is mainly black while the C-side is silver like the A- and B-sides.
The webcam is below the B-side screen, similar to the design on the DELL XPS 13.
The webcam’s angle isn’t optimal, though at [email protected], its video isn’t choppy.

The upper, left and right sides feature the narrow-bezel design at only 5.7mm.
The 14 —inch, IPS-level matte screen sports a resolution of 1920 x 1080; the screen ratio is approximately 80%

The C-side is predominantly dedicated to the keyboard. Each key has a white backlight which can be turned on or off.

The power button is centered above the keyboard while the small holes arranged horizontally are designed for the cooling system.
The keyboard feedback is slightly soft but it is above-average in terms of thin laptops.

The touchpad has excellent sensitivity.
The scissor-switch design requires a harder press for precise response.
The black rectangle to the upper-left of the touchpad is for fingerprint identification, a function that is only available on higher-end business laptops.
With Windows Hello, unlocking your laptop is highly convenient.

I/O ports on the right.
Left to right: Kensington lock / SD card reader / USB3.1 Gen1 Type-C / 2 X USB3.1 Gen1 Type-A.

I/O ports on the left.
Left to right: power input / HDMI / USB3.1 Gen1 Type-C / Audio Combo.
Three indicators: power, battery, and Wi-Fi.

The PS42 can be opened to a maximum degree of 180.
Sharing images and information in a meeting is easy.

Take a look at D-side, the internal cooling module is aided by a large area of ventilation to improve heat dissipation.
The stereo speakers are located at the left and right sides below the touchpad.
Five rubber feet are evenly distributed at the bottom with enough thickness to benefit heat dissipation.

The 4-cell battery is built-in and non-removable, running at 50Whr.
The power adapter charges at 65W; compact at only 213 grams, it is easily portable.
The PS442’s single DDR4 slot supports up to 16GB — this is a design shared by many ultra-thin models.

MSI's exclusive software in its Gaming series is among its strength; lately, it has experienced customization.
The Prestige series with its exclusive software has been anticipated.
The PS42 adopts the latest version of Dragon Center 2.0, with the color scheme now black and white instead of the black and red in the Gaming series.
The desktop can be seen through the translucent software window; the System Monitor displays the current hardware status.

The System Tuner page is the same as that on gaming notebooks.
The adjustment page for DPI, hardware performance, fan speed and screen color settings.
There are 4 sets of original environment settings as well as 2 sets of user-defined settings for the user to adjust the settings according to his preferences.
Shift has four performance modes: Turbo (GPU overclocking), Sport, ECO, and Power options.
Fan Speed has the modes of Auto, Basic, Advanced, and Cooler Boost.
A wealth of options is offered for both performance and cooling, so the PS42’s appeals not only in its business look but also in its performance adjustability.

Thin, Light & Narrow Bezel, MSI GS65 Gaming NB Review

14 July 2018 - 08:51 AM

More and more mobile devices become narrow bezel or frameless design to get higher competitive capability. 
As the Ultrabook or mobile phone in recent years, becomes slimmer and lighter is the most important trend.
Thought about the design on Gaming Notebooks, since the design needs more high performance hardware and cooling solution, 
if the technology, ID and material is keep improving, maybe the frame and size could become thinner and lighter year by year.
Evantually there are 3 of 15.6” thin bezel and ultra slim gaming notebooks came out in the market, this time it’s MSI GS65, the company did work hard on the gaming market.
The full name is GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF, it comes with 3 versions by different hardware combinations.
Evolved from last version of slim notebook GS63, the GS65 designed with narrow bezel and brand new ID design. 
By the way, the previous generation GS63 with GTX1050 graphics was high C/P ratio, really worth of the price with great value!
GS65 with metallic A cover and matted touched design.
Printed with golden MSI Dragon logo, the frame also uses shinning gold lines to make it looks higher quality and special.
The dimension is 357.7x247.7x17.9mm, the weight is 1.88kg
B side attached the AUO 15.6” IPS level panel, with FHD resolution, 144Hz refresh rate and 7ms response time. 
The bezel only got 4.9mm slim, display ratio is 82%, camera on the top side is better place than some others at bottom side. 
WebCam is 720P 30fps, the mic on both side support stereo sound recording. 
The video image will have more noise if it’s darker environment, but the image quality and detail is better than GS63.
C side is keyboard side, besides of that it’s all matted metallic material, this is same design as A cover side. 
Keyboard kept the design with Steelseries slim Per-Key RGB keyboard, but no numeric keys. 
Around the slim type membrane keyboard notebooks, Alienware still better than GS65 of the feedback type feeling.
Power button on the top center position, use brushed treatment with golden edge frame line to make it higher quality. 
A small light on the right side, white light means it’s using UMA, orange light means it’s using GTX graphics.
There were align with holes for airflow across the power button, that makes cool air into the fan to enhance the cooling system performance. 
The MSI logo on the bottom of panel is not obvious, it will be more shinning if comes with golden material.
The IO port on left side
Kensington lock \ airflow exhaust \ RJ45 LAN port \ 2x Type-A USB3.1 port
The 3.5mm golden jack for HiFi headset and Mic audio jack. 
The headset output design with ESS SABRE HiFi DAC.
The hinge frame and airflow exhaust hole design with golden material inside, it makes the appearance looks higher level.
The right side IO design
Start from left, Type-A USB3.1 \ Type-C Thunderbolt 3 with USB3.1 Gen 2 & DP \ Mini DisplayPort \ HDMI 2.0\ AC input \ black-golden airflow exhaust
There were three 15.6” narrow bezel gaming notebooks in the market, GIGABYTE Aero 15X about 2kgs, 18.9mm height, 
RAZER BLADE 15 about 2.07~2.15kgs, 17.3mm height, the thinnest but also the heaviest one.
MSI GS65 formal shows 1.88kg, tested model is 1862g is the lightest one, 17.9mm height in the middle. 
But most of the ultra-slim notebooks came with softer chassis, so the weight depends on the design, 
the stronger chassis might enlarge the size. But it’s not always like this rule.
The GS65 display could open to 180 degree to become flat; it helps on office meeting or group discussion to share the screen. 
If this panel could design with touch feature, that will be great.

Outstanding Design and Performance - Deep Look into New MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider

21 November 2017 - 08:55 AM

Over the recent years, MSI has been focusing on the high level and mid-range gaming marketing with 3 main series:
The finest is the GT series that pursues maximum performance;
the 2nd is the GS series with its slim & light but good performance;
the 3rd is the GE series in the middle ground, lighter than GT but faster than GS.
Recently the GE series just received a makeover, with improvements in aesthetics, design, and quality.
This article will focus on testing and analyzing the latest 15.6” of MSI GE63VR.

Starting from the A-side top cover, the design still iconic MSI with the brushed aluminum surface and a MSI dragon shield logo,
that illuminates when powered on, all quality adding to its looking and feeling.
The GE63VR now comes in both GTX 1060 GPU (7RE) and the top-notch GTX 1070 (7RF), both with the dimension of 383 x 260 x 27.5 mm.
The weight may vary a little depending on the configuration: official spec of the 7RF is 2.39 kg.
The actual measurement says 2395g, which has almost same.

Straight ridges and red line are presented on both sides of the center section to perform a sense of speed.
MSI often adopts the design of a sports car hood on the cover to match their brand image.
Personally, I think it’d look even better if the two red stripes can light up during boot up.

The backpack that came with the GE36VR excels in both quality and protection.
The new dragon shield logo has also been redesigned to remove the “GAMING SERIES” wording for simplicity.
The backpack fits up to 17” notebooks, which some may consider a bit too big but others may think bigger space is as a plus.
The adapter next to the GE63VR 7RF comes at a max 230W to power the high end GTX 1070 version.

The B-side surrounds the 15.6” matte display.
The webcam on the top features 720p 30fps capability, with a small hole for the microphone on its either side.
The high-end TN display features FHD resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time, and 94% NTSC color coverage.

C-side overview
It’s paired with a SteelSeries RGB gaming keyboard, featuring per-key RGB lighting.
The feedback may not be like a mechanical keyboard, but is exceptional for membrane keyboards.
I personally also like the dedicated left and right button of the track pad, as this offers better accuracy when pressed down.
The outer is decorated with red line, like the GS63VR, to enhance its visibility and aesthetics.
The slim buttons on the right represents power button, SteelSeries keyboard lighting, and fan speed adjustment.

Right IO
Starting from the left is the SD card reader (XC/HC), USB3.0 X2, ventilation.
I’ve noticed the red lighting from the USB port during the initial boot up, which also adds visibility during installation.

Left IO
Starting from the left is Kensington lock, ventilation, RJ45 Ethernet port, HDMI, mini DisplayPort, USB3.0, Type-C USB3.1.
Gold-plated 3.5mm audio jacks are for Hi-Fi headphone and microphones. The headphone-out supports ESS SABRE HIFI technology.

The rear has also been decorated with the red line to further enhance aesthetics and the speed theme.
Ventilation can also be seen on either side for the latest MSI exclusive Cooler Boost 5 cooling technology.

Under the D-side
The center dragon totem not only adds to the look-and-feel, but also features massive ventilation grills.
The lighting at the bottom suggests power, battery, and hard drive status.
The speaker is in collaboration with the well-known Danish audio company: Dynaudio.
The sound chamber is 5x the size than previous GE design, as shown in the bottom left/right of the picture,
which made us really look forward to the audio quality and volume.

Max-Q GTX 1070 in ultra slim chassis – GS63VR 7RG Stealth Pro Intro

01 September 2017 - 08:27 AM

Starting from 2011, MSI had been serious about the gaming market and studied the field for years.
As long as it’s been through, as much as it can get for the brand awareness and richness in product lines.
GT series is mainly for high-end extreme performance position while GE series is taking the mainstream line.
The one which personally appreciated is the GS series, packed with high performance hardware but made with slim-shape looking.

This time we would like to share the review for new coming MSI GS63VR 7RG Stealth Pro.
The dimension is 380x249x17.7mm, weight is around 1.89kgw.
By packing the latest Max-Q Nvidia GPU, thickness of GS63VR’s is below 18mm to fit the regulation.
It’s hard to believe it belongs to high performance position by its slim shape in 15.6 inch laptops.

Let’s take a look at the A cover, it’s made by brush metal and aligned with dual muscle lines like the racing car’s hood to enforce its speedy scene.
Still remembering the sharing of GS70 in 2004, the design only appeared to flat one.
In addition, I am highly appreciated this colorful picture with shinning sunshine on the GS63VR.

Let’s check the dragon logo plate on the A side, it’s been made by Corning 8H glass and modified little bit by removing the black “Gaming G Series” wording.
It glows during the booting and seems more elegant than previous design.

Then we check the B side which is surrounding the LCD.
Above the screen area will find the 720P 30fps webcam, with dual digital microphone aside.
This matte 15.6 LCD panel here is featuring 120Hz/3ms with 94% NTSC color gamut.

Black brush metal is surrounding the keyboard area, we can say the design idea of C side is same as A side.
The Steelseries RGB gaming keyboard, as usual, have been adopted to MSI high-end laptops with Silver-Lining Print.
When there is request to change the color scenario, you have to use the Steelseries Engine software to handle it.
The tactile has been evolved and feels better than previous generation.
The left-right click on touch pad have been form as one piece, surrounded the red diamond cut design to show its elegancy.
Right hand side of the touch pad would be the feature stickers to show those main features and technology of GS63VR.

Front of the C side set 7 red indicating lights,
starting from the left which are “Sleep”, ”Storage access”, “Numpad”, “Caps lock”, “Blue tooth”, “Wi-Fi”, and “Battery”.
A slightly change of the power button,
which had been moved to the edge of C side since last year, it will be initiated by pressing deeply more than one second to prevent the booting of accidentally touch.

One of the advantages of GS63VR is the 180 degree of the flip angle.
The tiny holes on the upper area of C side are designed for air flow, not the space for speaker sound.
And there is LED indicator in the middle to show the figure of power button, looks special while booting and experiencing it.

Right hand side of the machine can see the IO area,
from the left hand side which are power button \ USB2.0 \ Thunderbolt 3(usb3.1) \ HDMI \ mini DisplayPort \ power connector.

IO on the left hand side of the machine,
starting from the left which are Kensington lock \ RJ45 connector \ SD card reader (XC/HC) \ USB 3.0 x3
Gold plated audio hole for 3.5mm Hi-Fi headset and microphone, especially the headset supports ESS SABRE HIFI technology.

MSI GT62VR High-End gaming notebook with GTX 1060 overview

27 December 2016 - 09:51 PM

This year in the IT world, the most popular trend and the most sought after topic would be the VR application, the so called “age of VR.”
Its impact on the PC industry extends all across the gaming world and not just gaming desktop PC and gaming notebook; even its multimedia capability will be influential in future.
However, the requirement for the hardware is still considerably high; for PC it will need at least a GTX970, or a GTX980M for the notebook, specifications usually carried in higher end PC.

Our test subject for today is MSI’s GT62VR 6RD DOMINATOR.
MSI has been working diligently in the gaming market, especially with its notebook products often refreshes faster than its competitors.
With NVIDIA’s recent launch for the GTX10 series GPU, MSI also launched numerous models that are VR Ready compatible.
After opening the box, we saw the nicely enclosed notebook pack along with a vacuum compressed MSI backpack

This backpack made with softer fabric was designed for GT62VR, excelling in comfort but a bit bulky;
even after putting a 15.6inch notebook inside, there is still a substantial space to put more items in.
Personally I think the backpack looks stylish and yields impeccable comfort after wearing it for some time.

GT62VR Accessories
Driver CD, quick manual guide, product pamphlet, warranty card, SteelSeries RIVAL 50 mouse, DELTA 230W power adaptor, and power cable.
Even with NVIDIA’s new power efficient GPU, it still needs quite a bit of power, hence having a bigger adaptor is inevitable

GT62VR is 390 x 266 x 39.8mm in dimensions, weighing at around 2.94kg, which is still quite hefty for a 15.6inch notebook;
but it is to be expected from a high performance notebook equipping better components, large heat-sink and fans, speakers, and additional DRAM slots for expansions. Similarly to high end models like Dell Alienware 15, close in dimensions, but GT62VR is still a bit lighter.

A side is built with the usual black metallic strips, creating that engine-cap-like design.
What’s different from the previous GT62 are the two red strips on each side to accentuate speed,
it even lights up as you turn on the machine, greatly increases its already futuristic appeal

B side is the 15.6 inch frosted IPS panel, with 1920 x 1080 FHD resolutions.
The bezel itself is frosted and with a touch of sparkle to elevate the texture and quality.
On top is the 1080P, 30Fps WebCam, and two dual-digital microphones on the sides

C side mostly consists of black metallic strips, much like A side.
You could see SteelSeries gaming keyboard which is usually used on MSI’s high end models. With silver lining printing keyboards,
RGB is highly customizable in terms of colors and lighting patterns. Furthermore,
the keypads are soft to touch; but compared to WS72, the latter has more feedback.
The left and right buttons below the touchpad are isolated but responsive, and are less likely to mistakenly touch them

There are 4 stretched buttons on the top right corner; starting from the right is the power button that emits a white glow when turned on;
then the SteelSeries keyboard color switch that enables customized RGB options;
next button works much like a sharing/streaming button that allow users to stream real time during gameplay;
and the last button is the turbo fan boost, maximizing Cooler Boost 4’s heat dissipating technology

5 indicator lights at the front of C side
Starting from left is hard-drive processing, Wi-Fi, battery/charging, Caps ON/OFF, and NumPad ON/OFF
The panel can be opened to 180 degree, also one of GT series’ unique features