2018’s Best MSI Laptops [In-Depth Review]

TOP PICK
MSI GL62M 7REX-1896US 15.6" Full HD Gaming Laptop Computer Quad Core i7-7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4G Graphics, 8GB DRAM, 128GB SSD + 1TB Hard Drive, Steelseries Red Backlit Keyboard
BEST GAMING
MSI GE63VR Raider-075 15.6" 120Hz 3ms Display Premium Gaming Laptop i7-7700HQ GTX 1070 8G 16GB 128GB SSD + 1TB
BEST BUDGET
MSI GL62M 7RD-1407 15.6" Full HD Thin and Light Performance Gaming Laptop i5-7300HQ GTX 1050 2G 8GB 256GB SSD Win10 SteelSeries Keys
MSI GV62 8RD-200 15.6" Full HD Performance Gaming Laptop PC i5-8300H, GTX 1050Ti 4G, 8GB RAM, 16GB Intel Optane Memory + 1TB HDD, Win 10 64 bit, Black, Steelseries Red Backlit  Keys
MSI GT75 TITAN-055 17.3" 120Hz 3ms G-sync Extreme Gaming Laptop GTX 1080 8G i7-8750H (6 Cores) 16GB 512GB SSD + 1TB Per Key RGB KB, VR Ready, Metal Chassis, Windows 10 64 bit
BLW's Score
94
93
85
92
82
MSRP
$1,099.00
$1,799.00
$699.00
from $1,099.00
$2,999.00
Processor
Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8 GHz
Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8 GHz
Intel Core i5-7300HQ 2.5 GHz
Intel Core i5-8300H 2.3 GHz
Intel Core i7-8750H 2.2 GHz
RAM
8GB DDR4
16GB DDR4
8GB DDR4
8GB DDR4
16GB DDR4
Hard Disk
128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
256GB SSD
Intel Optane 16GB + 1TB HDD
256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Display
15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080)
15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) 120Hz
15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080)
15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080)
17.3" FHD (1920 x 1080)
Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080
OS
Windows 10
Windows 10
Windows 10
Windows 10
Windows 10
Weight
3.62 pounds
4.85 pounds
5.29 pounds
4.8 pounds
9.92 pounds
TOP PICK
MSI GL62M 7REX-1896US 15.6" Full HD Gaming Laptop Computer Quad Core i7-7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4G Graphics, 8GB DRAM, 128GB SSD + 1TB Hard Drive, Steelseries Red Backlit Keyboard
BLW's Score
94
MSRP
$1,099.00
More Information
Processor
Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8 GHz
RAM
8GB DDR4
Hard Disk
128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Display
15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080)
Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti
OS
Windows 10
Weight
3.62 pounds
BEST GAMING
MSI GE63VR Raider-075 15.6" 120Hz 3ms Display Premium Gaming Laptop i7-7700HQ GTX 1070 8G 16GB 128GB SSD + 1TB
BLW's Score
93
MSRP
$1,799.00
More Information
Processor
Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8 GHz
RAM
16GB DDR4
Hard Disk
128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Display
15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) 120Hz
Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
OS
Windows 10
Weight
4.85 pounds
BEST BUDGET
MSI GL62M 7RD-1407 15.6" Full HD Thin and Light Performance Gaming Laptop i5-7300HQ GTX 1050 2G 8GB 256GB SSD Win10 SteelSeries Keys
BLW's Score
85
MSRP
$699.00
More Information
Processor
Intel Core i5-7300HQ 2.5 GHz
RAM
8GB DDR4
Hard Disk
256GB SSD
Display
15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080)
Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
OS
Windows 10
Weight
5.29 pounds
MSI GV62 8RD-200 15.6" Full HD Performance Gaming Laptop PC i5-8300H, GTX 1050Ti 4G, 8GB RAM, 16GB Intel Optane Memory + 1TB HDD, Win 10 64 bit, Black, Steelseries Red Backlit  Keys
BLW's Score
92
MSRP
from $1,099.00
More Information
Processor
Intel Core i5-8300H 2.3 GHz
RAM
8GB DDR4
Hard Disk
Intel Optane 16GB + 1TB HDD
Display
15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080)
Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti
OS
Windows 10
Weight
4.8 pounds
MSI GT75 TITAN-055 17.3" 120Hz 3ms G-sync Extreme Gaming Laptop GTX 1080 8G i7-8750H (6 Cores) 16GB 512GB SSD + 1TB Per Key RGB KB, VR Ready, Metal Chassis, Windows 10 64 bit
BLW's Score
82
MSRP
$2,999.00
More Information
Processor
Intel Core i7-8750H 2.2 GHz
RAM
16GB DDR4
Hard Disk
256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Display
17.3" FHD (1920 x 1080)
Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080
OS
Windows 10
Weight
9.92 pounds

Most avid PC gamers will recommend MSI gaming laptops as one of their preferred weapons of choice.

But who are MSI and why are their laptops so good for gamers?

In this article we will look at five of the best MSI laptops. They do tend to be expensive, but we have tried to include MSI laptops to suit all budgets.

We will also examine the history of MSI—Micro Star International Computers—and just what makes their computers so good—and sometimes not so good.

5 Best MSI Laptops By Category

Best Overall:
MSI GL62M 7REX-1896US 15.6” Full HD

MSI GL62M 7REX-1896US Review

The new MSI GL62M 7REX-1896US is a sub $1000 gaming laptop which offers a decent mid-range gaming laptop at a price most can afford.

You would spend less on this machine than many of the new MacBook computers and get a much more capable gaming device.

​Specs

  • Display Size: 15.6-inch full HD eDP
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Battery Capacity: 8.5 hours
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 2400MHz
  • Processor: 7th gen Intel core i7-7700HQ (2.8-3.8 Ghz)
  • Storage: 128GB M.2 SATA + 1TB HDD (5400RPM)
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti with 2GB GDR5
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    Weight: 5.29 pounds
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    I/O: 1 x USB-Type C, 1 x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x Mini-DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI (4K @ 30Hz), 1 x SD Card Reader (XC/HC), 1 x Mic In, 1 x Headphone out (SPDIF)
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Benefits

This machine from MSI is designed specifically for gaming. With a 7th gen i7 core processor, one of the latest NVIDIA graphics cards in the GTX 1050Ti and 8GB of RAM, it will play most modern titles with medium to high graphics settings enabled.

A 15-inch matte full HD display uses IPS technology for wider viewing angles. With a 94 percent NTSC color range, it gives more realism and a greater life to your games.  The MSI’s GTX 1050Ti GPU provides a faster frame rate on most titles with recent games like Overwatch even achieving 73 FPS.

A built in SteelSeries keyboard is comfortable to use and features single key backlighting with an anti-ghosting key. The red lighting uses a silver lining across three zones which offers the maximum customization.

The touchpad on this machine is just as good with a smooth, sturdy action. It is highly responsive with left and right click buttons just below the pad.

Storage is well covered with a hybrid drive of 128GB SATA SSD for your OS and programs, and a 1TB HDD for data storage. Although the SSD may seem small compared to other competitor models, it’s easy to swap out.

MSI laptops are designed for expandability with access to components by removing the bottom of the case. You could even upgrade the RAM to a maximum of 32GB with four slots available.

Drawbacks

Unfortunately, the main downside with this laptop is the lack of future proofing. The GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is not VR ready like the GTX chips and doesn’t yet support 4K gaming. It’s only an average performer which may struggle with some newer AAA titles being released.

Extra Features

  • Wider viewing angle display.
  • Wide selection of ports.
  • Keyboard backlighting.

Buying Advice

The MSI GL62M 7REX-1896 US is a competent gaming machine for the price. The high specs and speedy hybrid storage make it able to handle even the most demanding of productivity tasks when not gaming.

The extra portability of this laptop, combined with a pretty decent battery life and a high specification, make it the best all-around MSI laptop you can currently buy for the money.

Runner Up:
MSI GV62 8RD-200 15.6” Full HD

MSI GV62 8RD-200 Review

​Specs

  • Display Size: 15.6-inch full HD eDP IPS
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Battery Capacity: 4.25 hours
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 2400Mhz
  • Processor: 8th gen Intel core i5-8300H (2.3-4.0GHz)
  • Storage: 1TB HDD (5400RPM) + 16GB New Intel Optane
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti with 4GB DDR5
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    I/O: 1 x USB-Type C, 1 x USB 2.0,  2 x USB 3.0, 1 x Mini-DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI (4K @ 30Hz), 1 x SD Card Reader (XC/HC), 1 x Mic In, 1 x Headphone out (SPDIF)
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    Weight: 4.8 pounds
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​​​​​​​​​The MSI GV62 8RD-200 is one of those systems that tries to make up for the failings of its predecessors. The newer 8th generation Coffee Lake-H processor used in this model is the latest in the series with many improvements over the previous 7th gen core processors.

And while the NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti GPU may not support VR gaming, it does manage to pack a lot of power into the thinner design.

Benefits

A large 1TB capacity allows for larger game installs. Many of the latest triple-A titles now need over 40GB just for installation.

The case still uses the same matte black plastic of earlier models with a red accent found at the back of the machine. It forgoes the optical drive which is a sacrifice you have to make if you want a powerful machine this thin. At just over 4.8 pounds and 1.06 inches thick, the MSI GV62 is designed to be more portable.

For a surprisingly thin machine it features plenty of connectivity options with a myriad of ports for a machine that doesn’t offer VR capability. The laptop even includes an RJ45 socket for ethernet connection and also includes Intel wireless AC 9462 Sandy Peak for a faster gaming connection.

This model has the same quality screen that we’ve come to expect from MSI and the usual well-designed SteelSeries keyboard that is comfortable to use.

The battery lasts a reasonable 4 hours which is what you would expect from a machine like this, although many newer SSD-based machines are much less power hungry.

Drawbacks

The storage on this machine is average at best. A 1TB HDD provides enough space for all your larger game installations and application data. Yet MSI have chosen an older 5400RPM drive rather than the much faster 7200RPM standard.

In addition, many people will bemoan the lack of an SSD although the Intel Optane memory tries to combat that problem.

Extra Features

  • Latest Intel Optane memory.

Buying Advice

The main strengths of this latest MSI GV62 are its excellent display, thinner size, large storage and, of course, the price.

If you are looking for a powerful yet portable gaming rig at a reasonable price, then this laptop is definitely worthy of your consideration.

Best Budget:
MSI GL62M 7RD-1407 15.6” Full HD

MSI GL62M 7RD-1407 Review

​Specs

  • Display Size: 15.6-inch full HD eDP Vivid Color 94% NTSC
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 2400MHz
  • Processor: 7th gen Intel core i5-7300HQ (2.5-3.1GHz)
  • Storage: 256GB SSD M.2 SATA
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 with 2GB GDDR5
  • I/O: 1 x USB-Type C, 1 x USB 2.0,  2 x USB 3.0, 1 x Mini-DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI (4K @ 30Hz), 1 x SD Card Reader (XC/HC), 1 x Mic In, 1 x Headphone out (SPDIF)
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    Weight: 5.29 pounds
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​​​​​​​​​Buying one of the best MSI laptops for gaming doesn’t always have to cost you an arm and a leg. This entry level gaming device, the MSI GL62M 7RD-1407 provides all the features you are looking for in a mid-range laptop.

The GL62M uses a 7th gen core i5 CPU with NVIDIA GTX 1050 GPU that should be able to power through any game you throw at it with medium graphic settings enabled.

Benefits

Using the same design of case as its predecessors in the MSI GL series, this latest budget model has tried really hard to slim down. This does mean losing the optical drive, but that’s a sacrifice commonly made nowadays.

For such a powerful gaming laptop, it weighs in at a reasonable 5.29 pounds and has a design that screams professional gamer.

The other big plus point at this price, is the 15.6-inch full HD display which uses IPS technology to provide a wider range of viewing angles. A well designed SteelSeries keyboard is comfortable to use and features single backlighting with WASD keys.

Drawbacks

The main problem with this laptop is the smaller storage capacity. A 256GB SSD is certainly a better choice than a slower HDD but can be limiting to what you load on to the computer.

Certainly don’t expect too big a game collection to be stored on this PC with many new games needing 40-50GB for installation alone, never mind the endless patches or add on levels.

Extra Features

  • Long battery life for a gaming PC, at up to 8 hours.
  • Awesome graphics with the GTX 1050 GPU.

Buying Advice

This MSI GL62M 7RD-1407 may not be the cheapest of gaming laptops, but certainly is one of the lowest prices you will get an MSI for at the moment.

Building on the great reputation of the best MSI gaming laptops, this computer, at under $700, provides a competent gaming device at what you would normally pay for a desktop replacement machine.

Best For Gaming:
MSI GE63VR Raider-075 15.6” 

MSI GE63VR Raider-075 Review

​Specs

  • Display Size: 15.6-inch full HD 120Hz 3ms Wide View 94% NTSC Color Anti-Glare
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 2400MHz
  • Processor: 7th gen Intel core i7-7700HQ (2.8-3.8Ghz)
  • Storage: 128GB NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD (7200RPM)
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 with 8GB GDDR5
  • I/O: 1 x USB-Type C, 1 x USB 2.0,  2 x USB 3.0, 1 x Mini-DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI (4K @ 60Hz), 1 x SD Card Reader (XC/HC), 1 x Mic In, 1 x Headphone out (SPDIF)
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    Weight: 4.85 pounds
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​​​​​​​​​This latest premium gaming device from MSI has a stylish look which easily identifies it as an MSI laptop. Despite the solid construction it’s still reasonably lightweight, although the poor battery life may mean you don’t take it on the road too often.

Benefits

The powerful NVIDIA GTX 1070 is one of the latest graphics cards that will run most of the modern blockbuster games at the highest settings. This is backed up by all the necessary hardware needed to run the GTX including 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a 7th gen core i7 processor.

The SteelSeries keyboard found on this machine is one of the best found on a gaming laptop at any price, with each key able to be individually backlit in a range of varied RGB colors or even in zones.

The display of the Raider series features a 120HZ refresh rate, ensuring your games play at the smoothest frame rates and a greater color accuracy.

Drawbacks

Despite the crisp and fast display, the viewing angles can be severely restricted with MSI having only chosen a TN panel, Most high end laptops at this price now use the IPS technology for better viewing angles.

Although it’s understandable with the power hungry components, the battery life on the MSI Raider is mediocre to say the least. At five hours rated battery life, you will often get less than two hours of heavy gaming before it needs charging.

The touch pad quality has had mixed reviews suggesting it is unresponsive, and some finding it, at best, to be average.

Extra Features

  • 128GB SSD and 7200RPM 1TB HDD combination.
  • Individual key backlighting.

Buying Advice

If you need a lightweight gaming laptop which features some of the best hardware for gamers at a decent price, the MSI GE63VR Raider-075 may be the best choice for you.​

Even though it has some of the latest VR Ready tech built in, you can still just throw this laptop in a backpack for gaming on the go. Just don’t forget the power adapter.

Runner Up:
MSI GT75 TITAN-055 17.3” 120Hz

MSI GT75 TITAN-055 17.3 Review

​Specs

  • Display Size: 17.3-inch full HD Anti-Glare Wide View Angle, 120Hz 3ms 94% NTSC
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Battery Capacity: 3 hours
  • RAM: 64GB DDR4 2133MHz
  • Processor: 8th gen Intel core i7-8750H (2.2-4.1 GHz)
  • Storage: 512GB SSD M.2 SATA + 1TB HDD (7200RPM)
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    GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 with 8GB GDDR5X
  • I/O: 1x Mini-DisplayPort, 1x HDMI (4K @ 60Hz), 1 x SD Card Reader (XC/HC), 5 x USB3.1, 1 x USB Type C/Thunderbolt 3, 1 x MIc-in, 1 x Headphone-out (HiFi/SPDIF), 1 x Line-in, 1x Line-out
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    Weight: 9.92 pounds
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​​​​​​​​If you are serious about your gaming, this sixth version of the Titan GT75 is akin to being a kid let loose in a candy store.

Benefits

Serious specs include the latest 8th gen Intel core processor and an NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1080, the best performing graphics card NVIDIA currently make. Back this up with 64GB of RAM and a super fast 512GB SSD with 1TB 7200RPM HDD and you have a machine which will be pretty hard to beat.

A 17.3-inch display uses IPS technology for a 178-degree wide viewing angle. Featuring  40 percent better contrast, it is 20 percent brighter than previous displays. With an NTSC 94 percent color range, colors appear more vivid to bring your game to life.

Thanks to NVIDIA G-Sync technology, with a 120Hz refresh rate, the graphics card syncs for seamless rendering of all your games.

Drawbacks

The massive speakers are just indicative of the main problem for many with this rig. In an age of super thin laptops, MSI have created a beast of a machine with the TITAN. Clocking in at 9.92 pounds it’s not really a laptop designed to be used on the go, not unless you have a lap of steel.

A massive laptop like this requires plenty of power to run at full spec. As you would expect, the battery life is pretty short, lasting only 2 hours 54 minutes in many tests.

Extra Features

  • Nahimic sound technology.
  • line in/out phono sockets.

Buying Advice

I love the idea of this machine, I just don’t love the cost/price.

It builds on all the best qualities MSI laptops offer. 

This machine has a solid SteelSeries keyboard, the latest processors and GPU, blistering fast large storage drives, a top-notch display and every connection option you would ever need.

It also includes a Killer E2500 chipset to protect your network traffic and prevent lags, something every pro-gamer can benefit from.

Who are MSI? A Brief History of MSI

Micro-Star International Co Ltd (MSI) are a Taiwanese multinational company which was formed in 1986.

They now have a global presence in over 120 countries and offer a worldwide warranty in all the major markets.

MSI began by specializing in making motherboards and add-on cards. It wasn’t until 2008 they diversified into the PC gaming sector with their Gaming series of laptops, desktops, motherboards, graphics cards and peripherals designed for power gamers.

Micro-Star International or MSI

According to a report in Digitimes, by 2015, MSI controlled 19 percent of the gaming laptop market to become a world leader in this overcrowded sector.

When you buy a gaming laptop from MSI, you are buying from a company with over 30 years of computer manufacturing experience and 10 plus years in the gaming PC market.

Why are MSI Gaming Laptops so Popular?

MSI laptops remain one of the most popular choices with serious gamers despite increasing competition.

Many of the traditional business machine makers like HP, Acer and Lenovo have now recognised the value of the gaming laptop market.

All MSI laptops are designed with gamers in mind and feature the most powerful graphics card while utilizing the latest core processors.

Extra features like the SteelSeries keyboard, Nahimic Sound processing, 120Hz displays and an increasing reliance on SSD drives have been thought out for gamers needs.

MSI provide an excellent telephone tech support system for effective solutions and are one of the few vendors who offer accidental-damage protection when you register your laptop.

What’s Not to Like About MSI Gaming Laptops?

MSI Mechanical Keyboad Laptop in Office

Some business laptop users bemoan the lack of variety in MSI’s range of laptops. Many of the features you find on a high end MSI gaming laptop would be just as at home on a serious business workstation.

Mostly, MSI have set their stall out as a gaming laptop manufacturer with a design which would look out of place on most business desks and features which would just be overkill.

The other main criticism often levelled at MSI gaming laptops is their repetitive use of the same design. Although the stylish matte black with red accents screams “Gamer”, for a company that prides itself on innovation, reusing it so much often seems lazy.

Other manufacturers have moved to sleek all metal casing designs while MSI has stagnated with what appears to many as a boxy design, even if newer models have become slightly slimmer.

Final Thoughts

Purchasing a gaming laptop from MSI means you are buying into a solid gaming ecosystem.

Although the innovation may have slowed down over recent years, none of their more recent models have scored less than 3.5 to 4 stars in most reviews.

However, we don’t all have a thousand dollars plus to spend on a gaming laptop.

The latest version of the MSI GL62, the GL62M 7REX-1896US offers a top spec gaming laptop with the latest powerful processor and GPU that is within the reach of most  (under $1000) and is our favorite MSI laptop.

This post was last updated on August 13th, 2018 at 11:32 am

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