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MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RE review: Stylish enough for work and powerful enough for play

If you’re been looking for a gaming laptop to trick your corporate IT department into funding your PC gaming—MSI’s GS65 Stealth Thin 8RE may be just what the you’ve been looking for.

On the outside, it’s sedate black aluminum with bronze edges. On the inside are state-of-the-art, gaming-grade components with enough performance to basically put anything made before it to shame.

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RE Adam Patrick Murray

The GS65 Stealth is designed to look at home in a corporate conference room. Only the Dragon logo might give away its gaming chops.

Think of it as two better than the GS63

The GS65 is basically a complete rework of the ground-breaking GS63VR gaming laptop that made its debut in 2016. With the redesign, MSI said it wanted to make a laptop that could lurk in a conference room without making it look like your company splurged for a gaming laptop. The only outward signs would be the MSI logo on the lid.

Open up the GS65, though, and the most immediate change can be seen: The screen. It’s a 15.6-inch panel, but MSI has gone to a near-zero bezel design on the top and sides. That shaves off about one inch in width over the GS63, making it about the same size as a Dell XPS 15. 

The GS65 is a little deeper, though, at just under 9.75 inches. The reason for the longer body is a hinge design that now allows the panel to fold back 180 degrees.

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin Gordon Mah Ung

The new MSI GS65 allows you to fold the screen 180 degrees.

Keyboard and trackpad

The SteelSeries-branded keyboard feels mostly unchanged from the GS63VR’s other than the elimination of the nearly useless 10-key pad. MSI also now includes per-key lighting and a black keyboard skirt. While a translucent base lets more light out, MSI said it wanted to make the MS65 live up to the “stealth” in its name, so light shines only through the keycaps. The piano-hinge-style trackpad is manufactured by Synaptics. We have no quibbles with its accuracy or palm rejection, but if you’re looking for a polished “glass” feel, this isn’t it.

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8REAdam Patrick Murray

Speakers and Ports

For ports you get three USB 3.1 5Gbps Type A ports, a full-size HDMI 2.0, miniDisplayPort and Thunderbolt 3. There’s also a Gigabit ethernet port using a Killer NIC controller, plus two analog audio ports.

The audio subsystem is by Dynaudio and it’s adequately loud but also fairly thin. It’s clear to us that MSI didn’t sacrifice too much space for large speaker drivers or a subwoofer chamber of any consequence. It’s fair, but won’t impress anyone.

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