As with a number of other laptop manufacturers, MSI took the stage at CES 2021 today to announce a new lineup of gaming laptops for the year ahead. Like many of the other laptops we heard about yesterday, a number of these new laptops are sporting mobile versions of NVIDIA’s new RTX 30-series GPUs. Some of MSI’s flagship gaming laptops are getting refreshed for 2021, so let’s dive in and see what’s new.
GE Raider Series
MSI seems to be positioning the GE Raider Series – specifically the the 17.3-inch GE76 and and 15.6-inch GE66 Raider – as its flagship gaming laptop line for 2021. Both laptops will have multiple configuration options that include RTX GPUs (up to an RTX 3080) and a 10th-gen Core i7 CPUs, so these are going to be some powerful laptops. Expect FHD displays regardless of the configuration you choose, but refresh rates that start at a baseline of 144Hz and go all the way up to 300Hz.
With configurations that include either 16GB or 32GB of RAM and a 1TB NVMe SSD, it sounds like these laptops will be pretty impressive, but of course, they also have hefty price tags to go along with those specs. The Raider Series starts at $1,499, but pricing quickly climbs into the $2,000+ realm, with the high-end GE76 configuration priced at a whopping $2,899.
MSI describes the GS66 Stealth as the laptop for professionals who need a powerful machine both for work and for gaming during the off-hours. The GS66 Stealth comes in a number of configurations that, just like the Raider Series laptops, include 10th-gen Core i7 CPUs and RTX 30-series GPUs, ranging from an RTX 3060 all the way up to an RTX 3080. Once again, the 15.6-inch FHD display on this laptop sports a high refresh rate – 240Hz in the “lower-end” models (if you can call them that) and 300Hz in the more powerful models.
Once again, though, pricing might be a tough pill to swallow for a lot of folks. The GS66 Stealth starts at $1,799 and goes all the way up to $2,999. A full $3,000 is a ton of money to spend on any laptop, but given the GPU shortages desktop PC players are currently facing, we wouldn’t be surprised to see that model net at least a few sales from those who are desperate for some high-end PC gaming.
GP66 and GP76 Leopard
Like the GS66 Stealth, the GP66 and GP76 Leopard have a more toned-down design for those who might also want to use their gaming laptop in a professional setting. MSI says that these laptops are geared toward gamers and engineers alike, pointing to the Leopard’s array of IO ports as a differentiator. When it comes to hardware, we see more of the same – RTX 3070 or 3080 GPUs depending on your configuration, paired with 10th-gen Intel Core i7 CPUs, either 16GB or 32GB of RAM, and 1TB of NVMe SSD storage (though the baseline GP66 Leopard only comes with a 512GB SSD).
Pricing again starts in the mid-$1,000 range – $1,799 for the baseline GP66, to be exact – before climbing into the mid-$2,000 range, so these are expensive laptops regardless of the configuration you opt for.
If you favor portability in a gaming laptop, the Stealth 15M might be the better choice out of the laptops MSI announced today. While all the other laptops we’ve seen today have used 10th-gen Core i7 CPUs, the Stealth 15M actually uses 11th-gen Core i7s regardless of your configuration. The trade off we have to make in order to get a thin gaming laptop comes in the form of graphics power – while the other laptops support up to an RTX 3070 mobile GPU and even a 3080 in some cases, the Stealth 15M is limited to a 3060 Max-Q.
Not that the 3060 Max-Q is going to be a bad laptop GPU – on the contrary, it’ll probably be an impressive piece of hardware. Thankfully, that drop to the 3060 Max-Q has also made the pricing for the Stealth 15M a little more palatable, as laptops in this line start at $1,399 and max out at $1,699.
GF75 and GF65 Thin Series
Keeping with the theme of thin laptops, MSI also introduced the GF75 and GF65 thin series today. Here we’re seeing MSI fall back a little closer to the mainstream – like the Stealth M15, we’re limited to the RTX 3060 Max-Q here, only we’re losing the 11th-gen Core i7s for 10th-gen ones. In fact, there’s even one GF65 model that comes with a Core i5, which has indeed been a rare sight among MSI’s CES 2021 announcements. That model has 8GB of RAM and a 512GB NVMe SSD, though more powerful models come equipped with 16GB of RAM and more storage space.
Price, unsurprisingly, has come down as well. That baseline GF65 model will only set you back $999, which is a straight up refreshing sight among these $2,000+ laptops. On the high end, expect the most powerful GF75 Thin to run $1,499.
Finally, we come to the Creator 15, which can best be described as an all-rounder laptop. We’re still getting an RTX 3070 or a 3060 Max-Q and 10th-gen Core i7 in these laptops, but the high refresh rate full HD displays we’ve seen in many of these gaming laptops has been swapped out in favor of a 15.6-inch 4K UHD display that covers 100% Adobe RGB. The lack of a high refresh rate display might be sad news for gamers, but with an RTX 3070/3060 at the center of this laptop, you could probably still do some solid PC gaming on it, even if you buy it primarily for work.
Of course, 4K displays and 30-series GPUs aren’t cheap, and while we made a slight detour into the realm of three digit pricing, expect the Creator 15 to start at $1,899 with the 3070 model topping out at $2,099.
Most of these new laptops are up for pre-order today from Newegg. While they all have varying release dates, many of them are launching at the end of January or at various points throughout February. The sole exception to that is the Stealth 15M, which won’t be here until March 8th.