MSI GS77 Stealth Review: Power, Ports, Poor Keyboard

The headline news is that this new MSI GS77 Stealth is one of the first gaming laptops with the latest 12th generation Intel processors. As for the chip, the results are impressive, but the overall experience is disappointing. The enhanced silicon, combined with the high-end Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti mobile GPU, is suitably evolving, but not revolutionary. The package that comes with it, the all-black GS77 Stealth, outweighs the demanding workloads and is generally pleasant to use. But it doesn’t reach all the high standards you’d want at such a high price, especially with intense competition.

Spectacular specifications

The most important thing about this device is the gross power: it is the main reason to buy the GS77 Stealth. However, the consequences of this approach are also the main reasons for not buying it. At this key selling point, performance here is achieved with a RTX 3080 Ti GPU and Intel Core i9-12900H in the very high end. You won’t find a better processor and graphics card combination than this one in 2022.

The team achieves impressive results. WIRED has tested the 120K 4K display model, and while gaming-focused users may prefer to opt for QHD 240-Hz or Full HD 360-Hz options, this release highlights interestingly what modern components can achieve with a 4K resolution. For example, you can play games like Borders 3 at 4K in Ultra settings and get just under 30 frames per second Ghost Recon: Breakpoint exceeds the 30 fps mark and can reach just over 40.

Again, gaming enthusiasts are likely to opt for a higher resolution panel, but these results show a progressive shift towards making high-fps 4K games more reality. This was further demonstrated in shooter Apex Legendswhere more than 60 fps could be achieved with Ultra settings, and you could even reach the maximum 120 fps of this screen if they were reduced to 1440p.

Fortunately, during all our testing, the fans never made a loud intrusive noise and the device itself only warmed up slightly in the keyboard area, nothing to divert the appetite for performance there.

An imperfect package

Photo: MSI

The 17-inch panel itself is acceptably bright but nothing special, and the images are sharp, but it doesn’t have the impact you get with enhanced technology like enhanced AMOLED or HDR. This makes the 120 Hz 4K panel a difficult recommendation, with creators likely to be discouraged by the lack of range.

Those looking for a gaming laptop that can get the most out of the best gaming titles will not be disappointed with the performance, if they opt for this higher specification. Still, it’s expensive, around $ 3,549 for the 32GB RAM and 1TB storage model I tested, and over $ 5,500 if you opt for 64GB and 2TB.

For the power hungry, there is little they don’t like, but where it lags behind the competition is with its construction, from your daily interactions to appearance. The keyboard is at key differentiator. Asus, with its gaming-focused ROG range, has some of the best gaming laptop keyboards, and MSI doesn’t match here. There’s a good amount of travel, but the small keys and lack of feedback make typing feel closer to a productivity machine like a Dell XPS than a high-end gaming device.

On the other hand, the trackpad is properly sized and clickable, while the speakers are basic and harmless, although we know you’ll combine it with a mouse and a gaming headset for your gaming sessions.

There’s a good range of ports, and since it’s a new machine powered by Intel, you’ll find it powered by Thunderbolt 4. At the top, you get another USB-C, two USB-A, one socket headphones and a charging port. , HDMI, DisplayPort, SD card reader and Ethernet: a good selection. There is also a manual webcam switch on the left side, for privacy. This range of ports feels rather randomly assigned between the left, right, and back of the device, so you may need to get used to it.

Tough competition

Photo: MSI

Weighing in at 6 pounds (2.8 kg), this is not a device you feel comfortable carrying on a daily basis, but it should be thought of as a desktop replacement. Despite this, its slim 21mm frame makes carrying this 17-inch laptop in a bag that can fit your size a possibility, even if you may have back pain.

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