MSI Katana GF66 Review: Poor Battery, Small Trackpad

Gaming laptops are a constantly expanding race, especially in 2022, when machines with powerful graphics cards extend far beyond the traditional heavy devices with flashing RGB you can expect in this field. Interestingly, the MSI Katana GF66 sits more firmly in the past, though not necessarily in a bad way.

It is a laptop made for PC gamers who do not want to be splashed by the highest quality materials and design, as well as first-class performance. As a result, there are a number of commitments to accept. And perhaps the hardest part to swallow is that while the Katana presents itself as a value proposition, higher prices at all levels and a lack of low-end GPU options limit the appeal of this. laptop.

The MSI Katana GF66 model I tested is not the most wallet-friendly available, with a 12th-generation Intel Core i7-12700H chip, mid- and low-end Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, 1TB SSD, and 16 GB. RAM: All for a price of $ 1,399 (£ 1,399). There is a small but significant difference between the UK model I tested and its American equivalent, with the former having a faster 240 Hz display and the latter a 144 Hz panel. Both are 15.6 inches, with the GF76 Katana being the 17-inch version of this machine. You can venture up to a $ 1,100 model and get an RTX 3050, 512GB SSD and 8GB of RAM if you’re looking for the cheapest option in this range.

Spec Bump

Photography: MSI

The Katana GF66 is certainly a step further than the previous model, with a new 12th generation Intel chip as the biggest change. You can comfortably break the mark of 60 frames per second in graphically demanding titles like Borderlands 3, and even reaches 100 fps Ghost Recon: Breakpoint—All in the Ultra setting at 1080p. For fps fans, the tests saw about 110 fps Apex Legends in the same configuration. To get the most out of your 240 Hz screen, you’ll need to apply a lower average setting and reduce the resolution to 720p. The 144 Hz model available in the US should allow an approximately average setting at 1080p to reach the maximum frame rate.

Comparing these results with our favorite economic gaming laptop from last year, the Acer Nitro 5, which also carries an RTX 3060, offers between 10 and 25 percent. Titles focused on frame rate see the biggest difference, with Apex offering frames similar to 1080p Ultra than those offered at 1080p low settings to the comparable model.

Performance gives little to complain about, and so do some key factors adjacent to performance. The fans aren’t too intrusive, even when this laptop actually gets up and running, and yet it never gets too hot to the touch. Constant performance is accompanied by a strong screen. Okay, it doesn’t provide remarkably vibrant colors, but the 1080p resolution provides adequate detail, it becomes reasonably bright for a gaming laptop, to cope with most indoor conditions, but you won’t use it in the exterior, and the 240 Hz panel. it has a pleasantly fluid gameplay in every title.

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