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The best MSI laptops to buy for gaming, creation, and work
Buying a new MSI laptop can be more challenging than you think. Not because they’re hard to find, but rather because you have so many to choose from. The brand features more than a dozen distinct lines across the gaming, creative, and professional landscapes. We’re here to help you make sense of the chaos with our list of the best MSI laptops.
While we won’t touch on every single line, we will hit the most popular models for just about any need. Gaming and creation take precedence, though we’ve included a workstation model as well as a professional option to give you an idea of the biggest bang for your buck.
The best MSI laptops:
Editor’s note: We’ll keep this list of the best MSI laptops updated as new options launch.
What’s in a name?
The key to selecting the right MSI machine for your needs is understanding the complex naming scheme. We won’t go into too much detail here, but essentially you can figure out what a laptop is intended to do by looking at the first letter:
- G — Gaming
- W — Workstation
The next most important aspect is the first number, which indicates the screen size:
- 6 — 15.6 inches
- 7 — 17.3 inches
Finally, the second number refers to generation. The higher the number, the newer the model. For instance, the GS66 is a sixth-generation gaming notebook with a 15.6-inch screen.
One of the main reasons people turn to MSI is for a high-end gaming machine. There are eight unique lines within the gaming umbrella — see how this can get complicated already? We’ve decided on a top-notch mobility machine as well as two performance options to meet your needs.
If you want maximum portability combined with sleek styling, the Stealth line is the way to go. The GS66 is one of the sleekest yet most powerful Stealth models in the MSI portfolio.
See also: The best MSI computers you can buy
You’ll find an Intel Core i7-11800H or a Core i9-11900H and pair it with up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 graphics and 16GB of DDR4 RAM. The GS66 Stealth has ultra-slim 4.9mm bezels so that you can focus more on the blistering 240Hz screen and less on the space around it. You can even customize each key on the SteelSeries keyboard for the perfect RGB setup.
One worry with a slim laptop is cooling, but the GS66 stays cool under pressure with Cooler Boost Trinity+ technology. It combines three fans with 0.1mm blades and seven pipes to maximize cooling without sacrificing size or performance. Don’t forget, the GS66 name means that you’ll get to experience all of this power on a crisp 15.6-inch display.
An RGB keyboard is a nice feature, but what about an RGB laptop? That’s precisely what you’re getting with the GE76 Raider in the form of an RGB strip that runs across the front of the chassis. Not only that, but the GE76 is refreshed for 2022.
Powering that RGB strip is a 12th-gen Intel Core i9 chip with Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, 3080, or 3080 Ti graphics. When you pair that up with as much as 64GB of RAM, you’re looking at a pretty powerful machine. MSI’s GE76 Raider is an excellent option if you’re looking for a large 17.3-inch display.
Cooler Boost 5 lends its support with dedicated cooling systems for both the CPU and GPU and larger fans and heat pipes.
The GF76 Katana is for those who want a powerful gaming laptop that still falls within the reign of affordability. It can be had with much more reasonable prices, and while specs aren’t as powerful, they can handle most gaming needs reasonably.
The GF76 Katana has been upgraded with a 12th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, and you can pick between an Nvidia RTX 3050, 3050 Ti, 3060, 3070, or 3070 Ti. You can pair those with as much as 16GB of RAM. Additionally, the design has been simplified when compared to other MSI laptops.
While you could probably use one of the gaming machines for most content creation, MSI has tuned a few laptops strictly with creation in mind. These picks are designed for everyday usage, and they slim down on the edgy gaming traits. The creator section is a bit simpler, with just four different laptop lines.
The Creator line is MSI’s collection of ultimate content machines. While many internal components are similar to high-end gaming options, the Creator 15 has a display that blows them away.
Internally, the Creator 15 works with an 11th-gen Intel Core i7 chip, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB SSD. Now, on to the stunning screen — the Creator 15 is equipped with a 15.6-inch OLED display, one of the best types of display in a laptop. The display promises 4K UHD resolution, which is perfect for fine-tuning your latest edits and renders.
Also retained from the best MSI gaming laptops is the Cooler Boost 5 technology. That means you should have no problem staying cool and productive while making the most of the Creator 15’s 99.9Whr battery.
While the Creator 17 is the content-managing powerhouse, the Prestige 15 is a high-end option that offers powerful performance across the board. It’s a bit less powerful than the Creator, though it also costs a fraction of the price.
If you open up the Prestige 15, you’ll be greeted with a powerful 11th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. Supporting the 15.6-inch Full HD display is an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU. The slimmer body still houses a big battery that lasts up to 16 hours. Another sacrifice that comes with the portable design is that the Prestige 15 relies on Cooler Boost 3 instead of Cooler Boost 5.
If you’re looking for a slim powerhouse that can hold its own in the board room or the classroom, the Prestige 15 is a solid pick. The laptop weighs in at just 3.64 lbs and measures 15.9mm thick.
With the way this list has gone so far, you might be surprised to learn that MSI laptops are available for close to $1,000. However, that’s exactly what the Modern 15 offers, in a small, light form factor compared to most others on the list.
As you might expect from a lower cost, the Modern 15 trades the Nvidia GeForce RTX series graphics card for a GeForce MX450. You won’t hurt for processing power, as the Intel Core i7-1165G7 should provide a solid punch. It’s newer than most other Core i7 processors, and it works well for the money. The Modern 15 boasts up to 11 hours of battery life in a 3.53 lb shell that’s just 0.64-inches thick.
Cooling is no sweat for the Modern 15, either. It matches the Prestige 15 with Cooler Boost 3. If you want the lightest and thinnest of the best MSI laptops, the Modern 15 is not to be overlooked.
The final section of the best MSI laptops touches on workstations. We’re highlighting the last section because it’s probably not the best fit for most people. The six workstation lines are even more powerful than the content creation laptops, and they carry certifications from the top design software names like Autodesk, Siemens, and Graphisoft.
If you want a machine that can handle the most intense tasks you can imagine, you must look towards the MSI Workstation line. The WS66 is one of the most powerful and flexible options on the market. It’s actually more affordable than some configurations of the Creator 17, although it’s built with different tasks in mind.
MSI has fine-tuned the WS75 with Nvidia’s Turing architecture and elite-level Quadro RTX 5000 graphics, and an 11-gen Core i9 processor. It comes with 64GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD that should offer plenty of power for most of your daily tasks. While the design is overall similar to that of the GS75 Stealth, the WS66 is a bit heavier and weighs in at just over five pounds.
Related: The best gaming speakers around
As you’d expect from a mobile workstation, the WS66 packs a robust variety of ports. You can choose from USB-A and USB-C hookups, and Gigabit Ethernet should keep you connected through even the toughest tasks. You can upgrade and change many internal components if you head to MSI. Just be ready to pay extra for them.
It wasn’t too long ago that we were calling MSI’s new Summit Series one of the most exciting new laptops to look forward to. Now, the powerful business beasts are hitting shelves, and they’re absolutely worth the attention. Where most MSI machines are gaming-centric RGB laptops, the Summit Series takes a sleek, classy approach made for the board room.
Our favorite ones are the Summit E13 Flip Evo and E16 Flip. Both come with great specs and very reasonable prices. More importantly, they offer a sleek design that will look elegant and in place wherever you take them. They also support the MSI pen, which is great for jotting notes at meetings.
Those are our picks for the best MSI laptops you can get right now. If these don’t convince you, there are plenty of other great laptop makers you should look into. Some of them include Razer, Alienware, Dell, and even Apple.