Deciding to buy a new MSI laptop can be more challenging than you think. After all, 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 on the market.
While we won’t touch on every single line, we’re going to hit the most important models for just about any needs. Gaming and creation take precedence, though we’ve included a workstation model as well 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. Within the gaming umbrella, there are eight unique lines — 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 GS75 is the largest, most powerful Stealth model in the MSI arsenal — it’s equipped with the 10th-gen Intel hardware to keep you in the game.
You can take your pick from a Core i7 or Core i9 chip and pair it with up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q graphics. The GS75 Stealth has ultra-slim 4.9mm bezels so you can focus more on the blistering 300Hz screen and less on the space around it. As you can expect with the full range of MSI laptops, you can customize each individual key on the SteelSeries keyboard for the perfect RGB setup.
One worry with a slim laptop is cooling, but the GS75 stays cool under pressure with Cooler Boost technology. It combines three fans with 0.1mm blades and seven pipes to maximize cooling without sacrificing size or performance. Don’t forget, the GS75 name means that you’ll get to experience all of this power on a crisp 17.3-inch display.
An RGB keyboard is a nice feature, but what about an RGB laptop? That’s exactly what you’re getting with the GE66 Raider in the form of an RGB strip that runs across the front of the chassis. Not only that, but the GE66 number means that this is the newest device on the list.
Powering that RGB strip is up to a 10th-gen Intel Core i9 chip with Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q graphics. When you pair that up with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD, you’re looking at a pretty powerful machine. The GE66 Raider is a great option if you’re not looking for the large 17.3-inch display but you still want top-end performance.
Cooler Boost 5 lends its support with dedicated cooling systems for both the CPU and GPU and larger fans and heat pipes. You can even strap on your headset because the GE66 is VR-ready.
The GP75 Leopard is the largest and heaviest of the three gaming options, but it’s also the most affordable. If you don’t mind lugging a heavy machine, this is your best bet to save some money without sacrificing much in the way of power.
Not only does the GP75 Leopard match the previous two options with a 10th-gen Intel setup, but you can also add Nvidia RTX 2070 graphics to the mix. MSI even ported Cooler Boost 5 technology to this larger machine to ensure that you can game for hours on end.
Small, slim laptops often sacrifice port potential in favor of size, but the GP75 Leopard isn’t built that way. Instead, you get a variety of USB-A, USB-C, HDMI, Ethernet, and aux ports to choose from. You can attach just about anything you need.
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 of the internal components are similar to those of the high-end gaming options, the Creator 17 has a display that blows them away. You won’t be able to customize your keyboard with RGB hues, but the screen more than makes up for it.
Internally, the Creator 17 is working with a 10th-gen Intel Core i7 chip, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q graphics, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 2TB SSD. Now, on to the stunning screen — the Creator 17 is equipped with a 17.3-inch Mini LED display, one of the first-ever 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 you make the most of the Creator 17’s seven hours of battery life.
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 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. Supporting the 15.6-inch Full HD display is an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU. The slimmer body still houses a 4K display with up to 16 hours of total battery life. Another sacrifice that comes with the portable design is the Prestige 15 relies on Cooler Boost 3 as opposed to 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 there are MSI laptops available for less than $1,000. That’s exactly what the Modern 14 offers, in the smallest form-factor of any device on the list.
As you might expect from a lower cost, the Modern 14 trades the Intel Core i7 chip for a Core i5 that’s paired up with Intel UHD graphics in the base configuration. You can upgrade the processor to an i7 and the graphics up to Nvidia MX250 if you’re looking for a bit more power. The Modern 14 boasts up to 11 hours of battery life in a 2.62 lb shell that’s just 15.9mm thick.
Cooling is no sweat for the Modern 14 either, it matches the Prestige 15 with Cooler Boost 3. If you want the lightest and thinnest of the best MSI laptops, the Modern 14 is not to be overlooked.
The final section of the best MSI laptops touches on workstations. It’s the last section we’re highlighting 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 have to look towards the MSI Workstation line. The WS75 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 3000 graphics. It’s equipped with 32GB of RAM and a 512GB 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 WS75 is a bit heavier and weighs in at just over five pounds.
As you’d expect from a mobile workstation, the WS75 packs a powerful variety of ports. You can choose from USB-A and USB-C hookups and Gigabit Ethernet should keep you connected through even the toughest of tasks. If you head to MSI, you can upgrade and change many of the internal components but be ready to pay extra for them.
Those are our picks for the best MSI laptops you can get right now. At the very least you’ll have a better idea of just how many options are out there. Check out a few of these other lists to complete your setup: