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  • Soon Kai Hong

CES 2023: MSI Unveils Brand New Gaming Laptops!

So here we are at CES 2023 and one of the first few booths we had early access to take look at was none other than MSI. Certainly, there were many things that they announced at this major event but perhaps the most interesting lineup would be none other than their tried, tested and trusted range of gaming laptops. With Intel 13th-Gen and GeForce RTX 40-series fresh out of the gate, these are all the new laptops that you might want to really consider picking up this year.

The very first laptop that caught our attention was the all-new Cyborg 15. This is a pretty minimalistic 15.6" gaming laptop that will be able to meet most of your gaming needs at a really affordable price. Don't let the simple design full you for it is actually full of interesting decisions.

Cyborg 15

For a start, MSI has managed to reduce the weight a fair bit in comparison to other 15.6" gaming laptops by utilising fibreglass as the main material for the chassis. This is also the reason why the bottom chassis is somewhat translucent, allowing you a glimpse of the respectable hardware within. Here, we're talking up to an Intel Core i7-12650H, up to an RTX 4060 Laptop GPU, alongside plenty of RAM and PCIe Gen4 SSD storage. Talking to an MSI staff on-site, they did mention that the RTX 4060 is rated for a 90W TGP. That may not sound like much but they assured us that the RTX 40-series is just really that much more efficient and pushing any more watts simply result in negligible gains. Sounds promising for sure, but as always, we'll leave those comments for the full review.

But perhaps the most interesting thing about this laptop would be the starting price. MSI is targeting the sub US$1,000 mark and that would simply be a two thumbs up in our books.

Stealth 14 Studio

Next up, we took a look at the Stealth 14 Studio and this is quite the stunner and unlike anything that MSI came out within the last couple of years. Although we've to say that this seems to have borrowed inspiration from a strong competitor with space as their motif. Because that's certainly the case here as well. The Stealth 14 Studio features a really sleek and minimal design with really tasteful RGB at places you'll most likely appreciate. It's subtle, out of the way yet mesmerising at the right angles. Tastefully done in our opinion.

But design aside, the chassis is what makes this truly a cut above the rest. MSI is using a Magnesium-Aluminium Alloy for the chassis here and thus they managed to achieve a weight of just 1.7kg or 3.75 lbs. For a 14-inch gaming laptop that features up to an Intel Core i7-13700H, up to a GeForce RTX 4070 alongside plenty of RAM and PCIe Gen4 SSD storage, depending on the SKU. And yes, this does include a MUX Switch for all you hardcore gamers out there, so you won't be leaving any performance on the table. To cool all of that, there are 2 fans and 7 heat pipes with a pretty large vapour chamber.

A newly refreshed design, with ample performance in a compact package. The Stealth 14 Studio certainly did impress.

Now of course, if you want something bigger, there's always the Stealth 16 Studio. With this laptop, it does feature a slightly more simple design but you will be able to get up to an Intel Core i9-13900H for extra CPU performance as well as a variety of display panel options such as 4K 120Hz or 1600P 240Hz. Best of all? Despite the larger form factor, the weight increase is pretty minimal, coming in at 1.99kg or 4.38 lbs.

But now let's talk about some prototypes and ideas that MSI has been trying out for the past few months and are planning to perfect in the very near future.

Interesting Concepts

First up is a unique take on how much more a trackpad can be. MSI showcased their Raider GE78 with a custom keyboard deck where the wrist-rest area houses a large-sized trackpad complete with custom multi-function buttons to the side or turn all those buttons off and extend the trackpad size to be even larger than ever. To keep it simple, think of it as having a Stream Deck built right into your laptop itself.

There are various functions available such as MSI's Cooler Boost, Macro Keys, Webcam Toggle and much much more. Right now, this implementation is only in its infancy stage but MSI has confirmed with us that they are working on perfecting this technology and hopefully be able to offer it to customers sometime this year. We did also ask the question of whether or not the SDK would be released and if could it be open-sourced for much more customisations. At the moment, no. MSI will be the sole supporter in its initial phases but they did keep the question in mind. Hopefully, that becomes the reality for it'll just make this that much more versatile.

Now right beside that 'prototype' per se is another laptop that's been equipped with a cool new feature thanks to Nahimic. This is the first laptop to properly introduce 6.1 surround sound thanks to the 6 speakers that are found on board with the .1 being supported via a dedicated speaker connected via Bluetooth.

Unlike most other offerings where virtual surround sound is the one that's been promoted, this here is indeed a true surround sound experience. In essence, you can pair any Bluetooth speaker of your liking and that'll make the speaker act as a satellite to be placed somewhere behind you. A truly physical and actual surround sound experience. This is also a properly supported format in which it'll be recognised in apps like Netflix or Disney+ just like it would be with much more expensive sound bars. The caveat though? It only supports 1 Bluetooth speaker at the moment, thus the .1 in the name. MSI does say that Nahimic is still working on it so it's only a matter of time till 2 Bluetooth speakers are supported.

When that day comes, it would be a yet even better experience.

We then move over to take a look at their business and creators' side of laptops and the newest kid around the block is the brand new Prestige 13 Evo.

Prestige 13 Evo

Just like the Prestige 14 and Prestige 16 from before, this is an incredibly well-built laptop that's great for those who are constantly on the go. The added advantage would be the fact that this laptop weighs just under 1kg or 2.2 lbs. MSI has done many things in order to achieve that lightweight and they've actually listed down what exactly was it that they did!

The use of a Magnesium-Aluminium Alloy chassis shaves off 105g, the more sophisticated battery unit drops a further 70g and much much more. They even went to the extent of reducing the number of screws which helped them reduce the weight by yet another 2g.

Despite the lightweight nature of the laptop, expect great performance as it will still feature up to the latest Intel Core i7-1360P with Intel Iris XE graphics.

But of course, if 13" isn't your fancy, there's still the Prestige 14 Evo as well as the Prestige 16 Evo, both of which features up to an Intel Core i7-13700H. This time around, however, there is a Prestige 16 Studio SKU available and that introduces discrete graphics in the form of up to a GeForce RTX 4060.

Creator Z16H & Z17H

Last but not least, we have the new Creator series with the new Creator Z16H and Creator Z17H. Upgraded with the latest Intel 13th-Gen CPUs and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40-series GPUs, these machines are great just like they've been. If you've yet to check out our take on the Creator Z16P from the last gen, go ahead and take a look for these new laptops are an upgraded version of that. So expect great performance, great display and a great number of ports.

The most interesting thing, however, surprise surprise, isn't the laptop itself?

MSI Pen 2

The MSI Pen 2 comes bundled with either of the Creator laptops and this might just probably be the most unique thing ever. First of all, it does support Microsoft MPP2.6 which means it has haptic feedback. Secondly, it does have USB-C charging with up to 32 hours of use and can be magnetically attached to the side of the laptop. But lastly and most importantly.

It features a graphite nib.

Yes, you heard that right. A graphite nib. This means not only does this pen work on your display but also be able to jot down notes in a notebook just like you would with any other pencil and paper. It was quite insane to be able to do just that. MSI even claims that you could write 100m every day for 3 whole years before it becomes usable.

This might not just be the best pen to be used with a display but also the ultimate pencil that any student or office worker can dream of. Out of everything we've shared thus far, the MSI Pen 2 certainly impressed us the most in more ways than one,

But in any case! That was a quick look at what MSI has to offer with the laptop front of things here at CES 2023. However there are many more things that we would like to take a look at and so all we can say is, stay frosty and we'll see you in the next CES 2023 story!

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