Gaming

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin Review: The company’s best yet?

A very unassuming gaming laptop

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Taiwanese company MSI welcomed the year by introducing a fresh lineup of gaming laptops sporting the new 8th-gen Intel processors. One of these beasts is the GS65 Stealth Thin.

It carries the title as the world’s first laptop equipped with 144Hz display in a slim 4.9mm frame and enjoys performance perks from NVIDIA’s Max-Q design.

On paper, the GS65 has all the muscle power to be the ultimate gaming laptop. We put it to the test, so join us to see how it holds up as an everyday device for both work and play.

Let’s kick things off with its design.

The GS65 doesn’t offer anything flashy at first glance

It has a minimalist approach with its black coating

It has gold edges

MSI does away with the usual red highlights for the GS65

Bezels are impressively thin

It boasts 4.9mm thin bezels with an 82 percent screen-to-body ratio

A fingerprint scanner is built in but isn’t activated yet

It’s still coming through an update

Here’s a webcam placement done right

Even with slim bezels, MSI was still able to put the webcam up top unlike on other laptops

There’s a stylish yet functional hinge

Small details like this hinge look good and serve a purpose

It’s nicely thin and light

Bringing it around is easy thanks to its light and thin form factor

Sides are lined up with ports…

USB 3.1, Thunderbolt 3, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, charging port

One thing to note, though: Since the company made the GS65 lightweight, they used mostly plastic for the chassis. The trade-off is a flex in the panel near the power button. It’s also the same case for the palm rest that has a slight creak which could get bothersome in the long run.

Also, if we would nitpick, we could still see a chin with the company’s logo. Even then, it’s still not an eyesore to the general aesthetics of the laptop.

Great for multimedia

The Stealth Thin touts a 15.6-inch display which is just the right size for productivity and gaming on the go. Undoubtedly, what makes the display look really appealing are the thin bezels that go with it. It just shows how the company wasted no space and maximized this area.

As mentioned earlier, the screen has a refresh rate of 144Hz and is coupled with a 7ms response time. This translates to really fluid movement, especially while playing games. It could even make or break a match.

In terms of quality, the sharpness of details adds to the overall immersion. Colors are lively and vivid without going overboard so that’s always a good thing. When outdoors, bright glares aren’t much of a problem thanks to the display’s finish.

Speakers are placed underneath, which I have mixed feelings about. Playing games or listening to music while on a table has louder than average volume and it’s all fun. Transferring to a couch or any surface with cloth, however, makes sound muffled and the volume gets greatly reduced.

Of course, audio performance is more immersive when using dedicated headphones. It also supports hi-res audio so that’s another perk when you go for the Stealth Thin.

A very customizable keyboard

The keys are made in partnership with Steel Series and it cements the idea that MSI wants its users to really enjoy using the laptop.

Where these keys shine is in lights customization. Keys that light up aren’t new, but the Stealth Thin boasts per-key RGB lighting that users can tweak.

Additionally, even the behavior of lights can be altered to suit your current mood. You can have it sweeping or just a regular glow, among others. The font style is also a bit different here, and it’s a good kind of different which goes well with the overall look of the laptop.

Gamers comfortable with a full-sized mechanical keyboard might be thrown off with the GS65’s short travel keys, but these are a joy to type on and aren’t that bad for FPS games.

Interesting things under the hood

Running the show is a new Intel Core i7-8750H chipset with six cores and 16GB of RAM. From those alone, you know this portable rig isn’t just made for computing grades in Microsoft Excel.

Top those off with NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1070 graphics with Max-Q tech and you get a machine that doesn’t hold back when more processing power is required of it.

I have been using the Stealth Thin for both work and play — editing videos for GadgetMatch and exploring the land of Eos in Final Fantasy XV. The laptop hasn’t backed down while doing either.

Even without G-Sync embedded in its display, the 144Hz refresh rate made the graphics smooth and screen tearing was nonexistent throughout my time with it. Its underside gets warm but NVIDIA’s efficient Max-Q made it possible to achieve such performance while keeping things relatively cool for the chassis.

As for the battery, the GS65 is pretty much like most gaming laptops — lasting an average of less than three hours with constant usage. What’s interesting, though, is that the power brick is now smaller than usual so it’s easier to bring around.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

There’s a lot to love about the Stealth Thin. There’s the minimalist exterior with elegant gold highlights, 144Hz display with attractively slim bezels, fully customizable keys, and internals that beg to be unleashed. This laptop is basically a combo of great design, powerful specs, and an enjoyable experience all in one portable package.

There are some drawbacks, of course. We’re not fans of how the inside panels bend and creak, and the hit-and-miss performance of its external speakers. Still, if you can look past those, we think this is one of MSI best gaming laptops yet.

The MSI GS65 Stealth Thin is available for pre-order in the Philippines for PhP 134,995 or US$ 2,612 for the GTX 1060 model with a 256GB SSD. There’s also a GTX 1070 variant (our review unit) with a 512GB SSD which retails for PhP 169,995 or US$ 3,289 when converted.

It’s cheaper in the US with a starting price of US$ 1,799. For what it offers, the GS65 is actually affordable compared to others in its league.

Gaming

Globe, AcadArena launch Esports merit scholarship

Who knew playing video games has its benefits to your education?

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By this time, some students are already having online classes as a result of the pandemic. Even so, the younger generation still finds time to play video games to their hearts content. For others, while school hasn’t started yet, they use this time to hone their skills in otherwise competitive titles. Now, Globe and AcadArena have something very special planned that will provide more opportunities to college students.

As part of their student organization support system Alliance, Esports AcadArena is launching its first Esports merit scholarship. In partnership with Globe, this scholarship hopes to provide financial assistance through active participation in Esports activities. Essentially, student organizations from member universities may avail of this scholarship for select students.

The scholarships offers three types of merit depending on the student’s activities within their organization. There is the Family Good Game Grant which offers financial assistance to the student’s family provided he qualifies in AcadArena’s tournaments. Also, there are Competitve and Leadership Merits granted onto individuals with good chararcter and performance.

To know more about the Alliance Program or if your organization is interested in applying, visit AcadArena’s webiste.

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Gaming

Microsoft is acquiring Bethesda parent ZeniMax for $7.5 billion

Gearing up for the console war

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Microsoft has announced it’ll be acquiring ZeniMax Media for US$ 7.5 billion. The gaming company is behind many high-profile titles like Doom and Fallout. Furthermore, the gaming company owns Bethesda Softworks, which owns top-sellers like The Elder Scrolls, Wolfenstein, and Dishonored.

To be more precise, the deal includes multiple divisions like Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios.

The announcement comes just a week after Microsoft’s failed bid for the short-video app, TikTok. Instead, Oracle and Walmart won the race and officially became technology partners of the game. However, the gaming acquisition will immensely help the Redmond based giant sell its Xbox console.

“All of their great work will of course continue and grow and we look forward to empowering them with the resources and support of Microsoft to scale their creative visions to more players in new ways for you,” Xbox head Phil Spencer said in a blog post announcing the news.

The new Xbox and PlayStation are scheduled to come later this year and this deal gives Microsoft an edge in terms of game exclusivity. With the Coronavirus outbreak, gaming has picked up radically in 2020 and the future looks bright in the short term.

Microsoft will be seeking to bring all of the new studios’ upcoming titles to Xbox Game Pass on day one across Xbox consoles and PC.

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Gaming

Buying a PS5? You might not have to wait long for a discount

This is according to a report by iPrice Group

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The pricing and availability of the PlayStation 5 was revealed in a recent showcase.It also showed off the various games coming to the next-gen console. However, not everyone may be rushing to get their hands on the PS5. If you’re one of the few who are holding off, here’s how long you should wait.

According to a report by e-commerce aggregator iPrice Group, pricing for the new console might see a price drop as early as May 2021.

They came to this conclusion after studying the price history of the PlayStation 4 Pro — the console that precedes the PS5. They collected and compared selling prices of the console throughout the years on over 150 online shopping websites.

The average online selling price for Sony consoles tends to drop by six percent (6%), six months after the release and up to eight percent (8%) after a year.

The discounts also tend to come with game promotions where the consoles come bundled with certain early releases. The pricing discounts come from partner retailers. Sony itself doesn’t slash prices right away.

Following this analysis, the company predicts the following pricing by May 2021:

  • PlayStation 5 Standard Edition — SG$ 685
  • PlayStation 5 Digital Edition — SG$ 564

By November 2021, the consoles could be had for these prices:

  • PlayStation 5 Standard Edition — SG$ 634
  • PlayStation 5 Digital Edition — SG$ 521

While you can always be hopeful, we advise to take these numbers with a grain of salt. We don’t know for sure if the prices will actually drop.

However, be on the lookout from your local retailers no matter what market you’re in. You might just snag a great deal!

 

 

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