MSI GF63 Thin: An Honest Review
A budget gaming laptop that seems expensive? Good 1080p without loud fans? A robust chassis and a snappy keyboard? The MSI GF63 Thin has all this and more, making it a great value despite its poor battery life.
MSI GF63 Thin Specs
|Weight||1.86 kg (4.1 lbs)|
|Dimensions||359 x 254 x 21.7 mm|
|Area||912 cm2 (141.3 inches2)|
|Display||1920 x 1080 (60 Hz)|
|Battery Capacity||51 Wh|
|CPU||Intel Core i5 11400H|
|Graphics Card||GeForce GTX 1650 Mobile 4GB|
- Excellent efficiency for the cost
- Sturdy construction
- Ample I/O
- Bloatware can be unpleasant
- Battery life is only average
- A power cord’s ability to obstruct a USB port
The MSI GF63 Thin’s current edition is one of the best budget gaming laptops available. It delivers decent 1080p gaming at £799 (with lower variants) and a solid design that feels good to use. The GF63 Thin’s Intel Core i7 processor (a previous-gen 11800H, not a 12th-gen Alder Lake chip) and Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti graphics card won’t hit 60 fps at Ultra settings in every game, but dialling back texture details will let you reach comfortable frame rates on its 15.6-inch 1080p display. Even at full speed, its fans are quieter than those of many gaming laptops. Previous iterations of the GF63 series used GPUs like the GTX 1660 and 1650, but this move to RTX is a game changer. Nvidia’s budget GPUs are more powerful than ever, making them great for cheap gaming laptops.
Many Western laptop merchants sell older MSI GF63 Thin machines with 9th- or 10th-gen Intel processors. MSI doesn’t sell its laptops directly in the US and UK, so rival dealers set prices, and it can be hard to find specific models. The current-gen RTX 3050 Ti device we evaluated costs £799 (AU$1,385) in the UK, whereas an identical model costs $900 in the US. The cheapest GTX 1650 model is £599 ($629, approximately AU$1,035), while an RTX 3050 variant is in between.
Also Read- MSI Pulse GL66 (2022) Review
With its 15.6-inch screen and tiny bezels, the MSI GF63 Thin resembles many pricey gaming laptops. Even if the keyboard backlighting is red instead of RGB, this gaming laptop has everything you need. The chassis is primarily plastic with a machined metal backing to the screen, but it feels sturdier than expected and is lighter than comparable laptops in its class. The screen hinge is sturdy, and MSI branding is barely noticeable.
The membrane keyboard is comfortable for gaming and typing because the keys travel far and don’t feel mushy. The plastic frame causes a slight flex in the keyboard centre if you press hard, but most users won’t notice. The rectangle trackpad has a raised lip around the sides, providing tactile feedback when your finger touches the pad. I truly like it; however, other users may find it annoying. The trackpad has a decent, sturdy click and is responsive, but I wish it had more real space below the keyboard.
The 1080p IPS screen has good maximum brightness and colour reproduction for the price. The image quality is fantastic, but the blacks aren’t as sharp as on more expensive computers. Our review unit has a 144 Hz refresh rate, which is great for esports, although a 60 Hz model is cheaper. With its dual-role capability as a laptop for work and play, this has a 720p webcam and decent speakers and mic for video calls. Finally, the port selection is good. Budget laptops usually lack Thunderbolt, but this one has USB-C, three USB-As, an Ethernet connector, and an HDMI output for a second display. If you don’t want to run the power wire over the laptop’s back, the right-angled AC adaptor can block one of the USB-A ports unless it’s slanted away from it.
The MSI GF63 Thin’s RTX 3050 Ti laptop graphics card won’t compete above 1080p, but it’s not trying. If your frame rates stay over 30, you can play most games at 1080p with Ultra graphics, which is amazing. In most games, reaching 60 fps is easy if you lower your settings. In the Dirt 5 benchmark, I obtained 42 fps at Ultra and 62 fps by switching the graphics preset to High and lowering several parameters to Medium.
Bright colours on the GF63 Thin’s display kept the game looking terrific. Lower-end RTX cards can’t do ray tracing, so don’t expect it. Enabling it in Cyberpunk 2077 destroyed the frame rate even at lower settings, while Nvidia’s DLSS upscaling innovation doesn’t enhance ray-traced performance at 1080p. Ray tracing is a niche feature that few games offer; therefore, it’s a small issue. The 11th-gen Intel chips crumble compared to the 12th-gen ones, but I didn’t detect any major concerns with CPU performance. The Total War strategy series ran well on the CPU. Given the budget, I’m impressed with the gaming performance.
The 2022 MSI GF63 Thin has a 52.4-watt battery, but it’s still average. The reduced chassis doesn’t allow for a larger battery, and while lower-end internal components should consume less power, the GF63 Thin can only last 5 hours at 50% brightness. Not horrible, not fantastic. Four to five hours for web browsing is fine, but the GF63 Thin won’t last two hours in most games, even on power-efficiency mode. It takes longer to charge to full than many computers, but if you charge overnight, this won’t be a problem. This laptop is designed to be used for gaming while hooked into a wall socket, like others.