With RTX gaming laptops beginning to rain down, the prices of even the most basic ones will be over $1500. And the MSI GL63 8SE in one such laptop that belongs in the basic category. It packs the RTX 2060 graphics card, which is the base model for the RTX series. And the price does start at $1500 and over 2 lakhs in Nepal. So, does the RTX graphics deserve all the hype it is getting? Let’s find out in this MSI GL63 8SE review.
MSI GL63 8SE Specifications:
- Processor: Intel 8th Gen Coffee Lake i7 8750H 2.2GHz-4.1GHz
- Display: 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) 60Hz
- GPU: GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6
- RAM: Dual Channel 16GB DDR4 2666 MHz (Max 32GB)
- Storage: 1TB HDD + 256GB NVME SSD
- Ports: USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, SD m-DP, HDMI (4K output @30Hz)
- Connectivity: Killer E2400 Gaming LAN + Killer Wireless-AC AC 9560 (2*2 a/c) + BT
- Keyboard: Full-Size SteelSeries RGB Backlit Keyboard
- Webcam: High Definition 720p Camera
- Speakers: Dynaudio 2x3W Speakers + 2x3W Sub-Woofer,
Nahimic 3, Hi-Res Audio
- Battery: 6 Cell battery 51Whr
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- Price: Rs 2,12,000
- Buy Link
Also Read: MSI Laptops Price in Nepal
Design and Build
This one looks like your regular MSI gaming laptop with its size and gaming-oriented design. Of course, it’s not the best design from MSI because…well, this could be the cheapest RTX gaming laptop they have. It is big, and a bit bulky, too. And the build is plastic all over.
With the plastic build, it weighs light, about 2.2 kg, which is less than the GE63 Raider with a similar form factor, but with a metal build. The top lid has a smooth matte finish but attracts quite a lot of finger smudges, which, again, is not new for MSI laptops.
But the design has not changed from the GTX model. So, everything is pretty much the same. There are vents at the back and both sides of the body. Also, the lid has the red strips of Red lighting at both sides of the MSI Dragon logo. Nothing new on that front. Also, you don’t get the RGB lighting on it, only red – both on the keyboard and the lid.
Even though it has a plastic build, there is no flex on top of the keyboard deck and very less of it on the lid as well. Still, I can’t shake the feeling that it won’t be able to handle drops or impacts. Also, you cannot open the lid single-handedly, but that’s not something everyone will complain about.
This laptop is something that does give off a gaming vibe, but there’s nothing WOW about it. Overall, the design is not something that you’ll love about this laptop. Maybe this kind of design was fun a year back, but we need a bit more now.
Connectivity and Ports
As with any other MSI laptop, the connectivity is pretty great! The port selection is nice, with an Ethernet port, a USB-C port without Thunderbolt 3, an SD card slot, a MiniDisplay port, an HDMI port, Audio-in and Audio-out ports and three USB-As.
For Wi-Fi, there is the Intel 9560 ac adapter which is a reliable Wi-Fi card and there is also a Killer E2400 Gigabit Ethernet, along with Bluetooth 5. The speakers are a bit tiny, not to the point you have to complain, but nonetheless, it could have been a bit louder.
Keyboard and Trackpad
For the keyboard, this is your Steel Series keyboard, so, you know what to expect. The keyboard has only Red backlighting this time. And it doesn’t seem like you can program it due to the absence of the Steel Series software by default. I did not get the chance to download the software and test it, so, that’s for another day.
However, the keyboard is still Steel Series, so, it’s a great one. You get just the right amount of clicky feedback along with the right amount of mushiness. There’s ample key travel, and they’re well-spaced…except for the Windows and Function key, which seems weird.
But you can interchange those two keys from the Dragon Center, so, there’s that. Anyway, the gaming experience on the keyboard is great, and typing is very comfortable too.
Just the opposite of that is the trackpad. This is one of the worst trackpads I’ve ever used. I seriously thought this one was a faulty unit. But maybe, this was one of another comprises on this laptop. The tracking is pretty bad, just even for normal tracking. Gestures are very frustrating to use, because they work only, maybe 3 times out of 10.
Trackpads on gaming laptops are generally, never all that great, but this one is something else entirely. You will definitely need to use a mouse to save yourself the frustration.
On the display front, you have a 15.6” screen with some amount of bezels on it. There is a variant of this laptop with a 120 Hz display as well. But ours had only a 60 Hz refresh rate. And that makes quite a bit of difference while gaming.
The display on it is not good. I was quite disappointed by the display on this thing.
Granted this is a budget gaming laptop with an RTX, and it is bound to have some compromises. But, still, I just don’t feel like this is something you should get for over $1600.
It is a Full HD display, with a TN LCD panel. And being a TN panel, the viewing angles are not that great. You will see severe color shifts at sharp angles, so, if you’re consuming media, make sure the viewing angles are right. But the TN panel does give it a fast response time.
Also, the colors appear a bit washed out, and MSI does claim a 94% NTSC but maybe that’s on the other model. Because, by looking at the display of this one, I think it’s no more than 45%. It’s just that bad. So, if you are a graphics designer or a video editor, just stay away for this one. Strictly.
The brightness, however, is, good enough. You may not be able to use it outdoors that well, but dark scenes in movies can be made out easily indoors. And that’s enough for gaming as well.
In the performance department, you get the Hexa-core 8th gen Intel i7-8750H processor. Now, this is something we’ve seen in a bunch of high-end laptops, so, let’s not go on about it.
This is a great processor, and it does not bottleneck the graphics setup in any way. Combined with 16 GB of RAM, and an NVMe storage, normal performance is as good as it gets.
On to the gaming part, and this is where the laptop shines! I almost want to forgive all the bad things I’ve said about this laptop…because this is meant to be a good gaming laptop, and it delivers! This is where the RTX 2060 shines.
For instance, PUBG was playable at FHD resolution at over 100 fps on Ultra settings! And that’s a lot of FPS! Fortnite, too, gave us quite a lot of frames. We also played other games, and the performance was slightly better than on any other laptop we tested with a GTX 1070. We didn’t get to test the Ray-Tracing and its other features, but we can say that this can outperform 1070.
And your gaming experience on this laptop is going to be better if you get the one with a 120 Hz display.
Of course, this is your MSI gaming laptop, so, you have this Cooler Boost option to get the maximum performance out of your system. You get a dedicated button to do so, which is a nice feature. Also, MSI’s Dragon Center lets you make custom profiles for your various needs, be it gaming or any other intensive tasks.
But even without it, the laptop can do pretty well. I mean, it does get hot, even on top of the keyboard deck, but refuses to throttle on the performance. Being a powerful gaming laptop with fairly thin frames, it is natural that it heats up, but since there are no drops in frames, we can assume the thermals are normal.
You can play games like GTA V for hours on end, and still, it will keep running like butter.
As for the storage, you get quite a lot of it. There’s a 256 GB NVMe SSD, which spits out up to 1500 MBPS of read speeds. It only manages up to 300 MBS write speeds, but I can live with it.
Also, you get a 1 TB Hard-drive, so, you should have no problems regarding the storage. Plus, there are other storage configurations available to suit your needs too.
This laptop packs a 53 Watt-hour battery, which barely runs for 3 hours on normal usage. I’ll say expect no more than slightly over 2.5 hours, actually. As for gaming, it’ll give you an hour at best, so, make sure to plug it in before your gaming sessions.
It does charge fully in less than two hours, but I think it’ll spend most times plugged in, so, that’s not really worth mentioning even.
Conclusion and Verdict
The MSI GL63, for me, looks like the basic forms of a gaming laptop with an RTX GPU. This laptop is quite a performer, but it does compromise on a lot of things. Things like design, display, trackpad and battery life take quite a hit, and for a price of over $1600, it can look like you should be getting more.
But as I already said, even the most basic gaming laptops with RTX can cost over $1500, so, I guess, this is actually a budget version of an RTX gaming laptop.
So, this is a laptop that’s all about that sweet gaming performance, and not much more. And in some cases, the performance is similar to those laptops with 1070 in them, which do not compromise on the non-gaming aspects, like the MSI GE63 and the GS65. Also, they’re getting some price cuts…so, maybe, they could provide better value than this? Therefore, it’s up to you whether you want to pay that extra premium for the RTX Experience or not.
But, in Nepal, this laptop costs Rs.212,000 and here, we don’t get any laptop with a GTX 1070 for that kind of money. So, here…it’s all good, but in the international market…maybe, there are other options you want to explore.
Good Things about the MSI GL63 8SE
- Keyboard: Great key travel, clicky, well placed
- Storage: Fast NVMe SSD, ample HDD storage
- Thermals: Well maintained temperatures, no throttling
- Performance: Six-Core processor, as good as it gets for the time being
- Gaming Performance: High frame rates, can play any game at FHD resolution
Bad Things about the MSI GL63 8SE
- Display: TN panel, one of the worst we’ve seen, washed out colors, even worst viewing angles
- Trackpad: Really bad tracking, one of the worst out there
- Battery Life: 2.5 hours under normal usage
- Design: Played out design
- Build: Plastic build, arises concern over its durability