MSI GS63VR 7RG Stealth Pro review

Portability, meet your new friend, high-performance

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

The MSI GS63VR 7RG Stealth Pro is quick, well designed and as powerful as a laptop of this size can get. Now if MSI would only fix the touchpad, it’d be practically perfect.

For

  • Ports for days
  • Beautiful display
  • Lightweight
  • Solid performance

Against

  • Touchpad is bad – really bad

With Nvidia’s Max-Q design shrinking down the amount of space required for a powerful GPU, thinner and lighter gaming laptops are slowly growing more commonplace. The MSI GS63VR 7RG is one of those ultra-thin and super-powerful laptops, weighing just over 4 pounds and not even an inch thick. 

The likes of the Asus ROG Zephyrus and the Alienware 15 R3 also fit the same, ever shrinking mold, each one having its share of trade-offs in the name of portability. 

For the past week, we’ve put the MSI GS63VR 7RG to the test: running our benchmarks, competing for the ever-elusive chicken dinner in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and using it as one would any other laptop. 

And, you know what? It’s pretty darn good – well, save for the touchpad.

Spec Sheet

Here is the MSI GS63VR 7RG Stealth Pro configuration sent to TechRadar for review:

CPU: 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ (dual-core, 4MB cache, up to 3.5GHz)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (Max-Q, 8GB DDR5); Intel HD Graphics 630
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) wide-view display (120Hz, 3ms, HDR)
Storage: 1TB HDD; 256GB SSD (PCI-E Gen3x4)
Ports: 1 x Ethernet, 1 x SD card reader, 1 x audio in jack, 1 x audio out jack, 1 x mini DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, 1 x USB-C 3.1, 3 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11ac; Bluetooth 4.1
Camera: 720p (1,280 x 720) webcam
Weight: 4.18 pounds (1.9kg)
Size: 14.9 x 9.8 x 0.7 inches (37.8 x 24.9 x 1.78cm; W x D x H)

Price and availability

We have searched high and low for the exact configuration we received for this review, but cannot find it listed for sale anywhere. Instead, the closest model we can find is available through NewEgg and Amazon. That model is equipped with double the RAM and double the SSD capacity; pricing starts at $2,329 (about £1,758, AU$3,036), depending on where you buy.

With the added storage and memory, the pricing of the MSI GS63VR 7RG is a bit easier to justify than the $2,699 (AU$3,659, about £2,105) suggested retail price for the ROG Zephyrus, equipped with a superior Nvidia GTX 1080 graphics chip but half the amount of memory and even less storage.

Alternatively, the less expensive Alienware 15 R3 lacks the GTX 1070 Max-Q, and has half the memory for almost half the price of the MSI GS63VR 7RG, starting at $1,099 (£1,349, AU$2,699).

Design

Upon opening the lid, you’ll notice the touchpad centered just below the keyboard, with a number pad to the right. The hypnotic default lighting scheme of the SteelSeries keyboard immediately catches your attention.

On the front of the housing are a series of indicator lights to quickly let you know if Bluetooth or Wi-Fi is on, as well as monitor disk activity, Num Lock and similar features.

The left side of the base is where you’ll find the majority of ports, including three USB 3.0 slots, audio connections, SD card slot and a gigabit Ethernet port. On the right is where you’ll find the power input, USB-C 3.1 port, with an HDMI and mini DisplayPort rounding out the housing.

With an all-black, brushed aluminum exterior, the MSI GS63VR 7RG doesn’t scream ‘I’m a gaming laptop’ with the same in-your-face, black-and-red color scheme that MSI and others have made all too common.

We are quite fond of the base material on the MSI GS63VR 7RG. Instead of leaving the plastic exposed, MSI covers it with a soft, felt-like material. Granted, the bottom of the laptop will hardly ever be touched or seen, but it just feels comfortable. 

Naturally, the biggest draw to the overall design is going to be its size and weight. Weighing 4.18 pounds (1.9kg), the MSI GS63VR 7RG handily beats out the 7.69-pound (3.49kg) Alienware 15 R3, and narrowly bests the 4.85-pound (2.2kg) ROG Zephyrus.

The overall footprint of all three units is similar, with the MSI GS63VR 7RG measuring 14.9 x 9.8 x 0.7 inches, the ROG Zephyrus at 14.9 x 10.3 x 0.66-0.7 inches, and the Alienware 15 R3 at 15.3 x 12 x 1 inches. 

In other words, the GS63VR 7RG will fit into most regular backpacks with ease.