MSI Vector GP68:
Was $1,899 Now $1,599 at Walmart
Save $300 Don't be fooled by its looks, the GF63 is a mean computing machine that's available for an unbelievable price tag. 16GB RAM and a 1TB SSD are paired with a 12th Gen Core i9 CPU and a powerful RTX 4080 GPU. The results are spectacular. Note that it is also on sale at Newegg for the same price
What is it?
The cheapest RTX 4080 laptop, the MSI Vector GP68 HX 12V, is currently on sale at Walmart and Newegg for a mere $1,599. That’s a saving of $300 on the retail price and I couldn’t find a similar deal on Amazon during early Black Friday sales. It’s a great choice for gamers, creatives, programmers on a budget and, according to MSI, it is “optimized for STEM users”, i.e. students.
What makes it so special?
This notebook packs an Intel Core i9-12900H processor with a Geforce RTX 4080 GPU with 12GB GDDR6 at an unbeatable price. It is clearly aimed at gamers but its subdued colors (bar the keyboard keys) and conservative design makes it a great choice for creatives as well who want a polyvalent machine that they can use for work and for leisure. Dare I say it, but it would also give the best mobile workstation a run for its money.
What else should I know?
Despite the fact that it is a 12th generation Intel CPU, it is faster than both the Core i7-13700H and the AMD Ryzen 7 7840H, scoring 28628 on the popular CPU benchmark, Passmark. It uses two 8GB DDR5 memory in dual channel mode (that’s 16GB in all) plus has a 1TB SSD (PCIe Gen5) with the option to add a second one (albeit Gen3).
The screen is a 16-inch one with FHD+ resolution, a 144Hz and a 16:10 aspect ratio. You will be able to add an extra three external monitors via a Type-C connector, Thunderbolt 4 and a HDMI connector. The webcam supports Windows Hello and when it comes to connectors, its size means that there’s ample space for ports: a 2.5GbE LAN, an audio port, a dedicated power connector, five USB ports (including three Type-C), a card reader and a HDMI connector. The 4-cell, 90WHr battery should power the laptop for a couple of hours under load (when doing rendering or playing) and the pair of 2W speakers should give you basic audio capabilities.
I like the fact that it didn’t skimp on the wireless connectivity and went for an Intel Killer Wi-Fi adaptor, delivering Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3. One word about the Steelseries keys, you can select the color on a per-key basis. Also a unique feature from MSI is the partnership they have with BlueStacks that allows them to bundle a fully-fledged Android emulator, which opens the door for a wealth of possibilities.
It’s heavy at more than 3Kg once you add in the 330W power adaptor. It's big as well; standing about half the size of a piece of A3 paper. For the rest of the cons, see below.
What have others said about it?
TechRadar hasn’t reviewed the Vector GP68 yet but has reviewed the older version, the GP66, which comes with a CPU from the same generation (Core i7-12700H) and an older GPU, the RTX 3080. Back then, the reviewer noted that “the MSI Vector GP66 is a mighty gaming laptop. Unfortunately, it’s also overshadowed by barely any semblance of a battery life, effectively restricting you to the nearest power socket.”
Gamerbraves and DTech are the only publications where I could find a review of the device. Should you want a second opinion, head over to Reddit where a board member posted close up pictures of the laptop as well as few benchmarks. There was also a stark warning about the screen which he said had washed out colors, poor contrast, and brightness that isn’t good enough.
What about after sales?
The laptop comes with a standard 12-month warranty. However, you can also purchase a two or three-year protection plan from Walmart for $88 which is provided by AllState.
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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.