MSI has long been known for their gaming laptops, but the WS63 is the company’s first foray into workstation-grade laptops. Bundled with NVIDIA Quadro graphics cards and plenty of RAM and storage, these new beasts aim to help professionals who handle video editing, CAD, 3D modelling and other GPU-intensive applications.
For these kinds of applications, a traditional tower workstation is the norm, but for designers who are often on the move or hot desking, a laptop with workstation-grade performance is a dream come true. But can the MSI WS63 really hold its weight when it comes to handling these demanding programs?
Price and availability
The MSI WS63 8SK Workstation Laptop is priced at AED 10,799. If that’s a bit beyond your price range, you can opt for the WE series starting from AED 7,699, which bundles an entry-level Quadro P2000 graphics card. The pricing is about right, with a similar-spec model such as the HP ZBook x2 coming in at around AED 7,680.
The MSI workstation model lineup isn’t available in stores directly, just because it’s a highly customizable product. If you’re interested in picking one up, you’ll have to contact MSI directly to arrange for your configuration which will be priced accordingly.
Build quality & design
- Slim and sleek design
- Great selection of ports
MSI has a standard look and feel when it comes to its gaming laptops, and that carries over to the WS63. You get a black, gunmetal finish which looks impressive, though will naturally attract fingerprints over time.
It’s surprisingly light, weighing in at 1.89kg and measuring just 17.7mm thick. That’s almost Ultrabook territory, but with the inclusion of two drives and a Quadro graphics processor.
A pleasant design feature is the use of felt on the bottom of the laptop. This makes the WS63 very comfortable to use on your lap, and also makes sure it doesn’t slip off easily. Clearly MSI knew that a machine like this could get a bit warmer than usual, and so opted to make it as comfortable as possible to use.
Heat shouldn’t be too much of an issue however, since the WS63 packs MSI’s Cooler Booster Trinity technology. Three 47-blade fans and five heat pipes keep the unit cool when it’s under pressure, and even under the most demanding tasks, the unit doesn’t get alarmingly warm, though the fans do kick into high gear to ensure everything is running within acceptable temperatures.
There are ports aplenty on the WS63 – the left side sports audio connections, three USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader, and Gigabit Ethernet. On the opposite side you’ll find a USB 2.0 port, USB Type-C 3.1 port, full-sized HDMI, mini DisplayPort, and the power port. That’s more than enough connectivity for a productive setup, and the WS63 is capable of handling up to three external monitors, which makes it handy when you need some extra screen space.
Open up the WS63 and you’ll be greeted by a fairly straightforward 15.6” display. Our model came with a Full HD screen, but MSI says that a UHD option is also available for those who need the extra pixels.
The keyboard offers decent typing support, and is backlit in white only. Just below is a spacious trackpad, with a small fingerprint sensor embedded in the top left corner. This lets you easily login to the laptop using Windows Hello fast with the fingerprint reader being very responsive.
- NVIDIA Quadro discrete graphics
- Supports Intel vPro
- ISV certified
The MSI WS63 series is highly configurable, with its configuration reflecting exactly what sort of work you intend to do on it. Our review model was configured with an Intel Coffee Lake i7-8850H processor, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB NVMe SSD with an additional 1TB 7200rpm HDD, Quadro P3200 6GB graphics, and Windows 10 Professional.
There are two huge benefits with the WS63 that also make it a great choice for professionals. From a security point of view, the laptop supports Intel vPro, which allows great processing efficiency as well as hardware-enhanced security to help protect users when they’re out and about.
The laptop is also ISV-certified, which means that it’s been optimized to run a whole gamut of applications from the likes of AutoDesk, Siemens, and Adobe. The WS63 is also VR-ready, which means it can be used to both experience and design VR applications.