If you were ever on the edge of your seat, eagerly anticipating an MSI GL63 RTX 2060 price drop, then do I have a deal for you. Online bookstore turned video streaming service/WaPo parent company/grocer Amazon.com is offering the laptop at a considerable markdown: $400 off the going rate of $1,699.
Yes, that means you can buy a gaming notebook with a powerful non Max-Q GPU capable of real-time ray tracing without busting your ass working overtime. For $1,299, this is a legit steal. We're talking GDDR6 in an all-in-one machine sporting a 1TB hard drive, plus 128GB of blazing fast NVMe SSD storage, 16GB of RAM and a 15.6-inch, full HD (1,920 x 1,080) 120Hz display. Sure, it's limited to an 8th gen Intel Core i7-8750H processor, but as I've pointed out before, the 9th gen H-series CPUs aren't all that special.
Compared to other laptops in the same graphics class, the MSI GL63 8SE-054 in question is an exceptional bargain. For reference, let's take a look at your other options. At Newegg, the Asus ROG Strix Hero II also comes wielding an i7-8750H, an RTX 2060 and 16GB of RAM. It has slightly more storage and a higher refresh rate, but are those minor embellishments worth a whole $500 more than this MSI model? Absolutely not.
What about our self-proclaimed best gaming laptop, the Razer Blade 15, you ask? For specs identical to the aforementioned Asus ROG Strix Hero II, you're looking at a $2,199.99 price tag, a $900 premium over the GL63. Alternatively, you could snatch up a decent Alienware m15, but even though it's also on sale on Amazon right now, it still costs a whopping $1,799 for roughly the same guts as the discounted GL63 8SE-054.
Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6GB
Memory: 16GB DDR4-2,666MHz
Display: 15.6-inch TN 120Hz
Storage: 128GB SSD, 1TB HDD
Connectivity: 2 x USB Type-A 3.1 Gen 1, 1 x USB Type-A 3.1 Gen 2, 1 x USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 2, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, headphone/mic combo jack, Ethernet, SD card slot
OS: Windows 10 Home
Dimensions: 1.16 x 15.07 x 10.23 inches
Weight: 4.8 pounds
Warranty: One year
As well as the specs, there are a few other things worth mentioning about this laptop. First, despite the fact that it does have a fast 120Hz refresh rate, it does use a TN panel, not IPS. As a result, viewing angles and color reproduction may be slightly compromised compared to more expensive machines. It is a budget gaming laptop, after all, therefore corners do have to be cut somewhere. Another shortcoming that might have some die-hard gamers up in arms is the lack of RGB lighting. Much as we pretend we don't, everybody likes pretty, assorted lights. Unfortunately, the GL63's SteelSeries keyboard backlighting comes exclusively in red.
However, there are some upsides to these imperfections. Because it has a TN panel, it will likely have a faster response time than some of the IPS options. As for the keyboard, it may not have fancy trimmings like zoned lighting, let alone per-key customization, it does feature 1.9mm of travel, lending its keys to a deeply satisfying press every time you go to type or game. For mouse and keyboard heavy games like Total War: Three Kingdoms, this may seem like a negligible inclusion, but it's a life saver when you want to avoid mistakenly pressing the wrong key. In other words, while it's set back by a few trade offs, the MSI GL63 is well worth it at this price.
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