At just 1.86kgs, the GF63 is quite light in terms of gaming laptops. For instance, the Asus GL504 Hero Edition weighs 2.4kgs and the Acer Predator Helios 300 comes in at a healthy 2.5kgs. The MSI is quite slick too and isn’t much of a backache to carry around at all.
The 8RD finds itself perched on top of the GL and GV series in terms of pricing, so is it worth it? Or has MSI priced it to fail, let’s find out.
Understated is the word that comes to you when you first lay eyes on the 8RD. Take a closer look and there’s no doubt that this is quintessentially MSI. The top and the kayboard unit is clad in the typical metal finish which lends the laptop its stability. The back of the unit features a standard plastic cover with slats mainly for heat dissipation. The whole thing is 21.7mm thick and is quite a streamlined unit. It sort of deceives you into thinking it is going to be heavy, but when you actually lift it, you’re sort of surprised at how light and slick it feels.
There’s not a lot of fancy going on either. The logo doesn’t light up and there are no typical MSI design frills with RGB lighting as we’ve seen from some of the higher end series. And before you ask, no, the USB ports don’t light up either like on the GE73. Yup, I know it is quite a cool feature and would have been amazing here, but if you want everything, you’re looking at a higher price and a different laptop.
Slimmer bezels are the real draw here and allow you to tune into the 15.6in display. Sadly, the IPS panel doesn’t support 144Hz, but it is the standard display that we’ve come to love from MSI. You also get to tune it to your liking through the presets in the MSI Dragon Centre.
Games look absolutely amazing and the display manages contrast really well which helps in tricky night time scenes. Unless you’re playing Fallout 76, then even the Titan can’t help your cause. But jokes apart, the MSI handled the glitchy world rather well. In more serious games like Battlefield V, the true prowess of the display comes to the fore.
Explosions and aerial combats are the most fun and the display does a great job of keeping things presentable and shiny. Even the aftermath of your bomb dropping shenanigans is captured well and really draw you into the game. But the best part of it all is that the slim bezels actually disappear and you are engrossed in whatever you’re playing from the get go.
Keyboard and Audio
The keyboard is pretty standard too and has typical MSI red highlights around the keys. There’s no RGB, or any dedicated buttons for managing profiles and the sort. They keys are big and adequately spaced out, making it possible to type for long periods too. Now, while those red highlights do give it the MSI aesthetic, we would have preferred regular keys without red highlights. It almost feels like wearing a crisp suit with one of those quirky colourful ties. Your gaming friends will get it, but your folks at office may not be as understanding. At least you can switch it off, but we would have loved some RGB here along with the MSI APP Player support.
The 2x2W speakers get quite loud too, but need the Nahimic software magic to truly bring out the potential. The software is updated to version 3 now and there’s features like SoundTracking that help a lot in FPS games and give you a clear indication of the direction the sound comes from.
There are two variants available in this series and we have the one with the Nvidia GTX 1050Ti Max-Q and it handles games like PUBG rather well. 3DMark Fire Strike scores of 6256 are as expected from the thin GPU. More demanding games like Shadow of War and Battlefield 5 are playable, but cause things to heat up soon. Battlefield V did require a few settings to be toned down, but it’s not something that ruins the gaming experience.
Intel’s Coffeelake i7 8750H is in fact quite a processor even with just 8GBs of RAM. And it isn’t your regular slow RAM, this one is the DDR4-2666 memory that compared to the regular 2400 unit, is more efficient and runs slightly faster, say by about 7-10%. The GF63 handles Adobe’s suite of software without hassle and is quite snappy for regular day-to-day work as well. But even with the slightly faster RAM, Video rendering is slightly on the slower side and you may need to get more RAM installed if you plan to use the machine for that purpose.
It handles programmes and regular tasks so well in fact, we feel MSI should have just marketed it as a work/gaming hybrid at a lower cost. But where’s the fun in that now. That’s not MSI and someone who wants that isn’t a true MSI patriot. Just kidding, that’s why MSI’s P65 exists.
The 7 hour battery life claim is quite a tall one. After testing it out thoroughly, you can get close to 5 hours of an actual day’s work that involves using Adobe’s software, regular browsing and a bit of Netflix. If you are frugal with it, like turn the brightness way down low and just have a few things going on, the laptop does come close to a healthy six hour battery life which is pretty impressive considering the amount of power this baby packs in.
Yes, the GF series doesn’t have all the bells and whistles we are used to from MSI, but it features another model that sits lower than this one and the range starts at ₹79,990. Yes, we do wish that MSI offered the GTX1060 at this price and it would have been a fair choice too.
This GF is dearer than the GL and GV series but offers a lighter and a slightly better design silo than those. The new GF series finally fills the gap between the lower models and the higher end GE and GS series and offers a fair middle ground.