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Home / Reviews / Tablets & computers / Laptops / MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V review: an awesome gaming laptop with one core flaw

MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V review: an awesome gaming laptop with one core flaw

Loads of power for the price, but the screen on the MSI Vector GP68 disappoints

MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V

Stuff Verdict

It’s a corker of a gaming laptop in most respects, but the MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V’s relatively low colour saturation stands out at this level


  • Great gaming performance per pound
  • Good keyboard
  • Solid construction


  • Weak screen colour saturation
  • Some obvious higher-pitch fan noise


The MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V is a wild gaming laptop in several respects.

It has a great keyboard, an incredibly powerful graphics card pushed to the extremes of its performance, and a loud-as-you-like RGB keyboard backlight. And yet it costs £1900 when you could easily pay £3000-plus for a laptop that’s really no more powerful.

This is a monster gaming laptop with one issue. The MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V screen can’t make games look their best in all areas, with colour saturation more fitting for a £500-600 laptop. You can tell where some money has been saved.

Still, if you want the MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V to act as a mixed gaming PC, sometimes playing as a desktop, sometimes a laptop, it’s kinda awesome.

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Design: aggressive and dazzling

Over the last couple of years I’ve seen a lot more gaming laptops adopt a stripped-back, mature look. Not every one needs to scream “RGB” at the top of its lungs, but there’s a good bit of gamer flavour to the MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V.

There are aggressive criss-cross lines across the giant exhausts on the back, through which you can see the copper of the heatsinks. Its keyboard has a slightly obnoxious font, and one of the most dazzling default RGB light shows you’ll find in a laptop. And the hinge design is kinda out there — almost industrial-looking.

However, don’t mistake the MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V for a laptop so uncompromising you’ll never want to take it off a desk. It weighs 2.7kg and is 28.5mm thick. Yep, it’s no slim and light ultraportable, but is a good 700g lighter than the chunkiest of contenders.

MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V

The MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V’s build quality is also great, even if plenty of parts are made using simple plastics. Its lid is aluminium, as is the keyboard surround. That keyboard plate is ultra-rigid, putting plenty of style laptops to shame, and the hinge is among the sturdiest I’ve used this year. We’re talking basically zero wobble.

In return, you can’t open it up all that much at all by 2024 standards. But for a more sensibly-priced gaming PC? Colour me impressed.

Screen: not the best – indeed, it’s contentious

Let’s get perhaps the most contentious part of the MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V out of the way.

This laptop has pretty poor colour reproduction for a laptop that costs almost two grand. I’d hope for close to 100% of sRGB coverage, minimum. That’s enough to avoid looking undersaturated without getting close to a wide gamut OLED.

It doesn’t get close to that level, though, meaning it just can’t render the richest reds, greens and blues. It’s more Steam Deck than Steam Deck OLED.

How much you should care about this depends on your tastes. More of a competitive gamer than one out for cinematic experiences? It’s no problem, but if you also play on a decent TV, you’ll regularly notice the difference.

I don’t think this screen looks flat-out bad, mind. Its pixel structure is not overly obvious, the colour tuning is perfectly pleasant and contrast is sound. It’s also a great size for a gaming PC, a 16-inch 16:10 panel. The 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution is solid too.

MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V

This is also an anti-reflective screen, ideal for a gaming PC, and it 322 nits the brightness is acceptable for a PC that will spend 97% of its life indoors. It has a maximum refresh rate of 240Hz too, meaning it can correctly display frame rates up to 240fps. Again, it feels tuned for the competitive gamers out there. 

Keyboard: excellent for typing

MSI has a long-time collaboration with SteelSeries, and the keyboard (or at least the backlight) gets SteelSeries branding here.

While not as exotic as the mechanical keyboards you get in some gaming laptops, this is a cracker of a typing interface. It’s super-fast, has a decent key action and feels ultra sure-footed, perhaps helped by the sheer rigidity of the plate on which the keyboard sits.

Typing away on the MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V feels much more satisfying than doing so on the MacBook I use for work.

MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V

It also has per-key lighting, controlled using the Steel Series GG app. Make sure that’s updated if you’re having trouble working out how to tone down the admittedly eye-catching rainbow fireworks show it uses as standard.

The WSAD and arrow keys use a different diffuser style, to let them glow even more aggressively than the rest. Sure, this backlight can’t really display pure white, ending up purple (try a moderate green to get closer to white), but this is true gamer laptop fodder.

And while the MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V has a dedicated NUM pad, MSI uses a compressed design that makes typing away on the main body of the keyboard more comfortable. You don’t want the keys shunted too far off-centre, in my opinion.

It’s great stuff, as long as you can get on with this ’90s sci-fi movie keyboard font.

And the trackpad?

The MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V’s touchpad isn’t too bad either but, just like almost every pure gaming laptop that isn’t ludicrously expensive, it uses a plastic surface.

This doesn’t feel as good as a textured glass one. But the surface here is a solid enough impersonation that it didn’t immediately jump out at us, and pad itself is relatively large.  

MSI Vector GP68: performance

Here’s where I get to the real good stuff. The MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V has near-unbeatable insides, particularly considering the cost.

You get an Intel Core i9-13950HX CPU, and incredible 24-core processor favoured by workstations that, on occasion, cost around twice as much. There’s a 1TB Western Digital SSD inside, 16GB of dual-channel 5600MHz RAM and the Nvidia RTX 4080 graphics card with 12GB vRAM. To get significantly more powerful than this in a laptop, you’re generally looking at spending upwards of £3,000.

MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V

It’s a fantastic array of components that lets the MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V almost seem to breeze through Cyberpunk 2077 even at its GPU-melting top Ray Tracing graphics setting. Sure, you’re going to see frame rates well below 60fps with everything maxed, but switch on Nvidia’s frame generation feature and I suddenly get a boost to well above 100fps.

MSI really does try to max out what the Intel Core i9 and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 can do too. Usually this graphics card is rated for anything between 60 watts and 150 watts. If a laptop has a crappy cooling system, a manufacturer might use a low maximum power.

Here, the RTX 4080 can and does go up to 175W. Sure, it only hangs out there on occasion in Cyberpunk 2077 because that extra 25W is shared with the CPU. They have to argue over who gets it when the pressure is on.

Too much noise?

The MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V also really excels as a laptop for VR, and a PC to use as both a desktop and a laptop — and yes, you might take that as a dig at its limited display colour saturation.

The elephant in the room of Intel’s recently-announced Ultra processors, pushing these 13th-gen CPUs into the past. However, I don’t expect them to represent a world-changing upgrade for laptops like this with dedicated GPUs.

I do think the cooling system could be a little less noisy, though. MSI calls it Cooler Boost 5. Its effectiveness is very good, and manages to keep most of that heat away from the keyboard area even though the keys sit on a highly conductive metal surface. Nice work, MSI. However, under pressure one of the fans is quite high-pitched and annoying, singing away over the speaker system.

Speakers and webcam: not so bad

The MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V speakers aren’t bad for a gaming laptop either. They are loud, several times louder than gaming PCs of a couple of years ago, and even have a bit of bass to them.

It’s definitely worth playing around with the bass, mids and treble controls in the Nahimic tuning app, as straying from the defaults can make lots of content sound clearer and more powerful. Push up that bass and treble, and see what your ears think.

The MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V can’t have everything, mind. Its webcam is the typical murky 720p camera of last generation laptops, before so many switched to step-up 1080p cams recently. Still, I’d have been miffed if MSI had chosen to spend more on the camera, not in upgrading the display.

MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V

Connectivity and battery life: could be better

Connections are super-solid too, and are arranged across three sides of the MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V for better cable management. Across the back are the power, Ethernet, HDMI (2.1) and a USB-C with DisplayPort intended for a dock or monitor connection.

There’s a Thunderbolt USB-C on the left side, plus a super-handy full-size SD reader. And on the right, two classic USB-As. Pretty much all needs are served here. But prepare for the power adapter. It’s a massive 320W beast, a real rucksack-filler.

I couldn’t get the laptop to charge using a USB-C charger either.

MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V

As with almost all of these monster gaming laptops, you can’t expect amazing battery life from the MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V. But it could be a lot worse. I found it lasts 4 hours 51 minutes in its default mode, and a respectable six hours after using the MUX switch to turn off the dedicated graphics card. It’s not a physical switch, just a setting in one of the preinstalled apps.

I did experience some annoying standby issues after switching between settings — the laptop refusing to shut down or start up properly — contact the retailer if you do the same as this should not happen.

MSI Vector GP68 verdict

The MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V is an awesome gaming laptop with one core flaw that should put a few folks off. But not everyone.

This laptop has loads of power on tap considering its price. But its screen colour saturation is quite low, making games look less punchy. High refresh rate, sure, but limited colour punch.

There’s a sense MSI has catered for competitive and online gamers a bit more than those of us who use gaming as a single-player escape. It’s not necessarily a deal-breaker given how strong the Vector GP68 is in most other areas, though.

Stuff Says…

Score: 4/5

It’s a corker of a gaming laptop in most respects, but the MSI Vector GP68 HX 13V’s relatively low colour saturation stands out at this level


Great gaming performance per pound

Good keyboard

Solid construction


Weak screen colour saturation

Some obvious higher-pitch fan noise

MSI Vector GP68 tech specs

CPUIntel Core i9-13950HX
GPUNvidia GeForce RTX 4080
Storage1TB SSD
Screen16-inch, 2560 x 1600, 240Hz
Connectivity2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 1x Thunderbolt 4, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1x SD Express card reader, 1x 2.5Gb Ethernet, 1x HSMI 2.1, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3
Dimensions357 x 284.05 x 28.55 mm
Weight2.67 kg
Profile image of Andrew Williams Andrew Williams


Andrew is a freelance journalist for Stuff and has been writing, reviewing and ranting about technology since 2007. 

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