MSI may have one of the longest lists of laptops announced at CES 2021, but we’re not complaining. Especially since its budget gaming laptop range is looking as impressive as ever, with two new models for its GF Thin series and another two GP Leopard series models catered for demanding engineers or gamers (all boasting RTX 30 series GPUs, no less).
Preorders for all models are available right now, with prices for the MSI GP66 Leopard starting at $1,799 and the GP76 Leopard from $2,299, while prices for the MSI GF65 Thin are from an affordable $999, and the GP75 Thin are from $1,299.
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MSI GP66 Leopard: What you need to know
The MSI GP66 Leopard has a range of configurations, especially when it comes to GPUs. The new model comes in a Core Black colour, with a simple yet sturdy chassis and a hood with MSI’s signature dragon crest logo. Its keyboard is compact and features per-key RGB illumination.
As for its display, expect a 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution and either a 144Hz refresh rate or 240Hz refresh rate. Better yet, MSI states it will be able to support 8K external displays. The laptop itself comes in at 14.09 x 10.51 x 0.92 inches and weighs 5.25 pounds. Considering the specs it packs, it’s not a terribly heavy unit.
Speaking of which, the GP66 Leopard will boast up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Max-Q GPU, 32GB of RAM, 1TB SSD and an Intel Core i7-10870H CPU. Oh, and it’s VR ready. Now that’s a powerhouse. In terms of battery life, MSI hasn’t mentioned how long it will last, but it does state it has a 4 cell (65Wh) Li-Ion battery.
Finally, you'll get one USB Type-C 3.2 Gen2 port, three USB 3.2 Gen 1, N HDMI port and Intel Wi-Fi 6.
MSI GP76 Leopard: What you need to know
The MSI GP76 Leopard is the bigger, 17.3-inch sibling to the GP66, but it doesn’t come with too many bigger upgrades. It boasts a 17.3-inch, 1080p display, along with a 300Hz refresh rate with a response time of 3ms.
It has sizable dimensions of 15.63 x 10.57 x 1.1 inches and weighs 6.39 pounds, which doesn’t make it nearly as portable as the GP66. Apart from only coming with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU and an Intel Core i7-10875H CPU, The GP76 has the same features as the GP66, although with a price set at $2,299.
MSI GP75 Thin: What you need to know
For those on a budget, the MSI GF65 Thin may be right up your alley. The model comes in a Core Black color, with MSI red dragon crest on its hood. Its keyboard layout is tight and simply neat, with a single backlight and an Anti-Ghost key silver lining. There’s also a power button that seems part of its frame, presumably to keep it, well, thin.
And thin it is, with dimensions of 14.13 x 9.99 x 0.85 inches and a weight of 4.10 pounds. It's definitely not as thin as the MSI Stealth, but the size isn't terrible given the starting price of $999. Its display boasts a 15.6-inch, 1080p resolution, with a refresh rate of 144Hz and 45% NTSC of the color gamut.
As for specs, expect Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Max-Q GPU, 16GB of RAM, up to 1TB SSD along with either an Intel Core i5-10200H as its base price or Intel Core i7-10750H. In better news, it’s also VR ready, which is great for those looking to get into more VR games at a lower price point. As for ports, it will have two USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 1 inputs and two USB 3.2 ports plus a headset AMP and Gold Flash jacks.
In terms of battery life, MSI says the GP65 will have up to 7 hours with its 3-cell, 51Whr Li-Polymer battery. This may vary wildly once put to the test.
MSI GP75 Thin: What you need to know
The 17.3-inch MSI GP75 Thin proves to have a few more perks than its little sibling, including its display, weight and price point. Spec-wise, it has an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, 16GB of RAM, up to 512GB SSD plus a 1TB HDD at 5,400-rpm, along with an Intel Core i7-10750H CPU.
Its dimensions are 15.63 x 10.24 x 0.9 inches and it weighs in at 4.85 pounds, which isn’t too much heavier than the GF65 Thin. As for its display, expect a 17.3-inch, 1080p IPS panel with a 144Hz refresh rate, and 45% NTSC coverage.
Those looking for a bigger design without having to pay much more — as the GP75 starts at $1,299 — may want to opt for the GP75 Thin, although MSI has stated its battery life will last just over 6 hours with its 3-cell, 51Whr Li-Polymer battery.
MSI’s lineup of Thin and Leopard series laptops are definitely looking up, which is largely thanks to the Nvidia RTX 30 series GPUs. Both series strike the middle ground for mid-range gaming laptops, and we can’t wait to get our hands on review units to test out their performance-to-price ratio. In the meantime, you’ll find plenty more MSI announcements at CES 2021. For more MSI, check out the best MSI laptops of 2020.
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Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.