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MSI GE66 Raider hands-on review: Please make all gaming laptops look like this

The MSI GE66 Raider Limited Edition looks so damn good. I need it now.

(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

MSI's GE66 Raider Limited Edition is the best looking gaming laptop, period.

For

  • Gorgeous design
  • 99.9 Whr battery
  • 300 Hz display

Against

  • Limited edition is very limited

LAS VEGAS -- MSI's new GE66 Raider Limited Edition is the most badass gaming laptop at CES 2020. The best way I could describe it is if a Star Wars rebel ship had a baby with an Iron Man suit, which is an apt description considering it was designed by Colie Wertz, who worked on both franchises. This machine has the potential to be one of the best gaming laptops around.

The MSI GE66 Raider is slated to launch sometime in Q1 and start at a similar price point as its predecessor, but no specific numbers have been thrown around as of yet.

MSI GE66 Raider design

The MSI GE66 Raider took a note from the MSI GT76 Titan's design, as it sports a similarly premium-looking chassis with a gray-silver aluminum finish. Its display hinges sit an inch or so in front of the back-end of the laptop, which adds a bit of pizzazz.

(Image credit: Future)

Before I could even open the laptop, the light bar below the lid glowed with RGB lighting. It felt like KITT from Knight Rider was talking to me. The interior revealed more of the premium silver design as well as the black, compact keyboard.  Its side bezels were pleasantly narrow, but the top could still use a trim.

(Image credit: Future)

The Limited Edition's exterior design makes use of a lovely orange and gray color palette in its Star Wars/Iron Man-esque themed artwork. I've never seen a gaming laptop look this good. I am thoroughly upset that this will arrive only in limited quantities.

(Image credit: Future)

A thick orange stripe runs through the deck and is surrounded by more gray with sci-fi etching. I feel like I'm in some cyberpunk society and that everyone should have one of these laptops in their hands.

MSI GE66 Raider ports

The MSI GE66 Raider has a decent number of ports, including two USB Type-C ports, three USB 3.1 ports, an HDMI port, a Mini DisplayPort, an SD card slot, an RJ45 Ethernet port, a headphone jack and a security lock slot.

If, for some reason, you need more ports than that, consider looking at our best USB Type-C hubs and best laptop docking stations pages.

MSI GE66 Raider display

The MSI GE66 Raider is rocking a 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 screen, which looked decently bright and vivid when I saw it up close; The red MSI dragon popped on the display. 

However, the highlight here is that MSI is moving to a 300-Hz refresh rate panel, which means eSports gamers playing fast-paced titles like Overwatch or CS:GO will be able to get the most use out of this screen. Keep in mind, it'll be difficult to run more demanding games anywhere near 300 frames per second, so you won't be able to catch that activity on-screen, but the technology is there.

MSI GE66 Raider keyboard and touchpad

The keys were pleasantly clicky when I typed on them, but they still could use a little more travel. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to game on them, so we'll see how they feel when I crank out some kill-streaks in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

Meanwhile, the touchpad felt soft to the touch, it was decently clicky and it was responsive to commands like two-finger scrolling and three-finger tabbing.

MSI GE66 Raider specs

The MSI GE66 Raider can be outfitted with up to the latest 10th Gen Intel Core processor and the latest Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics. As for memory, there are two DDR4-2666 slots on-board as well as two NVMe M.2 SSD slots. Apart from that, there's not much we can share on specs, but stay tuned for more information.

MSI GE66 Raider battery life

MSI stuffed a huge battery inside the GE66 Raider. How huge you ask? 99.9 Whr huge, which is the largest battery that the TSA will approve. MSI hasn't rated the battery life, so we don't know how that'll translate into hours, but this is the largest battery ever used in a gaming laptop, so we anticipate that this will be one of the longest-lasting gaming laptops. 

Bottom line

Listen MSI, if the GE66 Raider Limited Edition doesn't become the Unlimited Edition, then we're going to have to talk. I cannot wait to get this machine through the lab and see how it does on our benchmarks, but I'm already sold on the design alone. Stay tuned for our full review and benchmarks later in the year.

For more laptops, tablets and more, read our CES 2020 hub page.