The most noticeable improvement is in the chassis: The GL65 is about 16% smaller than its predecessor. Everything else is pretty much the same, though.
While MSI’s Stealth series provides thin and light gaming laptops, the GL series sacrifices some thinness to provide more gaming power. The series falls in the mid-budget category and comes with pretty good hardware for the price. The first launch was in mid-2019, and since then several models have been released with different configurations.
In this article, we take a closer look at the MSI GL65 Leopard, looking at each of its aspects and providing a detailed review to help you decide.
The MSI GL65 is priced from INR 64,000 ($870). The laptop is available in different configurations, ranging from the basic version with 9th generation i5 to the latest version. Generation and GTX1650 Ti up to 10th Generation. The generation with i7 and RTX 2070 is good for a hole of INR 1,39,990.00 ($1921.48) in your pocket.
You can find the most popular models on Flipkart or Amazon. However, for higher configurations, you may need to use the MSI website or visit a store near you.
Below are the available models with their prices at the time of writing.
|Indian model||Indian prices||USA Model||USA Price|
|GL65 Leopard 9SDK||NA||GL65 9SDK-026||$1499|
|GL65 Leopard 9SCXR||1,39,990.00||GL65 9SC-002||$799|
|GL65 Leopard 9SCSR||1,20,238.00||GL65 9SDK-034||NA|
|GL65 9SDK||NA||GL65 9SC-003||NA|
|GL65 9SD||INR 99,990||GL65 9SC-004||NA|
|GL65 9SCK||INR INDEX 56,000||GL65 9SD-027||NA|
|GL65 9SC||NA||GL65 9SDK-025||$1.349|
|GL65 Leopard 9SDR||NA||GL65 9SDK-039||NA|
|GL65 9SFK||NA||GL65 9SEK-024||1,499 (list price)|
|GL65 9SEK||NA||GL65 9SEK-065||NA|
Also read : What is MSI Supercharger? Advantages and disadvantages
The case is fairly thin and light, and the 15-inch screen on our model is packed between fairly thin bezels. MSI also managed to put a pretty average 720p camera on it.
The screen is a 15-inch IPS LCD panel (1080p) with good viewing angles and stunning brightness. However, if you are sitting at a distance from the laptop, the screen may be a little blurry. The 1080p resolution is ideal for gaming with the 1650Ti.
Up to two 4K monitors can be used simultaneously via the mini display port. Depending on your monitors, this may be all you need. Our model had a 60Hz panel. However, you can also opt for a 120 Hz panel.
The connectivity of the MSI GL65 is also very good. You get three USB 3.0 ports, a Type-C port that’s not a Lightning power port, a regular-sized HDMI port, a display port, a memory card slot, and two separate microphone and headphone jacks. There’s also good old Kensington Castle.
The problem with these ports is that some are too close together and too close to the front of the laptop. This can limit the space on the mouse pad and cause problems if you are holding a laptop in a tight space.
The keyboard is from SteelSeries and also has a very handy numeric keypad. The typing experience is great, the key spacing and tactile feedback are excellent.
However, the format is a bit different from that of a typical laptop or external keyboard, as the Windows key is only located on the right side. Again, you can use the function key on the left to make changes through the SteelSeries Engine software, but even if you don’t want to do that, it will take a while to get used to the layout.
You have an RGB system that can be configured in many ways with the SteelSeries Engine 3. The software also includes some interesting effects, such as. B. Game-specific lighting and audio visualizers.
One of the biggest drawbacks of the keyboard is that it has no dedicated multimedia keys. However, you can assign buttons to different system functions in the SteelSeries software. Once you have done this, you will forget about the missing media buttons.
Also read : How can I change the color of the keyboard on my MSI laptop?
Travel backpack and extra buttons
They have a pretty standard trackpad, nothing fancy. Apart from the power switch, keyboard profile switch and fan boost switch, there is nothing else on the keyboard board.
No biometric scanners either.
The speakers are located on the bottom of the laptop and, as with most MSI laptops, are mediocre at best. The Nahimic utility allows some customization, but the capabilities of this software are limited.
TheGL65 is equipped with MSI Cooler Booster 5 technology to keep you cool inside. It’s a dual fan system, and the fans can be pretty loud. Almost half of the bottom of the laptop is made of mesh, allowing air to flow freely.
It also packs a reasonably fast 500GB M.2 SSD, and the MSI logo on the back lights up.
All in all, this laptop is a gaming laptop through and through, although the chassis can blend in with that of regular laptops if that’s what you want.
Also read : How can I control the fan speed of my MSI?
The MSI GL65 comes pre-installed with the latest version of Windows 10 Home 64-bit. You also get a bunch of not-so-useful MSI bloats like PowerDirector, Nahimic, Music Maker Jam and stuff like that.
You will find a number of MSI utilities on the laptop when you first boot it up. Frankly, not all of them are useful.
Of these, we recommend that you keep only the MSI Dragon Center and the Nahimic application if you want to adjust the sound.
The GPU comes with standard Nvidia drivers, the Nvidia Control Panel and the GeForce Experience application. We recommend that you keep both, as they are equally useful in different situations.
There is also the aforementioned SteelSeries Engine 3, which allows you to control and customize your keyboard.
Also read : How do I use MSI Afterburner to overclock my GPU?
The performance of the MSI GL65 is pretty good considering a 9th generation i5-9300-H. and a 4GB GTX 1650Ti. The RAM is 8GB, which is enough for everything you do with your laptop. However, if you plan on putting a heavy load on your device, we recommend upgrading to 16GB (and maybe even the i7 option if your wallet allows).
We tried games like FIFA 21, iRacing, Assetto Corsa, Apex Legends, DiRT Rally 2.0, Valorant and good old CS:GO and they all ran on the highest settings at 1080p with no problems. At this point, you can easily handle 60FPS+ in most games.
Since the screen frequency is 60 Hz anyway, the extra frames only cause problems. You can best limit the frame rate in games like FIFA 21, where the laptop can easily get above 60 frames per second.
However, the battery life will keep you alert. There is no exact information on battery life as it varies greatly depending on how you use your laptop. In our tests, we spent about three hours in Extreme performance mode and about five hours in Extreme battery mode.
But given the power-hungry components and colossal cooling system, that’s all you can ask of a 41 watt-hour battery. So we’re not gonna complain. Don’t forget to bring your charger. After all, this is a gaming laptop, and battery life is not the most important thing here.
Another small detail to keep an eye on is the MSI Battery Master setting, which you can change in the Dragon Center. In fact, MSI limits the number of rechargeable batteries to extend battery life.
There are three modes that charge the battery to 50%, 80% and 100% respectively.
If you charge your laptop in the wrong position and then leave the charger behind, it can cause problems. We’ve seen it for ourselves.
Also read : How do I change my appearance in MSI Afterburner?
If you’re looking for a laptop that can blend into other environments and keep up with RGB gaming while delivering serious performance, the MSI GL65 is for you.
A laptop can be as quiet or as light as you like and still run almost any software you need. There is a good selection of gates and a range of models to suit all tastes.
Even with a minimal budget, the base model offers excellent value and aesthetics compared to the competition, so it’s extremely difficult not to recommend this laptop.
While the i7 option should be your first choice for the GL65, the i5 option is a good value if you are on a tight budget.
Also read : Intel i3, i5, i7 or i9? Which processor is right for you?
There’s not much in the box, just a laptop rolled up in a sleeve, a charger and some papers. The experience of breaking up with boxing isn’t super great, but it’s certainly not bad.
Here are some benchmarks we ran on the MSI GL 65 Leopard using Geekbench and Novabench.
Here are the CPU, OpenCL GPU and CUDA GPU benchmarks respectively.
Follow this link for a full report on processor control parameters.
The full report on the OpenCL GPU tests is available here.
The full CUDA GPU test report is available here.
Here are the Novabench test results.
Here are some pros and cons to help you decide.
|Offers excellent value for money.||The battery life may be insufficient.|
|Good keyboard with all RGB keys (also available in red only version)||The webcam could have been better.|
|Supports 4k output to two external displays at 30 Hz.||No special support key.|
|Decent game performance.||No Thunderbolt 3 port.|
|Fully reprogrammable keyboard.||Average trackpad.|
|Physical keyboard mode switch and fan boost button.||No support for the biometric sensor / Windows Hello.|
|A highly efficient cooling system.||The pitches at the water’s edge are not ideal.|
|Light fan noise (unless you are in turbo mode).|
|CPU/GPU overclocking may be required.|
You can buy the MSI GL65 Leopard 9SCSK here.
Also read : How can I fix the fact that the MSI camera is not working?
The one who writes/cuts/films/owns all the technology, and when he’s not around, switches to virtual machine races. You can contact Yadullah at [email protected], or follow him on Instagram or Twitter.
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