MSI GF63 hands-on preview: Less bezels, more battery life

Credit: Fergus Halliday | IDG

As a brand playing in the gaming space, MSI have always kept their customers front of mind. Weighed blow-for-blow up against the competition, they don’t usually nail every aspect of the gaming laptop experience - but they do tend to hit the mark where it counts most: balancing and price and performance.

MSI means value. They aren’t typically the brand that drives innovation but they are usually the one that brings it to the masses. Their latest effort, the MSI GF63, aims to do just that.

What is it?

The GF series usually sits between the GP and GL series, and the new GF63 (announced at this year's Computex) promises to bring the advances MSI made with the GS65 when it comes to form-factor and display to  more-conventional (or at least conventional-looking) gaming laptop with a more-affordable price-point.

Credit: Fergus Halliday | IDG

What’s inside it?

In Australia, the GF63 is available through MSY in two spec configurations - both of which feature features 8th Gen i7 Intel Core processors, 8GB of RAM and either an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 or 1050 Ti graphics card. The more-expensive ($1699) option also features secondary SSD versus the cheaper GF63’s single SATA storage configuration ($1399).

Credit: Fergus Halliday | IDG

The preview sample we messed with featured an Intel Core i7-8750H CPU paired up with a 1050 Ti.

What’s exciting about it?

Where the GS65 represented MSI’s first few steps towards embracing the ultra-slim, ultra-powerful form-factors enabled by NVIDIA’s Max Q graphics configuration tech, the GF63 sees those advances make their way onto a more conventional and affordable stage. This isn’t a laptop where you’re paying extra for a slimmer and portable form-factor.

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In fact, at a glance, it’d be all too easy to mistake this for a typical MSI gaming laptop. However, look a little closer, and the details are where the GF63 shines.

Credit: Fergus Halliday | IDG

Like the GS65, the GF63 boasts ultra-narrow bezels and an equally lightweight form-factor. Though partly aesthetic dot-points, these design features do also translate into some practical value. You get a little bit more screen to work with and carrying the GF63 around is going to be an easier time than it would be otherwise.

According to MSI, the GF63 also boasts an reported 7 hours of battery life. This is pretty impressive result for a gaming laptop, assuming the claim holds up in reality. We plan to put this thing through its paces and get back to you to confirm this in our full review.

Credit: Fergus Halliday | IDG

The only real sacrifice being made here is that the the GF63 only features standard red LED backlighting on the keyboard, versus the full-RGB spectrum found elsewhere. If you’re the kind of user who really cares about customization - this is a definite drawback to choosing it over the rest of MSI's other mainstream gaming laptop devices. However, with the price being what it is, some will find it a perfectly-palatable concession.

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What’s the take away here?

With the pricing and spec-sheet being what they are, the MSI GF63 - at face value - looks like it’s going to be a great value-driven option for those who want to get the most out of design advances like narrow-bezels and Max-Q cooling without breaking the bank.

Credit: Fergus Halliday | IDG

Stay tuned for our full review.

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