Purchase a premium MSI gaming laptop for an incredible gaming experience? “Bravo,” all right! MSI’s Bravo 15 (starts at $929; $999 as tested) is an all-AMD-powered gaming notebook and the successor of the Alpha 15. This time around, it more than compensates for its predecessor’s lack of CPU grunt with a new “Renoir” Ryzen 4000 series chip, which is head and shoulders faster than comparable Intel silicon you’ll find in laptops in this price range. Although the Bravo 15 falls a touch short in overall gaming performance next to notebooks packing Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, its strong CPU, ample memory, good-size dollop of storage, and a high-refresh AMD FreeSync display make it an excellent value at or just below the four-figure mark, where you’d be hard-pressed to find a GTX 1660 Ti-based notebook equipped the same.
AMD’s Ryzen and Radeon silicon are a popular combo in gaming desktops, but the gaming laptop market hasn’t seen much from Team Red. That changes with the MSI Alpha 15 (starts at $899; $999 as tested), which pairs a quad-core Ryzen 7 3750H processor and a 4GB Radeon RX 5500M GPU to go head to head with Intel-based rigs packing Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1650, producing smooth and reliable 1080p gaming performance. Although it doesn’t unseat the MSI GL65 9SC as our value-gaming Editors’ Choice, you can view the Alpha 15 as a feature-rich, happy medium between that laptop and the Acer Predator Helios 300, our pick in the next (and more expensive) performance tier.
Besides the 1.1GHz (4.7GHz turbo) Core i7-10710U CPU and 4GB GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU, your $1,399 buys you 16GB of RAM; a 512GB NVMe solid-state drive; a 14-inch, full HD (1,920-by-1,080-pixel) non-touch display; and Windows 10 Pro. You can think of the Prestige 14 as a little sibling of MSI’s deluxe Prestige 15 creative laptop, in ways ranging from the same hexa-core processor to the same ability to open its lid a flat 180 degrees and press F12 to invert the screen image for someone sitting across from you. See additional info on msi gaming laptop.
The GL65 is hardly the only 15.6-inch gamer to retail for under a grand with a quad-core CPU and a 4GB GeForce GTX 1650, but it’s further under that mark than most. As a matter of fact, as I type this, the system I’m reviewing (model 9SC-004) is an unbeatable deal. A Lenovo Legion Y545 with comparable hardware rings up at $849 with only half the storage (256GB). The Dell G3 15 (3590) is in similar straits, costing $100 more than the MSI although that price buys you both a 128GB SSD and a 1TB hard drive. Another option is the Asus TUF Gaming FX505 series (a technology refresh of the TUF Gaming FX504G), but it’s also more expensive when outfitted with a comparable AMD Ryzen 7 3750H processor.
At 0.63 by 12.6 by 8.5 inches and 2.84 pounds, the pink Prestige is just a hair larger than and the same weight as the Inspiron 14 7000 (0.6 by 12.6 by 8.1 inches, 2.9 pounds). Its thin screen bezels make it smaller than typical 14-inch clamshells like the Lenovo ThinkPad T490 (0.7 by 13 by 8.9 inches). The bottom bezel stretches around the back of the laptop to prop the keyboard at a 5-degree typing angle when the system’s opened. The MSI has passed MIL-STD 810G tests against road hazards such as shock, vibration, and temperature extremes; there’s next to no flex when you grasp the screen corners and only a little when you mash the keyboard. See more info at this website.