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MSI GF65 Thin 10UE: Everything You Need To Know!

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MSI GF65 Thin 10UE Everything You Need To Know!

With the MSI GF65 Thin 10UE-014UK, MSI has completed a long-overdue update to its leading gaming laptop line, providing the greatest of technology and a timeless design. The result is a sleek, thin, and portable 15-inch laptop that looks like a 14-inch device capable of handling high-end gaming as well as demanding productivity tasks.

MSI GF65 Thin 10UE Specifications:

  • Display: 15.6″ matte IPS panel, 144Hz refresh rate, 45% NTSC color space
  • Resolution: FHD (1920×1080) resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-10750H CPU (Comet Lake), 6C/12T, 5.0GHz Max Turbo Frequency, 12MB Intel Smart Cache, 14nm process, 45W TDP-up
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 RAM (2666MHz) (Up to 64GB)
  • Storage: 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD (expandable)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 75W (6GB GDDR6, discrete)
  • Audio: 2x 2W bottom-firing speakers with Hi-Res Audio
  • Battery: 51 Watt-hours Li-Ion battery
  • Power Supply: 180W AC power adapter
  • Webcam: 720p HD camera (no privacy shutter)
  • Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 6 (ax), Bluetooth 5.1
  • I/O Ports: 1x LAN (RJ45), 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x 3.5mm headphone combo jack, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1x Kensington Lock

Pros:

  • Portable build quality
  • Smooth 144Hz refresh rate
  • Efficient port selection
  • Great gaming performance
  • Decent thermal solution

Cons:

  • Sub-par display quality
  • Older 10th gen CPU
  • Average battery life
  • No USB-C power delivery

The MSI GF65 Thin gaming laptop offers tremendous power in a non-intimidating, attractive design that has never been done before, earning our distinguished Editor’s Choice accolade. But we like it, and as a result, we’ve chosen it as one of our top gaming laptops for 2021.

MSI GF65 Thin 10UE Design

MSI’s thin-and-light gaming laptop was met with harsh criticism for its unattractive design and feel, but thankfully, the company has moved in a different direction. It doesn’t have sharp angles or bright red lights all over it; rather, it’s an elegant all-black device with a red MSI emblem on the lid.

The MSI GL65 Thin is quite light at 1.8 kg and measures 2.17 cm along its thickest edge, making it one of the lightest gaming laptops available. Even though MSI would have preferred to go even thinner and lighter, but for extra Ethernet ports and at least eight hours of battery life, the laptop fits easily in a bag without weighing you down, which is remarkable considering that these days most competitors limit themselves to six or fewer hours of battery life.

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On the bottom, you’ll find an extensive cooling system, which includes six heat pipes and two fans to move heat away from the CPU and GPU. Although we found that it got fairly hot and somewhat noisy, it remained well within acceptable limits; however, you’ll want to keep it on a smooth, hard surface if possible.

Overall, we were quite satisfied with the keyboard and trackpad performance. Even so, it didn’t blow us away, and there’s a decent variety of ports too – including a headphone jack, an Ethernet connection, two USB-C slots, two USB-A ports, and an HDMI out port. Sound is produced by stereo speakers (Hi-Res 192KHz / 24bit audio can be played through headphones).

MSI GF65 Thin 10UE Display

On the MSI GF65 Thin, you have a sharp 15.6-inch 1080p display that I only wish was brighter and more colorful. All sequences are clear and vibrant in BBC’s Seven World’s One Planet, but dark areas are somewhat difficult to see. On a plus side, when viewing the Africa trailer, the picture seemed crisp and sharp. MSI has managed to achieve an 82 percent screen-to-body proportion with tiny bezels of just 4.9mm wide, which is tremendous.

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Even though MSI’s webcam position is unusual, it has a good resolution of 720p and is still decent. Back to that screen, though. There isn’t any Windows Hello facial recognition technology built into the camera, but with the screen refreshing at 60Hz and IPS technology, this display makes contemporary games like Warhammer: Vermintide 2 seem particularly beautiful, with little or no screen tearing when turning corners.

MSI GF65 Thin 10UE 144Hz display

  • 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080), 144Hz, IPS-Level panel
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, 6GB GDDR6 RAM
  • Game benchmarks: Dirt 5 64.8fps; Far Cry New Dawn 78fps; Rainbow Six Seige 165fps
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The MSI GF65 Thin has a fairly compact body even though it does not have a completely bezel-free display. It also manages to keep an important webcam, which some other manufacturers have removed in recent gaming laptops.

With a 144Hz refresh rate and a 15.6-inch Full HD screen, the MSI GF65 Thin is one of the most powerful gaming laptops available on the market today. It isn’t quite as bonkers as some of the other display choices available right now. Yes, you could go insane and pick up a 4K laptop or a 360Hz panel, but the MSI GF65 Thin strikes an excellent balance.

The use of an adaptive refresh rate also makes it more likely that you’ll be able to achieve the necessary frame rates to make your PC gaming experience worthwhile in most games. We put it through its paces with a few different titles.

We started with Chivalry 2, which is a stunning and gory medieval fight fiesta in which you must defend yourself with a variety of weapons. We were getting over 100fps even when the graphics settings were turned up on this laptop, and it looks fantastic on this machine as well as with the settings cranked up.

We also plugged the laptop into a 65-inch 4K TV to see what happens if we connect it to an external screen. The MSI GF65 Thin handled this without problem, and hours of delightful gaming were possible. It was, unfortunately, somewhat noisy with the fans ramping up to cope, but nothing we couldn’t handle, and it’s certainly not the noisiest laptop we’ve seen.

Plus, we tried out a variety of other games, including The Outer Worlds, Dirt 5, Totally Accurate Battlegrounds, and Rainbow Six Siege. With frame rates frequently topping 100fps, all of them were smooth and satisfying. Even on high settings, Kingdom Come Deliverance managed an impressive 80fps – making it one of the more demanding titles.

The MSI GF65 Thin has an attractive display as well. It’s bright, has good viewing angles, and provides a vivid experience.

MSI GF65 Thin 10UE Keyboard & Touchpad

MSI’s keyboards are always the best among the gaming laptops we’ve looked at. The feedback from the SteelSeries keyboard is great, and key travel is excellent with a pleasant feel. It’s the same keyboard as in the GF63, which we praised for less key noise and a solid structure.

MSI, on the other hand, has specialized gaming keyboards for laptops that cater to gamers. The only thing preventing them from going all out in the absence of RGB lighting and the unpleasant industrial aesthetic of red paint on the keys’ edges.

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The overall color scheme is red, which may not be what everyone wants. While the keyboard is surprisingly robust for the price, the touchpad leaves a lot to be desired. It’s rather tiny at 10.8 by 6 cm, in my opinion.

The keys themselves are nice and responsive, with no cursor skips or other issues even when performing rapid gestures. The two buttons at the bottom have the same firm feel as their predecessor, which is to say they’re not very tactile. Despite this, it has a cheap feel about it and you may be left wondering if they intended for it to be in there or whether it was an afterthought.

MSI GF65 Thin 10UE Webcam

  • 720p HD webcam, No privacy shutter

Moving on, while a few 2021 gaming laptops have utilized a taller 16:10 aspect ratio implementation, the MSI GF65 Thin 10UE does not. Even though it’s nothing of a deal-breaker, the large chunky bezels on top and bottom are quite antiquated. A normal 720p HD webcam is housed in the upper bezel.

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There is no physical privacy shutter, either. The F6 key, on the other hand, includes a dedicated notification LED that lights up when the camera is on or off. When it comes to picture quality, you would expect them to be how they are from a laptop webcam.

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Vistas appear to be grainy, and the subject looks somewhat murky as well. The audio pickup from the laptop’s built-in microphones, on the other hand, is quite good. Overall, this laptop’s camera will be enough for your video conferencing needs—but you’ll need a dedicated webcam if you want to stream.

MSI GF65 Thin 10UE Audio

  • 2x 2W bottom-firing speaker setup
  • Hi-Res Audio certified, Nahimic tuning

The sound quality is about what you’d expect from something this cheap, with a dual speaker system generating 4W of output. It also supports Hi-Res Audio and can sufficiently fill an average-sized living room.

Of course, the sound quality from these bottom-firing speakers is terrible. While mids are clear enough, the highs—plus the audibly non-existent bass—are clipping. Still, because of the high rubber feet and elevation aided by the steep slope, the music doesn’t get as muffled as it would otherwise.

MSI GF65 Thin 10UE Performance

The MSI GF65 Thin performs well when it comes to gaming. It has the Nvidia RTX 3060 mobile GPU, which is the 10th generation Intel Core i7 CPU core with Ampere power. This allows it to play most games rather effectively — 2020’s Doom Eternal, which does not include ray tracing (though the developer has been promising to add it since before launch, grumble grumble), was a breeze on maximum “Ultra Nightmare” settings at more than 100 frames per second.

However, when testing a PC’s gaming performance, you must always use the thickest, most RT-packed games possible and do your best to make it suffer. To that end, I revisited 2019’s Control (again), and it was here where the MSI GF65 Thin and RTX 3060 met their match (well, sort of).

The 3060 chugged at Control’s maximum graphical and ray-tracing settings, struggling to break 30 frames per second at native 1080p resolution. Fortunately, Nvidia’s AI-powered DLSS upscaling came to the rescue: when I switched that on, the framerate rose to a healthier 60-70 frames per second. Sure, it’s not the RTX 3070 in the Leopard GP76, which can handle Control at native 1080p on maximum settings without complaint, but hard-pressed did manage to detect any difference in quality.

This laptop, like many others with powerful graphics, becomes hot after extended gaming periods; I observed the computer getting warm after a few lengthy game sessions. It’s most likely more apparent because of the laptop’s slender design and the Cooler Boost 5 fans can only do so much.

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The MSI GF65 Thin 10SDR is equipped with the same software as other MSI gaming laptops, which makes it easier to access features such as Gaming Mode. When you’re playing games, simply clicking one button activates optimal performance or power-saving mode, respectively. You can also check on the CPU and GPU from here.

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MSI GF65 Thin 10UE Gaming And Graphics

In modern games, such as Doom (2016), Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales, and World of Warcraft, the system will hold up for hours. MSI’s GF65 Thin 10UE-014UK runs each one at Ultra graphical settings with 100+ frames-per-second frame rates on 1080p resolution.

Fortunately, for those searching for a powerful player, the specs translate well to real-world performance. For example, Metro Exodus, a graphically demanding game, runs on Ultra settings at an average of 63 FPS, which is more than enough to enjoy the game with a butter-smooth gaming experience.

There are also the standard GeForce RTX 3060 (6GB) GPU benefits to consider, such as Nvidia RTX capabilities. The overclockable RTX 3060 is a powerful graphics card, and with ray tracing effects available in compatible games to boost your gaming experience, you’ll enjoy improved visuals. You’re also receiving DLSS support, so you may rest assured that your video game will be more spectacular without sacrificing its playability.

Here are some games that we use to test the MSI GF65 Thin 10SDR’s performance:

Shadow of the Tomb Raider: The first game we tried was SOTR, which can be played directly or via the built-in benchmark tool. With a High resolution of 1080p, SOTR achieves an average FPS of 84. For additional information, see the screenshot below.

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Valorant: This competitive game may be played in Full HD resolution with the highest visual settings (right-aligned). Even though it is played for an extended period, the frame rate is 180-200 fps, and it feels quite steady.

Call of Duty Warzone: The game can also run well on low to medium graphics settings, thanks to its modest system requirements. Depending on the settings selected, the frame rate may be as low as 50 or as high as 70 fps.

Metro Exodus: We also played Metro Exodus and ran the built-in benchmark tool, just like SOTR. The average frame rate is 46fps, with a maximum of 76fps, in 1080p resolution with Ultra graphics settings. Excellent!

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In our view, the MSI GF65 Thin 10SDR’s cooling system handles high temperatures well when playing these games. The fan is quite loud, and certain sections still feel heated. However, the plus side, as well as the palm rest region and keyboard that are generally utilized while playing don’t seem to be overly hot.

MSI GF65 Thin 10UE Connectivity and battery frustrations

  • 2x USB Type-C (3.2 Gen1), 2x USB Type-A (3.2 Gen1)
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201(2*2 ax)
  • RJ45 Ethernet
  • 1x HDMI port
  • Bluetooth 5.1

The MSI GF65 Thin also has a decent number of ports. It has Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1, which is great for gaming. We didn’t experience any signal or connectivity issues; the connection was solid, even when several rooms were away from a router. Gamers will appreciate the stability that comes with a wired connection, but this laptop includes an Ethernet port on the right side as well.

However, there are some concerns about the device’s other connectivity choices. There are just two USB-A ports on the Samsung Galaxy Fold; one is located on the right side, along with two USB-C ports, Ethernet, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

If you’ve got a handful of ports left, it’s time to grab some new cables. If you connect in a decent gaming headset (which you’ll want to shut out the fan noise) and a mouse, you’ll notice that there are only several ports available. Do you wish to add a microphone for podcasting or an extra responsive gaming keyboard? You’re in trouble unless those devices have USB-C connected.

Although we’re not sure if it’s worth noting, the other issue is that with all of the ports on the right, you won’t have enough space for your mouse hand and will have to sit awkwardly to play. Other laptops we’ve seen place ports at the rear or on the left, so it’s strange to see them all positioned in this way. It’s a little odd, but it’s something to consider.

Another aspect where the MSI GF65 Thin falls short is battery life. MSI promises a seven-hour charge duration, but we found it was more realistically three hours. This will vary depending on what you’re doing, but we suggest you stay as close to a power source as possible.

Bottom Line

The MSI GF65 Thin is without a doubt one of the most impressive RTX 3060 gaming laptops we’ve ever seen. The laptop outperforms or matches its most potent rivals, and it undoubtedly outshines them in terms of design and performance.

That being said, we’d want a few more frills given the price; for example, USB-C support for Thunderbolt, DisplayPort, or Power Delivery; and the laptop’s CPU and GPU performance is insufficient unless Cooler Boost is turned on.

For the price, the MSI GF65 Thin 10UE-014UK is one of the finest gaming laptops available today. While you’ll have to make do with some audio limitations and no biometric login yet, those are minor flaws in an otherwise fantastic laptop that you can take into school, college, or your next gaming session without hesitation.

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