MSI Stealth 15M Review

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Gaming laptops are often those big, ostentatious devices with lights shooting out of every corner and usually sounding like jet engines approaching Mach 1. The idea then of a fancy, under-the-radar gaming laptop you can take in the most serious of business meeting rooms are attractive and refreshing, so here comes the MSI Stealth 15M.

The MSI Stealth line of gaming laptops aims to deliver just that – a sleek gaming rig that’s powerful enough to handle gaming tasks, while remaining undetectable. The idea is to be able to sit in the conference room and nobody knows you’re actually knee-deep in a gaming session. The MSI Stealth 15M achieves this in design and performance, but it has a dead gift – it is noisy.

The MSI Stealth 15M is a handsome laptop from the start, with a simple logo and badge on top of the anodized aluminum chassis, with an almost pearlescent finish in the images. The laptop is incredibly thin and light, weighing just 17mm and 1.8kg respectively, making it extremely portable and can be used almost anywhere.

The 15M fits anywhere thanks to its sleek, minimalist design and while you can turn up the keyboard’s customizable RGB lighting, turning it off really keeps it under the radar. Around the body, there are minimal vents for air to escape maintaining the stealthy aesthetic, save for a few triangular vents at the bottom of the laptop. On the left of the chassis are the power input, USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. On the right is the 4K 60Hz output port, another USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 port as well as two USB Type-C ports, one of which supports DisplayPort.

MSI Stealth 15M

MSI Stealth 15M Specifications:

  • CPU
    • Up to 12th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 processor
  • SE
    • Windows 11 Home (MSI recommends Windows 11 Pro for business.)
      Windows 11 Pro
  • DISPLAY
    • 15.6″ FHD (1920×1080), 144Hz, IPS level
  • CHART
    • Nvidia® GeForce RTX™ 3060 6GB GDDR6 Laptop Graphics Card
      Boost clock up to 1332MHz, 75W max graphics power with Dynamic Boost.
      *May vary depending on the scenario
  • MEMORY
  • STORAGE CAPACITY
    • 1x M.2 SSD slot (NVMe PCIe Gen4)
  • WEBCAM
  • KEYBOARD
    • Spectrum backlit keyboard
  • COMMUNICATION
    • 802.11ax WiFi 6 + Bluetooth v5.2
  • SOUND
  • I/O PORTS
    • 1x Type-C (USB3.2 Gen2/DP)
      1x Type-C USB3.2 Gen2
      2x Type-A USB3.2 Gen1
      1x ([email protected]) HDMI
  • BATTERY
  • AC ADAPTER
  • DIMENSIONS (LXPXH)
  • WEIGHT (WITH BATTERY)
  • COLOR

Internally, the Stealth 15m is quite powerful with Intel Core i7-1280P processor, Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU, 16GB of DDR4-3200 RAM (which can be upgraded up to 64GB) and NVME storage solution The panel is a 15.6 inch FHD 144Hz panel that delivers stunning gameplay and high frame rate in most games. I initially thought it was odd to see a 3060 paired with a standard FHD panel as the 3060 is by no means a slow GPU, but after testing I realized it wouldn’t have been sensible to add a QHD panel and sacrifice frame rates on resolution.

It was fairly easy to get used to the keyboard with a smooth typing feel, making daily workloads less taxing on your hands. The trackpad was also as easy to use as previous iterations and despite its slight shift to the right, my palms never got in the way. The speakers are positioned at the bottom of the chassis on the left and right sides.

MSI Stealth 15M

The MSI Stealth 15M excels when it comes to portability, being able to be easily carried around and used seemingly anywhere, whether for gaming, content consumption, or standard work processes. The sleek and subtle design and aesthetic meant I could work anywhere without looking like I stepped out of a 90s rave party. Weighing just 4 lbs, I was even able to work longer on my lap than with a conventional gaming laptop, which started to get uncomfortable after a while.

Performance of the MSI Stealth 15M

The Stealth 15M consistently delivered high frame rate results across multiple titles tested, thanks to the combination of the RTX 3060 GPU and 144Hz FHD panel. The display, unfortunately, had a tiny hint of that washed-out look, but overall most titles were still displayed impressively and pleasing to the eye, delivering buttery smooth visuals thanks to the high refresh panel. Consumption of content such as YouTube and Netflix has also been fabulously presented, providing an excellent portable content device (other than a phone) for your enjoyment.

Unfortunately where the display has faltered somewhat is content editing as it’s not 100% color accurate but outside of a dedicated design laptop you’d probably have a similar experience on a higher spec gaming laptop too – seeing how they’re intended for gaming and not necessarily content creation. However, if you’re looking to use something that’s lightweight, portable, and capable of doing light editing work on videos and images, the Stealth 15M is still a great contender.

MSI Stealth 15M

In terms of gaming, the 15M is certainly no slouch, maintaining a consistent 60fps mark even on the highest setting. Impressively, Elden Ring ran smoothly with the highest graphical fidelity, and while some arenas saw framerates drop a bit, its overall average returned to the 60fps mark, which is perfect because this is where it is capped. The Witcher 3 also handled admirably with an average of 50-60 fps (again, only certain areas were a problem like densely populated cities) but kept its gameplay smooth and efficient, and the same can be said for Metro Exodus.

Away from the graphically intense titles, the Intel Core i7-1280P also handled its gaming tasks quite efficiently, with titles such as Surviving Mars performing wonderfully on the 15M. No amount of individual processes slowed the CPU enough to cause noticeable issues in gameplay, meaning I could maintain my dominance on Mars unhindered.

MSI Stealth 15M

Depending on the graphics intensity of the title, the battery would typically offer around 1 hour of battery life before calling it a day, which is pretty typical of most gaming laptops. is that the Stealth 15M is only equipped with a 54 Wh battery, which means that the components were rather energy efficient. Outside of gaming, the battery typically lasts a good 2.5 hours with the highest power efficiency option, again depending on your task and workload.

The only real downside to the Stealth 15M – which is a double-edged sword – is the rather audible fans that wind up to keep the entire system cool. It should be noted that the fans do an impressive job of controlling system thermals, but this comes at the cost of fan noise. While it’s fair to say that the Stealth 15M outperforms its competition in terms of cooler performance, that unfortunately means rather blatant fan noise, which I’d gladly trade for better performance.

MSI Stealth 15M

  • Performance – 8/10
  • Assess – 8/10
  • Cooling – 8/10
  • Assess – 8/10

Summary

The MSI Stealth 15M is a great all-rounder with a sleek design and good performance with the only giveaway being loud fans

Advantages

Elegant design

Stealth aesthetic

Good gaming performance

Great commercial workhorse

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