The MSI Stealth 15M returns for its 2022 iteration, a refresh announced during MSI’s CES 2022 outing. To keep up with the times, it comes sneaking in with a 12th Gen Intel Core processor. Has that piqued your interest? Read on to see what this laptop brings.
SPECIFICATIONS IN BRIEF
|MODEL||MSI STEALTH 15M 2022|
|CPU||12th Gen Intel Core i7-1270P|
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060|
|RAM||32GB DDR4 3200MHz|
|ROM||1TB SSD (PCIe Gen 4)|
|DISPLAY||15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080), IPS-Level 144Hz|
Much like its predecessor, the MSI Stealth 15M doesn’t shout Gaming Laptop, sticking to its simple, stylish carbon gray chassis. The logo on the back has been changed from a blacked-out logo to a slightly protruding badge to give it a fancier decal. The large vents on the back and sides might tip you off that it’s more than it appears, but really, if you wanted the understated look for your gaming laptop, the Stealth 15M delivers again. If you’re familiar with MSI’s Mystic Light, it’s not here.
It’s also lowkey in the aspects that matter, being one of the lightest and thinnest gaming laptops out in the market. At 1.8kg and 18.2mm thin, it’s more compact than most of its peers. It’s not lagging behind in terms of connectivity options either, offering a microSD card slot, a USB Type-A, and an audio combo jack on the left with the charging port, and a USB-C port with DisplayPort, a Thunderbolt 4 port, USB Type-A, and an HDMI 2.0 port on the right.
That said about the lack of RGB lighting, the laptop does have a 4-zone lighting backlit keyboard over the external lighting strips. It doesn’t have the fancy customization settings, just on and off and brightness slider, if you thought of going a little spicier sometimes. Typical with new machines, the keyboard takes a little time getting used to, but on its own, the keys are nicely spaced out, comfortable to use, and responsive. The trackpad is likewise great for any quick on-the-go tasks when you don’t have your mouse.
DISPLAY AND SPEAKERS
The 1080P FHD+ IPS panel with 144Hz refresh rate is well suited for the large variety of uses it’ll most definitely find itself in. Most if not all of your games are going to look great, and the supported refresh rate will help you keep up the pace. It does falter some should you want to do some editing tasks, as it’s not 100% colour accurate. Its brightness level is serviceable, but perhaps not as much as you’d prefer. In line with its relative portability, the display’s matte finish is excellent for outdoors use to reduce glare.
Making things more exciting is the MSI exclusive Matrix Display technology, which supports Multi-display Mode and Surround View Mode:
- Multi-display: Multiple displays shown on multiple monitors (including the built-in display) individually.
- Surround View: Current display shown across multiple monitors at once
The speakers are Nahimic Hi-Res ones; they sound great, though don’t expect it to hit the same levels as an actual home theater set. It’s better for things with more ‘bombastic’ sounds, like playing God of War or some movie sessions with friends, over capturing the finer cues. If you need to listen out for more precise sounds, you can always have on your headphones.
All that said and done, the MSI Stealth 15M is touted to be your portable, understated, gaming and working companion. Looking at the 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1270P processor (Alder Lake), an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, 32GB RAM and a 1TB SSD, these sure sound good enough for AAA games. The Alder Lake mobile processors are themselves focused on lightweight, portable computers. Using a new architecture called big.LITTLE with an increase in IPC (instructions per cycle/clock) and extra processing power, generally it’s much more efficient with everyday use and multitasking, while also running significantly more efficiently than previous CPUs. Here are the benchmark numbers:
PCMARK 10: 7792
GEEKBENCH: SINGLE CORE 1665, MULTI CORE 9328
3DMARK: FIRE STRIKE 15240, TIME SPY 6704
Now, it’s time for the gaming tryouts. All games are played on Ultra settings, featuring the PC port of God of War with ray tracing, Monster Hunter Rise for a less intensive game, and Apex Legends to try out something fast paced.
GOD OF WAR (1080P, ULTRA, DLSS OFF): 55 – 60 FPS
MONSTER HUNTER RISE (1080P, ULTRA): 110 – 115 FPS
APEX LEGENDS (1080P, ULTRA): 115 – 120 FPS
God of War at Ultra seemed like a tall task for this laptop, but looking at that frame rate with DLSS off, it’s far surpassing expectations. With DLSS on and tuning down settings to Medium naturally will see marked increased performance, but an average of 60 FPS on Ultra for God of War by itself should be enough to prove it can run its peers like Horizon Zero Dawn, Days Gone, and the like, without problem.
With that shining proof of performance, Apex Legends and Monster Hunter Rise is no sweat. Sure, the average frame rate can dip when the effects really start covering the entire screen, but that’s something understandable, and it won’t drop to single digits and freeze up even in that occasion. To be completely safe, Medium settings is perfectly serviceable. Rest assured that Ultra is well within the realm of the MSI Stealth 15M’s capabilities.
A gaming laptop has a tendency to get real toasty, more so for a more compact laptop where the parts are packed close together. Here’s where your concerns can be dispelled: God of War on Ultra can make the temperature go up, but it’s hardly at a level you might consider uncomfortable. Think of the equivalent of a hot water bottle, and you get the idea.
Turbo Mode on gaming laptops aren’t always the catch-all for the best heat dissipation, and here’s the MSI Stealth 15M blowing its competitors out of the water. The price to pay comes in really loud fans but then again, they’re just doing their job, and damn well at that.
The battery life is about as you expect, lasting an hour and 10 minutes running the PCMark 10 Gaming battery test. In this aspect, it’s the same as the other gaming laptops out there.
The latest MSI Center now has AI modes, and is very easy to manage. You can enjoy the usual quick access to game-specific presets, system presets, feature toggles, RAM Cleaner, and Disk Cleaning. The new Smart Auto Power is one of the new AI software features, adjusting the laptop’s performance dynamically according to the program it’s running. It’s convenient if you’re not well versed in tech, or simply lazy to tweak the settings manually, which remains an option.
Additionally, there’s a “Silent” mode, that will keep the fans quiet at 15dB to avoid unwanted noise. The system microphone will measure the ambient noise which then adjusts the cooling. MSI touts a 30% boost in performance when in Silent mode even after the fact we mentioned how loud the fans can go when at peak performance.
Last but not least, the MSI App Player comes pre-installed as a built-in Android emulator to play your mobile games on your laptop. Especially useful when you’re running the gamut of gacha games for daily log ins and the like.
As always, the MSI Stealth 15M keeps its compact size and minimalist design while retaining its incredible performance for those looking for a lowkey look without sacrificing power. The keyboard is comfortable, and the decent port selection makes it well on its way to be a great working companion.
When it comes to gaming, it’s got you covered with AAA RTX gaming capabilities and Android emulator for your mobile games for the best of both worlds. The battery life isn’t anything to shout about, but if you’re a laptop gamer, you’ll have come to expect this.
All in all, it’s a 100% highly recommended laptop! Stay tuned to its Malaysian release!
Review model provided by MSI.