Inspired by urban style, the new Stealth 15M is the thinnest and lightest 15-inch gaming laptop that comes in Carbon Gray or Pure White. Powered by the latest 11th Gen. Intel® Core™ i7 processor and NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3060 Laptop GPU, the Stealth 15M perfectly balances portability and performance, also with the new generation technology including PCIe Gen 3 and Thunderbolt™ 4. With the support of the new Cooler Boost 5 with 0.1 mm thin fan blades, the Stealth 15M lets gamers and young professionals easily speed through games and daily tasks.
With a solid colour throughout the chassis, it’s very pleasing to those who prefer simplicity. The black MSI logo on the lid blends nicely with the Carbon Grey, for the understated design. The matte finishing all over the machine feels quite nice, from the keyboard, to the palm rest, and the lot. The finishing also means you won’t be seeing unsightly finger / palm prints.
At 358.3 x 248 x 16.15 mm in dimensions and weighing in at 1.7kg, it’s comparatively lighter than most of its other gaming laptop peers. The size could limit the options of ports some, if you feel that 2 USB Type-As, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 USB Type-C, 1 HDMI port (with support up to 4K@60Hz), 1 3.5mm audio jack and 1 MicroSD slot is too few. A mouse came with our review model, the design of which doesn’t really match with the simple elegance of the MSI Stealth 15M, but the user experience is quite nice.
KEYBOARD AND TRACKPAD
The keyboard is the MSI-regular keyboard, a quiet one with alright feedback. The distance between keystrokes is notable enough to feel nice, and overall, you shouldn’t need much time to get used to it. It also comes with an RGB keyboard. Its effects may not be as fanciful as its competitors, but I consider this a bonus rather than a necessity. The RGB lighting is customizable through the MSI Dragon Center, offering four different effects. The Steady option keeps to a single colour, but the other options open up Light Speed, which affects how fast the light changes.
The keyboard can switch between Function Key Mode or Hotkey Mode by pressing Fn + ESC. If the LED light is on, then it’ll be in Function Key Mode, which is likely most people’s default mode. Conversely, the off LED light means you’re in Hotkey mode for your other set of functions. If you need it, the Dragon Center lets you switch the functionality of the Fn and Windows key, just to swap them e.g. Fn becomes the Windows key and vice versa. The Windows Key can also be disabled.
While the keyboard is nice to use, the trackpad is less so. There seems to be a lot of friction, preventing your finger from moving smoothly on the surface.
The 15.6″ display supports up to 1920 x 1080 resolution with 144Hz refresh rate on an IPS-level panel. It utilizes some anti-glare, which is definitely welcome for a machine you intend to be portable. The display’s performance is great, with vibrant colours and high refresh rate helping everything look much smoother. For a bonus, the machine can be laid almost completely flat, if you so desire.
The laptop’s speakers are at the bottom, pretty common for today’s modern laptops. There’s no gripes about the quality, thanks to being Hi-Res Audio Certified. The stereo effect is great, and overall, loud and clear as you like.
Due to its size, the compact hardware can make it difficult to find a cool spot on the machine. There are six vents – one on each side, two at the back, one above the keyboard and bottom – but this isn’t enough to keep the temperature low. The MSI Stealth 15M can heat up quite rapidly, and when the fans kick in, the sound can drown out everything else. Simply downloading and running benchmarking software on Balance Mode saw a worrying 80 degrees Celsius temperature.
On Extreme Performance Mode, the laptop will internally decide when to speed up the fans. In practice, the fans start really whirring away when it hits 90 degrees Celsius, slowing down once it successfully helps the temperature drop. The function doesn’t appear to work quite right in testing with CS: GO as the laptop consistently hits temperatures over 90 Celsius, with the actual problem left a mystery.
You can manually set the fan speed to always be at maximum, which means it will be really, really loud. It’s a sacrifice you’d need to make as the heat is easily felt through using the keyboard for an uncomfortable time.
The 52 WHr battery doesn’t last very long and can drain incredibly fast. With some typing and listening to music for an hour, the battery dips from 92% to 62%, at which point the laptop adjusts its performance to help it last an additional 2 hours. You have the option for Thunderbolt charging, or the regular 150W adapter that charges it back up quite quickly from 24% to 78% in an hour. It’ll be a tug of war between unsatisfactory battery life and rapid charging speed.
The companion software is your one-stop place for your laptop customization. Tweak the gaming modes as needed for individual games, pick performance modes accordingly for your User Scenario, or give the MSI Stealth 15M a good workout through Extreme Performance Mode for overclocking, fan speed and the rest. Here’s also where you can monitor your hardware performance, temperatures and other details. Last but not least, the RGB effects are customized here, as previously mentioned.
3DMark’s 6,309 score places it distinctly average compared to its peers, potentially affected by thermal throttling.
At 5,900, PC Mark 10 places it much better than other gaming laptops.
Discounting the temperature issues and fan noise aside, the MSI Stealth 15M is in the running to be one of the best performing gaming laptops you can currently get.
At maxed out settings, the performance is consistently at 60 FPS without major fame drops even in combat.
RESIDENT EVIL: VILLAGE
At 150 FPS indoors and 120 FPS outdoors with all the visual effects, the laptop offers quite the impressive performance at the Default High settings.
With RTX on, the FPS can begin to fluctuate. Indoors can run anywhere between 60 to 90 FPS, while it’s 55 to 60 FPS outdoors.
COUNTER-STRIKE: GLOBAL OFFENSIVE
With all maxed settings, you can expect a very comfortable 150 FPS. Complemented with the 144Hz refresh rate display, the laptop is well suited for competitive play for this title.
All things considered, the MSI Stealth 15M is an extremely great laptop. Being thin and lightweight means you can bring it around anywhere. If you prefer simple designs, the laptop’s got you covered, and the matte finish means no unsightly marks. The keyboard is nice to use, with added RGB customization for those who want it. Its performance is also nothing to scoff at, even with RTX on for games!
The real let-downs are the battery life and cooling issues. You’ll want to plug it in, so the portability factor goes down a notch. The heat permeates all over the machine, so when it really gets running, that means it becomes uncomfortable to use.
If you’re not as concerned over these issues, though, you can’t go wrong with the MSI Stealth 15M, which you can get for yourself at RM6,699. Check it out on the official website.
Review model provided by MSI.
MSI STEALTH 15M SPECIFICATIONS
|Stealth 15M A11UEK|
|CPU||Up to 11th Gen. Intel® Core™ i7 Processor|
|OS||Windows 10 Home, free upgrade to Windows 11 when available|
|I/O PORTS||1x Type-C (USB / DP / Thunderbolt™ 4) with PD charging, 1x Micro SD, 1x (4K @ 60Hz) HDMI, 2x Type-A USB3.2 Gen1, 1x Type-C (USB3.2 Gen2 / DP)|
|DISPLAY||15.6" FHD (1920x1080), 144Hz, IPS-Level|
|GRAPHICS||NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3060 Laptop GPU 6GB GDDR6, up to 1357MHz Boost Clock, 65W Maximum Graphics Power with Dynamic Boost|
|MEMORY||DDR4-3200 Memory Type, 2 Slots Number of SO-DIMM Slot, Max 64GB Max Capacity|
|STORAGE CAPABILITY||1x M.2 SSD slot (NVMe PCIe Gen3)|
|WEBCAM||HD type (30fps@720p)|
|KEYBOARD||RGB Backlight Keyboard|
|COMMUNICATION||802.11 ax Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth v5.1|
|AUDIO JACK||1x Mic-in/Headphone-out Combo Jack|
|BATTERY||52 Battery (Whr)|
|AC ADAPTER||150W adapter|
|DIMENSION (WXDXH)||358.3 x 248 x 16.15 mm|
|WEIGHT (W/ BATTERY)||1.7 kg|
|COLOR||Pure White, Carbon Gray|