It’s been a while since I dived into the world of laptops and thanks to Intel, I have been summoned back. In a bit of a clandestine move, Intel sent me the pre-production prototype of the ironically named MSI Stealth 15M, which arrived from America in a special flight case. To say the least, I was rather intrigued with what the contents would conjure and disappointingly, I was not disappointed.
Before we continue, you can check out the full hands-on with the MSI Stealth 15M in the video down below:
MSI Stealth 15M Design
Starting the “uncasing” was rather uneventful as I was not greeted by a 40Kg A1 size gaming laptop, but rather an un-assuming sleek and light notebook which when picked up, pulled some joints from an overestimate on mass. Weighing in at just over 1.6Kg one would think you are not dealing with a gaming laptop, but with that assumption, you would be dead wrong. In relation to its weight (or lack thereof), its dimensions are 1.6cm x 35.9 x 24.8 and even though small, the bezels are narrow enough to fit a 15-inch panel within its borders.
The chassis is made completely of metal from the body to the lid which adds to a premium feel and effect. There also seemed to be some sort of coating on the metal, which decreased the imprints left from fingerprint marks. The lid of the laptop was also able to flex a full 180 degrees, with a display flip option on the keyboard which lends its ability in being able to present. Even though MSI called this a gaming laptop, they certainly included features that had a positive contradiction to the label (explained in conclusion).
The metal encasing the laptop is wafer-thin however despite quite a bit of force, did not bend or yield to pressure even where the air vents were located. The airflow design is an absolute masterclass whereby the common hot zones, like the panel connector and keyboard, never reached a degree of heat warranting investigation. There seemed to be a lot of thought and testing that went into thermal relief, as a large portion of the base of the laptop and the panel connector had pinhole type ventilation. The fans are noisy when at medium to high, there is nothing to hide that fact, but it is a tradeoff one needs to make when getting the performance on offer.
MSI Stealth 15M Key Features
Starting off exactly where we left off on the design, the first and most obvious key features are its lightweight, small footprint, and excellent thermal design.
Moving on from the vanity side of things, this laptop boasts Intel Iris XE. While Iris can simply be seen as integrated graphics, it does far more than one would think. Firstly, it operates the function of the Intel Graphics centre, which has more options in changing your display than cryptocurrency has fluctuations. Secondly, Iris can record and stream as an independent centre, which operates at the same time as the dedicated GPU and relieves pressure from its rendering.
While it seems insignificant in the larger works, the lid being able to flatten to 180 degrees and being able to flip the display is a definite key feature that is grossly undersold. The biggest key feature of this laptop is the laptop itself, its subtle sophistication, its understated beauty. It does not need fancy bells and whistles as that will detract from its simplicity.
MSI Stealth 15M Software
I will for this article not re-hash MSI Dragon centre as there are no changes from the GE76 Raider (not in a bad way). The software that needs mention here is Intel’s Graphics Command Center. Although already mentioned in key selling features, its no harm in just saying how impressive it was again.
What I can add here is that processing was seamless. Here is an example: Any PC bound Call of Duty player dreads pushing “alt+tab” in the fear of the PC crashing, restarting or just hanging… I do not know how or why but “alt+tab” was an immediate transition into Windows and back into the game. It was astonishing to the degree that I was just doing it for fun at a point. I run an absolute monster of a desktop and even with that I fear “alt+tab” but this little gem laughed at it. What else can this be besides the software working in harmony with the components?
MSI Stealth 15M Tech Specs
- Processor: Intel 11th Gen 11375H 4 Core, 8 Thread with a 12M Cache
- Storage: Kingston 1TB NVMe SSD
- RAM: Samsung Dual Channel 2 x 8GB DDR4 3200MHz with 22 CAS Latency
- Graphics: Intel Iris XE + Nvidia GeForce 3060 Max-Q with 6GB GDDR6
- Display: 144Hz 15 Inch Panel
- Network: WiFi-6
Besides the general specs, the laptop boasts a full RGB keyboard which was average for as far as gaming goes but an excellent typing keyboard. It is a membrane keyboard which means it has a silent keypress. Fearing for my life (The Intel Mafia is real guys), I was not brave enough to pull the caps and make a full assessment but, if my word is anything to go by, you won’t be disappointed.
The speakers were crisp and clear but lacking in “oomph”. It provided subtle bass but asking for louder speakers would mean asking for more wattage consumption, or increased size which would unfairly compromise the purpose of the laptop. The microphone was good and had a good pickup, despite its size, it performed relatively well. The camera was a 0.9MP that output a 720p resolution. Regardless of perfect lighting and settings, it was one of the few disappointments of this laptop.
Despite any misgivings, one would have owing to its size and weight, make no mistake this laptop is a silent killer to any who underestimate it. On paper the specs are great, and one could almost expect the performance it delivers, but somehow through some form of witchcraft, it is entwined with silk on every level. It was in fact more than one would expect from a 4 Core 8 Thread processor inside of tiny housing.
In gaming, Call of Duty Warzone on medium to high settings with Raytracing on delivered performance almost up to 100FPS. Secondly, Destiny 2 on its highest settings delivered a smooth performance with an average of 61FPS. Playing both games were enjoyable and smooth but in the background, the CPU was reaching high levels in temperature. This MSI has a function called Turbo-Boost which essentially maxes the fans RPM’s. With no fans, both games were operating at 100 degrees, with fans on max Warzone hit 99 degrees and Destiny 2 hit 86 Degrees.
Now before we get despondent or worried about the temperatures, I would be the first person screaming blue murder if something was amiss. The following needs to be considered: Both of these games were pretty much on their highest settings, both of these games are modern and demanding games, the CPU is a 4 core 8 thread and lastly it is in a tiny housing. To give you a comparison, I have a Ryzen-9 5900X which is a 12 core 24 thread processor cooled by a 360mm AIO liquid cooler and that hits 74 degrees with almost the same settings. With that being said, the 11375H is a piece of magic.
Overall, I cannot call this laptop a “gaming laptop”, It is more than that. It for me is a step forward in what laptops will become in the future. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not something everyone will have (or will be able to afford), but it’s something everyone will want. It is a laptop that can perform the function of gaming, rendering, editing and multi-tasking without the ostentatious lighting and profiles associated with a gaming computer. So, whether you are a gamer, businessman(woman), creative or a mix of all, I would encourage you to give this unit some serious thought.
MSI Stealth 15M Review
(Please note this is a provisional score with an estimated price of R29,999 or less)
- Design: 9/10
- Features: 8/10
- Software: 8/10
- Specs: 8/10
- Performance: 9/10
- Overall: 8.4/10
This article was provided by Wootdini