Bezels keep shrinking on anything with a screen, and MSI's latest pair of laptops take part in that trend. The GF63 gaming laptop packs burly eighth-gen Core H-series processors and available Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics into a package under an inch thick, while the PS42 productivity portable pairs the latest round of Core U-series chips with a GeForce MX150 video card in a 2.6-lb 14" laptop.
The GF63 gaming laptop joins the tiny trim trend thanks to the compact 0.2" (6 mm) bezels on either side of its 15.6" 1920x1080 "IPS-level" display. The LCD panel gets marching orders from the buyer's choice of Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 or GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics. Sadly, the screen doesn't get the benefits of Nvidia's G-Sync special sauce or a high refresh rate.
GF63 buyers will be able to choose between various eighth-generation Intel Core mobile processors including six-core H-series offerings. MSI was vague about the memory and storage options it would offer with the GF63, but the fact that Optane caching devices are mentioned means the laptop probably has at least one NVMe M.2 slot and a 2.5" drive bay.
The aluminum construction of the GF63 is one of the methods MSI used to stuff the hardware loadout into a package that weighs in at just over 4 lb (1.9 kg) and measures just 0.85" (2.2 cm) thick. The company says the battery pack can power the laptop for up to seven hours, but we imagine that figure drops pretty quick during intense gaming. The sides of the machine get at least two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, a USB 3.1 Type-C jack, and a Gigabit Ethernet connector along with the usual SD card slot and audio combo jack.
The 0.62" (1.6 cm)-thick PS42 is made for productivity, but has at least a little gaming capability thanks to its Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics with 2 GB of its own memory. The discrete card should offer a considerable boost in 3D performance compared to most of the IGP-only members of the sub-3-lb ultrabook class. That graphics chip sends a steady stream of pixel instructions to the PS42's 14" 1920x1080 "IPS-level" display. MSI says that screen covers 80% of the lid's area.
Laptop Magazine says the beating heart of the PS42 will come from Intel's eighth-generation Core U-series portfolio. This means the high-spec Core i7 version will top out at four cores and eight threads. The outlet remarked on the machine's standout "snappy and responsive" keyboard. The laptop also gets a Windows Hello-compatible fingerprint reader on the trackpad surface. MSI notes that the Cooler Boost 3 cooling setup with three heatpipes, two fin arrays, and two fans split between the CPU and the GPU should help the chips hit their max boost clock speeds for longer.
MSI says the PS42 can last up to 10 hours between appointments with a wall outlet without charging despite the machine's petite 2.6-lb weight (1.2 kg). The sides of the ultrabook have plenty of connectivity, including an HDMI port, a dedicated DC power jack, an audio combo jack, a full-size SD card slot, and four USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports split evenly between Type-A and Type-C physical connector designs. Users unsatisfied with the integrated 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will need to supply their own USB Ethernet adapter in order to connect to speedy and reliable wired networks.
MSI didn't have pricing or availability information for the PS42, but the company's representatives reportedly told PC Magazine that a future version of the laptop would sport Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics, so those seeking enhanced gaming chops might want to wait past the initial release. The same Computex-caused dearth of pricing and availability information applies to the GF63 gaming laptop. MSI does have "buy now" buttons on the bottom of each product page, so we suspect both machines will hit store shelves soon.