October 19, 2021

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MSI Katana GF66 Review: The Most Advanced Gaming Laptop

MSI Katana GF66 Review: The Most Advanced Gaming Laptop

MSI seems to have settled on this design. Although made of plastic, the frame is particularly clever. The hood bears the emblem of the brand with a dragon, but is engraved on it. The plastic has a matte finish, which easily attracts fingerprints with a defect and is difficult to remove.

Matte finish, engraved logo: sophistication is the order of the day. © Digital

Once the laptop is open, the atmosphere is the same: the menu has no RGB, but a simple keyboard with red backlighting. The typeface used on the keyboard is not readable and the line of numbers is manipulated (numbers are larger with lower and lower case letters). MSI was able to cram a numeric keypad, but it became particularly narrow. The touch however is pleasant and definitely responsive. On the other hand, the visibility below the space bar and at the level of the touchpad is very demanding. Lastly, the touchpad is very small (10.5 x 6.5 cm), but the glide is pleasant and the clicks do not go too deep.

Single red letters and backlighting.  © Digital

Single red letters and backlighting. © Digital

The connectivity of the Katana GF66 is made up of three full-format USB ports, including two USB 3.0 ports, a USB-C port, an RJ45 jack, an HDMI port, and a headphone jack. Everything was done, though we preferred the USB-C port to hold the Thunderbolt.

© Digital

© Digital

Wireless connectivity is provided by the Intel AX201 chip, which allows you to take advantage of WiFi 6 (2400 Mb / s) and Bluetooth 5.2 at a time. The webcam does not deviate from the current standard and is still 720p – so its rendering is very demanding.

Webcam has no definition, details are unclear.  © Les Numerix.

Webcam has no definition, details are unclear. © Les Numerix.

Two fans on either side of the PC provide cooling. Good point, there are three air extractors and do not blow in the right hand. MSI is insufficient to allow the user to adjust usage according to its usage. The MSI Center is too empty for any adjustments …

Pre-heat!  © Digital

Pre-heat! © Digital

The recorded temperature is particularly high around the frame. We measured 15 minutes after the game (Assassin’s Creed Odyssey) Near 55 ° C on the left side of the keypad. It is also not left with almost 50 C in its center. Despite having two fans, the MSI Katana Core i7 and RTX 3050 seem to find it very difficult to dissipate the heat emitted. Noise pollution is also high at 47.2 dB during our game session and around 52 dB during our occasion. Encoding at handbrake only requires a processor, but is much more intense than the game.

To access the inside of the Katana GF66, it is necessary to remove the 10 screws and unleash the hull starting smoothly at an angle, while being careful in the plastic case of very thin pits and turning slightly.

Large battery or possibility of evolution?  MSI selected.  © Digital

Large battery or possibility of evolution? MSI selected. © Digital

Inside, memory, SSD, WiFi card and battery can be easily replaced. A 2.5-inch slot is also available for installing the SATA storage unit (hard drive or SSD, as desired). While removing the shell, we noticed an amazing thing: MSI weighed it with a metal plate to balance the PC. True, the battery occupies two-thirds of the right lens and imbalances the machine. This ballast allows the balance to be re-balanced.

With GeForce RTX3050 from Nvidia, MSI has launched this model in our database. The GeForce RTX3050 has 4GB of video memory with 60Wtgp in our model. However, it lacks the Dynamic Boost 2.0 function, which increases the performance slightly if the processor is not used much and vice versa.

GPU performance indicator (larger is better).  © Digital

GPU performance indicator (larger is better). © Digital

According to the gaming panel that determines our index, the MSI Katana and its GeForce will receive an index of the RTX 3050 93, which puts the Katana between the Acer Nitro 5 AN515 (79) and its GTX 1650 Ti and Asus Dash F15 with RTX GeForce RTX 3060 (124). However, while the performance of the GeForce RTX 3050 is 16% better than the GeForce GTX 1650T, unlike the latter, the RTX as a whole benefits from the recent Nvidia ecosystem. Retrasing, Reflex, broadcast and especially DLSS.

© Digital

The Katana GF66 displays with a 15.6-inch IPS panel at 19 x x 1080 pixels at 14 x Hz. The matte finish helps to hold the reflections as it detects 21% reflection. However, the maximum brightness of the panel is very low at 264 cd / m².

Screen borders are not particularly thin.  © Digital

Screen borders are not particularly thin. © Digital

The difference of 1127: 1 is the average for IPS panels. The temperature is 6633 K, so it is close to the ideal video standard (6550 K). The panel sins because of a lack of calibration. Therefore, delta E is measured at 5.8 with detectable currents in green, blue and ple da colors. Although the reactive panel (144 Hz) is used, the remanence recorded at 20 ms for the laptop is slightly higher Gamer And can cause streaking‌ in fast games.

From left to right, gamma curve, color temperature and delta e.  © Les Numerix

From left to right, gamma curve, color temperature and delta e. © Les Numerix

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