MSI Katana GF66 (i7-12700H / RTX 3060) Gaming Laptop Review

Sporting an RTX 3060 and Intel’s new Core i7-12700H processor, it could come as a shock to see the MSI Katana GF66 priced at £1399 within the UK. In reality, the GPU and CPU mixture – coupled with 16GB of DDR4 reminiscence, a 1TB SSD, and a 240Hz 1080p show – make this laptop computer seem to be an intriguing asking value of slightly below fourteen-hundred Great British Pounds.

But how do MSI’s total design and connectivity selections stack up? And does the mix of {hardware} carry out inside this 15.6”-class chassis? Let’s take a more in-depth look.

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00:00 Start
00:53 Katana technical particulars
02:37 The display screen
03:12 Connectivity
04:08 WiFi / Bluetooth / Webcam / Speakers
04:43 Trackpad / Keyboard
05:18 Battery / energy brick
05:40 Pricing – GF66 12UE
06:16 A take a look at system, software program and set up
07:53 Power settings
09:43 Noise output
10:10 SSD efficiency
10:30 Battery Life
10:48 Test outcomes
12:20 Game outcomes
13:16 Luke’s Thoughts

Edit – ninth June 2022: Our preliminary assessment protection and video used the MSI Katana GF66 12UE-406UK mannequin with a reference value of £1099 within the UK. Unbeknownst to us, this was a time-limited promotion for the month of May 2022. The typical retail value of the laptop computer has now elevated to £1399.

Starting out with a take a look at the general design, I wouldn’t say that we’re seeing something notably fancy from the MSI Katana GF66 12UE. This laptop computer takes the type of a generic 15.6” chassis – not notably skinny bezels, not notably smooth thicknesses, and never notably low weight.

You get a roughly 2.25kg laptop computer that’s over an inch thick with the display screen down – or about 23mm thick with the display screen open. That weight could appear OK, however it’s important to add one of the best a part of half a kilo for the 240W barrel-style energy brick.

Sleek and crowd pleasing, this laptop computer just isn’t, notably with its largely plastic building. You do get a very good allocation of cooling air flow on the facet, rear, and backside although. So, which will nicely attraction to a funds gaming viewers extra so than slick bezels and steel building.

Primary to the under-the-hood {hardware} is the Intel Core i7-12700H processor. This chip options 6 efficiency cores and eight environment friendly cores for 20 threads whole. It can Turbo as excessive as 4.7GHz with the 35-115W rated energy vary, however that is dependent upon the producer’s deployment, which we are going to analyse on this assessment.

You additionally get the Nvidia RTX 3060 Laptop GPU in its 6GB type. This is rated at 105W most energy in MSI’s deployment, in line with the spec sheet. A 105W RTX 3060 ought to be a genuinely competent laptop computer graphics card, although not mind-blowing at this value level.

Memory is 2x8GB of DDR4 3200MHz, which is a less expensive possibility than DDR5 so is wise from a funds perspective. And the SSD is a 1TB PCIe Gen 4 mannequin, however there’s a spare M.2 slot for upgrades.

Focusing on the display screen, MSI deploys a 15.6” 1920×1080 IPS-level show. That is ok from a funds perspective, nevertheless it’s the 240Hz refresh price that may actually attraction to players.

No, the display screen high quality just isn’t one of the best; peak brightness is mediocre, color high quality is simply first rate, and the sharpness is undeniably missing given the 15.6” and 1080p mixture. But that refresh price actually does steal the present and it helps translate into an pleasing gaming expertise because of the fluid movement.

Looking on the bodily connectivity for MSI’s Katana GF66, that is one other space the place we see an undeniably funds characteristic set.

You get three USB Type-A ports, one in all which is definitely outdated USB 2.0 with the opposite two being 5Gbps. The single USB Type-C port can also be 5Gbps and doesn’t deal with energy or show output. You get Gigabyte Ethernet and 4K60 HDMI, that are good to see. And ending off is the combo audio jack and the barrel DC energy connector.

So, to summarise, there’s just one USB Type-C port, no 10Gbps USB connectivity, and solely a single high-resolution video output. That’s fairly atrocious for anyone who needs to attach up extra than simply the laptop computer and a single show or odd few peripherals.

Clearly, Thunderbolt is lacking however that’s in all probability honest on this class of laptop computer. Thankfully, MSI does deploy 802.11ax WiFi 6 functionality from the Intel AX201 adapter, and there’s additionally Bluetooth 5.2.

In phrases of peripherals, there’s a 720p30 webcam, nevertheless it doesn’t assist Windows Hello and there’s no fingerprint scanner. So, superior sign-in choices are restricted. The audio system are a pair of 2W items which genuinely stunned me for first rate punch to the bass, good most loudness, and stable capability to take care of first rate high quality at excessive quantity outputs.

Trackpad sizing is modest for my large fingers, however the responsiveness and stream of the implementation and the stable clicky buttons had been good.

The keyboard is sweet for my private choice and enormous fingers. I had only a few unintended key strikes due to the smart key pitch segregating neighbours. I additionally felt that the actuation level was clear and agency, which enhanced consolation. MSI features a quantity pad, which I personally discover pointless, however it’s there.

One level is that the backlit keyboard can’t be modified away from pink, however there are three steps of brightness.

For the battery, a 53.5Whr, 3-cell unit is deployed and utilized in mixture with the sizable 240W energy brick. There is not any USB-C charging, even for trickle top-ups, which is extremely disappointing.

Pricing for the MSI Katana GF66 in its 12UE type as we’re testing is £1399 at Currys within the UK. This offers it very powerful competitors in the marketplace, with opponents from the likes of Acer, ASUS, Gigabyte, and Lenovo all providing fashions with 45W Ryzen chips and RTX 3070-class graphics. Let’s see how the Katana GF66 festivals.

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