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MSI’s new gaming laptop is thin, different, and cheaper than you’d expect
Pizazz without the premium.
MSI is looking to catch the attention of nascent and wannabe netrunners with the new Cyborg 15 gaming laptop.
With a profile of 21.95mm and a weight of 1.98kg, the Cyborg 15 is one of the thinnest and lightest entries in MSI's latest lineup of gaming laptops. More than just the convenience that comes with being compact, it's the colourful look of the machine that cuts through the crowd and makes it intriguing.
Essentially, the MSI Cyborg 15 has a pinch more pizazz than the average gaming laptop and ditches the premium that usually comes with it. Built around a 15.6-inch FHD screen clocked at 144Hz, there's a translucent material that weaves its way through both the keyboard and chassis. It's not quite as eye-catching as something like the Nothing Phone 1, but by the homogeneous standards of gaming laptops it's pretty out there.
The blue keyboard back-lighting adds to the retro-futurist vibe here, making for a pretty striking contrast to the crimson pallet seen across the rest of the MSI gaming laptop roster.
These futuristic flourishes, while not overwhelming, still serve to set the Cyborg 15 apart from its cousins and competition in a way that's easy to grasp on a visual level. It's not quite as out there as something like the ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED Space Edition, but it's definitely leaning in the same direction.
While there's another more powerful spec configuration on the way, the baseline version of the MSI Cyborg 15 comes powered by a 13th Gen Intel Core i7-13620H processor, up to 64GB of DDR5 RAM, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050 Laptop GPU plus a single M.2 SSD slot with an amount of storage that's currently TBD.
Those specs are more-or-less what you'd expect, but the same should be the case for the performance. This isn't the kind of gaming laptop that'll rollick through the world of ray tracing, but it should be more than capable enough for the next time you feel like returning to Night City.
In Australia, this version of the MSI Cyborg 15 will land at an RRP of $2529 when it launches later this month.
MSI has always had a knack for sticking the right components together and squeezing things down to the right asking price. The emphasis is on making the value visible to informed consumers who like to do their research rather than chasing the volume that comes with more mainstream consumers.
Unfortunately, the problem with this strategy is that it relies on bigger brands like ASUS and Lenovo giving MSI the room it needs to maneuver and be mercantile. Of course, one way out of this predicament is for the brand to hedge its bets and start selling products that its rivals don't, can't or won't deal in.
The Cyborg 15 is weird enough that it's probably not going to be the gaming laptop for everyone but treated as an entree for what a more ambitious MSI can accomplish it has me hungry for more.