MSI Cyborg 15 Review

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MSI offers some really powerful gaming machines around and easily competes with gaming laptops from the likes of Dell, HP, and Lenovo among others. Right now, with the MSI Cyborg 15, you’re getting a compact gaming laptop for gamers on a budget. The price is right at just around $1000 or £750, and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 isn’t a slouch either in the graphics department.

That said, we found a few caveats in this laptop that hold it back from our Editors’ Choice honors. While the Cyborg 15 provides playable 1080p gaming in a decent design, it still packs a 12th-generation Intel Core i7-12650H processor; which while powerful enough for midrange gaming and productivity, seems to underperform when compared to the competition.

Beyond that, if it’s pure graphics you’re after, then graphics you’ll get. Again, considering the MSI Cyborg 15’s impressive gaming performance for under a grand, it’s hard to complain.

CPUIntel Core i7-12650H
GPUNvidia GeForce RTX 4060
Display15.6-inch 144Hz FHD (1920 x 1080)
RAM16GB
Storage512GB
Ports2x USB-A, USB-C, HDMI, Ethernet, 3.5mm audio
Dimensions‎2.25 x 25 x 35.94 cm
MSI Cyborg 15 Review screen

Design & Features

We’ve reviewed lots of other MSI gaming laptops here, including the MSI Katana 15, but the MSI Cyborg 15’s design stands out with its translucent sides and base. Even the WASD keys are translucent and remind us of the old-school gaming peripherals from the late ‘90s which I think is a clever touch. This gives the laptop a unique, retro-style charm but doesn’t draw much attention when you whip the laptop out of your backpack in public.

The base is plastic, but the areas surrounding the keyboard and mouse are cool, matte lightweight metal that’s comfortable to rest your wrists on. The mouse pad is fairly comfortable, but the accuracy is a little lacking sometimes; you occasionally have to press a bit on the surface for it to detect movement.

As with most of MSI’s gaming laptops, you’re getting a comfortable keyboard with well-spaced keys and very responsive clicks. The backlight is constant blue, and you don’t have an RGB control on the color. While it’s usually possible to download and install the MSI Center Control software, it still doesn’t give you the option to change the keyboard backlighting. So, you’re stuck with blue or nothing. If you can’t tolerate the color, you can adjust the brightness with a function button, and it works fine.

The screen on the Cyborg 15 is fast but pale: a 1080p resolution and 144Hz frame rate that makes for a good gaming experience, even though its response times are fairly short. Not the fastest or brightest around (250 cd/m2), but good enough for most people. Unfortunately, its color quality doesn’t cover 100% sRGB, it maxes at just over 60 percent, meaning colors appear bland in both games and films.

MSI Cyborg 15 Review screens

Performance

The MSI Cyborg 15 packs a solid feature set, for the price, making it a great device for playing games. Under the hood, it packs an Intel Core i7-12650H processor, Nvidia RTX 4060 laptop GPU, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD. You might not play modern games at the highest settings, but it does a good job at 1080p all played at high settings.

For the esports fanatics, 144Hz is about the ideal refresh rate, and that’s more reason to love the MSI Cyborg. In less demanding games like World of Warcraft and Metro 2023: Redux, it has no problem getting over 120 fps at max graphics settings.

The Cyborg 15 plays Cyberpunk 2077 at Ultra settings with an 89fps average and still returns a still-playable result of 62fps with Ray Tracing and DLSS. A 1080p average of 87fps in Far Cry: New Dawn is also good; you have enough pace to handle any top single-player game for the next few years, especially if you don’t want to run at high settings. There’s certainly enough speed for any eSports game here.

The MSI Cyborg runs as well as you’d expect for $1,000/ £750. It’s within 2-3 frames per second of the Acer Predator Helios 16, about 8 frames per second off the Asus ROG Strix 15. All of these examples have the same graphics card and very similar central processing power.

The Cyborg 15 has no problem handling everyday productivity tasks. You can use the laptop for work and everyday tasks, and you’ll find it speedy and responsive even with well over 20 open tabs and a YouTube video running in the background, the Cyborg 15 keeps chugging along without stuttering or freezing. Still, the 12th generation Intel Core i7-12650H processor used here doesn’t perform as strongly as competing laptops.

Compared, the Acer Predator Helios 16 packs the same RTX 4060 GPU, but arrives with a more powerful Core i7-13700HX processor, 1TB SSD, and a high-res 165Hz G-Sync display. While you’ll spend a little more for the latest configuration, it still justifies the price bump with solid gaming performance, a comfortable keyboard, and a beautiful design.

MSI Cyborg 15 Review keyboard

Battery life

Gaming laptops don’t have a good reputation when it comes to holding a charge, but the Nitro 5 does better than some of its direct competitors. This MSI laptop runs for 5 hours and 33 minutes on a single charge, and that consists of web browsing, light graphics work, and video streaming, all while connected to Wi-Fi with the display set to 150 nits of brightness.

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 leads the pack with 8-plus hours of battery life, but that’s a premium gaming laptop that costs almost double the Nitro 5. Elsewhere, the MSI Pulse GL66 runs for 3:18, while the Asus TUF Gaming runs for almost 7:30, which is recommendable.

MSI Cyborg 15 Review: Verdict

The MSI Cyborg 15 isn’t a spectacular machine, it wasn’t meant to be, not at this price. All it was meant to be is affordable, stylish, and deliver great performance. In that, it succeeds. The display could be brighter and more colorful, but the 144Hz refresh rate is much welcome. And while its battery life isn’t great, the Cyborg 15 doubles well as a productivity machine, for as long as you can keep it plugged in.

Players with bigger budgets will find more impressive options available, including the Razer Blade 16 (Intel Core I9-14900HX, RTX 4080) or the MSI Raider GE68HX (Intel Core i9-13950HX, RTX 4060). But if your budget can’t stretch to over two grand, the MSI Cyborg 15 will serve you well.

MSI Cyborg 15 Inch FHD Gaming Laptop

£1,399.00
£897.97
 in stock
7 new from £897.97
Free shipping
Amazon.co.uk
as of June 13, 2024 8:26 am
MSI Cyborg 15 Review
MSI Cyborg 15 Review
£897.97 £1,399.00
Digital Weekly
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