REVIEW: MSI PS63 Modern – Super Slim Powerhouse For Creative Professionals
Taiwanese PC manufacturer, MSI, has widened its target market from gamers to creative professionals, with the launch of its ultra-thin ‘PS63 Modern’ (A$1,999) aimed at graphic designers, video editors and animators.
Developed in collaboration with the Discovery Channel, the PS63 Modern boasts an impressive 15.6-inch ultra-thin display screen, engulfed in a stylish grey blue hue.
Featuring the latest 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, the laptop pledges excellent multi-tasking capabilities and smooth graphics rendering.
Renowned for its suite of gaming laptops and PCs, the brand has sought to leverage compatible technologies for a different target audience.
Claimed to deliver “unprecedented speed”, the laptop pledges free reign for creative professionals and passionate hobbyists including 4K video editing and immersive photographic post-production.
Simply put: MSI’s PS63 Modern is a beautifully designed laptop.
The 15.6-inch display screen is complemented by a whopping 86% screen-to-body ratio, and 5.6mm thin bezels – a design surface which is a joy to edit photography and videos.
Animation, post-production and creating digital brochures is significantly more pleasurable using a device with such an expansive screen.
Despite its large size, the laptop is very lightweight, weighing just 1.6kg.
The front sides of the laptop screen are also just 15.6mm thick.
I’d argue MSI’s PS63 Modern is both slimmer and lighter than many smaller sized laptops on today’s market.
To enhance portability – further appealing to the remote freelance lifestyle of many creatives – the laptop’s power adaptor is 38% lighter and 19% smaller than comparable rivals. Despite having a significantly larger laptop, my ‘work bag’ feels much lighter than before.
Marketed as a top-end laptop for professionals, the PS63 Moderns encompasses a stylish, unisex aesthetic – an aluminium chassis, sandblasted exterior texture and diamond cut design.
The navy-blue-greyish hue is both eye catching and unique, but not garish.
It certainly matches its professional target market, whilst foregoing some of the flashy aesthetics of MSI’s gaming laptops (e.g. gold trims).
I will, however, take points aways for its plastic hinge which seems out of place. Points are added for a more discrete branded logo – evoking a sophisticated aesthetic.
Something to note, the screen does not have touch functionality.
Under the hood, the PS63 Modern houses NVIDIA’s GeoForce Max-Q – credited for squeezing all the performance of NVIDIA GeForce GPUs into many of the world’s “fastest, quietest and thinnest laptops.”
Both myself and other creative professionals tested the laptop’s ability to process multiple highly intensive tasks simultaneously (e.g. video rendering, video editing, photographic post-production and graphic design) – simply put, this is one slim powerhouse.
Screen freezes were minimal, and it’s clear there’s some serious grunt under the hood. The fact portability, screen size and weight are not compromised is also appealing.
MSI’s Creator Centre software optimises performance, by adapting to the user’s program of choice – e.g. increasing CPU/GPU dependent on whether you’re editing photos, or gaming.
Not only are ‘work’ tasks a rather seamless endeavour, the PS63 Modern is also an ultra-luxe product to watch movies and TV shows, largely due to its striking screen-to-body ratio.
Watching YouTube and Netflix is a highly enjoyable, immersive experience.
The display screen is an anti-glare matte monitor, which unfortunately is not as vivid in brightly lit rooms versus other comparable laptops – even on maximum brightness.
It’s good, but not outstanding. However, the crispness of detail provided is excellent.
Comparing displayed detail versus two comparative priced laptops, the PS63 Modern is more striking, with colour notably more vivid (despite a lack of screen brightness in some circumstances).
Detail and colour is further enhanced by the laptop’s impressive screen-to-body ratio.
Essential for any writer and creative professional is a smooth, well designed keyboard – the PS63 Modern does not disappoint.
Due to its whopping 15.6-inch screen, keys are comparatively large and more spread out, however, my petite hands had no problems accommodating.
MSI claims the keyboard has been ergonomically designed, and compared to other laptops it’s clear this is valid.
It’s a ‘dream’ to type upon for hours on end, and is extremely comfortable. Smooth keys, great responsiveness and easily accessible functional buttons (e.g. volume, screen brightness, number pad)
That being said, one major qualm I have with the PS63 Modern’s keyboard is its peculiar choice of font. For a device targeting graphic designers, it’s not the easiest to read, with several buttons requiring effort to recognise – e.g curved brackets () looking like square brackets , plus a unique ‘Y’.
The PS63 Modern’s keyboard pays homage to MSI’s gaming portfolio [i.e. a stylish oriental inclined print], however, it’s a deliberation to actively look for the right key versus a clearer keyboard font.
Especially annoying for creatives who build websites, marketing brochures and more.
Personally, I’m able to look past thins because of the keyboard’s super smooth mechanics.
For night owls, keyboard functionality is enhanced via backlit keys.
Compared to its smooth keyboard, the PS63 Modern’s trackpad does leave a little to be desired.
Appealing to on-the-go designers, MSI has increased the trackpad’s size by 35%, also lifting responsiveness by 30%.
It’s a nice expansive space, however, does have a certain ‘clickiness’ that I associate with more cheaper laptops.
It’s not terrible, but if you’re a Mac user you will recognise it. Whilst it’s not an unpardonable con, it doesn’t offer as premium an experience as the laptop’s keyboard.
Pressing the touchpad down feels a touch plasticy, again contrasting its silky smooth keyboard. That being said, it’s easier to get an additional portable mouse than a portable keyboard.
Whilst I am being finicky, the trackpad resistance was enough to personally warrant a wireless mouse, however, for most creative professionals this a necessity anyway.
For added functionality, the trackpad incorporates several multi-finger gestures which are quite useful.
The trackpad also features an in-built fingerprint sensor for added log-in security which behaves as desired, no qualms.
Despite an impressive ability to perform intensive tasks seamlessly, the PS63 Modern does on occasion get noticeably hot. Nothing major, but something to note. The laptop harnesses Cooler Boost 3 technology to reduce temperature and noise – overall not many complaints with this.
Concerning audio quality, the PS63 Modern falls short. Compared to other similarly priced laptops, audio playback is less robust.
Battery life is a notable 16 hours, which largely delivers on this claim under standard computing.
Concerning external ports, I appreciate its 3 USB slots, microSD slot and HDMI port.
Unfortunately, l I did experience a few issues getting HDMI connected devices (e.g. PC monitor/TV) to recognise the laptop, despite installed drivers. Eventually this was rectified via trial and error, but not a seamless endeavour.
MSI’s PS63 Modern is a powerhouse laptop, which performs highly intensive video, design and production tasks largely with ease.
Aimed at the creative professional market, the laptop’s exterior warrants its premium market stance, whilst paying homage to MSI’s gaming roots.
It’s unique, it’s eye-catching, but not garish or attention-grabbing. Perfect for the busy creative executive or professional designer.
Whilst audio quality and screen brightness leave something to be desired, the laptop’s most impressive feat is its 84% screen-to-body ratio, encompassed in a highly portable 1.6kg build.
It’s a pleasure to use, and suitable for the remote work lifestyle of most creative professionals it’s seeking to target.
MSI’s PS63 Modern is available to purchase in Australia from retailers such as Scorpion Tech for $1,999.