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MSI P65 Creator 8RD Laptop Review: Powerhouse Tucked In A Slim Profile
We've seen quite a few good Windows-based alternatives to the Apple MacBook Pro in the form of Dell XPS 15 and the Microsoft Surface 2. But, now a Taiwan-based company MSI is bursting on to the scene of creative laptops with its latest MSI P65 Creator 8RD.
- Bright Display
- Zippy Performance
- Dedicated Graphics
- No Card Reader
- Few Usability Issues
- Underwhelming Build Quality
The company has managed to build a powerful notebook that draws power from an Intel Coffee Lake processor coupled with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti GPU. It was launched at a price of Rs 1,59,990. With the P65, the company is aiming at content creators like illustrators, video editors, animators, etc. But, is it worth putting your money on? Let's find out in our review:
- 15.6-inch FHD display
- 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution
- Intel Coffeelake i7 8th gen processor
- GeForce GTX 1050Ti GPU
- 32GB RAM
- 512GB SSD
- Windows 10 Home
- Fingerprint scanner
- Cooler Boost
Lightweight But Boxy Design
The company has neatly designed the P65 Creator. The metal body is covered in shiny silver color making it more attractive compared to the conventional black and grey color schemes. It isn't as slim as the MacBook Pro and also feels a bit boxy, which is something I don't appreciate personally.
However, despite the powerful components inside, the company has managed to keep the notebook light and thin and can easily be carried in a backpack but a bigger one as the dimensions aren't compact.
It might not be the fanciest looking laptop out there, but it still got a decent appearance. The real bottleneck is the build quality, which for a laptop this expensive is deplorable. There's a bit of flex in the keyboard and we found the hinge quality to be a tad underwhelming.
We also found the cutouts around the ports to be uneven which hampers the overall symmetry making it look a bit messy. Having said that, the laptop manages to house essential ports and sockets. It packs three USB 3.1 Type-A, but I would have appreciated more than one Type-C USB Thunderbolt 3 port. Also, the notebook comes sans an SD card slot which is another setback.
The MSI P65 Creator sports a 15.6-inch FHD IPS with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution and 60Hz refresh rate. The thin bezels running along the edges make the viewing experience more immersive. I faced absolutely no issues with the clarity and the colors felt true to the eye. The best part of the display is the anti-glare panel that restricts the annoying reflections.
Moreover, the viewing angles were impressive and there was hardly any color shift when viewed from different angles. On that note, the hinges let you tilt the screen all the way back 180 degrees, to find the best suitable angle.
The notebook offers ‘True Color' software that lets you adjust the color output and brightness according to your needs. I found the feature really handy because I used the laptop for work, multimedia consumption, and sometimes gaming. The pre-loaded Dragon Center app also allows for adjusting the blue light if working late hours. I mostly used the keyboard shortcuts to adjust the brightness.
Basically, the screen is designed for gaming, but it also caters pretty well to the professional visual applications.
Keyboard And Touchpad
My work includes a lot of keyboard smashing, so this is one aspect I always give extra attention. Fortunately, the P65 Creator isn't a letdown in that department. I wouldn't call it the best, but it does the job with finesse.
I felt the key travel to be a bit thin but it's still comfortable enough for prolonged typing sessions. The fully backlit keyboard also makes it easy to work in low lighting conditions. The company has also added an extra row of buttons on the right side which often creates confusion. I accidentally pressed the Home, End, and Page Up/Down instead of Enter and backspace more than a few times.
The keyboard is followed by a good-sized touchpad, but I wouldn't call it handy. The touchpad is responsive and I managed to tap it unintentionally many times. I would personally recommend using a mouse.
The touchpad also has a fingerprint sensor which is pretty swift in its operation. It is also compatible with Windows Hello. It works well almost all the time, however, you'll find it hard to log in if your fingers are moist.
A Zippy Performer
The MSI P65 Creator carries the Intel i7-8750H Coffee Lake Processor clocked at 2.2GHz. It is backed by 32GB of RAM and 512Gb of storage. Speaking of the performance, I noticed absolutely no lag or stutter. Everything ran smoothly and multitasking worked like a charm.
We ran some tests on the laptop and scores were satisfactory. In the PCMark benchmarks, the notebook logged a score of 3795 in the performance. This is actually higher than what we have seen on the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 but lower than the Asus ROG Strix Scar II. Since the P65 is a laptop is marketed for creators, it wouldn't be fair to compare it with high-end gaming laptops.
The 512GB storage is fast as well and churns out read and write speeds of 1591MB/sec and 1023MB/sec respectively, as per the CrystalDiscMark test.
The graphics front is taken care by the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti, and it delivers right on the money. I fired up a few graphics-intensive games and the notebook managed to run them without any frame drops. Another task that the laptop had to perform was video editing. I used Adobe Premiere Pro and Filmora. Although the rendering on Premiere Pro took its own sweet time, Filmora ran without any hassle.
Thanks to the heat pipes and fans, the laptop remained cool most of the time and was comfortable to use while on my lap.
Battery And Audio
MSI claims that the P65 Creator can offer up to 9 hours of battery backup, however, my review unit lasted for only 4-5 hours at best. But, heavy tasks like editing didn't drain the battery at a faster rate.
Since MSI isn't selling the product as a gaming notebook, so the users could have used a better battery life.
Speaking of the audio quality, the MSI P65 Creator fails to impress. The sound quality is pretty low and you'll need an external audio source while playing music or watching a video.
However, if you have some compatible headphones, then your life would be easier. You can connect wireless headphones using the Bluetooth 5 on board.
Overall, the MSI P65 8RD is a well-rounded creative laptop that also doubles as a gaming machine. You get the good aspects of both the worlds, if not the best. It has a brilliant screen, smooth performance, and lightweight body.
However, the price tag that this laptop carries isn't quite justified. The build quality could have been better and the port positioning isn't well thought out. Also, the touchpad is a bit of a letdown. All these factors could be dealbreakers for many.
We would recommend this device to people who work in creative environments and enjoy a game or two once in a while. If you are open to option, then you can consider the Omen 15 (2018) which has a better build and fits the bill. The Dell XPS 15 is also one good alternative; however, it doesn't have a gaming-friendly display and GPU.