Hands-On with the MSI Stealth 14 Studio - A Powerhouse for Gaming or Work


Written by @Rye_Bread

Over the past month, I had the opportunity to take home and test the MSI Stealth 14 Studio laptop. The Stealth, powered by an Intel Core i7-13700H and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 Laptop GPU, paired with 16 gigabytes of RAM and a terabyte of SSD storage, proved to be a very capable companion for a variety of tasks, whether it be photo editing, video editing, light gaming, or more menial tasks like online classes.

Pretty colors!

During my initial unboxing, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the laptop had a soft iridescent finish on the top and bottom white covers, which contrasts well with the black found on the rear exhaust and keyboard. Powering on the computer, I was greeted with gorgeous keyboard RGB powered by SteelSeries as well as some lighting on the rear panel highlighting, the STEALTH logo, and some soft lighting at the 11 and 1 o’clock angles. Clocking in at just 3.75 pounds, this laptop is light enough to carry and manipulate with ease. The right side features a Thunderbolt 4 port, USB 3.2 Gen 2, and a 3.5mm combo jack. The left side contains the AC in, HDMI 2.1, and USB C 3.2 Gen 2 (w/ DisplayPort and PowerDelivery). As a side note, this laptop does not charge over USB type C.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how pleased I was with the display, which was bright, crisp, and colorful. The screen is of the 16:10 aspect ratio, which is slowly becoming more and more popular for productivity laptops as people realize the benefits of having more vertical real estate. The resolution is 2560x1600, with a 240Hz refresh rate which makes the entire experience that much more fluid. MSI claims 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space, which is a boon for anyone using the Stealth for Studio work (hint hint, it’s in the name). A side effect of the extra color is that games like Sonic Frontiers and Hi-Fi Rush—which make great use of color palettes to convey mood—look stunning. MSI doesn’t publish a brightness spec for this particular laptop, but its screen is just as bright if not a bit brighter than my Surface Pro 7 which clocks in at about 400 nits. I find that keeping the screen at 50% brightness is perfect even when under another light source.

Inside of the Stealth 14. The grey square in the middle covers two DDR5 RAM slots.

Disassembly is as easy as removing the 8 screws on the bottom cover and popping it off. This is one of the easier laptops to disassemble, as the plastic clips aren’t as willing to partake in Mortal Kombat with me as other laptops I’ve taken apart. Once inside, you’re presented with a bunch of stuff. The important bits consist of the Intel WiFi/Bluetooth card, a Gen 4 2280 M.2 NVMe provided by our friends at Micron, a 70Wh battery that can be replaced, and a metal plate. Two 8GB RAM sticks produced by SK Hynix sit under that plate, which is held on by a few clips. All well and good! The parts are fairly easy to access, replace, or upgrade if need be. MSI is pretty good with keeping their laptops easy to open and upgrade.

Experimenting with the SteelSeries GG software

On the gaming side of things, I tested Battlefield 2042, Rainbow Six: Siege, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, War Thunder, and Halo Infinite. These were tested with the laptop plugged in and they were run at the laptop’s native resolution of 2560x1600, which kept things nice and crisp. Although lowering the resolution a bit would have helped net some extra frames, I found that it wasn’t needed. All six games I tested were more than playable. War Thunder and Rainbow Six: Siege were both tested at their “Ultra” presets, as both games are known to be extremely well optimized. The four other games were tested at their “Medium” settings (or “Balanced”, as some games call it). I also played a few other games that frankly didn’t require any benchmarking, such as CS:GO, Worms W.M.D. ( a personal GOAT), and Sonic Frontiers. The latter is engine locked to 60fps, which is maintained perfectly throughout. And these aren’t just great-at-home-games either. The Stealth 14 makes for a solid portable gaming machine. It was quite nice being able to throw it in my Chrome bag along with a small controller and play games like Sonic Frontiers or Hi-Fi Rush. I just had to keep a close eye on my battery (a little more on that in a moment).

For a laptop marketed heavily towards creators, this device can handle a wide variety of games while maintaining steady framerates.

Of course, with any productivity laptop, you’re probably going to want to use it for things beyond gaming. There are a lot of options for benchmarks, but I opted for one of the most popular: Blender benchmarks. I ran the Stealth through the full suite – Monster, Junkshop, and Classroom. The results are impressive, showing that this isn’t a machine just for gaming on the go. It’s ready for productivity wherever and whenever you need it!

Temperatures and volume are worth noting. Anytime you fire up a game or perform any heavy productivity tasks—such as exporting videos—the cooling system gets to work. The volume of the fans is what I would refer to as “average” among the gaming laptops I’ve experienced, perhaps slightly louder due to the smaller form factor. During games, I found that CPU temperatures hovered around 90°C and the GPU temps settled near 80°C. I didn’t notice any 100° peaks from the CPU, nor any major throttling even during extended sessions. All said and done, the cooling system does exactly what it’s supposed to do but I would, as with most laptops, recommend a pair of headphones if you’re going to be playing games that require precise sound.

Finally, to cover battery life I performed two tests: One playing a YouTube video with the volume at 20% and brightness at 50%, and another playing various games with the volume also at 20% and with the brightness at 50%. The MSI Stealth provided 2 hours and 55 minutes of battery life during the video playback test, and 1 hour 35 minutes of gameplay. I’d highly recommend keeping the charger handy on longer outings and keeping an eye on the percentage. If you need to squeeze a little more juice out of this laptop, lowering your brightness and adjusting your power settings within Windows will help.

Back panel of the Stealth

All in all, I was quite pleased with the Stealth 14 Studio. It proved itself to be quite the performer and was a joy to use. It would make a great partner in crime for any on-the-go content creators or part time gamers. As with any gaming computer, I highly recommend taking some time and fine tuning the graphics settings in any game you play as this can make a huge difference in performance. The graphics presets are made to cover a wide berth of machines, and every configuration responds differently. There is some room for improvement when it comes to battery life, however, I do understand that having so much power in a small package comes with some considerations. I’m finding it kind of hard to let this little laptop go, but alas, I enjoy my job and would like to keep it. It’ll be on display at the Chicago Micro Center for the next few weeks.

Those shifts in color aren't a camera or a lighting issue, they're the iridescence!

As a final note, this was my first ever in-depth laptop review! Please let me know in the comments if there’s more you’d like to see next time around. I had so many ideas, but I didn’t want to make this too long, but I’m happy to go more in-depth on the things people want to see!

Looking for more reviews, news, and guides for laptops? Check out our Platinum Collection guide over here, as well as our Intel Evo Guide and Essential Creator Laptops! And if you're looking for more fantastic computers, be sure to visit us in person for even more options!


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