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MSI Katana GF66 11UX / Sword 15 A11U 15.6" Gaming Laptop (11th, 2021)

NEX score 50%

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Product Overview

MSI Katana GF66 is an entry-level 15.6-inch gaming laptop. It is also available in white as the Sword 15. They share the same characteristics with Pulse GL66 / Crosshair 15: the difference is that the Katana GF66 / Sword 15 have plastic chasses.
Configured just like the 17.3-inch Katana GF76 / Sword 17, the 15.6-inch model is powered by up to Core i7 Tiger Lake chips combined with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30-series graphics up to RTX 3060.
Unfortunately, as it is the case with Pulse GL66 / Crosshair 15 / Katana GF76 / Sword 17, MSI has mised on the spec list, leaving the Katana GF66 / Sword 15 with just WiFi 6, USB 3.2 Gen1, and PCIe Gen3 and without any Thunderbolt port.
A difference (besides the chassis material) from the Pulse / Crosshair models is that the Katana / Sword versions are limited to two FHD IPS display options, one with 60Hz refresh rate and one with 144Hz.
Alongside the new GF66, MSI also refreshed its entire gaming laptop lineup with the new Tiger Lake processors.

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Ratings

What we found**

Pros
  • High-quality aluminum case
  • Good gaming performance
  • Good battery life
Cons
  • Low-contrast 144Hz display
  • Mediocre speakers

What external reviewers found***

NEX score: 50% (not directly comparable across industries)
Pros
  • Good keyboard
  • Very good gaming performance
  • Good battery life
Cons
  • No keyboard backlight
  • Lackluster performance
  • Dull display
  • Lacklustre design
  • Mediocre SSD performance
  • No G-Sync
Read More

Price Comparison (incl. referral links)*

Specifications

Variants:
Katana GF66
Sword 15

Connectivity

Ports
1x USB-C 3.2 Gen1 + 2x USB 3.2 Gen1 + 1x USB 2.0 + 1x HDMI + 1x RJ45 (1Gbps) + 1x Audio combo
Wireless Connectivity
WiFi 6 + Bluetooth 5.2

Construction

Battery | Capacity
53.5 Wh
Camera | Front
IR HD type (30fps@720p)
Katana GF66Colors
Black
Sword 15Colors
White
Speakers
Stereo Speakers

Dimensions

Size | Depth
259 mm
Size | Height
24.9 mm
Size | Width
359 mm
Weight
2.1 kg

Display

Display Diagonal
15.6 inch
Display Type
IPS
Refresh Rate
60 or 144 Hz
Resolution
FHD (1920x1080)

Function

Chipset
Intel HM570
Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 4GB GDDR6, RTX 3050 Ti 4GB GDDR6, or RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6
Katana GF66Keyboard Backlight
Backlight Keyboard (Single-Color, Red)
Sword 15Keyboard Backlight
Backlight Keyboard (Single Color, Blue)
Operating System
Windows 10
Processor
Up to 11th-gen Intel Core i7 Tiger Lake

Performance

Key Travel
1.7 mm
Memory | Capacity
2x slots, Max 64GB
Memory | Type
DDR4 3200 MHz
Power Supply
150 or 180 W adapter
Storage
2x NVMe M.2 PCIe Gen3

Production

Debut
2021-05

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External Reviews

laptopmag[1]

Sentiment Score 44%
Reviewers from laptopmag have found the following***:
MSI Katana GF66 has the latest Intel Core i7-11800H processor and 16GB of RAM. It transcoded a 4K video to 1080p on our HandBrake benchmark in just 6 minutes and 37 seconds. On the Laptop Mag battery test, the Katana lasted only 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Sleek design
  • Strong performance
  • Good battery life
Cons
  • Dull display
  • Lackluster performance

notebookcheck[2]

Sentiment Score 46%
Reviewers from notebookcheck have found the following***:
MSI Katana GF66 11UG-220 is a solid device for gaming. You will look in vain for any special performance or equipment characteristics in this laptop. With the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070, you will at least get a decent gaming experience. The MSI laptop delivered good results in all the games we tested.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • High system performance
  • Good keyboard
  • Decent battery life
Cons
  • No keyboard backlight

t3[3]

Sentiment Score 60%
Reviewers from t3 have found the following***:
MSI Katana GF66 is one of the best gaming laptops on the market at the moment. Powered by an 11th-gen Intel Core i7-11800H, it has the latest Nvidia graphics tech. It can play the best games comfortably at a 1080p resolution, though not at the same frame rates that more expensive and more capable laptops will. At the time of writing the model that we reviewed will cost you just under £1,000.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Very good gaming performance
  • Decent battery life
Cons
  • No fingerprint sensor
  • Lacklustre design

trustedreviews[4]

Sentiment Score 51%
Reviewers from trustedreviews have found the following***:
The MSI Katana GF66 11UE has a 1080p panel with a 15.6in diagonal and a 144Hz refresh rate. Graphical grunt comes from an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060. The Core i7-11800H is a more recent 11th Gen processor that’s got eight multi-threaded cores alongside speeds of 2.3GHz and 4.6GHz.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Decent gaming performance
  • Good battery life
Cons
  • No G-Sync
  • Mediocre SSD performance

User Reviews

References

1. ^ MSI Katana GF66 review. [laptopmag]. https://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/msi-katana-gf66. 2021-09-05. Retrieved 2021-09-08.
2. ^ MSI Katana GF66 11UG review: A gaming laptop with wasted potential. [notebookcheck]. https://www.notebookcheck.net/MSI-Katana-GF66-11UG-review-A-gaming-laptop-with-wasted-potential.561019.0.html. 2021-09-14. Retrieved 2021-09-16.
3. ^ MSI Katana GF66 review: great gaming performance on a budget. [t3]. https://www.t3.com/reviews/msi-katana-gf66-review. 2021-08-13. Retrieved 2021-10-20.
4. ^ MSI Katana GF66 Review. [trustedreviews]. https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/msi-katana-gf66. Retrieved 2021-11-08.

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