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MSI ‎Pulse GL66 11UGK-001 Review And Specification

MSI ‎Pulse GL66 11UGK-001 Review And Specification

 The Pulse GL66 11UGK-001 is MSI's newest entry in the midrange gaming laptop market for 2021. It is equipped with an Intel "Tiger Lake-H" processor and Nvidia's GeForce RTX 30 series graphics card, and it ranges in price from around $1,000 to over $1000 depending on configuration.

Our evaluation device competes with the Asus ROG Strix G15 (2021) and the Razer Blade 14, but it still offers good gaming productivity thanks to an eight-core CPU and GeForce RTX 3070. Although they both cost a little more, the Strix G15 and Blade 14 have faster AMD Ryzen 9 processors and RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 graphics cards, respectively.

Our best 15.6-inch value recommendation is still the ASUS TUF Dash 15 (2021), but the MSI GL66 is a great option if you require better frame rates and more advanced capabilities for both gaming and productivity.

MSI ‎Pulse GL66 11UGK-001 Specification 

  • Processor : Intel Core i7-11800H 8 x 2.3 - 4.6 GHz, Tiger Lake-H
  • Graphics adapter : NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU - 8 GB VRAM, GDDR6
  • Memory : 16 GB , DDR4-3200
  • Display : 15.60 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, glossy: no, 144 Hz
  • Storage : 512GB SSD
  • Networking : Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 (a/b/g/h/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5/ax = Wi-Fi 6/)
  • Size : height x width x depth (in mm): 24.2 x 398 x 273 ( = 0.95 x 15.67 x 10.75 in)
  • Operating System : Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
  • Weight : 2.3 kg ( = 81.13 oz / 5.07 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
  • Price : 1300 Euro

Design

MSI ‎Pulse GL66 11UGK-001 Display

The GL66 Pulse looks fantastic with a gunmetal aluminum lid, and we appreciate MSI's departure from the traditional all-black gaming aesthetic. The laptop has a sleek, contemporary design thanks to the laser-etched shield emblem and the angles on the lid. As shown in the image below, MSI has also altered the wording on their logo.

With the exception of the lid, the MSI GL66 is entirely made of plastic. That's acceptable for the base model, but for the model we're analyzing, the price mandates that it be future-proof. Despite weighing only a few ounces extra (4.83 versus 4.63 pounds), the Acer Predator Helios 300 uses more metal and is more durable. The MSI 11UGK-001 isn't as compact as other models in this price range, including the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (0.7 x 14.1 x 12.8 inches, HWD), and it measures 0.94 x 14.1 x 10.2 inches (HWD).

The port selection is decent but not outstanding. Three conventional USB Type-A ports (two USB 3.2 Gen 1 and one legacy 2.0), a headset jack, Gigabit Ethernet, and an HDMI 2.0b video output (useful for 4K at 60Hz) are located on the sides of the device. There is also one USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port. Bluetooth 5 and Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 are used for wireless connectivity.

Keyboard & Touchpad

The main differences between the MSI GL66 Pulse and the company's low-cost GF Katana range are a metallic lid and an RGB. The MSI Center program allows you to customize the keyboard backlighting, but you can only choose one hue or lighting zone. At this pricing point, other gaming rigs like the MSI GE66 Raider provide up to four lighting zones.

Despite not being a SteelSeries keyboard and lacking the companion app included in MSI's more expensive GS66 Stealth, the keyboards nonetheless have an aggressive typeface. However, you still experience the well-known keypress, and the satisfying tactile feedback.

The buttonless touchpad, on the other hand, necessitates exceptionally intense physical pressure in order to register a click. Although most gamers use an external mouse, you can turn off the touchpad by pressing the Fn+F4 keyboard shortcut if you use one of those instead. I assume that was done on purpose to prevent accidental presses when gaming.

Display

Our review unit's 144 Hz high refresh rate screen and its 8 GB GeForce RTX 3070 dedicated GPU, which generates triple-digit rates at the laptop's native 1,920 by 1,080 resolution, are almost a perfect match.

The IPS (In-Plane- Switching) technology used by MSI for this panel results in a picture that is acceptable in terms of brightness and contrast, albeit not exactly color-accurate. With 60Hz panels and a 4GB GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card, the screen is rated as 72% NTSC color coverage, which is more bright than the 45% on the base GL66 Pulse devices.

A Battery's Life

Historically, gaming laptops had poor battery life, but more recently, models like the Asus ROG Zephyrus have shown to last for just over 8 hours on a single charge. Despite this, the MSI GL66 Pulse lasts only 3 hours 46 minutes, falling short of the common gaming laptop average of 6:15.

But that's not a deal breaker; just have your brick with you if you plan to use it for long while not connected to the mains.  Once more, that's a touch longer than the 5:53 of the Razer Blade Pro 17, but nearly twice as long as the 3:28 of the Alienware M15.

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