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MSI Pulse GL66 11UGKV-231CA Review And Specification


MSI Pulse GL66 11UGKV-231CA Review And Specification

With an Intel "Tiger Lake-H" processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 series graphics card for under $1000, the Pulse GL66 11UGKV-231CA is MSI's newest offering in the midrange gaming laptop category for 2021. The base configuration is also available for less than $1000. With the same design and specification sheet, MSI offers a comparable model in the US called the MSI Pulse GL66 11UGK-001, which we examined a few days ago.

Thanks to its eight-core CPU and GeForce RTX 3070, our review model offers high gaming productivity; but, it's not as popular as the Razer Blade 14 and the Asus ROG Strix G15 (2021). Although the Strix G15 and Blade 14 are slightly more expensive, they come equipped with faster AMD Ryzen 9 processors and graphics cards, RTX 3070 and RTX 3080, respectively.

The ASUS TUF Dash 15 (2021) is still our top 15.6-inch bargain option, but the MSI GL66 is a great option if you require higher frame rates and greater capabilities for productivity as well as gaming.

MSI Pulse GL66 11UGKV-231CA 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
  • Connections : 1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: 3.5mm
  • Networking : 10/100/1000 LAN Card (10/100/1000MBit/s), 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5/ax = Wi-Fi 6/), Bluetooth 5
  • 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
  • Camera : Webcam: Yes
  • Additional features
  • Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes
  • Weight : 2.3 kg ( = 81.13 oz / 5.07 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)


The GL66 Pulse has a stunning gunmetal aluminum lid, and we appreciate MSI breaking away from the traditional all-black gaming style. The laptop has an elegant, contemporary look thanks to the angles on the lid and the laser-etched shield emblem. As can be seen in the picture below, MSI has also altered the logo lettering.

With the exception of the lid, the Pulse GL66 is entirely made of plastic. That is OK for the standard model, but for the model we are analyzing, the cost determines whether or not it is future-proof. In contrast, the Acer Predator Helios 300 weighs only a few ounces more (4.83 pounds versus 4.63 pounds), but it employs more metal and seems more robust. Additionally, the MSI 11UGKV-231CA isn't as svelte as other laptops in this price category, including the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (0.7 x 14.1 x 12.8 inches, HWD), measuring 0.94 x 14.1 x 10.2 inches (HWD).

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

Keyboard & Touchpad

The most striking characteristics of the MSI GL66 Pulse over the company's ultra-budget GF Katana range are an RGB and a metallic cover. The MSI Center app allows you to customize the backlighting of your keyboard, but you can only change the color or lighting zone. Up to four lighting zones are available in competitive gaming rigs at this price point, such as the MSI GE66 Raider.

MSI Pulse GL66 11UGKV-231CA Keyboard

Although it isn't a SteelSeries keyboard and doesn't come with the same companion app as MSI's more expensive GS66 Stealth, the keyboards nonetheless have an aggressive typeface. Nevertheless, the keypress is the same as before, and the tactile feedback is enjoyable.

With the buttonless touchpad, however, this is not true; in order to record a click, exceptionally strong physical pressure is needed. The touchpad may be disabled with the keyboard shortcut Fn+F4, however most gamers use an external mouse, so I doubt that was done on purpose to avoid accidental presses while gaming.


Our evaluation unit (GL66 11UGKV-231CA model) has a 144hz high-refresh-rate screen that works in near perfect harmony with its 8GB dedicated GPU, the GeForce RTX 3070, to deliver triple-digit rates at the laptop's native 1,920 by 1,080 resolution.

With this panel, MSI employs IPS (In-Plane-Switching) technology, so you get decent brightness and contrast that provide a picture that is passable but not exceptionally vibrant. 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 have had limited battery lives, but more lately, systems like the Asus ROG Zephyrus have been known to go for slightly more than eight hours between charges. Nevertheless, with just 3 hours 46 minutes, the MSI GL66 Pulse falls short of the average 6:15 gaming laptop seen in popular markets.

Just bring your brick with you if you plan to use it for ling away from the mains; otherwise, it's not a deal breaker.  Once more, that's about twice as long as the Alienware M15's 3:28 but somewhat longer than the Razer Blade Pro 17's 5:53.

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