From www.tomsguide.com

Early Verdict

The MSI Stealth 18 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport races into my heart with its luxurious motorsport styling and gorgeous display. But for nearly $4,000, it seems daft that MSI settled for the pretty much redundant Series 1 Intel Core Ultra. For that amount of money, it’s not far-fetched to want to be on the bleeding edge.

Pros

  • +

    Luxurious racing aesthetic

  • +

    Drop dead gorgeous display

  • +

    Nice ergonomics

  • +

    Plenty of power (mostly)

Cons

  • Sticks to Series 1 Intel Core Ultra

  • $3,899!? Time to remortgage the house

Last year, MSI took the checkered flag with its Mercedes-AMG partnership — jumping into my racing heart with its subtle motorsport aesthetic and packing plenty of power to boot.

One year later at Computex 2024, the love-in continues and there’s an 18-inch big brother. Introducing the MSI Stealth 18 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport, with a name equally as long as its $3,899 price tag is big.

For that, you’re getting a slightly revamped racing chic design, a mind-blowingly gorgeous UHD OLED panel (or mini-LED if you’re feeling it), and pretty impressive horsepower under the hood…emphasis on the “pretty.”

Because for all the small updates here and there, including Wi-Fi 7 data speeds, MSI has stuck rigidly to the Series 1 Intel Core Ultra 9 185H. Technically, this can’t be called a Copilot+ PC, which is why you see MSI dancing around this with its own AI+ PC branding. 

So for the stonking price of entry here, why didn’t the company opt for the AMD Ryzen AI 300 series if it needed to launch quickly, or even just wait until Lunar Lake’s debut in Q4? It’s an odd choice that may leave a bad taste in the mouth of big spenders looking for the bleeding edge.

MSI Stealth 18 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport: Specs

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CPUIntel Core Ultra 9 185H
GPUGeForce RTX 4080
RAMUp to 96GB LPDDR5
StorageUp to 4TB PCIe Gen 4×4 SSD
Display18-inch UHD 3840 x 2400 pixels, OLED or Mini-LED
Ports2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1x Thunderbolt 4, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x 3.5mm audio combo jack, Micro-SD card reader
Battery99.9Wh
Wireless connectivityWi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4
Dimensions15.7 x 11.4 x 0.9 inches
Weight6.4 pounds
Pricet: 6.4 pounds Price: From $3,899

MSI Stealth 18 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport: What we like

MSI’s Merc tie-up has fallen into that premium laptop category, and you can tell it’s luxury immediately from gazing upon it.

Large and (luxuriously) in charge

MSI Stealth 18 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

From the subtle pattern across the magnesium alloy deck and its ‘engine-start’ button paired with similar glossy red WASD keys, all the way to the signatures emblazoned on a metallic panel underneath, this recreates that supercar experience with some impressive grace.

The aesthetic is not going to be for everybody, but for a sim racing nut like myself (you can see my recent escapades testing Revosim’s new wheel months before release), it’s glorious. Not only that, but some thoughtful ergonomic tweaks are on show here too — including the giant touchpad and great-feeling keyboard, alongside those upward firing speakers for a soundstage that goes some way to overwhelm those blasting fans.

And at under one-inch thickness, this is a slim system that can fit into any backpack space easily (provided you’ve got the space for its other dimensions, so get a bigger bag if you plan on lugging it around).

Mouthwatering for all your entertainment needs

MSI Stealth 18 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

I’ve already gone over the speakers, but they need to be paired with a good screen and MSI absolutely delivers with an 18-inch UHD OLED panel at a 16:10 aspect ratio. Colors melt off the display while the contrast ratio gives every picture plenty of HDR depth.

Whatever games you throw at the system’s specs, which are pretty power packed (bar one thing I’ll talk about later) including the RTX 4080 GPU and up to 96GB of RAM, they will look stunning and run smooth with that 120Hz refresh rate.

MSI Stealth 18 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport: What we don’t like

So far, so luxurious. But with any supercar purchase (saying that like I’d ever get the chance to buy one), surely you’d want the internal workings to be faultless for that exorbitant price tag. Unfortunately, that’s not entirely the case here.

Intel Core Ultra what now?

MSI Stealth 18 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

Yes this is technically Intel’s latest chipset, but it’s turned out to be purely a transitional CPU for Team Blue. With only a quarter of the NPU performance required to call it a Copilot+ PC, it was simply a course correction to get onto the right track in terms of chip development.

As for where the real power is, Intel has shown its hand with Lunar Lake…so why didn’t MSI just put that in here and wait until its Q4 debut? Chances are in the feel of this machine’s power, most people will be happy, but we’re not talking about most people here.

If you’ve dropped nearly four stacks on a laptop, I don’t think it’s unfair to expect the best of everything — future-proofed specs that will last a good long while. This choice of CPU simply doesn’t do that. I mean if speed was key to getting this out, AMD’s latest Ryzen AI laptop chips are right there.

All that horsepower from the RTX 4080 is probably going to get bottlenecked. We’ve seen it before with Intel Core Ultra Series 1, and chances are we’ll see it again. It’s an odd choice that will annoy potential punters.

MSI Stealth 18 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport: Outlook

MSI Stealth 18 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

It’s OK to hope for more — especially with a $3,899 price tag. But that’s not to say the MSI Stealth 18 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport comes damn close to being an unstoppable luxury gaming laptop.

The GPU power is packed into a slim, sexy body with all kinds of racing heritage baked in, and that screen is a marvel to any eyes. But with a Meteor Lake-shaped flat tire, how long will it be before you need to dive into the pits for Lunar Lake?

Jason England

Managing Editor — Computing

Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a Managing Editor of Computing at Tom’s Guide. He has previously written for Laptop Mag, Tom’s Hardware, Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you’ll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn’t already.

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The post MSI’s Stealth 18 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport is a powerhouse that misses pole position by a Meteor Lake whisker first appeared on www.tomsguide.com

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