We were blown away when MSI announced its partnership with Mercedes-AMG motor sport at Computex, earlier this year. We were also impressed when we spent some time with the early, non-retail samples of the MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG laptop. It wasn’t perfect, but now it’s been through our labs we can finally give it a proper review. Also note that because the full, official title of this laptop is quite long, we’ll be referring to it as the MSI Mercedes laptop as that’s what’s seems to have stuck when mentioned in casual conversations.
Update: Check out our review of the Mercedes laptop’s twin sibling: the MSI Stealth 16 Studio. It’s cheaper and has a faster screen. But, is it better?
Update 2: We’ve got a very nice, very rare, Mercedes-AMG model car to giveaway. See below.
Table of Contents
|Screen||16-inch, glossy, 60Hz, 3,840 x 2,400, OLED display|
|Processor||4.1-5.4GHz Intel Core i9-13900H CPU|
|Memory||32GB DDR5-5600 RAM|
|Graphics||8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU|
1 x Thunderbolt 4
1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
1 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2
3.5mm audio jack
|Speakers||2 x 2-Watt Speaker|
4 x 2-Watt Woofer
|Extra Security||Fingerprint reader|
Windows Hello (fingerprint & webcam)
|Dimensions||359 x 260 x 20mm|
Features, Ergonomics and Design
The MSI Mercedes laptop might not be as ostentatious as the old, Italian supercar laptop tie-ins we saw back in the naughties, but it reeks of Silver Arrows goodness. It’s coated in Mercedes’ trademark “Selenite Grey” paint and the finish looks almost lacquered.
All the the printed logos on the lid look cool – the Dragon badge, the MSI moniker and the Mercedes-AMG badge – and yet it remains understated. Plus, there are loads of little design flourishes like the red-on-silver, car-like, start/power button; Mercedes’ ‘Rhombuses’ pattern on the space bar, webcam-surround and the rear; the lit-up, RGB Stealth logo that’s also at the rear; the MSI and Mercedes logos beneath the screen; and the AMG logo stamped into the front.
There’s also the per-key RGB backlighting of the keyboard which has a pastel-like hue. The magnesium-alloy chassis helps keep all surfaces feeling solid (there’s no creaking) and it simply oozes quality and looks great. It’s also impressively thin considering the powerful components inside.
Opening up the MSI Mercedes laptop up reveals the 16-inch, UHD, 3,840 x 2,400 display which displays a (very bright) crisp and clear Windows desktop with vibrant colours and this all extends into multimedia performance, too. Contrast is generally very good but some details can get lost in bright areas but more are revealed in dark areas, on the flip side. Being an OLED display, all blacks are rendered as true black. Just remember that, in dark scenes, the glossy screen can turn into a bit of a black mirror.
Both colourful and monochromatic gradients are very good, but not quite perfect and it doesn’t support windows HDR. We’ve been somewhat spoiled by recently having some laptops with hugely impressive mini-LED-based displays in recent reviews, so we’re getting a bit more nit-picky when it comes to OLED.
One area that we can’t help but be a little disappointed with, though, is the 60Hz refresh rate of the screen. Granted, the MSI Mercedes laptop is part of MSI’s creator-oriented Stealth series, but those have always been good for gaming and this should be too. Indeed, fast moving objects aren’t helped by the reasonably fast pixel response time and usually appear blurry – FPS players won’t like it.
We hoped the speakers would sound good in the relatively thin chassis as we’ve been spoiled rotten with great performers lately. However, we didn’t expect the MSI Mercedes laptop to have [checks notes] six (count’em) inside! There are two, regular 2-Watt speakers and four(!) 2-Watt subwoofers. Not surprisingly, it sounds very good indeed and it gets very loud. There’s Davey504 levels of bass and fidelity is impressive from top to bottom. They’re excellent.
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The SteelSeries keyboard looks fantastic with its pastel-coloured, individually-lit, RGB backlighting and it feels very high quality. It’s comfortable and accurate for prolonged typing sessions and also for gaming (despite the screen). We weren’t massive fans of the reduced-size arrow keys but they’re not squished and we quickly got used to them. There’s also a full (reduced-size) number pad, which we liked. There are plenty of shortcuts all over the place and we frequently used many of them.
However, as with many Stealths before it, the MSI Mercedes laptop does get rather warm, even under casual usage, and this directly affects the palm-rest. If you’re typing in a warm environment, expect to get warmer. Conversely, if you’re in a cold environment (and that does also happen in Australia) it could be just what you need.
The trackpad is large smooth and accurate. We really like the button-actuations which are low-effort and low-travel and only emit a soft, high-quality click.
To the right of the trackpad is a Windows Hello-login compatible fingerprint reader.
The Full HD webcam also supports windows Hello facial-recognition log-in. We like that it’s got a bight-orange, manual shutter so you can instantly tell whether its on or not. The camera captures very impressive images in low light – there’s some light grain but it’s almost atmospheric. The microphone array does a very good job of capturing clear audio, even in a noisy environment. It’s very good for werbconferencing.
All in all, the MSI Mercedes laptop looks great and is great to use. Our only gripes are the warm chassis and the 60Hz refresh rate of the screen.
MSI Mercedes Laptop Review: Photo Flourish
The photos in our MSI Mercedes laptop review are augmented by Sour Patch Kids.
Inside the MSI Mercedes laptop is a 4.1 – 5.4GHz Intel Core i9-13900H processor which has six Performance cores and eight efficiency cores that run across 20 threads. It’s flanked by a generous 32GB of DDR5-5600 memory and a fast, sizable, 2TB NVMe hard drive.
In the general-computing, PCMark 10 benchmark the MSI Mercedes laptop scored 7,297 which is well above average and impressive for a laptop this thin.
In the Cinebench processor-based rendering benchmarks it scored 2,878 in the rapid, R15 test and 17,144 in the longer, R23 test. These are above average in the whole, wide, world of laptops and, again, impressive for a thin device.
3D performance comes via an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU which has 8GB of GDDR6 RAM. In the difficult, 3DMark ray-tracing tests, the MSI Mercedes laptop scored 7,293 in Port Royal, which is an impressive average of 33.8fps. In Speed Way it scored 2,929 (average 29.3fps) which is also impressive. These scores mean the MSI Mercedes laptop is powerful enough to play the latest, eye-candy-rich games, but you might need to drop the details and resolution settings to stop stuttering.
In 3DMark Time Spy and Fire Strike Extreme, which mimic mainstream, AAA-game performance, the MSI Mercedes laptop scored 12,290 (average 73.9fps) and 13,679 (average 63fps) respectively. So, it’s got plenty of power to play games.
In the easier, 3DMark Night Raid test, the MSI Mercedes laptop scored 61,944 which is an average of 639fps – so, no problems here.
Ultimately, the MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG has the power to be a very good gaming laptop, but the slow screen disqualifies it from such a label – it’s a high-powered creator laptop for those who need a beefy CPU-GPU combination for tasks like 3D rendering. You can always make use of the HDMI 2.1 port to connect it to a faster display, but naturally, that’s not ideal.
It’s certainly worth dwelling on the cooling situation. Previous Stealths have got very hot and noisy and have exhibited thermal throttling but that doesn’t seem to be such an issue here. MSI’s Cooler Boost 5 technology, with its two fans and five heat pipes, don’t get particularly loud either. They can certainly ramp up and down when in MSI Center’s ‘Sport’ mode – making a robust, low whoosh with a minor, high-pitched whine, but they’re nowhere near as loud or intrusive as some predecessors and current rivals. For the most part, it runs quiet… even if it stays warm at the top and the bottom.
Inside there’s Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3. This all makes for an impressive, modern collection.
Portability and Battery Life
The MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG is only 2cm thick and weighs only 1.9KG. That’s very impressive for such a powerful laptop although it’s just a smidge outside our 1.8KG cut-off for being called an ultraportable. Despite the power, there’s a reduced-size, power brick and this (with cables) add an extra 744g to the mix, which could be a lot worse. We also like how the PSU has MSI-Mercedes-AMG logos stamped on it and there’s even a special, stylised, matching Velcro cable-tie too.
The 99.9Wh battery ran our PCMark 10 Modern Office test for an impressive 9 hours and 8 minutes – we’ve seen too many competitors struggle with Nvidia Optimus settings lately (which can decimate battery life), so it was refreshing to see it last more than a day outside the office.
The solid magnesium-alloy chassis is very rigid and robust and we expect it to easily survive life on the road.
Price and Availability
The MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG is available now with a hefty RRP of $5,099. Considering the premium, special-edition nature of the laptop, the effort that’s gone into making it stand-out and even (to some extent) the accessory bundle, that’s still good value, Fortunately, you can buy it on sale, right now for a more-attractive $3,899.
Alternative to the MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG
We haven’t reviewed too many high-performing creator laptops lately but the MSI Mercedes laptop is not alone. The obvious option is its twin sibling, MSI Stealth 16 Studio, which we’ve now fully reviewed. It has a much faster, lower-resolution, UHD, IPS display and doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles – or the cachet – of the MSI Mercedes laptop. But, it costs significantly less.
Conclusion: Should you buy the MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG?
We want to say yes as it looks great and exudes an understated cool that will cause the odd double-take without turning heads. The 60Hz screen and the warm-running will be deal-killers for some buyers, but for creators looking to impress clients – or any fans of Mercedes-AMG – will absolutely love to own this MSI Mercedes laptop.
It would have been nice if it could have been a gaming laptop too but still… our in-depth testing results tell us that it’s the Best Creator laptop we’ve yet reviewed and it will appear in the Top 10 Best Laptop rankings at the next update.
Packed with features and accessories
Slow 60Hz screen
MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG Scores
The MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG is a hugely desirable statement-piece of a laptop. It’s more for creators than gamers and it’s expensive. However, the features and accessories mean it’s still good value.