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MSI Katana GF76: Gaming laptop reveals several cost-saving measures

The MSI Katana GF76 11UE gaming laptop only convinces to a limited extent in the test. (Image: MSI)
The MSI Katana GF76 11UE gaming laptop only convinces to a limited extent in the test. (Image: MSI)
The MSI Katana GF76 11UE gaming laptop is able to score points on paper with its GeForce RTX 3060 laptop GPU and Intel Core i7-11800H CPU. However, our review revealed a few weaknesses...
Marcus Schwarten (translated by Stephanie Chamberlain), 🇩🇪

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MSI introduces the Katana GF76 with a battlesome name. However, the 11UE-036 configuration failed to fully convince us in the test. Although the gaming combat sword is quite well equipped with the GeForce RTX 3060 laptop GPU, the Intel Core i7-11800H CPU, 16 GB of DDR4-3200 RAM, and a 512 GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD. But in some respects, it tends to use rather blunt weapons.

MSI doesn't fully exploit the device's potential and partly lags behind expectations as well as behind other comparison devices with the same equipment. For instance, the Katana GF76 is outperformed in terms of the processor performance of its Tiger Lake CPU by the Aorus 17G YD equipped with the same processor. And the GPU isn't able to unleash its full potential either. Nonetheless, it should also be noted that all tested games ran smoothly on the MSI Katana GF76 11UE-036, even at the highest graphics settings.

The rest of the configuration also leaves plenty of room for improvement. The 512 GB SSD was quite slow in the test. Unfortunately, the display also failed to convince in the test. Admittedly, the IPS panel with LED backlight and Full HD resolution refreshes at a fast 144 Hz; however, many other metrics show some weaknesses compared to other gaming laptops in the same price range, e.g. in terms of color-space coverage and response times, which are very important for gamers.

There's only one USB-C port, but no DisplayPort or Thunderbolt. The backlit keyboard with red accents is solid to type on, but the number pad and arrow keys are quite small. In contrast, some positive aspects are the rather compact dimensions despite the 17.3-inch display, the fast Wi-Fi, as well as the expandable SSD, and the replaceable and upgradeable RAM, among others.

Judging by the recommended retail price of $1,499, the Katana GF76 delivers a solid but certainly not especially good performance in the test. To revisit MSI's own naming associations once again: The Katana GF76 11UE-036 isn't a blunt combat sword, but it could definitely use some sharpening here and there. More information as well as detailed test results and benchmarks can be found in our review.

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Images: MSI
Images: MSI
Images: MSI
Images: MSI
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Marcus Schwarten
Editor of the original article: Marcus Schwarten - Senior Tech Writer - 746 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2020
I have been fascinated by technology for around 25 years – especially technology that makes life easier rather than more complicated. Mobile devices such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches are particularly close to my heart as is the booming subject of smart homes. I have been working in these areas for several years now as a news and reviews editor. I have been active with various websites, including the smart home blogs homee, Nuki, and siio, as well as tech portals such as Giga and TechRadar. I have been writing news and laptop reviews for Notebookcheck since 2020.
contact me via: Facebook
Stephanie Chamberlain
Translator: Stephanie Chamberlain - Translator - 411 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2020
I've been fascinated with technology ever since I got my very first Android smartphone, which was quite a while ago. The power packed into such a small footprint still amazes me. Learning to program made my understanding of technology deeper, and at the same time, it expanded my interest to the area of desktop computers and laptops. All this led me to enjoy reading and watching reviews of new devices, and that's how I stumbled upon Notebookcheck. I immediately found their reviews to be very comprehensive, and luckily, I've even had the chance of translating them since 2019. When it comes to the huge field of technology, I'm currently also interested in specializing in Java programming.
contact me via: LinkedIn
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > MSI Katana GF76: Gaming laptop reveals several cost-saving measures
Marcus Schwarten, 2021-07- 3 (Update: 2021-07- 2)