MSI Katana 15

MSI Katana 15: The Ultimate Gaming Laptop Under $1,000

MSI Katana 15 B13V

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MSI Katana 15: The Ultimate Gaming Laptop Under $1,000

Are you in search of a powerful gaming laptop that won’t break the bank? Look no further than the MSI Katana 15. Packed with impressive hardware and offering excellent value for money, this gaming laptop is a force to be reckoned with. In this article, we will delve into the key features, performance, design, and more to help you determine if the MSI Katana 15 is the right choice for your gaming needs.

Pros and Cons of the MSI Katana 15

Let’s summarize the pros and cons of the MSI Katana 15:


  • Strong gaming performance
  • Good speakers
  • Excellent value for money
  • Customizable RGB keyboard lighting
  • Upgradeable components


  • Short battery life
  • Mediocre display quality
  • Flashy arrow key design

Design and Build Quality

The MSI Katana 15 boasts a sleek design that is both stylish and functional. Constructed with high-sheen plastic, this laptop exudes a modern aesthetic. While the overall feel may seem “cheap,” it is on par with other laptops in its price range. The four-zone RGB keyboard adds a touch of flair, although some may find the arrow keys design a bit garish. The laptop is relatively lightweight, making it easy to transport and game on the go.

Specifications and Performance

Under the hood, the MSI Katana 15 is powered by an Intel Raptor Lake processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 discrete graphics card, 16GB of RAM, and a generous 1TB SSD. This powerful combination ensures smooth gameplay and seamless multitasking. In our tests, the Katana 15 delivered impressive gaming performance, achieving frame rates of 70 to 80 fps in games like Overwatch 2 and Cyberpunk 2077 at 1080p resolution with high detail settings enabled.

The laptop’s gaming prowess was further demonstrated in benchmarks such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider, where it outperformed competitors with its commanding lead. The Katana 15’s performance in other popular titles like Grand Theft Auto V, Far Cry 6, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Borderlands 3 was equally impressive, showcasing its ability to handle demanding games with ease.

In addition to its gaming capabilities, the MSI Katana 15 excels in productivity tasks. Equipped with an Intel Core i7-13620H processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD, this laptop breezed through our productivity benchmarks. It achieved outstanding scores in Geekbench 5, Handbrake video transcoding, and file copy tests. Whether you’re gaming or working, the Katana 15 is up to the task.

Display and Audio

While the MSI Katana 15’s display may not be its standout feature, it still offers a satisfactory viewing experience. The 15.6-inch IPS panel with a 1080p resolution and a fast 144Hz refresh rate ensures smooth visuals during gaming sessions. However, the display falls short in terms of color accuracy and brightness compared to its competitors. The muted colors and lack of richness may be disappointing for those seeking vibrant visuals. Nevertheless, the display remains legible even in well-lit environments.

On the audio front, the MSI Katana 15 impresses with its decent sound quality. The dual 2-watt speakers, located under the palm rests, deliver clear and immersive audio. Whether you’re listening to music or engaging in gaming sessions, the sound remains crisp and enjoyable. The included Nahimic audio software allows you to customize audio profiles based on your preferences, further enhancing the overall audio experience.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The keyboard on the MSI Katana 15 offers a comfortable typing experience with good feedback. The four-zone RGB lighting adds a touch of personalization, allowing you to choose from various lighting effects. However, the design of the arrow keys may not appeal to everyone. Typing tests yielded satisfactory results, with a decent words-per-minute count and high accuracy. The touchpad, although comparatively small, is responsive and allows for smooth navigation.

Upgradeability and Battery Life

The MSI Katana 15 provides some level of upgradeability, with easy access to the M.2 PCIe SSD, Intel Wi-Fi 6 card, and user-replaceable battery. The bottom panel is secured with numerous screws, which can be easily removed for upgrades. However, it’s worth noting that the laptop does not have provisions for a second M.2 slot, limiting storage expansion options.

Battery life is a weak point for the MSI Katana 15. With a 53.5 WHr battery, the laptop only lasted around two and a half hours in our battery life benchmark. This falls short compared to its competitors, such as the Acer Nitro 5, which offers significantly longer battery life. If you prioritize extended runtimes away from a power source, the Katana 15 may not be the best choice.

Software and Warranty

The MSI Katana 15 comes with a minimal amount of preinstalled software. The MSI Center app allows you to monitor system vitals, enable gaming mode, and control the RGB keyboard lighting. The MSI App Player serves as an Android emulator, enabling you to play Android games on your laptop. Additionally, Nahimic audio software enhances the audio experience. The laptop comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty for added peace of mind.

Pros and Cons of the MSI Katana 15

Let’s summarize the pros and cons of the MSI Katana 15:


The MSI Katana 15 is a standout gaming laptop in the under $1,000 price range. With its powerful hardware, impressive gaming performance, and sleek design, it offers excellent value for money.

While the display quality and battery life may leave something to be desired, the Katana 15’s strong performance in gaming and productivity tasks more than makes up for these shortcomings. If you’re in the market for an affordable gaming laptop that delivers top-notch performance, the MSI Katana 15 is worth considering.

Disclaimer: Our content is reader-supported. If you purchase through some of the links in this article, we may earn an affiliate commission. This helps to support our publication and allows us to continue producing high-quality content.


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