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MSI Pulse GL66 11UGK-001 Review: Gaming Beast & Killer Price

Review of MSI Pulse GL66 11UGK-001

  • Stunning Design
  • Full HD Display with 144Hz Refresh Rate
  • Very Powerful 11th gen CPU
  • 512 GB of M.2 SSD and 16 GB of RAM (upgradable)
  • Ample Connectivity Options
  • No SD card reader
  • Battery Life is Very Low (like most gaming laptops)

There are plenty of companies that provide top-tier gaming laptops, however, their prices might be scary. There are a few mid-tier gaming laptops that provide the best value for money, and MSI is one of them. Their mid-to-high-end gaming laptops deliver everything a gamer might want. MSI's top-of-the-line gaming laptop, the MSI Pulse GL66 11UGK-001, is proof of just that.

The MSI Pulse GL66 11UGK-001 is  powered by an Intel 11th generation "Tiger Lake-H" processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card

The 15.6-inch display has a 144Hz refresh rate for a seamless gaming experience across the board. It comes with a 512GB M.2 SSD and 16GB of RAM. It’s a total beast and if you’re looking to get a gaming laptop, the MSI Pulse GL66 11UGK-001 is a great pick if you want faster frame rates and more features for gaming and productivity at an unbeatable price point.

But, is this the gaming laptop of your dreams? That's what we're here to find out in this review of the MSI Pulse GL66 11UGK-001.

MSI Pulse GL66 11UGK-001 Gaming Laptop Review

Design, Display, and Keyboard

The MSI Pulse GL66 11UGK-001 looks fantastic, with a silvery aluminum lid we enjoy MSI's departure from the traditional all-black gaming style

Performance of the MSI Pulse GL66 11UGK-001

The laptop has an expensive, sophisticated appearance thanks to the laser-etched shield emblem and the angles on the lid. The logo lettering has also been modified by MSI. 

Except for the cover, it’s all plastic, we're not to pleased about that but we understand that at its price point MSI needed to make some sacrificies to deliver a truly competitive gaming laptop. It’s a heavy piece of tech which weighs about 4.63 pounds, so it’s not easy to carry it around all day, and it might be laboring for anyone who has to travel a lot and carry it in a bag. 

Having said that, gaming laptops, as a whole, where never designed for portability and we can think of very few exceptions such as the Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-54-760S or the Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55-53E5 which, while being heavy devices, where clearly concieved with portability in mind when you take a look at the battery life

Coming back to the MSI laptop at hand, the 144hz high-refresh-rate screen of MSI Pulse GL66 11UGK-001 is a near-perfect match for the laptop's 8GB GeForce RTX 3070, a specialized GPU that generates triple-digit frames at the laptop's original 1920*1080 resolution

This panel is powered by MSI's IPS technology, which means it has a good amount of brightness and contrast and produces a passable if not precisely colored, image. The screen has 72 percent NTSC color coverage. It's a solid screen but would benefit from the use of an external monitor such as the popular LG 34WN80C-B.

The MSI Centre program allows you to customize the keyboard backlighting - it's RGB as you'd expect -, however, you can only choose one hue or lighting zone. It preserves the strong typography on the keyboards. Even so, the keypress is good, and the tactile feedback is pleasant

The buttonless touchpad isn't the same; registering a click takes a bit of preassure. That was probably done on purpose to avoid inadvertent presses when gaming, however, most gamers use an external mouse, in which case the touchpad can be disabled using the Fn+F4 keyboard shortcut.


The MSI Pulse GL66 11UGK-001 has a top-tier configuration for gaming and productivity, rocking an Intel 11th gen chip. The Core i7-11800H processor is a beast of its own. It has 8 cores with 16 threads and is more than enough for running multiple applications, programs, and even games in the background without any hiccups. 

The single-thread performance of Intel chips has always been the selling point in gaming. With a base clockspeed of 2.4Ghz and a boost clock of 4.6GHz, this processor has some serious power under its belt.

It comes with 16GB of DDR4 memory (two 8 GB modules) which are clocked at 3200Mhz, It’s best for multitasking and of course gaming. 

It could also be used for video editing, but on a bigger scale, video editing could take up more than 16GB of RAM as it’s RAM hungry. So, it still will provide good performance for video editing and rendering but you might want to upgrade it to 32GB to be on the safe side. We will soon publish a post covering this very topic. 

This baby is coupled with an RTX 3070 8GB GDDR6, which can churn out more than 200 frames in competitive games like CSGO, VALORANT, and Apex Legends easily.

It’s a top-tier graphics card capable of rendering 4k videos without any hiccups. It could also be used for mining with good hash rates but we wouldn’t recommend mining on a laptop.

The MSI Pulse GL66 11UGK-001 has 512GB of M.2 SSD storage. The best thing about the M.2 vs the traditional SATA SSDs is that they’re ridiculously fast, reaching up to 3200Mb/s both read and write speed. 

With this kind of speed, Games and Windows would load way faster than on SATA storage units, it may not mean you can competitively benefit in video games but it sure would save you loads of time when you’re loading up larger size games.

Geek Translation: 

Overall, the configuration of the MSI Pulse GL66 11UGK-001 is top-tier providing the best possible gaming experience at an extremely compelling price point

The 144Hz refresh rate provides a smooth gaming experience and It’s a great fit for competitive gamers where every frame counts. The RTX 3070 will ensure you’ll get more than 200 frames in your competitive shooters. 

Couple that with an upgradable RAM unit, extremely powerful processor, and superfast storage unit and you've got yourself a powerhouse laptop in its own right. Be it for gaming, graphic design, editing pictures on photoshop or working on presentations in Power Point, this bad boy has you covered. But don't take our word for it, read up on the customer reviews to see for yourself.

Battery Life: What can we expect?

Gaming laptops have a reputation for having low battery life. And the latest MSI flagship is no exception to this rule with many of its users claiming battery life to be along the lines of 2-4 hours depending on usage and configuration.

 As we stated before, this is very standard on gaming laptops because of the use of very powerful GPU's. In that regard, no matter your budget, you would be very hard pressed to find a gaming laptop that offers much more than 3-5 hours, with the notable exception of the previously mentioned Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-54-760S.

Connectivity and Extras

The MSI Pulse GL66 11UGK-001, just like the rest of the specs, features a top-of-the-line connectivity suite.

Having said that, the port selection is adequate, but not exceptional. Three USB Type-A ports (two USB 3.2 Gen 1 and one legacy 2.0) are located on the sides, together with one USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C connector, a headphone jack, Gigabit Ethernet, and an HDMI 2.0b video output which is handy when connecting this beast to an external monitor.

Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5 both provide the best possible wireless connection in the world with their high-speed bandwidth. Specifically, the WiFi 6 antenna included within this laptop delivers up to 2.4 GBps download speeds and delivers a notable 75% lower latency when compared to the previous generation WiFi 5 - also known as 802.11 b/g/n/ac before the name swap -.

There are 2 speakers on both sides, which provide an immersive experience even if you’re not using headphones, the sound quality is great and the included webcam with a high resolution also offers a convenient way to join in on video calls with a relatively crisp image. 

Bottom Line: Should I Buy the MSI Pulse GL66 11UGK-001? 

The MSI Pulse GL66 11UGK-001 reviewed today produces buttery-smooth 1080p gaming frame rates and has the elegance of any high-end gaming laptop. Other advantages include a high-refresh screen, stellar productivity performance, ample storage, respectable - and upgradable - RAM, extensive connectivity options, and a competitive price point.

Obviously it could be improved with an all-metal body or the inclusion of an SD card reader but these are very minor issues and hardly dealbrakers. Again, we're not fans of the battery life but that's fairly common in gaming laptops, if you want a laptop with a solid battery life then you should look at a whole other category of laptops. 

Ultimately, this is one of the best gaming laptops in the market in 2022 and we would be remiss if we didn't recommend its purchase.