MSI Thin 15 B12VE laptop review

by on July 6, 2024

The MSI Thin 15 B12VE is a bit of an anomaly in the modern laptop era, for quite a few reasons. For one, it’s actually affordable, coming in at significantly under £1000. Another thing that’s very different about it is that it’s actually a laptop. That may sound strange, but having covered all manner of high-end machines it feels strange to call them laptops, since most of them are too bulky, or too hot (or both) to actually use in the way the devices were originally intended. Make no mistake, the MSI Thin 15 B12VE is an affordable laptop, and in the modern world, the caveat here has to be that it’s an affordable laptop… for better or worse.

For starters, don’t expect to be getting the highest definition available. There’s an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050 laptop GPU inside the machine, though you can go up to a Ti model if you fancy spending a tad bit more. There’a a 15.6 inch 1080p screen, and some models will have a 144 Hz refresh rate, so while frame rates aren’t an issue, if you’re wanting a 4K laptop then you’ll have to look elsewhere. For me, a 1080p display is absolutely fine as long as it can do the business when it comes to performance, and while the i5 Processor and 16GB of RAM isn’t going to blow your home PC out of the water, the lightweight feel, lower price, and general feel can make up for that.

Back to the caveat from the start, however. It’s important to note while it comes with a 512GB PCIe based SSD for storage, you’ll likely want to add external storage to bump that up, and if you have a fast internet connection, you may find the write-speed of the included SSD a little disappointing. While you don’t have to use Steam, it’s the primary source of PC games for me, and also usually the quickest way to download a title. I found that the write-speed couldn’t keep up with the download speed, and whether that’s the SSD or the included WiFi card, I’m not sure. It’s not a big deal, but if you’re grabbing a large game (80GB or so) and are used to fast downloads, you will need to factor that in, because even the verifying can take a lengthy period of time.

MSI Thin 15 B12VE laptop

The MSI Thin 15 B12VE will have no issues with regular day-to-day work, whether it’s editing images in Photoshop, or simple office-style document or spreadsheet work. As a gaming machine, it’s not half bad either, though results are definitely mixed. One of the modern games I like to test on machines is Remnant II, because it’s pretty hungry when all is said and done. It’s also a good metric because while it runs fine on my desktop PC, it’s a game that’s not playable on something like a Steam Deck in any acceptable way.

To say I was surprised at the performance of Remnant II would be an understatement. The game detects the hardware, and defaults to a windowed 720p resolution with VSync on. The frame rate here was fairly consistent (though it did drop a little) even in high density areas, and while it defaulted to “low” for visuals settings, on a 15” screen that’s absolutely acceptable, especially for a game that pushes a system as hard as it does.

However, with a HDMI-output on a laptop, you might want to connect wirelessly with a DualSense or Xbox controller and plug into a TV, so it’s good to check the 1080p performance. Surprisingly (again), it ran pretty well. There were more frame drops that suggested if I pushed any harder it would suffer, but for a game that’s simply not playable on a device like a Steam Deck, Remnant II is very much playable on the MSI Thin.

MSI Thin 15 B12VE laptop

With that in mind, other recent titles including early access factory builder Foundry runs fine, as does Hades II, and honestly the list could go on and on. Yes you will have to tinker with settings on some games, but given the price and hardware inside the machine, there’s a decent performance for gaming buried here. I suspect the GeForce upscaling settings are doing some of the heavy lifting with the more intensive titles, but that’s what DLSS is for, right?

Compared to the more pricey models on the market, it does feel like the keyboard could do with a bit of work, and the mouse area feels a little cheap. The lack of vibrancy to the screen isn’t going to do it any favours, either, and I’d be stunned if people didn’t almost immediately want to buy an external storage solution to increase space. It’s also thin, and definitely not a laptop you’d want to throw around like some of the more modern tank-like machines. I can’t pretend it has that “premium” feel a lot of the more expensive models has, because it doesn’t, but also, it’s way cheaper.

The screen and sound both do the job, neither singing nor dancing. Like the audio, the screen itself is a bit dull looking, but again, that’s comparing it to higher end models, which almost feels unfair given the performance and bang for you buck you’re getting here. I’d like a little less lower bezel and a tad more screen real estate in truth, but I’ll forgive it for that, thanks to that price. It does get slightly warm underneath, but surprisingly it doesn’t become “cushion needed on the lap” warm, which is a boon, especially when you consider the thin profile of the laptop overall.

MSI Thin 15 B12VE laptop

This is a laptop designed to fill a gap that has almost been forgotten. The price is more than competitive, and it’s not designed to be sat in a room flashing all manner of LED colours and enticing would-be users in. Slight corners have been cut when it comes to connectivity, because while there’s a few USB slots, and even a USB-C slot, there’s no media card reader (something that’s essential if actually using a laptop on the go) which is a bit of a shame. The webcam does the job, and the battery is what I’d want from a laptop of this type, and while it’s not quite a full on “gaming laptop”, the performance for having a game on something when you’re away from your main rig or consoles is more than acceptable.

It’s lovely to see a machine that is actually affordable in the modern era when laptops cost four figures minimum, and the MSI Thin 15 B12VE fits in a sort of mid-point where you won’t get 60fps on every game, and there’s no 4K on offer, but it’s also not a ChromeBook or something that’s purely for office-type work. I wouldn’t want to use the MSI Thin 15 B12VE as my only machine, but also, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I had to. If you’re looking to get into PC gaming and don’t want to have a full desktop setup, but also don’t want to spend thousands on a great bit laptop that may as well be a desktop anyway, the MSI Thin 15 B12VE is a great choice to consider.


Competitive price
Weight and size
Acceptable gaming options


Corners cut with connectivity
Small hard-drive

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

In a world that requires four figures to get a gaming laptop these days, the MSI Thin 15 B12VE is a great choice, offering an almost old-school proper laptop experience, while still delivering on most gaming experiences, too.