MSI is going big with three new 18-inch gaming laptops at CES 2024

The new Cyborg 14 might also be the best-looking budget gaming PC in Las Vegas

Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

CES often sets the tone for all of a manufacturer’s products that year. And apparently the theme for MSI in 2024 is “big.” It’s kicking things with three new 18-inch gaming laptops at CES 2024, plus one of the best-looking budget systems around.

As usual, MSI’s roster of gaming notebooks is headlined by the Titan series, in this case the Titan 18 HX. For those familiar with the previous generations, you may notice a lack of a two-letter tag in front of the system’s names (e.g., GT, GE, et cetera), a move MSI is making across all of its laptops to simplify its naming scheme.

In addition to a revamped design based on a new magnesium alloy chassis, the Titan 18 HX is crammed full of the most powerful components you can fit in a laptop including up to a 14th-gen Intel Core i9-14900HX chip, RTX 4090 GPU, 128GB of RAM, three SSD slots, Wi-Fi 7 and more. In total, we’re talking about a TDP of 270 watts with stable clock speeds of up to 5.2GHz across the CPU’s eight performance cores.

In case the Titan 18 HX's size and design don't draw enough attention, it also packs a touchpad with customizable RGB lighting.
In case the Titan 18 HX's size and design don't draw enough attention, it also packs a touchpad with customizable RGB lighting. (Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget)

Its display also shines thanks to what MSI claims is the world’s first 18-inch 4K Mini LED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, which boasts VESA DisplayHDR 1000 certification. Meanwhile, for gamers who don’t feel like plugging in an external mouse, there’s a haptic touchpad that boasts eye-catching RGB backlighting. The only drawback is that with a starting price of $5,000, the Titan is only for people with equally large bank accounts.

For those who want a big gaming machine that’s still very fast but a tiny bit more affordable there’s the Raider 18 HX, which starts at around $3,500 to $4,000 (exact pricing still TBA). It sports a similar design to the Titan, except this there’s a big lightbar in front to really show off your love of RGB. The Raider also supports up to an i9-14900HX CPU and RTX 4090 GPU, but with a slightly lower overall 250-watt TDP. Unfortunately, the model we saw wasn’t functioning, so there wasn’t much more to glean from it.

While the Stealth 18 AI Studio isn't quite as sleek as its small siblings, it offers a significant two-pounds weight savings compared to the Titan 18 HX and Raider 18 HX.
Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

Then there’s the Stealth 18 AI Studio, which is the first time MSI’s best-selling thin-and-light line has been available in this size. At 6.3 pounds, it’s almost two pounds lighter than both Titan and Raider while still supporting up to an RTX 4090 (but with a lower 185-watt TDP). The main difference is that as its name implies, it’s based on a 14th-gen Meteor Lake chip instead of Raptor Lake refresh, so it has a dedicated NPU for handling AI tasks.

The coolest part of the Cyborg 14's design might be its translucent bottom panel.
The translucent plastic from the 90s is making a comeback. (Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget)

Finally, I saw the Cyborg 14 and, if you’re a fan of old-school gadgets made out of translucent plastic, you’re going to appreciate MSI’s new approach to budget chassis design. Instead of a bunch of bulky plastic with too much RGB, the Cyborg has smoky gray accents scattered across its body – from its WASD keys to its sides and bottom panel. And its specs are solid for a system starting at around $1,000. It has a 16:10 144Hz display, support for up to an RTX 4060 and 13th-gen Core i7 chip. So not blisteringly fast, but not too shabby either. It’s a good value and has a little flair that shows that a company put some thought into a product beyond the price. And while it may not get a ribbon, if Dell’s G-series was the best-looking budget laptop at CES last year, the Cyborg 14 looks to be the early favorite in 2024.

That said, these four laptops were only a sample of all the new systems MSI is launching in Las Vegas, which includes spec refreshes for existing systems like the Stealth 14/16 alongside bigger revamps for others like the Vector line.

MSI has yet to announce full pricing and availability info for the Titan 18 HX, Raider 18 HX, Stealth 18 AI Studio and the Cyborg 14, so stayed tuned for updates.

Update, January 8 2024, 6:16PM ET: This post has been updated with hands-on video.

We're reporting live from CES 2024 in Las Vegas from January 6-12. Keep up with all the latest news from the show here.