MSI Katana 15 B13VFK-031XES: Mid-range gaming laptop

MSI Katana 15 B13VFK-031XES

The MSI Katana 15 B13VFK-031XES is a gaming laptop that we can place in the mid-range, in that segment where it is not very expensive, but not cheap either. In any case, it is a device that can play any game in maximum quality and 1080p resolution guaranteed, and for this task it consists of an Intel Core i7-13620H CPU accompanied by 16GB of DDR5 RAM and an RTX 4060 graphics card. Likewise, It outlines a 15.6-inch FullHD screen with a 144Hz refresh rate and speakers with high-resolution audio.

If you are interested in knowing the MSI Katana 15 B13VFK-031XES in detail, you have come to the right place. On the other hand, if the 1080p screen or 16GB of RAM doesn’t convince you, perhaps the MSI Katana 15 B13VFK-1408ES will do with its 1440p resolution panel and 32GB of memory.

Design and screen

At the design level, the MSI Katana 15 B13VFK-031XES is not going to win any awards, since we have already seen it many times in the other models in its series, and it is not exactly very premium, since the chassis is completely made of plastic and there is some flexing in the screen cover and keyboard cover when applying pressure.

As usual, MSI leaves its logo on the lid and includes fake flat-head screw decorations around the keyboard deck. Pixel-style design elements are present on the edge of the screen lid and sides of the chassis.

159 techweek

The boldest design feature is the four-zone RGB-lit keyboard , which sports an unusual font and more pixel elements between the keys near the number pad. The WASD and power keys are transparent, allowing us to see the switches. In addition, it has a number pad for when it’s time to get productive.

Then we have the screen, which is also not impressive. It is a 15.6-inch IPS panel with a conventional 1080p resolution and 144Hz refresh rate . It is fluid and has a reasonable level of brightness (250nits), but it only covers 49% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and a drop in brightness is noticeable from certain angles.

160 techweek

In the sound section it performs better, as it consists of a pair of 2W speakers located at the front under the palm rest, which produce a modestly bassy sound that is loud and clear enough for most uses. As if that were not enough, you can tune the audio using the Nahimic audio software included by the manufacturer.

Hardware and performance

The MSI Katana 15 B13VFK-031XES is powered by an Intel Core i7-13620H chip , which is backed by 16GB of dual-channel DDR5 RAM, as well as an RTX 4060 8GB GDDR6 graphics card. Finally, it consists of a 1TB capacity NVMe PCIe Gen4 SSD unit. To whom it may interest, there is a free M.2 slot to add another NVMe SSD.

With that in mind, the specifications of this device already tell us that it is a competent mid-range laptop that can handle any game or 3D application we throw at it. Naturally, the MSI Katana 15 B13VFK-031XES also lends itself to productivity and creative tasks. For example, its 13th generation i7 CPU scores more than 15,200 points in the Cinebenc R23 multi-core Benchmark , while in PCMark 10 the team achieves a score of 7,800.

161 techweek

In this order of ideas, moving demanding AAA games with high frame rates per second is another thing that the MSI Katana 15 B13VFK-031XES does very well. In 1080p resolution with high/ultra graphics and the use of Raytracing + DLSS performance mode (in games where available), the MSI laptop can achieve more than 100FPS in titles such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Control, Cyberpunk 2077, Call of Duty Modern Warfare, Valorant and DOOM Eternal.

To keep all that power under control, the laptop includes a cooling system with two fans and 6 heat pipes in a shared design . With the heatsink at maximum performance, reasonable temperatures are maintained for both the GPU and the CPU. Although yes, the keyboard area and the base do get a little hot and that is something that the user will definitely notice.

162 techweek

Autonomy

Battery life is one of the biggest weaknesses of gaming laptops and the MSI Katana 15 B13VFK-031XES does not escape that paradigm. In this sense, its 3-cell unit and 53.5Whr capacity is only enough for 5 and a half hours of local video playback with the screen brightness at 50% and the keyboard backlight turned off.

In gaming the autonomy is even shorter, 1 or 2 hours depending on what we are playing. It should be noted that the only way to achieve 5 hours of battery life on this laptop is to use the integrated graphics instead of the dedicated graphics card, since the latter drains the battery twice as fast.

Connectivity

At the connectivity level, the MSI Katana 15 B13VFK-031XES has the essentials for these times, starting with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 at the wireless level . Meanwhile, the physical interfaces present on the laptop are: a USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 port with DisplayPort, 2 USB-A 3.2 ports, a traditional USB 2.0 and an HDMI 2.1 video output. Additionally, there is a 2.5GB RJ45 LAN port for those who prefer a wired Internet connection.

163 techweek

PROS:

  • Good performance and stability
  • Excellent keyboard
  • Hi-Res Audio
  • Good connectivity options

CONS:

  • Short autonomy
  • The screen is average
  • Plastic chassis
  • Does not include operating system