The MSI Katana 15 B13V is a powerhouse built for 1080p and demanding workloads. It features Intel’s latest 13th Gen Raptor-Lake i7-13620H processor, promising increased efficiency with up to 15% gain in single-threaded performance and a 41% gain in multi-threaded compared to Alder Lake. With a hybrid architecture, this laptop delivers faster and better performance while improving power efficiency.
Our review variant of the MSI Katana 15 B13V boasts impressive specs, including a 1920×1080 144Hz IPS panel, an Intel Core i7-13620H Processor, an Nvidia RTX 4060 with 8GB GDDR6 VRAM with a TDP of 105 watts, 16GB DDR5 5200MHz RAM, and a 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD. You’ll also enjoy other features like a 4-Zone RGB Gaming Keyboard, a 720p webcam, and a 53.5 Whr battery.
|13th Gen Intel Core i7 13620H Processor
|16GB 5200 MHz DDR5 2 Slots, up to 64GB
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 Laptop GPU
8GB GDDR6 Up to 2250MHz Boost Clock
105W Maximum Graphics Power with Dynamic Boost
|2x M.2 SSD slot (NVMe PCIe Gen4)
|15.6″ FHD (1920×1080), 144Hz, IPS-Level
|1x Type-C (USB3.2 Gen1 / DP)
2x Type-A USB3.2 Gen1
1x Type-A USB2.0
1x HDMI 2.1 (8K @ 60Hz / 4K @ 120Hz)
1x Mic-in/Headphone-out Combo Jack
|Gb LAN 802.11 ax
|HD type (30fps@720p)
|2x 2W Speaker
|3-Cell 53.5 Battery (Whr)
|359 x 259 x 24.9 mm Approx. 2.25 kg
View full specifications here.
The MSI Katana 15 B13V comes securely packaged in a standard brown cardboard box, with an additional box inside to protect the laptop and accessories during transit. Inside this box, you’ll find the following accessories included with the laptop:
- The MSI Katana 15 B13V laptop
- 200W power brick
- Power cable
- User guides and warranty
Build Quality & Ports
The MSI Katana 15 B13V boasts a sleek matte grey design, complete with a laser-etched MSI logo on the lid. The lid itself is made of metal while the rest of the chassis is constructed of durable plastic. Thanks to its sturdy hinges, the lid stays securely in place, yet can be easily opened with a single hand. The 15.6” matte display features thin bezels and houses a 720p webcam and microphones.
On both sides of the laptop, you’ll find a good selection of ports, although SD-card and Thunderbolt 4 support is not available. The rear body features two large openings for cooling, and the left and right sides house the laptop’s speakers, with wide ventilation grills located at the base.
The chassis is incredibly rigid and provides a solid feel, with the added bonus of being MIL-STD-810G tested for military-grade durability certification, guaranteeing it’s reliable and durable against drops, vibrations, and extreme weather.
With its dimensions measuring 359 x 259 x 24.9 mm, the Katana 15 B13V is incredibly portable and can easily be carried in a laptop bag or backpack.
The left side of the MSI Katana 15 B13V features a power port, a USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A port, and a USB 2.0 Type-A port.
On the right side, you’ll find an Ethernet port, an HDMI 2.1 port (supporting 8K @ 60Hz / 4K @ 120Hz), a USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-C / DP port, a USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A port, and an audio combo jack. The back of the laptop houses two airflow vents for cooling purposes.
The MSI Katana 15 B13V utilizes an 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 wireless connectivity technology, along with Bluetooth 5.2 onboard, ensuring seamless connectivity for all your wireless devices.
The MSI Katana 15 B13V features a FullHD (1920 x 1080) 15.6″ screen, which uses an IPS panel with an impressive 144 Hz refresh rate and offers about 60% sRGB color coverage. The top bezel of the laptop houses a 720p webcam capable of recording at 30 FPS, along with dual microphones. The camera quality is generally good, although noise is present in darker environments.
While the screen of the MSI Katana 15 B13V displays good colors and works well for gaming, it is not suitable for creative work. The maximum brightness of the screen is suitable for indoor use, but may be challenging to view in bright outdoor environments. Nonetheless, the glare-free viewing angles provide a comfortable experience for the user.
Keyboard & Trackpad
The MSI Katana 15 B13V features a 4-Zone RGB Gaming Keyboard that can be adjusted via MSI Dragon Centre or using keyboard shortcuts. The keyboard layout is standard, with WASD and arrow keys being specially highlighted. There are also dedicated shortcut buttons and a dedicated numpad.
The typing experience is enjoyable, with soft, responsive keys that offer tactile feedback. The top row of function keys can also be used for additional shortcuts when combined with the Fn keys.
Located below the keyboard and to the left is the touchpad, which features separate physical left and right clickers. While the trackpad is smaller than standard, it is still precise and comfortable to use. Overall, the keyboard and touchpad of the MSI Katana 15 B13V provide an enjoyable and user-friendly experience.
Performance & Benchmarks
When it comes to performance, the MSI Katana 15 B13V truly delivers. Our test model boasts a powerful 13th Gen Intel Core i7 13620H processor with 10 cores and 16 threads, offering a maximum clock frequency of 4.90GHz. This is paired with a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 graphics card with 8GB GDDR6 VRAM and 16GB DDR4 5200MHz RAM, which can be upgraded to 64GB for even greater performance.
In terms of storage, the MSI Katana 15 B13V comes with a 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD onboard, and some models offer an additional M.2 expansion slot for even more storage capacity. With this powerful combination of hardware, the MSI Katana 15 B13V can easily handle demanding tasks such as gaming, video editing, and other high-performance applications.
The hybrid architecture of Raptor Lake chips allows for a faster and better performance while improving power efficiency, making them suitable for gaming and demanding workloads. The Core i7-13620H processor in the MSI Katana 15 B13V model offers impressive performance, especially in multithreaded workloads, thanks to the 10 cores and 16 threads. The high clock speed and large cache also contribute to a smoother and faster experience.
The Core i7-13620H comes with 6 performance cores and 4 efficient cores for a total of 10 cores, 16 threads and 24 MB of cache. The P-cores are clocked at 2.4 GHz base and 4.9 GHz boost, while the E-cores get a 1.8GHz base and 3.6 GHz boost clock with a default TDP of 45W. These new chips also support memory types up to DDR5 5200.
The MSI Katana 15 B13V boasts a dedicated NVIDIA RTX 4060 GPU, designed for laptops and featuring improved raytracing and tensor cores with a TDP of up to 105W. Manufactured on a 5 nm process, the RTX 4060 offers 8GB of GDDR6 graphics memory with a 128-bit memory bus. It is based on the AD107 core and boasts 3072 CUDA cores, 24 RT cores, and 96 Tensor cores.
The latest NVIDIA RTX 4060 GPUs for laptops no longer have a separate Max-Q variant that was designed for energy efficiency in thin and portable laptops to extend battery life. Instead, OEMs can choose to incorporate Max-Q technologies such as Dynamic Boost and Whisper mode to optimize performance and power consumption. However, the performance of the same 4060 GPU can vary on different laptops based on their thermal design.
The MSI Katana 15 B13V is equipped with 16 GB of 5200MHz DDR4 RAM in dual channel in the SO-DIMM slots. It can be further upgraded to 64GB maximum.
Our reviewed MSI Katana 15 B13V model was equipped with a 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD, although this may vary depending on the region. The SSD provides solid performance, with read speeds of up to 3,626MB per second and write speeds of up to 2,973MB/s.
In Cinebench R20 tests, the Intel Core i7-13620H scored 700 in single core benchmark and 6,334 in multi-core benchmark. In PCMark 10 Benchmark, the Katana 15 B13V scored 7,905. These scores are very impressive and one of the best CPU scores we’ve benchmarked.
|Cinebench R20 single core
|Cinebench R20 multi core
|PCMark 10 Benchmark
|3DMark Time Spy
|3DMark Fire Strike
|3DMark Night Raid
The combination of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 and Intel Core i7-13620H offers an exceptional gaming experience at FHD resolution with high to maximum quality settings in most games. With this setup, most modern games can be run easily at above 60fps on ultra settings with no stuttering or lag.
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider
|Far Cry 5
Temperature & Noise
The MSI Katana 15 B13V utilizes an advanced version of the Cooler Boost 5 technology for cooling. It boasts a total of 6 copper heat pipes that are designed to distribute heat evenly across two fans. Two of the heat pipes are dedicated to cooling the CPU, while the remaining four are used for the GPU.
Thanks to this advanced cooling system, the temperatures are significantly better than the previous generation models. Additionally, the hot air is efficiently dissipated through the back, and the laptop barely feels hot to the touch. While the fan noise is almost silent when the laptop is idle, it is somewhat audible when the system is under heavy load.
In terms of upgradeability, the MSI Katana B13V can be upgraded up to 64GB of RAM and with an additional M.2 SSDs on some models.
Battery & Audio
The battery life of the Katana 15 B13V is quite short due to its small 53.5Whr battery, making it unsuitable for mobile work. When fully charged, the laptop can last up to three hours, depending on usage and screen brightness. However, during gaming sessions, the battery life is reduced to about an hour.
The laptop’s audio system features 2 x 2W stereo speakers, Nahimic Sound Technology, Hi-Res Audio, and MSI Audio Boost technology. Although the sound quality is decent, it is recommended to use a headset for the best audio experience, as is typical with most gaming laptops.
Most of the performance and display settings can be controlled via the MSI Center. It provides a wide range of settings and features, including the ability to adjust user profiles, switch between display color modes, and modify preferences.
In addition, the app enables users to control and customize various aspects of the system, such as the keyboard lighting and fan speed. Overall, the MSI Center is an intuitive and powerful tool that can help users get the most out of their Katana 15 B13V gaming laptop.
The MSI Katana 15 B13V is a solid gaming laptop option that sits in the mid-range category. Its key features include the latest 13th Gen Intel CPUs, Nvidia RTX 4060 graphics card, and the ability to upgrade RAM and SSD. The Intel Core i7-13620H and RTX 4060 combo provide seamless multitasking and an impressive 1080p gaming experience.
However, the laptop’s battery life is not optimal and the absence of Thunderbolt and SD ports may be a dealbreaker for some users. The MSI Center app provides ample control over system performance and display settings. All in all, the MSI Katana 15 B13V is a great option for gamers seeking solid performance without breaking the bank.