MSI Prestige 14 Evo Review: Portability, But at What Cost?


Intel launched the brand new Evo model together with its 11th Gen laptop computer processors in late 2020, and laptops which have earned this label at the moment are showing within the Indian market. If you see this sticker on a laptop computer, it signifies that the producer has labored with Intel to enhance its designs and scale back weight, whereas sustaining sure requirements with regard to efficiency, battery life, and different parameters. Evo laptops should ship on particular consumer expertise targets akin to with the ability to wake rapidly from sleep, and should help fashionable requirements akin to Wi-Fi 6, Thunderbolt Four and fast charging via USB Power Delivery.

If this sounds acquainted, it is as a result of it is the evolution of some older concepts. These “key experience indicators”, as Intel calls them, are the results of the Project Athena initiative. You may also keep in mind Intel’s Centrino branding, which shifted the main focus of promoting laptops from CPU energy to options like Wi-Fi, or the Ultrabook marketing campaign which emphasised portability. Intel will probably be selling Evo laptops constructed by all its associate manufacturers fairly closely all through this yr.

One of these manufacturers is MSI, which you may know higher for its gaming laptops and PC elements. The Taiwanese firm branched out into slimmer, extra sober-looking laptops for energy customers a number of years in the past and now has a wide selection of general-purpose designs for on a regular basis customers. The Prestige collection of trendy, ultraportable laptops has lately been refreshed with Intel’s 11th Gen Core CPUs, and the brand new Prestige 14 Evo, as its identify suggests, was designed round Intel’s Evo idea.

Can this comparatively low-profile model compete with fashionable multinational producers? Intel despatched Gadgets 360 an MSI Prestige 14 Evo overview unit as a consultant of its Evo portfolio, and this is all the pieces it’s worthwhile to find out about it.

The MSI Prestige 14 Evo has a comparatively sober exterior

 

MSI Prestige 14 Evo design

Even the field that this laptop computer arrives in is remarkably slim. The Prestige 14 Evo measures 15.9mm thick and weighs 1.29kg which is impressively transportable for a 14-inch laptop computer. The physique is all steel and there is a alternative between Pure White and Carbon Grey, plus a Rose Pink version. I had a Carbon Grey unit, and it really seems to be like a really deep blue. The lid has a matte sandblasted end which seems to be fairly sober. You can see MSI’s new angular brand at the top-centre. Fingerprints and smudges aren’t an enormous drawback.

I’m not a fan of the shiny blue chamfered border across the lid – it is distracting, particularly beneath vibrant mild, and takes away from the in any other case minimalist design. The hinge is designed to boost the rear of the laptop computer’s decrease half when opened, for a extra snug typing angle and in addition to permit higher clearance for the vents on the underside. I like the truth that this laptop computer will be opened and closed with only one finger and the decrease half stays in place. The lid will also be pushed again practically 180 levels.

Thin display borders are literally a part of the Evo platform’s design objectives. The aspect borders are extraordinarily slender however there’s sufficient house on prime for a webcam plus an infrared sensor which works with Windows Hello biometric authentication. The lid can flex and wobble fairly a bit if strain is utilized, however the display would not appear to warp too badly. MSI has gone with a non-glossy end which is fortunately not reflective.

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Opening the hinge inclines the decrease half of the MSI Prestige 14 Evo, and it may possibly open to just about 180 levels

 

You’ll discover a number of quirks within the keyboard structure. I’m glad to see that the keys are full-sized and well-spaced, and that there are devoted paging keys in addition to a correct arrow cluster. Strangely, the Fn modifier is to the precise of the spacebar and impinges on the precise Ctrl key however there’s additionally an pointless further slash key simply subsequent to it, and loads of house on the left.

The trackpad is big, and in addition has a distractingly reflective blue metallic rim. There’s a fingerprint sensor within the higher left nook, and whereas a variety of house round it’s wasted, the general dimension of the trackpad signifies that is not an issue. Intel clearly desires Evo to be a high-end model, however I believe the brightly colored stickers on the wrist relaxation detract from this on an in any other case slick-looking laptop computer.

You get two Thunderbolt 4 Type-C ports on the left, each of which may fall again to USB 4 and will also be used for charging in addition to DisplayPort video output. On the precise, there is a single Type-A port which sadly solely works at USB 2.Zero pace, a microSD card slot, and a 3.5mm audio jack.

The MSI Prestige 14 Evo is extraordinarily transportable and packs a variety of options into the footprint of what would have been a 13-inch laptop computer a number of years in the past. Even the USB Type-C charger is a comparatively small sq. puck however nonetheless has a 65W output score. There’s additionally a Prestige 14 (non-Evo) mannequin with a discrete GPU which has precisely the identical weight and dimensions. If you need a bigger display, the Prestige 15 affords as much as a 4K decision and in addition has extra bodily ports in a 1.69kg package deal.

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The trackpad is outsized and has a fingerprint sensor within the higher left nook

 

MSI Prestige 14 Evo specs

Intel’s Evo sticker de-emphasises the CPU era and tier – the acquainted Core i7 identify is barely a visible footnote now. In reality, extra consideration is named to Intel’s new Iris Xe GPU, which is definitely built-in into the CPU (versus the discrete Iris Xe Max, as seen within the new Acer Swift 3X) Nevertheless, we’ve got an 11th Gen ‘Tiger Lake’ CPU right here, on this case the top-end Core i7-1185G7 which has a 12-28W rated TDP vary, and runs between 1.2GHz and 4.8GHz. It has 4 cores with Hyper-Threading, helps PCIe 4.0, and leverages Intel’s 10nm SuperFin manufacturing course of.

MSI has gone with a 14-inch full-HD “IPS level” display that delivers “close to 100 percent” of the sRGB color gamut. It’s a low-power panel with a comparatively low 300nit most brightness, and as talked about, has a non-reflective floor. The battery capability is 52Wh and MSI claims you will get 12 hours of productiveness per cost. Fast charging means you must be capable to get an hour and a half of use after a 15-minute cost.

The base variant of the Prestige 14 Evo, priced at Rs. 95,990, has an 11th Gen Core i5 CPU, and there are a number of RAM and storage configuration variations as nicely. My overview unit has the Core i7 CPU, 16GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and most curiously, a 512GB PCIe 4.Zero SSD, all for Rs. 1,06,990. While the RAM is soldered down, the SSD is a regular, replaceable M.2 module manufactured by Phison. There’s additionally Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. The webcam has a 720p video seize decision.

My overview unit had Windows 10 Home, although MSI says it should additionally provide Windows 10 Professional. There was an analysis model of Norton LifeLock Security and in addition a few of MSI’s personal utilities. The awkwardly named MSI Center for Business and Productivity begins up routinely on boot, however requires customers to stop it manually and restart it in Administrator mode on first use, which might be complicated. It is not very nicely designed and would not provide a variety of options – definitely nothing that justifies its identify. You can change efficiency profiles (High efficiency, Balanced, Silent, or Super Battery. There are additionally a number of fundamental diagnostics and a cost limiter that might assist lengthen the helpful lifetime of your battery.

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The keyboard has a barely non-standard structure however is snug to make use of

 

MSI Prestige 14 Evo utilization and efficiency

After establishing the laptop computer, the very first thing I did was drop the Windows show scaling from 150 p.c to 125 p.c which makes significantly better use of display house. Windows 10 routinely up to date itself to the 2H20 launch. The non-reflective show is kind of nice, however colors aren’t particularly vivid. Sound from the audio system is obvious however not very loud. The keyboard is a little bit too mushy though the keys do have good journey.

General-purpose utilization was usually nice however not excellent. I did discover that the laptop computer did not at all times wake immediately after I opened the lid – it took a number of seconds, normally after having been left for quite a lot of hours. The fingerprint sensor and face recognition each labored nicely.

The space to the left of the trackpad, the place your left wrist is prone to relaxation, will get fairly heat when the laptop computer is in use – and to an uncomfortable diploma when stressing the {hardware} or when charging. At least the cooling fan by no means will get loud sufficient to be distracting.

The trackpad is centred to the physique of the laptop computer, not the pure typing place, so your proper wrist must relaxation on the trackpad itself whereas typing. Palm rejection is normally good, however even slight motions are likely to shift weight and make the trackpad bodily click on, which is typically interpreted as an unintended click on or right-click.

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The sole USB Type-A port on the MSI Prestige 14 Evo solely works at USB 2.Zero pace

 

As for benchmarks, the 11th Gen Core i7 CPU did carry out nicely. CineBench R20 achieved 570 and a pair of,248 factors within the single- and multi-threaded runs, whereas POVRay completed its render check in 2 minutes, 31 seconds. V-Ray put up CPU and GPU scores of 6,596 and 32 respectively. PCMark 10’s customary and Extended runs produced scores of 4,671 and 4,641 respectively.

7Zip managed to compress a 3.24GB folder of varied recordsdata in 2 minutes, Three seconds. Transcoding a 1.3GB AVI file to H.265 took simply 1 minute, 9 seconds. CrystalDiskMark reported phenomenal sequential learn and write speeds of 4987.6MBps and 2505.6MBps respectively for the PCIe 4.Zero SSD, whereas random reads and writes had been additionally spectacular at 1390.5MBps and 1639.5MBps respectively.

While the built-in Iris Xe GPU is not aimed at players, the MSI Prestige 14 Evo nonetheless managed a rating of 3312 within the Unigine Superposition benchmark working at the 1080p Medium preset. 3DMark’s Time Spy and Time Spy Extreme checks returned scores of 1,840 and 839 respectively. Firing up a number of video games, I discovered that Rise of the Tomb Raider managed an honest 38fps working at 1280×720 at its Medium high quality preset. Far Cry 5 averaged 49fps at Normal high quality at the identical decision, which is sweet sufficient for mild leisure on the go.

I used to be in a position to get via a full working day with a little bit energy left over at the top, utilizing the Prestige 14 Evo for doc modifying, Web browsing, emails and chats, and streaming a number of brief movies. Battery Eater Pro ran for 1 hour, 50 minutes which is fairly good for such a conveyable laptop computer. You should not have to fret about charging in the course of your work, however that is additionally comparatively fast. Starting with a completely drained battery, I noticed the cost stage at 30 p.c after 20 minutes and 72 p.c in an hour.

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The vibrant blue chamfered rim on the lid is unimaginable to overlook when mild hits it

 

Verdict

There will at all times be some sacrifices when cramming highly effective {hardware} into ultraportable laptops, however general MSI has accomplished nicely, and the package deal you get is pretty balanced whereas providing worth for cash. If you prioritise portability, you must undoubtedly take a look at this laptop computer. It would not have the discrete Iris Xe Max GPU just like the equally priced Acer Swift 3X, however these two Evo laptops are comparable in some ways together with {hardware} and portability.

You won’t agree with all of MSI’s design decisions. My largest points are the way in which the left wrist relaxation will get heat, and the shortage of high-speed Type-A USB ports. These are points that bought in the way in which of on a regular basis utilization, and actually needs to be thought of as a part of the Evo platform spec. It’s attainable to tweak the efficiency profile to favour cool, quiet operation, however you should not have to do that and sacrifice efficiency.

If you possibly can reside with these points, you will discover the MSI Prestige 14 Evo’s development high quality is superb, and it is nicely fitted to productiveness on the go. The 11th Gen Core i7 CPU carried out nicely in quite a lot of checks, and even mild gaming is feasible in case you decrease your settings.

Priced beginning at Rs. 95,990, the MSI Prestige 14 Evo is an ultraportable that is nicely price contemplating, and is an attention-grabbing showcase of Intel’s imaginative and prescient for the Evo platform. We’ll little question see extra opponents on this house, and in addition a number of based mostly on AMD’s Ryzen 5000-series cell CPUs. This can be across the identical value that the current-gen MacBook Air, powered by Apple’s personal M1 processor, sells for. If you are seeking to purchase a brand new thin-and-light laptop computer this yr, issues simply bought much more attention-grabbing.


Is MacBook Air M1 the transportable beast of a laptop computer that you simply at all times needed? We mentioned this on Orbital, our weekly know-how podcast, which you’ll be able to subscribe to through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, obtain the episode, or simply hit the play button under.


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