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

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 are actually 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 reminiscent of having the ability to wake rapidly from sleep, and should assist trendy requirements reminiscent of Wi-Fi 6, Thunderbolt Four and fast charging by means of 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 additionally bear 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 campaign which emphasised portability. Intel will probably be promoting Evo laptops constructed by all its associate manufacturers fairly closely all through this 12 months.

One of these manufacturers is MSI, which you may know higher for its gaming laptops and PC parts. 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 range of general-purpose designs for on a regular basis customers. The Prestige sequence of fashionable, ultraportable laptops has not too long ago 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 common multinational producers? Intel despatched Gadgets 360 an MSI Prestige 14 Evo evaluate unit as a consultant of its Evo portfolio, and here 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 truly seems like a really deep blue. The lid has a matte sandblasted end which seems fairly sober. You can see MSI’s new angular emblem on 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 below vivid gentle, 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 comfy typing angle and likewise to permit higher clearance for the vents on the underside. I like the truth that this laptop computer could be opened and closed with only one finger and the decrease half stays in place. The lid can be pushed again practically 180 levels.

Thin display screen borders are literally a part of the Evo platform’s design goals. The aspect borders are extraordinarily slim however there’s sufficient area on high 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 screen does 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 could possibly open to almost 180 levels

 

You’ll discover a number of quirks within the keyboard structure. I’m joyful 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 best of the spacebar and impinges on the best Ctrl key however there’s additionally an pointless further slash key simply subsequent to it, and loads of area on the left.

The trackpad is gigantic, and likewise has a distractingly reflective blue metallic rim. There’s a fingerprint sensor within the higher left nook, and whereas lots of area round it’s wasted, the general measurement of the trackpad signifies that is not an issue. Intel clearly desires Evo to be a high-end model, however I feel 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 can be used for charging in addition to DisplayPort video output. On the best, 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 lots 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 ranking. There’s additionally a Prestige 14 (non-Evo) mannequin with a discrete GPU which has precisely the identical weight and dimensions. If you desire a bigger display screen, the Prestige 15 gives as much as a 4K decision and likewise 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 technology and tier – the acquainted Core i7 identify is barely a visible footnote now. In truth, extra consideration known as 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 screen 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 may get 12 hours of productiveness per cost. Fast charging means it is best to have the ability 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 properly. My evaluate unit has the Core i7 CPU, 16GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and most apparently, 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 evaluate unit had Windows 10 Home, although MSI says it would additionally supply Windows 10 Professional. There was an analysis model of Norton LifeLock Security and likewise a few of MSI’s personal utilities. The awkwardly named MSI Center for Business and Productivity begins up mechanically on boot, however requires customers to stop it manually and restart it in Administrator mode on first use, which could possibly be complicated. It is not very properly designed and does not supply lots of options – actually 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 would assist prolong the helpful lifetime of your battery.

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The keyboard has a barely non-standard structure however is comfy 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 % to 125 % which makes a lot better use of display screen area. Windows 10 mechanically up to date itself to the 2H20 launch. The non-reflective show is sort 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 smooth though the keys do have good journey.

General-purpose utilization was usually nice however not good. I did discover that the laptop computer did not all the time wake immediately after I opened the lid – it took a number of seconds, often after having been left for various hours. The fingerprint sensor and face recognition each labored properly.

The space to the left of the trackpad, the place your left wrist is more likely 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 should relaxation on the trackpad itself whereas typing. Palm rejection is often good, however even slight motions are inclined to shift weight and make the trackpad bodily click on, which is usually 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 properly. CineBench R20 achieved 570 and a couple of,248 factors within the single- and multi-threaded runs, whereas POVRay completed its render take a look at in 2 minutes, 31 seconds. V-Ray put up CPU and GPU scores of 6,596 and 32 respectively. PCMark 10’s normal 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 have been additionally spectacular at 1390.5MBps and 1639.5MBps respectively.

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

I used to be capable of get by means of a full working day with a little bit energy left over on the finish, utilizing the Prestige 14 Evo for doc enhancing, Web browsing, emails and chats, and streaming a number of quick movies. Battery Eater Pro ran for 1 hour, 50 minutes which is fairly good for such a transportable 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 degree at 30 % after 20 minutes and 72 % in an hour.

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The vivid blue chamfered rim on the lid is not possible to overlook when gentle hits it

 

Verdict

There will all the time be some sacrifices when cramming highly effective {hardware} into ultraportable laptops, however total MSI has performed properly, and the package deal you get is pretty balanced whereas providing worth for cash. If you prioritise portability, it is best to positively take a look at this laptop computer. It does 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 may not agree with all of MSI’s design decisions. My greatest points are the best way the left wrist relaxation will get heat, and the dearth of high-speed Type-A USB ports. These are points that received in the best way of on a regular basis utilization, and actually must be thought of as a part of the Evo platform spec. It’s doable to tweak the efficiency profile to favour cool, quiet operation, however you should not have to do that and sacrifice efficiency.

If you may stay with these points, you will discover the MSI Prestige 14 Evo’s building high quality is superb, and it is properly suited to productiveness on the go. The 11th Gen Core i7 CPU carried out properly in quite a lot of assessments, and even gentle gaming is feasible if you happen to decrease your settings.

Priced beginning at Rs. 95,990, the MSI Prestige 14 Evo is an ultraportable that is properly value contemplating, and is an attention-grabbing showcase of Intel’s imaginative and prescient for the Evo platform. We’ll little question see extra rivals on this area, and likewise a number of based mostly on AMD’s Ryzen 5000-series mobile CPUs. This can also be across the identical worth that the current-gen MacBook Air, powered by Apple’s personal M1 processor, sells for. If you are trying to purchase a brand new thin-and-light laptop computer this 12 months, issues simply received much more attention-grabbing.


Is MacBook Air M1 the transportable beast of a laptop computer that you just all the time needed? We mentioned this on Orbital, our weekly expertise podcast, which you’ll be able to subscribe to through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or simply hit the play button beneath.

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