MSI Prestige 14 Review

MSI’s Prestige 14 is a beautiful eyecatcher that is as powerful as it is gorgeous. The $1,399 laptop serves a head-turning design and throws in a colorful display and reliable performance through an Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia discrete graphics. And despite the GPU, you get more than 9 hours of battery life. The comfortable keyboard is just the icing on the cake. But the weak display and speakers might give creative professionals a break. This is our MSI Prestige 14 Review.

MSI Prestige 14 Review: Design

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Last updated on July 2, 2020 4:12 pm

The MSI is a delight to behold in its deep, grey aluminum chassis. Realizing the color was enough for a statement, MSI didn’t add much extra flair. Fortunately, the company’s mascot looks beautiful in the emblem, which has a slightly glossy finish to capture the light. But if you just want a little more drama, turn the laptop over to show that it mimics a sound wave. It’s a fun but functional design.

MSI Prestige 14 Review

 

When you open the laptop, you’ll see more of that grey chassis. An extra-wide touchpad takes up quite a bit of space on the palm rest. The keyboard sits in a soft molded recess. Again, MSI employs several small bloomers, such as the word Prestige that is stamped in the upper left part of the palm rest and the shiny MSI that is embossed in the lower edge. But the most striking design feature outside the color is the hinge.

Like Asus’ ErgoLift design, the Prestige 14’s hinge raises the keyboard slightly for a more comfortable typing experience. What’s more, you can lay the display completely flat for collaborative activities. If you don’t feel like traveling with a USB Type-C hub, the Prestige 14 has plenty of ports to bridge you. You will get a pair of USB 3.1 Type-A ports on the right side next to a headset jack. On the left, you will have two Thunderbolt 3 ports and a microSD card reader.

At 2.8 pounds and 12.6 x 8.5 x 0.6-inches, the MSI Prestige 14 is beautiful in pink and almost airy. It’s lighter than both the Asus’ ZenBook 15 (UX534F) (3.7 pounds, 13.9 x 8.7 x 0.7-inches) and the 15-inch Lenovo’s Yoga C940 (4.4 pounds, 13.9 x 9.4 x 0.7-inches). Admittedly, they are both 15-inch systems. To keep things in perspective, Dell’s XPS 13 (late 2019) is only slightly lighter at 2.7 pounds and 11.9 x 7.8 x 0.5 inches.

Keyboard and TouchPad

MSI Prestige 14 Review

Although the keys feel a bit superficial, they deliver a gentle click as you type. The keys are unpleasantly large – they’re certainly bigger than competing systems – and offer a reasonable distance between them. I pressed 85 words per minute on the 10 fast fingers typing test, which is well above my 70-wpm average. The white backlight is bright enough to type in a dark room easily. The 5.5 x 2.5 inch is wider than I’m used to, but my fingers quickly get used to the extra space. Navigating through web pages and performing Windows 10 gestures was fast and responsive.

MSI Prestige 14 Review: Display

An anti-glare shield can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you don’t have to worry about annoying reflections. However, it can also make an otherwise vivid panel look a bit listless. The 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 screen of the Prestige falls somewhere in between. Watching The Lovebirds trailer, the color was so vibrant that I could see the subtle auburn in Issa Rae’s braids next to the neon-pink accents in her multi-colored one-horned hoodie. The shine of Kumail Nanjiani’s golden satin jacket helped to show off the different folds in the garment.

When testing the color production capabilities of the Prestige 14, 112% of the sRGB range was measured. This figure is below the average of 122% of the premium laptop category but is more colorful than the Asus ZenBook 15 (103%) and the Lenovo Yoga C940 (105%).

The Prestige 14 only achieved an average of 269 nits. This is far from the average of 358 nits or the 432 nits of the Yoga C940 but within the range of the ZenBook 15 (279 nits).

Audio

Usually, MSI and Nahimic provide a great listening party. But on the small, low-hanging loudspeakers of the Prestige 14, the party is somewhat sluggish. Despite adjusting the volume to the maximum and tinkering with Nahimic’s presets (Music, Film, Communication, and Gaming), the laptop could barely fill our little test lab. I was disappointed when I listened to Gallant’s “Bone + Tissue” because the singer’s impressive vocal range was robbed of its natural richness, creating a hollow performance. It was almost as if I was listening to the track on an old turntable. The synthesizer and bass sounded diffuse, which weakened the overall song.

Graphics

Although it’s certainly not as powerful as an Nvidia RTX or Quadro chip, the Prestige 14’s GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU with 4GB VRAM can play several games at high frames, depending on the setting. It is also more than suitable for mid-level content editing. The Prestige 14 decimated the 61 fps premium laptop average on Dirt 3 at 150 frames per second. Armed with their own Nvidia GTX 1650 Max-Q GPUs, the Asus ZenBook 15 and the Lenovo Yoga C940 scored 153 and 167 fps, respectively.

When we ran 3DMark Fire Strike, the Prestige achieved 14 6,689, beating the average of 6,135. However, it was not enough to beat either the ZenBook 15 (6,783) or the Yoga C940 (7,478). And if you’re not doing any editing work, the laptop relies on the integrated Intel UHD Graphics GPU to keep things running.

MSI Prestige 14 Review: Performance

Content designers who need to multitask are in good hands with the Prestige 14’s 1.6 GHz Intel Core 10710U processor with 16GB of RAM. I’ve seen an episode of Love is Blind on Netflix with 20 extra open Google Chrome tabs. The laptop showed no signs of lag or slowing down.

MSI Prestige 14 Review

However, the Prestige 14 gave mixed results on our synthetic tests, with a score of 3,982 on Geekbench 5.0, which measures overall performance. The notebook missed an average of 4,305 premium laptops. The ZenBook 15 reached 4,410 with its Core i7-10510U CPU, while the 9th Gen Core i7-9750H CPU of the Yoga C940 reached 5,530.

When we did our video transcoding test, it took 14 minutes and 1 second to convert a 4K video to 1080p, which is faster than the 19:37 average. The Asus ZenBook 15 and Lenovo Yoga C940 posted a quicker time of 13:17 and 11:11, respectively.

The Prestige 14 received a degree of revenge on the file transfer test with the system’s 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD, which duplicated 4.97GB of multimedia files in 5 seconds for a transfer rate of 978.7 megabytes per second. The system averaged 613.8 MBps, as did the ZenBook 15 (771.1 MBps, 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD) and the Yoga C940 (463 MBps, 512 GB SSD).

MSI Prestige 14 Review: Battery Life

Looking at battery life, you’d never think the Prestige 14 even had a discreet GPU. But despite the power-consuming part, the MSI lasted 9 hours and 49 minutes on our battery test (continuous web browsing over Wi-Fi). The MSI was entirely consistent with the 8:39 average, as well as the Yoga C940 (8:46) and ZenBook 15 (8:34).

Heat

Despite its all-metal chassis, the Prestige 14 did not exceed our comfort threshold of 95 degrees. When we measured the touchpad and the center of the laptop after a 15 minute HD video, we saw temperatures of 84 and 95 degrees, respectively. The underside of the laptop reached 93 degrees. That’s all well below our comfort threshold zone.

Price and Configuration Options

I had the pleasure of viewing the $1,399 iteration of the MSI Prestige 14 at Rose Pink. It has a 1.6 GHz Intel Core i7-10710U processor, 16GB RAM, a 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD, Intel’s UHD Graphics, an Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU with 4GB VRAM and a 1920 x 1080. Besides, the system comes with a laptop sleeve, mouse, and keychain from the company mascot. The company also has a small USB Type-C hub with two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, a micro-USB port, slots for microSD and an SD card reader, and an Ethernet port.

MSI Prestige 14 Review: Conclusion

The $1,399 notebook is more than a head-turning chassis that offers a colorful (though somewhat dim) display, reliable performance, and more than 9 hours of battery life. And the keyboard is also pretty impressive.

Still, if you’re aiming for a creative professional, I would have wanted a brighter screen and better audio. The performance could also have been a bit better. If you want a little more oomph and a brighter screen, you might want to take a look at the $1,429 Lenovo Yoga C940 (15-inch). But for creative professionals looking for a powerful, flair-rich notebook, the MSI Prestige 14 is the way to go.

8 Total Score
Our Verdict

The MSI Prestige 14 offers solid performance, over 9 hours of battery life and a sleek chassis in a bold color.

PROS
  • Gorgeous, lightweight design
  • Great keyboard
  • Excellent battery life
  • Solid performance
CONS
  • Dim display
  • Weak speakers
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