Calling all creatives! MSI desires to win the affections of photographers, video editors, and other artistic professionals with the new Prestige 15. The company hopes to seduce creative professionals on the move with its ultra-portable, lightweight laptop powered by a six-core, 10th-generation Core i7 U-series processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU. However, the grainy webcam is less than impressive, and the sound quality of the laptop’s speakers is mediocre. I would not recommend this laptop for webcam-heavy users or audio creatives. Here is our MSI Prestige 15 Review.
MSI Prestige 15 Review – Design
This naughty boy is brave and debonair! The aluminum, elegant design of the MSI Prestige 15 mimics the aesthetics of a soft, color-shy businessman who often says, “Wealth is quiet.” The sandblasted texture and luxurious charcoal motif of the laptop are modest and sober, but the sleek, urban character exudes a touch of sophistication.
The vague but bright MSI dragon logo is superimposed on the hood. The inner lid is framed with super slim edges, except for the bottom edge, which is a thicker deviation. The lower ring has a black MSI logo that is barely visible and that you should look at it. Below the lower ring, there is a virtually hidden ventilation opening located between the hinges of the laptop. The upper ring contains a webcam; this is where it is meant. And yes, that was a search on other laptops – for example, the MSI Modern 14 – that have an awkwardly placed, non-flattering, looking-up webcam on the bottom edge.
The large island-style backlit keyboard is comfortable on the eyes. The jumbo-sized white letters and characters on the stone-colored keycaps provide a calming visual experience, especially for users who do not have the best visual acuity. With this perfectly scaled keyboard, squinting is a thing of the past. The super-wide touchpad has a glossy, bluish-purple border and a fingerprint sensor with a quick response in the upper left corner.
I have noticed some flex on the lid of the MSI Prestige 15, but the overall build quality of this laptop is excellent and sturdy. The coolest part of the design of the MSI Prestige 15 is the 180-degree flat hinge that allows users to convert the laptop to collaboration mode. In other words, you can push the display to the surface and press F12 to turn the screen upside down digitally so that someone is sitting opposite you. This is an excellent function for collaborating creatives.
A series of dongles is not necessary because the user-friendly MSI Prestige 15 is equipped with seven ports. On the left, there are a few Thunderbolt 3 ports; both can be used to charge the laptop with its 90-watt power adapter. On the same side, there is also an HDMI 2.0 output, plus a 3.5 mm combo audio connection. On the right, there are two (Gen 2) USB 3.2 Type-A ports and a microSD card reader.
Keyboard and TouchPad
I enjoyed typing this review on Google Docs while tapping the visually appealing keyboard of the MSI Prestige 15. You can control the white background illumination of the keyboard by pressing F8, which offers three levels of brightness. The lighting is perfect for typing away in poorly lit areas, such as a dark cabin on a nightly flight or a dim studio. The large keys and characters, as if magnified by a magnifying glass, add an extra level of visual assistance and optical convenience.
The key travel is short, but I still felt comfortable and at home while typing on this keyboard as if I had had this laptop for years. The space-saving elongated 5.5 x 2.5-inch touchpad responded beautifully in terms of fingertip sensitivity. The touchpad is also supported by Microsoft Precision drivers for Windows 10 gestures; pinch to zoom and scrolling with two fingers worked perfectly. I could easily open the action center with three fingers.
A problem I have with this touchpad is the undefined left and right buttons. For example, if I wanted to use the right-click button, my finger sometimes did not fall within the invisible right-click boundary, and I received no response, or I received a left-click response. However, once you get used to it, figuring out the boundaries of the left and right buttons becomes second nature, and actions such as drag and highlight work like a charm.
Because of the length, the touchpad has the palm position of my right hand in the way, so I had to hold my hands a little above the keyboard to avoid scratching the touchpad with my right palm. There is a Windows Hello-compatible fingerprint sensor in the upper left corner of the spacious touchpad.
MSI Prestige 15 Review – Display
The 4K screen of this laptop makes you drool in awe, especially with videos with vivid, vibrant hues, such as the quaint 4K YouTube content. I watched with psychedelic rainbow-colored fish dancing underwater and stunning, sliding snakes that seemed so tangible. I could almost feel their flaky skin on the screen. I looked at the 4K version of Tears of Steel, and I could see all the beautiful imperfections on the characters’ faces, from skin bumps under a man’s eyebrow to blonde strands of vellus hair on a woman’s cheek.
Although my eyes grew wide in awe while watching color-rich 4K video, my wonder tricked to disappointment during images of earthy tones such as dark green, rust-brown, off-black, and opaque gray. In twilight scenes, I noticed a little bit of noise that was not visible during colorful images, but it would require a super close inspection to recognize it.
It is not surprising that the screen reproduced 159% of the sRGB range, which is higher than the category average (147%). However, the 4K non-OLED and OLED screens of the Dell XPS 15 blew the Prestige 15 210% and 239% out of the water, respectively. The MSI Prestige 15 fell within the same range of the non-OLED 4K screen of the Spectre x360 (157%). On the positive side, the Prestige 15 surpassed the 16-inch MacBook Pro screen (114%), but to be honest, the latter’s non-4K display specifications make it an unsuitable opponent.
With 428 nits of brightness, the MSI Prestige 15 shot up above the category average (319 nits) and skated somewhat through the XPS 15 4K non-OLED version (at 418 nits). But the OLED 4K Dell XPS 15 smoked the Prestige 15 with no less than 626 nits. The 16-inch Macbook Pro surpassed the Prestige 15 in terms of brightness, but not much at 429 nits. The non-OLED Spectre x360 is not a competition at 247 nits.
Listening to “None of my concern” by Jhené Aiko, I was not blown away or disappointed by the speakers of the MSI Prestige 15. The vocals of Aiko are typically ethereal, but the speakers of the Prestige 15 lacked the voice of the songstress that fullness of studio quality. I’ve heard better, but the sound isn’t tragically horrible either. It is worth noting that the speaker grills are located at the bottom of the laptop, which can contribute to the off-kilter vocal sounds.
You can optimize the audio from the laptop to meet your harmonious taste by experimenting with Nahimic, a built-in audio enhancement app that offers sound presets for music, movies, communication (e.g., listening to podcasts) and gaming. You can customize the decibel levels for bass, treble, and voices. You can also turn on Surround Sound, which, in my opinion, offers a more immersive audio experience, and I would recommend watching your favorite movies, TV shows, and streaming content.
There is also a volume stabilizer. When it is turned on, your eardrums will thank you for helping to maintain a stable, constant volume – even during sudden jumps in the amplifications of your audio. However, I must note that Nahimic did not significantly improve sound quality. Even after experimenting with the audio amplifier app, I was still not impressed with the speaker quality of the Prestige 15. It’s just OK. As the old saying goes: “it does its job.”
The MSI Prestige 15 is advertised as a fantasy laptop for the content maker, not as a gaming rig. Equipped with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU, you can enjoy some light gaming at low to medium settings. On the Dirt 3 benchmark, the MSI Prestige 15 achieved 181 frames per second, beating the average of 54 regular laptops. The XPS 15, with its GTX 1650 GPU, reached 80 fps while the Spectre x360 (GTX 1050 GPU) achieved 61 fps.
After you’ve had enough to immerse yourself in the shoes of an elite killer, the Prestige 15 will switch to the integrated Intel UHD Graphics.
MSI Prestige 15 Review – Performance
Lit with a 1.1 GHz Intel Core i7-10710U’s Comet Lake processor with 32 GB RAM, the multitasking capabilities of the MSI Prestige 15 were impressive. I have opened 37 tabs in Google Chrome; five played 1080p YouTube videos at the same time. While that was going on, I watched the second episode of The Mandalorian on Disney Plus. While I kept playing everything without pausing, I navigated to Google Docs and started plugging away. Despite all the juggling of tabs, the laptop did not slow down.
Let us zoom in on the test results of Geekbench 4.3, which examines the overall performance of the laptop. The Prestige 15 gave us a score of 19,022, which dangled behind the mainstream category average of 25,370. The MSI Prestige 15 also paled in comparison to the scores of the 15-inch Spectre x360 (Core i7-8750H), the XPS 15 (Core i9-9980HK) and the 16-inch MacBook Pro (Core i9 CPU), with scores of 21,889, 28,882 and 31,178 respectively.
After performing a speed test on the hard drive, we discovered that the 1 TB NVMe PCle SSD of the MSI Prestige 15 needed 7.7 seconds to duplicate 4.97 GB of multimedia files, which converts to a transfer rate of 660.9 megabytes per second. This lagged behind the category average of 787.3 MBps, but the MSI Prestige 15 outperformed the Dell XPS 15 (1 TB PCle SSD) and the 15-inch Spectre x360 (1 TB SSD), which scored respectively at 508 MBps and 565.5 MBps. When it comes to the 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro (2 TB M.2 PCle NVMe SSD), the MSI Prestige 15 didn’t stand a chance – the beastly Apple laptop beats the competition with a whopping 1,017 MBps.
I noticed that the MSI Prestige 15 was roasted adequately in the area above the function keys while I tested the device for its multitasking muscle. I have eternally cold hands that turn into icicles during the freezing weather in New York City, so I enjoyed having an improvised fireplace to warm my fingers while I saw The Mandalorian on Disney Plus.
During our heat test, where a 15-minute FHD video is streamed in full screen, the touchpad on the Prestige 15 measured 79 degrees Fahrenheit, which fell ideally below our 95-degree comfort zone. The middle of the keyboard (88 degrees) and the bottom of the laptop (89 degrees) were also well-tempered. The hottest location, the area between the lower mounting frame and the F11 key, hissed to 99 degrees.
We tested how long the MSI’s Prestige 15 could stay alive with our battery test, where you have to continuously surf the internet via WiFi with a brightness of 150 nits. The Prestige 15 lasted 7 hours and 55 minutes, which is not the best, but given the power consumption of the Prestige 15, vibrant 4K display, it’s not that bad.
The Prestige 15 beat the 6:34 average. However, the 4K XPS 15 took longer at 8:48 (the 4K OLED version lasted 8: 7). The 4K non-OLED Spectre x360 also beat the Prestige 15 with 14 minutes (8:09). The 16-inch MacBook Pro had eaten all other laptops with a time of 10:55. For a laptop that produces a lively 4K screen all day, the battery life of the Prestige 15 is not terrible, but there are competing laptops that do better.
Price and Configuration Options
We tested the most expensive configuration: the $1,799 15.6-inch MSI Prestige 15 A10SC. This device is packed with a 1.1 GHz 10th-generation Intel Core i7-10710u Hexa-core processor, 32 GB RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU with 4 GB VRAM and a 1 TB NVMe PCIe SSD. It also features a 4K UHD screen with a 3840 x 2160 panel.
If you want to save a few some money, you can grab the $1,499 iteration or the $1,399 basic model; both are equipped with 16 GB RAM and a 512 GB NVMe SSD, but you have to sacrifice the 4K screen if you want to buy the latter. Unlike the versions of $1,799 and $1,499, which have a display of 3840 x 2160, the base model has a panel of 1920 x 1080. All three versions are equipped with Wi-Fi-6 and Bluetooth 5.
MSI Prestige 15 Review – Conclusion
If you are looking for a featherweight, ultra-portable laptop, the $1,799 MSI Prestige 15 is a fantastic option because it weighs considerably less than its competitors. It has a reliable performance with its 10th generation Intel Core i7 CPU and NVIDIA GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU. The 4K screen offers vibrant colors that are much clearer. And the Flip-and-Share mode is perfect for creative creativity. However, if you are looking for more multitasking power and longer battery life, I recommend the 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro if you can afford it or the Dell XPS 15 if you have a small budget.
But overall, if you are looking for a slim, powerful laptop for creating content that is ripe for collaboration, then the MSI Prestige 15 is the right choice.
The MSI Prestige15 offers portability, power, and endurance in an attractive chassis aimed at content creators.
- Lightweight, attractive chassis
- Vivid, luminous 4K display
- Solid performance
- Good battery life
- Grainy webcam
- Mediocre speakers