Not everyone can afford a $2,000-plus workstation, which is why MSI is introducing the Modern 14: an affordable laptop for content creators.
The MSI Modern 14 is slated to launch at the beginning of September, although you can pre-order it now, and it starts at $749.
MSI Modern 14 specs and price
|Row 0 - Cell 0||MSI Modern 14|
|Display||14-inch, 1920 x 1080|
|CPU||Up to 10th Gen Intel Core i7|
|GPU||Up to Nvidia GeForce MX250 2GB GDDR5|
|RAM||Up to 32GB|
|Storage||Up to 512GB SSD|
|Ports||2 USB Type-C, 2 USB 3.2, SD Card, HDMI|
|Size||12.68 x 8.74 x 0.63 inches|
At $749, the MSI Modern 14 starts with a 10th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and an Nvidia GeForce MX250 with 2GB of VRAM. You can max out the Modern 14 with up to a 10th Gen Core i7 CPU and 32GB of RAM.
The MSI Modern 14 boasts a sleek aluminum design. While we only got to see the silver prototype version, the Modern 14 will ship with a Carbon Gray paint job, which looks more discreet and stylish from the mock-up we were shown.
The interior of the laptop features a normal keyboard and touchpad layout, but just above the keyboard is a vent that runs across the deck to help with airflow. An MSI rep also told me that the vent should help with the acoustics for the bottom-firing speakers.
The bezels on the display are narrow, but that comes at a price: the webcam, which is located on the bottom bezel. Ironically, that can be unhelpful for certain content creation. Regardless, you might want to pick up an external webcam in advance. At 2.62 pounds and 12.68 x 8.74 x 0.63 inches, the Modern 14 is incredibly thin and felt super light in my hands.
While the Modern 14 boasts a superthin design, it does come outfitted with a decent number of ports, including two USB Type-C ports, two USB 3.2 ports, an SD Card Slot and an HDMI port.
The Modern's 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 panel was decently colorful and bright in person. However, unlike the other laptops in MSI's creator line, its panel covers "close to" 100% sRGB. We'll have to see how to stacks up to other laptops in its class when we get it through our lab.
Each key on the MSI Modern 14 felt clicky as I typed on it, but the keyboard also had relatively low travel.
MSI changed the font on the Prestige 14, to tone down the gamer aesthetic, but the company didn't do that for the Modern 14. However, it's hard to say what's going to stay and what's getting tossed from the prototype model that I saw.
The touchpad on this model was a little wonky when I clicked on it, producing sharp and shallow clicks. It also has a fingerprint sensor embedded into the chassis, which cuts off some prime real estate.
MSI claims that the Modern 14 can last up to 10 hours on a charge, which should satisfy the long hours that content creators tend to work. We're hoping we see that same time on the Laptop Mag Battery Test.
All of MSI's content creation laptops, including the Modern 14, are outfitted with the Creator Center, similar to the Dragon Center for gaming. With this app, you can optimize system performance by adjusting your CPU, RAM and app priorities to ensure you're getting the most important work done first.
We're excited to get the MSI Modern 14 through our lab and see what it can do for folks on a tighter budget. Stay tuned for our full review and benchmarks.