Meet the MSI Modern 14: A Sub-$800 Laptop for Content Creators

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Not everyone can afford a $2,000-plus workstation, which is why MSI is introducing the Modern 14: an affordable laptop for content creators.

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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

  MSI Modern 14
Starting Price $749
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
Weight

2.62 pounds

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.

Design

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.

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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.

Display

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.

Keyboard

Each key on the MSI Modern 14 felt clicky as I typed on it, but the keyboard also had relatively low travel.

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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.

Battery Life

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.

Software

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.

Outlook

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.

Author Bio
Rami Tabari
Rami Tabari,
As soon as Rami Tabari sprung out of the College of Staten Island, he hit the ground running as a Staff Writer for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline in Tom’s Guide, taking on the latest Souls-like challenge.
Rami Tabari, on