MSI has long been known for its gaming laptops, but the company is taking a slight pivot to target creative professionals with its new Creator line of laptops. One of those new systems is the MSI Prestige 14, a lovely, slim laptop with bright 4K panel and an Intel 10th Gen Core i7 U-series processor. Starting at $1,399, the notebook is currently available for pre-order with an estimated ship date of late August. I had an opportunity to briefly demo the system, and for now, I like what I see.
MSI’s never really had a design problem. Clad in an aluminum colored Carbon Gray, the Prestige 14 has royal blue chamfered edges along the sides and a touchpad that sparkles in the light. Aesthetically, it really stands out in the crowd.
But as enamored as I am with its looks, I was really impressed by its thin, lightweight dimensions. Weighing 2.8 pounds and measuring 12.6 x 8.5 x 0.6-inches is on a par with ultraportable powerhouses like the Apple MacBook Pro 13 (3 pounds, 11.9 8.4 x 0.6 inches), Dell XPS 13 (2.7 pounds, 0.5 inches) and HP Spectre 13 (2.4 pounds, 0.4 inches). I could envision myself slipping this slim beauty into my backpack.
Never let be said that MSI doesn’t listen to its customers. After receiving criticism for its creator laptop’s dim screen, the company claims it has upped the nits. We’ll have to wait until our review unit arrives to confirm or deny.
While the base model of the Prestige 14 and 15 will have a 1920 x 1080 panel, but you can also get one with a 3840 x 2160 (4K) display. Regardless of which screen you pick, it will be factory calibrated to reproduce 100% of the AdobeRGB gamut and will feature a Delta-E score less than 2, which is great for color accuracy.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The Prestige’s island-style keyboard got a bit of a makeover. In order to move away from the company’s gamer aesthetic, the key fonts have been revamped with a cleaner, more professional design. The company also says the backlighting will be twice as bright as previous systems which should make it easier to work in dim settings. As far as typing, the keys felt pretty comfortable and delivered a fair amount of feedback as I typed.
At approximately 4 inches, the ultra-wide touchpad definitely draws the eye. And while the size does take a bit of getting used to, it provides smooth navigation and multitouch gestures. And in case you have data that needs to be secured, a Window Hello-compatible touchpad resides in the upper-left corner of the touchpad.
When it launches, the Prestige 14 and 15 will be among some of the first laptops sporting Intel’s 6-core 10th Gen Core i7 U series processors. The 14-inch system maxes out at 16GB of RAM with a 512GB SSD while the 15-inch can go up to 64GB and a 1TB SSD. Both systems can be configured with up to an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU with 4GB of VRAM. The notebooks will also have Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.
Despite their slim sizes, MSI is claiming that the Prestige 14 and 15 will get an estimated battery life of 14 and 16 hours. We’ve yet to have a laptop surpass 13 hours on the Laptop Mag battery test, but I’m hoping to be pleasantly surprised.
MSI is taking the plunge into content creation laptops and I’m excited to see where it goes. The new Prestige laptops offer stunning good looks, pretty displays and more than enough power for people looking to photo or video edit, produce music or make games. But I’m eager to see how the systems will hold up against the rising tide of competition in the burgeoning space.