MSI Targets Business Users With Prestige PS42 Ultrabook

When you think of MSI laptops, you probably picture the company's powerful gaming rigs. However, the company that makes heavy-hitting notebooks with names like the Titan and the Dominator, is out to show that's it not an all-play, no-work brand. Announced here at Computex 2018 and due out later this year, the MSI Prestige PS42 is a super-light, 14-inch business notebook that's designed to make you a productivity champion.

Clad in silver aluminum, this 0.62-inch thick laptop looks a lot heavier than it feels. In a brief hands-on, I went to pick up the laptop and was surprised at how easy it was to lift with one hand. At just 2.64 pounds, the Prestige PS42 is lighter than Dell's 13-inch XPS 13 (2.7 pounds) and the MacBook Pro 13-inch (3 pounds). However, Lenovo's X1 Carbon is even lighter, tipping the scales at 2.49 pounds.

The Prestige's keyboard is the real star of the show. The keys feel extremely snappy and responsive, reminding me of the excellent typing experience on the HP Envy 13t. The keys have an interesting, high-tech font that looks a bit like it came from one of the company's gaming laptops.

MORE: Best Business Laptops 

Everything else on the inside is strictly business, including the silver touchpad with a fingerprint reader in its upper left corner. There is a trio of status lights to the left of the keyboard; one of these is a flashing hard drive light, something you don't see on a lot of lightweight notebooks these days.

The Prestige PS42 has a solid array of ports, including two USB Type-A ports, HDMI-out, a microSD card slot and two USB Type-C ports. Unfortunately, MSI says that you will not be able to charge the laptop over its Type-C ports, but will only be able to use a proprietary AC adapter. Considering that many business users want to connect to USB Type-C docks, which can provide both power and data over a single line, MSI's decision is a bit disappointing. Also, on a premium system we'd rather have Thunderbolt 3 than vanilla Type-C.

On the inside, the PS42 has up to a Core i7 Intel U series CPU and optional Nvidia MX150 graphics. It sports a 1920 x 1080 IPS display that promises to reproduce 100 percent of the sRGB color gamut. The extremely slim, 0.22-inch bezel only helps to accentuate the screen as well as the webcam positioned in the bottom bezel, effectively turning it into a nose cam. The company's special Cooler Boost 3 thermal technology helps keep the components from getting too warm. MSI claims that its laptop will last up to 10 hours on a charge.

MSI did not announce exact pricing but did tell us that this is a premium device so we're guessing that it may cost over $1,000. It certainly has the look and feel to justify the expense, but we'll have to see how the Prestige PS42 performs when it comes out later this year.

Avram Piltch
Online Editorial Director
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master's degree in English from NYU.