Laptop Mag Verdict
Not to get all L.O.T.R. about it, but the age of Apple is ending thanks to MSI taking advantage of Intel’s Core Ultra Chipset and delivering a sleek, elegant, do-it-all business beast. Long live the Age of Intel Ultra
Stunning 4K OLED display
Sturdy, lightweight aluminum-magnesium alloy build
Excellent, balanced performance
All-day plus battery life
AI-tuned webcam and mic array are a win
Speakers could be a tad louder
Why you can trust Laptop Mag
Display: 16-inch OLED 3,840x2,400
CPU: Intel Core Ultra 7 155H
GPU: Intel integrated Arc GPU
RAM: 32GB LPDR5X system memory
Storage: 1TB SSD
Size: 14.11 x 10.01 x 0.66
Weight: 3.3 pounds
Forget cloudy skies – the MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo paints the PC landscape with a bright, optimistic orange. It's not just another laptop; it's a harbinger of the AI PC era, and boy, does it shine. Under the hood, this beast packs Intel's Core Ultra 7-155H CPU, integrated Intel Arc graphics, and the pièce de résistance: Intel's brand-new NPU (neural processing unit). This holy trinity of silicon ain't just a spec bump; it's a revolution. Get ready for a wave of new capabilities and mind-blowing improvements redefining what a PC can do.
And let's give props to MSI for nailing the launch. They didn't miss a beat at Intel's "AI Everywhere" event on December 14th, 2023. This aluminum-clad beauty may scream "business" on the outside, but its heart hums with the creative fire of "get it done, anything and everything."
So buckle up, tech enthusiasts, because we're taking the Prestige 16 AI Evo for a spin. Get ready to experience the future of PC laptops, where AI isn't just a buzzword; it's your personal superpower.
MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo price and configurations
The MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo I tested costs $1,399 (at NewEgg) and has a Meteor Lake Intel Core Ultra 7-155H processor, 32GB of RAM, 1TB of SSD storage, and Intel-integrated Arc graphics. The Prestige arrives with a 16-inch 4K OLED (3840 x 2400) display with a FHD (1920 x 1080p) webcam found at the center of the display.
Two Prestige 16 AI Studio versions will be available in early January with either the Intel Core Ultra 7-155H or the Ultra Core 9-185H CPU with Integrated Arc GPU, 32GB of RAM, several SSD options, and two different display options. The displays will be the 16-inch 4K OLED or a 16-inch QHD+ (2560 x 1600). They will be available at Best Buy with a starting price of $1,899
MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo design
The tellar gray aluminum-magnesium alloy chassis on the MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo makes this the strongest lightweight since Sugar Ray Leonard. The Prestige, as its name suggests, is an elegant business laptop, simple and clean in tone, with touches of chrome in the logo on the back of the lid and at the base of the display.
When opened, your eyes catch hold of the expansive full-sized backlit chicklet-style keyboard, large touchpad, and deck that gives the user ample room to get comfy and work. The other feature I like is the combo power-fingerprint reader key, and it’s a slick little addition. The other tiny thing you will notice on the deck is an infinitesimally small mic hole just above the left side of the touchpad, where a third mic hides.
Looking up toward the display, we see the chromed-out MSI logo. Then we are introduced to the gorgeous 16-inch 4K OLED display sturdily held in place by thin bezels, giving the Presitge’s display a very immersive appearance, which is great for watching content and editing videos.
At the top center of the display, within the bezel, we find the FHD (1920 x 1080p) built-in webcam with a physical security shutter.
The MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo measures 14.11 x 10.01 x 0.66 inches and weighs 3.3 pounds. Our comparison Acer Swift Edge 16 weighs 2.8 pounds and measures 14 x 9.5 x 0.5 inches. Our Apple MacBook Air M2 13-inch weighs 2.7 pounds and measures 11.97 x 8.46 x 0.44-inches. The Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360 comes in at 14 x 9 x 0.46 inches, and 3.1 pounds.
MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo ports
The MSI Prestige may be a lightweight masterpiece, but it doesn’t scrimp on ports. Several fruit monikered ultraportables will only give you two USB Type-C ports and giggle at you, but that is not the case here.
We find a combo audio jack and the SD card reader port on the right.
On the left, we have the nano Kensington lock.
If you need more, check out our list of the best docking stations that should do the trick.
MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo Security
The MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo prioritizes security like a true business warrior. Windows Hello lets you ditch passwords with its lightning-fast facial recognition powered by the superb built-in FHD camera. I also paired that with the convenient fingerprint reader integrated into the power button. And for extra peace of mind, a physical camera shutter guards against unwelcome peeping Toms during video calls.
Bonus security? The Prestige 16 AI Evo's proximity sensors keep your hawk eye on your data. Walk away, and it automatically locks down, ensuring privacy wherever you roam.
MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo display
The 16-inch 4K (3804 x 1800) OLED display on the Prestige 16 AI Evo provides next-level vivid imagery and color while delivering crisp text and solid brightness. I found the panel very color-accurate when working in Google Workspace, Microsoft Office, and Davinci Resolve.
I watched “Spiderman Far From Home” on Disney Plus. From those early scenes with Aunt May at the fundraiser to those scenes near the end battling Mysterio and his army of hologram bots, the Prestige’s 16-inch 4K OLED display was the star.
This display produces sharp, super vivid, colorful images and video. It's a joy to binge-watch your favorite shows on.
We measured the Prestige’s display with a colorimeter, and it covered 137.9% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, way above the average mainstream laptop (87.8%). I expected this result as it was apparent how beautifully this display renders colors with excellent saturation and accuracy.
The Acer Swift Edge 16’s OLED panel led our group, edging out the MSI by averaging 139.2% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, followed by the Samsung Galaxy Book’s at 85.2%. The MacBook Air M2 13-inch averaged 75.9%.
Next, we ran our display brightness tests. The 16’s display tallied 368.2 nits of average brightness, surpassing the category average of 354 nits. The Swift Edge 16 OLED was a bit better, averaging 387 nits. This was followed by the Samsung Galaxy Book 360, which averaged 381 nits, with the MacBook Air leading this category with an average brightness of 489 nits.
MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo audio
The DTS-tuned pair of 2-watt speakers actually produce some discernable bass, covering the full tonal audio range. I was pleasantly surprised that I could clearly hear crisp audio across my studio apartment from the MSI’s tiny pair of speakers.
I fired up Spotify and listened to Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground.” That thick, funky organ music was nickel reproduced, and when the drums kicked in, the light bassline hit perfectly. The Prestige excellently produced Stevie’s crisp vocals and honored the track.
Next, I listened to John Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things” album with its beautiful melodies, smooth piano, and soft jazz drums. The Prestige 16’s speakers handled the video audio beautifully, and the speakers always did a lovely job with vocals coming through crisply and special effects with solid audio definition.
During my Google Meet call, the MSI Prestige’s Spatial Array built-mics did a fantastic job focusing on my voice while keeping background noise to a minimum.
MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo keyboard and touchpad
MSi nailed the keyboard, as it’s excellent. The Prestige’s chiclet-style full-sized backlit keyboard is super responsive with amazing bounce. The backlight is bright, and the spacing between keys is perfect. My monster mayhem mitts (i.e., my fingers) found the keyboard roomy as I managed 94 words per minute during the 10FastFingers.com test with 96% accuracy—the larger dimensions of the 16-inch laptop format help here.
My usual average is 88 wpm with 91% accuracy, so I exceeded my standard rate. The touchpad is quite large and a bit left of center beneath the keyboard. The roomy 6 x 3.5-inch touchpad is very clicky and very responsive. It quickly and smoothly handled all my Windows 11 gestures, including two-finger scrolling and pinch-to-zoom.
MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo performance
The MSI Prestige 16 Ai Evo comes loaded with the recently launched Intel Core Ultra 7-155H CPU, Intel Arc graphics, 32GB of RAM, and 1TB SSD. So, I pushed the Prestige more than I would an Intel 13th Gen chipset with Iris Xe GPU. I cranked up Google Chrome and opened 70 tabs while working on some documents in Google Docs. Plus, I had seven YouTube videos playing. It never got bogged down, so I opened another tab to Photopea and started editing some photos. The Prestige let me know it meant business, running smoothly without lag.
The NPU is a stealthy co-star, silently offloading tasks to keep your CPU and GPU at peak performance. This brainpower boost translates to smoother sailing, from everyday workflows to demanding workloads. But the NPU's magic goes beyond speed; it's a master of resource management, optimizing power and delivering the unexpected: longer battery life. The NPU isn't just hardware – it's a performance revolution in disguise.
During our Geekbench 6.1 overall performance test, the Prestige 16 scored 13,310, surpassing the mainstream laptop average of 9,006. This surpassed the test scores of the previous Swift Edge 16 ( AMD Ryzen 7 7840U ) of 10,682. It also handily surpassed the Galaxy Book 3 Pro's (Intel Core i7-1360P) 9,858 and the MacBook Air M2 chips score of 9,467. Also, I wish to add that it surpassed the MacBook Air 15 M2's score of 10,009 and even surpassed the MacBook Pro 14's M3 score of 12,024.
On the Handbrake video transcoding test, which tests how fast a laptop can convert a 4K video to 1080p resolution, the Prestige 16 AI Evo took 5 minutes and 17 seconds, performing way better than the mainstream average of 8:55. That said, I am letting you know right now, it surpassed all the other laptops in its category, including the base level MacBook pro 14 M3 (5:39). So nicely done Intel and MSI.
Our Acer Swift Edge transcoded the media in 6:04, while the Galaxy Book 3 Pro handled it in 7:59. The MacBook Air M2 13-inch closed us out, transcoding the media in 7:52.
The 1TB SSD in the MSI Prestige took 19 seconds to duplicate a 25GB multimedia file for a transfer rate of 1,400 megabytes per second (MBps). The mainstream laptop average is 1,066.36 MBps. The Swift Edge 1TB SSD took 21.1 (1,481 MBps) seconds during this benchmark. The Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360's 512GB SSD (1,173 MBps) took 23 seconds. Lastly, our MacBook Air M2 was a speed demon (9.31 seconds) during its Blackmagic disk speed test, averaging 1,535.4 MBps while transferring the same amount of data, which edges out both Swift Go 14's, although the benchmarks are a bit different.
MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo graphics
The integrated Arc GPU is a massive improvement over the Iris Xe GPU. It opens up a new world of smoother performance for those pushing image-heavy documents and presentations. It is a transformative experience for content creators who are editing 4K footage in a GPU-demanding application such as DaVinci Resolve, and this was before Blackmagic added any Intel Ultra Core-specific acceleration. During my time with the Prestige, I edited not only 4K footage but 6K as well. The entire time, I was unplugged, and I never saw a fall-off in performance or experienced any lag.
We tested the GPU using Sid Meier’s Civilization VI benchmark in 1080p. The Prestige averaged 66 frames per second, above the mainstream laptop average of 44 fps. The Acer Swift Edge averaged 44 frames per second, while the MacBook Air M2 produced 40 frames per second during Sid Meier. Our Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro closed things out, averaging 34 frames per second.
Running the 3DMark Time Spy benchmark, the Swift Go 14 tallied a score of 3,272, which just slipped past the mainstream laptop average of 3,240. The Acer Swift Edge 16 came in at 2,996, with the Galaxy Book closing us out, tallying 1,880. There are no Time Spy benchmark scores for the MacBook Air; however, it tallied 5,654 during the 3D Mark Wildlife Extreme Unlimited benchmark.
MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo battery life
The MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo takes advantage of the Intel Core Ultra 7’s NPU-managed power-sipping to close the battery life gap with Apple as it managed 13 hours and 4 minutes of battery life on average, even lasting 13 hours and twenty-two minutes during one run of our Laptop Mag battery test. Our battery test involves continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. It was just above the 9:44 mainstream average.
The MacBook Air dominated this category with 14 hours and 6 minutes of battery life, but the gap is closing. The Samsung Galaxy Book 3 averaged 7:46, with the Sift Edge closing things out by averaging 7:18. Thanks to the Intel Ultra chipset, PC laptops are genuinely closing the gap in battery life while maintaining performance.
MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo heat
The MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo keeps things cool. During our heat test, which involved playing a 15-minute 1080p video, the Go 14’s underside reached an acceptable 95.5 degrees (not crying about .5 a degree) Fahrenheit, just below our 95-degree comfort range. The keyboard hit 98.5 degrees between the G and H keys, while the touchpad remained relatively chill, averaging 76.5 degrees. I don’t recall hearing the fans or feeling any heat, which is good.
MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo webcam
The Prestige 16’s FHD (1920 x 1080p) webcam produces high-quality still images and video. The 16’s webcam performed very well in normal lighting and low-light conditions. Autofocus and tracking were speedy and more than acceptable. It is one of the better built-in webcam experiences, and using Windows Hello was a breeze.
Adding new AI tools also improves image quality and will make you the star of any video meeting you’re in. Windows Studio Effects provides intelligent features like automatic framing, advanced background blur, and gaze correction. You should check out our list of best webcams if you need something in the 4K resolution range for streaming.
MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo software and warranty
The MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo has a very clean installation of Windows 11 Home with barely any bloatware, probably because it's meant to entice businesses. So, except for the most common offenders, Netflix, Spotify, and the Microsoft Solitaire collection, it’s a clean install.
The addition of Microsoft’s Copilot AI assistant is a huge help and will take the reins, accelerating routine processes, smoothing workflows, and saving you precious time. Dive deeper with personalized answers, unleash your creativity with inspiring suggestions, and conquer your to-do list with convenient task assistance. It’s like having your own personal AI bubble of personalized information and data at your fingertips.
The MSI Prestige 16 AI Evo is meant to be a business-focused laptop, but it ends up being the MacBook challenger PC laptop enthusiasts have longed for. Not only can it meet and, in many cases, surpass the M2-powered MacBooks, but it is also surpassing the baseline M3 MacBooks, which is a giant leap forward for Intel-powered laptops. This isn’t hyperbole; this is what the numbers show.
When you add a stunning, immersive 16-inch 4K OLED display, 32GB of RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage for $1,399, the Prestige will save you a ton of money versus a similar-spec MacBook Air M2, which maxes out at 24GB of RAM and will cost you $2,099 with a 1TB SSD. From document pushing to image and video editing, the MSI Prestige has you covered. With 13-plus hours of battery life, you can now enjoy all-day battery life and performance while untethered from a wall outlet.
In today’s inflationary times, saving over $700 and getting an equal level, or nearly equal level of performance, is a massive victory for both Intel and MSI, as they have delivered a MacBook challenger that should put a scare into those behind the circled castle walls of that Wonka factory in Cupertino.
Mark has spent 20 years headlining comedy shows around the country and made appearances on ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, Food Network, and Sirius XM Radio. He has written about every topic imaginable, from dating, family, politics, social issues, and tech. He wrote his first tech articles for the now-defunct Dads On Tech 10 years ago, and his passion for combining humor and tech has grown under the tutelage of the Laptop Mag team. His penchant for tearing things down and rebuilding them did not make Mark popular at home, however, when he got his hands on the legendary Commodore 64, his passion for all things tech deepened. These days, when he is not filming, editing footage, tinkering with cameras and laptops, or on stage, he can be found at his desk snacking, writing about everything tech, new jokes, or scripts he dreams of filming.