Microsoft makes Android phones, Razer sells an Ultrabook and now MSI is making...business laptops? Yes, it's true. MSI, best known for its gaming notebooks, unveiled today its new Summit line of business laptops.
MSI has not provided pricing or a release date for these notebooks. We will update this article when we learn more.
MSI Summit design
Built from the ground up, the Summit E14 and E15 and Summit B14 and B15 take the DNA of MSI's past gaming laptops and put an enterprise spin on them. They all feature a slim sandblasted aluminum chassis with military-grade durability (MIL-STD-810G).
We haven't seen these notebooks in person yet but they seem to blend a Black Ink chassis with gold trim and a stylish new logo for a sophisticated appearance.
At 14.1 x 8.2 x 0.7 inches and 3.9 pounds, the Summit E15 is lightweight for a 15-inch laptop. The same goes for the Summit E14, which comes in at 12.6 x 8.6 x 0.6 inches and 3 pounds, although laptops like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon and Asus ExpertBook B9 are even lighter.
With integrated graphics instead of discrete GPUs, the Summit B series is even more portable. The B15 comes in at 14.1 x 9.2 x 0.7 inches and 3.5 pounds whereas the B13 is only 12.6 x 8.5 x 0.7 inches and 2.9 pounds.
MSI Summit series business and security features
MSI is doing right by business users who need a combination of new and old ports to charge devices, connect to monitors and listen in on video calls. All four laptops come with a Thunderbolt 4 port (both E series notebook have two), USB Type-A inputs, microSD card slots and headphone/mic jacks. Only the E14 lacks an HDMI input.
These laptops offer a suite of business features, including a fingerprint sensor on the deck and an IR camera for facial recognition login (on the E series only). Ensuring data is encrypted is a TPM 2.0 chip, a feature found on most premium business notebooks. Background noise elimination, designed to make your voice sound crystal clear in video calls, is another nice addition, as are the SD card/USB lock slots.
Similar to the Dragon Center on gaming laptops, MSI will include an MSI Center for business and productivity app where you can access security features and get the latest BIOS updates.
MSI Summit series displays
Here is where the E and B series really separate themselves. The Summit B15 has a 15.6-inch, 1080p display in two options, one capable of covering 72% and the other 45% of the NTSC color gamut. The B14 also has two 1080p display options but in 14 inches.
The E series steps things up with three display options. The Summit E14 comes with either a 14-inch, 1080p non-touch or touch panel or a 4K non-touch display. Similarly, the Summit E15 has a 15.6-inch display in either 1080p touch, 1080p non-touch or 4K non-touch.
MSI Summit series performance and battery life
The new business notebooks will run on Intel's new 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPUs, and an MSI rep told us they will support vPro. The cheaper Summit B14 and Summit B15 will rely on Iris Xe graphics while the more powerful Summit E14 and Summit E15 can be equipped with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q GPU with 4GB of vRAM.
The Summit B14, E14 and E15 can be configured with up to a 2TB M.2 2280 NVMe PCIe SSD whereas the Summit B15 supports two M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDs. RAM goes up to 32GB.
MSI claims the Summit E14, B14 and B15 will last 10 hours on a charge while the E15 will go for 16 hours. With fast charge, these laptops can get up to a 70% charge in one hour.
MSI is stepping into competitive territory by entering the business laptop space, but we're excited to see how the company differentiates itself from the ThinkPads and EliteBooks of the industry.
From what we can tell, the new Summit series has a gorgeous chassis, plenty of security features and the latest processors — everything it needs to satisfy enterprise users. We also like the option of equipping select units with discrete graphics, a nod to MSI's gaming roots. We'll provide more coverage of these business notebooks once we get them in for a full review.