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MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo review

The Summit E13 Flip is a stunning business 2-in-1 with one caveat

MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo review
(Image: © Rami Tabari)

Our Verdict

The MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo offers great performance and a stunning 120Hz display packed into a tight chassis, but its below-average battery life weighs it down.

For

  • Strong performance
  • Bright, 120Hz display
  • Thin and light chassis
  • Clicky keyboard
  • Business durability and security features

Against

  • Battery life could be better
  • Quiet speakers
  • Pricey

MSI has established itself as a household name for gaming laptops, but with the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo, the company aims to bring 2-in-1 business laptop consumers into the fold, and its Summit line is off to a great start.

For $1,899, the Summit E13 Flip offers powerful performance from its Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor, a vibrant 13.4-inch display, and a clicky keyboard packed into a sleek, durable chassis. However, the Summit is pricey, even compared to the Apple MacBook Pro. Not to mention that its battery life doesn’t cut it against the competition and its speakers are rather quiet.

Despite these problems, the Summit E13 Flip’s premium business qualities more than make up for its faults. It’s easily one of the best business laptops you can buy provided you have the money.

MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo price and configuration options

MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo specs

Price: $1,899
CPU: Intel Core i7-1185G7
GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM: 32GB
Storage: 1TB SSD
Display: 13.4-inch, 1920 x 1200, 120Hz
Battery: 8:53
Size: 11.8 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches
Weight: 2.9 pounds

The MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo that I reviewed costs $1,899 and is outfitted with an Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, an Intel Iris Xe Graphics chip, and a 13.4-inch, 1920 x 1200 display.

There’s also the entry-level $1,599 model, which brings the laptop down to 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.

If you’re looking for something a little more affordable, check out our best cheap laptops and best laptops under $500 pages.

MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo design

Sure, MSI knows its way around a gaming laptop, but how does it manage with a business notebook? About the same as it does with everything else: Make it black and thin. The MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo sports a sleek, black aluminum hood accented by a glossy copper MSI logo. Surrounding the entire chassis are copper accents. They’re reminiscent of the accents on some HP Spectres, but I can’t decide if they look stylish or tacky.

MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

Opening it up reveals a similar sleek black deck with a standard keyboard with white accents around the keys, a copper-accented touchpad below it, and a fingerprint reader on the right-hand side. The bezels on the display are relatively thin despite having a webcam on the top bezel. Since it’s a 2-in-1 device, the lid easily rotates 360 degrees and attaches to the underside with the magic of magnets.

At 2.9 pounds and 11.8 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches, the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo is competitively light and thin for a 13-inch laptop. The Dell Latitude 7320 2-in-1 (2.5 pounds, 12.1 x 7.9 x 0.7 inches), Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, M1, 2020) (2.8 pounds, 12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches) and Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 (13-inch, Intel) (2.8 pounds, 12.1 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches) are in a similar class.

MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo ports

There aren’t too many ports on the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo, but just enough to get by.

MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

On the left side, there’s one USB Type-A port and two Thunderbolt 4 ports, while the right side holds room for a headphone jack, a microSD card slot, one USB Type-C port, and a webcam kill switch.

MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

If you need more ports, check out our best laptop docking stations and best USB Type-C hubs pages.

MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo security and durability

As a business laptop, the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo offers many security features, including a fingerprint reader, an IR webcam for Windows Hello, a webcam kill switch, a TPM 2.0 chip and the ability to centrally manage USB ports and the microSD card slot on the device.

As far as durability goes, the Summit E13 Flip successfully tested against the top 10 MIL-STD 810G military durability tests. That means it withstood low- and high-pressure altitudes, shock, vibration, mechanical vibrations, extreme high and low temperatures, humidity, salt fog, and sand and dust.

MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo display

The MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo’s 13.4-inch, 1920 x 1200-pixel display with a 16:10 aspect ratio is stunningly bright, decently colorful, and silky smooth thanks to its 120Hz refresh rate panel.

MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

In the trailer for Riders of Justice, the red taillights of Mads Mikkelsen’s car popped in contrast to the dusk sky and rolling hills of grass. While the Summit E13 Flip has a glossy panel, I still made out the details in Mikkelsen’s jacket while the protagonists gathered in a dimly lit barn. Mikkelsen’s scruffy beard was also surprisingly sharp on the display.

According to our colorimeter, the Summit E13 Flip covered 82.4%, which isn’t far off from the premium laptop average (84.8%). It’s more colorful than the MacBook Pro (78.3%) and Surface Laptop 4 (76.7%). And even though it may be duller than the Latitude 7320 (83.3%), the Dell couldn’t top the average, either.

At 479 nits, the Summit E13 Flip Evo crushed the 392-nit category average as well as the Latitude 7320 (260 nits), MacBook Pro (435 nits) and Surface Laptop 4 (349 nits).

MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo keyboard, touchpad and stylus

It’s been a while since I've enjoyed typing on keys as much as I do on the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo’s keyboard. The keys are a bit shallow, but they’re clicky and the palm rests are comfortably cool to the touch.

MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

I hit 82 words per minute on the 10fastfingers.com typing test, which is above my typical 78-wpm average. The keys are reasonably sized and well-spaced to deliver a solid typing experience no matter how large or small your hands are.

The Summit E13 Flip also comes with the MSI Pen. It’s an active pen with three buttons, 4,096 points of pressure sensitivity, and a rechargeable battery via USB-C. The pen is also metal, magnetic and comes in at 148.67 x 9.2 millimeters and weighs 0.5 ounces. I drew a simple sketch of the next dungeon I’m creating for my D&D campaign, and it felt smooth and easy to use. You can customize the shortcuts in the MSI Pen Control app, but it’s rather barebones.

The 4.7 x 2.4-inch touchpad isn't very tall, but it makes up for that in width and it feels sleek to the touch. My only complaint is that the decline from the deck to the touchpad is a bit sharp. Otherwise, it’s smooth sailing, and Windows 10 gestures work swimmingly.

MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo audio

The MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo’s bottom-firing speakers aren’t loud and don’t pack enough bass to leave a lasting impression.

I listened to Halestorm’s “I Miss The Misery,” and the opening vocals were clear, but they sounded a bit compressed. The following percussion lacked the bass to make it sound impactful, and the electric guitar only muddled the other instruments. There wasn’t a lot of depth to the sound overall.

The laptop does come with the Nahimic audio software, which offers settings for voices, bass, treble, volume stability and surround sound. Tinkering with this can change the sound and make it slightly better, but not enough to make it good.

MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo performance

Packed within the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo is an Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor with 32GB of RAM. It easily juggled 40 Google Chrome tabs and five 1080p YouTube videos without any issues whatsoever.

MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

On the Geekbench 5.4 overall performance test, the Summit E13 Flip scored 5,524, surpassing the average premium laptop (4,368). It also surpassed the Surface Laptop 4’s Core i7-1185G7 (4,829) and the Latitude 7320’s Core i7-1185G7 (5,292) but fell short of the MacBook Pro’s M1 CPU (5,925).

The Summit E13 Flip transcoded a 4K video to 1080p in 13 minutes and 47 seconds, which seems like a long time, but it sails past the category average (16:17) as well as the Latitude 7320 (17:16) and Surface Laptop 4 (17:01).

MSI’s 1TB SSD managed a transfer rate of 1,025 megabytes per second, soaring over the average premium laptop (631 MBps). It even crushed the SSDs in the Latitude 7320 (192 MBps) and Surface Laptop 4 (563 MBps), but not the MacBook Pro (2,752 MBps).

MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo graphics

The MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo’s Intel Iris Xe Graphics chip averaged 25 frames per second on the Sid Meier’s Civilization VI Gathering Storm benchmark (Medium, 1080p), which falls short of the 28-fps premium laptop average and the 30-fps standard for playability. However, with the same GPU, it beat the Latitude 7320 (20 fps), but couldn’t get past the MacBook Pro M1 GPU (29 fps).

On the 3DMark Fire Strike synthetic graphics benchmark, the Summit E13 Flip scored 4,917, which slid past the category average (4,756), but landed between the integrated GPUs in the Latitude 7320 (4,227) and Surface Laptop 4 (5,089).

MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo battery life

MSI has been trying to bump up its battery life strategy for gaming laptops, but how well does it do for its business line? Not bad but not great, either. On the Laptop Mag battery test, the Summit E13 Flip lasted 8 hours and 53 minutes, which is more than an hour shorter than the premium laptop average (10:19). It also couldn't get close to the Latitude 7320 2-in-1 (12:01), MacBook Pro (16:32) and Surface Laptop 4 (10:46).

MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo webcam

It doesn’t get much worse than putting a 720p shooter in a laptop, even if it is an IR webcam with Windows Hello capabilities.

MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

The test shot exhibited tons of noise, and the window behind me was completely blown out due to the poor contrast. My red shirt looked OK, but the text in the poster behind me was completely illegible. I wouldn’t want to use this webcam when I play D&D Online or for a business meeting, so check out our best webcams page for alternatives.

MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo heat

Despite how thin the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo is, it remained cool under pressure. After streaming a 15-minute, 1080p video, the underside climbed up to 89 degrees Fahrenheit, which is safely below our 95-degree comfort threshold. The center of the keyboard and touchpad reached 91 degrees and 75 degrees, respectively. Meanwhile, the hottest the machine got was 100 degrees at the center of the underside just behind the vent.

MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo software and warranty

MSI packed several apps in the Summit E13 Flip Evo, but you’ll probably only ever use one: MSI Center for Business & Productivity. Yes, that’s its real name. It features performance settings, display settings, keyboard settings, and an area for driver updates. There’s also a section for support utilities that’ll help you clean up disk or memory space and check on your laptop’s battery health. MSI also stuffs third-party software into the laptop, such as AudioDirector, ColorDirector, Music Maker Jam, PhotoDirector 10 Essential and PowerDirector 17.

There’s also Windows 10 bloatware, like Hulu, Hidden City and Roblox.

The Summit E13 Flip Evo comes with a one-year limited warranty. See how MSI performed on our Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Brands ranking.

Bottom line

The MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo has a lot going for it, between its strong performance and vibrant display to its comfortable keyboard and stylish 2-in-1 chassis. However, it’s bogged down from shining in the wave of business laptops due to its subpar battery life and high price.

Some business users might just go with a MacBook Pro, which costs the same and nets them a longer battery life and stronger performance.

However, if you’re looking for a Windows alternative to the MacBook Pro, and a laptop with an actual touchscreen, you can’t go wrong with the Summit E13 Flip.