MSI’s Prestige 14 laptop sits atop a varied heap, offering portability and premium performance in a pulchritudinous package. We’ve tried-out two colour varieties; a sober, Carbon Grey sandblasted aluminium device which puts us in mind of the conservative side of Aston Martin’s gun-metal grey and a fabulous bright pink variety which wowed everyone who saw it. The MSI Prestige 14 laptops are statement devices whether you want to laud their looks or commend their clout. But should you buy one?
Key specs of the MSI Prestige 14 Laptop
14-inch, matte, 1920 x 1080, non-touchscreen LCD; 1.1-4.7GHz Intel Core i7-10710U processor; 16GB LPDDR3-2133 RAM; 1TB NVMe hard drive; Nvidia GTX 1650 GPU; 52Wh battery; 319 x 215 x 16mm, 1.26kg. SKU: A10SC. Full specs here.
Ergonomics and Design
The aluminium chassis is as sturdy and rigid as it is good looking. Plenty of attention has been spent on design details to the point where the underside air vents resemble a city skyline. MSI also uses one of its less-garish logos to adorn the front, ensuring that these laptops will fit into a C-Suite boardroom, super-cool design studio, open office or LAN and draw admiring glances without distraction (pink version aside). It’s tough to the point of receiving a Military-grade, MIL-STD-810G certification and yet weighs just under 1.3kg (with a 0.49kg power supply).
The underside vents of the MSI Prestige 14 resemble a cityscape.
The 14-inch, IPS screen is bright, surrounded by a thin bezel and sports a Full HD resolution. Like it’s MSI Creative-range siblings, it offers professional-grade features and certifications including a 220ppi pixel density, ΔE<2 display and supports nearly 100 per cent of the sRGB colour space. Each device is hand-calibrated in the factory and CalMAN verified. There’s also an SKU with a 3,840 x 2,160 UHD resolution that supports 100 per cent of the Adobe RBG gamut). It can be laid flat to show clients and colleagues what you’re working on and the screen can be easily flipped by prodding the F12 key.
We casually carried the Pink variant of the Prestige 14 around our office and it proved a major hit with particular demographics.
The full-size (including arrow keys) keyboard offers back-and-side, white-lighting and is very comfortable to type on for extended periods. It’s further enhanced by the five-degree incline that manifests when the lid is opened. Meanwhile, the large, extra-wide trackpad is responsive and smooth. The webcam supports infrared, face-recognition technology and (along with a trackpad-mounted fingerprint reader) is compatible with Windows Hello sign-on.
As with all ultraportables, don’t expect too much from the speakers. But while they don’t get loud they do offer a moderately rounded fidelity. The top end is a bit tinny, though.
On the left are two Type-C (USB3.2 Gen2 / DP / Thunderbolt 3) ports with PD charging (one of which is used by the laptop’s charger). This is joined by a microSD card slot. On the right is a 3.5mm audio jack and two Type-A ports, but they only offer USB 2 speeds. We were happy to see up-to-date wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth v5.1.
To the left… the inclined 5-degree hinge makes typing even more comfortable.
To the right… USB 2.0? Really?
The 1.1-4.7GHz, hexa-core, Intel Core i7-10710U CPU is flanked by 16GB LPDDR3-2133 RAM and 1TB NVMe hard drive. While beefy – especially for such a small computer – it’s worth noting that they’re not upgradable. They combined to score 5,001 in PCMark 10 which is very impressive for any variant of laptop.
The Prestige also sports Nvidia’s GTX 1650 GPU. While this will struggle with the latest-and-greatest Triple-A cinematic titles, there’s more than enough grunt for every other type of game (although you may have to lower some detail settings). For those who care about benchmarks, in our 3DMark tests it scored 2,993 in Time Spy, 3,252 in Fire Strike Extreme, 16,319 in Night Raid and 19,277 in Sky Diver. The Hyperthreaded six scores managed an impressive 1,026 in Cinebench R15. In short, this diminutive device punches well above its weight.
While the fans can make an audible swoosh when under load, it manages to avoid turning into an annoying whine.
The robust chassis means MSI’s Prestige 14 can take quite a beating on its travels. However, the chassis can’t change the laws of physics when it comes to battery size and so you’re stuck with a three-cell, 52Wh battery. Whilst not huge, this still managed to run PCMark’s Modern Office test for a respectable six hours 14 minutes. It’s not quite a full day out of the office, but it’s not far off.
The Prestige 14 looks cool and sophisticated to all types of business audiences.
MSI’s Creative Center is a useful application which can simply overclock the laptop for top performance or underclock everything and ramp-down the fans when you need total silence. Nowadays it can also prioritise different Adobe applications which will please those who perform rendering on the move.
We love everything about this laptop. While you can get even more power packed in with some devices, it comes at the expense of high pricing and chassis that start resembling cheese graters due to all the air vents built into them. The Prestige offers pretty, portable, performance but what really tips it over the edge is the price. The sticker price tag of $2,099 might not be exactly low, but it’s around a third less than many premium, corporate laptops that we’ve recently reviewed cost – and we’d choose this every day. What’s more, if you’re quick, you can pick one up for just $1,799 which is an absolute steal. The cherry on top is the two-year warranty. We fully recommend it: it’s one of our favourite laptops ever.