MSI Summit E16 Flip review

MSI Summit E16 Flip review

MSI’s Summit series has always been aimed at “Business Elites” but we’ve always felt it’s come up short. Now here’s the latest MSI Summit Flip E16 and there are some subtle changes. Is this now the laptop to choose for executives who want a bit more oomph? 

Key specs of the MSI Summit E16 Flip 

15.6-inch, glossy, 2560 x 1600, 120Hz, touchscreen display; 16GB RAM; 1TB NVMe HDD; Nvidia RTX 3050; 82Wh battery; 2KG. SKU: A11UCT-009AU, Full specs here

Design and Handling 

The “Ink black” chassis with gold trim still looks sharp and smart and the MSI logo on the front will suit conservative corporate types more than the usual dragon logo. The white-backlit keyboard with its clear lettering and edges also looks smart when activated. It’s very comfortable and accurate to type upon for extended periods and, unlike previous units, has a number pad. The keys of the latter are reduced in size but they’re not fiddly to use like half-height variants. The arrow keys are also this size and are comfortable to use. The wide trackpad is very smooth and accurate and the buttons are well-weighted and quiet to click.  

The MSI Summit E16 Flip’s screen is impressive. Its UHD, 2560 x 1600 resolution keeps everything crisp and sharp. It’s well-lit and supports 100 per cent of the tricky DCI-P3 colour gamut but it’s not the brightest and colours don’t quite pop like they do on specialist Creator-designated laptop screens. We’re nit-picking at bit though as performance is generally very good. Contrast is impressive with detail being retained in both bright and dark areas. There’s some banding in colour gradients but its not as prevalent as most laptop screens. Monochromatic transitions are impressively smooth. Motion performance is also good thanks to the 120Hz refresh rate. It’s good for both office work and multimedia consumption. 

The MSI Summit E16 Flip’s display is also a touchscreen that rotates all the way back to turn into a tablet. To this end it comes with an MSI Pen which supports MPP 2.0 (Microsoft Pen Protocol), USB-C charging and 4096 pressure levels. The hinge is solid and smooth to use and feels very high quality. 

MSI Summit E16 Flip front view
The MSI Summit E16 Flip has great ergonomics.

Ultimately, the MSI Summit E16 Flip looks good for all occasions and is a joy to use. 

Above the screen is a quad-microphone array with noise cancellation for high quality web conferencing audio. However, the webcam itself is still just the regular HD variety. It is supported by an IR sensor for Windows Hello compatibility and there’s a fingerprint reader on the palm-rest which (in tandem with a TPM 2.0 module) is too. It’s worth noting that since launch, the laptop is now Windows 11 ready. 

The twin, 2-Watt speakers offer reasonable fidelity with a well-rounded sound at bottom and top ends. However, they’re not very loud. 

Performance 

Inside the MSI Summit E16 Flip there’s a quad-core, 2.9-5GHz Intel i7-1195G7 processor, 16GB of LPDDR4 RAM and a 1 TB PCIe 4.0 hard drive. These combined to score 5628 in PCMark 10 which is rather low and only really beats ultraportables. The scores of 1062 and 5962 in the Cinebench R15 and R23 rendering tests further attest to the fact that this is not a great laptop for rendering and power-hungry 2D applications. 

The Nvidia 3050 isn’t the most powerful GPU and it showed in its benchmarks. It scored 4149 in 3DMark Time Spy (an average of 25fps) in Fire Strike Extreme it scored 4775 (average 24fps) and it struggled badly in the Port Royal Ray Tracing test (which it’s not fully compatible with) by scoring just 126 (average 0.6fps). However, it will still happily play casual and competitive games as scores like 7871 (average 47fps) in 3DMark Wild Life Extreme and 25,718 (average 179fps) in Night Raid attest to. These will also display well on the MSI Summit E16 Flip’s fast 120Hz screen. 

MSI Center controls performance and fan speed. The laptop can idle quietly but emits a quiet, high-pitched whir when doing work. Switching fans to maximum performance “CoolerBoost” mode ramps up the noise though.

Connectivity of the MSI Summit E16 Flip 

On the left are two USB-C ports which support Thunderbolt 4, DisplayPort and Power Delivery. Note that one is used for mains charging. There’s also a switch to turn the webcam on and off. It’s fancier than a hardware shutter but you’ll have to trust that the technology works. There’s also an HDMI 2.0 port. 
On the right of the MSI Summit E16 Flip are two USB-A 3.2 Gen.1 ports, a fast, UHDIII, microSD card reader and a 3.5mm audio jack. 

Inside the MSI Summit E16 Flip there’s the latest Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 wireless connectivity. 

Portability

At 2KG it’s quite light for a 15.6-inch laptop. The power brick adds a modest 420g to this figure. MSI claims it has an 11-hour battery life but it ran our PCMark Modern Office test for 8hrs 48mins. That’s still a full day out of the office, though. The tablet-like lid is very solid – as is the rest of the chassis – and it should survive life on the road without too much effort. 

Underside of the MSI Summit E16 Flip.

Should I buy the MSI Summit E16 Flip? 

At $2899 it’s actually reasonably priced for an executive notebook. Its big rival, the Dell XPS 15 costs over a grand more and doesn’t offer many improvements. Another rival is the Zero BlackBook Zero Phantom 15 but that’s more expensive and has no 3D capability at all. Of course, when it comes to buying business notebooks, they often come through a company’s MSP (Managed Service Provider) leasing deal so not all business users will get to choose this MSI. However, if you’re the boss and you don’t want an (expensive) Dell, this is a great alternative. We’re glad to see a Summit laptop that finally made it to the top.

MSI Summit E16 Flip results
  • 2D Performance
  • 3D Performance
  • Ergonomics
  • Stability
  • Portability
  • Value
3.5

Summary

Finally an MSI Summit that actually reaches the summit. A highly ergonomic business laptop.

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