MSI Prestige 14 Evo (2021) Review

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In this article, I give you my MSI Prestige 14 Evo (2021) review with specs included. Yes, there’s still a Prestige, not an Evo model. I’ll tell you what the differences are below.

The one that I have is Intel 11th gen, the Evo platform, which means long battery life, instant wake from sleep, Intel CPUs and GPUs inside, Intel Wi-Fi, etc. Basically, full Intel package.

This is another attempt for MSI to go into the business ultrabook market. They’re really well known obviously for the gaming laptops and their mobile workstations are no slouches either.

MSI Prestige 14 Evo 2021 White
MSI Prestige 14 Evo (2021) White

And they’re still working on that business laptop market which doesn’t mean it’s dull necessarily. I mean, Dell XPS 13 is a business laptop as well.

MSI Prestige 14 Evo (2021) is a conventional 14-inch clamshell laptop design. Not a convertible and all that sort of thing.

It has an aluminum build. It’s available in three different colors. I have the one they call gray but obviously, it has kind of bluish accents especially the edges, the little bling thing. Or, you can get it in white or pink, and that pink is very pink.

So, the 14-inch business laptop is just a 14-inch ultrabook market in the kind of premium-ish space but not super-expensive. It is not the easiest one to break into. There are so many offerings and some that are very well established like that Dell XPS 13. There are a variety of ThinkPad models, the X1 Carbon, and all that sort of thing.

MSI Prestige 14 Evo 2021 Pink
MSI Prestige 14 Evo (2021) Pink

So, MSI fights that market by coming in a bit less expensive. My Core i7 model, the Full HD IPS display (decent enough display), 512 gigabytes to one terabyte NVMe SSD, and 16 gigs of RAM is around $1199.

In terms of the build and looks on this, I am not a real fan of the kind of sparkly paint finish that they’re using. It reminds me of back in the 2000s the way plastic laptops sort of look.

But, this is indeed an aluminum body laptop. The white probably looks a little bit less sparkly and the pink certainly doesn’t seem to look sparkly in pictures.

The display is full HD and has a 16 by 9 traditional aspect ratio. So, those who are hoping for 16 by 10 or even three by two, sorry, not here, just straight normal.

The display is 305 nits, the one I have, that’s what it measured using our SpyderXElite colorimeter. And that’s not real bright for the thousand to $1200-ish kind of ultrabook market.

So, that hurts a little bit but that’s it. It looks pretty decent, pretty bright. The contrast on it is very good, it has very low black levels. Low black levels are a good thing, blacks are blacker. So that’s in its favor and the color gamut on it is pretty good too.

Now, on MSI’s website i see mention of 4k models but i hadn’t found a specific model yet with a 4k display. So let’s just leave it with this full hd that we have. In terms of performance the intel 11th gen CPU. This is the ultrabook class of CPU that now can go all the way up to 28 watts with the 11 gen. Quad-core eight threads.

It’s a good performer. Until it’s moving in the right direction there. The benchmarks are well competitive with others that we’ve seen. The razer book actually gets higher. If you’re running the MSI in its default balance mode.

You can move it up to performance mode but it will be a louder laptop and most people don’t want their ultrabooks to be that loud. But it is possible to get a bit higher benchmarks for CPU that we saw. We have intel iris xe graphics inside.

This is the g7 version of the CPU. You can get core i5 and core i7 so. Intel iris xc graphics was a great step up for intel so. I think a lot of people are going to enjoy that. And if you’re playing older or more casual games it’s fine for that.

It’s going to give you a little bit of a boost if you’re doing things like photo editing and even a little bit of video editing that sort of thing. Now speaking of fan noise yes you will hear it if you’re pushing the laptop hard to moderately hard particularly when it’s plugged in which is when most ultrabooks and all laptops get a bit louder because they’re running in full performance mode and.

Msi does know they’re cooling thanks to their gaming laptops and motherboards so. We’ve got an unusual unusually beefy heatsink here with some pretty large pipes and a pretty big fan for something that is basically your intel ultrabook with no dedicated graphics.

Speaking of that the prestige not Evo has Nvidia gtx 1650 max q graphics inside. So more graphics but no more evo platform thus. One thing i like about the styling is when you open up the laptop it raises the keyboard deck at an angle of about five degrees or so. That’s also good for cooling too.

Speaking of cooling also you’ll notice the vents on the bottom that. The pattern is like a city skyline and you won’t see it often but it’s kind of a neat thing and it’s quite a lot of ventilation for an ultrabook as well. The m.2 ssd is upgradable we’ll take a look at the internals and i’ll walk you through all that but like most all ultrabooks on the market ram is not upgradable.

The keyboard around this has 1.5 millimeters of key travel and some nice lighting around the edges white backlit keyboard. Not a gaming laptop so just wipe. The tactile feel is okay and it’s not great. And if you’re looking at the competition from hp and their elitebook line and dell xps 13.

That dell XPS 13 I don’t think is a great keyboard but the hp elitebooks and the thinkpads that compete have really good keyboards. And if this is really going to be business-oriented i think they could use a little more tactile feel. But it’s not terrible.

Msi typically does a little weirdness with their keyboard so in this case the fn key has been shifted from the left side to the right side. The power button displaces the delete key so you just have to get used to that so you don’t accidentally put it to sleep every time you try to hit the dell key.

The track pad on this is quite wide. As was the last generation. And there’s a fingerprint scanner embedded in it. And there’s also a windows hello ir camera. The trackpad is absolutely fine it’s Microsoft precision but it’s a very slippery surface. So I found a little hard to control the cursor just because my finger was skeeting everywhere on it.

Probably build up some fingerprint oils it would help with them. In terms of connectivity of intel wi-fi six is the ax-201 card with Bluetooth 5.1. There is no lte 4g or 5g option that i’ve seen on this. So we’re kind of businessy but we’re not totally gone to businessy where that starts to become an option.

Ports on this however are a bit better than usual compared to some of the competitors like the XPS 13 or even the 13-inch MacBook air and MacBook pro. Insofar as we have two thunderbolt 4 slash usbc four ports that’s great.

But we also have a usb a port so you don’t have to run to get a dongle immediately just to use the mouse that you’ve been using for several years. The only weirdness here is that this is a USB 2.0 port for that usb a port. And i haven’t seen that in a while.

It’s also a micro-sd card slot so for content creation yay that and of course a headphone jack. The laptop has a 52 watt-hour battery. That’s pretty good it’s very competitive certainly. And a 65-watt fast charger they say that you can charge in 15 minutes and get about 1.5 hours of run time.

Obviously with your brightness now it’s too high to get that but it’s good to see that sort of thing. Again intel evo platform so battery life should be a plus here. And in fact it is it’s going to depend on what you’re doing with it obviously.

But if you’re doing our light productivity test which is ms office a little social networking maybe a little streaming video and just a little bit of photoshop editing with the brightness set to 200 nits and we saw eight hours to nine hours of battery life. That’s not bad.

Obviously check the brightness up it’s gonna get worse. Lower it as much as you can it’ll get better. If you’re doing something like compiling code or editing in photoshop for hours then it will be less. To get the bottom cover off simple Phillips head screws.

They are all visible except for the one under MSI’s usual factory steel sticker. So just poke right through there and you can unscrew it and then use a guitar pick or something to pry off the edges. Compared to some of their gaming laptops this is actually pretty easy to take off.

There’s our aluminum cover and that’s what the underside looks like. And here are internals. Obviously the battery is right over here 52 watt-hour. Our nvme SSD is here. This is a Kingston one terabyte in ours. Now note that this platform supports PCI-E 4.0 but this drive seems to be a 3.0 drive given the benchmark speeds that we got on it.

Stereo drivers surrounding the battery here in the palm rest area which is where you usually see them. And two odd speakers not really loud but not bad sounding at all by any means. The intel wifi card is socketed and thus replaceable should you ever need to do so.

Ram is soldered on board which is the case for pretty much every ultrabook on the market. So one thing to note though is a very large fan for something that’s intel integrated graphics only here. This is pretty beefy cooling. And theirs are bigger than average for an ultrabook heat pipes with good length on them and obviously this is the heat sink for the cpu right here.

So in terms of the competition um price is going to be one of the big reasons here i think. Nothing in the prestige 14 Evo really sets it apart makes you say oh i have to have this. The design is fine it’s not beautifully unique. It’s competent display it’s a okay keyboard all those sort of things it’s.

It’s a good laptop but when you’re looking at the dell XPS 13 you might be tempted by. A little bit smaller to display there and you’re going to be spending about three or four hundred dollars more for the same configuration. So that starts to look like a plus there.

The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13-inch with the m1 CPU if you’re looking at 16 gigs of ram and a 512 gig SSD that’s going to be 13.99 starting for the air obviously the pro is going to be a bit more money.

And compared to the hp elites which and the think pads which typically are even more expensive really targeting the business market then the MSI starts to look pretty darn attractive. And it’s very light and it’s sturdily built. Oh and it has some ports besides thunderbolt yay. So that’s the MSI prestige 14 Evo.

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MSI Prestige 14 Evo (2021)
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