MSI Prestige 14 Review – Thin and Light, but at What Cost?
In this detailed review., Starting with the specs. My unit has Intels new 10th gen Comet Lake 6, core CPU, the i7 10710U lovely name. Before 10th gen, the? U series chips, only went up to 4 cores, so this now means we can get 6 cores in thinner and lighter machines.. Unlike Ice Lake, though, this is still based on their 14nm architecture. For the graphics, my unit has an Nvidia GTX 1650 Max Q. So while not a gaming laptop Im, expecting it to be capable of playing some lightweight games. Ive got 16gb of memory in dual channel. A 1TB NVMe, M.2 SSD for storage and a 14 4K screen, though its also available with 1080p. For network connectivity, its got the latest WiFi 6, so 802.11ax support and Bluetooth 5., Its too thin for an ethernet port, though so youll have to use a dongle. If you need that., The Prestige 14 is also available with some different spec options, including lower powered MX250 graphics or Intel integrated graphics. You can find examples and updated prices linked in the description.. The Prestige 14 comes in 3, colours rose, pink, pure white and carbon grey, which is what I assume mine must be.. The metal lid is grey with a subtle MSI logo in the center, while the metal interior is similar with a blue, trimmed accent around the touchpad, and there was a similar blue trim around the edges of the device.. Overall, the build quality felt pretty good as its all metal and all edges and corners were rounded and smooth.
. The weight is listed at 1.29kg, though mine was a little under this.. The total weight increases by almost 400g with the 90 watt power brick and cables for charging included, so definitely on the lighter side., Its quite a portable 14 inch machine and was less than 1.6cm thick.. The slim width and depth allows it to have 6.5mm thin screen. Bezels on the sides., The 14 4K 60Hz IPS Level screen has a matte finish and viewing angles were fine.. Its also available with a 1080p option, however, expect different results with that one. Compared to what Im about to show. MSI calibrate the display for you out of the box to Delta E less than 2. Ive, measured the panel with the Spyder 5 and got 100 of sRGB 93 of NTSC and 98 of AdobeRGB. At 100 brightness. I measured the panel at 578 nits in the center, with a 9801 contrast ratio. So, overall, the results are better than most laptop panels, that Ive tested great colours and high levels of brightness. Backlight bleed wasnt perfect, but when practically looking at darker content with my own eyes, I didnt notice any issues, but this will vary between laptop and panel.. There was some screen flex, despite the lid being metal as its on the thinner side. The hinges are found out towards the corners and the screen can bend all the way back.. The F12 key is a shortcut to flip the screen. This is meant to allow you to quickly push the screen back and flip it to show things to someone in front of you, so you can both see.
. Despite the lighter weight, it was still possible to open up with one finger, no problems using it on my lap, despite the lift design. When you open the lid, the back of the screen comes into contact with the surface, underneath raising the back of the laptop up. Putting it on a 5 degree angle., This should help improve airflow for cooling and also gives the keyboard a slight angle for typing on.. Despite the thin screen bezels, the 720p camera is located above the display in the center, and it has infrared for Windows, Hello, support.. The camera looks about average and the audio sounds pretty good.. This is what typing on the keyboard sounds like, and this is what it sounds like when we set the fan to max speed. So it doesnt get that loud, and you can still hear me over the fan.. The keyboard has white backlighting, which illuminates all keys and secondary key functions.. Key brightness can be adjusted between 3 levels or turned off by using the F8 key.. I saw someone complaining about a lack of numpad but its a 14 machine, so not sure what youre expecting.. I liked typing, with the keyboard the subtle 5 degree tilt was nice. Its got 1.5mm of key travel and heres. How typing sounds to give you an idea of what to expect.? There was some keyboard flex while pushing down hard likely due to there being fewer contact points between the device and the table when open, but I never had any issues with this.
During normal use., The touchpad uses, precision drivers clicks down anywhere, you press and like many of MSIs other recent laptops, its stretched out and is quite wide.. In general, I enjoyed the extra space and I never had any problems with it getting in the way, while typing the times that I did touch it. While typing nothing happened. So the palm rejection seemed decent. Theres, also a fingerprint scanner in the top left corner of the touchpad, and I found this to work quite fast for unlocking the laptop. On the left. From the back. There are two USB 3.2 Gen2 Type C ports with DisplayPort support and both support. Thunderbolt 3, followed by status, LEDs and Micro SD card slot. On the right from the front theres, a 3.5mm, audio, combo jack and two USB 2.0 Type, A ports. Theres, nothing on the back other than rubber feet towards the corners which come into contact with the desk. Once its opened up, while the front just has a subtle indentation for opening the lid., The base of the machine is metal like the rest and the pattern up. The back half is all holes for air intake.. The bottom panel can be removed by taking out 7 Phillips head screws, though it was a little harder to remove it from the front. Once inside. The battery is right down the front with the single M.2 storage slot. Next to that, with both SATA or PCIe support and WiFi card next to that.
Theres, only one fan for cooling and memory is soldered to the board and cannot be upgraded.. The two 2 watt speakers are found on the left and right sides towards the front.. They sounded ok about average, but a bit tinny with minimal bass.. They get loud enough at maximum volume, but there was a bit of vibration in the palm rests and the latencymon results looked alright.. The Prestige 14 is powered by a 3 cell 52 watt hour battery and Ive tested it with the screen brightness at 50 keyboard lighting off and background apps disabled. Battery life was fairly average, while just watching YouTube. It lasted for 5 hours and 12 minutes., While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings and Nvidias battery boost set to 30 FPS. The battery only lasted for 48 minutes at 30 FPS one of the lower results.. At this stage, it dipped to 23 FPS lasting for an hour and 8 minutes in total.. The Prestige 14 supports Type C charging. This is what the included power brick uses and either of the Type C ports can be used.. It comes with MSIs Creator Center software installed, which is basically the control panel to manage it. By enabling creator mode. We can configure the amount of resources and priority of specific applications to try and optimize performance for them.. We can use this to swap between three performance modes which, from lowest to highest, are ECO Comfort and Sport.. Weve also got the option of leaving fans on auto speed or enabling cooler boost for max speed.
Lets. Take a look at thermals next.. Just to recap how cooling works air is pulled in underneath the machine which is raised up a little when the lid is open and then air gets exhausted through the vents below the screen. Theres. Just a single fan, inside with two shared heatpipes between CPU and GPU. Thermals, were tested with a 21 degree Celsius. Ambient room temperature. At idle, both the CPU and GPU, were on the warmer side, no real issue with this, but as youll hear later, the fans were still spinning in this mode, and this is warmer than most other laptops.. These worst case, stress tests were done with the Aida64 CPU stress test, with CPU only checked and the Heaven GPU benchmark at max settings at the same time. I havent tested game thermals, like I normally do for reasons. Youll see soon. Temperatures increase as we step up through the performance modes as higher CPU power limits become possible and more power equals more heat, but also more performance.. Although the CPU wasnt thermal throttling in these tests, the GPU was thermal throttling in sport mode with the fan on auto, but it was possible to lower this a fair bit with coolerboost enabled.. Interestingly, the undervolt didnt lower temperatures. Instead, it seems to try to take advantage of the headroom.. We can see this when looking at the clock speeds where there was a 400MHz boost simply by applying the undervolt.. Despite this change were still around 400MHz below the maximum 3.
9GHz. All core turbo boost speed of the i7 10710U.. It was also interesting that the GPU clock speed was highest in ECO mode, where the CPU was lowest.. Its seems that in comfort mode and above the power is instead directed towards the CPU resulting in lower GPU performance. At all other levels., Just for comparison in the best case stress test result. The Prestige, 15, with same specs, gets a bit higher to 3.6GHz on the CPU and 1.5GHz on the GPU.. This lower GPU performance will be important later when we look at the gaming results.. This is also seen when looking at the power levels, the GPU was using the most power in ECO mode, then lower in the others.. In a GPU only stress test, it would run at its 30 watt limit, but with the CPU active, we can see its way. Down., The CPU sees the opposite of this, where each mode raises the power limit, 5 watts in ECO mode 15, watts in comfort, then 20 in sport mode rising to 25, with coolerboost enabled. CPU performance is much the same in CPU only workloads in Cinebench. I found it would only run up to 25 watts in performance mode.. The same CPU in the slightly larger Prestige. 15 was just under a multicore score of 3000 points in Sport mode with the same undervolt applied so just goes to show laptops with the same specs. Arent equal., Given this is meant to be a content creators laptop Ive, also tested Adobe Premiere by exporting one of my laptop review.
Videos., The results were on the lower side when compared to the other machines tested and the chassis. What quite hot, to the touch under this load.? Interestingly, the smaller Razer Blade Stealth 13, performed a fair bit better. Despite having a quad core CPU, though the 1650 Max Q was a little more powerful, but that is also a smaller 13 machine.. As for the external temperatures, where youll actually be putting your hands at idle, it was warm and already at 40 degrees for comparison. Most other laptops. I test are around 30 at idle., With the stress tests in eco mode. It was only a few degrees. Warmer comfort mode was even warmer getting into the low 50s now. Sport mode. With the fans on auto speed was pretty similar, then it was perhaps just a touch cooler with coolerboost enabled.. The left wrist rest in particular, felt quite warm compared to the right side or touchpad. As the body is metal, it will absorb heat. Heres what the fans sound like during these different tests. At idle in comfort mode. The fan was still audible, and this is in spite of it being about 10 degrees warmer than most other laptops at idle. On the keyboard. Running, the stress tests in eco mode was on the quieter side and comfort, and sport modes were the same, but still quieter. When compared to most other laptops under this test. With coolerboost enabled its getting louder and closer to the average, I see with most laptops.
Next lets take a look at gaming performance.. Although this is not designed as a gaming laptop, we should still be able to do some light gaming on the Nvidia 1650 Max Q, graphics, at least thats. What I thought going into it. Lets start out with Dota 2 as its not a particularly resource heavy title.. Generally, this is a CPU bound test and low and medium settings were performing fine, but there was a big hit observed with high and ultra. Fortnite was tested with the replay feature, and this is a less demanding game that typically runs well on anything. However, that was not the case here, where even low settings failed to offer a 60 FPS average. Overwatch was tested in the practice range, and the results were also not great for a game that would normally have no trouble running on this level of hardware with low Settings needed for an above 60 FPS, experience. CSGO was tested with the Ulletical FPS benchmark, and this is another CPU bound test that usually runs well on pretty much any modern hardware.. While it was possible to hit 100 FPS with all settings at minimum, these results are still far lower than expected.. The Prestige 15 for comparison got more than double this., To put things into perspective, heres how the Prestige 14 compares with the Prestige 15. Both have the same CPU and GPU, but power limits are different. So again just goes to show that you cant judge purely on specs alone.
. This seems to be due to the lower GPU clock, speeds and power levels that were hit with the GPU when under combined CPU and GPU workloads such as gaming, it just doesnt seem to handle both well. Like we saw in the stress tests while gaming, the 1650 Max Q sat at 15 watts half of its 30 watt limit that it can achieve when the CPU is idle. Yeah. I could have gone down to 720p, but when you consider that the Prestige 15 has the same specs and it could play much more demanding games without issue, I dont think I should have to with these specs. Next lets also take a look at how this config Of the Prestige, 14 compares with other laptops use these results as a rough guide only as they were tested at different times with different drivers. In Battlefield, 5 Ive got the Prestige 14 highlighted in red and due to it, having one of the lowest GPUs Ive tested Its down the bottom of the graph., The Prestige 15 above it didnt, do great in this game either, but its still coming out more than double the FPS with same specs.. These are the results from Shadow of the Tomb raider, with the built in benchmark at highest settings.. Again, the results were extremely poor and while it may be possible to get playable frame rates at lower settings, the point here is that its essentially got the same specs as the Prestige 15, which is scoring 3 times higher.
. These are the results from Far Cry 5 with ultra settings in the built in benchmark. This time. The Prestige 15 with same specs, has more than a 4 times higher average FPS. So the Prestige 14 really isnt handling gaming well at all.. Now, for the benchmarking tools, Ive tested, Heaven Valley and Superposition from Unigine, as well as Firestrike and Timespy from 3DMark, just pause. The video, if you want a detailed look at these results. Ive, used Crystal Disk Mark to test the 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD and the speeds were pretty good.. Unfortunately, I wasnt able to test the Micro SD slot, as I dont have cards, that size. For updated pricing check. The links in the description as prices will change over time. At the time of recording in the US. The MSI Prestige 14, with these same specs, is going for 1700 USD or for 300, less theres, the same thing with half the storage but 1080p screen. While the i5 model with half the storage is 500 less than the configuration I tested. Here in Australia were looking at 2800 AUD for the config I tested, while the same specs, but with 1080p screen instead of 4K is 500 less, so youre really paying. For that. 4K screen., With all of that in mind, lets conclude by looking at the good and bad aspects of the Prestige. 14 laptop. First lets address the price.. There are, of course, cheaper and more powerful laptops available, but theyre typically going to be larger and heavier youre.
Definitely paying more for a smaller and lighter machine with fair, build quality here.. If youre willing to go just 100 more, you can get the same specs in the slightly larger Prestige 15, which, as weve seen actually performs well compared to the Prestige. 14. Theres enough of a difference for me to pay a bit more to get the 15, but thats me. Let me know if you want to see a full detailed comparison between the two. Performance was the next major issue I had with the Prestige 14, when using the CPU and GPU together. The GPU in particular seems to be negatively affected, which significantly lowered gaming performance.. Basically, it doesnt really seem to pass 15 watts. I guess in an attempt to keep it getting too hot., While not a gaming laptop. I think the game tests are a good way of seeing practical performance, and we did also observe this resulting in lower Adobe Premiere performance compared to other similarly specced machines.. My guess is to prevent it getting too much hotter. They have to cap the power limits of the device. Thermals weren't, an issue per se, but theyre being controlled by limiting performance to lower levels. At first. I thought this just might be a constraint of the smaller 14 inch footprint, but then remembered the smaller Razer Blade. Stealth 13 beats it in Premiere, exporting and gaming, but to be fair, the Stealth was a little over 100g heavier despite being smaller, so it seems like MSI, are prioritizing the more portable footprint at the cost of performance.
Due to the smaller size, theres also limited upgradeability.. Pretty much all you can, change is the WiFi card and the single M.2 storage drive so make sure you buy it with the amount of memory you need from the start. Outside of those issues, though, with the 4K screen, it does look great and two Thunderbolt ports With Type C charging is nice to have, though, a bit strange to see USB 2.0 at this price point. Battery life was pretty average. The wide touchpad offers plenty of space to move around and having both fingerprint and IR camera to unlock was convenient.. If youre, considering the Prestige, 14 Id suggest looking at the slightly larger Prestige 15 instead as the performance was just so much better despite having the same specs, the battery is larger theres no USB 2 and memory isnt soldered to the board, all for just 100 extra And 1 inch larger. Id only consider the Prestige 14. If you really need to prioritize smaller and lighter at the expense of performance and some features., If youre doing less resource heavy work, then I doubt youd ever notice any problems.. Let me know what you thought about the MSI Prestige 14 laptop down in the comments and, if youre new to the channel, consider getting subscribed for future laptop reviews and tech.