Can MSI replicate gaming laptop success in mainstream market?
With a string of successful PC, laptop and monitor launches under its belt, MSI is one of the most recognisable brands with regards to gaming hardware. The Taiwanese company has established a reputation for quality products that enhance the desktop gaming experience.
However, MSI has significantly expanded its product lineup in 2020, with a new Summit range of business laptops joined by the Prestige 14 Evo. The latter is a more consumer-focused device than we’ve previously seen from MSI, providing a premium design and high-end internals without becoming too heavy or bulky.
Powered by Intel’s new 11th-gen i7-1185G7 processor and Iris Xe graphics, the device also comes with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. We haven’t been able to test Intel’s latest processors yet, but encouraging benchmark scores suggest performance across the board will be excellent. It remains to be seen whether that will extend to demanding tasks such as video editing.
As the name suggests, the Prestige 14 Evo comes with a 14in touchscreen, at a resolution of 1920×1080. MSI also claims the device will get close to 100% of the sRGB colour gamut and reach up to 300 nits of brightness. The bezels are also impressively narrow, giving it an estimated 90% screen-to-body ratio.
MSI’s expertise in gaming hardware is also apparent here, with a vivid backlit keyboard that’s tilted to provide a more natural angle for typing. It remains extremely portable at 1.29kg, while the 52Wh battery also supports 65W fast charging. We shouldn’t forget to mention the webcam in 2020, although the Prestige 14 Evo has a standard-sounding 720p camera for video calling and the like.
The latter part of its name refers to Intel’s new Evo Platform, a new standard for premium laptops. Eligible devices must hit certain targets with regards to performance, responsiveness and battery life, all within a thin and light body. It’s also significant that that majority of Intel Evo laptops are primarily targeted at consumers.
The big challenge for MSI is to establish itself as a household name in the world of consumer laptops. The likes of Dell, HP and more recently Huawei will be tough to dislodge, and it remains to be seen whether MSI can produce standout everyday devices. Still, it’s an encouraging development, and competition tends to help drive quality up and prices down.
Speaking of price, despite the device launching in the UK this month, we still don’t know how much it will cost. The high-end specs suggest it will be in excess of £1,000, but hopefully, MSI doesn’t price itself out of the market. As you’ll see in our best laptop chart, competition among laptops is fierce.
See more information about the Prestige 14 Evo on the MSI website.