Best Portable MSI Prestige 14 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2021:

A4K panel, an Intel i7 processor and a GTX 1650, all in a 14-inch chassis. This is the recipe for the MSI Prestige 14 laptop to seduce content creators. But between seduction and combustion, there is sometimes only one step.

Presentation

Considering its compact size, its Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card and its name, which smells of premium product. It’s hard not to compare this Prestige 14 model to another. 13-inch model recently passed by our laboratory: the Razer Blade Stealth . However, MSI makes certain technical choices which will greatly distance it from its competitor.

To start with, Razer opted for a 10nm Ice Lake processor, characterized by a balance between consumption and developed power. The Prestige 14 is seen equipped with a significantly less chip in the compromise, a Core i7-10710U with 6 cores. Another difference: the screen. Here again, MSI plays the bidding game and offers a 3,840 x 2,160 pixel definition panel. 

Finally, the commercial positioning differs: while Razer defines its Stealth as a versatile and elegant ultrabook. MSI sees its prestige 14 as a nomadic tool for content creators. Is the Taiwanese manufacturer’s approach more relevant than that of its competitor? Let’s start by tackling the issue through the prism of the chassis configuration and the management of environmental constants (heat, noise …).

Best Portable MSI Prestige 14 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2021

1. XPC MSI Prestige 14 Notebook (Intel 10th Gen i5-10210U, 16GB RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD. GTX 1650 4GB, 14″ Full HD, Windows 10 Pro) Professional Laptop

2. MSI PS42 8RB-059 14″ Professional Thin Bezel Laptop i7-8550U GeForce MX150 2G GDDR5 16GB RAM 512GB SSD

3. MSI Modern 14 A10RB-459 Ultra Thin and Light Professional Laptop Intel Core i5-10210U MX250 8GB DDR4 512GB NVMe SSD Win10Pro

4. MSI GS75 Stealth-1074 17.3″ 144Hz 3ms Ultra Thin and Light Gaming Laptop Intel Core i7-9750H. RTX2080 32GB 1TB NVMe Thunderbolt 3 Win10

5. MSI GF63 THIN 9RCX-818 15.6″ Gaming Laptop, Thin Bezel, Intel Core i7-9750H. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, 8GB, 256GB NVMe SSD

Construction

Studying the Prestige 14 chassis is a bit like studying a chestnut kloug just out of the oven. Visually, it looks very appetizing, but as soon as you are interested in what is inside, the odors are exhaled and all that makes you much less want. But let’s take things in order: as much by its shape as by its manufacturing quality. The Prestige 14 is undoubtedly a beautiful object. Its metallic gray carbon dress is elegant and the chamfers with bluish reflections offer just the right amount of color. The resistance of the hinge is reassuring and, whether placed on the knees or on a table, the device always finds its stability thanks to a wide non-slip strip on the user side and two pads on the screen side.

Indeed, it should be noted that once the PC is open, it is the screen that serves as a support, allowing the elevation of the keyboard part by a few millimeters, probably to ensure better air intake – but we will come back to it. A quick glance at the edges makes it possible to distinguish two Thunderbolt 3 compatible USB C 3.2 Type C ports and a microSD card reader on the left, and two USB 2.0 Type A ports and a combo mini-jack on the right. If the set is complete for the format, the presence of two old generation USB ports has a small archaic side. We will console ourselves with the specifications displayed on the wireless connectivity part: Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5 are on the program.

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The two input interfaces are quite effective. On the keyboard side, MSI opted for a very short and very dry stroke, and relatively large keys. In fact, we get used to it very quickly, the only typing errors coming from this Enter key which does not take the classic inverted L shape. A detail, no doubt, especially since the touchpad is also very successful. 

Soft, and wide enough for the right and left clicks to be clearly distinguishable on the fly, it only sins in one aspect: on a definition so large within such a reduced diagonal, it sometimes lacks precision, which forces to play with the scaling settings, or switch to a real mouse. That doesn’t stop the touchpadto be useful, in a way, since it hosts the fingerprint sensor which allows a secure opening of the desktop thanks to Windows Hello.

So far, everything seems to be going well. But as we sketched at the beginning of the chapter, this will not last. From the start-up and after the first heavy benchmarks , the Prestige 14 displays a face that is less unanimous: that of a laptop that heats up and is heard. Concretely, when it is subjected to our stress test ( Assassin’s Creed Odyssey ) and in its default operating profile (Comfort mode), the Portable MSI Prestige 14 raises the volume to 46 dB. 

Under the same conditions, the Blade Stealth did not exceed 40 dB. But beyond the noise, it is mainly the dissipation of heat that poses the problem: the pictures of our thermal camera show that the heat is absolutely not guided to be evacuated.

Final

There are two main reasons for this, in our opinion: the very design of the cooling system seems undersized, with only two shared heat pipes and a single associated fan. Comparatively, the Blade Stealth offered double ventilation and a network of 3 heat pipes, while it only loaded a 4-core CPU (against 6 for the Portable MSI Prestige 14). 

Consequently, the temperature on the keyboard of the MSI model rises appreciably (between 46 and 50 ° C). But there is worse: the air expelled by the single radial fan goes directly to the screen, because of its positioning (remember, its base serves as a support for the PC when it is open). The surface of the slab at this point then reaches 56 ° C. we lacked time to precisely define the risks of such a phenomenon,

Note that the Prestige 14 is delivered with a software suite (Creaton Center) which allows, among other things, to apply different operating profiles to the PC: Comfort mode is the default, and it is supplemented by Sport and Eco modes ( found on the brand’s gaming models ). If Eco mode greatly minimizes heat emissions, while limiting the processor frequency to 400 MHz, Sport mode logically induces the same drifts as Comfort mode, by overclocking the CPU by around 300 MHz (on H encoding. 265).

Performances

We expected results below the CPU standards, and we did. More clearly, our tests put the Core i7-10710U of the Portable MSI Prestige 14 on the same level as the Core i7-1065G7 of the Razer Blade Stealth and Dell XPS 13. However, this is a problem, since the first works on 6 cores and 12 threads, while the other two rely on 4 cores and 8 threads only.

There is obviously a reason for this: by analyzing the frequencies of the cores of our i7-10710U on an H.265 encoding, we realize that these peak at an average of 1 895 MHz. It is relatively little. And to be convinced, it is enough to look at the frequencies which we had noted on the same test for Core i5-10210U (Comet Lake also, therefore): around 2350 MHz, without overclockingparticular. Even by pushing the Prestige 14 to a more removed mode (Sport mode), the average frequencies on 6 loaded cores remain at 2226 MHz. 

Obviously, this does not translate into a lack of functionality in the PC: the MSI model remains swift and responsive on a daily basis on most of the tasks that we have imposed on it. But with better cooling, we could definitely have gotten better. Worse: these results even suggest that MSI would have had far fewer heating problems and equivalent performance with a fully exploited 4-core Ice Lake CPU than with its out-of-breath Comet Lake 6-core CPU.

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And since we are talking about performance, it was necessary to make a small point on the Creator Center software, which includes an optimization panel dedicated to different creation software from Adobe or Corel studios. Contrary to what we assumed, the options available do not imply any particular modifications in terms of the software themselves. MSI simply gives the possibility to configure the operation of the memory, the. CPU, and the GPU for these particular cases. This consists for example of pushing the memory frequency and the CPU frequency, and prioritizing the process within Windows, when Adobe Photoshop is launched. Nothing really rocket science, and given the elements we have just mentioned, the scope of this system seems quite limited.

Games

Not surprisingly, what is valid for the processor is also valid for the graphics card. The Portable MSI Prestige 14 GTX 1650 MaxQ circuit reaches a game performance index of 49. The Razer Blade Stealth, which used the same system, takes 5 points, with an index of 54. Here too, everything is explained by the analysis of operating frequencies: on average over 5 games, the Blade’s GTX. 1650 MaxQ relies on a GPU frequency of 1,568 MHz. That of the Prestige 14 remains at 1,153 MHz. CQFD.

Screen

The choices relating to the display will be much more unanimous. MSI indeed announces a. CaIMAN factory calibration and this promise is kept: we measure an average delta. E of 1.4 on the most faithful profile, knowing that the True. Pixel software offers 6, including an “anti-light” setting blue “or a” game “setting that will remain more folk than anything else.

On the contrast side, we expected a little better: the Portable MSI Prestige 14 returns a value of 1212. 1, where the average of the recently tested tiles is 1449: 1. The remanence is also in an honorable average (27 ms) when the brightness is frankly appreciable, with a peak measured at 562 cd / m². Note that we are on a matte slab, whose average reflectance – associated with the brightness that we have just mentioned – allows you to maintain good visibility in all circumstances.

Finally, the main criticism that can be addressed to MSI on this part is the choice of definition, which undoubtedly inflates the price and premium sounding, but whose interest remains questionable on such a low diagonal.

Audio

Let’s quickly get rid of the question of the headphone jack. According to our quantified analysis, it is positioned in a good average compared to what is done on the market today, with in particular a power which allows a good support of the majority of headsets and a low distortion. Speakers side, however, there is more to debate.

For starters, the positioning of the speaker outputs, just below the side edges, implies a sound diffusion towards the support on which the PC is placed, which will not benefit the quality of the rendering. But beyond this aspect, the lack of power is obvious. Therefore, it is impossible to imagine using Portable MSI Prestige 14 as the basis for an audio conference, or to ambience a room. We also note a total absence of bass and low mids, and a very tight rendering around the mids. The sound is pinched, skimpy, and even if the clarity remains required, respect for the timbre remained on the side of the road.

Finally, note that the stereo is quite good, but again, this remark should be placed in a context of rendering that lacks consistency. In other words, if the right-left dissociation is correct, it remains disturbed by a muddled sound reproduction in the center. MSI worked with Nahimic for software support. French society’s improvement algorithms bring a little balance to the sound rendering. But do not fundamentally change the performances that we dare to describe as mediocre.

Mobility / Autonomy

Last criterion that needed to be analyzed: autonomy, an important element for a PC with such a compact format. And once again MSI pays the excess of its specification sheet: 4K screen, 6-core processor, all this consumes energy and brings the Portable MSI Prestige 14 to a 5 h autonomy, after which you have to go through the charging box . We are clearly far from the 10 hours touted by the manufacturer.

At least, laptop and charger are not heavy to transport (1.6 kg for the whole).

STRONG POINTS

  • Rather elegant chassis.
  • Full connectivity.
  • Screen calibration with small onions.

WEAK POINTS

  • CPU and GTX 1650 Max-Q clearly restrained.
  • Undersized cooling system.
  • Disturbing heat transfer to the screen.
  • Software overlay dedicated to dispensable creation.
  • Particularly poor speakers.
  • Disappointing autonomy for the format.

CONCLUSION

The Portable MSI Prestige 14 looks a lot like a laptop that would have been designed for rewarding specifications and not according to the affinity of certain components with the constraint of a very compact format. In fact, this machine offers a sexy processor / graphics card assembly, but one that it cannot use in good conditions. In the same spirit, it is hard to imagine the real usefulness of the 4K screen on a diagonal of 14 inches. But above all, the Prestige 14 suffers from competition from the Razer Blade Stealth , which has been able to do better by being more rational in all areas, for a little less expensive.

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