Marketed towards creators, the MSI Prestige 14 laptop promises productivity on the go with its extremely portable form factor. The unit we received for review is the Prestige 14 A10RB, which comes a 10th-gen Intel Core i7 U-processor, NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics, 16GB RAM, a 512GB PCIe SSD, and a 1080p display.
A far cry from its red-and-black-clad gaming counterparts, the Prestige 14's exterior is so elegantly styled that it would look right at home at a fancy-pants business meeting.
'Carbon Grey' is the colour of the model I received - a beautiful matte grey that looks like gunmetal under certain light, accentuated by electric blue chamfered edges around the lid and touch pad.
The sleek design language is consistent throughout its build, from the ultra-slim bezels and extra large touch pad, to the music visualiser-shaped intake vents on the bottom.
Similar to ASUS' Ergolift function, the hinges of the Prestige 14 lift the bottom of the 15.9 mm-thin chassis by 5°, which not only enables better airflow, but provides better ergonomics as well.
For a creator-focused laptop, a good display is arguably one of the most important things to have. On this particular model of the Prestige 14, we have a full-HD 60Hz IPS-level panel with close to 100% sRGB colour gamut.
Although the display is IPS-level and not true IPS, the colour fidelity when viewed from all angles was great. In terms of brightness, the laptop performed well indoors but struggled a little bit under bright sunlight. However, since we Malaysians are mostly averse to sunlight and heat, this shouldn't be a problem as most of us would rather be working at a nice hipster cafe with air-conditioning and overpriced coffee.
If the display is absolutely crucial to you, however, you can go for a higher-end model which comes with a 4K screen, 100% Adobe RGB colour gamut, and a brighter screen - but you'd have to fork out extra dough for that, of course.
One thing that I absolutely love is that the screen folds flat, and there's a dedicated key that instantly flips the display upside-down for the person sitting opposite you to view.
Performance-wise, the Prestige 14 does pretty well. With ample RAM, I was free to open up to 40 Chrome tabs without any noticeable slowdown, and rendering 1080p videos on Premiere Pro was a breeze.
One noticeable tradeoff, however, was the that chassis can get pretty hot while performing taxing tasks - hot enough that my thighs felt like moist drumsticks after a while (I was wearing shorts so the laptop was sitting on bare skin - don't worry, I wiped it down after), and the single fan wasn't exactly very silent while attempting to perform its duties.
The Creator Centre that comes pre-installed allows you to monitor your laptop's vitals, switch between power modes, as well as optimise performance for specific apps, which will come in handy for most creators.
A 3-cell, 50 WHr battery will keep your device going for roughly 7-8 hours of use on balanced mode; if you require more juice, you can bring along the 90W adapter but it certainly tack on additional weight to the 1.29 kg laptop.
In terms of I/O ports, the selection is satisfactory:
1x Micro-SD slot for easy transferring of data
2x USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports that support PD charging
2x USB2.0 ports
1x mic/audio combo jack
While I love that the laptop can be charged via either of the USB-C ports, I'm a bit surprised to see USB2.0 instead of USB3.0 ports on a laptop this new.
Also, to maintain its slim form factor, the Prestige 14 has done away with its ethernet port, but you can easily plug in an adapter if absolutely necessary. However, as it's equipped with Wifi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0, it's unlikely you'll be wanting to drag around a LAN cable on a device built for portability anyway.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The keyboard was pleasant to type on with a comfortable amount of travel distance; however the keys weren't as springy as I like - but that's just personal preference. MSI has also opted for a more sleek and professional font which complements the overall package well; coupled with 3 brightness adjustments, you'll enjoy a great typing experience under all types of lighting conditions.
Palm rejection worked well on the extra large touch pad, so you can enjoy all that extra real estate with no concerns. On the top left, you have a fingerprint sensor that allows you to log in with a simple touch; paired with Windows Hello, getting to work straight from idle mode takes no time at all.
Audio and Webcam
As is the case with a lot of laptops, the speakers and webcam often seem like afterthoughts; unfortunately, this is also the case with the Prestige 14. Audio was certainly loud enough, but suffered from a distinct and almost comical lack of bass. Along with the fact that the speakers are down-firing, this may make Netflix-ing while curled up in a soft blanket extremely inadvisable.
The webcam and built-in mic are functional enough that I have no complaints, but they aren't something to write home about either.
If you're a creator looking for something portable to run Adobe programs or other creative applications with, the MSI Prestige 14 is a stylish package that is easily carried around due to its portable form factor. The performance is decent, and if you're looking for some extra oomph in the display, you can opt for the 4K Adobe RGB model instead. Alternatively, if an extra inch doesn't faze you, there's always the MSI Prestige 15 series to consider as well.
The MSI Prestige A10RB laptop retails for a cool RM4,899 and comes in 2 colour options: Carbon Grey and Pure White. You can pick one up from their official online store or at any authorised distributors nationwide.