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Case – Slim 14-inch laptop
MSI has manufactured the case of the Prestige 14 from metal, and in addition to the “Carbon Grey” color variant shown here which has polished blue edges, it’s also available in “Pure White” and “Rose Pink”. The workmanship is of very high quality and no uneven gap dimensions or other defects can be detected. If the lid of the Prestige 14 is opened, the base unit lifts slightly at the back. This creates an angle that favors air circulation on flat surfaces, but the resulting edge also digs into your skin in a slightly unpleasant way when the small laptop is placed on the lap.
Weighing about 2.86 lbs, the Prestige 14 is the lightest laptop in our test field. Due to the very narrow display bezel and the low height, the MSI laptop is also very slim and extremely compact.
Connectivity – MSI laptop with two Thunderbolt ports
Without an adapter, the MSI Prestige 14 doesn’t do much more. Although there are two Thunderbolt 3 ports, one of them is required for the power adapter, which can be used for charging on both ports. A direct monitor port, such as HDMI, has been completely forgone, and the two USB Type-A ports come only with USB 2.0 standard.
SD card reader
The MSI Prestige 14 has a memory card reader that accommodates microSD cards almost completely. Only an edge of about 2 millimeters sticks out, with which the spring mechanism for removing the card can be triggered well.
With our Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC reference memory card, the card reader reaches 148.9 MB/s when copying and 176.5 MB/s when reading data. This result is well above the average of other devices we have tested.
For wireless connections, Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 6 with the fast 802.11ax standard are available to users of the Prestige 14. With our Netgear Nighthawk AX12 reference router, MSI’s laptop reaches an average of 787 Mb/s for receiving and 640 Mb/s for sending data. Although these are very good values, the MSI Prestige 15 shows that the built-in WLAN module could be even faster.
Input devices – Laptop with normal-sized arrow keys
The keyboard of the Prestige 14 offers very large keys with a well though-out layout, especially for a 14-inch laptop. The arrow keys are full-size, and the function keys only have a slightly reduced size. Writing tasks can be done very well and quickly, since the feedback of the keys is also very clear. The only weak point is the double assignment of page up/page down with home and end, but this is a highly specific criticism.
A three-stage keyboard backlighting can be activated for working in poor lighting conditions. This illuminates the letters evenly and doesn’t dazzle.
A very wide ClickPad is used as a mouse replacement. This provides a smooth surface that allows accurate navigation of the mouse pointer. Even with excessive movements of the mouse pointer, our finger didn’t bump into the edge, and the fingerprint sensor wasn’t in the way either. Touch-triggered clicks are registered reliably, and the mechanical activation of mouse inputs works smoothly too.
Performance – Good performance that drops sharply in the long run
With the Prestige 14, MSI is targeting creatives who would like to do their work on a small and mobile laptop. Performance should be just as good as with larger laptops. In addition to the configuration variant tested here, other display and storage configurations are also available.
MSI uses an Intel Core i7-10710U in the Prestige 14. This processor offers six cores and can handle up to 12 threads simultaneously. The clock rates are between 1.1 and 4.7 GHz, whereby the maximum frequency can only be maintained longer with sufficient cooling. To control performance, MSI offers users four preconfigured profiles that affect maximum speed and therefore also loudness and battery life.
In MSI’s Prestige 14, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 in the more energy-saving Max-Q version takes care of displaying graphically demanding image content. In the benchmarks, it achieves results about 10% lower than other laptops with this graphics card. However, the performance is still sufficient for photo and video-editing.
Despite its focus on content creators, the MSI Prestige 14 could also be of interest to gamers. Here, however, the Full HD version is more suitable, since the 4K screen doesn’t offer much added value at a size of 14 inches. The performance of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q is definitely sufficient to execute modern titles and also display them in Full HD with smooth frame rates to a greater extent.
In a Wi-Fi test, the MSI Prestige 14 achieves a runtime of just under 6 hours. This value is in order, especially for a laptop with a 4K panel. However, users who opt for the Full HD variant are likely to achieve a significantly longer runtime.
According to MSI, the Prestige 14 can be used again for 1.5 hours after 15 minutes of charging. With the included charger, the battery took about 2 hours to fully charge.
Verdict – Good performance with trade-offs
The MSI Prestige proved to be a contradicting laptop in our test. Performance is good, but it drops a bit more strongly than in our hands-on in September 2019. The display is already excellently calibrated out of the box and also has a good contrast ratio, but the slightly increased black value and the partly better competition cloud this point a little bit too. Two Thunderbolt 3 ports are also very good in terms of port configuration, but the fact that one of them is blocked by the charger and that the remaining USB Type-A ports are only designed in 2.0 versions is again not that great. Since there is no HDMI port, both Thunderbolt ports will be blocked in extreme cases, whereby a corresponding docking station will naturally remedy this.
The MSI Prestige 14 packs a lot of power. But buyers also have to put up with compromises.
But all of this is nitpicking. The Prestige 14 is equipped with good performance for its size and offers a lot of hardware for its price. There are hardly any maintenance options available, and the compromises that have to be made, for example, in the battery life with the 4K display, can be evaluated by any prospective buyer for themselves. Those who choose to buy this laptop will not be disappointed.
Kindly note that this article was outsourced and the information within was collected from various online trusted sources. We don’t own, or performed any mentioned tests personally.