Late last year, Taiwanese computing giant MSI refreshed its portfolio with laptops boasting Intel 10th generation chips and the latest Nvidia graphics cards. Part of this portfolio is the MSI Prestige 15, which comes in two variants. The only difference between both the variants is the screen resolution. The MSI Prestige 15 base model features a 15.6-inch IPS panel with FHD (1920×1080 pixels) resolution. The top model, on the other hand, comes with a 15.6-inch screen with 4K (3840×2160 pixels) resolution. We got our hands on the more premium 4K model. So, how does the Prestige 15 fare against its rivals in an extremely competitive market? Let’s find out in our MSI Prestige 15 review. Also Read - MSI Creator 17 laptop with Mini LED 17-inch screen all set to launch at CES 2020
MSI Prestige 15 specifications and price
First up, let’s talk about the specifications of the laptop. MSI has added the latest 10th-generation Intel Core i7 U-series processor. Our unit came with Intel Core i7-10710U CPU with clock speed of 1.1GHz. Considering that the unit is higher-end, it features a 4K resolution panel along with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU. The GPU comes with 4GB GDDR5 video memory and a Max-Q design. Moving forward, we get 16GB DDR4-2666 RAM with two SO-DIMM slots with a maximum capacity of 64GB. Also Read - MSI launches world's first gaming laptop with Intel Core i9 processor in India
Watch: MSI Prestige 15 Review
In addition, we also get 1TB M.2 SSD storage for all our storage needs. We also get a backlit keyboard with White LEDs for illumination. MSI has also added a web camera with a 720p video recording at 30fps. Talking about ports, we get two USB Type-C ports with USB 3.2 Gen 2 protocol. The laptop also features two USB Type-A ports with USB 3.2 Gen 2 protocol and a microSD card slot. Last but not least, we also get one HDMI port with 4K at 60Hz output.
Other features include Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth v5.0, dual 2W speakers, and one mic-in and headphone-out combo 3.5mm socket. MSI has also packed a 4-cell Lithium Polymer battery with 82 WHr battery capacity. Buyers also get a supplementary 90W AC charging adaptor to charge the laptop. The entire package weighs about 1.6kg. Taking a look at the pricing, the FHD display version is available for Rs 117,790, while the 4K version comes at Rs 136,590. One can make use of the different bank offers on Flipkart or exchange offer to push down the price.
Unsuspecting design with a glossy finish
The MSI Prestige 15 comes with a modern, yet stealthy design. There is no flashy RBG lighting around making it suitable both for professional meetings as well as gaming sessions. The laptop features a diamond-cut edge design on metal exterior with sandblasted texture. The metal frame around the keyboard area provides a solid, high-quality feeling without any flex. The display also features a hardened frame but does come with slight flex. The top lid of the laptop comes with a rather discreet MSI logo.
It is also interesting to note that the laptop does not come with as many cooling vents as a traditional high-end laptop. Instead, the only two places one can notice the vents are in the hinge area and on the bottom. This ensures that the laptop does not scream gamer. It is worth noting that users need to take care of the glossy paint job. It is quite easy to chip off the paint on the edges of the laptop while packing or unpacking. We would recommend buyers to get a laptop sleeve to protect their new laptop.
Performance of the MSI Prestige 15
The laptop features premium hardware along with a respectable graphics card. Additionally, the pricing of the laptop is likely in line with its competition with comparable specifications. Now, let’s talk about the performance of the MSI Prestige 15 under different circumstances.
During everyday use, the MSI Prestige 15 zipped through most tasks. I used the laptop for my daily grind which includes extensive web-browsing, Netflix, writing, music, and photo editing. I did not experience any lag or stutter throughout my use. The web-browsing with 20-25 tabs along with photo editing on Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom Classic was a breeze.
During my testing, I played Battlefield V, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, HITMAN 2, DOOM, and Halo The Master Chief Collection. I did not change any system settings while testing the games to ensure that I can check the experience out-of-the-box. One can crank the settings in the MSI Creator Center in the User Scenario section under the “System Tuner” tab. The section offers four modes including “High Performance”, “Balanced”, “Silent”, and “Super Battery”. Prestige 15 is set to “Balanced” mode by default.
The laptop offers impressive performance for people not looking to run the latest games at the highest of settings. If you want to play games at the highest settings, you should look for something with a more powerful graphics card. Most games will offer decent performance at high settings but one can crank things up by switching down to medium. You can also switch to high performance to get better performance but things do tend to get slightly loud.
Moving to performance, the laptop managed to keep things somewhat manageable under load. The presence of cooling vents at the back and bottom also made quite a difference. Things did get considerably hot after 20-25 minutes of gaming, but the metal frame was quick to cool down. For context, the CPU core temperature reached 93 degrees while gaming with the heat concentrated around the hinge area.
Frames and settings
The MSI Prestige 15 managed a good 60fps in Doom with Vsync turned on at high settings. One can push things further by turning Vsync off to 75-80fps. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus managed 110fps with Vsync off in low settings. Vsync restricted things to 60fps. Shadow of the Tomb Raider managed a bare 24fps at low settings. HITMAN 2 ran at smooth 60fps at medium details and high texture. Moving to Halo The Master Chief Collection we got a steady 60fps while playing Halo Reach. Talking about Battlefield V we got a decent 50-55 fps in medium settings. I did face occasional stutters while trying to pushing the quality up in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. Overall, one can play the latest titles at playable frames if they are willing to compromise the quality.
Display, speakers, and webcam on MSI Prestige 15
Taking a look at the 4K display panel, we get great color reproduction with minimal to almost no reflections. MSI has also ensured that the laptop has thin bezels along with “True Pixel Display” technology for better colors. Beyond this, the company also claims to offer 100 percent Adobe RBG coverage on the display. The company has also added an MSI True Color software to quickly switch between different profiles. The performance of the dual 2W speakers is quite ordinary. Beyond this, the included webcam is a disappointment in terms of quality. The picture is quite grainy with no texture or details. However, most laptops have the same issue when it comes to built-in web cameras.
Keyboard and trackpad
Moving to the Keyboard section, MSI has opted for a hybrid keyboard layout. This layout seems like a mix of a laptop keyboard and a full-sized keyboard. The placement of the arrow keys and the delete button is a bit off. You will need some practice to get used to this layout. Beyond this, the keys have decent actuation force and travel. Typing for extended periods was a pleasure on this keyboard.
MSI Prestige 15 also comes with an adequate trackpad. The trackpad comes with glass surface and Windows precision drivers for multi-touch gestures. There are also built-in buttons for improved click performance. Lastly, there’s a built-in fingerprint scanner. But it is not as accurate as one would hope for but most built-in fingerprint scanners on laptops have similar performance.
Battery backup on MSI Prestige 15
The laptop offers decent and somewhat comparable battery backup when compared to its competition. Daily regular use would see one get 3.5-4 hours of battery backup. Using the laptop a bit more conservatively, one can push it to 4.5-5 hours. However, things change while gaming and one can hardly get 1.15-1.5 hours of backup. So, it is better to game on AC power. MSI Prestige 15 does come with fast charging with claims of 2 hours use on 15 minutes charge. However, the included AC adaptor will take about 2-2.15 hours to charge the laptop from 0 to 100 percent.
Verdict: Should you buy the MSI Prestige 15?
MSI has done an admirable job while crafting the MSI Prestige 15. It comes with a good glossy paint job and great build quality. The laptop performs really well when it comes to daily usage or productivity tasks. In addition, one can also play the latest games at acceptable frame rates. If you want an all-rounder that can keep its cool then MSI Prestige 15 is the way to go. You can look at offerings from Asus if you are looking at slightly cheaper offerings. If you want other alternatives then Dell XPS 15 is a direct competitor to the Prestige 15.