Msi summit review

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MSI Summit E14 laptop review: GeForce GTX graphics without the GeForce GTX weight

Processor

Intel Core i7-1185G7 4 x 3 - 4.8 GHz, 64 W PL2 / Short Burst, 36 W PL1 / Sustained, Tiger Lake UP3

Memory

16384 MB  , LPDDR4x, 2133 MHz, 20-20-20-45, Dual-Channel

Display

14.00 inch 16:9, 3840 x 2160 pixel 315 PPI, AU Optronics AUO123B, IPS, glossy: no, 60 Hz

Mainboard

Intel Tiger Lake-UP3 PCH-LP

Soundcard

Intel Tiger Lake-U/Y PCH-LP - cAVS (Audio, Voice, Speech)

Connections

1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 2 Thunderbolt, USB-C Power Delivery (PD), 2 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo, Card Reader: MicroSD

Networking

Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 (a/b/g/h/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5/ax = Wi-Fi 6), Bluetooth 5.1

Size

height x width x depth (in mm): 16 x 319 x 219 ( = 0.63 x 12.56 x 8.62 in)

Battery

52 Wh Lithium-Polymer

Operating System

Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit

Camera

Webcam: 720p
Primary Camera: 0.9 MPix

Additional features

Speakers: 2x 2 W, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, MSI Center, 12 Months Warranty

Weight

1.295 kg ( = 45.68 oz / 2.85 pounds), Power Supply: 397 g ( = 14 oz / 0.88 pounds)

Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

see all specifications

 

Sours: https://www.notebookcheck.net/MSI-Summit-E14-laptop-review-GeForce-GTX-graphics-without-the-GeForce-GTX-weight.552225.0.html

Two-minute review

The Summit E13 Flip Evo is a ludicrously long name for a laptop, but naming conventions are about as silly as this splendid 2-in-1 device gets – while typically known for its gaming optimized machines, MSI is deadly serious about its latest foray into the world of professional business laptops.

You might be forgiven for mistaking the Summit E13 Flip Evo for a very similar device, the HP Spectre X360 13, and this certainly looks to be a situation where imitation is the best form of flattery. Both have a near-identical chassis design, but there are a few notable differences that we will get into later that could sway you on either side of these two options if you were stuck between them.

The MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo is equipped with an 11th generation Intel i7 CPU and has a handful of different variations to memory and storage to choose from, just enough to be customized to your needs without providing an overwhelming amount of options. This likely won't be a great first choice for gamers or content creators in graphically demanding careers thanks to the Intel Iris Xe Graphics, but it's more than enough to cope with programs like Adobe Photoshop.

Spec sheet

Here is the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo configuration sent to TechRadar for review: 

CPU: Intel i7-1185G7
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM: 16GB LPDDR4X (2133MHz)
Screen: 13.4-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) touch IPS
Storage: 1TB Phison SSD
Ports: 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C/Thunderbolt 4/DisplayPort, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 1 x microSD, 1 x audio
Connectivity: Dual-band 802.11ax WiFi, Bluetooth 5.1
Camera: 720p
Weight: 2.9 pounds (1.35kg)
Size: 11.8 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches (300 x 222 x 15mm)

It's a little bit heavier than some of the other 2-in-1 laptops on the market at 2.9lbs but not noticeably so. That additional weight may be the cause of an annoying issue with the display hinge however, as there's a lack of consistency and stiffness that would keep the screen upright at a set angle. Picking the laptop up too quickly results in the display flopping downwards, which could lead to a device-breaking accident in the long run if you're not careful.

The tablet functionality of the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo is where it really shines though, and despite feeling a little bulky at times, we found that the combination of a 16:10 ratio display and a responsive, high-quality stylus made note-taking, sketching and graphical design work a very pleasant experience. For creatives like architects or designers looking to minimalize their traveling kit, the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo is more than up for the task, reducing the need to carry additional tech like a graphic s drawing tablet.

In all, the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo is a great 2-in-1 device, but it might struggle on the market when stacked up against other products thanks to its hefty price tag, which often feels excessive for what you get. Had it been priced at around $1,300 then this would feel like a fantastic buy, but the base model asking price of almost $1,600 is too steep for what else you could get at a similar price on the market, such as a beefy gaming laptop which could better serve creatives and gamers alike.

Price and availability

The entry-level model we reviewed retails for $1,599 / £1,299 / around AU$2,550, which places it on the pricey side for a 2-in-1 business laptop. You can increase the internal storage from 512MB to a 1TB SSD and bump the RAM to 32GB for $1,899 (around £1,379 / AU$2,620) though it's hard to pin down fixed prices as various configurations that are readily available for purchase vary from region to region – a 16GB, 1TB storage version can be found in the UK selling for £1,499 for example, but we were unable to locate a retailer for the beefier 32GB RAM model.

It's easy to find at least one configuration of the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo on global websites like Amazon, having tested several regions for availability, so while you could easily go online and get one, you might not get much choice as to which version of the laptop is available to you.

At that price, we would expect a few features that are missing from the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo, but that certainly doesn't make it a poor product. If you have the cash to spend, it's a great laptop, but be wary that unless you're going to make use of all the features, you might be better investing elsewhere.

The base model M1 MacBook Air is available for $999 / £999 / AU$1,599 if you just need a laptop that can be used for both work and home, and the strikingly similar HP Spectre x360 (2021) can be found for $1,349 / £1,399 when equipped with an Intel Core i7 -1165G7 processor, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, so depending on where you are in the world, you could find HP to offer a nicer deal.

Design

As mentioned, the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo is remarkably similar in design to HP's Spectre x360, with an angular hinge and sharp, industrial-styled font for the branded logo emblazoned on the lid. This isn't a bad thing – there's only so much creative freedom you can get with a laptop, and the HP Spectre is a gorgeous device, but if you were looking for something with a really original look, you won't find it here.

That said, there are two color options for the Summit E13 Flip Evo. The soft, not-quite-matte black with copper accents is a great look, though fingerprints are an immediate issue if that kind of thing bothers you. If it does then you could opt for the all-white version which may fare better and sets it apart from many other devices available on the market right now, though you're losing the copper accents in favor of a muted brushed aluminum look on that theme.

It has a 16:10 ratio, something that the HP Spectre x360 lacks, and is a real selling point for why you might opt for MSI's offering instead. Dubbed as the 'Golden Ratio' (and mentioned multiple times across the device, from a large sticker near the keyboard to the default desktop background), this taller display ratio is beloved by many for better productivity and web browsing, allowing you to see more without scrolling. 

The bezels for this display are, sadly, a little on the large side for our liking, but still a far cry from the chunkier bezels seen in older devices, and the touchscreen display isn't any worse off for it. In fact, those larger bezels can help prevent you from selecting into anything while maneuvering the display around.

The pen stylus that comes with the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo is similar in appearance to those used with Microsoft Surface devices rather than a rounded Apple Pencil or a chunkier stylus used with graphics drawing tablets. Using the pen is pleasant and proves to be very smooth and responsive, which makes it great at any task you would do with a regular pen – you can highlight documents, take notes and even sketch in applications like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. Palm rejection is also top-notch so you shouldn't have any issues with the device picking up stray contact while using the stylus.

A caveat to that is that the display is sRGB rather than full Adobe RGB and lacks color accuracy, which is disappointing for a device in this price range, especially one that would be such a great option for content creators looking for a portable machine. This doesn't mean the display is bad by any stretch though, we found it perfectly adequate for most tasks, but it does feel like you're not getting much value for your money. 

A slight nuisance is that the stylus charges via a USB-C cable rather than a wireless charging option like the Apple Pencil, despite the MSI stylus fixing itself magnetically to the side of the device as you would with the Apple Pencil and iPad Pro. This magnetic connection is sufficient when the device is placed on a table, but not strong enough to keep the stylus from moving when placed into a bag or even folded and moved to a different location by hand so make sure you keep an eye on it.

It's still a great stylus regardless of the annoying charging system, and pairing it with the Summit E13 Flip Evo is fast and painless, and the charge level of the pen is clearly displayed when paired to keep you aware of how long you have between charges.

Thankfully, you can use the same USB-C charger on the stylus as you can with the Summit E13 Flip Evo itself, and it has ports-a-plenty for anyone sick of slim devices forcing users to use dongles. 

Along the left side of the Summit, you'll find three USB ports, two of which are USB4 Type-C connectors with Thunderbolt 4 capability which accept the 65W AC adapter. The third is a rectangular USB 3.2 Type-A port., perfect for anyone using a mouse or external keyboard.

On the right side edge you'll find a third USB-C port (USB 3.2 only, not Thunderbolt), a manual webcam 'kill switch', an SD card reader and a traditional audio jack.

This is a fantastic array of ports on a modern laptop for working professionals or students. You're also getting Intel Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, capable of delivering 6GHz wirelessly, with the Summit E13 Flip Evo being one of the first devices to include this new wireless tech.

Benchmarks

Here’s how the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

Cinebench R20: 2,001 
3DMark: Night Raid: 15,766; Firestrike: 4,910; Time Spy: 1,517;
GeekBench 5:  (single-core); 1,517  (multi-core) 5,368
Handbrake: 21.05fps
Blender: Classroom;26 minutes 33 secondsFishy Cat; 17 minutes 21 seconds
PCMark 10 (Home Test):  4,405
PCMark 10 Battery Life: 9 hours 13 minutes
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 8 hours 59 minutes

You're getting a few built-in security features that help to flavor the Summit E13 Flip Evo as a business-orientated device, all of which are pretty good. On top of the previously mention webcam switch, a fingerprint scanner can be located along the bottom right-hand side of the keyboard and that proved to be highly responsive, not failing to recognize our reviewer's ID once while also preventing other non-recognized users from gaining access to the device.

The touchpad measures in at 4.7 x 2.4-inches, and looks a little small but it works splendidly, with a pleasant surface texture to boot.

The keyboard is sadly where things start to feel a little disappointing again. While being perfectly serviceable, the keys feel soft and inconsistent, with some letters having a different sensation, and the base plate of the device flexes when you type aggressively which makes the device feel cheaply built. 

It's likely that the flexible plastic used in the chassis was selected purposely to save on weight, but other devices like the HP Spectre x360 have a more solid, metal chassis that has very little give when pressure is applied. Given the price of the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo, a more solid or even metal chassis would have been appreciated.

Despite all this, the design overall is very classy and while it has a few nuisances, many of its features are well executed. Anyone who has fallen in love with the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo on looks alone will likely find that these criticisms won't affect user experience enough to avoid the device entirely.

Performance

Performance is where the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo really starts to outshine some of its competitors. It scored better across our benchmarks than the latest HP Spectre x360 and goes toe to toe with the 2020 Dell XPS 13, proving itself as an impressive first model in this series from MSI. 

Thanks to the 11th-gen Core i7 and Intel Iris Xe graphics, the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo scored 1,517 in single-core and 5,368 in multi-core performance in Geekbench 5, and managed a respectable score of 2,001 in Cinebench R20. 

In our PCMark 10 Home Test simulation, it scored 4,405 which puts it underneath the aforementioned rival products, but just barely, and it's unlikely that many users will notice a significant drop in performance in a real-world situation. We used the Summit E13 Flip Evo for several days for both work and standard home activities like streaming shows on Disney+ and web browsing and can attest that the laptop is fast and reliable.

Thermals also proved to be of little issue, with the laptop cool enough to rest on a lap for extended hours, though the fans were keen to kick in at the vaguest mention of additional browsing tabs or a small spreadsheet which made working a noisy affair.

While not strictly a creative laptop given its specifications, we also ran Handbrake and Blender benchmarks. It fared better than expected, but anyone needing a portable workstation should look for something with more RAM and a dedicated GPU, especially if you're doing VFX or video editing.

You can also play games on the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo, but its GPU isn't designed to deal with demanding AAA titles so bear that in mind and select your games accordingly. You'll have little chance running something like Red Dead Redemption 2 at anything close to a playable level – trust us, we tried, and it managed around 18 frames-per-second on the lowest settings. Something like Stardew Valley or Graveyard keeper on the other hand isn't as demanding and ran just fine, so pick your battles wisely.

Audio for the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo is dependant on the two speakers that are located on the bottom of the device, and while it's far from the nicest sounding laptop in the world, we've heard worse. There is a distinct lack of bass, and its easy to muffle the speakers if you're working with the device on your lap but they make a decent job of providing clear audio for calls and watching media.

Webcam

The webcam on the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo is far from groundbreaking, but cameras built into laptops rarely are. You're getting 720p recording quality which is serviceable for Zoom calls, but if you're planning on doing any formal presentations you'll want to invest in a better webcam such as something from Logitech.

It does appear to struggle with lighting, which results in a great deal of background noise (that grainy effect that looks a little like static on an old TV), which indicates that the sensor is struggling, but even in a well-lit environment, the quality of the webcam is still comparatively poor when stacked against a dedicated alternative.

The built-in microphone also has some noise-canceling features built into it which workers fairly well, able to cut out a lot of low environmental noises like fans or wind outside, but again, you'll fare better with a dedicated USB-Microphone if you're wanting clearer audio.

Battery life

The battery life is sufficient to get through a working day, lasting 9 hours 13 minutes in our simulated workday benchmark and averaging between 8-9 hours in real-world conditions, though this is comparatively poor when compared to devices like the aforementioned HP Spectre x360 (12 hours, 52 minutes ) or the M1 MacBook Air (11 hours, 15 minutes).

MSI claims on its website that you can squeeze up to 20 hours of battery life from the Summit E13 Flip Evo, and frankly, that's never going to happen. Our usage and tests didn't indicate that typical everyday usage of the device would get you any further than the ten-hour mark, and as satisfactory as 9 hours 13 minutes is, achieving less than half of its claimed achievable battery life feels cheeky at best.

In all, the MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo is actually a great laptop, but its price point lets it down. That isn't to say it's a bad buy, and in fact, it shaped up to be a fantastic first effort in its category from a brand known more for gaming than workplace devices, but for almost $1,600 we would expect the few small complaints we had to be addressed when the next model is released. 

Buy it if...

You want a powerful laptop for day-to-day use
The new 11th-generation mobile CPU from Intel means all your applications will run smoothly, and you can even get in a bit of light gaming at a push.

You want a stylish piece of kit
The MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo may look like the HP Spectre x360, but given that's one of the best-looking devices on the market, we won't complain.

You want some creative freedom
The MSI pen is a great addition and makes taking notes, sketching or highlighting documents a breeze. The responsive touch-screen is also fantastic when in tablet mode.

Don't buy it if...

You're on a budget
The MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo is a great laptop, but it's far from cheap, and we think it's overpriced for what you're getting. There are cheaper products on the market with similar specifications if you can do without a few features.

You want a quiet laptop
The fans kick in a little bit too readily, which means this is a laptop that can get noisy in use. If you need something silent, consider the MacBook Air which has a fanless design.

You're an audiophile
If you want spectacular sound quality, expect to use a set of headphones or a separate speaker. The speakers will do a well enough job for video calls, but the lack of bass and low volume will disappoint any music lovers.

Jess is TechRadar's Computing writer, covering hardware, PC gaming and peripherals. She also likes to dabble in digital art and can often be found playing games of both the PC and Tabletop variety, occasionally streaming to the disappointment of everyone.

Sours: https://www.techradar.com/reviews/msi-summit-e13-flip-evo
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This year, multiple companies primarily known for gaming laptops have been branching out into the portable business and productivity sector. It’s a crowded field already, but Razer made quite a splash with its excellent Razer Book 13, which has an elegant chassis, a 16:10 screen, and just a touch of its company’s signature RGB lighting.

In this review I’m looking at the Summit Series, which is MSI’s attempt to enter the same space. The series includes the Summit E line — which includes discrete GPU options and is priced to compete with top dogs like Dell’s XPS 15 — and the Summit B line, which starts at $999 and sits squarely in the midrange market.

I’m discussing the Summit B15 here — I looked at the Summit E15 last fall. The base B15 includes a Core i5-1135G7, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. I tested the more expensive configuration, which costs $1,249 and has a Core i7-1165G7 (one of Intel’s top 11th Gen processors), 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. The system puts solid specs in a nice chassis, but there are a few misses that make it a bit expensive for what it offers.

The most appealing facets of the Summit-Series laptops are their look and build. They have a smooth black finish, an aluminum build, a classy backlit keyboard, and a lustrous new MSI logo on the lid and bottom bezel (no dragon to be found, a first for MSI). MSI claims the B15 has “military-grade durability,” and while that’s a difficult claim to test, there’s very little flex in the B15’s lid and keyboard. And at 3.53 pounds and 0.67 inches thick, it’s light for its size.

All in all, though, the B15 has a bit of a utilitarian look, especially compared to the E15. The latter has some small flourishes that add up to a classier vibe — there are gold accents around the touchpad and edges of the hinge, for example, where the B15 is straight black. One other thing about the B15’s chassis — it’s one of the worst fingerprint magnets I’ve ever seen. Touch the lid one time, and a visible smudge will remain. I used the sides of my fists to reposition the laptop while taking photos and still had to wipe it down between shots.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice-looking and nice-feeling chassis. But there’s nothing exciting about it, and you’ll be wiping it down a lot if you want to maintain a clean look.

The useful port selection is a highlight, given the thin chassis. It includes a USB-C (supporting Thunderbolt 4, power delivery, DP 1.4a, and USB 4.0), two USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, one USB 3.2 Gen 1, one combination audio jack, one microSD reader, and one HDMI jack, in addition to the barrel-plug power port. You also get an RJ45 Ethernet dongle in the box, which is handy. I also appreciate having USB-A ports on both sides.

I also like the keyboard backlighting, which looks quite classy and wouldn’t be out of place in an office setting. The keys have a nice texture and 1.5mm of travel. Three nitpicks to note: First, the Fn key is half-sized, and I found it a pain to hit. Second, there was occasionally some internal rattle inside the deck, which was annoying. Third, the keys are more mushy than they are clicky, and they’re a bit shallower than the best keyboard keys around. Subjectively, I made more errors on this keyboard than I normally do.

The display, similarly, is functional with caveats. It covers 98 percent of the sRGB gamut and 76 percent of AdobeRGB, and it maxes out at 258 nits. That’s an acceptable range of color coverage and is functional enough for office use, but it’s too dim to use easily in bright settings. I would expect more from a $1,249 laptop. Additionally, it uses a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is falling out of fashion among premium business laptops for a reason — it’s cramped for multitasking purposes.

The one component I really don’t like is the touchpad. It’s a bit small for a 15-inch laptop, and I sometimes hit the fingerprint sensor (built into the top-left corner) and the top plastic as I was scrolling. It also isn’t the smoothest I’ve ever used, and my fingers would skid across it a fair amount. Both the material and the click feel a bit plasticky compared to what you might find in a nicer model.

The Summit’s performance is good. I didn’t encounter any problems while running it through my usual office work. The integrated Iris Xe graphics aren’t suitable for serious gaming but can run lighter fare if that’s your thing. I could occasionally feel the system chugging under the keyboard while doing more intense tasks, but it never got too loud or too hot. You can swap to the “Silent” cooling profile in MSI’s control panel if fan noise is bothering you.

With that said, two disappointments came out of my testing period. First, the audio from the B15’s two speakers isn’t terrible and works just fine for video calls, but it delivers tinny percussion and practically no bass. I also heard occasional distortion at maximum volume, though I could eliminate it by bumping the sound down a notch. My test unit’s microphone also wasn’t working on Zoom calls initially. It turned out Zoom had the wrong device set as the default input. If you run into this problem, clicking “Test Speaker and Microphone” before joining your meeting should resolve it.

Second disappointment: the battery life. Running the B15 as my daily driver at 200 nits of brightness, I only averaged five hours and 13 minutes. This isn’t entirely unexpected, as it only has a three-cell 52Wh battery — similar to what some 13-inch laptops come with at this point. On this 15-inch laptop, it’s not enough to power you through a full day if your workload is similar to mine (around a dozen Chrome tabs, Slack, occasional Zoom call, that sort of thing). One thing to note is that the B15 comes loaded with Norton, which I’ve seen be a serious battery drain in the past. I ran a battery trial before uninstalling that software and only got four and a half hours. After I nuked the bloatware, the B15 got closer to six.

All told, the Summit Series is a fine first step for MSI. In a market where business-focused laptops commonly cost multiple thousands of dollars, there’s absolutely an audience for something like the B15, which is light, attractive, and functional for just over the $1,000 mark. It looks and feels like a laptop you’d bring to a business meeting, and it has a top Intel processor with cooling that can handle it. Professionals on a budget could certainly do worse.

But given the unremarkable audio, battery life, and the other areas of the chassis, I still think that people who are willing to spend a bit more will benefit from doing so, especially folks who can live with less RAM and storage. A better screen, better speakers, and better battery life can make a big difference in the daily experience, and while the B15’s nice chassis, plentiful storage, and business-specific features are worth a premium for some folks, they won’t be everyone’s top priority.

Update March 15th, 4:29PM: This story was updated to include a resolution to an issue that I initially faced with Zoom audio.

Photography by Monica Chin / The Verge

Sours: https://www.theverge.com/22327287/msi-summit-series-b15-review-chassis-build-keyboard-speakers
MSI Summit E13 Flip - Goodbye HP Spectre X360?

MSi in workwear

Although MSi is primarily known for its gaming computers, the Taiwanese company has opened its eyes to the existence of a market for exclusive PCs in a more subdued style.

The MSi Summit E14 is a 14-inch ultrabook in a stylish design that yells”business!”. The entire cabinet is in silk matt, carbon black aluminum, and the lines are at once razor sharp and rounded. The screen is as deep black as the case, and it’s hard to see where the narrow frame stops and the screen itself begins.

The MSi Summit E14 is tightly designed and weighs only 1.3 kg. (Photo: MSi)

As we have seen on several other slim laptops, the screen is hinged along the bottom of the case, so that the rear of the machine lifts from the base when the lid is opened – and thus provides both better ventilation and better working position. With a weight of 1.3 kg, you can carry the PC in your bag all day almost without noticing it.

Although the screen is so sharp and colorful that you would almost suspect it to be OLED, it is only an IPS panel and the resolution is only Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels). In return, that touch has what I see as a big plus.

The screen is only in Full HD resolution, which is a bit disappointing. But it is colorful – and with touch. (Photo: MSi)

Touch screens are seen almost exclusively on 360-degree machines, where the screen can be folded around towards the back of the cabinet and used as a tablet. But touch function is a great and time-saving convenience on computer to be used for working where there is no room for a mouse; for meetings, in auditoriums and in airline seats. Here it is much easier to use your finger to scroll with windows and click in dialog boxes rather than fumbling with the touchpad.

The keyboard, which has white backlighting, fills the width of the cabinet completely. And in a 14-inch cabinet, there is room for full-width Enter and Shift keys as well as an extra column of special keys. The keys themselves are of average quality. That’s okay for the price, which is also at the upper end of the average.

Discreet bragging

The touchpad is large and comfortable, and it gives a trustworthy click when you click on it with your finger. That the milling around it is golden is as superfluous as it is delicious to look at. The fingerprint reader integrated into it, in turn, is convenient.

The golden milling around the touchpad is just as superfluous as it is beautiful to look at. (Photo: MSi)

For one reason or another, the manufacturers of business laptops almost takes pride in providing them with as few connections as possible. On the MSi Summit 14, there are only five holes in the case: Two USB-C ports, an old-fashioned USB 2.0 (as a special feature for purists, it is not a 3.0 port, but a classic USB 2.0), a 3.5 mm audio output and a MicroSD card reader.

It helps a bit that both USB-C ports have integrated Thunderbolt and DisplayPort connectivity. However, if you need to both charge the PC and use an external DisplayPort monitor (the machine has no HDMI output), there are no available USB-C ports left.

Classic hardware

In terms of hardware, the MSi Summit E14 is built on a recipe that is almost classic: an Intel Core i7 processor with four cores and eight threads. However, in a new 11th generation version at 3 GHz. There is 16 gigabytes of RAM, which you can also expect in a new laptop in the premium class. The latest expectations are confirmed by the fact that there is 1 terabyte of SSD storage. It is exactly as musch luxury as one can afford to take for granted.

The graphics processor is also an old acquaintance in this segment, namely the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650Ti. It’s the typical choice when it comes to better graphics than the abysmal Intel HD Graphics – and cheaper than a proper  gaming graphics cards from Nvidia. However, it may seem a bit excessive, as Intel’s 11th generation processors have the improved Intel Iris Xe Graphics built-in.

The only surprise in the hardware configuration is actually the touch screen. But it’s a welcome one of a kind. There are also cheaper configurations with Full HD screen without touch and more expensive with screen in 4K resolution.

Benchmarks

A Geekbench 5 score of 3,600 is okay, but not on par with the cheaper Asus ZenBook 14 with Ryzen 7 processor. In the PCMark 10 office program test, the result is more equal. A score of 4,356 is excellent for even the slightly heavier spreadsheets. But not particularly suitable for image processing and video editing.

The graphics processor is from Nvidia, which is a regular supplier to gamers. But it’s not the GeForce GTX 1650Ti they’re buying. The scores in Time Spy (2,536) and Fire Strike (5,633), respectively, can be interpreted as meaning that the MSi Summit 14 will display all normal Windows graphics quickly and without delay. Also when connecting an extra high resolution monitor to the PC. But don’t play something that is pretty much heavier than Counter-Strike and Minecraft on it.

The graphics score also reveals an apparent paradox in the configuration. As mentioned, Intel Iris Xe Graphics is built into Intel’s 11th generation processors, and the Iris machines we have had on the test bench so far, like the  Acer Swift 3X, has not been that much slower than the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650Ti.

Battery life surprises negatively. While most business ultrabooks last four hours or more with PCMark’s intensive battery test, it only took two and a half hours before the battery on the MSi Summit E14 had been discharged. Whether it is the touch screen or the more powerful graphics processor that is the culprit is not known, but it means that the machine only just manages to make it through a working day on a single charge.

Although MSi is best known for its gaming computers, they have clearly opened their eyes to the fact that there is a market for business users. (Photo: MSi)

Conclusion

MSi Summit E14 is a delicious little ultrabook for the office, home office and an everyday life with travel and meetings as we remember it. The hardware is so ample that you get things out of hand in places to sit and fret about waiting for a slow computer.

It seems almost superfluous to have sacrificed a mediocre GeForce graphics card on it when the Intel Iris Xe graphics that come with the processor is almost as fast. All in all, though, you get quite a bit of PC for the money, and the touch screen justifies a price that is a little higher than the cheapest competitors.

Sours: https://www.lbtechreviews.com/test/computer/msi-summit-e14

Summit review msi

Should I buy the MSI Summit E15?

The Summit E15 was born out of MSI’s recent move into the world of premium business laptops, and for a company known more for its gaming laptops, MSI has done a decent job producing a system that performs well overall for both work and play. 

The E15 sits at the top of the company’s E Series line-up and packs several features that should appeal to professionals who need a steady workhorse. Content creators will get a kick out of the E15’s 4K professional-grade display and 11th-Generation Intel Tiger Lake-U CPU, which breezes through tasks optimized for multithreading. However, the E15’s 4K display does tax the battery considerably, so if staying power is a big concern, you may consider a lower-resolution 1080p display option that should have more legs for your working day.

MSI Summit E15 price and specs

In Australia the pricing for the MSI Summit E15 starts at AU$1349. The review unit we tested (the MSI Summit E15 A11SCS-091AU) is priced at AU$2,999. A full list of configurations and prices can be found on the MSI website. Here are the specs of the machine we reviewed:

MSI Summit E15 (2021) Specs

Processor: Core i7-1185G7

Operating system: Windows 10 Pro

RAM: 32GB DDR4/3200 Mhz

Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD

Graphics: Nvida GeForce GTX 1650 Ti with Max-Q Design, 4GB GDDR6

Display: 4K 15.6-inch UHD (3840x2160), IPS-Level

MicroSD slot: Yes

Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1

Dimensions: 356.8 x 233.7 x 16.9mm

Weight: 1.65kg

Design and styling

Like its 2021 range of gaming laptops, MSI has done extremely well producing a very slim machine — it measures just 16mm thick. At 1.65kg, it’s lightweight but not amazingly so: A look at our spec database shows laptops like the Surface Pro 7 + (0.90kg), and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano (0.80kg) weigh in considerably lighter. Still, this didn’t seem to make much difference carrying it about, as the weight seems fairly evenly distributed across the unit.  

Credit: MSI

As far as styling, MSI have produced a laptop that looks like a premium work system, but with a hint of gaming vivacity thrown in for good measure. Its chassis is chiselled and angular, and its carbon black presence should blend into any boardroom or business meeting. Its design is like a scaled-down version of the MSI GS66 Stealth, a 2021 gaming offering, but with tapered edges and stand-out detailing.

The E15 shows-off a bronze MSI logo on the upper surface of the lid and a band around the trackpad that provides some flair and accentuates the premium feel. It also hints suggestively at there being something special inside, which there is: an Intel 11th-generation CPU.

Credit: Dominic Bayley

I found even more bronze styling where I least expected it: There’s hidden “Summit” branding along the inner edge of the chassis below the keyboard side of the hinges. This added detail only becomes visible when you flip the top lid to 180 degrees. Most notably, the word “Summit” faces away from the user, meaning your colleagues sitting across from you will read it correctly, but it will read backwards to you.

Sturdiness and toughness

The MSI isn’t the most robust laptop we’ve used, but it’s not all plastic fantastic either. A good amount of aluminum does provide some sturdiness around the keyboard and trackpad. Here the laptop feels very much like a gaming laptop, a tribute to the maker’s gaming pedigree. Testing the chassis with some pressure suggests it might stand up reasonably well to workday bumps and scrapes.

However, the thin display doesn't inspire confidence, and will flex with enough torque applied to its top or sides. We fear it could be dinged a little if dropped, or impacted by a sharp object, so you’ll want to wrap it in a soft case from the get-go. Still, these concerns are trifling considering the panel’s thinness. Plus, for an IPS-level panel with this pixel count, it’s well worth being a little more vigilant to keep the display safe.

Credit: Dominic Bayley

On inspection, the hinges seem especially tough. I found flipping the screen through 180 degrees worked flawlessly, with the screen holding its position when it was left at varying degrees throughout the movement arc. There was also no wobble, which was very reassuring.

The keyboard, trackpad and audio

The E15 has discreet air vents that appear on the inside edge of the chassis near the furthest edge of the keyboard. This adds to the overall low-profile appearance — there being no other openings visible except the ports left and right of the keyboard.

The vent’s positioning means that air is blown directly onto the screen, which has the effect of diminishing unwanted sound and making the E15 fans as quiet as a mouse. Having said that, this unit could have done with some extra audio slits. The E15 promises hi-res audio, yet the speakers sound tinny and a little distant.

Shooting across to the E15’s keyboard, the keys can best be described as bouncy, in that they aren’t firm, but aren’t mushy either. The laptop’s base tapers from its thickest point underneath the hinges toward where your hands are resting. This has the effect of angling your wrists slightly upwards. Like raising your feet while sitting on the couch, this felt super comfortable.

Credit: MSI

I found the keyboard to be highly responsive for typing and had no trouble reaching 60 words per minute. However, considering the ample space that’s been dedicated to the keyboard, MSI could have added a full-sized keyboard with a Numpad, and its absence feels like a lost opportunity for professionals who deal with numbers in their everyday work schedules.

Regardless, the key travel is acceptable and I liked the right-side placement of the function key that made switching the backlighting and other functionality on and off easier. Backlighting is a single blue colour but can be switched through four different modes of brightness for a variety of lighting conditions. The trackpad is compact and responsive, and seemed to work fine without any hitches.

The 4K display

My review unit’s 4K display was a real eye-catcher. Video playback was incredibly detailed and appeared crystal clear with colours that looked true to life. Skin tones, especially, were brought to life with the high pixel count, revealing pores in subjects' faces.  

My only qualm was the smoothness (or lack thereof) of 4K video content when the brightness was flipped to around 90% or above. The display has a 60Hz refresh rate, which is not unusual for a business laptop, but at times our 4K video looked a little jittery and I found myself thinking a higher refresh rate would have done wonders for smoother playback.

Dialing down the brightness seemed to work well to iron out these wrinkles, as did dropping the video to 1080p. Still, with a 1080p version of the machine available for a lower price, I began to question whether the 4K option is worth the money. This point was reinforced after our battery test, which we will get to later.

On the up-side, the display’s anti-glare had me covered no matter where I planted myself to work. In full sunshine with sun shining directly onto the screen, or in dappled light, it remained equally visible, making the Summit E15 a toy I could take anywhere.

Connectivity

The E15 has a full enterprise selection of ports except an Ethernet port, which is not surprising considering its slenderness. On board, you’ll find a HDMI port, 3.5mm audio jack, two USB 3.2 gen 2 Type A ports, a MicroSD card slot and two USB Type-C ports with Thunderbolt 4.

The addition of Thunderbolt 4 is a neat feature that should be a big plus for creatives needing to tackle projects, especially video projects where they need to transfer large 4K video files. It allows you to send video signals to two 4K displays and one 8K display, and also speeds up data transfer since it supports 32Gbs data transfer via PCI Express, instead of the 16Gbs with Thunderbolt 3.

Credit: Dominic Bayley

Performance

Beneath its frame, the MSI Summit E15 sports a Core i7-1185G7, a quad-core CPU based on the Tiger Lake-U 11th-gen architecture. It’s supposedly ideal for work applications in laptops and ultrabooks, and Intel’s performance testing shows the CPU operates between 1.2Ghz and 4.3Ghz, which means it has plenty of kick. My benchmarks didn’t prove that wrong, but they did show the CPU to be merely a high performer, rather than an outstanding one. At least in this laptop's configuration and paired with its GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU.

Purely anecdotally, I found the Summit responded quickly and I barely had to wait long for tasks to finish. This was especially the case when opening applications and at boot up, where the Summit is ready to use in a jiffy. The machine's 11th-generation chipset supports PCle 4.0, which is a notable step-up from PCle 3.0 and improves data transfers from the SSD.  

But what about empirical data on the E15’s suitability for business productivity? For this, I ran the PCMark 10 Overall benchmark, which provides an indication of performance in a range of tasks that would be commonly used in an office setting. The E15 scored 4733, which indicates decent performance on a range of productivity tasks. This score beat the Surface Pro 7+ and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano, but was pipped at the post by the HP Envy 14.

Credit: Dominic Bayley

In the Cinebench R15 benchmark, which taps into a CPU's multithreading abilities, the E15 performed strongly but was bested by the MSI Prestige 14. I expected a little better performance here, but the result still shows the Summit can slog it out in heavy tasks with enough gusto to see you through whatever you’re doing. The MSI Prestige’s Comet Lake chipset features six cores to the E15’s four cores, and that could certainly explain the results.  

Credit: Dominic Bayley

In 3DMark, the MSI Summit E15’s 11th-gen processor made light work of the Time Spy 1.2 benchmark, proving it has enough power to deliver fairly good performance in games. With its GeForce 1650 Ti with Max-Q, it could certainly hold its own in a range of less graphically demanding favourites in a Steam library. However, it’s important to bring this into context. The E15’s benchmark scores fall significantly short of what you’d expect to see in the top gaming laptops, so even if you get a chance to launch a game during your lunch break, you’d probably want to give AAA games a pass.  

Credit: Dominic Bayley

Why speed isn’t everything

Our benchmark’s may show a mixed bag when it comes to processing speed in the E15, and if you didn’t know better you could be tempted to blame the laptop's discrete GeForce 1650 Ti with Max-Q design, which is getting a bit long in the tooth. But in truth, there’s practical utility in putting a real GeForce card inside a business laptop. For one, the E15’s GTX 1650 gives you CUDA support for applications like Adobe Photoshop, as well as Nvidia NVENC/NVDEC encode/decode. So, while benchmarks results are tempting to be seen as the be-all, end-all, there’s a lot to be said for how extra software support can improve optimised applications.

Battery life

For a premium business laptop, decent battery life can make all the difference, especially during these pandemic times that find us working in parks and other locations where wall outlets aren't immediately accessible. With some irony, the Summit didn’t quite reach the summit of battery performance in our battery testing. In fact, it fell short of all our comparison laptops.

Credit: Dominic Bayley

To test the battery, I played a 4K video at 92% brightness and with the volume set to 50%. Cheap headphones kept the noise to a minimum while the laptop played itself down from 100% battery power to Standby Mode. The E15 managed 6 hours and 26 minutes, which is a few hours short of where it probably should be for a productivity machine. But as mentioned earlier, a 1080p variant should go considerably longer. In fact, MSI says the lower-res version boasts 16 hours of battery life.

Bottom line 

The MSI Summit E15 delivers medium-to-high performance in productivity benchmarks and offers visual style to boot. With an 11-gen chipset and 4K display, its utility for creative professionals is especially appealing. Battery life is not the best when playing 4K video on high brightness settings, but a 1080p version may give you more power to play with.

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Sours: https://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/review/msi/summit-e15-2021/688984/
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