It lacks the polish of bigger brands, but MSI’s slim 15.6-inch laptop has the performance and displays to meet your creative needs.

MSI makes a variety of gaming laptops, desktops, monitors, and components. Seriously, if you check out everything the company makes, you can get lost in its website exploring the catalog. In among the gaming laptops, you’ll find its Prestige 15 series that turns MSI’s PC performance and display knowledge into a thin-and-light laptop made for content creators. The end result is a sleek, discreet laptop that, while maybe not as polished as competing models made for creators from Dell, HP and others, has what you’ll need to get your video, photo, and graphics work done on the go. 

8.0

MSI Prestige 15

$1,799 AT AMAZON

$1,800 AT BEST BUY

$1,799 AT ADORAMA

CNET may get a commission from these offers.

HOW IT STACKS UP

Acer Aspire 5 (2019)8.0

$749HP Stream 147.1

$339Acer Nitro 57.9$700

LIKE

  • Beautiful calibrated display
  • High performance in a slim, light body
  • Mini USB-C dock and protective sleeve included
  • Fit and finish could be better considering the $1,799 price

Between the design, components, and display, the Prestige 15 isn’t cheap at $1,799. It’s available in the UK and Australia with 16GB of memory (half of what’s in my review sample) for £1,185 and AU$3,099, respectively. That’s a reasonable price, but if you don’t need the color-accurate display but still want something thin and light with a little extra graphics performance, there are more affordable options. Consider the Acer Aspire 7, which costs less than $1,000. For what you’re getting with the MSI, though, it is a good deal. 

MSI Prestige 15 A10SC-010

Price as reviewed$1,799
Display size/resolution15.6-inch 3,820 x 2,160 display
CPU1.1GHz Intel Core i7-10710U
Memory32GB DDR4 SDRAM 2667MHz
Graphics4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with Max-Q Design
Storage1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
Networking802.11ax wireless, Bluetooth 5.1
Operating systemWindows 10 Pro (64-bit)

The whole picture

The 10th-gen Intel six-core processor and Nvidia GTX 1650 graphics deliver fine performance for things like photo and video editing. The graphics are good for gaming, too. That’s not the point really, though it’s nice if you’re looking for a laptop to handle both. It’s also not workstation-caliber performance, but this is made for work and mobility and something’s got to give, especially if you need to spend time away from an outlet. The Prestige 15 reached just under 8 hours of battery life on our streaming video test. 

msi-prestige-15-a10sc-1-23
Cool trick: The display lays flat and a button press flips the picture so you can share your screen. Josh Goldman/CNET

The UHD-resolution display is color accurate out of the box and covers 100% AdobeRGB color gamut. It’s clear this display is where a chunk of your money is going, so if you need a laptop for color-critical work, you’re in luck. Oddly, though, one of my favorite parts of the system is that it has a 180-degree lay-flat hinge, and, with a press of the F12 key, the screen flips 180 degrees so someone sitting opposite you can see what’s on the screen without craning their neck.

MSI’s Creator Center software that’s preinstalled on the Prestige lets you quickly switch between several color profiles — including AdobeRGB, DCI P3, and sRGB — or create your own. You can also use the software to change hardware performance for specific applications, so you’re not chugging along in a battery-saver mode when you open Adobe Photoshop. 

msi-prestige-15-a10sc-1-4
More ports than most these days. Josh Goldman/CNET

Should you want to connect to an external display for more room to work, the Prestige 15 has a full-size HDMI port (supports resolutions up to 4K at 30Hz) and two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports. A headphone jack, two USB-A ports, and a microSD card slot are onboard, too. MSI also includes a mini USB-C dock with an Ethernet jack, SD and microSD card slots, and two USB-A ports.

There are some drawbacks to the Prestige 15, though. For example, while it has an appealing overall design, the fit and finish are just not as polished as others in the category. Although it has an attractive blue beveled edge around an aluminum body, they, unfortunately, draw your eyes to all the body seams around the rear hinge, corners, and bottom. 

msi-prestige-15-a10sc-1-6
The extra-wide touchpad might lead to accidental cursor movement. Josh Goldman/CNET

The keyboard and touchpad are a letdown, too. While I like the font and size of the key legend MSI used, the keys themselves feel soft and lack a pop that might make typing more enjoyable. And although the touchpad feels great and tracks well, it’s so wide and off-center of the spacebar, that I ended up dragging my right palm across it regularly. 

These are relatively minor complaints in the overall picture here. It’s just that at a dollar shy of $1,800 you might expect it to be a little more polished. Still, MSI’s Prestige 15 gets you more performance than your average thin-and-light laptop and a great color-accurate display. 

Geekbench 4 (multicore)

Acer Aspire 720781HP Pavilion Gaming 15-dk0045cl19106Lenovo Legion Y73017786MSI Prestige 15 A10SC17069Dell G3 Series 359015372Acer Nitro 5 AN517-51-56YW13167

NOTE:

 Longer bars indicate better performance

Cinebench R15 CPU (multicore)

Lenovo Legion Y7301181HP Pavilion Gaming 15-dk0045cl1099Acer Aspire 71097Dell G3 Series 3590810Acer Nitro 5 AN517-51-56YW740MSI Prestige 15 A10SC639

NOTE:

 Longer bars indicate better performance

Streaming video playback battery drain test

MSI Prestige 15 A10SC477Acer Aspire 7476HP Pavilion Gaming 15-dk0045cl382Acer Nitro 5 AN517-51-56YW340Dell G3 Series 3590312Lenovo Legion Y730169

NOTE:

 Longer bars indicate better performance (in minutes)

3DMark Fire Strike Ultra

HP Pavilion Gaming 15-dk0045cl2867Lenovo Legion Y7301899Acer Nitro 5 AN517-51-56YW1886Dell G3 Series 35901883MSI Prestige 15 A10SC1618Acer Aspire 71597

NOTE:

 Longer bars indicate better performance

Far Cry 5 gaming test

HP Pavilion Gaming 15-dk0045cl71Dell G3 Series 359057Acer Nitro 5 AN517-51-56YW50MSI Prestige 15 A10SC46Lenovo Legion Y73044Acer Aspire 743

NOTE:

 Longer bars indicate better performance (FPS)

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided gaming test

HP Pavilion Gaming 15-dk0045cl67.3Acer Nitro 5 AN517-51-56YW51.2Dell G3 Series 359050.7MSI Prestige 15 A10SC40.9Lenovo Legion Y73037.7Acer Aspire 735.1

NOTE:

 Longer bars indicate better performance (FPS)

System configurations

MSI Prestige 15 A10SCMicrosoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit); 1.1GHz Intel Core i7-10710U; 32GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,667MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 with Max-Q Design; 1TB SSD
Acer Aspire 7Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.6GHz Intel Core I7-9750H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,667MHz; 3072MB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050; 512GB SSD
Dell G3 Series 3590Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-9300H; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,667MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650; 1TB HDD
HP Pavilion Gaming 15-dk0045clMicrosoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,667MHz; 6GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Ti with Max-Q Design; 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Acer Nitro 5 AN517-51-56YWMicrosoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-9300H; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,667MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650; 512GB SSD
Lenovo Legion Y730Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.2HGz Intel Core i7-8750H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti; 2TB HDD + 256GB SSD

8.0

MSI Prestige 15

$1,799 AT AMAZON

SCORE BREAKDOWN

Design 7

Features 9

Performance 8

Battery 8 See full specs see all prices

https://cnet.co/2Ag6p6p


LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here