MSI Prestige 14 – A little powerhouse?

MSI Prestige 14 – A mini creator powerhouse?

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Hello everyone today we’re gonna talk about a little yet powerful machine, the MSI Prestige 14. If you are looking for a good laptop option to take with you on the road this may be your future laptop. But how it performed on photography tasks and it handles Photoshop, Lightroom and other kinds of creative work. Let’s find out.

With a minimalist design, this laptop will certainly interest those who want something light and portable, even though we are not so free to travel these days, this laptop will check all these portability and easy to carry boxes without any problems.

MSI Prestige 14. A mini creator powerhouse?

We always want to have something that does the work without any problems, and this is true for laptops, it doesn’t matter what your work segment is. But being a photographer we are always searching for the right platform to edit our photos. Nowadays, we don’t have a shortage of options for this manner in the market, most brands have one or two laptops more than capable of doing the job.

I can’t stress enough the value of a good and reliable machine for doing my editing and work and to attend to my clients, and having a good laptop goes deeper than just buying any laptop on the shelf and calling it your workstation. Things like performance, battery life, and screen quality are on the top of my list when I have to buy a new laptop. The design also is something that comes in my mind when I need to buy a new laptop, and this can also impact your work, at least in a synesthetic way.

The MSI Prestige 14 checks most of the boxes and for your first creative daily driver or a second real capable machine, it is really good. Things that caught my attention on this laptop are the size and the design. Under the hood, the specs look promising and it needed a real test to call it a little powerhouse.

On my test, I used the laptop for more than a week as my daily driver, and one thing is for sure the size is something that makes it feel very good to have this laptop with me on the road, super portable, and easy to use. Editing photos on the road was a breeze and the laptop didn’t suffer most of the time.

When talking about very heavy workloads I would like to get a bit more performance out of it. But this is maybe due to the lack of cooling fans, just one for the GPU and the CPU, which is completely understandable for a laptop of this size.

Build quality

The build quality on the MSI Prestige 14 is really good, with a complete aluminum chassis you can feel that it is a durable product. The screen doesn’t twist a lot but was not made to be pushed to some limits.

The keyboard also has a little flex if you push it a little harder, other than that it has good size, the only thing that stays out of the picture here is the numeric pad, but nothing to worry about. If you are a touch typer you will feel that the key travel is a little bit longer, but the layout is pretty good with a nice key size in relation to the overall laptop size. The keys’ noise is apparent, but nothing that bothers me either.  The keyboard is back-illuminated, which is a gift for those working in dark environments, like photographers.

Oh boy, this is the ice in the cake, if you need a good quality panel, this is definitely a good option. It is a 4k panel with gorgeous colors, excellent brightness, good viewing angles. For reviewing photos or videos you are well served with a panel like this. The monitor came factory calibrated and I couldn’t find any color inconsistencies.

If you need a laptop in which the battery life lasts for days I’m afraid that Prestige 14 will not make the cut using the laptop’s full power, which will give you about 5 hours max of battery life to work and moderated and heavy loads. There is a ECO mode on the Creator app, which you can toggle to save you battery power when you don’t need tons of performance, which will give you around 10 hours of battery life.

I think this can be a good option for most people looking for a powerful laptop with an outstanding screen, and don’t want to deal with a cumbersome laptop.

The last part of the laptop is pretty conventional, with 2 USB C Thunderbolt, which can be used to charge the laptop, on the left side and 2 USB type A on the right side we have a good amount of ports to connect most of our accessories. The sad things are the USB type A is just USB 2.0 on the left side and the Micro SD card reader on the left. It would be a great addition to this laptop if we had a full side SD reader and USB A 3.0 instead, but again nothing that should stop you to keep this laptop on your radar.

MSI Prestige 14 in action

Well time to put this laptop through its paces, and this was done in the photography fashion, working with Raw files in Lightroom, Photoshop, and doing some video editing in Adobe Premiere. All tests were compared to my main laptop running with a Core I7 9750H + GTX 1650 and 16gb of ram, pretty similar system specs.

Normal tasks on Lightroom can be done without any problem using the MSI Prestige 14. During my tests, I performed the same procedures on my main laptop and the MSI Prestige 14, and I can say it performed very well. Importing around 70 raw files to the SSD, converting to DNG, and building 1:1 previews on Lightroom was finished in a good time, around 5 minutes, which is pretty. 

Editing with this machine is pretty good and it gives the user a good experience. The computer feels fast and responsive, and you won’t have to be waiting around for

the laptop to do its thing. You will have a better experience if you declutter your system and leave on your laptop just the necessary apps, files, and configurations. But this is a tip for any system anyway. 

Multitasking on Lightroom and Photoshop at the time the Prestige 14 also showed how capable this laptop is. I didn’t experience any problems using both software at the same time, even going back and forward between the two apps was a good experience in general.

I would like to point out that you may experience a little noise and heat when using the Prestige 14, it is a small laptop and it doesn’t have a lot of cooling power. And during my tests with Photoshop and Lightroom at the same time this was the only downside that I experienced, but again nothing that a modern laptop won’t do during certain workloads.

The best part of the experience was the screen, which alone can be the decisive point to choose this laptop. The 4k panel is gorgeous and you will feel your images popping up from the screen. The colors were accurate and the screen brightness makes a great difference when editing on the MSI prestige 14.

For tackling more complex jobs, like editing 4k videos, the laptop worked well, but nothing without some struggles. Just scrubbing through the footage for doing cuts and sequencing, without no problem, so you are safe in this regard. Using 2 heavy adjustment layers, one for color grading and another for sharpening, I experienced some struggles, and the only way to see the footage was to render it first. Again, this is not a problem with this laptop, but it is a problem for most of the laptops.

So if you are impatient and want to scrub through a 4k video without any problems your best bet will be with a beefy desktop. Exporting 4k videos the laptop worked well, as expected, exporting 45 seconds of 4k footage with a sharpening layer and a color grading layer under 3:30 min, reasonable for any modern laptop.

For creators with the necessity to work with heavy loads all the time, I would suggest the MSI Prestige 14 big brother, the Prestige 15, just because of the better cooling system. But if you need a capable laptop with a small frame that is leaning towards the MSI I would go with Prestige 14, which is pretty capable if you are willing to forget the cooling fan noise while working.

For other situations, like meeting clients I guarantee that this laptop will impress anyone that knows how the industry standards are nowadays. A small and powerful laptop is nothing new but still is nothing so easy to find. And the MSI Prestige has 14 filled these boxes.

For connectivity we have 2 Thunderbolt USB C and 2 USB type A 2.0 and a combo audio jack and also a MicroSD card reader.

Being so small and light has its prices and we see it here, for creators it would be much more useful to have a full SD card reader integrated instead, but if you are used to using external card readers I don’t think you will face any problems. Another change that I think would be very welcomed to the MSI prestige 14 is having USB A 3.0 instead of 2.0.

Other than that the everything worked well, the files transfer using the USB C were decent enough, I would love to have 4 USB C instead 2 USB C and 2 USB A, but maybe it will come in a future version of this laptop.

On the software side of things, MSI did a good job creating apps to help us to optimize the laptop for the purpose it is intended to. We have 2 valuable pieces of software to help with screen color adjustments and defining process priorities by software usages.

The first one is the True Color app helps to calibrate the color for any given situation that you will find on using the Prestige 14.

Even though the monitor came with a good factory calibrate setting I feel it a title warmer using the Adobe RGB preset, so I dialed it a just a pinch to the cooler side using just my eye as a reference, as the resulting colors were gorgeous after that, putting this display on my wishlist for a laptop monitor.

If you are using this laptop for multiple functions it is good to have a preset that you can rely on and rapidly on change your color calibration scheme to give the best scenario each time. As you can see in the image above you can change not just the preset but also adjust some parameters within the preset.

Another good software is the Creator Center that lets you address how many cores will be used for certain software giving the power to customize the specs of the MSI prestige 14 for tackling more demanding tasks.

This is great because sometimes you don’t need to use all the processing power on one software while multitasking on another program. This way you can dial down or up at your preference or necessity. It is cool to see this kind of control on some products and is a point to keep your eyes on in some MSI Creator products.

Specs

Almost all the specs of this laptop are pretty up to date, the CPU and the GPU are more current technologies. I would love to see this laptop with mirror changes, like upgradable memory and an update in the I/O. As for the cooling system, being a small unit has its compromises, see wait what future technologies bring to us. For the nerds out there it goes the MSI Prestige 14 full specs list.

Prestige 14 A10SC-248CA 

CPU10th Gen. Intel® Core™ i7 U-Processor
OSWindows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro
Display14″ UHD (3840*2160), 4K Thin Bezel, Adobe 100% 
Memory LPDDR3-2133 on board, up to 16GB
GPUNVIDIA GeForce® GTX 1650 with Max-Q design
Storage1 x NVMe M.2 SSD by PCIe Gen3
Input Single Backlit keyboard (White), Fingerprint Reader
I/O Port2 x USB3.2 Gen 2 Type-C / DP/ ThunderboltTM3 (with PD Charging), 2 x Type-A USB 2.0, 1 x Micro SD card reader, Mic-in/Headphone- out Combo Jack
Battery/Adapter3-Cell, 52whr / 90w (10SC), 65W (A10M)
Áudio 2x 2W Speaker
WebcamIR HD type (30fps@720p)
Connectivity802.11 ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth v5
TouchPadSilky Glass Multi Touch with Fingerprint scanner 
Dimensions318mm x 215 x 16mm / 12.55″ x 8.46″ x 0.63″ 
Weight 1.29 kg / 2.8 lb

Who is the MSI Prestige 14 for ?

This laptop is for anyone who cares for design and portability, but if you are a creator of any kind the MSI Prestige 14 will make your life easier, you will be able to carry it anywhere and you will not feel its presence. But if you are an arts/photography student your life will be much easier having a laptop that is on par with most of the new technologies, and with a beautiful 4k screen to review your work.

For most professional photographers it will do the job without any problem, for photo editing you won’t be disappointed because you will see your image with a pair of fresh eyes anywhere with this display. I wish my main laptop had a screen like this. I would recommend that you have an external monitor to hook with this laptop because sometimes reviewing images on a screen can be a little tiring sometimes if you have a 4k external monitor that will have the best of both worlds. 

As for price the MSI Prestige 14 is not the cheapest, but far for being the most expensive, at the time this review was written the price was CDN$ 1,899.00, which is a reasonable price, and on this price range you will find some competitor, but most of then with a lower spec on the GPU side and the one with a similar GPU are above this price range. If you don’t like vibrant colors, the Prestige 14 comes in 3 colors, graphite, white and pink. 

Final thoughts 

The MSI Prestige 14 is a good laptop and if you are in the market searching for a good and small option I think that the Prestige 14 can be a good option. It is small but still powerful enough for you to tackle all sorts of photography projects. If you need something with a bigger screen I am sure that the Prestige 15 can do the same for your work. But if your case is to have something that is easy to carry around and has a great screen with good power under the hood the Prestige 14 is a good alternative to keep eyes on.

The price x specs are fair and the design is direct to professionals. It is good to see a capable machine that doesn’t look like a “gamer laptop”, nothing against gamers, but the gamer feel doesn’t fit in certain environments, but the clean and sleek design of the MSI prestige 14 certainly fit on a professional meeting or presentation without a doubt.

This laptop was sent to me by MSI as a loan to do this review and everything written in this article has reference to my experience with the product.

And you, which laptop you are using to edit your images, leave your command center specs here in the comments.

Photographer

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