With the slew of 11th Gen of Intel chips, laptop manufacturers are quick to re-release all of their laptops with updated specs. Now, the MSI Prestige 14 Evo is one of those updated laptops too – and the new Evo moniker is not just a distinction to tell you it’s powered by the latest 11th Gen Intel chip, but also that it is part of Intel’s new Evo certification.
So, let’s begin by talking about what “Intel Evo” is about. It’s a new platform – just like the old term “ultrabook” which became synonymous with thin and light laptops with an SSD back in 2012 or 2013 – somewhere around there.
For a laptop to be “Intel Evo” means it has to fulfill 6 different aspects, which we’ll be loosely using to judge this laptop. We’ll start off with specs first. This laptop is equipped with:
- Intel Core i7-1185G7
- Intel Iris Xe
- 16GB RAM 4267MHz 8-channel
- 512GB NVMe SSD
And as for how it performs… well, it’s performing beyond our expectations. We ran games on this thing and it worked way too well. If you want to know the entire story about its performance, watch our second video where we dive deep into its performance because – I can assure you, this laptop’s performance is unlike what we’ve seen before.
Spoiler alert: it went above and beyond Intel’s specs.
But, we’ll now have to talk about battery life. This MSI Prestige Evo comes with a 52Wh battery which sounds decent but actually doesn’t last long. We used it for our common web-browsing, YouTube and whatnot, at silent power profile, 30% screen brightness, and the keyboard backlight turned to level 1.
From that use case, the laptop only manages to last for about 5 hours or so. Moreover, if we streamed YouTube videos at 1080p – the laptop drains 30% battery in just one hour.
We’re not sure what’s happening – it might be because the Intel Core i7-1185G7 is running at a high wattage constantly, but we’ve updated the drivers, Windows, and everything else – the battery life is just not as good.
Then, the screen. This is a laptop that has a 14-inch screen, as the name suggests, and thanks to its super-slim bezels, its footprint is really tiny. I managed to squeeze this into a 13-inch laptop sleeve without issues, too.
The screen colors look decent enough that nothing looks wrong to me, and it just works really well for both watching videos, web-browsing, and even getting office admin work done.
The screen’s lid also props up the laptop for more ergonomic typing but in this case, it’s very extreme. Also, the screen lid can go nearly 180º flat – which is fantastic.
Then we’ll skip both WiFi and “more flow” because WiFi 6 and fast wakeup times are the two things that are common amongst all modern ultrabooks anyway.
As for its ports… this laptop is rather weird. On the left side, we have double Thunderbolt 4 ports – which are only supported by the latest 11th Gen Intel chips – which are also used for charging, by the way – and on the right side, we have a combo audio jack, a microSD card reader, and finally – a USB 2.0 Type-A.
We have two super high-speed ports on the left but also a supremely slow port on the right side. Now – look, I get it that the USB 2.0 Type-A port is there for you to plug in a mouse or something – but seriously, for convenience’s sake – having a USB 3 Type-A port would be great so I can also plug in some not-so-legacy USB 3 devices and have high-speed transfers without whipping out a dongle.
And of course, we need to talk about the keyboard. It’s actually a really good keyboard. Great typing experience overall but the keyboard layout does need some getting used to. There’s an extra column of keys on the far right side, the right shift key is shortened because the full-sized arrow key cluster took up some space.
There are also two backslash keys which to some programmers may be useful, but for most of us – no idea why.
Also, thanks MSI for having a dedicated print screen button, but no thanks for putting it beside the power button which I accidentally pressed a few too many times. That’s not a big deal since I just end up disabling the power button in the power options menu anyway.
And lastly, the ultrawide trackpad. This is actually a really good trackpad on its own. It glides well, tracks well, and clicks well, too. Unfortunately though, palm rejection is an issue despite it being above average. And since it’s an ultrawide trackpad, I sometimes see the cursor disco dancing on screen.
Overall, I actually like the MSI Prestige Evo 14 is actually a great laptop. It performs really well, has an overall decent battery life overall, a good screen, a fantastic keyboard, and most importantly – high-speed ports. There are a few shortcomings here and there but to me, they’re not a huge deal. Though I would like to see a touch-screen option for the Prestige series. That’ll be a fantastic alternative to the ultrawide trackpad and its palm rejection.
But in the end, the price is what matters the most. At the price of RM5,199, I do think that the MSI Prestige Evo 14 A11M – the specific model that we have here – is just expensive. While it does come with the top-of-the-line Intel Core i7-1185G7 and managed to run beyond the maximum 28W limit that Intel placed on all Tiger Lake chips – the performance difference is not that big when compared to the Core i7-1165G7 running at 28W.