Buying a laptop can be tricky; so many things to look out for, so many things to figure out before choosing one. But the fundamental still remains the same, what will you be using it for? For those who game a lot, sheer performance will be all that matters while a slim form factor and an extensive battery life are crucial for content creators and frequent travelers. And today, I have the MSI Prestige 15 SC laptop.
Now, looking at it from the outside, there is nothing very striking about it and looks like your usual Ultrabook. But on the inside, it packs some pretty interesting stuff.
This one here has the latest Intel 6-core i7 10th Gen processor paired with the GTX 1650 MaxQ graphics. And since this combination is pretty rare for a laptop intended towards content creators, I was very interested to test this guy out. So, let’s get straight into it.
MSI Prestige 15 SC Specifications:
- Design & Build: Aluminum Body; 14.05W x 9.20D x 0.63H-inches; 1.6kg
- Display: 15.6″ Full-HD IPSmatte panel(1920 x 1080); 95% sRGB, 73% Adobe RGB, 63% NTSC Color Gamut
- Keyboard: MSI Keyboard with white backlighting
- Processor: Intel Core i7-10710U
- RAM: DDR4 16 GB in dual-channel
- Graphics: 4 GB GDDR5 NVidia GeForce GTX 1650 MaxQ
- Battery: 4-cell 82 Watt-hours
- AC Adapter: 90 Watts
- Storage: 512GB NVME SSD (with one M.2 SSD slot available too)
- Webcam: 720p Web-cam
- Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 ax Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, Fingerprint scanner
- Ports: 2x Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2, 1x HDMI, 1x Audio, 2x Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 2, 1x Micro SD slot
- Price in Nepal: Rs. 180,000 ($1,399 international)
Design & Build
As you can see here, the design is top-notch.
It has an aluminum body wherein the lid has the classic MSI dragon logo. It’s also thin, light and easy to carry around.
The lid has some flex in it. But then again, you have to compromise a little with a laptop so thin. By the way, it only measures 15.9mm in thickness and has a weight of mere 1.6 kilos. It’s not as feather-light like the Acer Swift but is still portable enough to carry around.
Port selection too is very good for an Ultrabook. On the left, you get two Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports both of which support Thunderbolt 3.0, an HDMI port, and an audio port. On the right, you are greeted with two Type-A USB3.2 Gen2, and surprisingly, a Micro SD card slot too.
But since this laptop is intended for the content creators, MSI should have gone with an SD card slot instead.
Charging here is done via the USB C ports for which you get a 90-watt adapter.
Now, about the display, this one has a 15.6 inches FHD IPS matte screen. There is a 4K variant of it too that claims to have 100% RGB, but this one is a slightly toned-down version.
Having said that it is fairly color accurate with 95% SRGB, 73% Adobe RGB and 63% of NTSC Color Gamut coverage. For me, it did a good job on my photoshop and video editing needs. However, I am not keeping aside the fact that the 4K version will give you marginally better color coverage.
I also found the display to be fairly bright. However, it is not that bright to be used outdoors. MSI has included tons of color profiles which you can change from the MSI Creator Center or the MSI True Color app.
The screen also bends 180 degrees which is something I have always wanted on my Dell XPS 15. And what’s cool about this is the fact that you can rotate the display to show content to people sitting right opposite to you.
On the aesthetics side, you get very thin bezels on the screen which kind of makes the laptop look bigger than it is. On the top center of it, you get a 720p webcam whose quality is strictly average, with a subpar microphone.
Similarly, the 2x 2W stereo speaker is also quite average, so it’s not good for listening to music, watching videos, or other stuff.
Below the screen, you get the MSI Keyboard. It is not the steel series one like we’re used to seeing on MSI’s gaming units. The keyboard is very comfortable nonetheless and is very easy to get used to.
I come from the XPS 15 keyboard which is one of the best I have used so far. However, I’ve come to like this too.
This keyboard does have backlighting but only glows in one shade of white. There are three levels of the backlight which you can adjust using the F8 button.
Right below the keyboard, you have the trackpad which I felt is not the best thing about the Prestige 15. On my use, it has been prone to frequent accidental touches while typing, which went on to being frustrating at times. And it is not the most accurate one out there either.
On the top left of it, there is a fingerprint sensor that gives the laptop a very nice touch. So overall, I felt the design of it is quite solid and sturdy.
Alright, let’s get on to the performance. It’s fired up with Intel’s latest Core i7- 10710U Comet Lake processor.
This is a 6 core-12 threads 10th gen CPU with 15Watt TDP, although it is configurable up to 25W as well. So, as compared to the 45Watt Intel 9th gen i7 9750H, this one here is more energy efficient.
You also get 16GB RAM in dual channel and a relatively fast 512GB of NVME SSD. There is also a vacant M.2 Slot, in case you need more storage.
Normal tasks yielded absolutely no problems whatsoever, as one might expect from a laptop of this caliber. The multitasking capabilities were also quite impressive. I had over 15 google tabs opened at once, did some photo editing at the same time and still, the laptop showed no sign of fatigue.
Then I moved on to some heavy tasks like editing videos. The Galaxy A70s video that we recently published; we edited that in this machine. And the editing part was quite fluid as well.
There were some hiccups while using the Adobe After Effects, but Premier Pro had no such issue. The rendering time wasn’t bad at all.
It took around 20 minutes to render the aforementioned video. In comparison, our main editing PC with the Intel i7-9700K processor and RTX 2070 was slightly faster at 17 minutes.
So, yes, this one is capable of light to moderate editing. And also, if you are a graphic designer or a front-end developer, the 10th gen U-processor will not result in any performance issue.
Now, even though this is not a gaming rig, the MSI Prestige 15 does have a fairly powerful Nvidia GTX 1650 MaxQ GPU.
However, when I played games on it, for the optimal performance, I used the High-Performance Mode which you can turn it on using MSI’s Creator Centre. Here, you can choose between High Performance, Balanced, Silent, and Super Battery. You can also create a shortcut key (a macro) for when to activate these modes, based on the task you are doing.
Games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Fry Cry 5, and Apex Legends were playable at around 50fps at max settings, which is not bad at all. I also played Battlefield in medium settings and got around 60fps with no stutters or lag. Midtier games like FIFA 20, CS Go, and Dota 2 works flawlessly at max settings and fps over 120.
Average FPS count of games at max settings:
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider: 41
- Far Cry 5: 51
- Apex Legends: 58
- Battlefield: ~60
- FIFA 20, CS GO, Dota 2: Over 120
Talking about the thermals, it does run quite hot especially while playing games. It’s hot especially on the top, near the hinge area where the air exhaust lies.
The CPU temperature is also usually over 90 degrees while gaming for over 30 minutes, whereas the GPU is a little bit cooler. However, you can tune the fans to turn it to the max, which by the way, gets very loud! But again, this will also solve the throttling and heating issue.
So, yeah, the Prestige 15 isn’t any gamer’s fantasy laptop. There’s no arguing there. It’s for someone who works all day and takes a break to enjoy some gameplay.
Battery-life on the MSI Prestige 15 is very impressive though, and that’s the perk of having a low powered CPU.
You can get around 9-10 hours of battery life on this FHD version while using it for browsing and watching YouTube videos. For more intensive activities like Photoshop, you will get around 4-5 hours of battery which I think is commendable.
So, here’s my verdict about the MSI Prestige 15: I think it’s a great Ultrabook, especially for a market like Nepal where the Dell XPS 15 and the MacBook Pro 13 costs you a fortune. The Prestige 15 is priced at 1.8 lakhs Nepali Rupee whereas the XPS 15 and MacBook Pro 13 cost well over 2.5 lakhs.
Although the XPS 15 offers you a faster CPU and a better build, the Prestige 15 holds its own ground with a fairly good display, excellent battery life, and an overall good enough performance.
So, if you want to save some money and get a decent XPS 15 alternative, I would recommend the Prestige 15 to the content creators. And also, if you are a Civil engineer or a mechanical engineer who uses AutoCAD or Solid works kind of software and are traveling a lot on-site, this is a very good option.