MSI Prestige 15 review: A creative laptop at a competitive price

Maria J. Danford

Josh Goldman/CNET 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 […]

msi-prestige-15-a10sc-1-9

Josh Goldman/CNET

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. 

Like

  • Beautiful calibrated display
  • High performance in a slim, light body
  • Mini USB-C dock and protective sleeve included

Don’t Like

  • 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/resolution 15.6-inch 3,820 x 2,160 display
CPU 1.1GHz Intel Core i7-10710U
Memory 32GB DDR4 SDRAM 2667MHz
Graphics 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with Max-Q Design
Storage 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
Networking 802.11ax wireless, Bluetooth 5.1
Operating system Windows 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. 

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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. 

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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 althought 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)

HP Pavilion Gaming 15-dk0045cl

Acer Nitro 5 AN517-51-56YW

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Cinebench R15 CPU (multicore)

HP Pavilion Gaming 15-dk0045cl

Acer Nitro 5 AN517-51-56YW

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Streaming video playback battery drain test

HP Pavilion Gaming 15-dk0045cl

Acer Nitro 5 AN517-51-56YW

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance (in minutes)

3DMark Fire Strike Ultra

HP Pavilion Gaming 15-dk0045cl

Acer Nitro 5 AN517-51-56YW

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Far Cry 5 gaming test

HP Pavilion Gaming 15-dk0045cl

Acer Nitro 5 AN517-51-56YW

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance (FPS)

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided gaming test

HP Pavilion Gaming 15-dk0045cl

Acer Nitro 5 AN517-51-56YW

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance (FPS)

System configurations

MSI Prestige 15 A10SC Microsoft 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 7 Microsoft 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 3590 Microsoft 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-dk0045cl Microsoft 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 AN517-51-56YW Microsoft 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 Y730 Microsoft 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
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