Specs at a look: MSI Summit E14, as examined
OSHome windows 10 Professional
CPU3.0GHz 4-core Intel i7-1185G7 (4.8GHz turbo)
RAM32GB LPDDR4
GPUNvidia GTX 1650Ti MaxQ
SSD1TB Western Digital SN370 NVMe
Battery52.4Wh 3-cell LiOn
Wi-FiIntel AX201 Wi-Fi 6
Show14-inch 1080p IPS
Digicam720p, high bezel mounted
Connectivity
  • one USB-A 2.zero port
  • two Thunderbolt 4/USB-C Four ports (energy supply help)
  • 3.5mm cellphone/mic combo jack
  • one microSD card slot
  • fingerprint reader
Worth as examinedanticipated retail ~$1,800

Final month, we bought a take a look at considered one of Intel’s engineering prototype laptops for its new Tiger Lake CPU household. We nonetheless have no manufacturing Tiger Lake laptops to check, however as of as we speak we’re one step nearer with an MSI Summit gross sales/engineering pattern. MSI offered the pattern to us principally for a “photograph alternative,” however they graciously allowed benchmarking so long as we clearly marked the assessments as being on a preproduction pattern unit.

This mannequin, marked as a gross sales pattern, appears to be a prototype of what would be the Summit E14-087. Our MSI consultant warned us that some {hardware} tuning and particulars could change between now and launch however confirmed that the chassis itself is strictly as it is going to be in manufacturing. Particularly, we anticipate the ability tuning to vary—MSI promotes the laptop computer as having a 10hr+ battery life, which we suspect won’t be attainable with the 28W cTDP our pattern shipped with.

This isn’t an inexpensive laptop computer—we managed to search out an early retail itemizing for this mannequin, and it seems to be like it is going to promote for $1,800. Nonetheless, the gadget is jampacked with high-end elements, together with however not restricted to Intel’s latest i7-1185G7 top-of-the-line processor and an Nvidia GTX 1650Ti MaxQ discrete GPU. The laptop computer additionally has a definite, daring fashion that stands out from its rivals.

Overview

By the requirements of gaming laptops, the Summit E-series’ styling is downright restrained. As enterprise laptops go, nonetheless, it is daring and funky. Probably the most instantly noticeable styling standout is the font MSI used to label keys on the keyboard. Though it is nonetheless sans serif, the font is noticeably lighter and extra “inventive” than most keyboards’ labels, with a number of different touches akin to shift-labels (e.g., the @ on the two key) being offset diagonally slightly than using instantly above the primary label.

Along with the brightly backlit keys, an attention-grabbing bronze trim rings across the touchpad. The remainder of the laptop computer is a matte, light-drinking carbon black, with solely a small grey MSI emblem to alleviate it; this makes the bizarre keyboard and touchpad stand out much more.

Functionally, the E14’s standout design function is a 180-degree hinge. This angle additionally serves to raise the keyboard (and supply room for cooling airflow) at a cushty angle, even in a “regular” open place.

The final uncommon observe concerning the E14’s design is the one one we actually do not like—the underside panel, which can be the supply of airflow for the E14. As a substitute of conventional vent openings, the E14 depends on heavy perforation within the tough form of a metropolis skyline to permit air to movement out and in of the laptop computer.

The underside panel is skinny plastic, and it feels arduous and brittle when faraway from the laptop computer itself. We’ve got issues concerning the larger “open” space uncovered to potential spills as in comparison with conventional designs, and we have now issues concerning the long-term sturdiness of the panel itself.

Though the Summit E14 is lengthy on fashion, it is desperately brief on ports—there isn’t a video out, no Kensington lock slot, and no devoted energy jack. The left facet options two Thunderbolt 4/USB type-C ports; the best facet has a single USB 2.zero type-A, a microSD card slot, and a 3.5mm audio combo jack. We anticipate most customers to contemplate a small USB type-C dock to be a necessity with this laptop computer—for video out, if for nothing else.

Though the NVMe SSD and Wi-Fi 6 card are correctly M.2 socketed and upgradeable, the RAM for the E14 is soldered to the motherboard. This is not a lot of an issue with the mannequin we examined, which got here with 32GiB onboard—however it might show extra of a sticking level for customers who go for the opposite Summit E14 mannequin, which includes a 4K show however solely 16GiB RAM.

BETA Efficiency testing

Bear in mind, this Summit E14 is an engineering/gross sales pattern, not a manufacturing unit—and our MSI rep requested us to make very sure our readers know that. Some particulars of configuration and even {hardware} could change between this pattern and remaining retail items. For instance, we strongly suspect that the manufacturing methods might be 15W cTDP and never 28W cTDP as our pattern unit was—which is able to considerably lower efficiency numbers whereas considerably rising battery life.

With that mentioned, this laptop computer seems to be prefer it needs to be a fairly robust performer. On the 28W cTDP we see right here, it appears practically even with the Intel reference system—which is not an actual shock, provided that the 2 methods share a CPU. Nevertheless it does affirm that the E14 would not have any cooling issues that might lower its CPU efficiency. We suspect the ultimate efficiency might be lifeless even with the Intel prototype’s at 15W, although, not at 28W. As configured, the E14 didn’t even come near its said 10+ hour battery life.

With single-threaded efficiency, some great benefits of the Summit’s Tiger Lake CPU stand out extra clearly—significantly in Passmark and Geekbench 5. Higher but, single-threaded efficiency on the i7-1185G7 would not take a lot of a success when the cTDP is lowered. Though it will possibly and does routinely hit the 28W cTDP even on one thread, it spends extra time in single-threaded benchmarking at round 20W TDP.

We will see the Summit’s intent to stay with one foot in every of the enterprise and gaming worlds in 3DMark Time Spy assessments, during which the system’s GTX 1650Ti MaxQ discrete GPU roughly doubles the built-in Iris Xe GPU’s efficiency. It is nonetheless no match for the significantly larger and badder GTX 2060 MaxQ within the ASUS ROG G14 we examined earlier this yr—however its followers do not spin as much as the purpose of questioning if the laptop computer will raise off the desk and fly throughout the room, both.

Within the less-demanding Evening Raid check—geared toward methods with built-in graphics—the lead between the GTX 1650Ti MaxQ and Iris Xe graphics is much less spectacular. That is principally a testomony to only how stellar Iris Xe is as an built-in GPU. Sadly, we needed to go by the Intel prototype’s numbers for Evening Raid on Iris Xe—the Summit pattern errored out constantly on this check.

Lastly, the Western Digital NVMe SSD performs like an absolute champ, roughly doubling the efficiency of the Samsung P991 NVMe SSD in our Ryzen 7 4700U-powered Acer Swift Three laptop computer throughout the board.

Conclusions

The Summit E14 is a enterprise laptop computer, however its gaming roots are simple. That features every part from its unusually daring styling decisions to the discrete GTX 1650Ti MaxQ GPU—which does not appear more likely to be helpful for something besides gaming, given how stellar the Tiger Lake Iris Xe built-in GPU’s efficiency is already.

At $1,800 anticipated retail, this can be a expensive system—and whereas we like most of it, we’re casting some severe side-eye at its skinny plastic backside panel. This materials appears much less forgivable in a premium-priced system than it’d in a single geared toward decrease budgets. That $1,800, alternatively, does purchase you some pretty severe gaming efficiency with none accompanying twister followers like a extra severe gaming laptop computer burdens you with.

We do not have a remaining availability date for the Summit sequence but, however you must broadly anticipate Summits to point out up in shops and on-line later this quarter.

The Good

  • The Tiger Lake CPU is a powerful performer, significantly in single or evenly multithreaded functions
  • Fan noise is noticeable however not outrageous
  • We love the stand-out styling cues on the keyboard, and we dig the 180-degree show hinge
  • Good to have an additional Thunderbolt 4/USB type-C port along with the one occupied by the charger
  • We have been pleasantly stunned by the Western Digital SSD’s excessive efficiency
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6

The Dangerous

  • The worth appears just a little steep—though, for $200 greater than an XPS 13, you get an Nvidia GPU thrown in for gaming
  • The 200-nit show could strike some customers as not being brilliant sufficient for a premium laptop computer

The Ugly

  • Though it is not one thing most customers will discover, we’re anxious about sturdiness and affect/weight resistance of the skinny plastic backside panel
  • Manufacturing tuning might want to accomplish quite a bit to get the system as much as 10+ hours of battery life on the 52.4Wh battery

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here