MSI Prestige 16 Studio Evo hands-on


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Amid all the excitement over generative AI, valuations, and such, consumer PC news was a bit of an afterthought at Computex 2023. That’s why I was so excited to discover this gem buried in the middle of MSI’s very loud and crowded show floor booth: the Prestige 16 Studio Evo. This is coming in the second half of this year, with pricing still to be announced, and I am very eagerly waiting.

First things first: This device has received Intel’s coveted “Evo” certification. The reason this is exciting is that, to my knowledge, no device with a GeForce RTX GPU has received the Evo certification since the program’s inception in 2020. (It’s possible there’s one out there somewhere I don’t know about, but even if so, it’s still a very rare phenomenon.)

The reasons for this are somewhat obvious. To earn the Evo certification, Intel requires that a device offer a certain level of battery life and performance within a certain weight class, which is difficult to achieve with a power-hungry discrete GPU inside. But the Studio Evo can include up to a GeForce RTX 4060 — and that’s a legitimate GPU that should lend a big hand in gaming and graphic work, unlike some of the weaker MX chips that you often see in these thin-and-lights, which aren’t too distinguishable from Intel’s integrated offerings these days. MSI’s representatives were very clear with me at the booth that the RTX 4060 model, specifically, is Evo-rated.

Small numpad for your number needs.

Now, in my experience, the Evo label is not always guarantee of things like speedy performance and all-day battery life. Nevertheless, the fact that an RTX 4060 system was performing efficiently enough that Intel would even consider it for the program excites me greatly.

Recommending a really solid Windows laptop for content creators right now is tough, and I think there are real openings in the market this Prestige 16 could fill. It can be a real pain to use programs like Premiere Pro and Blender on a 14-inch screen, and I often advise professionals to go bigger if they can. But 15-inch and 16-inch devices with discrete GPUs inside them can get really heavy really fast — which is also not great for many video folks, who may need to carry their laptop to shoots alongside lots of other bulky gear. I’ve been waiting — like really, eagerly waiting — for a 16-inch device with a discrete GPU to come along that isn’t a total tank. A solid battery lifespan would really seal the deal.

The Prestige 16 Studio Evo is 3.3 pounds — close to pound and a half lighter than the 16-inch MacBook Pro. I can tell you, having held the thing, that it is very light. LG Gram light. “Are you sure this isn’t an empty chassis?” light. It would be a dream to carry around in a packed backpack. I’m wistful just remembering what it was like to pick this up.

This was after I’d attempted to smudge the lid. Not too bad.

That’s especially true because the finish feels a solid step above what I’ve experienced from MSI before — this company often puts out laptops that are covered in fingerprints like, five seconds after unboxing. I tried very hard to smudge the Prestige’s lid on the show floor, and I actually couldn’t.

The Prestige 16 Studio Evo also has a 99Whr battery, which is the largest battery you can bring on a plane (and thus, the largest you will likely see in a consumer laptop).

Look at those ports. Gorgeous!

There’s one more nifty thing about this product, which is that it looks like it might be one of the first 14th-Gen Meteor Lake laptops we’ve seen in the wild. The spec sheet in the booth just lists “latest Intel Core i7 processor,” and — as Notebookcheck also discovered — the processor in the show floor unit was simply listed in Device Manager as “Genuine Intel(R) 0000” and showed 22 threads. It certainly is not a 13th-Gen mobile i7, since there’s not a 22-thread offering in that lineup.

Now, I don’t want to get my hopes up or jinx anything. But I’m wondering whether maybe, just maybe, this is a good sign for the efficiency of the upcoming Meteor Lake generation. After all, many of today’s workstation laptops have bad battery life and a hefty chassis for a reason: Intel’s current heavyweight processors are inefficient and hot.

The phrase “MacBook Pro alternative” is thrown around a lot. But this Prestige is shaping up to be one of the closest contenders I’ve seen in 2023 so far. Now, let’s wait to hear about the price.

Photography by Monica Chin



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