MSI Status 14 Evo Assessment: Portability, However at What Price?

8 min read

Intel launched the brand new Evo model together with its 11th Gen laptop computer processors in late 2020, and laptops which have earned this label at the moment are showing within the Indian market. For those who see this sticker on a laptop computer, it signifies that the producer has labored with Intel to enhance its designs and scale back weight, whereas sustaining sure requirements with regard to efficiency, battery life, and different parameters. Evo laptops should ship on particular person expertise targets corresponding to with the ability to wake shortly from sleep, and should assist trendy requirements corresponding to Wi-Fi 6, Thunderbolt 4 and fast charging by means of USB Energy Supply.

If this sounds acquainted, it is as a result of it is the evolution of some older concepts. These “key expertise indicators”, as Intel calls them, are the results of the Undertaking Athena initiative. You may also keep in mind Intel’s Centrino branding, which shifted the main focus of promoting laptops from CPU energy to options like Wi-Fi, or the Ultrabook marketing campaign which emphasised portability. Intel shall be selling Evo laptops constructed by all its accomplice manufacturers fairly closely all through this yr.

A kind of manufacturers is MSI, which you would possibly know higher for its gaming laptops and PC elements. The Taiwanese firm branched out into slimmer, extra sober-looking laptops for energy customers a couple of years in the past and now has a variety of general-purpose designs for on a regular basis customers. The Status collection of trendy, ultraportable laptops has not too long ago been refreshed with Intel’s 11th Gen Core CPUs, and the brand new Status 14 Evo, as its identify suggests, was designed round Intel’s Evo idea.

Can this comparatively low-profile model compete with widespread multinational producers? Intel despatched Devices 360 an MSI Status 14 Evo evaluate unit as a consultant of its Evo portfolio, and this is every part it’s essential learn about it.

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The MSI Status 14 Evo has a comparatively sober exterior

 

MSI Status 14 Evo design

Even the field that this laptop computer arrives in is remarkably slim. The Status 14 Evo measures 15.9mm thick and weighs 1.29kg which is impressively transportable for a 14-inch laptop computer. The physique is all steel and there is a alternative between Pure White and Carbon Gray, plus a Rose Pink version. I had a Carbon Gray unit, and it really appears to be like like a really deep blue. The lid has a matte sandblasted end which appears to be like fairly sober. You possibly can see MSI’s new angular brand on the top-centre. Fingerprints and smudges aren’t an enormous downside.

I am not a fan of the shiny blue chamfered border across the lid – it is distracting, particularly underneath brilliant mild, and takes away from the in any other case minimalist design. The hinge is designed to boost the rear of the laptop computer’s decrease half when opened, for a extra snug typing angle and in addition to permit higher clearance for the vents on the underside. I like the truth that this laptop computer will be opened and closed with only one finger and the decrease half stays in place. The lid may also be pushed again practically 180 levels.

Skinny display screen borders are literally a part of the Evo platform’s design targets. The aspect borders are extraordinarily slender however there’s sufficient house on high for a webcam plus an infrared sensor which works with Home windows Good day biometric authentication. The lid can flex and wobble fairly a bit if strain is utilized, however the display screen does not appear to warp too badly. MSI has gone with a non-glossy end which is fortunately not reflective.

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Opening the hinge inclines the decrease half of the MSI Status 14 Evo, and it will probably open to almost 180 levels

 

You may discover a couple of quirks within the keyboard format. I am joyful to see that the keys are full-sized and well-spaced, and that there are devoted paging keys in addition to a correct arrow cluster. Surprisingly, the Fn modifier is to the best of the spacebar and impinges on the best Ctrl key however there’s additionally an pointless further slash key simply subsequent to it, and loads of house on the left.

The trackpad is gigantic, and in addition has a distractingly reflective blue metallic rim. There is a fingerprint sensor within the higher left nook, and whereas quite a lot of house round it’s wasted, the general dimension of the trackpad signifies that is not an issue. Intel clearly desires Evo to be a high-end model, however I feel the brightly colored stickers on the wrist relaxation detract from this on an in any other case slick-looking laptop computer.

You get two Thunderbolt 4 Kind-C ports on the left, each of which might fall again to USB 4 and may also be used for charging in addition to DisplayPort video output. On the best, there is a single Kind-A port which sadly solely works at USB 2.0 velocity, a microSD card slot, and a 3.5mm audio jack.

The MSI Status 14 Evo is extraordinarily transportable and packs quite a lot of options into the footprint of what would have been a 13-inch laptop computer a couple of years in the past. Even the USB Kind-C charger is a comparatively small sq. puck however nonetheless has a 65W output score. There’s additionally a Status 14 (non-Evo) mannequin with a discrete GPU which has precisely the identical weight and dimensions. If you need a bigger display screen, the Status 15 presents as much as a 4K decision and in addition has extra bodily ports in a 1.69kg package deal.

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The trackpad is outsized and has a fingerprint sensor within the higher left nook

 

MSI Status 14 Evo specs

Intel’s Evo sticker de-emphasises the CPU era and tier – the acquainted Core i7 identify is barely a visible footnote now. The truth is, extra consideration is known as to Intel’s new Iris Xe GPU, which is definitely built-in into the CPU (to not be confused with the discrete Iris Xe Max, as seen within the new Acer Swift 3X) However, we now have an 11th Gen ‘Tiger Lake’ CPU right here, on this case the top-end Core i7-1185G7 which has a 12-28W rated TDP vary, and runs between 1.2GHz and 4.8GHz. It has 4 cores with Hyper-Threading, helps PCIe 4.0, and leverages Intel’s 10nm SuperFin manufacturing course of.

MSI has gone with a 14-inch full-HD “IPS degree” display screen that delivers “near 100%” of the sRGB color gamut. It is a low-power panel with a comparatively low 300nit most brightness, and as talked about, has a non-reflective floor. The battery capability is 52Wh and MSI claims you may get 12 hours of productiveness per cost. Quick charging means it is best to be capable of get an hour and a half of use after a 15-minute cost.

The bottom variant of the Status 14 Evo, priced at Rs. 95,990, has an 11th Gen Core i5 CPU, and there are a couple of RAM and storage configuration variations as effectively. My evaluate unit has the Core i7 CPU, 16GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and most curiously, a 512GB PCIe 4.0 SSD, all for Rs. 1,06,990. Whereas the RAM is soldered down, the SSD is a typical, replaceable M.2 module manufactured by Phison. There’s additionally Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. The webcam has a 720p video seize decision.

My evaluate unit had Home windows 10 House, although MSI says it can additionally provide Home windows 10 Skilled. There was an analysis model of Norton LifeLock Safety and in addition a few of MSI’s personal utilities. The awkwardly named MSI Middle for Enterprise and Productiveness begins up robotically on boot, however requires customers to stop it manually and restart it in Administrator mode on first use, which may very well be complicated. It is not very effectively designed and does not provide quite a lot of options – actually nothing that justifies its identify. You possibly can change efficiency profiles (Excessive efficiency, Balanced, Silent, or Tremendous Battery. There are additionally a couple of fundamental diagnostics and a cost limiter that might assist prolong the helpful lifetime of your battery.

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The keyboard has a barely non-standard format however is snug to make use of

 

MSI Status 14 Evo utilization and efficiency

After establishing the laptop computer, the very first thing I did was drop the Home windows show scaling from 150 % to 125 % which makes a lot better use of display screen house. Home windows 10 robotically up to date itself to the 2H20 launch. The non-reflective show is sort of nice, however colors aren’t particularly vivid. Sound from the audio system is obvious however not very loud. The keyboard is just a little too gentle though the keys do have good journey.

Normal-purpose utilization was usually nice however not good. I did discover that the laptop computer did not all the time wake immediately after I opened the lid – it took a number of seconds, normally after having been left for quite a lot of hours. The fingerprint sensor and face recognition each labored effectively.

The realm to the left of the trackpad, the place your left wrist is more likely to relaxation, will get fairly heat when the laptop computer is in use – and to an uncomfortable diploma when stressing the {hardware} or when charging. A minimum of the cooling fan by no means will get loud sufficient to be distracting.

The trackpad is centred to the physique of the laptop computer, not the pure typing place, so your proper wrist must relaxation on the trackpad itself whereas typing. Palm rejection is normally good, however even slight motions are likely to shift weight and make the trackpad bodily click on, which is typically interpreted as an unintended click on or right-click.

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The only real USB Kind-A port on the MSI Status 14 Evo solely works at USB 2.0 velocity

 

As for benchmarks, the 11th Gen Core i7 CPU did carry out effectively. CineBench R20 achieved 570 and a couple of,248 factors within the single- and multi-threaded runs, whereas POVRay completed its render take a look at in 2 minutes, 31 seconds. V-Ray put up CPU and GPU scores of 6,596 and 32 respectively. PCMark 10’s normal and Prolonged runs produced scores of 4,671 and 4,641 respectively.

7Zip managed to compress a 3.24GB folder of varied information in 2 minutes, 3 seconds. Transcoding a 1.3GB AVI file to H.265 took simply 1 minute, 9 seconds. CrystalDiskMark reported phenomenal sequential learn and write speeds of 4987.6MBps and 2505.6MBps respectively for the PCIe 4.0 SSD, whereas random reads and writes have been additionally spectacular at 1390.5MBps and 1639.5MBps respectively.

Whereas the built-in Iris Xe GPU is not aimed toward players, the MSI Status 14 Evo nonetheless managed a rating of 3312 within the Unigine Superposition benchmark working on the 1080p Medium preset. 3DMark’s Time Spy and Time Spy Excessive checks returned scores of 1,840 and 839 respectively. Firing up a couple of video games, I discovered that Rise of the Tomb Raider managed a good 38fps working at 1280×720 at its Medium high quality preset. Far Cry 5 averaged 49fps at Regular high quality on the similar decision, which is nice sufficient for mild leisure on the go.

I used to be in a position to get by means of a full working day with just a little energy left over on the finish, utilizing the Status 14 Evo for doc enhancing, Net browsing, emails and chats, and streaming a couple of brief movies. Battery Eater Professional ran for 1 hour, 50 minutes which is fairly good for such a transportable laptop computer. You should not have to fret about charging in the midst of your work, however that is additionally comparatively fast. Beginning with a totally drained battery, I noticed the cost degree at 30 % after 20 minutes and 72 % in an hour.

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The brilliant blue chamfered rim on the lid is not possible to overlook when mild hits it

 

Verdict

There’ll all the time be some sacrifices when cramming highly effective {hardware} into ultraportable laptops, however total MSI has performed effectively, and the package deal you get is pretty balanced whereas providing worth for cash. For those who prioritise portability, it is best to undoubtedly take a look at this laptop computer. It does not have the discrete Iris Xe Max GPU just like the equally priced Acer Swift 3X, however these two eleventh Gen ‘Tiger Lake’ laptops are comparable in some ways together with {hardware} and portability.

You may not agree with all of MSI’s design selections. My largest points are the way in which the left wrist relaxation will get heat, and the shortage of high-speed Kind-A USB ports. These are points that acquired in the way in which of on a regular basis utilization, and actually ought to be thought of as a part of the Evo platform spec. It is doable to tweak the efficiency profile to favour cool, quiet operation, however you should not have to do that and sacrifice efficiency.

For those who can reside with these points, you will discover the MSI Status 14 Evo’s building high quality is superb, and it is effectively fitted to productiveness on the go. The 11th Gen Core i7 CPU carried out effectively in quite a lot of checks, and even mild gaming is feasible in case you decrease your settings.

Priced beginning at Rs. 95,990, the MSI Status 14 Evo is an ultraportable that is effectively value contemplating, and is an attention-grabbing showcase of Intel’s imaginative and prescient for the Evo platform. We’ll little question see extra opponents on this house, and in addition a number of primarily based on AMD’s Ryzen 5000-series cellular CPUs. That is additionally across the similar value that the current-gen MacBook Air, powered by Apple’s personal M1 processor, sells for. For those who’re seeking to purchase a brand new thin-and-light laptop computer this yr, issues simply acquired much more attention-grabbing.


Is MacBook Air M1 the transportable beast of a laptop computer that you simply all the time needed? We mentioned this on Orbital, our weekly expertise podcast, which you’ll subscribe to by way of Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, obtain the episode, or simply hit the play button under.

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