This is my detailed review of the MSI Prestige 15 series of thin-and-lightweight all-purpose laptops.
The Prestige 15 is a compact daily driver with a full-size 15-inch display and a total weight of just 1.7 kilos. It can handle everyday multitasking and casual use just fine, without choking or overheating or going loud, and based on the configuration you’ll end up choosing, it can also take on more demanding work/school chores and some light gaming, but there’s a caveat about that. Plus, it does all these without sacrificing build quality, ergonomics, or any important feature.
If you’re not familiar with this Prestige series, which is not as popular as others in this niche, this competes for your attention and money against devices such as the Asus Zenbook 15/VivoBook Pro 15, or the lower-specced configurations of the HP Envy 15 or Dell XPS 15 lineups.
I’ve spent the last few weeks using one of the 2022 model-year Prestige 15s and gathered my thoughts and impressions in this article down below. It’s a fair laptop, with a versatile format and a competitive price in most markets, but also with some quirks that you’d best be aware of before taking the plunge.
Specs as reviewed – MSI Prestige 15 A12U
||MSI Prestige 15 A12UC
||15.6 inch, FHD 1920 x 1080 px, 16:9 aspect ratio, 60 Hz, IPS, matte, non-touch,
300-nits and 100% sRGB colors
||Intel 12th-gen Alder Lake P28, Core i7-1280P, 6PC+8Ec/20T
||Intel Iris Xe + Nvidia GeForce GTX 3050 4GB (35-40W)
||16 GB DDR4-4266 (onboard), max 32 GB
||1x M.2 PCIe gen4 gen4 SSD (Samsung PM9A1), one extra PCIe gen3 M.2 slot
||Wireless 6E (Intel AX211) 2×2, Bluetooth 5.2
||2x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4, HDMI 2.0b, 2x USB-A 3.2, micro SD card reader, audio jack
||82 Wh, 100W USB-C charger with quick-charging
||357 mm or 14.05” (w) x 234 mm or 9.21” (d) x 18.9 mm or 0.74” (h)
||3.75 lbs (1.7 kg) + .35 kg (.77 lbs) for the charger+cables, EU version
||white backlit keyboard, glass touchpad with finger-sensor, HD webcam with IR, stereo bottom speakers
Multiple other configurations are available as well, starting at an Intel Core i5-1240P + RTX 3050 model, and going up to 1280P + RTX 3050Ti + 4K display. Most of these are fairly affordable compared to their piers, but the higher tier options get pricey.
Design and construction
As mentioned earlier, the Prestige 15 is a premium compact 15-inch design.
It only offers a regular 16:9 15.6-inch display, hence the bezels aren’t as small as on some other laptops, but the overall format is portable and practical here, while weighing just under 1.7 kilos for this tested model. That’s why, in a way, this Prestige 15 feels a bit dated in comparison to more recent designs – that’s no surprise, given the Prestige 15 chassis hasn’t changed in a few years. For what is worth, MSI also offers a newer 16-inch version of this laptop with the Prestige 16, just keep in mind that’s a more expensive device.
Just to better understand the dimensions of this notebook, here are a few pics of the Prestige 15 next to a full-size 15-inch laptop, the Lenovo Legion 5. It’s clear that the Prestige is smaller and thinner.
For the materials, dark-gray pieces of aluminum are used for the main deck and the lid, and only the underside is plastic.
The entire construction feels solid, with a firm lid and a minimal amount of flex in the keyboard deck. This is no XPS or MacBook quality, but close. MSI implemented a clean design as well, with muted branding elements, although that MSI engraving under the display is a bit much and could have been darker and smaller.
Ergonomics are mostly fine here. The rubber feet on the bottom are small, but provided surprisingly good grip on a flat surface. MSI made sure to dull the front lip and corners, which are comfortable on the wrists as a result, and they also implemented strong hinges with the ability to lean back the display to 180 degrees, excellent for on-the-go use.
There’s also a full-size centered keyboard on this laptop and a wide clickpad, although a rather short implementation, much like on other MSI laptops. That’s mostly because of the compact format of this chassis, but also because MSI position the keyboard in the middle of the design, leaving room for only a smaller arm-rest area.
The IO isn’t bad either for a thin design, with multiple USB-C and USB-A ports, a full-size HDMI, an audio jack, and a micro-SD card reader. There’s no Lock.
My nits with this chassis are the always-on light in the power button, annoying when using the laptop at night, as well as how the cooling module is set to blow hot air into the screen – that’s, unfortunately, a culprit of many other such portable designs. We’ll go over its impact in the performance and thermals sections further down.
Overall, this is a practical and nice-looking mid-tier portable laptop, even if the design hints its older age here and there.
Keyboard and trackpad
The Prestige 15 is a quick and accurate typer with a reliable touchpad, but I do have some small complaints about the inputs on this series.
The keyboard’s layout is centered on the chassis, which means there’s no space for a NumPad section. Instead, MSI added an extra column of function keys on the right side, which I find practical. However, I’m totally against their way of implementing the FN key at the right side of the layout, as a half-size key sharing space with the right Control key. That makes absolutely no sense to me, but they do it on many of their laptops. You can switch the Windows and FN keys in the settings if you want to, but that doesn’t help much, as I’m using WIndows+ shortcuts all the time.
That aside, though, no real complaints. The keys feel nice to the touch and are properly spaced and sized. The arrow keys are also full-size, even if cramped between the other keys.
As far as the typing experience goes, this is a bit of shallower implementation and the actuations are on the chatter side, but you’re going to get along well with this keyboard, especially if you’re already used to this kind of short-stroke implementations available on most ultraportables.
This keyboard is also backlit, with bright and uniform white LEDs. The edges of the keycaps are translucent, and that allows for some light to bleed out from underneath the keycaps.
By default, the illumination times out very quickly, in just a few seconds, but it can be easily reactivated with a swipe over the clickpad. On top of that, I’ll also add that MSI implemented a couple of indicators for Casp-Lock, mute, microphone, and Num-Lock on this layout.
The clickpad is still glass and wide, but at the same time short, as MSI positions the keyboard vertically centered on the chassis and that leaves for a rather small arm-rest on this compact design. I’ve seen this kind of touchpad on MSI laptops before, and it works fine with daily use and gestures and taps. It doesn’t rattle with taps either, and the physical clicks in the corners are well designed.
Palm rejection could be an issue for those of you with larger hands, as the right palm touches the surface during use – still, I didn’t have any problems with it during my time with the laptop.
For the biometrics, there’s IR Hello support baked into the camera on this Prestige 15, as well as a dedicated finger-sensor. This is one of those designs that put the finger-sensor in the touchpad, and that means a blind-spot is created if you end up swiping over the sensor during every use. Still, as this sensor is placed at the top-left corner, I rarely got to swipe over it.
There’s a 15-6-inch 16:9 matte display on this series, with a choice of either an FHD or a 4K-UHD panel. Most configurations ship with the FHD panel, and it’s the one we have here on this sample as well.
This panel is acceptable for everyday use, but not anything to brag about by today’s standards. It’s only a little over 300 nits of max-brightness, so not an option for outdoor use or brighter office spaces, and it’s also sub-100% sRGB color coverage. Blacks, contrast, and viewing angles are fine, though.
Here’s what we got in our tests, with an X-Rite i1 Display Pro sensor:
- Panel HardwareID: CHI Mei CMN152D (N156HCE-EN1);
- Coverage: 95.9% sRGB, 66.3% AdobeRGB, 68.2% DCI-P3;
- Measured gamma: 2.13;
- Max brightness in the middle of the screen: 316.42 cd/m2 on power;
- Min brightness in the middle of the screen: 15.26 cd/m2 on power;
- Contrast at max brightness: 1173:1;
- White point: 7000 K;
- Black on max brightness: 0.27 cd/m2;
- PWM: No.
You’ll want to calibrate this to fix the Gamma imbalances and skewed White Point. Once calibrated, this ends-up uniform in our tests and didn’t show any noticeable light bleeding around the edges.
I’ll also add that this is a 60 Hz display with slow response times, so not made for gaming.
All in all, I feel like MSI should offer a screen on this lineup in 2022. This Chi Mei panel used to be competitive a few years ago, but now it’s no longer properly suited for a premium wannabe notebook in the 1200-1700 USD/EUR segment. In comparison, other brands give you sharper and richer OLED panels in this class, or at least brighter IPS options.
MSI also offers an UHD-4K panel for this series, with 500 nits of brightness and wide-gamut color coverage. That’s a much nicer screen option, but also expensive and only available on the highest-specced versions of the laptop, which are not as competitive as most other configurations.
Hardware and performance
Our test model is a mid-specced variation of the MSI Prestige 15, built on an Intel Core i7-1280P processor with Iris Xe graphics and an Nvidia RTX 3050 35-40W dGPU, 16 GB of LPDDR4x memory, and 1 TB of fast gen4 SSD storage.
What we have here is a retail model sent over by MSI for this review. We tested it a few months after this was launched, with the mature software available as of late August 2022 (BIOS E16s8IMS.101, MSI Center 184.108.40.206 app, Nvidia Studio Driver 512.96). Some aspects might still change with future software updates.
Specs-wise, this is built on an Intel Alder Lake P28 hardware platform, with the high-end Core i7-1280P processor on our configuration. This is a hybrid design with 6 Performance Cores and 8 Efficiency Cores, and is allowed to run at high sustained powers for this kind of ultraportable design.
In fact, when supplied with enough power, the i7-1280P is pretty much identical in CPU capabilities to an i7-12700H Core H processor, running at marginally higher clocks. It is a higher-tier bin, though, and thus more expensive.
For the GPU, this generation of the Prestige 15 comes with RTX 3050 or 3050Ti chips, with a TGP of 35W and the ability to run at up to 40W with Dynamic Boost. Our model is the mid-tier RTX 3050 40W. Configuration without a dGPU are also available, which rely solely on the Iris Xe integrated graphics.
The memory is soldered on this design and can be specced up to 32 GB. MSI didn’t upgrade to LPPDR5, instead still implement LPDDR4x-4266 memory on this series, like on the previous-gen Tiger Lake models.
For storage, there are 2x M.2 2280 PCIe slots inside. One of them is gen4 capable, and the other is only gen3. Our unit shipped with a fast Samsung PM9A1 drive, so no complaints here.
The components can be easily accessed by removing the laptop’s underbelly, which is held in place by only a few screws. The SSDs and WiFi modules are upgradable, while everything else is soldered on.
As far as the software goes, there are a couple of MSI apps preinstalled by default. I’d recommend reinstalling a fresh copy of Windows and only installing MSI Center in order to get access to auto-updates and the different power modes. The power modes are High Performance, Balanced, Silent, and Super Battery, and they’re self-explanatory. Balanced is a multi-purpose everyday profile. High Performance is meant for demanding loads and offers extra CPU and GPU power, as well as allows the fans to spin a little faster and noisier.
The laptop feels snappy with daily multitasking, video streaming, text-editing, and the likes, where the fast processor and storage show their strengths. It also tends to keep silent while on battery on Balanced mode, so you don’t necessarily have to go with the Silent profile.
Performance and benchmarks
On to more demanding tasks, we start by testing the CPU’s performance by running the Cinebench R15 benchmark for 15+ times in a loop, with 2-3 seconds delay between each run.
On the High-Performance mode, the Core i7 processor kick in at 64W (PL2) and quickly drops and stabilizes at 45W (PL1 setting), with temperatures of ~85-88 degrees Celsius, and fans at around 42 dB. These are powerful settings for a P28 processor, and they show off in the excellent Cinebench scores, pretty much on par with lower-power implementations of the i7-12700H processor available in other portable designs.
Pushing up the back of the laptop in order to improve airflow into the fans can help shed a few more degrees of the CPU, but it’s not required, as the processor is never thermally limited here.
Opting for the Balanced profile switches to a 45W PL2, 35W PL1 profile, with quieter fans and lower temperatures once the CPU stabilizes around 35W. The performance drops by 15-20% compared to the previous mode.
The laptop also runs at ~30 W of power when unplugged, on the High-Performance mode, which is an OK setting for battery use.
All these findings are detailed in the chart and logs published down below.
To put these in perspective, here’s how this i7-1280P implementation fares against other i7/i9 or AMD thin-and-light designs.
It sure is competitive against pretty much every other ultrabook laptop, both Intel or AMD, and comes within reach or even outmatches higher-tier portable laptops with Core H processors, such as the Blade 15 or the XPS 15.
Of course, there are also other compact designs that will outperform this Prestige, but for a Core P platform, this is surely no slouch in multi-threaded CPU loads. Plus, those are generally smaller, thicker, or heavier laptops, even the most portable models such as the Zephyrus G14 or the Zephyrus G15.
We then went ahead and further verified our findings with the more taxing Cinebench R23 loop test and in Blender, confirming our above findings.
We then ran the 3DMark CPU profile test, on High-Performance mode. Once more, these are higher scores than an i7-12700H returns on something like an XPS 15, but not on par with the i7-12800H in the Blade 15.
Finally, we ran our combined CPU+GPU stress tests on this notebook, on the High-Performance profile. 3DMark stress runs the same test for 20 times in a loop and looks for performance variation and degradation over time, and the Prestige 15 managed to pass the test just fine, which sugegsts the performance remains solid even when the heat builds up over time. However, that changes a little in longer sustained work/gaming sessions, as you’ll see further down.
Next, here are some benchmark results. We ran the entire suite of tests and benchmarks on the High Performance profile with the laptop sitting on the desk, at FHD resolutions. Here’s what we got.
- 3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 10367 (Graphics – 11300, Physics – 23946, Combined – 4199);
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 4622 (Graphics – 4190, CPU – 11131);
- Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Extreme: 2470;
- Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Medium: 8008;
- Handbrake 1.3.3 (4K to 1080p encode): 54.71 average fps;
- PassMark 10: Rating: 5295 (CPU: 27868, 3D Graphics: 9520, Memory: 2894, Disk Mark: 48404);
- PCMark 10: 6238 (Essentials – 9576, Productivity – 8737, Digital Content Creation – 7876);
- GeekBench 5.4.3 64-bit: Single-Core: 1758, Multi-core: 12016;
- CineBench R15 (best run): CPU 2351 cb, CPU Single Core 247 cb;
- CineBench R20 (best run): CPU 5673 cb, CPU Single Core 681 cb;
- CineBench R23: CPU 14973 cb (best single run), CPU 13271 cb (10 min run), CPU Single Core 1727 cb;
- x265 HD Benchmark 64-bit: 31.31 fps.
And here are some workstation benchmarks, on the same profile:
- Blender 3.01 – BMW scene – CPU Compute: 3m 03s (Turbo);
- Blender 3.01 – BMW scene – GPU Compute: 50s (CUDA), 24s (Optix);
- Blender 3.01 – Classroom scene – CPU Compute: 7m 05s (Turbo);
- Blender 3.01 – Classroom scene – GPU Compute: 1m 44s (CUDA), 54s (Optix);
- Pugetbench – DaVinci Resolve: 827;
- Pugetbench – Adobe After Effects: crashed;
- Pugetbench – Adobe Photoshop: 928;
- Pugetbench – Adobe Premiere: 715;
- SPECviewperf 2020 – 3DSMax: 50.12 (Turbo);
- SPECviewperf 2020 – Catia: 30.42 (Turbo);
- SPECviewperf 2020 – Creo: 65.03 (Turbo);
- SPECviewperf 2020 – Energy: 9.48 (Turbo);
- SPECviewperf 2020 – Maya: 182.83 (Turbo);
- SPECviewperf 2020 – Medical: 17.25 (Turbo);
- SPECviewperf 2020 – SNX: 12.05 (Turbo);
- SPECviewperf 2020 – SW: 109.60 (Turbo).
- V-Ray Benchmark: CPU – 9661 vsamples, GPU CUDA – 462 vpaths, GPU RTX – 591;
Let’s discuss these results.
Once more, we’ll refer to the XPS 15 (i7-12700H + RTX 3050Ti) previously tested. This Prestige configuration outscores it by around 5-8% in single-core performance and by 10-25% in multi-threaded performance. That’s impressive.
The Intel platform allows it to stay competitive even against known portable power laptops such as the ROG Zephyrus G15 or Flow X16, built on AMD Ryzen 9 hardware. Of course, sustained CPU performance is slightly better on those, but only by about 10-15%, despite the fact that they allow for higher platform powers.
On the GPU side, there’s only so much you can expect from a low-power RTX 3050, even if this performs within the platform’s capabilities in most loads and matches other portable designs such as the well-cooled Flow Z13 or the popular XPS 15. Thermals are a slight concern with sustained combined demanding loads, though. We’ll touch on this matter in the next parts of this review.
The Prestige 15 is by no means primarily made for gaming and even runs on Studio Edition drivers, but considering the versatility of this series, I’d still expect some of you to run games on it from time to time.
Hence, we ran a couple of DX11, DX12, and Vulkan titles on the High Performance mode on this Core i7 + 3050 configuration, at FHD resolution, with Ultra and Medium graphics settings.
For starters, here’s what we got on Ultra settings.
||MSI Prestige 15, on desk
i7-1280P + 3050 35-40W
|Dota 2 (DX 11, Best Looking Preset)
||106 fps (64 fps – 1% low)
|Far Cry 5 (DX 11, Ultra Preset, SMAA)
||63 fps (54 fps – 1% low)
|Far Cry 6 (DX 12, Ultra Preset, TAA)
||46 fps (38 fps – 1% low)
|Red Dead Redemption 2 (DX 12, Ultra Optimized, TAA)
||41 fps (37 fps – 1% low)
|Shadow of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Highest Preset, TAA)
||52 fps (42 fps – 1% low)
|The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (DX 11, Ultra Preset, Hairworks On 4)
||56 fps (34 fps – 1% low)
- Battlefield V, The Witcher 3 – recorded with Fraps/in-game FPS counter in campaign mode;
- Far Cry 5, Middle Earth, Strange Brigade, Red Dead Redemption 2, Tomb Raider games – recorded with the included Benchmark utilities;
- Red Dead Redemption 2 Optimized profile based on these settings.
Most games run alright on this configuration at FHD resolution, but for recent AAA titles, you’ll have to cut on the details.
Here’s what we got on Medium settings at FHD resolution on the same High-Performance profile. I also added a couple of similarly-specced alternatives tested recently, for comparison.
||MSI Prestige 15 –
Core i7 + 3050 35+W
|XPS 15 9520 –
Core i7 + 3050Ti 35+W
|XPS 15 9510 –
Core i7 + 3050 35+W
|ZenBook Pro Duo –
Core i7 + 3050Ti 35+W
|ROG Flow X13 –
Ryzen 9 + 3050Ti 35+W
|ROG Flow Z13 –
Core i9 + 3050Ti 35+W
(Vulkan, Medium Preset, no DLSS)
|110 fps (77 fps – 1% low)
||108 fps (78 fps – 1% low)
||118 fps (79 fps – 1% low)
||107 fps (82 fps – 1% low)
||126 fps (89 fps – 1% low)
|Far Cry 5
(DX 11, Normal Preset, TAA)
|76 fps (59 fps – 1% low)
||76 fps (56 fps – 1% low)
||72 fps (54 fps – 1% low)
||72 fps (59 fps – 1% low)
||74 fps (57 fps – 1% low)
||72 fps (48 fps – 1% low)
|Red Dead Redemption 2
(DX 12, Balanced – first option)
|51 fps (38 fps – 1% low)
||52 fps (37 fps – 1% low)
||50 fps (34 fps – 1% low)
||47 fps (35 fps – 1% low)
||48 fps (32 fps – 1% low)
||46 fps (30 fps – 1% low)
|Shadow of Tomb Raider
(DX 12, Medium Preset, TAA)
|66 fps (48 fps – 1% low)
||59 fps (36 fps – 1% low)
||52 fps (26 fps – 1% low)
||68 fps (56 fps – 1% low)
||69 fps (48 fps – 1% low)
||68 fps (45 fps – 1% low)
|The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
(DX 11, Medium Preset, Hairworks Low)
|97 fps (42 fps – 1% low)
||108 fps (39 fps – 1% low)
||92 fps (59 fps – 1% low)
||105 fps (59 fps – 1% low)
||102 fps (78 fps – 1% low)
||98 fps (59 fps – 1% low)
Despite running on an RTX 3050, this Prestige 15 is competitive against all the other 3050Ti reviewed options at FHD/Medium settings. On top of that, opting for the 3050Ti variant of the Prestige will allow a further slight boost in framerates, but not by much, as both the 3050 and 3050Ti are max-q 35-40W dGPU variants in this product.
With these out of the way, let’s go through some of the performance logs on each profile.
On the High Performance mode, the hardware runs at about 60W of combined CPU+GPU power. Up to 40W are allocated to the GPU in all the titles that were able to scale well with Dynamic Boost, and the reminding ~20W went to the CPU. However, at FHD resolution most games keep the CPU around the 25-27W mark, and thus only 30-35W end up allocated to the GPU.
As far as the temperatures go, both the CPU and GPU run hot in this laptop, especially as long as you’re keeping it flat on the desk. We’re looking at 95+ on the CPU at 85+ on the GPU, with even some GPU throttling after 15+ minutes of gameplay, when the heat builds up. At the same time, the fans spin quietly at about 42 dBA during this time.
Bumping the back of the laptop off the desk in order to improve the airflow into the fans helps lower the GPU temperatures by 5-8 degrees, allowing for the 3050 to end up at sub-80s C in most titles. However, the CPU still runs hotly here, at 95 and even 100 C.
You can also consider running games on the Balanced profile, with a toll in performance and even quieter fans. However, CPU and GPU temperatures are even higher in this case, so I wouldn’t recommend it.
There’s no easy way to tame down the CPU in this design unless you’re willing to try to manually power-limit it with Throtlestop. I haven’t tried it, and I’m not sure if that would work with the 12th-gen Alder Lake platform, since Intel limited 3rd party voltage/power access more on more in recent years.
In conclusion, I wouldn’t get this laptop for gaming or any serious work that stresses both the CPU and the GPU at the same time. This performs well, but the issue is the high internal temperatures that might spell trouble long-term. Still, if you do decide to run those sorts of tasks, I recommend using at least a raiser stand to facilitate airflow into the fans, or even better, an active cooling pad that could help steer the CPU temps lower.
Noise, Heat, Connectivity, speakers, and others
MSI went with a peculiar thermal design on this Prestige 15, by opting for a smaller radiator and fan on the CPU side.
This is where the 2022 Prestige 15 shows that it’s based on an older design. The cooling module on this generation is an update of the cooling module used on past Prestige 15 models, but even with the added heatpipes, it’s not properly suited for the hardware in this generation. MSI are driving the Core P processor at fairly high power for a thin-and-light chassis in sustained crossloads, the kind that thicker laptops with better cooling normally apply to Core H processors in these kinds of tasks, and that measly fan and small radiator on the CPU side cannot properly cope with that kind of power. Thus, the CPU ends up at 90++ degrees C in games and taxing loads.
Repasting the CPU might help here, as well as somehow limiting the allocated power in demanding loads, but I’m not sure that’s possible in any way. At this point, I can’t tell whether the same kind of power is applied to the i5-1240P and i7-1260P configurations of this laptop or whether those processors are able to run at lower power and thus, reduced heat. This is something to look for in other reviews of the Prestige 15 series.
As far as noise levels go, while running games on High Performance, I measured fan levels of 42 dBA with the laptop on the desk and 43-44 dBA with the back raised up, both at head level.
With everyday use, on the other hand, the Prestige 15 keeps very quiet, with the fans resting mostly idle with casual use, and only occasionally kicking on with multitasking when the laptop is plugged in. I’ll also add that I haven’t experienced coil whine or electronic noises on this unit.
As for the external temperatures, the chassis barely goes over 30 degrees celsius with daily use, even with the mostly passive cooling. The area around the right exhaust will heat up if you’re also running tasks that will wakr-up the GPU, as shows below, and that will take some time to cool off. With casual use, though, the dGPU should stay quiet and that hotspot around the right radiator shouldn’t be as noticeable.
*Daily Use – Silent Mode – streaming Netflix in EDGE for 30 minutes, fans at 0-30 dB
With demanding activities and games, the keyboard and armrest areas stay within comfortable limits on the High-Performance mode, with the middle of the keyboard deck hitting mid-40s.
However, the hotspots are once more around the exhausts and on the screen’s bottom bezel, which hit mid to high 50s C. The panel itself hits temperatures in the high-40s C in the areas close to the exhausts, especially on the right side of the laptop, which is borderline worrisome for long-term LCD reliability, especially on this sort of matte LCD implementation without a layer of protective glass on top.
As explained in the previous section, bumping the back of the laptop off the table helps lower the internal temperatures by a significant amount, and positively impacts the external temperatures as well. Thus, if you plan on running games on this laptop, I recommend using a raiser stand or some sort of active cooling pad to keep this cool.
*Gaming – High Performance mode, on desk – playing Witcher 3 for 30 minutes, fans at 42-43 dB
*Gaming – High Performance mode, raised up – playing Witcher 3 for 30 minutes, fans at 43-44 dB
For connectivity, there’s WiFi 6E with Bluetooth 5.2 through an Intel AX211 module on this laptop. It performed well with our setup, but the speeds dropped quickly when stepping away from the router, so you’d better keep this within your router’s proximity for best performance.
The audio quality isn’t much on the Prestige 15. A set of stereo speakers fire through cus on the underside, so make sure not to muffle them when using this on the lap. They’re averagely loud, at about 75-76 dB max, and sound as you’d expect from regular ultrabook speakers. They’re fine for some movies and music, and don’t distort or rattle at higher volumes, just don’t expect them to sound great by any means.
I’ll also mention that there’s an HD camera placed at the top of the screen, with IR, and flanked by microphones. These mics are OK for calls, but the camera quality is mediocre even in good light, and with a narrow viewing angle.
There’s an 82 Wh battery inside this Prestige 15, a fair capacity for a laptop of this size.
Here’s what we got in terms of battery life, with the screen’s brightness set at around 120 nits (~60 brightness).
- 9 W (~8-9 h of use) – text editing in Google Drive, Silent mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 9 W (~8-9 h of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Edge, Silent mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 8.5 W (~9 h of use) – Netflix fullscreen in Edge, Silent mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 16 W (~5-6 h of use) – browsing in Edge, Balanced mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON.
This implementation proved more efficient than most other Alder Lake P28 platforms we’ve tested so far.
The configuration ships with a compact 100W charger which proved to be adequately sized for this hardware. It plugs in via USB-C, in the ports on the left side of the laptop. It’s a dual-piece design with averagely-sized cables. A full charge takes over 2 hours, with quick charging for the first part.
Price and availability- MSI Prestige 15
The Prestige 15 is widely available all around the world at the time of this article, late-August 2022.
The base model with a Core i5-1240P CPU, RTX 3050 graphics, 16 GB of RAM, a 512 GB SSD, can be found at $1199-$1299 in the US, and around 1300 EUR here in Europe. That’s competitive for what you’re getting.
Higher-tier options are also available, with the top model going up to the i7-1280P, RTX 3050Ti, 32 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, and a wide-gamut UHD 4K display for around $2000, or 2000 EUR here in Europe. This is not bad either, considering what you’re getting in this sort of chassis.
For me, the best value is that base-level model at the lower price point. You’re not getting much extra performance upgrading to the i7-1260P or the RTX 3050Ti specs. The 1280P is faster and worth paying a little extra, and that top-specced model with the UHD wide-gamut display is worth considering as well, although if you need those sorts of specs you might want to steer towards a better-cooled design instead.
Follow this link for more details and the latest configurations available in your area.
Final thoughts- MSI Prestige 15
If you’re after a lightweight full-size-screen laptop capable of solid everyday performance and good runtimes, plus the ability to handle demanding work/school loads and casual games from time to time, the 2022 generation of the MSI Prestige 15 is an option to consider.
As mentioned earlier, my go-to model is the i5 + 3050 configuration, which I consider the better balanced and fair-priced of all the other available options. This is the one I’m rating at 4.25 out of 5, while the other specs aren’t as competitive imo in this chassis.
Even for this i5+3050 variant, the potential deal-breaker is the IPS screen, which is fine, but not as nice as what you can get with other laptops. My other complaint is with the overall thermal design, which blows hot air into the screen and cannot properly cool the internal components in sustained loads, especially on the CPU side and when using the laptop on a flat desk. Up to you if these are acceptable drawbacks or not.
As far as the competition goes, there are very few other 15-inch thin-and-light laptops with similar specs out there. The VivoBook Pro 15 comes to mind as the closest alternative, similar in capabilities and size, but with better OLED screens and a higher starting price – these are also available in either Intel or AMD options, which might matter to some of you. The HP Envy 15 is another, but not as widely available, and the Dell XPS 15 is another as well, but more expensive if you’re after the latest 2022 generation. The 2021 XPS 15 9510, on the other hand, is available on sale these days.
The reason is that most manufacturers are steering their portable premium designs towards 16-inch designs, including MSI with their Prestige 16. Most of those are expensive, though, in comparison to the base-tier Prestige 15 model. Nonetheless, something like a Prestige 16 or an Envy 16, or a VivoBook Pro 16X should also be on your list, especially if you plan to run demanding loads and games on your laptop more often than none.
This wraps up our review of the 2022 MSI Prestige 15 A12U series, and I’d love to hear your thoughts, questions, and feedback down below. Would you get this over other portable full-screen-size models?
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