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Highlights

MSI PS42 8RB Review




Last August 2018, MSI launched a trio of thin and light laptops. In this article, we’re taking a look one of the showcased laptops, the MSI Prestige PS42 8RB. This guy fits in the professional, productivity-workhorse category. Without further ado, here’s our take on it!

I was excited to review this laptop when the opportunity arose. For the longest time, when it came to laptops, I usually opt for MSI computers. Now, I’m not the biggest fanboy; that decision usually factors from me figuring out the best value for money I’m spending. And of all those times, I usually end up purchasing something from their gaming lineup, which is why I was curious to see how MSI’s business professional machine would favor with my use.

Design and Construction

For materials used, the chassis is made of aluminum with a brushed design, the housing of the hinge and back exhaust vents are made of plastic. Typical MSI design-language for the past few years now. It’s not one-finger openable, so it appears that the hinges inside are a bit stiff. And I’m not sure about you guys, but I always appreciate a laptop lid that opens with a finger. Not to mention that a stiff hinge could lead to some problems in the future depending on your use.

When you open the laptop, you see a keyboard without a number pad. It’s also worth mentioning that the lid can be opened up to a 180-degree angle if you care about that.

Returning to the keyboard, It’s a chiclet-style keyboard, which is fine. But I found that the keys press a bit shallow than I’m used to so they feel quite mushy, and they’re also quite wide. Although ultimately, I don’t think most of you will be too bothered by that, and it didn’t hinder me from using the computer at all.

Now for those 5.7mm ultra-thin bezels. I love it! I like thin bezels on a laptop; it just makes sense in terms of space. You do get quite a thick chin/bottom bezel though. I didn’t find it distracting; however, I would’ve liked if the webcam was still in the usual spot. On the PS42, we get a chin-cam that points up to your nose when using. I don’t know if it just wasn’t possible for this one, but I know for a fact that the GS65 has thin bezels AND with the webcam placed up top.

 

For ports, you get two USB A 3.1 ports, a USB Type C port, a full-sized SD Card reader, and a Kensington lock on the right side. While on the left side you get the AC charging port, a full-sized HDMI port, another Type C port, and a single 3.5mm audio jack for both mic and wired headphones.

It’s a bit disappointing that a Thunderbolt 3 port is missing, but then again, I like to think that the majority of people nowadays don’t use it. Having a full-sized SD Card reader is excellent, the problem is it uses a USB 2.0 input, which means if you use those SD Cards with reading and writing speeds higher than 20 MB/s, it doesn’t matter on this port, because you are capped, my friend.

The trackpad feels excellent; you get a fingerprint scanner on here. I do wish the fingerprint scanner was situated out of the trackpad or maybe hidden within the power button instead. In any case, the good thing is it’s very responsive and works just as it should. The trackpad also uses windows precision drivers, which I like very much. Overall the trackpad feels excellent to use.

Display and Media Consumption

For the screen itself, you’re getting an FHD IPS-Level anti-glare panel, and viewing angles on this thing are pretty standard. You get MSI’s True Color software on board, which I don’t use a lot. But it allows you to change your display’s color profile according to whatever purpose you’re using it. When it comes to media consumption on this laptop, it’s horrible. That’s mainly because of the speakers on this device, they’re bottom-firing, they don’t get loud, and the lows are just very poorly represented, it’s like they’re not there at all. But if you’re someone who uses headphones or earphones, then you should be fine. If not, better invest in Bluetooth speakers for when you want to consume media on this device.

Battery Life

For battery life, I performed a video loop test, and I got about 12 hours of continuous playback; looping a Full HD movie, on 50% brightness and sound, while on airplane mode and while using the “Balanced” power setting. When it comes to performing day-to-day tasks, the PS42 handles it like a breeze. It’s worth mentioning that I mainly used the machine only for writing and light-gaming.

 

OS, UI, and Apps

Our review unit of the MSI PS42 8RB ran on Windows 10 Home, which is standard. What gets me when it comes to MSI laptops, is the bloat. There’s just so much. You get Norton, Music Maker, Nahimic, a bunch of MAGIX software. Just get rid of it, do yourself a favor and purge your device clean of all these unnecessary apps.

Performance and Benchmarks

Under the hood, the MSI PS42 8RB is rocking an Intel Core i7-8550U 1.8GHz quad-core processor, NVIDIA MX 150 GPU, 8GB DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB NVMe SSD. Since this laptop is aimed at young professionals, I honestly believe that this spec is more than enough. Your day-to-day productivity tasks, such as working on documents, powerpoints, browsing the web, media consumption, and even light-gaming are nothing for this thin and light productivity rookie.

Here are the benchmark scores I got:

• CrystalDiskMark – 3285.4 MB/s (Sequential Read), 1925.4 MB/s (Sequential Write)
• Geekbench 4.3.3 – 4,664 (Single-Core), 11,354 (Multi-Core), 46,333 (OpenCL Compute MX150), 18,055 (OpenCL Compute Intel UHD 620)

For gaming, I played CS:GO and Dota 2. I ran into no issues at all while on medium to high settings. So if that’s all you’re into, you definitely should not have any troubles.

Conclusion

With the amount of time I had with the MSI Prestige PS42 8RB, I do believe that it’s a step in the right direction for MSI to target more business-focused and oriented consumers. My problem is, it isn’t perfect, and sure nothing’s perfect but it’s the little things, like the not so ideal build quality, and the lows lacking in the speaker department. The PS42 is priced at PHP 76,995, which is quite competitive but on the more pricey end of the spectrum. And well I think it was a really good try from MSI. But I don’t exactly believe that I, myself would buy this laptop just yet. Especially when there are cheaper, but still sleek business-focused options from the competitors.

MSI PS42 8RB specs:

  • 14-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS display
  • Intel Core i7-8550U 1.8GHz quad-core processor (Max turbo up to 4.0GHz) (PS42 8RD-210PH)
  • NVIDIA MX 150 GPU
  • Intel HD620
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • 512GB NVMe SSD (PS42 8RD-210PH)
  • 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
  • 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
  • 1x HDMI
  • 1x SD card reader
  • 1x Audio Combo
  • 1x DC-in
  • 1x Kensington lock
  • 322 x 222 x 15.9mm
  • 1.19kg

What we liked:

  • Premium design
  • Compact, thin, and lightweight
  • Snappy and responsive fingerprint unlock
  • Decent performance and battery life

What we didn’t:

  • Not one hand openable
  • Speaker quality
  • No touchscreen



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