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Laptops

MSI's Prestige laptop is more MacBook than gaming beast

The new Prestige laptop is slim and sexy and totally different from the gaming behemoths MSI is known for.

Aloysius Low/CNET

MSI is mostly known for making big, hugely powerful gaming laptops. The Taiwanese company switched things up at Computex 2018 in Taipei, where it unveiled the Prestige PS42 laptop. A thin, light and stylish device, it's trying to compete more with Apple than Alienware. 

The Prestige has a 14-inch screen and can be configured with an 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor. But its most important specs may be its dimensions. It's just 15.9mm thick and 1.19kg heavy (0.62 inches, 2.6 pounds), which is lighter and thinner than Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro ($1,913 at Amazon).

I've held it in my hands, and it was an impressively slight machine. It comes in a brush aluminium silver design that's way sexier than it sounds, and MSI's insignia looks more regal on the back of the Prestige than it does on a hulking 17-inch gaming laptop. Meanwhile, the webcam rests below the screen, not atop, allowing for a minimum-bezel display similar to the one we see in Dell's XPS line. This is a beautiful laptop. 

It's not without any graphical grunt, as there's an Nvidia GeForce MX150 card inside. That's not enough to play a new blockbuster game, but it's more powerful than the integrated Intel graphics you get with most laptops of this size. I took a brief moment to play around with the keyboard, and it felt comfortable to type on -- another pitfall of such thin laptops. 

MSI isn't the first gaming company to make this move, as Razer in 2016 launched the Blade Stealth. That was also a slim and sleek Windows laptop, and is a range that continues to cough up the goods. We'll have a more conclusive take on the promising Prestige in the third quarter of the year, which is when MSI says it'll hit store shelves. No word was given on pricing. 

Key specs

  • 8th-generation Intel i7 processor
  • Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB graphics
  • 14-inch, 1,920x1,080-pixel IPS display
  • 15.9mm, 1.19kg (0.65 inches, 2.6 pounds)
  • Windows Hello fingerprint scanner 
  • Under-the-display webcam
  • MSI claims 10 hours of productivity battery life

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