Even though the border between the Prestige and the Modern series of MSI is as thin as paper, the manufacturer is giving their best to designate the former as elite. Something like a status symbol that will make other people around you know that you are not just the Average Joe.

How do they plan to achieve that, however? Well, for starters, their new Prestige 14 (A11Sx), comes in some very interesting configurations. First, let’s start by saying that it comes with the Tiger Lake processors from Intel. This means you should not only expect serious performance but also genuinely good integrated graphics. But wait, some people won’t be satisfied with that. They want a GPU with dedicated video memory. And as we know, the MX350 won’t cut it, because it is just barely more capable than the Iris Xe Graphics G7.

In this case, don’t worry, because MSI has you covered. This 14-incher can be equipped with up to the GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q. Ultimately, this would have been a lot bigger deal than it is now if it wasn’t for ASUS, which were able to cram a Max-Q version of the RTX 2060 in their 14-inch Zephyrus G14 last year.

Nevertheless, these laptops have different target groups. By the way, we almost forgot, that the Prestige 14 actually has a 4K IPS option, if you are crazy enough to hinder your battery performance with that.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/msi-prestige-14-a11sx/

Contents


Specs Sheet

MSI Prestige 14 (A11Sx) – Specs


M.2 Slot


1x 2280 PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4


OS


Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro


Dimensions


319 x 219 x 15.9 mm (12.56″ x 8.62″ x 0.63″)


Body material


Plastic / Polycarbonate, Aluminum

Ports and connectivity

  • 1x USB Type-A 2.0
  • 2x USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3, Power Delivery (PD), DisplayPort
  • Card reader MicroSD
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ax
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • Audio jack 3.5 Combo Jack

Features

  • Fingerprint reader
  • Web camera HD
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Speakers 2x 2W, Nahimic 3
  • Optical drive

What’s in the box?

So, we received the laptop in a blank cardboard box. Inside of it, there are two other packages, containing the 90W USB Type-C power brick, and the laptop, itself. Also, you get the mandatory paper manuals, and that’s pretty much it.

Design and construction

Since we mentioned the hardware in the intro, you will be more impressed to hear that the Prestige 14 (A11Sx) actually weighs only 1.29 kg. We really hope there are enough cooling elements inside. Also, its profile stands at 15.9mm, which makes it one of the more portable 14-inchers out there. According to MSI, this laptop’s chassis is made out of aluminum, and we can confirm that the rigidity is on point. Well, that’s only regarding the body, as the lid is twisting like Elvis.

In order to provide the cooling fan with enough cool air, this notebook’s lid acts as a lever, lifting the backside of the base. Not only that but the lid, itself opens with a single hand. As for the display, it has an anti-glare coat, and around it, you can see some pretty thin bezels. Also, the top one houses the HD camera and the IR face recognition scanner, which enables Windows Hello features.

Next, we have the keyboard. It has pretty large keycaps, considering the available space on the deck. This includes large Arrow keys, which is also good to see. When it comes to the typing experience, we are satisfied by the key travel, but the feedback feels a bit soft. I mean, it is clicky, but there is almost no audible response. Thankfully, there is a backlight with three brightness settings. However, the big YES on this notebook comes just below the keyboard.

Yep, the touchpad on this thing is huge. Its shape is a bit unorthodox, but it’s easy to get used to. More importantly, its surface is made out of glass, which results in an astonishing gliding. Some of its area, though, is taken by the fingerprint reader. Unfortunately, the space above and on the left of the fingerprint reader is unusable.

Looking at the bottom panel, we find a ventilation grill that is reminiscent of an equalizer. With that said, it is quite big, and the exhaust happens from the back of the base, which means that the hot air darted towards the bottom right portion of the display. As for the speakers – they are firing downwards.

Ports

Here, the I/O is weird. On one hand – there are two Thunderbolt 4 connectors located on the left, both of which can be used for charging, and everything the Thunderbolt technology offers. And on the other, you only get an audio jack, a MicroSD card reader, and a USB Type-A 2.0 port. This means that your only native “full-sized” USB port is running at pre-war speeds. Outrageous.

Display quality

MSI Prestige 14 (A11Sx)’s display has a Full HD IPS panel, model number BOE HV140FHM-N61 (BOE06DF). Its diagonal is 14″ (35.56 cm), and the resolution – 1920 х 1080. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:9, the pixel density – 157 ppi, their pitch – 0.161 x 0.161 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 56 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).

It has comfortable viewing angles. We have provided images at 45 degrees to evaluate quality.

The maximum measured brightness is 286 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 277 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 6%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 7600K (average) – colder than the 6500K optimum for sRGB.

In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 46% Brightness (White level = 141 cd/m2, Black level = 0.13 cd/m2).
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is good – 1080:1.

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.

Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people on HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.

Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.

The yellow dotted line shows MSI Prestige 14 (A11Sx)’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers 97% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.

Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.

We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you can compare the scores of MSI Prestige 14 (A11Sx) with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).

The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.

The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale, and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.

Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 34 ms.

Health impact – PWM / Blue Light

PWM (Screen flickering)

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.

MSI Prestige 14 (A11Sx)’s display doesn’t use PWM only at the maximum level of brightness. Below that, the flickers have a low-enough frequency to be uncomfortable.

Blue light emissions

Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.

Conclusions

MSI Prestige 14 (A11Sx)’s IPS panel has a Full HD resolution, decent contrast ratio, comfortable viewing angles, and covers 97% of the sRGB gamut. Unfortunately, it uses aggressive low-frequency PWM for every brightness level, except for the maximum. Thankfully, our Health-Guard profile fixes the issue. Another of our profiles – the Gaming and Web design one, helps with the color accuracy, bringing its dE to a standard-matching value of <2.0.

Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for MSI Prestige 14 (A11Sx) configurations with 14.0″ BOE HV140FHM-N61 (BOE06DF) (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS.

*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]

Read more about the profiles HERE.

In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia’s products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.

Office Work - screen profile

Office Work

Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.

Design and Gaming - screen profile

Design and Gaming

This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.

Health-Guard - screen profile

Health-Guard

Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.

All

Sound

MSI Prestige 14 (A11Sx)’s speakers produce a relatively quiet sound with average quality. Moreover, there are deviations throughout the entire frequency spectrum.

Drivers

In addition to the drivers found on a partition on the SSD, you can download all of the latest ones plus the needed utilities from here: https://www.msi.com/Business-Productivity/support/Prestige-14-A11X

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. This notebook’s 52Wh battery lasts for 6 hours and 13 minutes of Web browsing and 5 hours and 35 minutes of video playback.

CPU options

As of yet, the laptop comes with Core i5-1135G7, Core i7-1165G7, and Core i7-1185G7.


MSI Prestige 14 (A11Sx) CPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the CPUs that can be found in the MSI Prestige 14 (A11Sx) models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which MSI Prestige 14 (A11Sx) model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different CPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / CPU.


GPU options

As for the graphics, you can go for the integrated Iris Xe Graphics G7, which has 80EU for the Core i5 model, and 96EU for the Core i7 CPUs. Also, there are options coming with two dedicated GPUs – the GTX 1650 Max-Q, and the GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q.


MSI Prestige 14 (A11Sx) GPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the GPUs that can be found in the MSI Prestige 14 (A11Sx) models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which MSI Prestige 14 (A11Sx) model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different GPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / GPU.


Gaming tests

rise-of-the-tomb-raider

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

Intel Core i7-1185G7(15W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
MSI Prestige 14 (A11Sx) 3.80 GHz @ 94°C @ 53W 3.48 GHz @ 95°C @ 42W 3.22 GHz @ 91°C @ 35W
Lenovo Yoga 9i (14) 3.08 GHz @ 92°C @ 42W 3.14 GHz @ 96°C @ 34W 2.28 GHz @ 76°C @ 19W

Wow. This “ULV” processor actually can run at pretty high clock speeds. Of course, this is with MSI’s Extreme performance preset enabled. This explains the high temperatures as well. So, if you don’t need all of the performance, just use the Balanced mode, and you’ll be fine.

Real-life gaming

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min) GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)
MSI Prestige 14 (A11Sx) 1235 MHz @ 74°C 1148 MHz @ 74°C
Microsoft Surface Book 3 (13.5) 1480 MHz @ 66°C 1476 MHz @ 68°C
MSI Prestige 15 1408 MHz @ 70°C 1388 MHz @ 74°C
MSI GF63 10SCXR 1230 MHz @ 77°C 1250 MHz @ 78°C
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 1345 MHz @ 69°C 1343 MHz @ 72°C
ASUS ZenBook 15 UX534 1229 MHz @ 77°C 1221 MHz @ 78°C

Unfortunately, this laptop performs the worst of all devices we’ve tested with the GTX 1650 Max-Q. Well, it’s not a big surprise given the small form factor, but it only runs at 23-24W. Also, there seems to be a temperature limit of 74°C set here, and it reaches it pretty quickly.

Comfort during combined load

Not only was this laptop loud during combined loads but its temperatures exceeded 50°C on the keyboard.

Verdict

Today, we had the thinnest and lightest laptop that has a GTX 1650 Max-Q graphics card up to date. Or at least it is a first for us. The Prestige 14 (A11Sx) looks absolutely stunning, especially when it’s dressed in white. In order to accommodate the dedicated GPU, as well as the Core i7-1185G7, MSI decided to lift the backside of the base from the ground. This gives a lot more breathing space for the fan inside. Interestingly, the cooling solution is able to maintain a 35W power limit on this CPU, which is one of the highest out there, pretty much helping it perform significantly better than a Core i5-10300H.

However, this same cooling solution isn’t able to run cool the dedicated GPU adequately enough. As we know, the Max-Q version of the GTX 1650 works at 35W. And our unit got no more than 24W out of it. What is even worse, is that it throttles even after a couple of minutes in a game.

Obviously, this laptop is not a gamer-centric one, so we will let it get away with that… for now.

MSI Prestige 14 (A11Sx)’s IPS panel (BOE HV140FHM-N61) has a Full HD resolution, decent contrast ratio, comfortable viewing angles, and covers 97% of the sRGB gamut. Unfortunately, it uses aggressive low-frequency PWM for every brightness level, except for the maximum. Thankfully, our Health-Guard profile fixes the issue. Another of our profiles – the Gaming and Web design one, helps with the color accuracy, bringing its dE to a standard-matching value of <2.0.

Then comes the battery. We got a bit over 6 hours of Web browsing and around 5 hours and a half of video playback. This is weird because we used an energy-saving profile here. On the other hand, you have Wi-Fi 6 support and two Thunderbolt 4 connectors. And although you get a MicroSD card reader, there is not much more I/O to talk about, besides the slow USB Type-A 2.0 port.

A slight consolation may be the fact that you can configure the laptop with up to 32GB of memory… right? NO! Because it is soldered to the motherboard. In fact, the only thing you can upgrade is the storage, via a single M.2 PCIe x4 slot. And to do that, you must void your warranty by breaking the seal (in some countries).

Honestly, we were so excited about this laptop, and in fact, we still are. Some things, however, seem a bit rash. It is more than obvious that this laptop is aimed at a more pretentious target, so why not provide them with fewer things to complain about?

Pros

  • Two Thunderbolt 4 connectors and a MicroSD card reader
  • Very thin and light body
  • Its Full HD IPS panel has comfortable viewing angles and a good contrast ratio (BOE HV140FHM-N61)
  • Covers 97% of sRGB and our Gaming and Web design profile helps it reach an Average dE of <2.0 (BOE HV140FHM-N61)
  • Very high CPU performance

Cons

  • Very warm and loud during gameplay
  • Soldered memory
  • Quiet speakers
  • Uses aggressive PWM for brightness adjustment (our Health-Guard profile fixes the issue) (BOE HV140FHM-N61)
  • The only USB Type-A port runs at 2.0 speeds
  • Its cooling can’t keep up with the dedicated graphics

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/msi-prestige-14-a11sx/





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