Testing The Waters Of Tiger Lake

MSI could be very well-known for his or her gaming merchandise for the PC market, from motherboards, equipment, and proper as much as gaming laptops and desktops. The corporate was one of many first to focus virtually completely on their gaming lineup, and that focus has made them very profitable in that market. Within the laptop computer house, MSI’s gaming lineup are among the greatest techniques round, even when they do typically include a worth premium. However, whereas the gaming market has been robust even all through some PC gross sales slowdowns, MSI is once more dipping their toes in a wider market. The MSI Status collection of laptops abstain from the gaming nomenclature, design, and advertising. The Status collection targets a way more conventional Ultrabook purchaser, with a skinny, mild design, high quality supplies, and fewer RGB.

The MSI Status 14 Evo, because the identify suggests, is a 14-inch laptop computer which presents the trendy design touches of an aluminum chassis, with skinny show bezels, packing loads of pocket book right into a smaller footprint. The 16 mm thick design weighs in at simply 1.29 Kg, or 2.84 lbs, making it very transportable for a 14-inch system.

Powering the MSI Status 14 Evo is Intel’s newest Tiger Lake platform, and particularly, the Core i7-1185G7. The brand new eleventh technology Core platform is Intel’s second gen constructed on the ten nm course of dubbed Superfin, and brings not solely an up to date CPU microarchitecture, but in addition is the primary delivery SoC to characteristic Intel’s newest Xe graphics platform. The brand new Willow Cove microarchitecture brings some IPC enhancements over Sunny Cove discovered within the tenth gen Ice Lake SoC, however being primarily based on an up to date 10 nm course of additionally permits for a lot greater CPU frequencies, which now scale to 4.8 GHz peak, in comparison with simply 3.9 GHz peak a 12 months in the past. Ian did a deep dive on the brand new Tiger Lake platform primarily based on an Intel reference design laptop computer, so be sure you test into that for a extra complete evaluation on the SoC itself.

Intel’s Evo platform is a correct branding of what was previously referred to as Mission Athena, and MSI has labored with Intel to correctly implement the Evo necessities on the Status 14. The Evo platform requires sure responsiveness ranges, instantaneous wake assist, quick charging of no less than 4 hours from half-hour of charging, Intel’s Wi-Fi 6 community adapter, Thunderbolt 4, and no less than 9 hours of battery life. The reasoning for Evo is that clients who buy Evo branded laptops will get a minimal expertise degree, which is at all times objective.

MSI Status 14 Evo A11M Specs
  As Examined: i7-1185G7 / 16GB / 512GB
CPU Intel Core i7-1185G7
4C/8T Willow Cove
1.2-4.8 GHz
10nm SuperFin 12-28W
GPU Intel Iris Xe
1.35GHz Peak
96 Execution Models
Show 14-inch 1920×1080 IPS
16:9 side ratio
sRGB Gamut
Matte coating / No Contact
RAM 16 GB LPDDR4X-4267
Storage PCIe 4.0 NVMe
Networking Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6
Audio 2W x 2 Stero audio system
Battery 52 Wh Battery
65-Watt Kind-C AC Adapter
Proper Aspect USB 2.0 Kind-A
Micro SD slot
Headset jack
Left Aspect 2 x Thunderbolt 4
Dimensions 318 x 215 x 16 mm
12.55 x 8.46 x 0.63 inches
Weight 1.29 Kg / 2.84 lbs
Cameras 720p + IR
Pricing Beginning at $1149 USD


MSI has come via on all the Evo necessities, with not solely the newest gen Core i7, however a number of Thunderbolt 4 ports, instantaneous wake, and naturally the Intel Wi-Fi 6 adapter which has been simply the very best wi-fi NIC on the PC because it was launched. MSI has additionally included PCIe 4 storage, due to the Phison PS5016-E16 primarily based SSD, with MSI providing 512 GB and 1 TB selections. MSI can even offer a mannequin with an NVIDIA GTX 1650 Max-Q dGPU should you want extra GPU grunt.

MSI has been one of many strongest gamers within the gaming laptop computer marketplace for a while, however with the Status collection, they’re up in opposition to some stiff competitors within the Ultrabook market. To succeed, MSI might want to mix type and efficiency. It’s a goal they’ve typically achieved with their gaming lineup, so let’s dig in and see how the MSI Status 14 Evo can deal with itself in a really crowded market.


MSI’s Status 14 Evo eschews the gaming styling of a lot of the MSI laptop computer model, and to that impact, MSI has changed their well-known dragon emblem with a stylized model of MSI. The result’s an edgy look to the brand, however due to the refined coloring, it does nicely to mix in on first look. MSI is providing the Status 14 Evo in each a Pure White and Carbon Grey coloration scheme, with the evaluation unit being the latter. The Pure White does look nice in pictures, though the white show bezels do considerably amplify their presence. In a probable purposeful try, the Carbon Grey appears to be like fairly much like most different Ultrabooks available on the market. Subtlety is clearly one of many design cues.

Opening the laptop computer up brings about probably the most apparent design components. MSI has chosen to implement a show hinge which lifts the rear of the laptop computer up 5° most. They ostensibly recommend that is for an improved typing expertise, however as with different laptops that do that, the ergonomics of a ahead tilted keyboard will not be nice. Some folks could desire a greater view of the keyboard, however in your wrists, this isn’t the very best design. What it does doubtless assistance is cooling although, as it could guarantee the underside of the laptop computer isn’t hard-pressed into something to dam airflow. And, MSI has achieved job on stability when open, not like another laptops that additionally use a tilt-hinge. The rubber toes on the show do a pleasant job holding the laptop computer in place.

MSI advertises the Status 14 as having “Extremely-thin bezels” which is just about anticipated on a brand new laptop computer design. Nonetheless, the bezels are nowhere close to as skinny as among the competitors, particularly on the highest and backside. The highest bezel is massive sufficient to deal with each a traditional webcam in addition to IR for Home windows Whats up login, however the webcam is sadly solely 720p regardless of the pretty massive prime bezel offering loads of room. The underside bezel is kind of massive, and there’s a lot of wasted house that might have been used to offer a taller show as can be popping up in among the competitors. The 16:9 side ratio of the show, whereas nonetheless the business commonplace, isn’t the one sport on the town anymore with a number of competing designs providing 16:10 or 3:2 side ratios.

Shifting on to the keyboard, MSI’s gaming lineup typically presents among the greatest keyboards within the enterprise, with MSI often tapping SteelSeries to offer the keyboards on their gaming lineup, however that’s not the case right here. The Status sticks with a white backlit keyboard, providing three ranges of brightness, and the keys supply 1.5 mm of journey, which is fairly respectable for a skinny and lightweight system. The important thing really feel does depart rather a lot to be desired although, with not quite a lot of suggestions on the keys, and the chicklet design doesn’t supply any sculpting of the important thing caps both. The keyboard format can be very untraditional, with some odd selections in key place which can take a bit to get used to. The Fn key, for instance, shares a half-key with the best Ctrl key. The advantage of this alternative is that you would be able to press Fn and Ctrl with one finger, which does work nice. The non-standard format takes a bit to get used to, however the full-size arrow keys and navigation keys on the best do make up for it. Total, the keyboard is sweet, however not nice.

MSI’s trackpad alternative can be positively non-standard, with the Status 14 providing an ultra-wide trackpad. The trackpad additionally options an built-in fingerprint reader built-in to the highest left, permitting house owners the posh of getting a number of biometric selections for login. The trackpad is a glass unit, and in testing proved to be correct and clean. The additional width didn’t get in the best way of typing both. It really works very nicely.

So far as expandability, MSI presents a wide selection of ports. The best aspect of the laptop computer presents a single USB Kind-A connector for USB 2.0, together with a micro SD card slot and headset jack. The left aspect options two Thunderbolt 4 ports, with the charging additionally being achieved over the Kind-C connector. Holding a single USB Kind-A port is appreciated, as many individuals nonetheless have and use the older type connector, and providing two Thunderbolt 4 ports permits the laptop computer to be charged whereas nonetheless accessing the opposite port for enlargement. Some laptop computer designers go all-in on Kind-C, and whereas it’s positively the long run, dongles will not be at all times appreciated, so it’s nice to see MSI proceed to supply each selections.

Total, MSI has crafted a good design within the Status 14, however there may be not the wow issue of another laptops in the identical worth vary. It feels a bit bland, regardless of it providing high quality supplies. It contains a skinny and lightweight design, however it isn’t the thinnest or lightest. It presents skinny show bezels, however not the thinnest show bezels. It presents keyboard and trackpad, however not the very best. This Status 14 is a really even-keel design. Some flash could assist it stick out a bit.

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