MSI’s Status 14 computer line is historically advertised to content material creators. However the Status 14 Evo is in a little of a murkier spot. It’s priced underneath the Status 14, beginning at $1,099, and it doesn’t have the discrete GPU or high-resolution display that might render it a compelling content-creation device. In spite of its title, the Status 14 Evo is an on a regular basis productiveness computer.
Sadly, that makes it a more difficult promote. The 14-inch shopper computer area at this worth level is de facto crammed; there are more than one machines at similar costs that just do about the entirety very, rather well. A computer with even one important problem goes to have hassle emerging to the highest of the pack. Sadly, the Status 14 Evo has a lot of them.
That doesn’t imply there’s not anything outstanding in regards to the tool. The Status is among the few 14-inch laptops you’ll be able to purchase that incorporates the Core i7-1185G7, Intel’s maximum robust chip for ultraportables. This evaluation is my first take a look at the flagship processor (out of doors of a reference design that I had for a couple of days closing yr) — lots of the peak laptops that I’ve reviewed just lately come with the Core i7-1165G7, which is a step down.
That for sure makes the Status 14 Evo one of the crucial robust 14-inch Intel laptops you’ll be able to purchase at its worth level. However does the 1185G7 be offering a lot better efficiency than different Intel methods, or Apple’s M1 MacBooks, to outweigh shortcomings within the chassis? For almost all of customers, the solution goes to be no.
Learn extra: MSI Summit B15 evaluation and MSI Status 14 evaluation
When you’ve noticed or used closing yr’s Status 14, the chassis isn’t vastly other. The Evo has the similar light-weight construct with a fold-under hinge, a fingerprint sensor within the top-left nook of the touchpad, and a tight keyboard that’s plasticky however at ease total. My fashion is “carbon grey,” however the end additionally is available in “rose crimson” and “natural white.”
One replace you’ll most likely understand is that there’s a brand new emblem. MSI’s vintage dragon has been confined to its gaming fashions; the Status now has the similar plain-old MSI letters because the business-chic Summit Collection. The ports have additionally been rearranged. The Evo contains two USB-C ports at the left in addition to a USB-A, a microSD, and a headphone jack at the proper; closing yr’s Status had the microSD at the left and an extra USB-A at the proper. I’m unhappy to lose the extra USB-A (and the person who’s there’s best USB 2.0, which is an outdated same old at this level), however it’s an k port variety both manner.
I’ve a number of problems with the chassis, although. First, it’s moderately a fingerprint magnet, and the lid used to be lined in visual smudges after only a few days of use. It additionally has a little of a plasticky really feel, with some flex in each the display and the deck. 2d, now not best does the 1920 x 1080 show have a cramped 16:nine facet ratio, however it’s additionally dim, maxing out at 248 nits in my checking out. That suggests it gained’t be an ideal selection to be used outside or in different shiny settings.
3rd, the touchpad had some palm-rejection problems: my proper hand rested naturally at the proper part of the touchpad whilst I used to be typing, and the cursor used to be repeatedly leaping round on my display. (MSI says they haven’t heard this criticism in regards to the Evo’s touchpad ahead of.) In any case, the audio isn’t nice — it’s tinny, bass is sort of nonexistent, and there’s now not sufficient quantity to fill a room. You’ll be able to take a look at my evaluation of closing yr’s Status 14 for a better dialogue of a lot of these options.
The most important upgrades are at the within — the Evo is powered through Intel’s newest 11th Gen processors. The bottom Status 14 features a Core i5-1135G7, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of garage. (RAM is soldered and there aren’t additional garage slots, however you’ll be able to change out the SSD.) The $1,149 fashion I’m the use of bumps that as much as a Core i7-1185G7. Each processors include Intel’s Iris Xe built-in graphics.
Atmosphere apart the chassis, $1,149 is an k deal for that gadget. For worth comparisons, Asus’ Zenbook 14 with 512GB of garage, a Core i7-1165G7, and 8GB of RAM is $899.99. The M1 MacBook Air is $1,449 for a similar specifications. If you wish to have one thing with a GPU, the common Status 14 with a GTX 1650 Max-Q and 1TB of garage is $1,549.
The Status 14 Evo is qualified thru Intel’s Evo platform, because of this Intel has verified that it meets a lot of efficiency benchmarks (together with “all-day” battery lifestyles and one-second boot time) and contains trendy facilities like Thunderbolt four and Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+).
The 1185G7 did a effective process with my same old workload of apps, dozens of Chrome tabs, Zoom calls, mild picture enhancing, and the like. I by no means had to think carefully about loading extra duties on — now not best did the fanatics now not freak out all the way through my common workday, however I by no means even heard them spin up. (I did now and again listen some coil whine, which used to be tense.) The keyboard and the ground of the chassis remained cool as smartly. The revel in used to be lovely similar to that of the use of an M1 Macbook Air or some other peak ultraportable as a day-to-day motive force.
To extra at once evaluate the 1185G7 to different chips (essentially Apple’s M1), I ran a lot of artificial benchmarks. The consequences had been a blended bag — you’ll be able to see them within the chart underneath:
MSI Status 14 Evo benchmarks
|Cinebench R23 Multi||5538|
|Cinebench R23 Unmarried||1475|
|Cinebench R23 Multi looped for 30 mins||5511|
|Geekbench 5.three CPU Multi||5769|
|Geekbench 5.three CPU Unmarried||1547|
|Geekbench 5.three OpenCL / Compute||19037|
In our checking out, the MacBook Air beat the Status 14 Evo on each and every benchmark right here with the exception of for Geekbench 5.three OpenCL / Compute and the 30-minute Cinebench loop (which is smart, because the MacBook Air doesn’t have a fan). It’s specifically notable that the 1185G7 loses to the M1 on each single-core benchmarks; single-core efficiency is most often Intel’s power, however now not right here.
I additionally put the Status 14 Evo thru two challenging real-world duties: the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark and a five-minute, 33-second 4K video export in Premiere Professional. The Evo’s effects right here had been moderately similar to these of the MacBook Air. The Evo ran Tomb Raider (lowest settings, local decision) at 38fps, which is similar to what the Air were given in our checking out. The Asus Zenbook 14 with a Core i7-1165G7 publish 29fps at the identical name.
The Status finished the export in 8 mins and 9 seconds. That’s the quickest time I’ve ever noticed from a mass-production Iris Xe device; the Zenbook took 11 mins and 28 seconds. That mentioned, it’s actually only some seconds quicker than the MacBook Air, which clocked in at 8 mins and 15 seconds.
Total, the 1185G7 is a transparent growth over lower-clocked Tiger Lake chips (however the 1165G7 is excellent sufficient that you simply most likely gained’t understand the variation out of doors of challenging duties). Its built-in graphics appear to be neck and neck with the ones of the M1. (Intel’s Fast Sync could also be most likely a consider that rapid export time.) However the artificial benchmarks, that are extra of a coarse approximation of CPU capacity, point out that the Status would possibly fall in the back of on different duties, relying in your workload.
I did see some battery drain all the way through the export, regardless of the computer being plugged in. It seems that the Status comes with overcharge coverage that assists in keeping it from charging if it’s plugged in above a undeniable share. You’ll be able to change between battery-capacity profiles in MSI’s Heart for Trade and Productiveness.
The computer gave the impression to battle to chill the chip, as did closing yr’s Status 14 (although that fashion additionally had a discrete GPU to fret about). All through all of my checking out, the CPU used to be constantly within the mid-90s (Celsius) — and that used to be with the fanatics audibly blasting.
Battery lifestyles is fine, however now not the most productive. I averaged six hours and 12 mins of continuing sustained paintings, with the display round 200 nits of brightness. That’s now not a crisis, however it’s just a bit forward of the former Status 14, which had discrete graphics and a smaller battery. (I were given about six hours, with the similar workload, out of that device.) And it’s considerably worse than the MacBook Air, which gave my colleague Dieter Bohn as much as 10 hours to a fee. I even were given over an hour extra out of the Zenbook 14. In comparison to each methods, that’s a heck of a large number of battery lifestyles to surrender for a nonexistent-to-small achieve in real-world efficiency.
In any case, the Status comes preloaded with some junk, together with Norton, which despatched me tense pop-u.s.till I uninstalled it. This isn’t the tip of the arena, however it’s nonetheless a little frustrating to look on a computer that prices over $1,000. I additionally discovered MSI’s Heart for Trade and Productiveness to be a little of a ache to make use of — my clicks had been reasonably sluggish to sign in, and the instrument now and again iced over or crashed. (It does have helpful options, although, together with the Utility Optimizer which lets you manually distribute CPU energy between systems.)
The Status 14 Evo is a practical, moveable tool with a heck of a processor within. It’s at all times spectacular to look such a lot energy in this sort of skinny chassis. That mentioned, the Evo doesn’t appear moderately in a position to deal with the chip, or the challenging duties that you could wish to do should you’re on the lookout for a 1185G7. It’s ready to recreation, and it’s ready to export, however I will inform that the fanatics are suffering to take care of.
For this reason, I’ve hassle seeing a case for the Status 14 Evo over competition. The computer is okay, practical, and bold at the within — however from the dim display and old-fashioned port to the skinny audio and coil whine, there are too many compromises for which a hefty chip has to make up. For almost all of computer patrons who don’t desire a relatively higher display or discrete graphics, extra reasonably priced 1165G7 methods just like the Zenbook 14 come with out those kinks however with higher battery lifestyles and with reference to the similar efficiency and portability advantages. When you’re keen to pay just a little extra, the MacBook Air plays simply as smartly if now not higher in maximum duties and is a vital step up in nearly each and every different space. The Status 14 Evo is in a peculiar position within the center, and it doesn’t moderately have compatibility.