MSI Prestige PE60 2QD review

A mobile workstation that has game

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Our Verdict

The MSI Prestige is a laptop that can handle the newest games and tons of spreadsheets. It's got a gorgeous screen, a dynamic build and it runs at a very nice clip.

For

  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Insane graphics
  • Beautiful 15-inch LCD screen

Against

  • TouchPad is clunky
  • Sound is awful
  • Performance while on battery is poor

The MSI Prestige PE60 2QD ($1,099.00, £709.58, AU$1415.87) is a business laptop that has the build quality and firepower of a tank. Marketed as both a gaming unit and a workstation built for business, the PE60 really has no direct competition.

Best-in-class workstations, such as the supreme Lenovo ThinkPad W550s ($1,133, £765, AU$1,455) and the Dell Precision M6800 ($3,490, £2,075, AU$3,750) inspire productivity, but not necessarily the joys associated with gameplay.

On the other hand, gaming laptops, such as The MSI GT80 ($3,299, £2,573, AU$4,165), The Aorus X3 Plus V3 ($2,780, £1,800, AU$3,500), and The Origin EON15-X ($2,559, £1,698, AU$3,367) wouldn't know a spreadsheet if it had to blow one up to get to level two.

What the MSI Prestige PE60 does it provide affordability and power to users who are just as serious about the work they do from 9-5 as they are about the games they play from 5-12. The consumer based price is appealing, and it is a laptop that will perform excellent Graphics and Design processes.

Design

MSI's newest laptop is built with a minimalist, silky, metallic silver sheen that absolutely dazzles. The laptop is big, which is usually true of gaming laptops and workstations, as the Prestige weighs 5.29 lbs (2.3995 kg) with dimensions of 15.07" x 10.23" x 1.06" (38.28 cm x 25.98 cm x 2.7 cm).

MSI Prestige PE60 2QD review

Although the Prestige's bottom panel, which holds the battery, is thick, the upper panel is amazingly thin at 0.25-inches (6.35 mm). As you can see from its dimensions, this device is supposed to be portable. Unlike its gaming cousins, the MSI GT80, which weighs 8.33 pounds (3.78 kg), and The Origin EON15-X, which weighs 7.5 pounds, MSI wants you to be able to bring the Prestige to and from your office each day.

Carrying the MSI Prestige PE60 was like carrying a medium-sized textbook (not thick but big in width and length) to a college class. It doesn't feel bulky or heavy and feels like a general 15-inch notebook would feel. But, when open, the PE60 is bulky enough that it is awkward to move around, say as opposed to a MacBook Pro.

The Prestige features a power button, a turbo button and a True Color Profile button that are situated on the top right corner of the base. Below these exists a beautifully laid out full keyboard with a number pad, which business users will enjoy.

MSI Prestige PE60 2QD review

Each key is identified with a big bold, back-lit silver letter that mimics the sleek aesthetic of the body. The keys are soft, yet responsive, with a nice moderate give. Playing games and entering data on the keyboard was smooth. However, the trackpad, which has two buttons for left and right clicks, is incredibly inelegant. The trackpad itself does not have any finesse and requires a bit too much finger pressure. The trackpad's left and right click buttons are much too noisy and awkward for a laptop with such a pretty design.

The sides of the device are built with a black molding. The ports are simple, yet plentiful; on the left side: two copper cased mic and audio inputs, two USB 3.0, a Mini DisplayPort, an HDMI port, a third USB 3.0 port, and a Gigabit Ethernet port. On the right hand side: a DVD drive, a USB 2.0 port, an SD(XC/HC) card reader slot and the power input.

Specs

There are two MSI Prestige models, the PE60, which is what I tested, and the PE70 which has the same specs but has a 17.7" screen and 16GB RAM.

Here is the MSI Prestige PE60 2QD configuration sent to TechRadar for review:

  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-4720HQ
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 2GB
  • RAM: 12GB DDR3L
  • Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) anti-glare display
  • Storage: 1TB 7200 RPM hard disk
  • Optical drive: DVD Super Multi
  • Ports: 3 x USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, Ethernet, SD Card reader
  • Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Camera: 720p webcam
  • Weight: 5.29 lbs (2.3995 kg)
  • Size: 5.07" x 10.23" x 1.06" (38.28 cm x 25.98 cm x 2.7 cm)

As you can see above, this beauty comes fully loaded. Installed is a top-of-the-line fourth-generation Intel Core i7 Processor that runs at 2.60GHz, 12GB Memory, a 1TB HDD, and a NVIDIA GeForce video card, all built in a beautiful 15.6" aluminum casing. Also, this laptop comes with Windows 8.1 64-Bit already installed.

The MSI Prestige laptop has a gorgeous True Color 1080p display that comes calibrated to ensure high color accuracy. The True Color Profile button enables you to switch between different preset profiles when using the laptop. The True Profile has six options, sRGB, Designer, Office, Movie, Gamer, and Anti-Blue, which each change the contrast ratio, the brightness, and hue to promote a more enjoyable experience.

MSI Prestige PE60 2QD review

The Prestige handles games and movies beautifully, with a definition that is crisp and clear. It also handles 4K output for videographers and hardcore film buffs. For those who might pursue the Prestige as an office product, to bring it in for a travelling creative team or CAD user, the Prestige PE60 will handle AutoCAD and Photoshop design. And, for the Designer who is very particular about colorization on the screen, the Prestige is perfect for you, as the LCD of the Prestige PE60 will be best suited for this specifically.

The 2.6 GHz fourth-generation quad-core processor performs really well, especially when you use the MSI Shift feature, which allows you to get the most performance out of your machine. The Shift feature allowed me to change my system's performance on-the-fly between three different modes. The three modes are Green, Blue, and Red. Green is the eco- and battery-friendly mode, with low power consumption for both CPU and GPU. Blue is the mid-range mode that allows enough GPU consumption but not too much. Red enables you to go full throttle on both GPU and CPU.

I put the MSI Prestige on all three modes, and the Green Mode, if you're looking for performance, should just be ignored because everything is throttled down. I mean, everything, the whole machine just travels at a slug's pace. Comfort Mode gets you moving a little bit faster, but it is still annoying. Sport mode, the highest mode, really gets things going and you can hear that the fan is on.

When on Green my wireless bandwidth (via speedtest.net) was 12Mbps Down to 3Mpbs Up, which was really frustrating as I have 200Mb Down with 20Mb Up in my home. My iPhone 6 was getting 184.47Mbps Down to 15.17Mbps Up. When I got the Prestige on Sport mode, I found that I could get the wireless download speeds to be at 128Mbps Down to 17.11Mbps Up. Also, when in Sport mode, the Prestige really flies. This feature can, unfortunately, only be enabled when the power adapter is plugged in..

The MSI Prestige PE60 comes with a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M Graphics card that holds 2GB VRAM GDDR5. This is a pretty amazing card that produces really good graphics for a laptop. If you are using AutoCad or you want to play games, unless you are using VectorWorks or doing 3D imaging on a very, very high level, then the MSI Prestige PE60 will be good for you. The images on the screen are crisp and clear, but the gaming aspect and how it handles, is really good. I played Battlefield 4 and Serious Sam 3 on ultra and it was stunning. I have a GTX 770 SuperClocked in my home tower and I did not feel a difference in frame rate or quality of image swapping from my power tower to the MSI Prestige PE60.

The Prestige comes with 12 GB of DDR3L 1600 MHz RAM with one RAM being 8GB and the other 4GB. The Prestige has a max capacity of 16GB for an additional upgrade cost.