MSI Prestige 15 Review: Wait a moment if you want to buy a Dell XPS 15

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The very elegant finish on the lid of the MSI Prestige 15 (Image: Vishal Mathur / News18)

Yes, you read that correctly. If you want to spend your money on a Dell XPS 15, wait a second. We have an alternative that matches the Dell XPS 15 in almost every way and then improves it where it really matters. Yes, we're talking about the MSI Prestige 15, the latest generation of the 10th generation Intel Core processor series. The MSI Prestige 15 corresponds to the XPS 15 in terms of build quality, a 4K display and a fantastic keyboard, but is also lighter. That's it, the big fight between the thin, yet large screen laptops that we need as a desktop replacement.

The variant of the MSI Prestige 15 tested here (more precisely the MSI Prestige 15 A10SC) costs around 1.49,990 rupees. The similarly equipped Dell XPS 15 has a price of 140,090 rupees. However, you really have to pay a bit more. There is also the Full HD display version of the MSI Prestige 15 with identical technical data and a price of 1.14.990 rupees – it undercuts the similarly specified Full HD display version of the XPS 15, for which the price applies Rs 1,24,090. There are reasons why I say what I say.

Let's start with the design. It's an aluminum chassis, which you might expect. But the way this optically came together had sold me the moment I pulled it out of the box. The lid's sandblasted finish is beautiful to look at, especially because it gives off a very subtle shade of blue at certain angles when light is reflected from it. The bevelled frame gives the otherwise very reserved personality a little shine. In a way, the MSI Prestige 15 seems to believe firmly in minimalism. The MSI dragon logo does not call like on a gaming laptop. If you're looking for something special in the world of large-screen laptops, it doesn't really get to the point of the MSI Prestige 15. Even the vents near the display hinge have been carefully designed to look good. And they do it!

The very elegant finish on the lid of the MSI Prestige 15 (Image: Vishal Mathur / News18) The very elegant finish on the lid of the MSI Prestige 15. (Image: Vishal Mathur / News18)

Just be careful, fingerprints can be caught easily. Unlike a glossy color, this sandblasted finish is also not difficult to wipe and keep clean. Open the lid and the good work on the aesthetics continues without stumbling. There are very narrow bezels on three sides of the display and the barely visible logo on the bottom bezel. The webcam is – as it should be – above the display, in contrast to the completely unnecessary experiment that Dell has recently carried out on some XPS laptops. You probably won't notice it the first time, but there's a fingerprint sensor built into the top left of the touchpad (which itself is quite large). To be honest, I like this placement very much, because even if you don't look, your finger will find its way to this sensor by recognizing the outer contours of the touchpad. The MSI Prestige 15 emits the blue color throughout, which is a pleasant departure from the otherwise gray or black laptops.

Still, it's a little disappointing to see the keyboard deck bend a little when you push down a little harder than usual, especially towards the display hinge. The Apple MacBook is what laptops in the Windows ecosystem want to become, and these things need to be ironed out. However, it is not a deal breaker.

A laptop with a 15.6-inch screen can be very heavy. The Dell XPS 15 weighs 2 kg. What about the MSI Prestige 15? It is 1.6 kg. Yes, it is 1.6 kg. Not too difficult, is it? At first I noticed that it is a bit heavier on the other side, i.e. towards the display hinge. Not exactly the best balance when you pick it up for the first time. But you get used to it. The Prestige 15 also saves a few millimeters less space, which makes it a bit more compact. The dimensions of the Prestige 15 are 356.8 mm x 233.7 mm x 15.9 mm, while the Dell XPS 15 with 357 mm x 235 mm x 17 mm registers with the measuring insert. The MSI Prestige 15 is thinner, less wide and less deep. Good for backpack and back.

No shortage of ports, even if the Prestige 15 is slimmer than the Dell XPS 15 (Image: Vishal Mathur / News18) Even if the Prestige 15 is slimmer than the Dell XPS 15. (Image: Vishal Mathur / News18)

The Prestige 15 is designed for developers and almost anyone looking for a laptop that can replace the large black box and horrible-looking monitor on your workstation. Ports are crucial for this because these users are not really concerned with dongles. You get two USB3.2 Gen2 ports of type A, two USB ports of type C, which also support the charging standard Power Delivery (PD), a microSD card slot and an HDMI output in the event that a projector or a secondary display is shown.

Speaking of displays, the 15.6-inch display – MSI calls this IPS level. It doesn't take long for you to see what this ad does. There are hardly any reflections that bother you. This is good news if you have annoying ceiling lights in your office. The colors look vivid, with no hint of unnatural oversaturation. It is also a bright display. Maybe that's one area where I think it could have worked to reproduce deeper blacks, but how often will you actually watch a 4K movie on it to notice? I really like the MSI True Color utility (now True Color 2.7 version) preinstalled on the MSI Prestige 15 – you get a whole range of display modes, including AdobeRGB. Anyone who regularly edits photos and videos will probably want to check this. The only problem that may be caused by this app (deduction because the bug was fixed when the True Color app was disabled) is the random change in display brightness.

A comparison with the 4K display of the Dell XPS 15 suggests that the XPS 15 is brighter but also has a more reflective display.

MSI has opted for the 10th generation of Intel Core processors (more precisely for Comet Lake). The Core i7-10710U processor is paired with 16 GB RAM. The integrated Intel UHD graphics is complemented by the good news for many users, the GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q graphics. All in all, this specification set won't slow down pretty much every multitasking scenario you could throw at it. With 22 tabs open in Chrome (streaming 4K videos to YouTube on three of them without a break), streaming a 4K movie on Netflix, five active Microsoft Word documents, and loading a PowerPoint presentation at the same time, the MSI Prestige 15 doesn't even have one bother to take a deep breath. It just went as if nothing had happened. Aside from performance, a lot depends on how fast the 1 TB SSD is.

The fingerprint sensors are making a comeback and ensure more security for your data (Vishal Mathur / News18) The fingerprint sensors are making a comeback and give your data an additional level of security. (Vishal Mathur / News18)

Keyboards are something I'm very picky about. And with every laptop I check, the keyboard is compared to the Apple MacBook Pro, which I think sets the standard for typing experience. The MSI Prestige 15 has a clear keyboard, but the placement of the "Backspace" and "Delete" keys takes some getting used to. The key spacing and the individual key size are correct. In fact, this keyboard is very similar to that of the premium HP laptops, and I've always appreciated it. It was pretty quick to get used to the layout and key travel of this MSI Prestige 15 keyboard. In fact, the key travel is a little bit more than the Apple Butterfly keyboard and a little less than the new scissors keyboard. I would say MSI did the balancing act well.

Although the touchpad is large, it follows the new design trend, in which the right and left mouse buttons are not selected. Maybe to keep the design clear and simple. Over time, your fingers will remember better where they are.

The battery life of laptops with 4K screens is always a bit shorter compared to Full HD screens – after all, the additional pixels require more power. The MSI Prestige 15 has a battery life of just over 14 hours in its highest configuration when used on a typical workday, reading documents one by one, searching the depths of the World Wide Web and accessing the soundtrack from Spotify or Apple Music is quite believable. This is the case with a brightness of 50% – reduce it further and the battery life increases.

In the end, the question arises as to why you want to spend your money on a Dell XPS 15 running an older generation (9th generation) processor. If the 11th generation lineup lands on laptops, is it two generations older, and is that until Dell updates the XPS 15 to 10th generation or processors)? Especially when the alternative is the brilliant MSI Prestige 15, which blossoms style, performance and comfort. A very good 4K display and a long battery life underline the point.

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