MSI PS42 Gaming Laptop Description
MSI is trying to get into the premium gaming laptop category with their new MSI PS42 gaming laptop. The PS42 is a compelling gaming ultrabook that’s not trying to look aggressive with the standard gamers red and black color scheme.
The laptop comes with a thin and light premium stylish design so it can target a larger group of customers outside the gaming industry.
It’s provided with full-fledged GeForce MX150 GPU, Intel Core i7-8550U CPU, and 16GB of RAM.
The PS42 comes also with a 14-inch screen size which are uncommon in a space where 13-inch systems with integrated graphics are more popular among customers. These features give the PS42 an edge in graphics performance for users who need more power than what integrated Intel UHD or Iris graphics can provide.
Pricing and Availability
Current configurations range from $900 USD for the base model which comes with the i5-8250U CPU with integrated UHD graphics up to $1300 USD for the i7-8550U with the aforementioned discrete GeForce MX150 but you can find some decent price reductions here on Pondeals.
So if you’re going to do some regular gaming, then the base model would be enough for you. However, if you want some hard core gaming, then you need a better GPU.
You don’t see many red and black gaming laptops these days, as companies are targeting more people outside the gaming industry.
Many gamers prefers having premium looking laptops more than carrying a tank in their bag with wide bezels. The MSI PS42 comes with a sleek and brash design. The laptop’s design has a sleek aluminum exterior, but opening the lid reveals an interior filled with unique design cues, some of which will transport you back to the future.
The PS42 is also one of the lightest ultrabooks you can buy. With a weight of just 1.19kg it’s really hard to find something lighter with the same performance.
However, the MSI PS42 does suffer the same challenges as the older Dell XPS with minimal bezels - the webcam is placed below the screen, which will make video-conferencing calls awkward to say the least. The touchpad is very small for gestures so you will have to use a mouse instead.
There’s a well spaced out backlit keyboard with decent sized keys, along with a rather narrow touchpad with an embedded fingerprint scanner for Windows Hello authentication. The MSI PS42 offers users a decent selection of ports which are evenly distributed on the left and right edges of the device.
The PS42 comes with a 14-inch non-touch 1080p display. The Display is detailed and vivid, but those qualities are constrained by a low maximum brightness. The PS42's panel covers 116 percent of the sRGB color gamut, making it less colorful than many other laptops in the same price range.
The PS42's screen registered an average of 243 nits of maximum brightness which is dim compared with the premium laptop average (311 nits). However, the PS42's display is still visible under bright conditions because it has a matte finish anti-glare screen.
In brief, the speakers of the MSI PS42 are average. They’re soft in volume and should have been louder for use in conference rooms and presentations. At first glance you would think that the speakers are located within the grill above the keyboard, but that’s not the case. The two 2 Watt speakers are located on the underside of the chassis, towards the front on either side and they sound surprisingly good for a laptop this size.
As with most downward firing speakers, the sound can get easily muffled if you use the laptop on your lap but the same is not true when using it on a desk. On the contrary, the sound gets amplified while using the laptop on a desk, with the angled shape of the chassis towards the front playing the role of a passive amplifier.
The MSI PS42 comes with “Good” performance for most people. If you’re going to use this laptop for day-to-day use the base model would be enough for you. However, if you’re going to do some gaming on the side you need to get the 2019 more powerful version that comes with 8th Gen. Intel CoreTM i7, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 with Max-Q Design, and 16GB of RAM.
If gaming is not your thing, or you’re buying this laptop for productivity tasks, the 50Wh battery can give you up to 10 hours of on-the-go usage.
MSI’s improved cooling system does a good job in keeping the laptop cool. The laptop uses the "Cooler Boost 3" technology which has two fans that push air from the back of the laptop. While they can get a bit noisy at times, they manage to keep the heat levels down so the laptop doesn't have to throttle.
The GPU won’t let you play the latest games at high settings but it is good enough to be used for casual gaming as well as graphics or video rendering.
The 2019 model of the MSI PS42 is one of the best ultrabooks for someone who wants to combine productivity tasks, business, and some gaming without carrying a tank in your backpack. The PS42 is a thin and light laptop with a premium design. It’s a big improvement over the previous years models which got some critics over their mediocre battery life and old design.
It also comes with a great selection of ports, Windows Hello to unlock the laptop with your face, and built-in fingerprint sensor for a better and faster unlock.
However, competing laptops offer more for the money. The closest competitor to the PS42, the MateBook X Pro costs a bit more, but you get a GeForce MX150 GPU along with a 3K touch screen display and almost 10 hours of battery life. So if you can pay a little bit more, then the Matebook X Pro is a better value for the money.
In short, the Prestige PS42 isn't perfect but it does have redeeming qualities that can make you overlook its flaws.