(Image credit: MSI)
With the introduction of Tiger lake comes new opportunities for laptop makers, and MSI today revealed that it’s taking the next generation of Intel chips as a chance to introduce a new line of laptops- the business-focused MSI Summit series.
The company reassures us that its gaming products aren’t going anywhere, but fans of Lucky the dragon might be disappointed. With the company’s push into business comes a new, dragon-less logo, but also some sleek new designs.
|Summit E15||Summit E14||Summit B15||Summit B14|
|CPU||Tiger Lake Intel Core i7||Tiger Lake Intel Core i7||Tiger Lake Intel Core i7||Tiger Lake Intel Core i7|
|GPU||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650Ti Max-Q||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650Ti Max-Q||Intel Iris Xe Graphics||Intel Iris Xe Graphics|
|Storage||Up to 2TB M.2 PCIe SSD||Up to 2TB M.2 PCIe SSD||M.2 PCIe SSD, optional SATA SSD add-on||Up to 2TB M.2 PCIe SSD|
|Display||15.6 inch, up to 4K, touchscreen FHD option, 60Hz, IPS-level||14 inch, up to 4K, touchscreen FHD option, 60Hz, IPS-level||15.6 inch, FHD, IPS level, up to 72% NTSC||14 inch, FHD, IPS level, up to 72% NTSC|
|Ports||2x Thunderbolt 4, 2x USB Type-A, 1x HDMI, 1x Micro SD Card Reader, 1 x 3.5mm audio/mic jack||2x Thunderbolt 4, 1x USB Type-A, 1x Micro SD Card Reader, 1 x 3.5mm audio/mic jack||1x Thunderbolt 4, 2x USB Type-A, 1x HDMI, 1x Micro SD Card Reader, 1 x 3.5mm audio/mic jack||1x Thunderbolt 4, 2x USB Type-A, 1x HDMI, 1x Micro SD Card Reader, 1 x 3.5mm audio/mic jack|
|Release Date||October 2020||October 2020||October 2020||October|
The Summit line is the laptop maker’s first stab at a pure business machine, and will be launching with two core variations, the GPU-less B series and the GTX-equipped E series. MSI says it chose the name Summit because it embodies a “meeting of leaders,” but with Dell, HP and Lenovo already making the best laptops for business, these machines will need to bring a lot to sit at the table. Still, the company’s hoping that our new telecommuting era has disrupted the standard enough for it to squeeze into the market with new features that other brands lack.
(Image credit: MSI)
The Summit E15 is the most powerful of the Summit line, and uses a Tiger Lake Intel Core i7 and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q. It offers up to 2TB of storage and comes equipped with Thunderbolt 4, and has a 15.6 inch IPS-level display with options for both 4K and FHD, including one touchscreen option that’s exclusive to FHD. What’s probably most noticeable here, though, is the sleek and minimal black and gold look. Gone is the dragon shield and in its place is a new logo that simply says “MSI” in a stylized font.
The Summit E14, then, is largely the same machine as the Summit E15, but with a smaller 14 inch display, no HDMI port and one less USB Type-A port.
The B series looks to be a more budget friendly approach to the Summit line, carrying over the same sleek look from the E series but ditching the 4K screen option and the dedicated graphics card. It still has a Tiger Lake Intel Core i7, but uses Intel Iris Xe for graphics. Both B Series laptops- the B15 and the B14- also top out at IPS-level FHD screens, with options varying on color quality rather than resolution (you can choose between either a 72% NTSC option or a 45% NTSC option). As Tiger Lake machines, both B series Summit laptops also support Thunderbolt 4.
Oddly enough, the 15 inch B series laptop also has a unique option to combine an M.2 SSD with a SATA SSD, something not present in the rest of the Summit line.
MSI also took this opportunity to refresh and slightly rebrand its creator-focused Modern and Prestige laptops as well. These machines will both have Tiger Lake CPU options up to Intel Core i7, and will each have both dedicated GPU and integrated graphics options. The Prestige line will also have an option that carries the Intel Evo moniker, which is the chipmaker’s new name for second-genration Project Athena.
The new Prestige laptops will have one 15-inch two 14-inch variations. One of the 14 inch options will focus on Intel Evo and will use integrated Xe graphics, while the other Prestige laptops will include GTX 1650 Max-Q GPUs. All Prestige laptops will have IPS-level displays, with the two Nvidia models having options for either 4K or FHD and the Evo model topping out at FHD. Like the Summit series, every Prestige laptop will also have Thunderbolt 4.
The Modern line refresh will also have 14 and 15 inch models, each of which will have the same dedicated and integrated graphics options. That means that regardless of which size you opt for, you’ll be able to choose between an Nvidia Geforce MX450 GPU or Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics. Both models will also top out at IPS-level FHD screens (with options for either 72% NTSC or 45% NTSC) and will support Thunderbolt 4, but the 15-inch version will come with two SSDs as opposed to the 14-inch versions’ single SSD.
While the company has made productivity and creation machines before, the Summit line is its first foray into enterprise consumers. MSI reps told us over video call that it’s hoping to offer business consumers features its competitors can’t, like “better webcams,” that are more pertinent to our new work-from-home world. Still, this line is launching with 720p webcams, though MSI hopes to improve its offerings in the future.