Recently, a new category of laptops has appeared which combines a slim body, discrete graphics, and a powerful battery. The MSI Summit E15 can accurately attribute to this class of devices. The innovation received an 11th-generation Intel processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics card, and decent battery life. The specs are impressive, but how does the laptop perform in the field? Let’s see in MSI Summit E15 review below:
The Summit line has been designed for corporate customers. A laptop that will be used by officers, office clerks, and other business representatives should look tough and solid. The design of MSI’s innovation is business-like: the laptop is neatly built in the classic style with rounded edges. To give the look a little variety, the developers have added some elements of gold color. An amateur decision – perhaps it was worth doing without unnecessary decorations.
The model weighs 1.65 kg and is 17 mm thick. These are not very impressive numbers for their segment. However, don’t forget that we are talking about a device with discrete graphics and a 15.6-inch screen. The MSI Summit E15 will not fit in a handbag, but it is small enough to carry to work or on a business trip every day. The modern design is considerably smoother than older computers – all thanks to the thinner frame around the case. Coupled with the charger, the laptop easily fits into almost any men’s briefcase or city bag.
A laptop is sturdy. The case does not lend itself to bending – you can immediately see that it is made of metal and not plastic. The model is certified according to the US military standard MIL-STD-810 – so far it is a rarity among notebooks. As with any decent ultrabook, the novelty easily undergoes one-hand initial testing.
The slim body did not affect the connectivity. The Summit E15 offers a complete set of interfaces: HDMI 2.0, a pair of classic USB 3.2, a MicroSD slot, but most importantly, a pair of USB 4.0 Type-C compatible with Thunderbolt 4, DisplayPort 1.4a, and USB power delivery.
15.6-inch laptop with 1080p resolution and comes with a display without a touchscreen. Several modifications of the Summit E15 can be found on sale: with touchscreen or regular screen, with full HD or 4K. In this case, a high-quality IPS-matrix with a color gamut is installed under 100% sRGB.
The viewing angles are excellent: you can easily separate the image even with large display deviations. A high brightness display is enough to work in daylight. The uniformity of the lights is also pleasing. When working in the dark, the panel is not disturbed by light.
Keyboard and touchpad
The keyboard is also in order. The key travel is smooth, the keys are standard in size, the layout is almost without any unpleasant surprises. But there is something to complain about. So, you can get confused between the Delete and Backspace buttons, right Ctrl button was kept close to the Fn keys, it could have been stopped, and Enter clashes with the PgUp key. This is a small complaint from us about this keyboard, but you will get used to it later. The backlighting is uniform, the white has three levels of brightness, and the maximum level is stronger.
The power button has a built-in bright LED. It cannot be switched off – this is all the time the device is working. During the day, it does not cause problems. But when watching movies or TV shows in the evening, the key turns into a bright spot that attracts attention. It is not very clear why the developers did not provide a remedy to turn-off it.
The touchpad is average in size. There is support for multiple touch and gestures – everything is standard. In simple user scenarios, it is easy to work with the mouse without you. A fingerprint scanner has been installed in the touch panel. In most cases, it works correctly and saves time when logged in.
Classic ultrabooks appeal for their slim design and lightweight, but when it fails to drive the demand for software. The built-in graphics are not designed for heavy use. As a result, many of these notebooks are used as typewriters.
The situation is different with Summit E15. MSI’s editorial features a top 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q designed graphics card with 4GB of memory. Filling shows good results both in performance testing and actual use. This configuration is sufficient not only for office tasks and media, but also for processing photos, videos, and similar scenarios. Good bonus – an additional M.2 PCIe Gen 3 slot and free space for the DDR4 bracket. You can increase the amount of SSD-drives and RAM independently. It is one of the first Intel-based laptops with PCIe 4.0 SSD support.
Game fans can play popular hits by setting the resolution to Full HD and Medium Picture Settings. Here, of course, you have to be realistic: a business book with a thin body is not a compromised machine for gamers. If we play high-end games, the laptop quickly heats up to 90 degrees and degrades the performance. After 10 minutes of a gunfight in GTA V, the frame rate drops from 60 to 30 fps. The situation is similar in The Witcher 3 and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
But with simple graphics, you can play some competitive games such as – Dota 2, CS: GO, Overwatch, feel no difficulty – constant frame rate and normal temperature. And popular AAA projects can be streamed best from a home console or cloud service. Thanks to quick wifi, you can now do it wirelessly.
The two small fans are continuously active, that is, they do not shut off even at minimum load. This is not to say that the noise from them interferes greatly, but it is noticeable when using the device.
The volume of the speakers is decently reserved: enough to watch movies and chat on Skype with colleagues without headphones. Microphones transmit and filter speech well, and music lovers will appreciate the Hi-Res audio support. There is a modern set of wireless interfaces – Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1.
The laptop received an impressive 82 Wh battery. If you work online with documents, texts, and periodically, the laptop will last 8 hours. The video lasts for about 10 hours at medium brightness. For 15-inch devices with discrete graphics, these are decent numbers. Preinstalled with MSI Center, which is built for the business model. In it, you can choose from one of several performance scenarios and fine-tune battery life – almost preferred over smartphones. The software also advances diagnostics, which reduces noise in microphones, and more.
The included power supply unit is not very heavy, so it will hardly be heavy on the backpack while traveling. Its power is 90W, it will take two hours to fully charge.
The MSI Summit E15 incorporates the most relevant features of its class. The laptop gained a compact body, powerful specs with discrete graphics provide for excellent battery and memory expansion.
MSI’s pricing is not too bad either, starting from $1,699 on Amazon.com and Bhphotovideo.com website, considering that the NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650Ti MAX-Q offers great performance.
If you find this MSI laptop expensive, then we also did a review of the Asus ZenBook UX425JA, priced at $799.99. We personally appreciate perfection and machining, durability, aesthetics, and more importantly pricing.
Although the laptop is designed for business tasks, the notebook allows you to run new games at medium graphics settings. A lightweight, powerful, upgradable device is a great choice for corporate users.