CPU

Sneak Preview: MSI Summit Tiger Lake-powered business laptop

Specs at a look: MSI Summit E14, as examined
OS
Home windows 10 Professional
CPU
Three.0GHz Four-core Intel i7-1185G7 (Four.8GHz turbo)
RAM
32GB LPDDR4
GPU
Nvidia GTX 1650Ti MaxQ
SSD
1TB Western Digital SN370 NVMe
Battery
52.4Wh Three-cell LiOn
Wi-Fi
Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6
Show
14-inch 1080p IPS
Digital camera
720p, prime bezel mounted
Connectivity

one USB-A 2.zero port
two Thunderbolt Four/USB-C Four ports (energy supply help)
Three.5mm cellphone/mic combo jack
one microSD card slot
fingerprint reader

Value as examined
anticipated retail ~$1,800

Final month, we bought a have a look at one in all Intel’s engineering prototype laptops for its new Tiger Lake CPU household. We nonetheless have no manufacturing Tiger Lake laptops to check, however as of at this time we’re one step nearer with an MSI Summit gross sales/engineering pattern. MSI offered the pattern to us principally for a “photograph alternative,” however IT graciously allowed benchmarking so long as we clearly marked the assessments as being on a preproduction pattern unit.

This mannequin, marked as a gross sales pattern, appears to be a prototype of what would be the Summit E14-087. Our MSI consultant warned us that some tuning and particulars could change between now and launch however confirmed that the chassis itself is strictly as it will likely be in manufacturing. Particularly, we count on the facility tuning to alter—MSI promotes the laptop computer as having a 10hr+ battery life, which we suspect won’t be attainable with the 28W cTDP our pattern shipped with.

This isn’t an affordable laptop computer—we managed to seek out an early retail listing for this mannequin, and it seems to be like it would promote for $1,800. Nonetheless, the machine is jampacked with high-end elements, together with however not restricted to Intel’s latest i7-1185G7 top-of-the-line processor and an Nvidia GTX 1650Ti MaxQ discrete GPU. The laptop computer additionally has a definite, daring fashion that stands out from its rivals.

Overview

The Summit E14’s 180-degree hinge is, arguably, the snazziest function of its chassis.


Jim Salter

On the underside of our Summit E14 pattern, there is a warning label reminding us it is not fairly manufacturing prepared.


Jim Salter

The underside panel of the Summit E14 is an odd departure from regular laptop computer design—it is only a skinny, heavily-perforated plastic panel.


Jim Salter

By the requirements of gaming laptops, the Summit E-series’ styling is downright restrained. As enterprise laptops go, nonetheless, it is daring and funky. Essentially the most instantly noticeable styling standout is the font MSI used to label keys on the keyboard. Though it is nonetheless sans serif, the font is noticeably lighter and extra “inventive” than most keyboards’ labels, with a number of different touches akin to shift-labels (e.g., the @ on the two key) being offset diagonally relatively than using instantly above the principle label.

Along with the brightly backlit keys, an attention-grabbing bronze trim rings across the touchpad. The remainder of the laptop computer is a matte, light-drinking carbon black, with solely a small grey MSI emblem to alleviate it; this makes the bizarre keyboard and touchpad stand out much more.

Functionally, the E14’s standout design function is a 180-degree hinge. This angle additionally serves to raise the keyboard (and supply room for cooling airflow) at a cushty angle, even in a “regular” open place.

The final uncommon notice in regards to the E14’s design is the one one we actually don’t love—the underside panel, which can also be the supply of airflow for the E14. As an alternative of conventional vent openings, the E14 depends on heavy perforation within the tough form of a metropolis skyline to permit air to circulation out and in of the laptop computer.

The underside panel is skinny plastic, and it feels exhausting and brittle when faraway from the laptop computer itself. We now have issues in regards to the larger “open” space uncovered to potential spills as in comparison with conventional designs, and we’ve issues in regards to the long-term sturdiness of the panel itself.

The keyboard structure is good, and we actually just like the daring backlight and styling. The fingerprint reader within the touchpad works higher than many we have used as nicely.


Jim Salter

The left aspect of the Summit has two Thunderbolt Four/USB Four.zero type-C ports, an influence LED, and a battery LED.


Jim Salter

The fitting aspect contains a USB 2.zero type-A port, a microSD card slot, and a Three.5mm audio combo jack.


Jim Salter

The i7-1185G7 sits beneath the cooler on the left, with warmth pipes off to a passive cooler on the GTX 1650Ti MaxQ on the appropriate. 52.4Wh battery on the underside, NVMe SSD and M.2 Wi-Fi on the underside proper.


Jim Salter

On this close-up shot we are able to see particulars of the Western Digital NVMe SSD and Intel Wi-Fi 6 card.


Jim Salter

Though the Summit E14 is lengthy on fashion, it is desperately brief on ports—there isn’t a video out, no Kensington lock slot, and no devoted energy jack. The left aspect options two Thunderbolt Four/USB type-C ports; the appropriate aspect has a single USB 2.zero type-A, a microSD card slot, and a Three.5mm audio combo jack. We count on most customers to think about a small USB type-C dock to be a necessity with this laptop computer—for video out, if for nothing else.

Though the NVMe SSD and Wi-Fi 6 card are correctly M.2 socketed and upgradeable, the RAM for the E14 is soldered to the motherboard. This is not a lot of an issue with the mannequin we examined, which got here with 32GiB onboard—however it might show extra of a sticking level for customers who go for the opposite Summit E14 mannequin, which contains a 4K show however solely 16GiB RAM.

BETA Efficiency testing

We are able to see the Summit E14 pattern is operating a 28W cTDP, each by the PL1 and by the common energy draw throughout Cinebench R20 multi-threaded testing.


Jim Salter

The Summit E14 is available in barely behind each Intel’s reference system and a Ryzen 4700U powered Acer laptop computer in multi-threaded Cinebench R20 assessments.


Jim Salter

Passmark, as regular, tells largely the identical story Cinebench does.

Geekbench 5 tends to flatten the variations between CPUs basically, and places extra weight on single-threaded efficiency even in multi-threaded mode.


Jim Salter

Keep in mind, this Summit E14 is an engineering/gross sales pattern, not a manufacturing unit—and our MSI rep requested us to make very sure our readers know that. Some particulars of configuration and even could change between this pattern and last retail models. For instance, we strongly suspect that the manufacturing techniques shall be 15W cTDP and never 28W cTDP as our pattern unit was—which is able to considerably lower efficiency numbers whereas considerably rising battery life.

With that stated, this laptop computer seems to be prefer it needs to be a fairly robust performer. On the 28W cTDP we see right here, it appears almost even with the Intel reference system—which is not an actual shock, provided that the 2 techniques share a CPU. However it does verify that the E14 would not have any cooling issues that may lower its CPU efficiency. We suspect the ultimate efficiency shall be lifeless even with the Intel prototype’s at 15W, although, not at 28W. As configured, the E14 didn’t even come near its acknowledged 10+ hour battery life.

In single-threaded as in multithreaded, our E14 pattern got here in barely behind the sooner Intel Tiger Lake prototype system.


Jim Salter

Single-threaded efficiency is unquestionably Tiger Lake’s candy spot—and in contrast to multithreaded, it in all probability will not lower a lot if the cTDP is lowered for manufacturing.


Jim Salter

Geekbench 5 single-threaded efficiency.


Jim Salter

The i7-1185G7 does handle to hit the 28W cTDP in single-threaded Cinebench R20, however solely often. It spends extra time at about 20W TDP throughout single-threaded assessments.


Jim Salter

With single-threaded efficiency, some great benefits of the Summit’s Tiger Lake CPU stand out extra clearly—notably in Passmark and Geekbench 5. Higher but, single-threaded efficiency on the i7-1185G7 would not take a lot of successful when the cTDP is lowered. Though it will possibly and does routinely hit the 28W cTDP even on one thread, it spends extra time in single-threaded benchmarking at round 20W TDP.

The Summit E14’s discrete Nvidia GPU exhibits its mettle in Time Spy assessments—although it nonetheless will get spanked roundly by the larger, badder Nvidia in ASUS’ ROG G14.


Jim Salter

The lighter-weight Night time Raid check would not present as a lot of a distinction between the GTX 1650Ti MaxQ and the built-in Iris Xe.


Jim Salter

Western Digital’s SN370 NVMe SSD blew the doorways off the Samsung P991 in our Acer Swift Three laptop computer, in CrystalDiskMark testing.


Jim Salter

We are able to see the Summit’s intent to stay with one foot in every of the enterprise and gaming worlds in 3DMark Time Spy assessments, through which the system’s GTX 1650Ti MaxQ discrete GPU roughly doubles the built-in Iris Xe GPU’s efficiency. It is nonetheless no match for the significantly larger and badder GTX 2060 MaxQ within the ASUS ROG G14 we examined earlier this yr—however its followers do not spin as much as the purpose of questioning if the laptop computer will carry off the desk and fly throughout the room, both.

Within the less-demanding Night time Raid check—geared toward techniques with built-in graphics—the lead between the GTX 1650Ti MaxQ and Iris Xe graphics is much less spectacular. That is principally a testomony to only how stellar Iris Xe is as an built-in GPU. Sadly, we needed to go by the Intel prototype’s numbers for Night time Raid on Iris Xe—the Summit pattern errored out constantly on this check.

Lastly, the Western Digital NVMe SSD performs like an absolute champ, roughly doubling the efficiency of the Samsung P991 NVMe SSD in our Ryzen 7 4700U-powered Acer Swift Three laptop computer throughout the board.

Conclusions

The Summit E14 is a enterprise laptop computer, however its gaming roots are simple. That features every thing from its unusually daring styling decisions to the discrete GTX 1650Ti MaxQ GPU—which does not appear more likely to be helpful for something besides gaming, given how stellar the Tiger Lake Iris Xe built-in GPU’s efficiency is already.

At $1,800 anticipated retail, it is a dear system—and whereas we like most of it, we’re casting some critical side-eye at its skinny plastic backside panel. This materials appears much less forgivable in a premium-priced system than it would in a single geared toward decrease budgets. That $1,800, however, does purchase you some pretty critical gaming efficiency with none accompanying twister followers like a extra critical gaming laptop computer burdens you with.

We do not have a last availability date for the Summit sequence but, however it’s best to broadly count on Summits to indicate up in shops and on-line later this quarter.

The Good

The Tiger Lake CPU is a powerful performer, notably in single or calmly multithreaded functions
Fan noise is noticeable however not outrageous
We love the stand-out styling cues on the keyboard, and we dig the 180-degree show hinge
Good to have an additional Thunderbolt Four/USB type-C port along with the one occupied by the charger
We have been pleasantly stunned by the Western Digital SSD’s excessive efficiency
Intel Wi-Fi 6

The Dangerous

The worth appears a bit of steep—though, for $200 greater than an XPS 13, you get an Nvidia GPU thrown in for gaming
The 200-nit show could strike some customers as not being shiny sufficient for a premium laptop computer

The Ugly

Though it is not one thing most customers will discover, we’re frightened about sturdiness and impression/weight resistance of the skinny plastic backside panel
Manufacturing tuning might want to accomplish quite a bit to get the system as much as 10+ hours of battery life on the 52.4Wh battery

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