With the release of its Prestige group of laptops, Taiwanese PC maker MSI drastically widened its market and it now has a number of great options in its portfolio geared at professionals who are seeking performance notebooks that don’t look as flashy as a few of its gaming notebooks.

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Last updated on June 21, 2022 7:16 am

At the low end of the Prestige series, MSI now offers a thin and light 14-inch notebook called the MSI PS42 which positions itself as a compelling buy for anybody looking for an ideal combo of portability and performance.

Starting at Rs. 77,990, the MSI PS42 will surely turn some heads, but may be the notebook really all that it’s ready to be? Here, we’ll be taking an in-depth consider the MSI PS42 to learn if it actually has what must be done to be your perfect companion on-the-go.

Being the company’s first notebook computer intended for professionals, the MSI PS42 requires a significant step from MSI’s gaming design aesthetic to provide a thing that would blend very easily in an work place. Compared to various other laptops in the segment, the MSI PS42’s design appears a little unimaginative when you initially check out it, since it features a proven brushed metal design that looks classy but outdated.

Inside, the laptop computer includes a 14-inch FHD IPS matte finish display with rather narrow bezels at the top and sides, plus a substantial chin. Much like many Ultrabooks with narrow bezels, the webcam on the MSI PS42 rests in the heart of underneath bezel, which isn’t the best position. However, it’s a trade off you’ll need to make if you’re buying notebook with narrow bezels.

There’s a well spaced out backlit keyboard with decent sized keys, plus a rather narrow touchpad with an embedded fingerprint scanner for Windows Hello authentication. The MSI PS42 offers users a decent collection of ports (more on that later) which are evenly distributed on the left and right edges of these devices.

There’s a sizable exhaust vent just above the keyboard which houses the tactile power button in the guts and every one of the laptop’s indicator LEDs sit left of the Tab key, wrapping over the left edge of the notebook. I like this implementation since it allows users to easily start to see the LEDs, regardless of the lid being opened or closed.

Weighing in at only under 1.2kg, the MSI PS42 is among the lightest laptops with a dedicated GPU and although it does feel a lttle bit hollow, there isn’t any major deck flex and the notebook computer feels quite sturdy. While I’m a lot more than satisfied with the look and construction of the PS42, I’m not really a fan of the company’s selection of by using a white backlight with silver keys, since it makes the legends very difficult to learn while you’re using the notebook computer in a well-lit room, but again, you have the choice to totally disable the backlight which does improve readability.

MSI PS42 8RB: Display
The MSI PS42 includes a 14-inch full HD (1920×1080) IPS display with a matte finish and it looks absolutely stunning, thanks partly to the narrow bezels. Unlike other matte panels that I’ve used before, content on the MSI PS42’s display looks vivid and crisp such as a glossy screen, without the glare whatsoever. The display also offers a decent 1000:1 contrast ratio and colors look fairly accurate, making the system a significant decent option for photo/video editors.

As with most of its other laptops, MSI bundles its True Color software with the PS42, giving users the choice to further customize the colour reproduction according to their specific needs. And because the laptop computer covers all the sRGB spectrum, there’s quite somewhat that can be done to customize the colour reproduction to your liking. What prevents the display from being absolutely perfect may be the max brightness which, in comparison to other laptops in the segment, is merely about average. Due to this, outdoor visibility isn’t that great and it’s likely you have trouble using the notebook computer in brightly lit environments.

For me, MSI has made use a fairly decent display panel on the MSI PS42 that makes it simply perfect for content creators who would like an editing machine to use on the run. You’ll definitely face some problems with the brightness levels but if you believe you can overlook that, I could assure you that you’ll have an excellent experience with the laptop’s display.

MSI PS42 8RB: Ports and Connectivity
For a 14-inch thin and light notebook, the MSI PS42 includes a decent collection of ports, offering users two full-sized USB 3.1 Type-A ports, two USB 3.1 Type-C ports, a full-sized HDMI port, an Sdcard reader, a 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack and a Kensington lock slot.

The ports are evenly distributed on the left and right edges of the laptop, with the USB Type-A ports, a USB Type-C port, the Kensington lock and the Sdcard reader residing on the proper, while the remaining ports can be found on the left.

The port selection puts the MSI PS42 a good bit prior to the competition, because so many notebooks in this segment only give a USB Type-C port and an added full-sized USB port nowadays.

While I’ve no problems with the port selection, I really do have two issues with the placement and the implementation of the ports. Firstly, both USB Type-A ports can be found very near to the other person on the proper edge of the laptops, which can cause some issues if all of your USB headers are unusually large or weirdly shaped. Secondly, when an Sdcard is inserted in to the Sdcard reader on the notebook it protrudes a good bit from the chassis, which can bring about some accidental damage.

MSI PS42 8RB: Keyboard
The MSI PS42 includes a spacious keyboard with full-sized, well spaced out keys making typing on the notebook a complete pleasure. The keys feel tactile, have a respectable amount of travel and make no rattling noises. With my large hands, typing was a lttle bit difficult initially(especially as a result of the narrow wrist rest), but I acquired used to it within a few hours and from then on typing was a breeze.

I was glad to see that the keyboard included full-size arrow keys and didn’t decide on a weird shrunken design like various other laptops in this segment. The keyboard can be backlit, however the white backlight is merely good if you’re using the notebook at night. In well-lit rooms, turning on the backlight comes with an adverse effect on the readability, making the legends very difficult to learn against the silver background. Besides that, I had no problems with the keyboard on the MSI PS42.

MSI PS42 8RB: Touchpad
The touchpad on the MSI PS42 is tiny and in addition the integrated fingerprint scanner eats up quite a lttle bit of usable space. I must say i wish MSI had put the fingerprint scanner elsewhere (hint: on the energy button), which could have easily addressed this problem. I also faced issues while selecting text using the touchpad, because the moment I reached near the fingerprint scanner, the touchpad would stop tracking my finger and begin moving the pointer down. Also, I don’t see any sense in leaving that tiny amount of space left and top right of the fingerprint scanner. Wasting treasured space on a touchpad of the size is merely beyond me.

Because of the inclusion of Windows precision drivers, the trackpad otherwise felt pretty smooth and accepted all multi-touch gestures without the issues. However, as a result of the actual fact that there’s barely any surface to utilize, using the multi-touch gestures felt rather unnatural and cramped.

I get there are significant space constraints whenever using laptops in the category, but I believe MSI could have made the trackpad slightly wider, which could have addressed almost all of the problems. Rounding off the indegent trackpad experience will be the left and right mouse buttons which feel really mushy but, on the upside, have a satisfying click.

MSI PS42 8RB: Audio
Initially look, you’d feel that the speakers on the MSI PS42 can be found within the grill above the keyboard, but that’s false. Both 2 Watt speakers can be found on the lower of the chassis, towards leading on either side plus they sound surprisingly best for a notebook this size. The speakers get fairly loud, specifically for a notebook computer this size and they’re high-quality speakers, no doubt.

Much like most downward firing speakers, the sound will get easily muffled if you are using the laptop computer on your own lap however the same isn’t true when working with it on a desk. On the other hand, the sound gets amplified with all the notebook on a desk, with the angled condition of the chassis towards leading playing the role of a passive amplifier.

Audio quality from the 3.5mm combo jack can be pretty great and because of the included Nahimic audio tracks software audio tracks through wired headsets is merely exceptional. Additionally you get the choice to customize the sound output through the program, which is great.