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MSI’s world premier laptop, the PS42 8RB, is ostensibly a gaming computer. However, the company announced on Tuesday that it plans to compete in another more competitive market – ultrabooks for creators. Now that Black Friday has arrived, there are amazing deals which you can get a discount on.
There are a lot of topics I could discuss in this article. In order to avoid looking like an essay, I will focus on just five or so here (make sure there’s not more than six if you do this).
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In spite of its design, the MPS42 8RB has advantages for professionals. The visuals are crisp, and it brings a wide variety of ports to the table that make things much easier on professionals who travel often.
But for $1,300, there are other laptops that could be better. The battery life is too short, sound quality and webcam aren’t good enough; it’s not the laptop we recommend before others as of this price.
MSI PS42 8RB Price and Configuration Options?
The review unit’s Intel Core i7-8550U CPU, 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD are paired with a dedicated GeForce MX150 GPU.
You can save significantly on a laptop by choosing the base model, which starts at $899. Compared to other models, it has lower specs across all categories with a Core i5-8250U CPU and 8GB of RAM. The midtier model costs an additional $300 but comes with double the storage capacity and better graphics capabilities to compensate.
The MSI PS42 may be the DeLorean of laptops: sleek, brash and not at all for everybody. The portable design includes a sleek aluminum exterior, but opening the lid reveals an inside filled with unique design cues that will transport you back to the future.
Boasting a circular power button on the deck and LED indicators, this lightweight and slim laptop is reminiscent of an 80s sci-fi film that used technology from that period.
I’m a fan of the appearance, however, not everyone will be. The laptop’s silver lid includes a swanky brushed-aluminum finish topped with MSI’s Lamborghini-like dragon logo. A keyboard with white backlighting and Tron-like font spans the width of the compact deck next to three white LED indicators for power, charging
The MSI PS42 may be the DeLorean of laptops: sleek, brash and not for everyone.
A faint white Prestige logo under the keyboard below a chrome-trimmed touchpad stands out. A rectangular vent around the power button appears at the top of the deck.
With more aggressively shaped hinges, the deck doesn’t flex as much when typing. The laptop also has a aluminum surface, which is not as premium feeling as those found on other metal laptops we’ve tested.
The edge-to-edge display of the msi PS42 may make it seem bigger, but its mass proves otherwise. At 12.6 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches and 2.6 pounds, the PS42 is larger compared to competing ultrabooks (12 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches, 4 pounds).
The same goes for the Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN, which is only 12.2 x 8.5 x 0.5 inches and weighs 2.7 pounds, making it much slimmer than the MSI PS42 at 14 x 11 3/8 x 1 3/4 inches and 5 pounds, respectively
The PS42 8RB includes many ports for people who don’t have the Thunderbolt 3 port.
On the proper side of the chassis are two USB ports, an SD card slot and a lock slot.
MSI PS42 slim 13.3 inches.
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The PS42’s 14-inch, non-touch display has great detail and vivid colors — but its maximum brightness is limited.
When watching the teaser for a live-action Aladdin film, I enjoyed seeing the ornate gilding on the magic oil lamp with its whimsical blue Genie, as well as the bright and rich red vest worn by Alladin at night.
The PS42 S’ 14-inch display is detailed and vivid, but its max brightness falls well below average.
Watching Prospect on this display, I could tell that the attention to detail really caught my eye. Besides feeling legitimate and not as “computer generated,” the turquoise-and-red outfit worn by actress Sophie Thatcher contrasts with the muted colors of a strange planet where all humans are banished from earth’s global calamity.
The PS42’s screen covers 116% of the sRGB color gamut, which is less colorful than what you’ll see on either the MateBook X Pro or the ZenBook 13, but more vivid compared to both the Spectre 13 as well as to even a ‘premium category average’.
The PS42 features a display capable of displaying 243 nits of maximum brightness. The average notebook with a top end of 311 nits, the MateBook X Pro and the ZenBook 13 both boast brighter displays. Compared to the HP Spectre 13, which has a glossy finish and only 247 nits of brightness, the PS42’s matte display is much more visible under bright lighting.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The island-style keyboard layout on the MSI PS42 offered a comfortable typing experience despite having shallow keys.
The backlit keyboard offers 0.9 millimeters of key travel which falls well short of our recommended 1.5mm, but it is made up with an excellent actuation force at 72 grams. Quality feedback and well-spaced keys make the MSI P42 s keyboard among the snappiest I ve applied to a notebook computer this slim.
Traveling is fun, but I have some complaints about the keyboard on this laptop. One of my issues is that it’s hard to see what you are typing because of the lack of contrast between transparent lettering and silver key caps. Furthermore, there was a slight flex in the chassis when I pressed down hard on portions of the keyboard close
I scored 111 words every 60 seconds on the 10fastfingers.com typing test, above my 109 wpm average. As a result of slick, shallow keys, I finished up making more errors than normal, with an accuracy rate of 91 percent weighed against my typical 95 percent.
MSI has an interesting touchpad on its dinky laptop, a flat bottom and curved top corners that make it look like the keyboard is a slice of bread. I was able to navigate Windows 10 using gestures like pinch-to-zoom and three-finger swipe without any awkwardness. The angled fingerprint sensor is well-positioned in the top left corner of the touchpad for faster and more convenient login.
The PS42 8RBs bottom-firing loudspeakers produce a loud volume level that may cause some hearing damage when you crank it to maximum. When my ears were exposed for an extended period of time, I noticed that Ben Gibbard s vocals sounded obscured and distorted from the overdriven sound waves. Lowering the volume improved clarity, but the pop/alternative song was still empty.
When I switched to Kanye West’s emotional song, Street Lights, the thudding drum in the background sounded similar to someone knocking on a wooden door instead of someone banging with a hammer. West’s synthesized voice was clear, though the sound had a weird echo.
You can change the sound effects on the speaker with the provided Nahimic software, but it won t improve the quality of speakers.
The MSI PS42 felt lightning fast and never stuttered during our Google Chrome test, where we had 20 tabs loaded. Even when I played four 1080p videos on YouTube and Twitch the notebook computer felt perfect. I typically notice lag when switching between tabs under a heavy workload, but the MSI was as smooth as silk.
When I played four 1080p videos on the notebook computer – one from YouTube and another pair on Twitch – it never stuttered.
Our review unit, which came with a superior CPU and more RAM than the baseline model, scored better on our Geekbench 4 tests. The PS42 scored an 8,748 point score on the efficiency test. That result is worse than the MateBook X Pro (Core i7-8550U, 13,769), the Zenbook 13 (Core i5-8250U, 12,999) and the HP Spectre 13 (Core i7-8550U.
The 512GB M2 SATA SSD in the PS42 failed to meet expectations as well. It needed 31 seconds to duplicate 4.97GB of mixed-media files for an interest rate of 164 megabytes per second. Again, the MateBook X Pro (512 GB NVMe PCIe SSD, 282 MBps), the ZenBook 13 (203. The premium notebook computer average is practically three times faster.
The PS42 8RB is speedy on the Excel Macro test, but not as fast as its rivals.
The PS42 8RB is fast at matching 65,000 names with their corresponding addresses in 1 minute and 38 seconds or 1:38 minutes. It’s slower than luxury notebooks though, which clock in an average of just over a minute The ZenBook 13 has dominated your competition by (1:10).
The MSI redeemed itself in one of our tougher tests, completing a 4K video conversion to 1080p format using the HandBrake app in just 20 minutes. The ZenBook 13 and the MateBook X Pro took substantially more time, with 27:18 and 23:02 respectively, and the common premium notebook computer even lagged behind with a time
MSI has done a great job of surpassing competitors in our gaming tests. The PS42 is one of the lightest laptops with a dedicated GPU, which allows it to run modern games at low-to-medium settings.
The Nvidia GeForce MX150-equipped PS42 scored a 125,326 on the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited graphics test and narrowly beat out the Spectre 13 (UHD Graphics 620; 75,114) and MakBook X Pro (GeForce MX150; 116,359). The average selling price of a notebook computer is $90,387.
The Dell XPS 42 8RB also excelled in our real-world tests. The laptop played the racing game Dirt 3 at a smooth 132 fps. The Spectre 13, which has an older GPU – and so could not take full advantage of the MX150 – scored 57 fps, well behind our price point average of 77 fps, and was even.
The battery life of the MSI PS42 8RB is shorter than its competitors. The MS42 had better endurance compared to the short-lived Spectre 13 (5:16), although it fell well below average among premium notebook computer (8:13).
The MSI PS42 s webcam is borderline useless. As Dell s XPS laptops have proved, lowering or removing the webcam below the display severely impairs usability. Alas, that is where the camera resides on this model of MSI laptop.
Worse of all, the 720p camera snarls in an awkward position regardless of how you hold it: either with the lid at a 90-degree angle or on its back. I had to angle the display back another 45 degrees roughly so that the camera could see me. The webcam was able to get a clear view with my fingers occasionally blocking the lens.
Nevertheless, the image captured by the webcam is sharp, albeit not bright enough to accurately capture colors. The gray lines in my own black plaid shirt were nonexistent and my shadow-covered face looked menacing from the awkward angle.
Gaming manufacturers, understanding the heat issue for gaming notebooks such as MSI PS42, have adopted a dual-exhaust setup to provide better cooling. Unfortunately this only partly covers the problem and after 15 minutes of playing back a full screen 1080p HD video at 16% brightness was reaching 109 degrees in our test. The laptop’s lower part, at 98 degrees Fahrenheit, also topped our 95-degree comfort threshold.
The touchpad (78 degrees) and the guts of the keyboard (88 degrees), at least, remained at a manageable temperature beneath heavy use.
Software and Warranty
The MSI PS42 comes preinstalled with a bunch of software, but without an appreciation for interior design and easy-to-access file management, you probably won’t need most of it. More useful programs include the Color app that lets you adjust your screen’s brightness and color temperature or pick from six preset modes like Designer, Office and Movie. MSI includes a slew of third party apps that make the Dragon Center an all-in-one solution. The Battery Calibration app, Nahimic audio software and MSI utilities are just some examples of what is included with this gaming rig.
A dozen third-party programs occupy valuable storage space. Included among the bloatware are Norton Security Scan, Candy Crush Saga, Evernote, Hidden City and Music Maker Jam.
MSI outperformed their competitors on the Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Brands ranking.
The MSI PS42 8RB is a lightweight workstation without many noticeable flaws. One strength this machine possesses is the GTX 1050 GPU. It doesn’t have the raw graphics power of other msi computers, but it still outperforms ultra-thin laptops.
While the MSI GS65 delivers a whopping 18.6 hours of battery life, it doesn’t have as many other features that can be expensive on their own. These notebooks offer everything the MSI PS42 provides, but with much better battery life. Ultimately, these laptops rank as a great option for those looking to buy a new notebook on a tight budget
Even still, MSI did a great job at holding on to its roots and proving it has what is takes to make more than just mere gaming laptops. We hope this reflects MSI laptops’ bright future ahead of them.