MSI Prestige PS42 Laptop review

Thin and light from the outside. A mean machine from the inside.

TechRadar Verdict

The MSI Prestige PS42 is a thin and light laptop with powerful internals. It looks a bit retro and the trackpad is too tiny for gestures that require more than two fingers. We noticed some software issues as well that can hopefully be addressed in a firmware update but other than that, the Prestige PS42 is as powerful as thin and lights come.

Pros

  • +

    Discrete Nvidia graphics

  • +

    Great selection of ports

Cons

  • -

    Small trackpad

  • -

    Awkward webcam position

Why you can trust TechRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Although the thin and light market segment has existed for many years in the form of Ultrabooks, we’ve seen some really nice laptops in this space recently such as the Huawei MateBook 13 that push boundaries of not only the form factor but also performance. 

MSI’s latest laptop is the Prestige PS42, and marks another notable entry in this space. It packs impressive specs in a very thin and light package, along with a set of ports that is sure to please any road warrior. 

Spec Sheet

Here is the MSI Prestige PS42 configuration sent to TechRadar Middle East for review:

CPU: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U (quad-core, 8MB cache, up to 4.0GHz)
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620; Nvidia GeForce MX150
RAM: 16GB DDR4 (2,400MHz)
Screen: 14-inch, 1080p (1,920 x 1,080, IPS, non-touch display
Storage: 512GB SSD
Ports: 2 x USB-C 3.1, headset jack
Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2
Camera: HD (720p, 0.9MP) webcam
Weight: 1.19kg
Size: 322 x 222 x 15.9 mm (W x D x H)

Price and availability

The MSI Prestige is only sold in one configuration in the Middle East which is the highest end config, priced at AED 4,499. At the price, you're getting a Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD storage and the Nvidia MX150 GPU with 2GB RAM. 

That's a pretty sweet deal considering what you're getting, though it's worth noting that the Huawei MateBook 13 costs less at AED 3,999 with half the RAM or AED 2,999 with 256GB or storage and a Core i5 processor.

According to MSI, the laptop can be purchased through Jumbo or Virgin Megastore. 

Design and display

If there was one word to describe the MSI PS42’s design, it would be pseudo-retro. It sort of reminds us of laptops from a decade ago with its brushed aluminum look, but at the same time sparks a modern trend with its very thin bezels.

It does suffer the same challenges as the older Dell XPS with minimal bezels - the webcam is placed below the screen, which will make video-conferencing calls awkward to say the least.

There is a large grille above the keyboard with a power button in the center. The dual-fan cooling solution sits underneath this grille and even though hot air is pushed from the back of the laptop, this area can get a bit warm.

The keyboard has a bit of a flex, but the keys are nice and big with enough travel to type comfortably. What we aren’t fans of is the column of keys to the right of the backspace/enter keys. Most keyboards have those as their right-most keys but MSI places an additional column with Home/end and page up/down keys that we found ourselves accidentally hitting.

Below the keyboard sits a small trackpad, or at least smaller to the ones we’re used to. It’s a precision trackpad which means that it’s fairly smooth and jitter-free and gestures work well on it. Although it works fine with two finger gestures, the small size makes it feels a bit cramped for three finger gestures.

On the top-left side of the trackpad is the fingerprint scanner which is an odd place for it to be placed. Ideally, this should have been integrated into the power button on top for easier access, rather than taking up space on what is already a small trackpad.

Where MSI has done well is with the number of ports on this laptop. On the left is the power port, an HDMI port, a USB Type-C port and a headphone jack. The right side has two full-sized USB ports, one more Type-C port and a full-sized SD card reader along with a Kensington lock.

While that's a great array of ports, we do wish that Prestige P42 could be charged through USB Type-C instead of through older power adapters. 

Abbas Jaffar Ali
Managing Editor - Middle East

Abbas has been living and breathing tech before phones became smart or clouds started storing data. It all started when he got his very first computer- the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. From computers to mobile phones and watches, Abbas is always interested in tech that is smarter and smaller because he believes that tech shouldn’t be something that gets added to your life- it should be a part of your life.