MSI has updated its Prestige laptop series with two 16in models featuring Intel’s 12th Gen Core i7 processor and a mini-LED panel. Nice.
Building on top of Prestige 14 and 15 heritage, MSI has refreshed many components, moving from LPDDR4X to LPDDR5, and from normal LCD panels to ones with mini-LEDs for that extra colour pop.
Prestige 16 Evo A12M
Powered by six performance cores and eight efficient, Intel’s 20-thread Core i7-1280P CPU helms Prestige 16 Evo A12M, which is the first in its family to include a mini-LED panel. Running at 165Hz refresh rate with 16:10 aspect FHD+ (1920×1200) resolution, it can reproduce up to 100 per cent of sRGB colours and adhere to the DisplayHDR 1000 standard.
Driving the display is Intel’s Iris Xe Graphics offering 96 EUs clocked up to 1.45GHz. Like all iGPUs, it also shares main system memory with the CPU, and you can have up to 32GB LPDDR5-4800 in dual-channel configuration.
Unlike Prestige 15 and its two M.2 slots, the 16 has only a single PCIe Gen 4 x4 M.2 slot. However, this should not be a problem, as we are starting to see more 8TB SSDs being released, thanks to QLC density. While MSI doesn’t specify what capacities are available, we know that it comes pre-installed with Windows 11 Home/Windows 11 Pro.
Moving to I/O, there are two Type-C Thunderbolt 4 ports supporting DP Alt Mode and power delivery, two USB3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, a Micro SD card reader, a fingerprint reader, an HDMI (4K at 60Hz), two 2W speakers, a combo audio jack, plus Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2.
Those of you working from home will be pleased to see an upgraded webcam capable of recording 1080p at 30FPS alongside IR and noise reduction. While those on the move will benefit from the 82Wh battery and 100W charger.
Prestige 16 A12UD
Otherwise a carbon copy of the A12M, A12UD brings some welcome improvements to the table, such as an additional 4GB GDDR6 RTX 3050 Ti laptop GPU boosting up to 1,235MHz, much needed to drive the higher resolution of its QHD+ (2560×1600) mini-LED panel. Running at 165Hz, the screen is now capable of displaying 100 per cent DCI-P3 colour gamut, all while being DisplayHDR 1000-certified.
Finally, both versions are Intel Evo-certified and maintain less than 35dB of noise, according to MSI.
What are mini-LEDs
Now that specs are out of the way, let’s talk about technology. Unlike OLED screens, pixels on an LCD cannot emit light by themselves. Therefore, they need a light source behind the panel or on its sides. Because of this, LCD backlighting is limited by its size and available space, subsequently reducing the number of possible dimming zones. These zones are very important to achieve the deepest blacks, which is especially needed when displaying HDR content.
Mini-LEDs are meant to replace traditional backlighting systems by offering an increased number of zones thanks to smaller light sources, thus providing deeper blacks and higher peak brightness, while reducing LCD weaknesses such as the blooming or halo effect around bright objects in a dark background. Lesson over.
Measuring 358mm (W) x 258.55mm (D) x 16.85mm (H) and weighing 1.9kg, both Prestige 16 models will be available in urban silver, but pricing is still unknown.