Notebookcheck

MSI PS42 8RB Prestige (i7-8550U, GeForce MX150) Laptop Review

A good first try. MSI wants to expand its lineup to include more business laptops and the PS42 represents the manufacturer's first attempt at a narrow-bezel 14-inch offering for business users. The result is a unique system that is on par with the XPS 13 in a few ways but with a longer list of flaws.

MSI has a very strong foothold in the gaming laptop world and now it wants an even bigger piece of the pie by expanding into more ultrathin business laptops. The PS42 Prestige represents MSI's first foray into a market dominated by systems like the Dell XPS 13, Asus ZenBook 3, HP Spectre 13, Huawei Matebook X Pro, Lenovo Ideapad 720S, Acer Swift 7, Microsoft Surface Laptop, and countless other sub 14-inch offerings. With such a crowded selection to choose from, MSI will have to hit it out of the park if it wishes to make a dent in the market.

The PS42 carries a few unique features not found on most other Ultrabooks. Namely, its full-fledged GeForce MX150 GPU and 14-inch screen size are rarities in a space where 13-inch systems with integrated graphics are common. These features give the PS42 an edge in graphics performance for users who need more power than what integrated Intel UHD or Iris graphics can provide. MSI's last 14-inch notebook was the GS43 Shadow released years ago, but the PS42 looks to be an entirely different approach altogether.

Current configurations range from $900 USD for the i5-8250U CPU with integrated UHD graphics up to $1300 USD for the i7-8550U with the aforementioned discrete GeForce MX150. An easy-to-read comparison list between the SKUs can be found on the official product page for the PS42.

MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce MX150 - 2048 MB, Core: 1468 MHz, Memory: 6008 MHz, GDDR5, 391.48, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4-2666, PC4-21300, 10-10-10-28, Single-Channel
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 157 PPI, CMN N140HCE-EN2, IPS, Chi Mei CMN14D5, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U + iHDCP 2.2 Base PCH
Storage
Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G, 512 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Kaby Lake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo, Card Reader: SD reader, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 15.9 x 322 x 222 ( = 0.63 x 12.68 x 8.74 in)
Battery
50 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo 2 W, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, USB to RJ-45, Dragon Center 2.1, MSI True Color, SCM, Norton Security, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.19 kg ( = 41.98 oz / 2.62 pounds), Power Supply: 350 g ( = 12.35 oz / 0.77 pounds)
Price
1300 USD

 

Case

MSI has essentially taken what it's learned from the gaming GS series to create the PS42 Prestige. The inspirations are very clear as the system looks almost exactly like the GS63 or GS73 from certain angles especially in regard to the dual hinges and smooth, brushed aluminum outer lid and palm rests. In contrast to the black G series laptops, however, the silver finish of the PS42 is able to hide grease and fingerprints much more easily. Its clean and classy design makes it a better fit for business or office environments where MSI is hoping to make a bigger splash.

What ought to be improved on future iterations is chassis rigidity. The PS42 is at least a few steps behind the sturdier XPS 13, Matebook X Pro, and Spectre 13 because of its more flexible surfaces. Both the base and especially the lid are comparatively easier to warp when twisting from the edges or applying pressure down the center. Surfaces do not feel as thick or firm as they do on the aforementioned alternatives and the overall impression is much weaker as a result.

The dual hinges are otherwise satisfactory with no teetering up to the maximum of 180 degrees. Build quality on our sample unit is imperfect around the rear corners as shown by our sample images below.

On one corner, the seam is aligned with the rear hinge
On one corner, the seam is aligned with the rear hinge
On the other corner, the seam is slightly crooked to suggest imperfect construction
On the other corner, the seam is slightly crooked to suggest imperfect construction

At just 1.2 kg, the PS42 is one of the lightest 14-inch notebooks we've seen. The XPS 13 is smaller in all three dimensions without any discrete GPU options and it amazingly still weighs about the same as our MSI. This fact alone is responsible for why the PS42 gives a "hollow" first impression since many smaller Ultrabooks don't have significant weight differences. On the bright side, the light weight and very narrow 5.7 mm bezels make the MSI easy to carry around for travel. Some competing models can be thinner like the Microsoft Surface Laptop or the MateBook X Pro, but these "cheat" by having smaller 13.5-inch and 13.9-inch screen sizes.

Brushed aluminum chassis
Brushed aluminum chassis
Many visual similarities to the MSI GS series
Many visual similarities to the MSI GS series
Very lightweight for the screen size
Very lightweight for the screen size
The grilles along the top are for airflow and not audio
The grilles along the top are for airflow and not audio

Connectivity

Port selection is wide with a few glaring omissions. Most notably, the system lacks Thunderbolt 3 and even USB Type-C Gen. 2 for more limited connectivity options. Output to 4K60 is not possible either as there is no HDMI 2.0 port. We were expecting a bit more for a notebook worth over $1000 USD.

Port positioning is imperfect. While all ports are easy to reach, the Kensington Lock is oddly located very close upfront along the right edge. A connected lock will occupy valuable desk space away from an external mouse and this can become a nuisance since it is so close to the front of the notebook. It's unfortunate that MSI couldn't move the lock further towards the rear or switch positions with one of the USB ports.

Another disappointment is the use of a proprietary AC adapter port instead of the more versatile USB Type-C charging. We're hoping that future revisions will drop the AC adapter port entirely much like on the XPS 13 or Spectre 13.

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Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Right: Kensington Lock, SD reader, USB Type-C Gen. 1, 2x USB 3.1 Type-A
Right: Kensington Lock, SD reader, USB Type-C Gen. 1, 2x USB 3.1 Type-A
Rear: No connectivity
Rear: No connectivity
Left: AC adapter, HDMI 1.4, USB Type-C Gen. 1, 3.5 mm combo audio
Left: AC adapter, HDMI 1.4, USB Type-C Gen. 1, 3.5 mm combo audio

SD Card Reader

Fully inserted SD card still protrudes
Fully inserted SD card still protrudes

Transfer rates from the integrated spring-loaded card reader are very slow at around 25 MB/s only. Moving 1 GB worth of files from our UHS-II test card takes almost 50 seconds compared to just 6 seconds on the XPS 13 9370. It's disappointing to see MSI cut such a deep corner in this regard. Older MSI GS models like the GS63 were also equipped with super-slow card readers.

A fully inserted SD card still protrudes by about one-quarter of its total length. 

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II)
156.4 MB/s ∼100% +633%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L7002AUS
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
81.08 MB/s ∼52% +280%
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
21.33 MB/s ∼14%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II)
207.16 MB/s ∼100% +718%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L7002AUS
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
87.32 MB/s ∼42% +245%
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
25.34 MB/s ∼12%

Communication

The Intel 3168 module is capable of transfer rates of up to 433 Mbps or half of what the more popular Intel 8260 can do since it only carries a 1x1 antennae. While sufficient for home or office use, it's still a bummer that there are no proper 2x2 module options. Flagship Ultrabooks in the same price range typically carry faster WLAN modules as standard.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
665 MBit/s ∼100% +98%
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
660 MBit/s ∼99% +96%
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
336 MBit/s ∼51%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
513 MBit/s ∼100% +65%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
504 MBit/s ∼98% +62%
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
311 MBit/s ∼61%

Accessories

Included extras are a Quick Start guide and a USB Type-A to RJ-45 adapter. Additional support for docking stations is limited since the system has no USB Type-C Gen. 2 or Thunderbolt ports.

Maintenance

Serviceability is not as easy as we would like and users already familiar with the MSI GS73 or GS63 will notice a very familiar design when opening up the system. Though the bottom panel can be easily removed with just a Philips screwdriver, the motherboard is upside-down and so key components require additional disassembly. Things like RAM, storage, BIOS battery, and cooling are thus not easily accessible. The only easily serviceable components are the M.2 2232 WLAN module and internal battery.

Many internal similarities to the MSI GS series
Many internal similarities to the MSI GS series

Warranty

The standard one-year limited manufacturer warranty applies with extensions of up to another year. It's certainly not as comprehensive as what traditional OEMs like Dell, Lenovo, or HP have to offer.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The chiclet keyboard is roomy (~30.0 x 10.5 cm) with large individual keys including the full-size Arrow keys. Unlike the MSI gaming G series, however, the PS42 does not use a SteelSeries keyboard. Its keys have noticeably shorter travel and a lighter tactile feel than the keyboards of the GS65 or GS73 as a result. The Space and Enter keys in particular feel very light and could have benefited from deeper travel or firmer feedback for a business laptop. Clatter is otherwise relatively quiet.

The white backlight has four levels of illumination. Depending on the ambient lighting, the letter printing on the keys can be difficult to see because they do not contrast well with the white-silver color scheme. Pushing down on the center of the keyboard will warp it slightly to suggest that key feedback could have been firmer if the chassis was more rigid.

Touchpad

The Precision trackpad (~10.0 x 5.8 cm) integrates a fingerprint reader on the corner whereas the latest Ultrabooks are integrating the fingerprint reader directly onto the Power button itself for convenience. Glide is smooth and cursor control is reliable without any issues. Surface area is smaller than on the XPS 13 (10.5 x 6.0 cm) and MateBook X Pro (12.0 x 7.8 cm) and so multi-touch gestures can feel cramped.

The integrated mouse keys along the bottom edge have shallow and spongy travel and a high-pitched audible click when fully pressed. It takes quite a bit of force to input a click and so rapid clicks can be difficult. It's a mediocre implementation at best.

Large key size with a relatively small trackpad
Large key size with a relatively small trackpad
We were hoping for a SteelSeries keyboard, but the keyboard here is more akin to a traditional Ultrabook
We were hoping for a SteelSeries keyboard, but the keyboard here is more akin to a traditional Ultrabook

Display

The narrow-bezel matte 1080p display is one of the best aspects about the PS42. Content appears crisp like a glossy screen without most of the color grains that often plague matte panels. Contrast is respectable at almost 1000:1 and colors are both deep and extraordinarily accurate. Our impressions are similar to those for the Zenbook UX3410UA since both systems utilize Chi Mei N140HCE IPS panels.

A couple of features prevent the PS42 from having the "perfect" display. First, the backlight is noticeably dimmer than many of its closest competitors including the Matebook X Pro, HP Spectre x360 13, and the aforementioned Zenbook UX3410UA. Secondly, pulse-width modulation is present on very low brightness levels that can affect users sensitive to onscreen flickering.

Matte panel
Matte panel
Very narrow bezels
Very narrow bezels
Even light bleed from corners and edges
Even light bleed from corners and edges
Subpixel array (157 PPI)
Subpixel array (157 PPI)
MSI True Color
MSI True Color
272.4
cd/m²
272.4
cd/m²
278.7
cd/m²
269
cd/m²
285.4
cd/m²
270
cd/m²
254
cd/m²
274.4
cd/m²
246.8
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 285.4 cd/m² Average: 269.2 cd/m² Minimum: 14.63 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 285.4 cd/m²
Contrast: 921:1 (Black: 0.31 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 1 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3, calibrated: 0.98
ΔE Greyscale 1.4 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
98.91% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 63.82% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.25
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
CMN N140HCE-EN2, IPS, 14, 1920x1080
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
ID: Sharp SHP148B, Name: LQ133D1, Dell P/N: 8XDHY, IPS, 13.3, 3840x2160
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
Tianma XM, IPS, 13.9, 3000x2000
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L7002AUS
NV140FHM-N46, TFT-LCD, 14, 1920x1080
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
Chi Mei CMN14D2 / N140HCE-EN1, IPS, 14, 1920x1080
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
LGD0588, IPS, 13.3, 3840x2160
Response Times
-88%
-10%
-54%
6%
-41%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
34.4 (18, 16.4)
69.6 (32.4, 37.2)
-102%
40.4 (19.2, 21.2)
-17%
44 (26, 18)
-28%
30 (14, 16)
13%
51.6 (25.6, 26)
-50%
Response Time Black / White *
24.8 (14.8, 10)
44 (24.4, 19.6)
-77%
25.6 (11.6, 14)
-3%
34 (18.8, 15.2)
-37%
25 (14, 11)
-1%
32.4 (16.4, 16)
-31%
PWM Frequency
25000 (22)
3759 (20)
-85%
990.1
-96%
Screen
-29%
-61%
-149%
-77%
-16%
Brightness middle
285.4
478.5
68%
442.7
55%
288.3
1%
377
32%
329.8
16%
Brightness
269
466
73%
428
59%
281
4%
339
26%
318
18%
Brightness Distribution
86
86
0%
84
-2%
86
0%
76
-12%
74
-14%
Black Level *
0.31
0.43
-39%
0.31
-0%
0.21
32%
0.4
-29%
0.25
19%
Contrast
921
1113
21%
1428
55%
1373
49%
943
2%
1319
43%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1
3.09
-209%
2.24
-124%
6.16
-516%
3.33
-233%
2.37
-137%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
3.65
5.94
-63%
7.19
-97%
18.99
-420%
8.02
-120%
4.08
-12%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
0.98
2.06
-110%
1.11
-13%
4.51
-360%
3.5
-257%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.4
2.4
-71%
9.7
-593%
6.3
-350%
4.89
-249%
2.8
-100%
Gamma
2.25 98%
2.063 107%
1.42 155%
2.517 87%
2.37 93%
2.145 103%
CCT
6699 97%
6883 94%
6227 104%
6886 94%
7620 85%
6441 101%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
63.82
69.47
9%
61.6
-3%
37.67
-41%
62
-3%
67
5%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
98.91
98.36
-1%
95
-4%
58.9
-40%
98
-1%
98
-1%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-59% / -42%
-36% / -53%
-102% / -129%
-36% / -64%
-29% / -20%

* ... smaller is better

Color coverage is wide at essentially the entire sRGB spectrum and approximately 64 percent of the AdobeRGB standard. Results are comparable to the panels of other flagship Ultrabooks like the XPS 13, Matebook X Pro, and Spectre x360 13. Digital artists who need complete sRGB coverage should find the PS42 sufficient.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB

Further display measurements reveal very accurate colors and grayscale out of the box with some of the lowest DeltaE values we've seen on a laptop. Our attempts to calibrate the display change almost nothing and so an end-user calibration is not necessary to get the most accurate colors.

The pre-installed MSI True Color application was set to sRGB prior to taking our measurements.

Grayscale before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
24.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 14.8 ms rise
↘ 10 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 38 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (25.7 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
34.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18 ms rise
↘ 16.4 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 24 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (41.2 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 25000 Hz ≤ 22 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 25000 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 22 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 25000 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8898 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Outdoor visibility is just average under shade. The backlight is too dim for comfortable use in brighter environments despite the matte panel. Viewing angles are otherwise excellent with no major brightness or color shifting.

Outdoors on overcast day
Outdoors on overcast day
Outdoors on overcast day
Outdoors on overcast day
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

Current SKUs include the Core i5-8250U or Core i7-8550U CPU with either UHD Graphics 620 and GeForce MX150 graphics. All SKUs with the i5-8250U, however, ship with just 8 GB of RAM whereas the i7-8550U SKUs have 16 GB. The same 1080p IPS display is used across the entire lineup.

It's important to note that the PS42 is limited to single-channel memory that can potentially reduce performance depending on the application. Optimus is included in the GeForce MX150 SKUs to lengthen battery life.

Processor

CineBench R15
CineBench R15

CPU performance is a mixed bag. On the bright side, performance is consistent as shown by our CineBench R15 Multi-Thread loop test below with very even scores from start to finish. In comparison, the same CPU in the MateBook X Pro can fall by as much as 12 percent when subjected to the same CineBench loop test.

On the flip side, maximum Turbo Boost potential is limited. The average Core i7-8550U CineBench R15 Multi-Thread score in our database is 14 percent higher than the same CPU in our PS42. The XPS 13 9370, for example, is able to score 27 percent higher than our MSI. Our Stress Test section below reveals that the CPU never runs any faster than 2.6 GHz or 2.7 GHz for more than a few seconds to explain the below average CineBench scores. Thus, while CPU performance is consistent, Turbo Boost potential is somewhat disappointing.

See our dedicated page on the Core i7-8550U for more technical information and benchmarks.

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad T580-20L9001AUS
Intel Core i7-8650U
166 Points ∼80% +2%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8550U
165 Points ∼80% +2%
MSI GV62 8RE-016US
Intel Core i5-8300H
162 Points ∼78% 0%
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
Intel Core i7-8550U
162 Points ∼78%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (108 - 172, n=55)
160 Points ∼77% -1%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-8259U
154 Points ∼74% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad 13 20J1005TPB
Intel Core i7-7500U
146 Points ∼71% -10%
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
Intel Core i5-8250U
144 Points ∼70% -11%
HP Envy x360 15-bq102ng
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
142 Points ∼69% -12%
HP EliteBook 755 G5 3UN79EA
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
134 Points ∼65% -17%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GV62 8RE-016US
Intel Core i5-8300H
798 Points ∼26% +59%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-8259U
687 Points ∼22% +37%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-8259U
608 Points ∼20% +21%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8550U
639 Points ∼21% +27%
HP EliteBook 755 G5 3UN79EA
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
623 Points ∼20% +24%
HP Envy x360 15-bq102ng
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
618 Points ∼20% +23%
Lenovo ThinkPad T580-20L9001AUS
Intel Core i7-8650U
605 Points ∼19% +21%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (301 - 761, n=57)
570 Points ∼18% +14%
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
Intel Core i7-8550U
502 Points ∼16%
Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB
Intel Core i5-8250U
490 Points ∼16% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad 13 20J1005TPB
Intel Core i7-7500U
338 Points ∼11% -33%
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
93.68 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
502 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
162 Points
Help

System Performance

PCMark benchmarks rank our system similarly to other notebooks equipped with the same CPU and GPU. Indeed, PCMark 8 Home and PCMark 10 results are within single-digit percentages from competing ultraportables like the ThinkPad T480s, Matebook X Pro, and XPS 13 9370. Its PCMark 8 Work results, however, are noticeably higher due to the faster dedicated GeForce graphics. The system feels buttery smooth as one would expect from a SSD-based laptop with no crashes or bugs during our time with the unit.

PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 10 - Score
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L7002AUS
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3771 Points ∼49% 0%
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
3753 Points ∼48%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
3728 Points ∼48% -1%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (3071 - 4106, n=15)
3672 Points ∼47% -2%
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
GeForce MX150, 8250U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
3569 Points ∼46% -5%
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3445 Points ∼44% -8%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
5077 Points ∼78%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (4063 - 5228, n=15)
4772 Points ∼73% -6%
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
GeForce MX150, 8250U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
4613 Points ∼71% -9%
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4339 Points ∼67% -15%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
4125 Points ∼63% -19%
Home Score Accelerated v2
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
3740 Points ∼61%
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
GeForce MX150, 8250U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
3672 Points ∼60% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L7002AUS
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3672 Points ∼60% -2%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (3145 - 4130, n=16)
3669 Points ∼60% -2%
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3478 Points ∼57% -7%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
3371 Points ∼55% -10%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3740 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5077 points
Help

Storage Devices

A single M.2 2280 slot is available with SSD options up to 512 GB. Our particular test unit is equipped with a 512 GB SATA III Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G SSD.

Transfer rates from out Toshiba SSD are typical of a SATA III SSD with sequential read and write rates hovering just below 500 MB/s. While more than sufficient for browsing and streaming, video editors and performance users will find the drive to be slower than the NVMe SSDs found on most competing Ultrabooks. The faster Toshiba KXG50ZNV512G NVMe SSD in the XPS 13, for example, is capable of four times the sequential read rates of our MSI.

See our table of SSDs and HDDs for more benchmark comparisons.

(September 11, 2018 correction: SKUs in the United States are not available with NVMe options, but the systems are otherwise compatible with NVMe SSDs. SKUs overseas, such as in Germany, have NVMe SSDs by default.)

AS SSD
AS SSD
CDM 5
CDM 5
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L7002AUS
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Lenovo ThinkPad 13 20J1005TPB
Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
Average Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
 
AS SSD
61%
96%
141%
44%
-3%
Copy Game MB/s
586.78
503.34
-14%
486.26
-17%
546 (505 - 587, n=2)
-7%
Copy Program MB/s
439.47
570.18
30%
312.26
-29%
326 (213 - 439, n=2)
-26%
Copy ISO MB/s
699.9
584.6
-16%
739.44
6%
563 (427 - 700, n=2)
-20%
Score Total
1110
1911
72%
2575
132%
3048
175%
1305
18%
1089 (1067 - 1110, n=2)
-2%
Score Write
442
596
35%
620
40%
921
108%
655
48%
412 (381 - 442, n=2)
-7%
Score Read
436
926
112%
1329
205%
1435
229%
449
3%
446 (436 - 455, n=2)
2%
Access Time Write *
0.076
0.055
28%
0.036
53%
0.038
50%
0.033
57%
0.064 (0.052 - 0.076, n=2)
16%
Access Time Read *
0.154
0.059
62%
0.058
62%
0.055
64%
0.081
47%
0.112 (0.07 - 0.154, n=2)
27%
4K-64 Write
311.33
444.78
43%
399.62
28%
706.33
127%
481.74
55%
285 (260 - 311, n=2)
-8%
4K-64 Read
363.18
678.32
87%
1039.05
186%
1183.23
226%
278.21
-23%
373 (363 - 384, n=2)
3%
4K Write
82.17
107.45
31%
103.13
26%
97.85
19%
113.88
39%
86.9 (82.2 - 91.7, n=2)
6%
4K Read
26.86
29.36
9%
48.33
80%
42.09
57%
33.1
23%
25.3 (23.8 - 26.9, n=2)
-6%
Seq Write
481
435.82
-9%
1169.65
143%
1172.23
144%
590
23%
391 (301 - 481, n=2)
-19%
Seq Read
460.38
2204.54
379%
2415.81
425%
2093.95
355%
1375.26
199%
467 (460 - 473, n=2)
1%

* ... smaller is better

Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 544.6 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 512.1 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 264.6 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 182 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 464.5 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 475.8 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 25.29 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 96.33 MB/s

GPU Performance

The MX150 in the MSI is about 10 to 15 percent faster than the average MX150 in our database to show that MSI didn't have to employ any performance tweaks to the GPU. The same GPU in other Ultrabooks, such as the Asus UX3430, is often underclocked in order to fit inside thin form factors. Users upgrading from the UHD Graphics 620, AMD RX Vega 10, or older GeForce 940MX will see a raw graphics boost of roughly 170 percent, 140 percent, and 80 percent, respectively. The Razer Blade 14 is an alternative option for even faster graphics performance albeit at twice the price of the PS42.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Dell XPS 15 9575 i5-8305G
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870, 8305G
7788 Points ∼44% +79%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8300H
7607 Points ∼43% +75%
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
4354 Points ∼25%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (3236 - 4421, n=33)
3978 Points ∼23% -9%
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8250U
3538 Points ∼20% -19%
Dell Latitude 5591
NVIDIA GeForce MX130, 8850H
2934 Points ∼17% -33%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8259U
2683 Points ∼15% -38%
Asus VivoBook S410UQ-NH74
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 8550U
2395 Points ∼14% -45%
HP EliteBook x360 1030 G3
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1489 Points ∼8% -66%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13ARR
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, 2700U
1157 Points ∼7% -73%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Dell XPS 15 9575 i5-8305G
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870, 8305G
9862 Points ∼19% +110%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8300H
7790 Points ∼15% +66%
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
4686 Points ∼9%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (2796 - 4876, n=34)
4206 Points ∼8% -10%
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8250U
3483 Points ∼7% -26%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8259U
3044 Points ∼6% -35%
Dell Latitude 5591
NVIDIA GeForce MX130, 8850H
3044 Points ∼6% -35%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13ARR
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, 2700U
2688 Points ∼5% -43%
Asus VivoBook S410UQ-NH74
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 8550U
2613 Points ∼5% -44%
HP EliteBook x360 1030 G3
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1738 Points ∼3% -63%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Dell XPS 15 9575 i5-8305G
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870, 8305G
7355 Points ∼18% +98%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8300H
6216 Points ∼15% +67%
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
3712 Points ∼9%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (2323 - 3739, n=31)
3291 Points ∼8% -11%
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8250U
2740 Points ∼7% -26%
Dell Latitude 5591
NVIDIA GeForce MX130, 8850H
2430 Points ∼6% -35%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8259U
2070 Points ∼5% -44%
Asus VivoBook S410UQ-NH74
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 8550U
2069 Points ∼5% -44%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13ARR
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, 2700U
1567 Points ∼4% -58%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Dell XPS 15 9575 i5-8305G
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870, 8305G
44796 Points ∼24% +108%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8300H
39896 Points ∼22% +85%
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
21586 Points ∼12%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (16227 - 22183, n=30)
19403 Points ∼11% -10%
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8250U
16553 Points ∼9% -23%
Dell Latitude 5591
NVIDIA GeForce MX130, 8850H
14809 Points ∼8% -31%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8259U
14343 Points ∼8% -34%
Asus VivoBook S410UQ-NH74
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 8550U
10816 Points ∼6% -50%
HP EliteBook x360 1030 G3
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
9478 Points ∼5% -56%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13ARR
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, 2700U
9364 Points ∼5% -57%
3DMark 11 Performance
5021 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
13394 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
3312 points
Help

Gaming Performance

The low-power GeForce MX150 is probably the best budget gaming GPU Nvidia has made for ultrathin laptops. Graphical settings on more demanding titles like Witcher 3 would have to be tuned down, but popular multiplayer titles like LoL, DOTA 2, or Overwatch will all run surprisingly well at 1080p given the small form factor.

See our dedicated page on the GeForce MX150 for more technical information and benchmark comparisons. It's important to remember that the PS42 is one of the few sub 15-inch notebooks with the faster '1D10' variant of the MX150 GPU and not the slower '1D12' variant. Notebooks with the '1D12' MX150 GPU, like the Matebook X Pro, can perform 20 percent slower in games.

BioShock Infinite - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
Dell G3 15 3579
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8300H, Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LX015-1U7172
65.4 fps ∼100% +88%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i5-8305G
Vega M GL / 870, 8305G, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
51.7 fps ∼79% +49%
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
34.8 fps ∼53%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (27.8 - 35.2, n=23)
31.6 fps ∼48% -9%
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
27.9 fps ∼43% -20%
Asus VivoBook S410UQ-NH74
GeForce 940MX, 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
19.8 fps ∼30% -43%
HP EliteBook 755 G5 3UN79EA
Vega 10, 2700U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
14 fps ∼21% -60%
HP EliteBook x360 1030 G3
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM871b MZNLN128HAHQ
9.4 fps ∼14% -73%
Rise of the Tomb Raider - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FX AF:16x
Dell G3 15 3579
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8300H, Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LX015-1U7172
33 fps ∼100% +76%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i5-8305G
Vega M GL / 870, 8305G, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
31.7 fps ∼96% +69%
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
18.8 fps ∼57%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (14.8 - 26, n=19)
18 fps ∼55% -4%
Asus VivoBook S410UQ-NH74
GeForce 940MX, 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
11.3 fps ∼34% -40%
The Witcher 3 - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
Dell XPS 15 9575 i5-8305G
Vega M GL / 870, 8305G, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
23.7 fps ∼100% +101%
Dell G3 15 3579
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8300H, Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LX015-1U7172
22 fps ∼93% +86%
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
11.8 fps ∼50%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (6.5 - 17, n=18)
11.1 fps ∼47% -6%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8259U
5.6 (min: 3, max: 9) fps ∼24% -53%
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 187.2113.195.634.8fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 66.839.622.111.8fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 77.142.522.118.8fps

Stress Test

We stress the PS42 with synthetic loads to identify for any potential throttling or stability issues. When subjected to Prime95 stress, the CPU can be observed operating at 2.5 GHz for the first few seconds before falling and stabilizing at 2.2 GHz and at a core temperature of 79 C. Since the base clock rate of the i7-8550U is 1.8 GHz, this means that the MSI is able to maintain a steady Turbo Boost of +400 MHz. If running both Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously, the CPU and GPU hold steady at 74 C and 78 C, respectively. The CPU impressively never falls below 2.2 GHz even when under such extreme loads.

Running Witcher 3 is more representative of real-world gaming load. The GPU can be observed operating at a steady 1734 MHz and at a core temperature of 76 C. In comparison, the slower '1D12' MX150 GPU in the Matebook X Pro will run at a significantly reduced clock rate of just 1038 MHz when under the same load conditions.

Running on batteries reduces both CPU and GPU power. A 3DMark 11 run on batteries returns Physics and Graphics scores of 6180 and 4281 points, respectively, compared to 6789 and 4868 points when on mains.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Witcher 3 stress
Witcher 3 stress
01234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738394041Tooltip
The Witcher 3 medium
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 2.2 -- 79 --
FurMark Stress -- 1557 -- 77
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 2.2 1544 74 78
Witcher 3 Stress ~3.1 1734 71 76

Emissions

System Noise

The cooling solution consists of twin fans and three heat pipes with two of those heat pipes dedicated to the GPU. Most importantly, the size of the cooling solution is larger than on most other laptops equipped with the same GeForce MX150 GPU. The Acer Aspire 5 A517, for example, uses the exact same CPU and GPU as our MSI unit but with just a single fan and heat pipe shared between both processors. As a result, the dual fans in the PS42 can afford to be slower and more lethargic for a quieter experience.

Both fans remain inactive during low loads like browsing, streaming, or word processing for silent operation. Gaming will induce a fan noise of 38 dB(A) or higher not unlike a standard gaming laptop.

Our particular test unit suffers from minor coil whine or electronic noise that can only be heard when placing an ear near the keyboard keys. It's fortunately inaudible when in a typical office environment, but it's present nonetheless.

Red fans look similar to ones used for the GS gaming laptops
Red fans look similar to ones used for the GS gaming laptops
Fans are generally inaudible during very low loads
Fans are generally inaudible during very low loads

Noise Level

Idle
28.7 / 28.7 / 28.7 dB(A)
Load
33.4 / 45 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.3 dB(A)
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L7002AUS
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
HP EliteBook x360 1030 G3
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM871b MZNLN128HAHQ
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
GeForce MX150, 8250U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
Noise
3%
-2%
2%
6%
-5%
off / environment *
28.3
28
1%
27.9
1%
28.1
1%
28.5
-1%
30
-6%
Idle Minimum *
28.7
28
2%
27.9
3%
28.1
2%
28.5
1%
30
-5%
Idle Average *
28.7
28
2%
27.9
3%
28.1
2%
28.5
1%
30
-5%
Idle Maximum *
28.7
28
2%
27.9
3%
28.1
2%
28.5
1%
33.1
-15%
Load Average *
33.4
32.5
3%
36.2
-8%
35.5
-6%
31.3
6%
37.6
-13%
Witcher 3 ultra *
38.2
45
-18%
Load Maximum *
45
42.2
6%
45.2
-0%
41.5
8%
33.5
26%
37.6
16%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Dual rear exhaust
Dual rear exhaust

Perhaps unsurprisingly, surface temperatures are similar to the GS63 or GS73 in terms of gradient when the PS42 is under stress. The center of the notebook will always be warmest due to the roughly symmetrical positioning of the heat pipes and processors within. Hot spots can reach up to 46 C and 60 C when gaming as shown by our temperature maps below, but these areas are fortunately towards the rear of the system where users are less likely to touch. In comparison, the 14-inch Zenbook UX3430UN with the same MX150 GPU can have surfaces as warm as 55 C when subjected to similar loads. We recommend using a flat desk if gaming to avoid covering the very warm ventilation grilles underneath.

Surface temperatures when idling are flat on both sides of the laptop save for the small areas nearest the GPU where it can be as warm as 29 C. It's important to not cover the grilles above the keyboard since these allow for airflow.

System idle (top)
System idle (top)
System idle (bottom)
System idle (bottom)
Witcher 3 stress (top)
Witcher 3 stress (top)
Witcher 3 stress (bottom)
Witcher 3 stress (bottom)
Maximum stress (top)
Maximum stress (top)
Maximum stress (bottom)
Maximum stress (bottom)
Max. Load
 37.6 °C
100 F
47 °C
117 F
29 °C
84 F
 
 33.2 °C
92 F
39 °C
102 F
29.4 °C
85 F
 
 28.6 °C
83 F
27.4 °C
81 F
26.4 °C
80 F
 
Maximum: 47 °C = 117 F
Average: 33.1 °C = 92 F
34.8 °C
95 F
63.4 °C
146 F
43.4 °C
110 F
33.6 °C
92 F
44.8 °C
113 F
38.6 °C
101 F
30.6 °C
87 F
34.4 °C
94 F
34.4 °C
94 F
Maximum: 63.4 °C = 146 F
Average: 39.8 °C = 104 F
Power Supply (max.)  50 °C = 122 F | Room Temperature 20.8 °C = 69 F | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer

Speakers

The stereo speakers are disappointingly soft in volume and should have been louder for use in conference rooms and presentations. Bass is lacking as shown by our pink noise measurements and sound quality is therefore average at best. The B&O speakers of the Spectre 13 manage to to be louder and stronger in a smaller form factor than the MSI. Fortunately, high volume settings do not introduce static or major reverberations.

Speakers face downward near the front two corners
Speakers face downward near the front two corners
Pink noise at maximum volume
Pink noise at maximum volume
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2036.537.72536.637.93133.131.64032.331.95031.232.16330.531.6802929.910028.728.812527.130.816026.929.120026.235.925026.54431525.653.240024.752.150024.750.563024.358.380024.162.9100023.562125023.765.2160023.362.2200023.260.5250023.162315023.359.440002366.950002368.2630023.268.2800023.168.21000022.962.8125002354.81600022.962.3SPL35.676.5N2.536.7median 23.5MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059median 60.5Delta0.97.835.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHzmedian 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059 audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (68.23 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 23.5% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (13.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.9% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.9% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (25.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 81% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 13% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 51%
Compared to all devices tested
» 71% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 22% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 19%, worst was 47%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Prime95 initiated at the 20s mark
Prime95 initiated at the 20s mark

When under high loads, the PS42 will draw anywhere from 55 W to 63 W or noticeably more than many other Ultrabooks including the Matebook X Pro and Zenbook UX3430UN. The full-power GeForce MX150 in the MSI is likely responsible for the higher power consumption as the slower and less demanding '1D12' MX150 variant is more common in competing Ultrabooks. Competitors with integrated Intel UHD Graphics only, such as the XPS 13 or Spectre 13, can be twice as power efficient as the MSI when under high loads.

When running Prime95, power consumption jumps to about 37 W for the first few seconds before falling to a steady 30.8 W as shown by the graph to the right. The data correlates with our Prime95 stress test above where clock rates are fastest for the first few seconds only.

Our PS42 test unit ships with a small (~10.5 x 4.5 x 3.0 cm) 65 W AC adapter while the configurations with no MX150 graphics ship with a 40 W AC adapter.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.35 / 0.6 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 5.6 / 6.5 / 7.9 Watt
Load midlight 62.3 / 67 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
8550U, GeForce MX150, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G, IPS, 3840x2160, 13.3
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
8250U, GeForce MX150, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS, 3000x2000, 13.9
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
8250U, GeForce MX150, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
HP EliteBook x360 1030 G3
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Samsung PM871b MZNLN128HAHQ, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L7002AUS
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, TFT-LCD, 1920x1080, 14
Power Consumption
5%
1%
5%
22%
27%
Idle Minimum *
5.6
5
11%
3.5
37%
4.5
20%
3.8
32%
3.1
45%
Idle Average *
6.5
8.3
-28%
8.9
-37%
7.8
-20%
7.5
-15%
6.4
2%
Idle Maximum *
7.9
8.8
-11%
12.3
-56%
8.1
-3%
8.6
-9%
9.4
-19%
Load Average *
62.3
46.4
26%
54.2
13%
52
17%
33.1
47%
29.8
52%
Load Maximum *
67
48.6
27%
52.1
22%
59
12%
31.8
53%
31.2
53%
Witcher 3 ultra *
55.7
42.4
24%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

MSI advertises a 10-hour battery life from its integrated 50 Wh battery. Our own real-world WLAN test shows a battery life of about 8.5 hours which we consider to be quite close to the manufacturer claim. Results are comparable to other Ultrabooks like the Zenbook UX3430 and MateBook X Pro. Simply idling on desktop at the lowest brightness setting can last for an impressive 17 hours.

Charging from near empty to full capacity takes a little over 2 hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
16h 50min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
14h 53min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 58min
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
8550U, GeForce MX150, 50 Wh
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
8850H, Radeon Pro 560X, 83 Wh
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, 52 Wh
Huawei Matebook X Pro i5
8250U, GeForce MX150, 57.4 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L7002AUS
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 57 Wh
Asus Zenbook UX3430UN-GV174T
8250U, GeForce MX150, 48 Wh
HP EliteBook x360 1030 G3
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 56.2 Wh
Battery Runtime
-31%
-25%
-1%
-39%
-6%
21%
Reader / Idle
1010
819
-19%
1243
23%
1367
35%
1381
37%
WiFi v1.3
893
614
-31%
465
-48%
557
-38%
541
-39%
485
-46%
602
-33%
Load
118
109
-8%
133
13%
108
-8%
189
60%
Witcher 3 ultra
88

Pros

+ fully-featured GeForce MX150 GPU with no underclocking
+ extremely accurate colors and grayscale out-of-the-box
+ can maintain minor Turbo Boost clock rates
+ silver color scheme hides fingerprints well
+ NVMe support (optional SKU in US)
+ no fan noise during low loads
+ very lightweight and portable
+ long battery life

Cons

- inconvenient Kensington Lock positioning
- no Thunderbolt 3 or USB Type-C Gen. 2
- low maximum Turbo Boost potential
- Difficult to service RAM and M.2 SSD
- PWM at lower brightness settings
- suboptimal webcam positioning
- SKUs limited to 1x1 WLAN
- speakers could be louder
- display could be brighter
- single-channel RAM only
- chassis could be firmer
- slow SD card reader
- spongy clickpad

Verdict

In review: MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059. Test model provided by Xotic PC
In review: MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059. Test model provided by Xotic PC

The MSI PS42 has a lot going for it, but the handful of cut corners are hard to ignore. For one, the lack of Thunderbolt 3 limits connectivity and versatility. This wouldn't have been an issue if the PS42 was cheaper, but it retails for about the same price as the XPS 13, HP Spectre 13, or MateBook X Pro which all have Thunderbolt 3 as standard. The dimmer display, slower 1x1 WiFi, single-channel RAM, slightly under-performing CPU, and less rigid chassis are all disappointing to see when most competitors offer better options.

The redeeming qualities of the PS42 are its light weight, very accurate 1080p matte display, and full-power GeForce MX150 GPU. This is probably the only 14-inch laptop using a 25 W '1D10' MX150 GPU instead of the slower 10 W variant. Users can game or perform graphics-intensive tasks without fear of GPU throttling.

If GPU performance and portability are of utmost performance, then the PS42 can be a good option. Otherwise, invest $200 to $300 more in the 13.9-inch MateBook X Pro as it is the stronger laptop for word processing and day-to-day usage.

The PS42 is a respectable first attempt at a narrow-bezel business laptop from MSI with its strong graphics performance, light weight, and accurate colors. Nonetheless, its handful of cut corners means MSI has a long way to go before it can stand toe-to-toe with veteran Ultrabook makers.

MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059 - 09/09/2018 v6
Allen Ngo

Chassis
68 / 98 → 70%
Keyboard
77%
Pointing Device
75%
Connectivity
46 / 80 → 58%
Weight
73 / 20-67 → 100%
Battery
98%
Display
90%
Games Performance
78 / 68 → 100%
Application Performance
90 / 92 → 97%
Temperature
84%
Noise
91%
Audio
50%
Camera
45 / 85 → 53%
Average
74%
82%
Office - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > MSI PS42 8RB Prestige (i7-8550U, GeForce MX150) Laptop Review
Allen Ngo, 2018-09- 9 (Update: 2018-09-15)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.