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MSI Prestige 16 Studio review: A mini-LED laptop for less

MSI Prestige 16 Studio heroImage: IDG / Matthew Elliott

At a glance

Expert’s Rating


Strong component lineup for the priceBig and bright miniLED displayLightweight for its size


So-so build qualityGets hot and loud under loadWebcam not greatNo Thunderbolt 4 support

Our Verdict

The MSI Prestige 16 Studio offers great value to content creators looking for a large-screen laptop who are willing to sacrifice some fit and finish for a low price.

Price When Reviewed


Best Prices Today: MSI Prestige 16 Studio

RetailerPriceAmazon$1,925.99View DealWalmart$1999View DealMSI$1999.99View DealBest Buy$2099.99View DealPrice comparison from over 24,000 stores worldwideProductPricePrice comparison from Backmarket

The MSI Prestige 16 Studio is another entry in the popular 16-inch, 16:10 laptop category geared either toward content creators or gamers. With a high-resolution, miniLED panel, the Prestige 16 Studio is positioned toward the former, but a low-wattage RTX 4060 GPU and the lack of RGB lighting are the only deterrence to gamers looking to make use of this reasonably priced, highly capable laptop.

Priced at $2,000, our Prestige 16 Studio test system boasts a loaded component lineup with an Intel Core i7-13700H CPU and RTX 4060 graphics alongside an ample RAM and SSD capacity. The roomy miniLED display with its QHD+ resolution offers ample workspace, and the 165Hz refresh rate delivers smooth visuals for both video editors and gamers. Competing 16-inch models such as the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra or Asus VivoBook Pro 16X OLED offer OLED display and superior build quality, however, while a more gaming-focused model such as the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 delivers a full-wattage RTX GPU and faster frame rates.

Looking for more options? Check out PCWorld’s roundup of the best laptops available right now.

MSI Prestige 16 Studio: Specifications

Our MSI Prestige 16 Studio test system is $100 off at MSI and selling for $1,999.99. It features the following specs.

CPU: Intel Core i7-13700HMemory: 32GBGraphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 @ 55 wattsStorage: 2TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSDDisplay: 16-inch QHD+ (2560 x 1600) 165Hz miniLED Webcam: 1080p with kill switchConnectivity: 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, HDMI 2.0, microSD card slot, combo audio jackNetworking: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3Biometrics: 1080p IR webcam and fingerprint readerBattery capacity: 82 Watt-hoursDimensions: 14.1 x 10.2 x 0.66 inchesMeasured weight: 4.7 poundsPrice: $2,000

MSI sells two configurations of the Prestige 16 Studio. The entry-level model costs $1,899.99 (currently on sale for $1,799.99 at MSI) and features a Core i7-13700H processor, 32GB of RAM, RTX 4050 graphics and a 1TB SSD. Our test model costs $100 more and upgrades the GPU to a RTX 4060 and doubles the SSD capacity to 2TB. Both models feature a 16-inch miniLED panel with a 16:10 aspect ratio, 2560×1600 resolution and a 165Hz refresh rate. 

One note on the RTX 4060 GPU: it’s set to run at 55 watts, which is a fraction of the graphic processor’s maximum TGP of 140 watts. The relatively thin-and-light enclosure of the Prestige 16 Studio is the likely cause for dialing back the wattage of the GPU as an effort to keep thermals in check. Our test system’s cooling fans frequently spun during intensive graphics loads. It’s one of the noisier laptops I’ve tested this year. And I felt the cooling fans could have done even more because the system quickly got hot when engaged in media editing and gaming.

MSI Prestige 16 Studio: Subdued, silver design

The Prestige 16 Studio features an unstated design. It’s a plain slab of silver aluminum with black keys and minimal branding. Its look has none of the flash of a gaming laptop. There’s no sculpted vents or aggressive angles, although the back corners are tapered somewhat. Despite its all-metal enclosure, there’s some flex to the Prestige 16 Studio’s keyboard deck and lid. It doesn’t feel as solid as other large aluminum laptops such as the Dell XPS 17 or HP Envy 16.

IDG / Matthew Elliott

The one (only?) benefit of having a slightly less rigid chassis is a lighter travel weight. The Prestige 16 Studio weighs 4.7 pounds, which is lighter than the average 16-inch 16:10 laptop. By comparison, the HP Envy 16 weighs five pounds and the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 is a full pound heavier at 5.7 pounds. Still, it’s not the lightest 16-inch 16:10 laptop we’ve tested. The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra weighs only four pounds and the Asus VivoBook Pro 16X OLED weighs 4.3 pounds.

When you open the Prestige 16 Studio, the bottom edge of the display lifts the back edge of the keyboard deck up a bit. This not only helps with airflow but also creates a slight angle to make typing a bit more comfortable. The keys offer shallow travel with a soft feel — but with enough snappiness to provide the requisite tactile feedback to allow for speedy touch typing.

IDG / Matthew Elliott

MSI squeezes in a narrow number pad of questionable value. One key is shortened to accommodate the numpad, but it’s a big one — the right Shift key. That’s a key I use with great regularity, and it took me some time to get accustomed to hitting the shortened Shift key with my right pinky finger. I’d prefer to have the keyboard centered below the display. Since this RTX-based system is overkill for most number crunchers, I doubt many would-be Prestige 16 Studio owners would make much use of the numpad.

IDG / Matthew Elliott

The keyboard offers three-level backlighting so you can dial in the LEDs to your exact specifications based on the ambient light, from a dim back office to a pitch black airplane cabin on a redeye flight. Gamers looking for a midrange gaming laptop will be disappointed to learn that the backlights are white with no option to customize the look of the Prestige 16 Studio with RGB lighting.

The touchpad is roomy and centered on the keyboard deck and not below the keyboard minus the numpad. I was initially worried that my right palm resting on the touchpad would accidentally move the cursor, but my fears were unfounded. The touchpad has excellent palm rejection, and the cursor stayed put as I typed.

MSI Prestige 16 Studio: Big-screen miniLED

With a tall 16:10 aspect ratio and fine QHD+ resolution, the 16-inch display provides a large workspace. It really feels roomy. It’s also a miniLED panel that is extremely bright. In SDR mode, it reached a peak brightness of 460 nits, and it hit 700 nits in HDR mode. Images and text looked crisp, and colors appeared accurate. Black levels looked good but not quite to the inky degree you’d get with an OLED panel. And with the 165Hz refresh rate, videos and games showed smooth movement. 

IDG / Matthew Elliott

The webcam above the display has a 1080p sensor, but its image was so grainy I was convinced it was a 720p camera. On the positive, the Prestige 16 Studio has a kill switch on its left edge that cuts the power to the camera so you can protect your privacy when you aren’t using the webcam. The camera offers IR capability so you can use facial recognition for easy, secure logins. And if you’d prefer to use your finger for such things, there’s a fingerprint reader to the right of the touchpad.

With its big and bright display, the Prestige 16 Studio could hold some appeal as an entertainment laptop, but sadly its weak stereo speakers less its appeal in this regard. The two downward firing speakers get loud enough to fill a small room, but you begin to lose clarity at around 75 percent of maximum volume. And even at less than full volume, they sound tinny with no bass response and muddied high and mid tones.

IDG / Matthew Elliott

The Prestige 16 Studio offers both USB Type-A and Type-C ports, but the two USB-C ports lack Thunderbolt 4 support. They are USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports with a 20Gbps transfer speed — half that of Thunderbolt 4. In a nod for content creators, the laptop offers a microSD card slot.

MSI Prestige 16 Studio: Performance

Our MSI Prestige 16 Studio  test system features a Core i7-13700H CPU and GeForce RTX 4060 graphics along with a generous 32GB of RAM and a spacious 2TB SSD. The Core i7 processor is a member of Intel’s high-performance, 45-watt H series. It features Intel’s hybrid architecture with performance and efficiency cores; it has six performance cores, eight efficiency cores, and a total of 20 processing threads. The RTX 4060 is a midrange GPU in Nvidia’s latest GeForce 40 series. As mentioned earlier, it’s set to run at 55 watts to keep thermals in check inside the Prestige 16 Studio’s thin enclosure. By comparison, the gaming-focused Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 features an RTX 4060 GPU running at its maximum of 140 watts.

The Prestige 16 Studio got off to a steady start in testing. On PCMark 10, it posted a score in the mid-7,000s that was right in line with other laptops with the same CPU. Basic office apps and multitasking are easily handled by the Prestige 16 Studio.

IDG / Matthew Elliott

Our HandBrake benchmark tests how a laptop is able to handle crushing CPU loads over a lengthy period—in this case, transcoding a 30GB MKV file to a format suitable for Android tablets using HandBrake, the free video encoding utility. The Prestige 16 Studio turned in a disappointing HandBrake result, taking longer to complete the transcoding task than all but the Dell XPS 17.

IDG / Matthew Elliott

Next up is Cinebench, another CPU-intensive test but one that renders a complex 2D scene over a short period of time. The Prestige 16 Studio did a bit better on Cinebench than it did on HandBrake but was still a significant amount behind two competing laptops from Acer and MSI with the same CPU.

IDG / Matthew Elliott

MSI Prestige 16 Studio: Graphics performance

On our graphics and gaming tests, you’ll be able to see the performance the Prestige 16 Studio gives up by using a lower-wattage RTX 4060 GPU. On 3DMark’s Time Spy test, the Prestige 16 Studio trailed the Acer and MSI laptops that feature full-throttle RTX 4060 graphics. It was able to top the Dell XPS 15, but its RTX 4070 GPU runs at only 40 watts.

IDG / Matthew Elliott

On our real-world game benchmarks, the Prestige 16 Studio posted a playable framerate on Shadow of the Tomb Raider but not on the more demanding Metro Exodus test. It bested the Dell XPS 15 and its low-wattage RTX 4070 GPU but trailed the gaming laptops full-wattage GPUs on both of our gaming tests.

IDG / Matthew Elliott

IDG / Matthew Elliott

To test a laptop’s battery life, we loop a 4K video using Windows 11’s Movies & TV app, with the laptop set to Airplane mode and earbuds plugged in. We set the screen brightness at a relatively bright 250 nits to 260 nits, which is a good brightness for watching a movie in an office with the lights on. The Prestige 16 Studio lasted more than 8 hours, which is average for its size and component lineup based on a high-powered Intel H-series CPU and not the more efficient U-series chip.

IDG / Matthew Elliott

MSI Prestige 16 Studio: Should you buy it?

The MSI Prestige 16 Studio is a great pick for content creators looking for a low-cost, large-screen laptop. Its miniLED panel is impressively bright for creating and editing HDR content, and the 16-inch 16:10 size offers a large canvas on which to work. You’ll need to accept a less-than-stellar build quality, however, and be okay with slower data transfers with the lack of Thunderbolt 4 support. And you’ll want to keep a pair of headphones handy because A. the speakers are pretty terrible and B. the laptop gets loud under load. 

Best Prices Today: MSI Prestige 16 Studio

RetailerPriceAmazon$1,925.99View DealWalmart$1999View DealMSI$1999.99View DealBest Buy$2099.99View DealPrice comparison from over 24,000 stores worldwideProductPricePrice comparison from Backmarket

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Dell XPS 17 9730 review: No OLED for content creatorsLenovo Legion Pro 7i review: Blazing performance, good priceRazer Blade 16 review: An absolute powerhouse with a dual-mode display

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