MSI Prestige 16 AI EVO hands-on: This AI laptop could be a game-changer

This Intel Core Ultra laptop could be a big deal

MSI Prestige 16 AI EVO
(Image: © Tom's Guide)

Early Verdict

The MSI Prestige 16 AI series of laptops promises to streamline your workflow thanks to their Intel Core Ultra chips. Promised AI-driven features aside, MSI's latest Prestige notebook is a stylish machine that should pack enough power for work and play.


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    Elegant design

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    Vivid 16-inch display

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    On-device generative AI


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    Off-center touchpad

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The new MSI Prestige 16 AI EVO is one of the first “AI laptops” packing an equally new Intel Core Ultra CPU. Thanks to Intel’s NPU (Neural Processing Unit) AI acceleration technology, the Prestige 16 AI should be able to handle on-device "AI" tasks more efficiently than laptops lacking an NPU in their processors.

Beyond its AI capabilities, the MSI Prestige 16 laptops are svelte ultraportables packing 32GB of RAM and up to 2TB of SSD storage. The Prestige 16 AI EVO edition features integrated Intel Arc Graphics while the Prestige 16 AI Studio can have up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU. All configurations come with either a 16-inch UHD (3,840 x 2,400) OLED display or a 16-inch QHD+ (2,560 x 1,600), IPS panel. The Prestige 16 AI also features Wi-Fi 7 connectivity.

I recently went hands-on with the MSI Prestige 16 AI EVO. While I wasn’t able to try its on-device AI capabilities, I was impressed by the laptop’s sleek design and relatively light weight. Given what I’ve seen and know, this has the potential of making it onto our best laptops list. Here are my initial impressions of the MSI Prestige 16 AI EVO.

MSI Prestige 16 AI EVO hands-on: Specs

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Header Cell - Column 0 MSI Prestige 16 AI EVO (starting)MSI Prestige 16 AI Studio (starting)
Display16-inch QHD+ (2,560 x 1,600) IPS,16:1016-inch QHD+ (2,560 x 1,600) IPS,16:10
CPUIntel Core Ultra 7Intel Core Ultra 9
GPUIntel Arc GraphicsNvidia GeForce RTX 4060
Ports2x Thunderbolt 4/USB-C, 1x USB-A, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x SD card slot, 1x headphone jack1x Thunderbolt 4/USB-C, 1x USB-A, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x SD card slot, 1x headphone jack
ConnectivityWi-Fi 7Wi-Fi 7
Dimensions14.1 x 10.1 x 0.7 inches14.1 x 10.1 x 0.7 inches
Weight3.5 pounds3.5 pounds

MSI Prestige 16 AI EVO hands-on: Price and availability

The MSI Prestige 16 AI EVO is available now starting at $1,399 on Newegg. It will also be available at Costco, Best Buy, B&H and Micro Center soon. This entry-level model has a 16-inch QHD+ (2,560 x 1,600) IPS display with a 16:10 aspect ratio. It also has an Intel Core Ultra 7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage.

The MSI Prestige 16 AI Studio starts at $1,899. This pricer model also has a 16-inch QHD+ (2,560 x 1,600) IPS display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, an RTX 4060 GPU, 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. This model will be available at Best Buy and Micro Center in mid-January.

If you want a smaller laptop, the MSI Prestige 13 EVO is available for $1,049. This machine features a 13.3-inch QHD (2,880 x 1,800) 16:10 OLED display, an Intel Core 5 GPU, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage.

MSI Prestige 16 AI EVO hands-on: Design and display

MSI Prestige 16 AI EVO

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Both versions of the Prestige 16 AI feature elegant designs befitting of ultraportables. The Stellar Gray color of the magnesium alloy chassis not only looks good but feels sturdy. At 14.1 x 10.1 x 0.7 inches and 3.5 pounds, the Prestige 16 AI is easy to carry around despite its somewhat large size.

I want to get the Prestige 16 into our testing lab to see how it stacks against the competition. But to my eyes, the panel was bright and colorful. MSI says the panel can reach 400 nits of brightness and can achieve 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. Given my experience, I’m inclined to believe the display will come close to hitting those marks.

MSI Prestige 16 AI EVO hands-on: Keyboard and touchpad

MSI Prestige 16 AI EVO

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

I have big hands so I appreciated the Prestige 16 AI’s spacious and comfortable keyboard. The bouncy membrane keys and soft keycaps also made for a pleasant typing experience. Another thing I liked is the inclusion of a number pad, which is something most laptops typically lack.

The smooth and responsive touchpad is also spacious. Like Lenovo Legion laptops, the touchpad resides closer to the left-hand side, which takes some getting used to. Though I would have preferred a centered touchpad, its large size (somewhat) helps me overlook this aspect.

I’ll need more hands-on time with the Prestige 16 AI, but I can tell it’s going to be a joy to get work done on this machine.

MSI Prestige 16 AI EVO hands-on: AI features

MSI Prestige 16 AI EVO

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

As an “AI laptop,” the Prestige 16 supports AI Model acceleration through the Intel Core Ultra’s dedicated AI NPU. Programs like Microsoft Copilot and Stable Diffusion should benefit from this technology. Intel says it has collaborated with over 100 AI-ready apps to “further accelerate workflow by transitioning workload to NPU.” 

In addition, the Prestige 16 AI utilizes the new MSI AI Engine. This program analyzes your behavior and the apps you use and automatically adjusts various system settings that best fit your needs. Having a laptop learn your behaviors sounds a bit disturbing, but if it can streamline my workflow, then I can’t complain too hard. Objectively speaking, this sounds intriguing… especially if it works as advertised.

MSI Prestige 16 AI EVO hands-on: Outlook

The MSI Prestige 16 AI EVO and upcoming MSI Prestige 16 AI Studio seem intriguing thanks to their promised on-device AI capabilities. But even if the AI functionality ends up being superfluous, we'll still get fetching-looking laptops with enough power for everyday tasks, gaming and video editing. Either way, I'm eager to review MSI's Prestige 16 series of laptops to see what they can do.

We'll have a full review of the MSI Prestige 16 soon, so stay tuned for more. For more on AI laptops, check out our Acer Swift Go 14 hands-on preview.

Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.