MSI Pro 24X 7M Review

MSI is about more than just gaming, and with the MSI Pro 24X 7M ($819 as tested), we see an all-in-one that's built for business use and beautifully designed. It’s just as slim as a typical monitor and offers a colorful 24-inch screen; plus, you can upgrade the hard drive. However, the laptop-grade processor inside this system is better for everyday tasks than for heavy workloads.

Design

The MSI Pro 24X 7M eschews the glaring LED-heavy gamer aesthetic seen on most MSI systems and instead opts for a stylish grey chassis with subtle metallic accents. It's a bit like seeing your old college roommate sporting a clean-shaven look and wearing a suit – it's not what you're used to, but it's one that's a better fit for a business system.

The sleek design is slim, with the majority of the chassis measuring a svelte 0.25 inches thick. The bottom half of the chassis, where the components are housed, is thicker (1.7 inches), but the overall slimness is accentuated by a stripe of polished metal running along the outside edge of the chassis. On the whole, the Pro 24X looks thin enough to be a monitor, and it's only upon noticing the ports along the side that you might realize it's a full-fledged desktop.

With bezels that measure a mere 0.08 inches wide, the display looks almost borderless. However, they don't leave any room for a webcam. Even for a slim-bezeled all-in-one, the lack of a webcam is a bit unusual – the Acer Aspire S 24, for example, still fit a webcam into its 0.10-inch bezel, and other options skip the bezel entirely. The Lenovo IdeaCentre 520S-23IKU, for example, used a pop-out design that extended below the display and closed when not in use. If you want to Skype on the Pro 24X, however, you'll need to bring your own camera.

The Pro 24X looks thin enough to be a monitor, and it's only upon noticing the ports along the side that you might realize it's a full-fledged desktop.

The included stand has a boomerang-shaped foot and is made of sturdy metal. The angle is adjustable but not the height. If you want to skip the stand entirely, the Pro 24X can be wall-mounted, with a 75 x 75-millimeter VESA mount.

Ports

On the sides and rear of the slim all-in-one you can find a healthy selection of ports, including four USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports and a pair of LAN ports. An HDMI port provides video output for running a second monitor, and jacks for headphones and microphone should play nicely with earbuds and gaming headsets alike.

Next to the I/O panel on the back is a small Kensington lock slot, letting you physically secure the svelte all-in-one PC to a desk.

Upgradeability

While few all-in-one PCs offer upgradability, the MSI Pro 24X 7M lets you swap out the hard drive, thanks to an accessible drive bay on the right side of the chassis. Secured with a standard Phillips head screw, the drive bay opens and lets you remove a slide-out drive tray. The drive tray will accommodate any 2.5-inch, SATA-connected drive – both HDD and SSD.

What you won't be able to do, however, is upgrade the RAM, so make sure to configure the PC with all of the memory you'll need up front.

Display and Audio

The MSI's 24-inch panel is fairly basic, with 1920 x 1080 resolution and no touch capability, but it delivers a great picture. The monitor uses an IPS panel for wide viewing angles and rich color, and when I watched the trailer for Captain Marvel, I was pleased to see bright-yellow flames and green glowing alien tech, and fine details were relatively crisp and clear.

MSI also touts the display's anti-flicker technology, which aims to protect users' eyes from eye strain and fatigue with consistent, stable backlighting. It's not the sort of thing we can really test for, but in my time with the system, I can say I had no noticeable issues with eyestrain. Of more immediate benefit, however, was the anti-glare display, which keeps reflections to a minimum.

In our testing, the display covered 129.3 percent of the sRGB color gamut and boasted an average brightness of 250 nits. That's better than the Lenovo ThinkCentre M910z (95.7 percent, 209.2 nits) and the Acer Aspire S 24 (114.8 percent, 236 nits) on both counts.

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The audio is quite good, thanks to a pair of builtin 2.5-watt speakers. I was able to listen to Phantogram's "You're Mine" at decent volumes, with minimal distortion. Vocals and guitar solos came through clearly, if a bit tinny, but with no subwoofer, the bass levels were minimal.

Performance

Built for the office and other professional environments, the Pro 24X is outfitted with a laptop-grade Intel Core i5-7200U processor, 8GB of memory and a 1TB, 7,200-rpm hard drive paired with 16GB of Intel Optane memory, which caches frequently used processes and boosts overall speeds on HDD-based storage.

Those components were more than enough for our general-use and productivity tasks, whether the Pro 24X was browsing the web, writing this review or working its way through our benchmark tests. With 20 Chrome tabs open, the Pro 24X still managed to stream full-HD YouTube videos in one tab and Spotify in another, all without slowing down.

In our file-transfer test, the Pro 24X 7M transferred our 4.97GB test file in 1 minute and 41 seconds, at a rate of 50.4 MBps. That's not as good as the Acer Aspire S 24 (68.8 MBps) or the Lenovo ThinkCentre M910z (75.95 MBps), but it should be fine for tasks that don't demand blazing speeds.

In the Geekbench 4 general-performance test, the MSI scored 6,692 points. That's not as good as either the Acer Aspire S 24 (10,401) or the Lenovo ThinkCentre M910z (11,755), even though all three use similar Intel Core i5 CPUs.

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In our processor-intensive Excel Macro Test, the Pro 24X cranked through our thousands of names and addresses, pairing up all the data points in 2 minutes 27 seconds. That's more than a full minute behind the Acer Aspire S 24 (1:20), however. In an office environment, that slower processing time for data-heavy tasks will definitely be felt when you're parsing large files or working in extended spreadsheets.

Graphics

Despite the MSI name, the Pro 24X isn't built for gaming. In fact, with its integrated GPU (Intel HD Graphics 620), it's not well-suited for much beyond streaming media. When tested in 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited, for example, the MSI scored 41,222. That's behind the Acer Aspire S 24 (61,061) and the Lenovo ThinkCentre M910z (76,413).

That may support basic games like Candy Crush Soda Saga, but not much more than that. For example, when tested with Dirt 3 – our low-end gaming benchmark intended for nongaming systems – it managed to crank out only 19.93 frames per second. Again, the Acer Aspire S 24 (29.11 fps) and the Lenovo ThinkCentre M910z (26.73) did better, despite having similar hardware limitations. None of these are playable scores, falling as they do below the 30-fps cutoff point, but it still illustrates the limitations of the Pro 24X.

Software and Warranty

The Pro 24X 7M comes with Windows 10 (you can get it in both Home and Business flavors), and Microsoft includes several apps you likely won't want. Our review unit came with useful programs, like PhotoDirector 8, Norton Security Scan, Norton Studio and trial versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. You'll also get useless bloatware, like Candy Crush Soda Saga and a handful of game trials. None of it is particularly egregious and is the same assortment of stuff you'll find on any new Windows machine.

MSI covers the Pro 24X 7M with a one-year warranty, matching the warranties from other companies. And while MSI hasn't fared well in either our tech support rankings or overall brand rankings the company does make decent products.

MSI Pro 24X 7M Price and Configuration Options

Our review system was one of the better configurations of the Pro 24X 7M, thanks to an Intel Core i5-7200U, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB, 7,200-rpm HDD. It boasts 16GB of Intel Optane memory, an optional feature available only on some configurations. The whole system sells for $819 as configured.

The base model of the Pro 24X 7M drops to an Intel Celeron 3865U processor, 4GB of RAM and a smaller 500GB HDD paired with a 32GB SSD boot drive. It's cheaper at $449 but will be significantly lower-powered. It's sold primarily for use in places like hotel check-in desks, restaurants and similar business applications where processing horsepower is a low priority.

Between those two are configurations with midrange processors, like an Intel Pentium 4415U, or a Core i3-7100U. Memory scales up to 16GB, and storage choices go up to a 1TB, 5,400-rpm HDD and 500GB NVMe SSD options.

Bottom Line

The MSI Pro 24X 7M is all business, but that doesn't mean it's a good bet for all businesses. The chameleon-like design looks like a stylish monitor rather than an all-in-one PC, and the display itself is great, but the low-end performance will turn off some buyers.

For most users, the Acer Aspire S 24 has a similarly svelte design but offers users more power and a better feature set for a similar price. But if you are willing to sacrifice some power, the MSI Pro 24X 7M is worth a look.

MSI Pro 24X 7M Specs

Display23.8 inches, 1920 x 1080
ProcessorIntel Core i5-7200U
Memory8GB DDR4
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 620
Storage1TB 7,200-rpm HDD; 16GB Intel Optane
Operating SystemWindows 10
Geekbench 46,692
File Transfer Speeds50.4 MBps

Credit: Tom's Guide

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