MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo review: a flip in the right direction | GeekComparison

MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo review: a flip in the right direction

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A 2-in-1 laptop may seem like the ultimate piece of equipment for those who want portability and versatility without sacrificing too much power. You get the ultra-portability of an ultra-portable from lightweight constructions that are less than 1 inch thick. If you don’t need an old-fashioned physical keyboard, you can switch to tablet mode, and with touchscreen and stylus options, creative work seems more achievable too.

But issues with battery life, heat management, durability and audio quality often come with that oh-so-versatile approach. The MSI E13 Flip Evo isn’t completely immune to all of these issues, but it evolves the story around convertibles that insist on being less than an inch thick.

The E13 (there’s also a 16-inch E16 with Nvidia RTX options) comes from MSI’s business- and productivity-focused Summit series of machines and starts at an MSRP of $1,300 and goes up to $1,900. (We saw it for $1800.) With its lightweight, sleek aluminum build, glossy accents, and special pen, the machine is a clear rival to premium ultraportables like Dell’s XPS line and Microsoft’s Surface offerings.

Specifications at a glance: MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo
Worst Best As rated
Screen 13.4-inch 1920 x 1200 60 Hz IPS level touchscreen
operating system Windows 10 Windows 10 Pro
CPU Intel Core i7-1195G7 Intel Core i7-1185G7
RAM 16GB LPDDR4X-4267 32GB LPDDR4X-4267
GPU Intel Iris Xe (integrated)
Networking Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
Ports 2x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C), 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (USB-C), 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (USB-A), 1x microSD card reader, 1x 3.5mm headphone/microphone jack
Mate 11.82 x 8.75 x 0.59in (300.23 x 222.25 x 14.99mm)
Weight 2.98 lb (1.35 kg)
Battery 70 Whr
Guarantee 1 year
Price (list price) $1,500 $1,900
Other benefits USB-C to USB-A adapter, MSI Pen, sleeve, black or white finish

MSI’s 13-incher still has its flaws, such as an uncomfortable keyboard that won’t keep up and limitations in sound quality. But the ability to get the most out of the 11th Gen Intel CPU and the integrated Iris Xe graphics (without getting unbearably hot) make it a worthy rival among the 2-in-1 devices. And a good-looking build with a bigger and brighter-than-average screen makes the competition even more intense.

Great looks, great port selection

MSI’s E13 Flip Evo proves that a black laptop doesn’t have to look boring. In the Ink Black shade, it has a matte black finish that is accentuated by what MSI describes as “rose gold” (personally, the accents are more like copper). The coppery hue is a subtle difference to the aging rose gold trend, but it makes the machine look a little more unusual. These accents are reflective (but less than the angled MSI logo on the lid) for that prim and proper feel.

The entire body of the 2-in-1 is made from a block of CNC-machined aluminum. Slightly beveled sides in the top left and right corners approach HP Specter area without crossing the line. I wore this ultraportable a lot during my time with it, and it took fingerprints, but I’ve seen a lot worse, especially with black laptops. You can choose to get the machine in Pure White as well.

The PC comes with a thin sleeve and a USB-C to USB-A adapter.
enlarge The PC comes with a thin sleeve and a USB-C to USB-A adapter.

Sharon Harding

Weighing just 2.98 pounds (1.35 kg) and 0.59 inches (1.5 cm) thick, the machine easily fit a variety of tasks with tablet and tented modes, and the latter withstood my most aggressive use of the touchscreen. In comparison, Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 is equally light and thin (2.9 pounds, 0.56 inches thick or 1.32 kg and 1.4 cm), while Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Studio convertible is significantly heavier and slightly thicker is and (4 pounds) [1.81 kg] with an i7 CPU, like the E13 I’m reviewing, 0.75-inch [1.91 cm] fat).

A 2-in-1 is only as reliable as its hinge.
enlarge A 2-in-1 is only as reliable as its hinge.

Sharon Harding

Still, the E13 Flip Evo feels surprisingly compact and durable. The thin lid has some flex when forced on, but is far from flimsy. The all-important (and rose gold accented) hinges are sturdy and reliable. When you fold the screen back, the two hinge pieces turn slightly backwards. I also felt some movement internally in the deck area. Most importantly, the laptop was reliable when folded into a tablet or pitched like a tent.

0.56 cm thick.
enlarge 0.56 cm thick.

Sharon Harding

The deck’s matte finish seems harder to scratch than cheaper, plastic alternatives, and it feels good on the wrist (though a little sharp on the edge). MSI claims military-grade durability from its MIL-STD-810G certification (PDF), which calls for testing under extreme temperatures, humidity, shock, low and high pressure altitude, and other parameters. To top it off is a FIDO 2-backed fingerprint reader. The location of the deck isn’t as hip or intuitive as the one on the power button, but it doesn’t take up space on the touchpad either.

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