Whenever Christina Forrest logs on to her computer, she immediately launches several applications and programs, and within minutes has dozens of tabs open in her browser. “Working in public relations, I feel like multitasking is my middle name,” says Forrest, an account manager for Violet PR, a firm based in Montclair, New Jersey.
All too often, however, her PC buckles under the weight of those quick hops between programs and browser tabs, and valuable minutes of productivity slip by while she waits for her computer to catch up—or has to reboot.
Until recently, a computer that connected to the internet and offered email accessibility, along with word-processing and spreadsheet programs, covered the basic needs of most office workers. But the needs of today’s cubicle dwellers (not to mention those in open-plan layouts) are no longer so basic.
Professionals across industries are expected to produce content, and that often requires moving beyond Word documents and PDFs to working with videos, photos, music, and editing software. They’re also asked to do more than ever—and do it quickly. “More and more positions require multitasking abilities,” says Eric Kuo, executive vice president of MSI, a maker of high-performance computers. “To meet those needs, work laptops have to be powerful enough to handle most of the software that’s out there.”
BUILT FOR SPEED
As businesses search for new ways to optimize their performance, MSI recognized a need for more powerful computers in office settings. World-class gamers were the first to take notice of the company’s high-performance laptops—MSI has partnered with 15 eSports teams around the world and is the official PC and gaming sponsor of the ESL pro league. Lately, video editors, graphic designers, and other content creators who are discovering that creativity is not necessarily synonymous with Mac, have been utilizing models in the MSI Prestige series to realize their visions. Now, MSI is beginning to make inroads with the everyday business user.
To assess its usefulness in the office setting, Forrest and Martin McZeal each agreed to test-drive an MSI laptop in place of their usual computers for two weeks. Forrest uses a PC at work, while McZeal, a strategist for Social Factor, a digital-marketing agency based in Fort Worth, Texas, typically works on a Mac.
Forrest was stunned by the difference she experienced using MSI’s PS63 Modern. The frequent interruptions that disrupted her day? They never occurred. Consequently, Forrest avoided wasted time. “The speed of the computer helps me focus and get more tasks done,” she says. “It’s going as fast as my brain can possibly go.”
The laptop’s speed and reliability boosted her efficiency at creating social-media campaigns for clients. She was able to work with high-resolution graphics without experiencing any lag time or, worse, her computer freezing and forcing her to restart.
Forrest’s one challenge was getting used to the keyboard’s function keys, which were in a different location than her usual keyboard. That resulted in more-than-usual typos; even after two weeks, her muscle memory—so accustomed to a standard keyboard—was still tripping her up. However, Forrest was impressed with the ease of transitioning from her normal PC to the high-performance MSI model. “There is a certain stereotype to gaming computers that they’re these big bulky machines,” she says. “I was surprised that it was sleek and easy to use.”
DETAILS MAKE A DIFFERENCE
When designing its creator-friendly Prestige series, MSI also focused on making a product that would appeal to business users. Integral to this is MSI’s Creator Center software, which offers quick access to programs and the ability to adjust controls, such as power usage, color display, and other frequently used system settings. As a result, users can fine-tune the computer to best suit their needs and preferences.
McZeal found the software to be a standout feature of the MSI laptop. “The Creator Center was really useful,” he says. “It pulls in all of the different things you’re going to use in one place.”
Like Forrest, McZeal was also impressed with the machine’s speed, which streamlined his work process. “I’m in Adobe Illustrator all the time, creating and pushing out reports for different clients,” he says. “Going in and out of that constantly, it was certainly advantageous to have it load quicker than my current system.”
McZeal runs GPU-intensive programs throughout the day and the laptop’s battery proved to be up to the challenge. For lighter functions, McZeal estimates that the laptop could likely last all day without a charge in “power save” mode. For heavy-duty work, “you could probably get 10 hours of use,” he says. “With an average laptop, you’re lucky to get six.”
The portability of the laptop also appealed to McZeal. “It’s bigger than my Mac, which is nice,” he says. “But it’s surprisingly light—only 3 pounds.” McZeal also appreciated the laptop’s small charger, which made it easy to tote, and the large track pad, which meant he could forgo using a mouse.
After two weeks working on substitute machines, the consensus was clear for both Forrest and McZeal: MSI’s laptop was an upgrade over their current computers, with speed being the crucial differentiator. For a multitasker such as Forrest, who is constantly juggling several different tasks in various applications, the impact on her work was formidable: “If I save seconds going back and forth hundreds of times a day, that makes a huge difference.”
This article was created for and commissioned by MSI.