MSI Summit E16 Flip 2-in-1 laptop

Two minute review

The Summit E16 Flip from MSI is a business laptop geared towards content creators that packs an Intel Core i7 CPU, a Nvidia RTX 3050 laptop GPU, WiFi 6E, a PCIe Gen 4 SSD and a 16-inch QHD+ display into a 2-in-1 form factor. The device’s 360 degree hinge allows you to use it in tent mode or to flip the screen all the way around and use it in tablet mode. Thanks to the inclusion of MPP 2.0 technology and the award-winning MSI pen with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, digital artists can draw and take notes on its touch display without having to lug around a separate graphics tablet.

As MSI designed the Summit E16 Flip with creators in mind, the device features plenty of ports including two full size USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a MicroSD card reader and an audio jack. However, there’s also a fingerprint sensor and webcam lock switch on the side for when you’re not video conferencing. The backlit keyboard allows you to easily work in low light though the smaller numpad to the left of the keyboard as well as the trackpad both feel a bit cramped.

Being able to work on your creative projects from anywhere will cost you though and the Summit E16 Flip configuration sent to TechRadar Pro comes in at $2,299 (around £1,703) though you can choose a configuration with less RAM or a smaller SSD to bring the price point to $1999 (around £1481).

Pricing and availability

MSI offers three configurations of the Summit E16 Flip (A11UCT-015, A11UCT-019 and A11UCT-026) on its website depending on how much storage and memory you need. The first ships with Windows 10 Home, a 1T NVMe SSD and 32GB of LPDDR4X RAM for $1,999 (around £1481), the second ships with Windows 10 Pro, a 1TB NVMe SSD and 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM for the same price and the third also ships with Windows 10 Pro but comes with double the RAM and storage with 32GB LPDDR4X and a 2TB NVMe SSD for $2,299 (around £1,703). However, all three configurations can be updated to Windows 11 and also ship with a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 laptop GPU.

Lid Closed

(Image credit: Future)

Design

Unlike other business laptops which feature similar designs and try to outdo one another on specs alone, the MSI Summit E16 Flip sets itself apart from the crowd by basing its design on the Golden Ratio. While this is most apparent in the 16:10 aspect ratio display that even features a Fibonacci Sequence as its default wallpaper, there are little nods to the Golden Ratio on the entire device from the gold trim around the trackpad and screen to the golden MSI logo on the device’s lid.

Underside of Device

(Image credit: Future)

The MSI Summit E16 Flip weighs 4.19lbs (1.9kg) and has a width of 14.12in (35.86cm), a length of 10.15in (25.78cm) and is 0.66-in tall (1.67cm). MSI has even gone so far as to claim the Summit E16 Flip is the “thinnest convertible 16-inch laptop in the 2-in-1 laptop market”. The device is certainly thin and light enough that you’ll have no trouble carrying it around in a backpack all day.

Display

(Image credit: Future)

Opening the lid of the Summit E16 Flip reveals the star of the show, the device’s 16-inch QHD+ display. To give creators more screen real estate to work with and to go along with the Golden Ratio design philosophy, the Summit E16 flip supports a 16:10 aspect ratio. The bezels at both sides are quite thin while the bezel at the top of the device is a bit larger as it houses a IR HD type 720p webcam equipped with four microphones and AI noise cancellation.

Ports Left Side

(Image credit: Future)

On the left side of Summit E16 Flip, you’ll find an HDMI port along with two USB-C ports that offer Thunderbolt 4 connectivity and USB-Power Delivery fast charging. Although the device’s webcam doesn’t feature a physical cover, there is a webcam Lock Switch on the left as well.

Ports Right Side

(Image credit: Future)

The right side of the device houses two USB 3.2 Type-A ports, a MicroSD card reader and an audio combo jack that can also be used with a headset.

Keyboard and Trackpad

(Image credit: Future)

Despite being just over 14in wide, the Summit E16 Flip features a full size backlit keyboard with 84 keys. However, MSI did have to make some compromises to cram the numpad in on the right side. The number keys, the arrow keys and the right shift key are all a bit smaller though at least there is a second enter key next to the arrow keys. Below the keyboard, you’ll find a somewhat small trackpad with a golden border and a fingerprint reader.

Backside of Device Lid Open

(Image credit: Future)

Hardware

As the Summit E16 Flip is designed for creators first and foremost, all three configurations of the device ship with an Intel Core i7 (1195G7) processor clocked at 2.9Ghz that can boost up to 5.0GHz Single Core Turbo with Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.0 along with a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 laptop GPU with 4GB of GDDR6. In terms of connectivity, the Summit E16 Flip features Wi-Fi 6E support and Bluetooth 5.2 thanks to the inclusion of an Intel Killer AX1675 (2x2) wireless adapter.

Spec Sheet

Here are the full specs of the MSI Summit E16 Flip sent to TechRadar Pro for review:

CPU: Intel Core i7 1195G7

Graphics: Nvidia RTX 3050

RAM: 32GB LPDDR4X

Screen: 16-inch QHD+ (2,560 x 1,600) 16:10 resolution

Storage:  2TB NVMe SSD

Ports: 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 2 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 and Power Delivery, 1 x HDMI, microSD, audio jack

Connectivity:  Intel 9461, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1

Weight: 1.9kg

Size: 358 x 257 x 16.7mm  (H x W x D)

Battery: 82Whr  

The device’s 16-inch QHD+ display is touch sensitive and can detect 10 different touch inputs. The display also features MPP2.0 technology and has 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity when using the included MSI Pen. In addition to being MSI’s first stylus, the MSI Pen also won an award for the best computer peripherals and accessories at CES last year. While you can use the pen in laptop mode, the Summit E16 Flip’s 360 hinge allows you to flip the display completely around and use it like a large notepad for drawing, inking and taking notes.

Even with such a thin and light device, MSI managed to pack in a 82Whr battery that it claims is capable of lasting 11 hours on a single charge. In our real world testing though, we managed to get just under eight hours of battery life with the brightness turned down and the device running in performance mode. However, if you’re running out of battery when out and about, the relatively small fast-charging 90W power adapter can extend the life of the Summit E16 Flip by 2.5 hours with only a 15-minute charge.

Tent Mode

(Image credit: Future)

Performance and in use

Benchmarks

Here’s how the MSI Summit E16 Flip  performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

Passmark: 3564

Passmark CPU: 13191

CPU-Z:  598.3 (single-thread); 2903 (multi-thread)

Geekbench: 1540 (single-core); 5846 (multi-core); 52936 (compute)

3DMark: 4028 (Timespy);  8974 (Firestrike);  25050 (Nightraid)

CrystalDiskMark: 6544 Mbps (read); 4925 (write)

Cinebench Multi CPU: 5294

Novabench: 2744

Atto: 6006MBps (read, 256mb); 4590MBps (write, 256mb)

AJA: 5147MBps (read); 4227MBps (write)

Windows Experience Index: 8.3 

With an 11th gen Intel Core i7 CPU, a Nvidia RTX 3050 laptop GPU and a PCI-E Gen 4 SSD on board, the Summit E16 Flip offers more than enough power for most creative tasks such as editing photos, working with 4K video, designing and modeling in 3D and more. While you can do lighter creative work on the go, you’ll likely want to have this device plugged in for more demanding workloads.

During our testing, we found the Summit E16 Flip to be a very fast and responsive device for office work and general web browsing. The backlit keyboard was bright enough while working at night in low lit areas and although they’re a bit mushy, the keys still have a decent amount of travel. It did take some time to adjust to the smaller right shift key and we found the number keys on the right to be usable though not ideal for those who frequently find themselves working with spreadsheets. Likewise, the trackpad performed well and was wide enough but given the size of this laptop, it could be a bit taller as there is plenty of room between it and the keyboard.

The included MSI Pen features two buttons at its base as well as a Bluetooth button at its rear that can even be used as a remote control when giving presentations. While you can use the MSI Pen on the Summit E16 Flip to draw and write on the screen without pairing it, doing so will allow you to customize the functionality of its top button and use it to control PowerPoint presentations with one click to move to the next slide and two clicks to go back to the previous slide. Alternatively, pressing and holding the top button brings up the MSI Pen Control app where you can change what the button does when clicked once or twice.

In Use

(Image credit: Future)

As MSI also sent over its Modern MD271QP business monitor, we tested out the Summit E16 Flip using it as well. With the device on a laptop stand, we connected it to the monitor over Thunderbolt 4 and we were easily able to extend its screen while charging the device at the same time.

Should I buy the MSI Summit E16 Flip?

Buy it if:

You want a laptop with stylus support. Not only does the Summit E16 Flip ship with the MSI Pen that magnetically attaches to the side of the laptop but since the device features Microsoft Pen Protocol 2.0 (MPP 2.0) you can also use an existing stylus (like the one from the Microsoft Surface) as a spare.

You want even more screen for your buck. As the 16-inch QHD+ display on the Summit E16 Flip has a 16:10 aspect ratio, this means that you’ll have even more screen real estate to work with without having to opt for a larger device.

Don’t buy it if:

You want a gaming laptop. Although every configuration of the Summit E16 Flip includes a Nvidia RTX 3050, this laptop GPU is more geared towards productivity and running creative software like Photoshop. You can still use it for light gaming but you may need to turn down the resolution to get higher frame rates in modern titles.

You need a full size numpad and a larger touchpad. The inclusion of a full size keyboard on the Summit E16 Flip is a welcome addition but the smaller number keys may make things difficult for you if you spend a lot of time working with spreadsheets. At the same time, the touchpad is wide enough but its short height may make using multitouch gestures in Windows a bit harder.

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