The MSI Summit E16 Flip: Good Tablet, Great Laptop

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Although the brand is best known for its gaming laptops, MSI has gained additional prominence lately, thanks to its nascent line of business laptops. Case in point: the aptly named Summit E16 Flip, a 2-in-1 portable that currently sits at the top of MSI's "Business & Productivity" division. We spent some time with the Summit E16 Flip to see how it fared as a daily driver and where it might fit into various workflows.

Summit E16 Flip
Summit E16 Flip

Design

Despite its designation as a "business-class" laptop, the Summit E16 Flip packs plenty of features that should also appeal to content creators and creatives.

Starting with its design: the Summit E16 Flip features a gorgeous, inky-black chassis that doesn't look like any other business laptop we've reviewed. The all-black, almost all-metal frame is enhanced further by a full-sized backlit keyboard and gold trim racing along its LCD screen and beveled touchpad.

MSI 16" Summit E16 Flip Multi-Touch 2-in-1 Laptop
MSI 16" Summit E16 Flip Multi-Touch 2-in-1 Laptop

The gold accents and redesigned logo are deliberate nods toward the Golden Ratio, which MSI claims "heavily influenced" the Flip's balanced composition, 16:10 screen ratio, and overall harmonious design. In other words, MSI used math to make the Flip look incredibly attractive and luxe. Not sure what the company was using before, but you can't argue with the results.

Aesthetics aside, the Summit E16 Flip's most conspicuous design feature is its 360° hinge, which allows users to fold the screen down into "tent" mode or flip it over to convert the laptop into a tablet. Everyday users might find the 16" display a bit too large for conventional tablet use, but creatives will likely enjoy working on such an expansive canvas—we definitely did.

Regardless of which orientation you prefer, users can take notes or draw directly on the Flip's display using the included MSI Pen or a different stylus of their choosing (so long as it supports the MPP 2.0 protocol). It's worth noting that the MSI Pen offers a design incentive over other styli: it magnetically attaches to the side of the laptop, so you're less likely to lose track of it when not in use. This might seem like a relatively small feature, but for those of us who are constantly misplacing our styli, it's a much-appreciated consideration.

Finally, in terms of physical connections, the Summit E16 Flip features a full array of I/O ports that are accessible from its left and right sides. On the left side are two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt™ 4 support, as well as an HDMI 2.1 port; on the right side are two USB-A (3.2 Gen 2) ports, along with a microSD slot and a headphone jack.

Overall, we were very pleased with the Summit E16 Flip Evo's design. Its massive screen, gorgeous build, and versatile orientation were big hits with our reviewers.

We were less than enthralled with the way the chassis—especially the lid—captured our fingerprints. No matter how careful we were, at the end of the day, our unit looked like it had been handled by a couple of glazed donuts.

So unless you plan on wearing white gloves, expect a visit to Smudge Town, USA. (Fortunately, you can wipe it down with a microfiber cloth to get it looking spiffy again.)

Performance

Before we get too deep into the numbers, let's quickly go over some of the key specs that drove the Summit E16 Flip's performance. Our testbed featured an Intel® Core™ i7-1260P 12-core CPU, an integrated Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050Ti graphics card, 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and a 1TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD.

To gauge the Summit E16 Flip's performance, we ran it through a combination of real-world and simulated checks. Based on the results of those tests, we can confidently say the Summit E16 Flip Evo is an all-around great performer that should appeal to a wide range of users, not just those looking for "business" or "productivity" laptops.

For example, when we ran the Flip through PugetBench's benchmark for Premiere Pro, we got back a surprisingly high score of 538. That is not a score you usually get from a business laptop. 538 on PugetBench would absolutely destroy some of the Flip's competitors, including certain configurations of the HP x360 Spectre and Envy.

To gauge general performance and productivity, we used the PCMark 10 benchmark, which measures the performance of various workloads and applications—everything from app startup time and web browsing to writing and working on spreadsheets. That test yielded an excellent score of 5628, which was either better or within striking distance of its competitors.

Display

As mentioned, the Flip's 16" touchscreen is a Golden-Ratio-approved panel that offers 2560 x 1600 screen resolution, 16:10 aspect ratio, wide color support, and high 165 Hz refresh rate.

In laptop mode, the display is great for both general work and content creation. 100% DCI-P3 color gamut means that colors look great—much better than your average premium display. And it's plenty bright, too, offering max brightness levels up to 500 cd/m2—more than enough to edit photos and video. The display is equally gorgeous and capable in tent mode, though as a 16" tablet, it did feel a bit unwieldy.

Looks aside, screen responsiveness was also excellent. Regardless of which mode the Flip was in, touch and stylus interaction were both very responsive. In particular, drawing and taking notes using the included stylus felt very natural and smooth, which was a big plus for some of our reviewers.

Value and Verdict

Overall, there isn't much to dislike about the MSI Summit E16 Flip. It's a versatile, well-built machine that looks great, has a gorgeous display, can pull double duty as a business and creative laptop, and can easily switch between laptop and tablet modes—depending on your needs.

Our biggest criticisms are that it's a total fingerprint magnet and, in tablet mode, it might be a little too big for some users. As far as complaints go, those are minor.

We also thought this version of the Flip delivered great value. Looking at some of the Flip's competitors, it's difficult to find the same level of performance at this price point. Don't get us wrong: the Summit E16 Flip isn't cheap. But when you add up all its features (i.e., the ultra-slick chassis, the gorgeous display, its advanced processors, etc.), the price tag seems more than warranted.

Bottom line: If you're seeking gorgeous looks, premium performance, and unrivaled versatility, the MSI Summit E16 Flip is an excellent choice.

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