MSI Summit E16 Flip Evo A12M review: an affordable, versatile convertible for office workloads

The MSI Summit E16 Flip has plenty of pace, a decent design and all-day battery life for a good price

The MSI Summit E16 Flip on the ITPro background
(Image: © Future)

IT Pro Verdict


  • +

    Cheaper than rivals

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    Powerful Core i7 CPU

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    All-day battery life

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    Plenty of ports


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    Heavier than other hybrids

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    Mediocre screen

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    Poor speakers

Hybrid laptops are typically tiny because they're designed to mimic tablets but that's not the case with the MSI Summit E16 Flip.

This convertible device is designed for hard-nosed office work and brings a big screen along for the ride, so you've got all the trappings of tablet functionality alongside a spacious 16in panel.

Beyond that, MSI's machine deploys an Intel Core i7 processor and is armed with a surprisingly low price of just £799 exc VAT. That's impressive when you consider the other 16in convertible devices that have already hit the market. The LG Gram 16 2-in-1 has dropped in price since launch but it still costs £1,166 exc VAT, and the Asus ExpertBook B5 16in tops off the trio at £1,208 exc VAT.

MSI Summit E16 Flip Evo A12M review: Design

The MSI doesn't necessarily feel like an affordable notebook either. The exterior is made from aluminium and is robust enough to survive being shared around an office. It's bolstered by MIL-STD-810G testing to ensure protection against drops, shocks and temperature changes.

Because this hybrid has a 360-degree hinge, the MSI can flip into tent or tablet modes - ideal for giving presentations and collaborating with colleagues. The hinge is well-designed, too, enabling smooth movement while supporting a fixed position once you've stopped adjusting.

The MSI doesn't look as good as some of its peers, but that's a minor complaint. It's not an ugly machine, but the black aluminium doesn't really stand out - aside from the chrome effect around the trackpad, there's little to draw the eye. More serious, though, is the 1.9kg weight – the MSI is heavier than its 1.4kg rivals. At 17mm thick the Summit is not physically large, but it'll weigh you down.

MSI Summit E16 Flip Evo A12M review: Keyboard and trackpad

The exterior looks sensible – and the keyboard is sensible, too. It's a chiclet unit with 1.5mm of travel, and quality levels are good: the keys are snappy, light and fast but still feel satisfying. When some affordable laptop keyboards feel light but also hollow, that's a welcome step up.

There's enough speed and comfort here for all-day typing sessions, and the three-step backlight will keep you working into the evening. Positively, the MSI has a numberpad – even if the buttons are slimmed-down. Negatively, though, it has a single-height Return key and the power button is installed on the keyboard itself, which risks accidental shutdowns. The backlight could be brighter and more consistent too.

The trackpad is underwhelming – its clicking is mushy and the mechanical design means it's harder to click the pad towards the top of the unit. It's a plastic pad too, not glass, so it has a bit more friction. There's hardly anything to choose between this keyboard and the typing gear included on both rivals, but the LG and Asus machines both have better trackpads.

MSI Summit E16 Flip Evo A12M review: Display

The display is critical for any convertible, and the MSI's relatively modest price means that design compromises have been made. Its 1920 x 1200 resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio means you get a reasonable amount of space and some extra height. It's a touchscreen, too, and comes with a stylus.

Unusually, this display also runs at 165Hz, so movement around the OS is butter-smooth – it adds a bit of luxury. It also means you get a bit of esports ability, although Intel Iris Xe graphics mean you'll be restricted to low-end games. Annoyingly, some other territories get 2560 x 1600 displays, including the US, but that's not an option in the UK.

The MSI's quality levels are mediocre, too. The brightness level of 320cd/m2 is only suitable for indoor use and the screen's reflective coating makes it tricky to see under bright lights. The contrast ratio of 941:1 is average – fine for viewing web pages, Office apps and TV shows but not the kind of figure that'll deliver loads of punch or depth.

The Delta E of 2.15 means colours are accurate, but the screen can only handle the sRGB gamut: it displayed 99.5% of that space but only 76.8% and 83.6% of the AdobeRGB and DCI-P3 spaces.

For everyday workloads, media and light gaming, this screen is fine – and its touchscreen design and 360-degree hinge add versatility. But if you need a panel for creative work, the stunning OLED display in the Asus is the better option.

MSI Summit E16 Flip Evo A12M review: Hardware and performance

The Intel Core i7-1280P has six Hyper-Threaded performance cores with a peak speed of 4.8GHz alongside eight Efficiency cores and an Intel Iris Xe graphics core. MSI has packed 16GB of dual-channel DDR5 RAM alongside a 512GB SSD with rock-solid read and write speeds of 6,841MB/s and 5,079MB/s.

It's a recipe for good everyday performance. The Summit scored 296 in our multi-media benchmarks, which was 99 points beyond the LG and 42 points faster than the Asus – both of which used weaker Intel Core i7-1260P processors.

There's hardly anything to choose between the three in terms of single-core performance. But in the multi-core benchmark the Summit's Geekbench result of 9,407 gives it a healthy lead over both rivals.

You'll be able to handle any everyday Office task on this notebook and the MSI doesn't balk at switching between those apps, media tools and loads of browser tabs. It'll tackle light photo-editing, too, but you'll quickly hit the CPU's limits in more challenging content creation scenarios.

In the US the Summit has been upgraded with 13th Gen processors and they're coming to the UK soon. They deliver a modest performance boost but won't significantly add to the MSI's abilities.

UK buyers don't get so lucky in the graphics department – because in the US, the MSI will be available with Nvidia RTX 4050 and RTX 4060 graphics. Those chips add additional gaming and creative power to the rig.

Pleasingly, fan noise on the MSI was modest – we only heard the fan with our ears close to the case, even in demanding tasks. The underside gets a little warm, but it's not dangerously hot and other surfaces weren't uncomfortable either.

You get all-day battery life from this laptop, too. In our 170cd/m2 video rundown test the MSI lasted for 11hrs and 45mins, which is a little better than the LG and twice as good as the Asus. If you push the hardware you'll still get seven hours from the Summit, and the only way you'll get a significant battery upgrade is by spending far more on a laptop like an Apple MacBook.

MSI Summit E16 Flip Evo A12M review: Ports and features

On the right-hand edge of the MSI there are two full-size USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, and the left-hand edge houses a pair of Thunderbolt 4 connectors that handle DisplayPort and power delivery. That's a solid selection, although it would be preferable if each side had one full-size port and one Thunderbolt connector - it makes it easier to organise cables and peripherals.

Elsewhere, MSI's machine serves up a microSD slot and HDMI 2.0 port. Internally, there's Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. Security comes from TPM 2.0, there's a fingerprint reader beneath the keyboard, and the 1080p webcam balances crisp, colourful imagery with Windows Hello support. It's not got a physical shutter but does have a deactivation button.

Aside from that minor quibble about the USB and Thunderbolt positioning, this is good connectivity. The LG lacks an HDMI output and only has one full-size USB port, and the Asus suffered with slower USB connectivity and no Wi-Fi 6E.

The audio gear is where the MSI suffers. Unsurprisingly, the Summit has typically disappointing laptop speakers, which means no bass and underwhelming, tinny sound.

The MSI Summit E16 on a desk

(Image credit: Future)

MSI Summit E16 Flip Evo A12M review: Verdict

MSI's affordable hybrid outpaces its rivals when it comes to computing ability and delivers all-day battery life. Combine that with the sturdy, 360-degree design and reasonable screen and you've got a laptop for all-day office collaboration.

At this price there's bound to be compromise, and here it comes from the underwhelming screen and speakers – the former is only acceptable for everyday work tasks and the latter delivers poor audio. The Summit is heavier than its more expensive competitors, too.

At this price, though, those compromises are acceptable – especially if you don't need a lightweight laptop for creative workloads. The Summit isn't perfect, but it's a good office hybrid. 

MSI Summit E16 Flip Evo A12M specifications

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Processor1.8GHz Intel Core i7-1280P
GraphicsIntel Iris Xe
Storage512GB SSD
Display16in 1920 x 1200 IPS
Operating systemWindows 11 Home 64-bit
ConnectivityDual-band 802.11ax WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
Ports2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 2 x Thunderbolt 4, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x microSD 1 x audio
Dimensions358 x 259 x 17mm (WxDxH)
Warranty2yr RTB
Mike Jennings


Mike Jennings has worked as a technology journalist for more than a decade and has been fascinated by computers since childhood, when he spent far too long building terrible websites. He loves desktop PCs, components, laptops and anything to do with the latest hardware.

Mike worked as a staff writer at PC Pro magazine in London for seven years, and during that time wrote for a variety of other tech titles, including Custom PC, Micro Mart and Computer Shopper. Since 2013, he’s been a freelance tech writer, and writes regularly for titles like Wired, TechRadar, Stuff, TechSpot, IT Pro, TrustedReviews and TechAdvisor. He still loves tech and covers everything from the latest business hardware and software to high-end gaming gear, and you’ll find him on plenty of sites writing reviews, features and guides on a vast range of topics.

You can email Mike at, or find him on Twitter at @mikejjennings