When I think of MSI, I automatically go to their devices to play games. In recent months we have reviewed the MSI Optix, a rather interesting large-inch monitor, and the Pulse GL76, a laptop with the RTX 3070.
However, they also have very interesting products for a professional sector with Creator Z16 laptops or monitors. And, precisely, a few weeks ago I was working on one of those monitors not created specifically for gaming and with one of those names that you have to review.
Then, I tell you my opinion of the MSI Summit MS321UP in this analysis in which I show you where it works best and I tell you what type of user I think it is intended for.
|MSI Summit MS321UP|
|Resolution||3,840 x 2,160 pixels|
|panel type||IPS 8 bit|
|Brightness||400 nits typical | 600 nit peak | VESA DisplayHDR 600 Certification|
|color space||98%sRGB | 95% DCI-P3 | Delta E|
|Arm||VESA100 mount | Can be tilted, raised/lowered and rotated|
|Connection||DP 1.2 | 2x HDMI 2.0b | Three 3.5 mm jack for headphones and microphone | USB-C | 3x USB-A 3.2 | USB-B | SD card reader|
|Price||899 euros on Amazon|
Sections of the review of the MSI Summit MS321UP:
House brand identity and a TOP accessory to edit photos and videos
If we start talking about the design, I have to say that I like to see an identity in the different families of manufacturers. That happens with MSI and its professional and gaming monitors.
And it is that, there are clear similarities in the design of some elements, such as its back, although obviously here we do not have the typical shield with the dragon, something that MSI reserves for its devices focused on gaming.
Before moving on to the monitor, I’m going to go over the base and the arm. And it is that, they are two very important elements and the truth is that I have loved those of this model.
Both the base (square and with enormous dimensions that provide security) and the arm are made of aluminum and plastic and feel very robust.
The monitor support is VESA 100 that we anchor to the screen with the usual hooks and four screws for more security and it will allow us different working angles.
And it is that, allows us to tilt both vertically and horizontally to easily adapt the monitor to our workspace or posture. In addition, it has a hydraulic system that allows us to raise and lower the monitor so that it is always at eye level.
It is a very smooth system, it is not necessary to adjust it using both hands and it has been very comfortable and practical for me.
The only thing you won’t be able to do is rotate the monitor so that it has a vertical layout. That would have been ideal for certain cases, but it would also have increased the price.
The base has a perimeter with a gold detail and the arm has a cord wrap, something very useful as you will see within a few lines.
And if we go to the monitor, the truth is that we have an attractive design. We have practically no upper frame or sides, since the panel takes advantage of the space quite well, and what we do have is a chin that is not as wide as that of other recent models and that, even so, hides a couple of interesting things.
Of course, we have the MSI logo in the central part, but just below it there is a webcam (of quite poor quality, but it can save you in a hurry) and a pair of microphones.
The control mode is currently typical with power buttons and access to calibration in the lower right and a control joystick at the rear. It seems to me that this joystick is well placed, since on other monitors it is too high and not intuitive. Here I think you have the ideal location.
And in the box, in addition to a bunch of cables that we’ll see right away, It has a magnetic visor that attaches very easily to the monitor, which stays well attached and does not “dance” and that serves to mitigate reflections in some environments to, thus, improve the precision of the panel when editing the color in photos and videos.
I have loved this because the magnet system is strong and, also, when you don’t want it you can easily fold it to store in a drawer.
Ports galore for monitor to function as a dock
The port matrix of this monitor deserves its own section and, from now on, I have to tell you that it is one of the best that has passed through our analysis bench.
If you work with a desktop, and you have it on the floor, and especially if you work on an Apple laptop (other than the new MacBook Pro) or a Windows Ultrabook, you will surely have a dock on top of the desk to have certain ports within reach. .
I work with a 2020 MacBook Pro with only two USB-C and it’s a nuisance because if I go on a trip I have to go with the adapter and, when I’m at home, I absolutely need something like the Razer Thunderbolt 4 dock that we reviewed a few months ago.
Nevertheless, with this monitor we eliminate the need for ports (at least to a great extent) since we have plenty within reach.
As you have seen in the specifications table, we have a variety of USB-A, but also a USB-B to connect directly to our computer and be able to use peripherals and storage devices directly from the monitor, as well as different video, audio and video ports. an SD reader.
It is very comfortable to have the monitor on your desk, connect the laptop after a day out, connect a cable and start working with the keyboard and mouse connected to the monitor, with good cable management and without difficulty.
Now, if you work on a MacBook, you will miss one thing. And it is that, at least in my unit with M1, USB-C only works as a video pass-through. That is, we can see the MacBook screen on the monitor without having to pull HDMI, simply with USB-C.
It would have been great if this port could power the laptop to avoid having two cables connected to the MacBook (the USB-C for video and the one for power), since since it does not have more ports, you will need an adapter if you want external peripherals.
But hey, I understand that in that case it would be necessary to include at least one Thunderbolt 3 port and that is something that would have made the product more expensive.
What I have loved is the PIP options and that it has an integrated KVM. This offers the possibility to control two computers without having to disconnect the keyboard and mouse to connect them to each of them.
It seems to me a very successful option and that it enhances that kind of integrated dock that the monitor has.
Good brightness and correct viewing angles, but with 10 bits that are not real
And it is that, despite the fact that the design is fine and the connectivity seems practically perfect to me, where is the core of the experience and What MSI has focused on this model the most is the quality of the panel.
At first glance it doesn’t seem like anything too spectacular, since it is an IPS with 4K resolution and only 60 Hzbut when you get to work and dig a little into its specifications, you realize that you are looking at a monitor that is very suitable for semi-professional photo and video editing work.
I didn’t mention it before, but the two HDMIs it has are 2.0b and yes, to ask, in 2022, it would be great if they were 2.1, but it would really be a waste of resources because for 4K60, HDMI 2.0b is more than enough.
Although you will be able to play (it has some defects such as blur, be careful there), it is not a monitor designed for gaming despite the fact that it is compatible with FreeSync and has some settings designed for games. So, it is not the one you should buy to play on PC or to connect your Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5.
Having said that, I think it’s a spectacular monitor to work and, when I say “work”, I mean a profile that can be like mine. I write texts, obviously, but I also spend many hours both producing video and editing photos.
I don’t apply a plugin and that’s it, but I touch up the color, I need a high panel resolution and, above all, that the colors I see in it are the most “realistic” and flat as possible to adapt to all types of panels, from phones mobiles to laptops through televisions, new monitors, old monitors and any screen on which you see our content.
The better “colored” the photo I upload is, the better it will adapt to a wide range of screens and I need precision, but not maximum precision either because I am not a professional only of the image nor do I go to such detail as that type of user.
So, what this monitor offers me is more than enough because panel viewing angles are correct for an IPS, color accuracy in sRGB and DCI-P3 It does not reach the maximum in any case, but it is in very adequate values to work and, in short, it has a factory calibration in each unit that has seemed very successful to me.
There is the possibility to change different settings in the color profiles, but if you don’t want to get into that mess, what it offers out of the box is already good enough for a range of situations.
Of course, although it is said that this monitor has a color depth of 10 bits, it is really interpolated, since it has a depth of 8 bits + FRC. I think it would be appropriate to have in a monitor of this price and focus on those 10 native bits.
And something that I liked is the brightness. It has the DisplayHDR 600 standard that offers a very good level of brightness and has a matte finish. However, if you are near a window or a strong light source, it is a good idea to put on the visor to eliminate some reflections.
Finally, I have to say that I also really liked the software built into the monitor to be able to control the image parameters, brightness, input source, PIP/PBP options or color calibration.
The truth is that navigation is a pleasure thanks to the rear joystick and I have nothing to object to in this regard. I wish all companies offered a system as clear and with as good control as the MSI monitors.
MSI seeks quality / price for imaging professionals
MSI is not a brand that has exactly low prices. It usually offers TOP products with good characteristics and components and, in addition, the prestige of the name itself.
It is something similar to what Razer or Asus do, without leaving the segment of companies closely related to gaming too much.
However, here they have tried to offer a product that is quite interesting as a whole, but that shines through the main part of the product: the screen.
It is true that 60 Hz for this price is little and that it would have been great, 100% coverage of both sRGB and DCI-P3 spaceas well as real 10 bits of color depth, but we have a bright panel, suitable for semi-professional image editing use and, in addition, with important details such as the magnetic visor.
I like the software, also the arm and the controls and the details like the multitude of portsthe integrated webcam, the microphones and the SD reader seems to me to be a great detail in a monitor like this.
I think, for a user with a Windows laptop/desktop who wants to get started on monitors with these characteristics, but that don’t cost a lot, it’s a good option. However, for Apple users, I’d look for a monitor with Thunderbolt 3.