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  1. These fast, powerful PCs—from the favored brand of world-class gamers—are made for a wide range of users. Which one are you? MSI—the computer manufacturer best known for its highly regarded gaming PCs—recently unveiled a line of laptops designed for use in the classroom and office (which, as we know all too well, will continue in a place that bears an uncanny resemblance to our home). It’s a development that David Chou, vice president of sales for MSI North America, says customers have long been clamoring for: “Along with processing power and the latest features, they wanted these devices to have MSI’s build and design qualities.” The Summit series—released alongside the foundational Prestige and Modern series—was created with specific users in mind, what Chou calls “business elites.” “They are high-performing executives who are looking for a machine with enough muscle to tackle the most challenging problems while eliminating the friction points that slow productivity,” he says. The four models in the series—Summit B14, Summit B15, Summit E14, and Summit E15—all come with 11th Gen Intel Tiger Lake processors, Wi-Fi 6, Thunderbolt 4, fingerprint readers with the latest authentication technologies, and they are built to military specifications. Just as important as the list of impressive internal components is the tight integration with Windows and productivity apps and services from Microsoft—and the close collaboration between the two companies that began in the early stages of the laptops’ development. “We’ve worked with MSI for more than 30 years,” says Kurt Petersen, general manager of device partner sales at Microsoft. “After working with MSI to build innovative gaming PCs, it’s exciting that MSI is bringing the powerful and secure Summit PCs to business customers.” A business—whether conducted in an actual office or the homes of its employees—is made up of individuals with a wide range of skills—and equally diverse approaches to how they use their tools. Some like to keep up to date on the latest advances, while others would prefer not to think about their computers after pressing the power button. Here are some (perhaps familiar?) types of users—and how their work experiences might benefit by switching to Summit. THE TECHNOPHILE This is the type of user who understands that if the CPU is the brain of a PC, then the motherboard is its central nervous system. It’s a crucial if overlooked component, and MSI—with long experience catering to the (sometimes comically) exacting standards of PC gamers—builds some of the best. “We’ve been in the motherboard business for the past 30-plus years,” Chen says. “We’ve put that experience and knowledge, along with our industry-leading engineering and production capabilities, into the Summit and our other business laptops.” THE MEETING MAESTRO “We’re constantly adding new capabilities to Microsoft 365 to equip organizations and teams with the tools to thrive in this new work-from-home world,” says Microsoft’s Kurt Petersen. Project leaders can utilize a new feature in Microsoft Teams that brings the presenter’s video feed into the foreground of shared-content screens—as well as MSI’s powerful background-noise-cancellation software—to minimize distractions. THE ZEN SEEKER Not everyone (thankfully) is a back-slapping Type A. For the equally capable but less high-spirited, Petersen points out a set of “personal well-being insights and features” now incorporated into Teams, such as a “‘virtual commute’ [which schedules twice-daily nonwork blocks of time] to restore a familiar structure to long workdays at home” and “apps like Headspace that make it easier to de-stress and find focus at any time during the day.” THE SECURITY SPECIALIST Security and privacy are especially critical in today’s work- and study-from-home environments. “Working with Microsoft to enhance our cameras and fingerprint sensors, we’ve created a robust privacy environment that has minimal impact on productivity,” Chou says. MSI business laptops have fingerprint readers with FIDO2 authentication, a highly secure two-factor technology that uses biometrics rather than a password. THE SERIAL CONFERENCE CALLER MSI consumer research found that WFH users who bounce from video conference to video conference often lose track of privacy settings on their computers. To prevent overstretched workers from over-revealing, Chou says, “We’ve added an LED indicator to let them know when the camera is on and transmitting, so they don’t get caught on camera accidentally.” THE IT CHIEF Telecommuting has posed a set of daunting challenges for IT departments. Microsoft’s Windows Autopilot utilizes cloud-based technologies to overcome these new hurdles, starting with the traditionally cumbersome process through which new PCs are configured and distributed. With Autopilot, “IT sends a PC to an employee’s home,” Petersen says, “and all that employee has to do to get up and running is simply connect to a network and verify their credentials.” The same cloud technology can be used to reset, repurpose, and recover devices—all with minimal infrastructure management. THE TIME-IS-MONEY EXEC One of Chou’s favorite features is called Modern Standby, developed by Microsoft and made possible by the latest Intel chips. It leverages low-power standby settings to give PCs the “instant on” experience of smartphones. “It’s empowering and satisfying to have this kind of quick access to where I last left off on my computer,” he says. THE ALL-THUMBS KLUTZ Each of MSI’s new laptops are certified to have met MIL-STD-810G requirements, a set of military specifications covering normal operation in a variety of harsh environments and conditions that include temperature extremes, vibrations, humidity, and “contamination by fluid” (which, thankfully, includes your morning coffee). Chou views MSI’s new laptop lines—and the Summit series in particular—as a particularly successful outgrowth of years-long research, an inside-out rethink on how to make computers, and close collaboration with a key partner. “We invested a lot of new resources and encouraged our designers to consider every detail a business user might want or need,” he says. “And Microsoft brings an unmatched understanding of software that boosts the user experience for executives who need a fast and reliable PC that can keep up with the increasing pace of today’s business—whether at the office or in the home.” Source
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