MSI Creator Z16 Preview: Tiger Lake-H and an RTX 3060 Take on the MacBook Pro

Right in front of me is something new, our Creative Z16. This is a very unique design, this is a uni-poly CNC, so it's very sturdy and it feels really solid. The coolest part of this is the screen itself.


I'm here with Cliff from MSI, known for their gaming laptops, of course, but they have something today that's for the creative professionals among us. Cliff, do you want to show us what you're unveiling today? Yeah. Thank you for having us in here. So obviously as you say, MSI is really well-known for gaming laptops, but for the past two, three years we have been doing quite a bit of the business laptop and the content creation laptop. Right in front of me is something new, our Creative Z16. This is a unique design, this is a uni-poly CNC, so it's very sturdy, and it feels really solid. The coolest part of this is the screen itself. So this is a 16 inch, 16 by 10 QHD panel just to say QHD plus and 120 hertz panel. So we do have touch panel options on this one. The cool part about the 16 by 10 screens is we give you roughly about 11% more on screen wise especially for content creators which needed more viewership on that one.

Like people like me, even when I'm doing Excel I'm able to scroll much less because I see much more rows on those. Keyboard size-wise it's also a single unit body CNC design. Keyboard is using our still series per key RGB keyboard, and this one is using a mini LED backlight. So this mini LED backlight helps keeping the unit much thinner. Obviously we still have the fingerprint. That keyboard looks much like the MacBook keyboard at a glance. I'm sure this is somewhat of a competitor for that sort of user. Yeah the, the whole goal of the design and everything, you know MSI is trying to go to the premium content creator laptop. So this is something that obviously the model that you talk about is something that we aim for.

We try to go after, into that kind of customer base. So pretty much this is the whole idea of very sleek good and very easy to travel. As I say, it's just roughly about 16 millimeter thick and roughly about 2.2 kilograms in weight. So it just says great units to carry around and very sturdy enough because people who travel with this they will be doing a lot of content outdoors like away from it. So this one also come with a 91-hour battery so should be enough power to run a whole day out there. Nice. And of course, content creators need their connection, they need peripherals, they need storage, they need extra monitors.

What sort of ports is we looking at on the system? Yeah, good that you bring this up. So, because this is using the 11 gen CPU from Intel we do have a Thunderbolt 4 ports option built in here. So as you can see in here we have a dedicated TCA and power in and then in here, it's USB-A and then Thunderbolt for audio. And then the other side, we also have USB-A and another Thunderbolt for a micro SD card. So it's great enough to, to be connecting, and, and then also the Thunderbolt 4 you can charge the laptop on the go. So if you are away from the power plot or something like that, you can still charge the unit by itself. Very cool. You, you alluded to it with the, the ports. Tell us what is inside this unit, obviously components are vital for creative professionals. I know some people see a laptop that thin and are not sure that it has the juice to run, you know various editing programs and all the other applications that creators need.

So tell us more about the processor. I'm sure the RAM can scale and if there's any dispute graphics options as well. Yeah, of course. For people who really need to do the audios and everything we really need, you know, graphics to run it. So this one will have a built-in 3060 graphics card RTX3060 built in, as you say, you know, the memory we can push it all the way up to a 64 gig option. So, and also the SSD itself is also using a Gen 4 because of the 11th Gen Intel. So it should be very fast, and we will be able to expand it because they have two different ports two different M.2 slots inside. Very cool. Are there any other creative focused features or any other design aspects you'd like to talk about either software or hardware? Yeah, so software programs...MSI obviously we do have our MSI center pro which you can fine tune different software's priority that type of stuff.

Obviously it has a built-in webcam, so you, if you do the audio video conferencing and stuff like that the software itself also have noise cancellation. On top, the screen itself, I haven't talked a little too in depth, but this one is a Kalman certified alongside with the Delta E less than two. So the current accuracy is perfect just for the content creations. Very cool. And finally, I guess if that's all, price point availability. What's the starting price, at least for this? I'm sure all the options you mentioned it is can scale a good way up, but a starting price and availability is always what everyone wants to know. So the price is somewhere around like the $2,399 to $2,999 range. We have a lot, obviously we have a lot of different options this and that, but it will be within the $2,000 range which is still very solid, you know, versus the competition. Yeah. This is not, as you may have guessed if you've listened to the specs and features, an entry-level laptop, the types of systems it's competing with are, are expensive and are for professionals who need that sort of power. So you already probably know what you're getting into if you're shopping in this sort of this sort of category range, I think that's all then. We, of course, look forward to putting this through its paces on our full suite of benchmark tests and giving you a full review when it's available.