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There’s something to be said for a beautiful aesthetic design. For creatives, a clean design can provide inspiration, and minimalism has even been shown to increase productivity.
But there’s also an argument to be made for function over form. A machine should be designed to bring your vision to life, and that means removing barriers. If you’re editing a video, buffering times can slow down the creative process.
The challenge that laptop designers face is balancing the two.
That’s where MSI stands apart.
With the Creator Z16, MSI has married the elegant design of their business laptops with the power necessary to tackle the most intensive creative challenges.
Test configuration listed
CPU: 11th Gen Intel i7 up to i9
GPU: Nvidia RTX 3060
RAM: 32GBs DDR4
Storage: 2x 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD
Display: 16″ 2500×1600 120Hz
With an Nvidia RTX 3060, the Z16 is at the edge of the latest graphics technology. There are four models of the Z16. They come equipped with an 11th gen Intel i7 all the way up to an i9. Pair that with 32GBs of memory and an NVMe SSD, and you have a laptop that has the speed to handle even the most demanding graphics tasks.
I don’t want to compare Apples and MSIs, but… wait, that’s exactly what I want to do. According to MSI’s internal benchmarks, the Z16 far surpasses the latest MacBook Pros in terms of performance across the board.
The exact numbers should be taken with a grain of salt until we run our own official benchmarks, but I ran some rough tests just to see for myself.
Exporting 4K footage from Adobe Premiere, the Z16 shaved a significant amount of time off my export times compared to my MacBook Pro. I tried another export in Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve and found the same result.
Working across my regular suite of programs, the Z16 continues to impress. Booting up Photoshop, Lightroom, and even Unreal Engine, real-time edits were quick and responsive.
Hardware and AI acceleration allow the laptop to squeeze out additional performance when working with graphically intensive programs
In terms of display, each laptop ships with a factory-calibrated, 16-inch touchscreen. This is a welcome touch for artists and colourists who need accurate colour. MSI’s proprietary True Colour technology and DCI-P3 100% colour gamut display ensure that the display shows an accurate representation of the final product.
Offering more for creatives
Offering creatives more tools to improve their craft is where the Creator Z16 shines.
Just as they’ve taken their hardware one step further, MSI have tweaked their software for the Z16 to fit the needs of creatives.
Users can tweak their system performance through the MSI Center to fit their needs. For example, if you’re running multiple programs, you have the ability to tweak the settings to allocate resources to specific programs. Alternatively, you can tweak the cooling fan speed to meet your needs. If you’re working while travelling and need a quieter device, the Z16’s fans can be adjusted for just that.
And speaking of travel, the Z16 offers 90Whrs of battery life and fast charging, allowing you to work anywhere without worrying about losing your progress. Nothing’s worse than watching the battery percentage drop by the second as you attempt to finish a project for a deadline.
The inclusion of Wi-Fi 6E and Thunderbolt 4 ports ensure that whether you’re transferring your projects wirelessly or through physical media, you’ll be getting the fastest speeds possible. Just as it cuts down export times, it can transfer up to 40GB/s through the Thunderbolt 4 port. As a video producer working with large files, this is essential to working on-the-go.
The touch screen enables visual artists to speed up their processes. If you’re creating content—whether in gaming, tattoo design, or on Youtube—being able to scan your work by touching the screen is a welcome feature.
Subtle and elegant
All of this is built to fit inside a thin aluminum chassis that measures in at just 15.9mm. The portable frame weighs just five pounds and features two USB-C ports, two USB-A 3.2 ports, a 3.5mm input, and a micro-SD card slot.
As has been the case with all of MSI’s business laptops in their 2021 lineup, the Creator Z16 is elegantly designed. The glossy MSI logo blends beautifully with the matte grey aluminum body, and the 16:10 display is a welcome change to the usual 16:9 offered by most manufacturers. The thin bezels offer more screen real-estate than expected for the size of the laptop, making working on it a genuine pleasure.
Work hard, play hard
But users aren’t just going to be using the laptop to work, so I needed to see how the Z16 handled streaming movies and playing games. You know, for research.
And that research was well worth it. The Creator Z16 is equipped with four stereo speakers that produce crisp audio with a surprisingly punchy bass for its size. Watching Parasite, I was able to really appreciate all of the hugs and feel-good moments in the basement thanks to the UHD screen and Dynaudio speakers.
Watching movies on the Z16 has made my work hours way more enjoyable.
Maybe just don’t tell my boss about that last part. Sorry, Matt.
Comfortable and customizable
The 65 percent keyboard features customizable mini-LED per-key lighting to fit your mood. Coming from the crunchy-keys found on competing laptops and notebooks, the Z16’s travel felt pleasant to the touch while not producing too much sound.
Having written this article on the keyboard, I can confidently say it’s comfortable for hours of use at a time.
Until September 30th, 2021, you can get a special Alessi corkscrew with the Z16 (conditions apply). This exclusive corkscrew will be perfect for those late working sessions when you need a glass of wine, or to spice up your current corkscrew collection. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen one like this.
If you’re ready for a laptop that meets all of your needs without compromising on aesthetics or a closed ecosystem, MSI’s Creator Z16 is just what you’re looking for.
Find out more about the Creator Z16 at the official MSI website.
Sponsored by MSI Canada.