MSI Creator Z16 REVIEW: A Windows MacBook Pro Alternative
Now this is a laptop that is geared towards content creators. It has a 2.5 k display its a touch screen display, but it has 120 hertz refresh rate, so you can get that really smooth scrolling, the very fluid experience. It also has a 16 to 10 aspect ratio, which is great for getting work done. It also is great for consuming media. Its a nice blend between the two. You got the core i7 11800h processor pair, that with the rtx 3060 gpu. This is going to be a pretty interesting choice, especially if you are that content creator – hey everybody its andrew – and this is my review of the msi creator z16 here for 2021 coming up Music and as we take a look at the specs, i want to let Everybody know in the interest of transparency and full disclosure im not being paid by msi im, not being sponsored by msi. All the opinions youre about to hear are my own. Msi is not getting copy approval theyre, seeing this video for the first time, just like you now, this unit is on loan from msi, and once this review is done, ill be sending it back. You could pick up the creator z16 over at b h over at adorama. You could also get it at the microsoft store, but i also saw it on sale at amazon for 24.49 now ill leave a bunch of links of the different places where you can get it in the description below.
If you have any more questions or anything like that, let me know ill reach out to msi, but right now this is on sale and i think its something you want to check out, especially if you are that content creator and with the specs and pricing out Of the way lets find out what you get inside, the box lets open it up. Now they give you a 180 watt power adapter that has a barrel pin connector, and it also comes with the extension cord as well. Lifting the lid youre, greeted by the unit itself, were gon na get to that in just a moment, but before we do, that inside is also some documentation, which includes some warranty information and a user guide and holding the unit for the first time. My first impression is its a very premium high end device, but it is definitely not the lightest 16 inch laptop out there that ive reviewed this year now 2.3 kilograms or 5.07 pounds definitely has a little bit of weight and heft to it. Thats for sure. Now it has a very sturdy cnc, unibody chassis, and i love the lunar gray finish, giving it a very sleek and modern look and with a military standard 810g rating. This is definitely very durable and meant to take a licking okay lets check out. The port selection lets start off on the left side, where you get your dc in thats, where you charge this laptop next to that is a heat vent and then you get a type, a usb 3.
2 gen, 2 port, and next to that is a usbc thunderbolt. 4 port and finally, a 3.5 millimeter microphone, headphone combo jack to round out the ports on the left side. Moving over to the right side, you get a micro sd card reader that supports uhs, 3 support and thats, really good, thats fast and then next to that is a second usbc thunderbolt 4 port, and next to that is your usb 3.2 gen 2 port to round Out the ports on the right side, now one thing to note these uh two thunderbolt 4 ports – that this has the usb c ports do not support charge, just not enough power to come in via usb c youll need to use that included power adapter. The other thing to note theres no hdmi port on this would have been nice, especially for a 16 inch laptop, and it would have been nice to have a full size, sd card reader, as opposed to a micro sd card reader. But having a card reader is good, nonetheless, thats for sure now to get inside this laptop. What youll need to do is undo these six phillips head screws, two of which are located beneath the back rubber feet once you do that you can pry off the bottom panel with a pry tool and youll be able to remove it from the chassis. Now, unfortunately, the job doesnt end there youre going to need to remove the motherboard to access the upgradable parts.
First, you have to disconnect the 90 watt hour battery pack, take it away from the chassis and then youll need to peel the plastic protective foil after that undo. All the screws holding the motherboard, including the one for the wi fi card and two for the fans and keep in mind that one of the fan screws is hiding beneath the display cable, so yeah as you can see, not the easiest to do but definitely accessible To the user, if youre willing to put in the time and the patience to get inside this laptop and once you do all that, you have access to the two sodum slots to upgrade the ram and you have access to the m.2 ssd slot to upgrade the Storage and speaking of the storage, my review unit comes with one terabyte of pcie gen, 4 ssd storage, so youre looking at some very fast reads and writes, as you can see, from these results now this says: wi fi 6e, along with bluetooth, 5.2 and both working Very well now the good news is its slotted in, so you can change out the card later on down the road. If you have to thats a great option to have all right lets talk about the display and what were looking at here is a 16 inch display with a resolution of 2560 by 1600 and for those keeping score. That is a 16 to 10 aspect ratio, and it also has 120 hertz refresh rate, giving a more smooth scrolling experience and more fluid experience overall.
Now that qhd plus resolution is great for watching movies. Consuming media such as netflix, amazon and youtube has been great on this display now. This is also a touch panel display, which was very responsive, and it was great for navigating through the os, and it has some really deep blacks, good contrast. It also has good white points, and it also has a low delta e score of 1.21. Making this a color, accurate display, remember anything below two is considered at color accurate and it also has good coverage of the color gamut were looking at 100 percent. Srgb 80 adobe rgb 93 of the dci, p3 wide color gamut and 80 ntsc. So, if you are that content creator that this is geared towards, this is a good choice. If you want to do color, grading, photoshop, lightroom and, of course, video editing – and it also has a low blue light filter, helping reduce eye strain now, msi claims that this will get up to 400 nits in terms of brightness. I didnt get quite 400 nits in my measurements, actually measured 388, which is pretty close to that claimed 400 nits. So this is going to be a pretty bright display for both indoor and even outdoor use, unless youre in direct sunlight well have some issues, because this will show some glare and reflections in direct sunlight as it is a glossy display. Something to be aware of, and as i mentioned earlier, it has a 120 hertz refresh rate that higher refresh rate will give you a more smooth and fluid experience, especially when it comes to gaming scrolling through the os and the like.
So this is the front facing camera. On the msi creator, z16, a 16 inch laptop with a 16 to 10 aspect ratio geared towards creators im liking, it so far uh. What youre looking at here is a 720p webcam, its 30 frames per second. What do you think about the video quality? What do you think about the audio quality of the internal mics? Let me know now that camera is an infrared camera, meaning you can log in with face recognition with windows, hello, but you also have a fingerprint scanner located below the keyboard on the right side. Setup was easy and worked well registering my finger each and every time i used it and for those wondering yes, you can open the lid with one finger. The screen also folds all the way flat 180 degrees. As you see here, giving you a perfect viewing angle. Each and every time i love that now i really like this keyboard. As far as the key travel is concerned, it was pretty good and as far as the tactile feedback, i had no issues so far so good comfortable to type on for extended periods of time. Good job in that regard and msi, says this is the first to use a mini, led backlit keyboard and i thought it worked well. Getting pretty bright is actually 28 higher brightness according to msi and 23 more efficient. I thought this backlit keyboard worked really well. You have a lot of control at your fingertips, you can change the pattern and the colors and so forth, and i thought it worked really great and it also has a precision touch pad its a glass touch pad that i thought was very responsive.
Two finger scrolling worked. Well, all the gestures worked. Well, i have no complaints. I wish it was a little bit bigger though, as far as the size is concerned, but overall it worked as advertised. Okay lets talk about performance and my unit has the core. I7. 11800 h processor, a 45 watt cpu from intel 11gen, of course, with the rtx 3060 gpu. It has six gigabytes of gddr6 video ram. This is also a 65 watt variant of that 3060 gpu and performance was really good, especially if you are a creator doing things like davinci resolve premiere pro 4k video editing all worked well now, as far as gaming is concerned, this is not a dedicated gaming laptop, But with the rtx 3060 32 gigabytes of ram that this does have you definitely get some playable frame rates on certain settings, as you see here and since the rtx 3060 supports dlss, you definitely get a more enhanced gaming experience, thats for sure and having 120 hertz Refresh rate definitely helps out in that department as well, and the good news is, i didnt notice any thermal throttling, even when i ran the prime95 stress test to put it under heavy load. I noticed it with turbo boost to 4.592 gigahertz for about 10 seconds and reach a core temperature of about 95 degrees celsius. Then i noticed it would maintain anywhere between 3.5 gigahertz and 3.7 gigahertz, maintaining good clock speeds and maintaining a 95 degrees celsius in terms of the core temperature.
But the takeaway is little to no thermal throttling detected, which is always great, and i thought the surface temperatures were actually pretty good, even under heavy load. Never getting overly odd thats been pretty good. Now, if you are going to run this under heavy load, the fans will kick in and you will have to contend with the fan noise as they do get pretty loud, especially in that performance mode. But the good news is, you can control the fan noise in the user control settings that msi gives you, so you have a lot of control on the thermal profiles that you want to choose thats pretty good as well. Now, as i mentioned earlier, this has a 90 watt hour battery and i got 7 hours and 34 minutes on my continuous web surfing test over wi fi at 115, its with 120 hertz, refresh rate selected. That means youre gon na look at anywhere between five to six hours, when i call real world mixed usage, but of course it depends on what youre doing so your mileage may vary. Please keep that in mind now, if you choose a 60 hertz in terms of the refresh rate, you can expect another one to two hours of additional battery life, something to be aware of, and the supplied 180 watt ac adapter supports fast charging charging this laptop in A little over 90 minutes pretty good and this being a laptop geared towards creators, you want to have really good sound and it doesnt disappoint.
Actually, really nice stereo speakers here, four stereo speakers in total by dyno audio its high res audio, and i thought it filled up the room rather nicely nice bass, good, mids, overall, very good, audio good job on that regard. All right lets bring it all home. What do i think about the msi creator z16 here as we close out 2021 and i got to say theres a lot to like here: msi did a really great job. I love its massive 16 inch bright display running at 120 hertz its also a 16 to 10 aspect ratio. All things that i do like speedy performance out of that core. I7. 11. 800 h. You could also get it by the way with the core. I9. 11. 900H, i dont know if you need to do that, because the core i7 definitely is more than capable. I like the rtx 3060 gpu here, nice cpu, gpu, combination, stylish and elegant design, thats for sure its upgradable, ram, ssd and wi fi card are definitely a plus. Although not the easiest to get inside, as i mentioned, so that is something to be aware of. I, like the mini, led backlit keyboard. I, like the four stereo speakers, producing really good, sound nice and rich filling up a room rather nicely, and i like the good thermals, i didnt notice, hardly any thermal throttling, even under heavy load, but you will notice the fans, especially in that performance mode, something to Be aware of now, the negatives here its a little bit on the heavy side, especially for a 16 inch laptop and weve, been seeing lighter and more svelte laptops in this category.
But this is definitely portable and does pack a lot of punch under the hood. So, im not going to ding them too much on that reflective display im, not a big fan of, although its not terrible. I would have liked to have seen a more matte display, especially for the creator out there, who wants to see less glare, less reflections and, of course, theres no hdmi port, which would have been great. Although you do get the two thunderbolt 4 ports – and you also get a micro sd card reader – would have been nice to have a full size, sd card reader, especially on a 16 inch laptop geared towards creators, but those are not deal breakers. Ladies and gentlemen, i think msi did an outstanding job on this laptop and its one to take a look at, especially as a macbook alternative, because, if youre on the windows, side and youre our creator, this is a nice offering from msi thats for sure. So what do you think about this bad boy? The msi creator? Z16. I actually like the finish on this. That is the lunar gray, and it looks really good. Although you will see some fingerprints, you probably can see it on this video right now. Really nice cnc unibody design, all metal here, uh, really rock solid. Now a little bit on the heavy side were looking at 5.07 pounds or 2.3 kilograms. Not the lightest, uh 16 inch laptop out there.
It does have a little bit of half now its definitely worth it. If you are that content creator, because this is packing a core i7 11800h rtx, 3060 gpu. So you can do things like davinci resolve. You can do video, editing and premiere pro as well. Photoshop lightroom anything that creators do this can pretty much handle and does it really well, you could also game on this. As i showed you in the video, although uh you have to make sure you have the right settings on it and that rtx 3060 certainly is compatible with dlss, so youre gon na get some really good playable frame rates and, of course it depends on what youre Doing with this laptop in terms of battery life, again the 90 watt hour battery, i got seven hours and 34 minutes five to six hours what i would call real world mixed usage. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on what youre doing so. Please keep that in mind now that 16 inch display is absolutely gorgeous touch screen, multi touch. Of course i didnt see pen support on it. I tried using a number of pens. It didnt work. Just so, you know 180 degree display, so you can fold it flat, which is really great, giving you a good viewing angle. I did notice a little screen wobble when i was using my finger to navigate through the os using that touch screen, so you will notice a little bit of wobble.
You might have noticed it in the video and, of course it has that 16 to 10 aspect ratio. It also has that 120 hertz refresh rate. Certainly, it helps out in terms of enhancing the experience through the os through gaming and stuff, like that now this has been a really great laptop and as far as the price point is concerned, youre looking at a starting price, i saw over at amazon, 24.49 and Thats with that 32 gigabytes of ram, one terabyte of ssd storage, pcie, gen 4 super fast reads and writes, as you saw same as what the same model, as you saw in this video, is what you could pick up ill put a lot of links in the Description below of different places, adorama, b, h, microsoft and, of course, amazon, are all the different outlets where you can actually pick up this laptop. So i like what theyre doing here a nice alternative to the macbook pro, especially if you are that creator who wants to use windows davinci resolve premiere pro. This is a good choice and i highly recommend it so please hit the like button. Please subscribe. Please share this video dont forget to leave a comment in that comment section below. Let me know how im doing. Let me know if theres a device or something out there, you think i should review ill. Do my best to try to make that happen. Dont forget to check me out on facebook, twitter, instagram and, of course, my website amdtechreviews.