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MSI Creator Z16 A11U 16" Laptop (11th-gen Intel, 2021)

NEX score 69%

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Product Overview

The MSI Creator Z16 is an ultra-thin 16-inch laptop engineered for content creators. Compared to its 15.6-inch predecessor, the Creator Z16 switches out the 16:9 display for a 16:10 unit with WQXGA resolution and 100% DCI-P3 coverage. Its biggest selling point is its use of Mini LED back lighting, which significantly boosts color reproduction and dynamic range.
Like the Creator 17 unveiled at the same time, the Z16 enjoys a new NVIDIA RTX 3060 GPU that offers significantly performance bump over the RTX 20-series chips. This is joined with Thunderbolt 4, WiFi 6E, and PCIe Gen4 SSD made available with the new 11th-gen Intel processor.
Another key change over the 2020 model is the new, thinner chassis that measures just over half an inch thin. To make this work, MSI has endowed the laptop with its latest Cooler Boost Trinity+ heat management system with 3 fans, 5 heat pipes, and ultra-thin, 0.1mm blades.
Alongside the new Creator Z16, MSI also unveiled Creator M16 and Creator 17 powered by Tiger Lake processors.

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Ratings

What we found**

Pros
  • Beautiful 16-inch screen
  • Excellent battery life
  • Good selection of ports
  • Excellent graphics performance
Cons
  • Touchpad is a bit fiddly

What external reviewers found***

NEX score: 69% (not directly comparable across industries)
Pros
  • Excellent build quality
  • Excellent performance
  • Excellent 120Hz screen
  • Excellent gaming performance
  • Good battery life
Cons
  • Weak input devices
  • Lackluster webcam
  • No HDMI port
  • No Thunderbolt 3
Read More

Price Comparison (incl. referral links)*

Specifications

Connectivity

Ports
2x Thunderbolt 4 + 2x USB 3.2 Gen2 + 1x microSD + 1x Audio combo
Wireless Connectivity
WiFi 6E + Bluetooth 5.2

Construction

Battery | Capacity
90 Wh
Camera | Front
HD type (30fps@720p)
Colors
Lunar Gray
Material
Aluminum

Dimensions

Size | Depth
256 mm
Size | Height
15.9 mm
Size | Width
359 mm
Weight
2.2 kg

Display

Aspect Ratio
16:10
Display Backlight
Mini LED
Display Diagonal
16"
Display Type
IPS
Gamut
100% DCI-P3
Refresh Rate
120Hz
Resolution
WQXGA / QHD+ (2560x1600)

Function

Chipset
Intel HM570
Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6
Keyboard Backlight
Per-key RGB backlight
Operating System
Windows 10
Processor
Up to 11th-gen Intel Core i9 Tiger Lake

Performance

Durability
MIL-STD-810G military standard for reliability and durability
Memory | Capacity
2x SO-DIMMs, Max 64GB
Memory | Type
DDR4 3200 MHz
Power Supply
180 W Slim adapter
Storage
2x M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen4

Production

Debut
2021-05

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3rd-Party Review Videos

External Reviews

digitaltrends[1]

Sentiment Score 64%
Reviewers from digitaltrends have found the following***:
MSI Creator Z16 has a 90 watt-hour battery inside. It can last up to over eight hours if all you're doing is watching a local video. In light web browsing, that goes down to five hours and 20 minutes. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme, now in its fourth generation, is a great alternative.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Excellent 120Hz screen
  • Excellent performance
  • Excellent battery life
Cons
  • Mediocre webcam
  • High price

laptopmag[2]

Sentiment Score 76%
Reviewers from laptopmag have found the following***:
The MSI Creator Z16's Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU with 6GB of VRAM is quite spry. The three-fan system is actually fairly quiet, which is surprising for such a thin laptop. The 720p HD camera produced a colorful picture that was captured my gray t-shirt and tan skin accurately.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Gorgeous, high-refresh-rate display
  • Powerful graphics
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Good battery life
Cons
  • Mediocre webcam
  • No Thunderbolt 3

notebookcheck[3]

Sentiment Score 71%
Reviewers from notebookcheck have found the following***:
MSI Z16 is a super slim but powerful creative behemoth with its Z16. The build quality, the ports and the screen are impressive. Modern ports, matte display option, a fast TFT with AdobeRGB and excellent processor performance. It is then details like keyboard and load volume that screw up the Z16's Very Good rating.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • High-quality case
  • Fast TFT with AdobeRGB
  • Very good gaming performance
  • Good battery life
Cons
  • No Thunderbolt 4
  • Weak input devices

techradar[4]

Sentiment Score 68%
Reviewers from techradar have found the following***:
The MSI Creator Z16 is a powerful gaming laptop that can also be used for creative work. The 16GB of RAM on our unit is fine for playing games, but for actual creative work it feels a tad limiting. An upgrade to 32GB for creatives is a must, especially if you deal with 3D software such as Maya or Blender and want to have any hope of running a few applications at the same time.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Excellent build quality
  • Excellent gaming performance
  • Comfortable keyboard
Cons
  • Lackluster webcam
  • No HDMI port

User Reviews

References

1. ^ MSI Creator Z16 laptop review: Gamer meets creator. [digitaltrends]. https://www.digitaltrends.com/laptop-reviews/msi-creator-z16-review/. 2021-09-18. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
2. ^ MSI Creator Z16 review. [laptopmag]. https://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/msi-creator-z16-review. 2021-09-20. Retrieved 2021-09-25.
3. ^ MSI Creator Z16: Creative laptop with AdobeRGB in review. [notebookcheck]. https://www.notebookcheck.net/MSI-Creator-Z16-Creative-laptop-with-AdobeRGB-in-review.580659.0.html. 2021-11-29. Retrieved 2021-11-30.
4. ^ MSI Creator Z16 review. [techradar]. https://www.techradar.com/reviews/msi-creator-z16. 2021-12-03. Retrieved 2021-12-07.

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