In brief: MSI has been diversifying its products to reach more business and creative types. The Taiwanese company is even trying to steal Apple’s lunch now by going after fans of the MacBook Pro 16. It also has a vast array of options that cover productivity and gaming needs.
Earlier today, Intel launched the much anticipated 11th-gen Core Tiger Lake H45 CPUs for gaming and workstation laptops, with 8-core designs that are ready to take on AMD’s now-famous Ryzen 5000 family of processors. At the same time, Nvidia announced the GeForce RTX 3050 Ti and the RTX 3050 laptop GPUs, going into a wave of new laptops aimed at those on a tight budget.
Manufacturers used the occasion to tout their latest laptop designs, including one with a rising keyboard from Asus’s ROG Zephyrus lineup and a Razer-thin Blade 15 laptop with a 4K OLED display. Meanwhile, MSI targeted the MacBook Pro 16 crowd with a new Creator lineup that will become available on May 16.
In the past few years, MSI has expanded from a gamer-focused brand to offering a more diverse range of products, such as configurable small form factor PCs, all-in-one solutions, and 2-in-1 laptops like its Summit series of ultrabooks. Today, the Taiwanese company unveiled the Creator Z16 laptop, which borrows some of the design aesthetics from Apple’s MacBook Pro 16, especially with the CNC-milled aluminum chassis only 16.18 mm thick.
The Creator Z16 boasts a 16:10, QHD+ touchscreen display dubbed the “True Pixel” display. MSI designed the ultrathin laptop with creative professionals in mind, as it also supports the full DCI-P3 color gamut. Internals include a choice between an Intel Core i7-11800H and a Core i9-11900H from the Tiger Lake family, backed by 32 GB of RAM (upgradeable to 64 GB), an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, and either 1 TB or 2TB of PCIe SSD storage. If this is what you’re looking for, expect to pay $2,599 or more for the privilege of owning one, which is sweetened by the presence of two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports as well as a Micro SD card reader, something the MacBook Pro 16 is lacking despite its similar starting price.
MSI recognized the need for a cheaper alternative to the Creator Z16, so it also introduced the Creator M16. This one also comes with a 16:10 QHD+ screen, but you’re only getting an Intel Core i7-11800H CPU and a choice between Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3050 and GeForce RTX 3050 Ti. The battery is also smaller, with a 3-cell Li-Polymer on the M16, while the Creator Z16 has a 4-cell, 99-Whr battery.
Things get interesting with the Creator 17, which sports a Mini LED, 4K display capable of up to 1,000 nits of brightness thanks to AUO’s AmLED technology. It too comes with a sandblasted aluminum chassis that’s a little over 20 mm thick, configurable up to an Intel Core i9-11900H CPU, 64 GB of RAM, and anywhere from an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 (6GB GDDR6) to an RTX 3080 (16GB GDDR6).
Lastly, MSI also upgraded internals on several of its gaming laptops, including the GE76 and GE66 Raider series, GP76 and G66 Leopard series, the GS76 and GS66 Stealth series, the Pulse GL, the Sword 17 and 15, and the Katana GF76 and G66. MSI will talk about the new laptops in more detail at its upcoming “Tech meets Aesthetic” event on May 17.