MSI Z16P packs a 14-core Core i9-12900H processor and a GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics card inside a teeny-tiny notebook.

MSI packs a 14-core Core i9-12900H processor and a GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics card inside a teeny-tiny notebook.

What are the limits of a laptop that is thin and light? MSI hopes to put that to the test with its new Creator Z16P, which crams a 14-core 12th generation Core i9-12900H CPU and—repeat—latest Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPU into a relatively slim portable.

How slim it is? The thickness of the Z16P is 0.75 inches, or slightly over 19mm. The laptop has a footprint of 1410 inches, which is quite small considering the hardware it contains.

Of course, with this much electronics packed into such a small space, cooling is a top priority. MSI used a vapor-chamber design instead of traditional thinner heat pipes to make this all work. Because there is more surface area shared between the GPU and CPU in this application, the vapour chamber helps the laptop to better disperse the heat load of the GPU and CPU. A typical gaming laptop is designed to handle high GPU loads, with cooling geared toward that component. In a content-creation laptop, the CPU may be pushed as hard as the GPU—and rarely both at the same time—so the vapour chamber aids in load distribution.

According to MSI, the 12th-gen Creator Z16P with traditional heat pipes (used in lower-spec variants of the laptop) can provide a 40% performance boost over the earlier 11th-gen Creator Z16. MSI claims that the Z16P’s vapor-chamber architecture can boost performance by 20% on the highest-end model.

The screen is a 25601600 IPS touch panel with a 165Hz refresh rate and is spec’d for 100% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, as the laptop is focused at content creation. MSI offers an optional MPP 2.0 pen that charges through USB-C for pen users.

Up to 64GB of DDR5/4800 RAM and a 2TB NVMe SSD are supported by the Z16P. Wi-Fi 6E and a 1080p webcam are also included in the laptop. Those looking for the latest SD card slot would welcome MSI’s choice of an SD Express card reader over a mediocre UHS-II reader, which no professional laptop would dare to offer, right? The laptop is powered by a 90-watt-hour battery and a 240-watt DC-in charger, also known as a barrel charger.

So, what are the drawbacks/Cons? To begin with, at 5.3 pounds, it isn’t the lightest. It’s also not cheap, costing anything from $3,000 to $4,400 depending on the extras. Also, a 16-inch screen might be insufficient.

The good news is that MSI recognises that some people desire even more, thus the Creator Z17 is being introduced as well. It has a 17-inch screen with a 16:10 aspect ratio, touch and pen capability, and the same 14-core 12th-gen Core i9-12900H CPU and GeForce RTX 3080 Ti as the Z16P. It’s significantly larger and heavier than its 16-inch sister, and it doesn’t have a vapour chamber.

Before you dismiss the larger Creator Z17 as “only an inch bigger,” keep in mind that it has roughly 13 percent more screen real estate than a 16-inch 16:10 display and is somewhat larger than a 17.3-inch laptop. Confused? Read our tale to learn why our screen sizes are so inconvenient.

The laptops will be available for pre-order on January 25th, with the first units shipping on February 1st, according to MSI.

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