Saturday, 18 July 2020 18:57

MSI Creator 17: World’s First Laptop with Local Dimming, HDR, miniLED Display Featured


REVIEW PROMOTION If you’re wondering which wonderful Creator laptop to buy from MSI, the Creator 17 has a very unique trump card: an HDR screen with 240-local dimming zones.

This allows for incredible brightness (1,000 nits) amazing contrast (100,000:1) plus the ability to meet the highly demanding DCI-P3 (and Display P3) colour space that modern cinema utilises. On top of this, it’s certified to meet VESA’s DisplayHDR 1000 standard, is Calman Verified, has a high pixel density of 259ppi, a ΔE<2 and every screen is hand-calibrated in the factory. This is all a very fancy way of saying that movies, photos and games look absolutely stunning on a screen that is capable of reproducing true blacks and incredibly-bright colours which look like they’re glowing from the screen. The accuracy means that the highest quality content can be created on it by creative professionals.

It all works by using miniLED technology which spreads out 5,570 LEDs behind the screen and can be turned off and on to enhance brightness and contrast. It’s the sort of technology you’d expect to find in a very high-end LCD TV but MSI has squeezed it into a laptop that’s just 2cm thick!


Indeed, MSI makes maximum use of the chassis real estate to house the 17-inch screen. A thin bezel surrounding the screen means its footprint dimensions are more in-keeping with a smaller-screen model at just 396 x 259 x 20mm. The robust, Space Gray, aluminium chassis (with sandblasted texture) keeps everything securely in place and looks amazing with its diamond-cut exhaust grilles and understated dragon-logo. It’s also certified to the military-grade MIL-STD-810G standard which means its drop proof and will work in a wide variety of hostile environments.

Above the screen is an IR HD webcam which, along with the trackpad-mounted fingerprint reader, is Windows Hello compatible for rapid logon. The latter also supports the Fido alliance for fast, secure logins to compatible websites. The trackpad itself is silky-smooth to use and 30% more responsive than previous generations. It’s also 35% larger, making multi-touch gestures simpler to execute.   

Meanwhile, the full-sized keyboard and number pad is a joy to use thanks to low-travel (1.9mm), Scrabble-tile keys and friendlier-function keys which make accessing useful features simpler and more intuitive. It’s also white-backlit so you can easily work in low light.

Under the hood

The Creator 17 is available with Intel’s latest, 10th Generation Core i9 and Core i7 processors giving it between a 15% and 40% boost in performance over its predecessors. Two memory slots can accommodate up to 64GB of RAM while two M.2 2280 NVMe-compatible slots allow for plenty of super-fast storage. Graphics comes via Nvidia and options include the top-end RTX 2080 Super, RTX 2070 Super, 2070 and 2060 so there’s plenty of grunt for graphic designers and gamers.

msi creator 17 rear
The sand-blasted aluminium chassis with diamon-cut grilles is robust and looks amazing.

Thermal dynamics

If you’re worried about the powerful components causing thermal issues, MSI’s Cooler boost Trinity+ technology has you covered. This utilises three fans and seven heatpipes to expel hot air. Each fan has 67, low-profile, 0.1mm, laser-etched blades which improve airflow by 20% without sounding like it’s trying to take off.

Cooling can quickly be further tweaked with a single-button press adjusting settings from High Performance, Balanced, Silent and Super Battery to fit your requirement.


A full complement of connectivity is catered for. Inside there’s Wi-Fi 6 and BlueTooth 5.1 while on the outside there are connectors for Thunderbolt 3 (with PD charging). USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (with display output), 3x USB-A 3.2 Gen1 ports, a full-sized HDMI 2.0 socket, two 3.5mm audio jacks and a super-fast UHS-III MicroSD card slot that can support transfer rates up to 624MB/s. The Thunderbolt 3 port allows up to three exterior displays to be connected for an HDR10-compatible, combinerd resolution of up to 8K.

Creator Center

The Creator 17 uses the latest iteration of MSI’s Creator Center application which has been tweaked to provide even easier-to-use, more powerful monitoring and management settings. It includes drag-and-drop application prioritisation and the ability to tweatk almost every element of the laptop’s performance.  


With such a solid, 17-inch, chassis weighing only 2.5KG, it’s good to know that portability is further enhanced by a massive battery. The 82Whr large-capacity unit can keep creators working on powerful apps for up-to seven hours – great for all-day, off-site, productivity without a charger.

Other features

People tend to expect pathetic performance from laptop speakers but MSI’s Creator 17 addresses this. It uses specially designed, two-sided passive radiator speakers which produce a 15% improved sonorous bass beat, a 26% increase in the smoothness of high notes and an average 10dBA increase in volume. Meanwhile, the addition of Nahimic Hi Res audio technology allows for extra audio processing precision plus easier sound sharing over BlueTooth.


The Creator 17 does it all and looks great doing it. With the highest-end components, a stylish, robust-yet-lightweight chassis and an amazing HDR screen, it’s incredibly deireable. Find a version that suits you by checking Where To Buy, by clicking here.

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