MSI Creator Z17 review: looks good, works good, drains battery bad

The MSI Creator Z17 has huge amounts of power and a lovely screen, if you don’t mind sticking near a plug socket...

A silver MSI Creator Z17 sitting on a stone bench in a forest setting
(Image: © Future / Ian Evenden)

Our Verdict

The MSI Creator Z17 is a large laptop made for professional creatives, and it has a lot of power inside, but while its screen and connectivity shine brightly, the poor battery life lets it down. If that doesn't bother you, and if you can afford it, there's a lot to like about the Creator Z17.

For

  • Large and powerful
  • Excellent touchscreen
  • 8K video output

Against

  • Large and heavy
  • Needs a lot of cooling
  • Short battery life

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MSI Creator Z17: Key specs

CPU: Intel Core i9-12900H
RAM: 32GB (max 64GB)
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080Ti
Storage: 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
Screen: 17in 2560x1600 IPS touchscreen
Ports: 2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4 (one with PD), 1x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, 1x SD card reader, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x combo headphone/mic jack
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
Dimensions: 382 x 260 x 19 mm
Weight: 2.49kg

High-performance laptops generally come in two flavours. There are MacBook Pros, and there are Windows gaming laptops. The latter can do just about anything the former can do, but do it with a flashing RGB keyboard, obnoxious branding, and a battery life of about three hours.

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The Verdict
4

out of 10

MSI Creator Z17

The MSI Creator Z17 is a large laptop made for professional creatives, and it has a lot of power inside, but while its screen and connectivity shine brightly, the poor battery life lets it down. If that doesn't bother you, and if you can afford it, there's a lot to like about the Creator Z17.

Ian Evenden

Ian Evenden has been a journalist for over 20 years, starting in the days of QuarkXpress 4 and Photoshop 5. He now mainly works in Creative Cloud and Google Docs, but can always find a use for a powerful laptop or two. When not sweating over page layout or photo editing, you can find him peering at the stars or growing vegetables.