It’s rare for a new laptop to generate much excitement. Most of them walk the same worn path with some slightly faster chips and sleeker packaging. However, MSI is making waves at CES 2020 with a new notebook that counts itself as the first to feature a Mini LED display.
That might sound like marketing speak, but Mini LEDs have great potential to boost the quality of computer displays. The technology is still being ironed out, and so far, we’ve only really seen it in some TVs. The big deal with Mini LED tech is that manufacturers can stuff more LEDs into an LCD panel, and this makes for more dynamic backlighting, better contrast ratios, brightness uniformity, and overall image quality. This is especially true for viewing high dynamic range (HDR) content.
Screens equipped with Mini LEDs should become more common over the coming years, and MSI is ahead of the curve with its new “Creator 17” laptop (not the “Creator 17M” that already exists). The system mostly resembles a rebranded MSI P75 Creator but incorporates that sweet new display tech. It features a 17-inch 4K display that can show 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut, can get as bright as 1,000 nits, and touts 240 local dimming zones. For reference, the $6,000 Apple 6K XDR display has 576 dimming zones but measures a much larger 32 inches.
MSI held back on details about the other hardware you’ll find in its upcoming Creator 17 notebook. What we do know is that it’ll have a USB-C port capable of outputting 8K video to an external display, it’ll have a Thunderbolt port that’s ready to blow the socks off your mobile battery, and it’ll have the world’s fastest UHS-III SD card reader.
We’re speaking in future tense here because the Creator 17 isn’t quite ready for prime time yet. We don’t know when it’s coming, what chipsets are inside, or how much it’ll cost. But the system already won a “Digital Imaging or Photography” award at CES 2020, and needless to say, it’s on our radar for future testing. We’ll report back with more information and, hopefully, a review when the machine starts shipping.