MSI have sponsored this video so that I can give you an early first look at three of their upcoming Intel 12th gen laptops! Ive got their new Stealth GS77 and Stealth 15M gaming laptops, as well as the Creator Z17. Lets start out with the GS77 as its a fresh design, basically the newer version of the GS76. The GS77 has the latest specs including up to Intel core i9 processor, but the i7-12700H Ive got in mine still has 14 cores and 20 threads, so plenty of multi threaded processing power. New CPU also means DDR5-4800 memory and of course fast PCIe Gen 4 storage too.
Weve got five different options when it comes to graphics ranging between Nvidia RTX 3060 and RTX 3080 Ti, all with a 105 watt maximum power limit as the GS77 is a thinner design at around 2cm thick. There are three different screen resolution options, 1080p, 1440p and 4K. Personally at 17 inches I start noticing the pixels at 1080p so Id be going for the 1440p option as a nice sweet spot.
Plus the refresh rate is still very high there anyway. The GS77 has a metal lid, interior and bottom panel which are all matte black.
From my use so far, the keyboard is nice to type on and I definitely prefer the larger touchpad compared to the narrow one on the GS76. Theres also a fingerprint scanner just below the arrow keys, again something not available on the 76, and the camera also moves up to 1080p from 720p. Like the GS76 though, were still getting front facing speakers towards the front.
MSI notes that the new GS77 has a more durable zinc alloy hinge. It feels nice and smooth and my first impressions are that it seems sturdy enough considering the two hinges are closer to the center.
The left side has an air exhaust vent, two USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A ports, a 3.5mm audio combo jack and a camera disconnect switch for privacy. The right has an SD card slot and two Type-C ports, the first of which is also USB 3.2 Gen2 while the second is Thunderbolt 4.
Both Type-C ports offer DisplayPort output and the Thunderbolt one can also be used to charge the laptop. Unlike the previous GS76, the new GS77 moves some of the ports to the back to keep thicker cables out of the way. From left to right weve got the power input, HDMI output and 2.5 gigabit ethernet. The bottom panel has plenty of holes for air intake, almost half of the back is just all mesh.
Inside weve got a large 99.9wh battery down the front, Wi-Fi 6E card just above on the left, two NVMe PCIe Gen 4 M.2 SSD slots on the right, and the two DDR5 memory slots in the middle.
The highest spec GS77 with i9 processor has MSIs new phase change liquid metal pad. This is interesting because unlike other liquid metal options, its solid at room temperature.
Once the CPU temperature rises above 58 degrees Celsius it becomes a liquid to fill the gaps between processor and cooling solution, kind of like how an ice cube melts, except in this case it turns back into an ice cube once it cools down. MSI says doing it this way means no leaking or maintenance needed, plus its easier to remove compared to regular liquid metal. So this should mean better thermals and by extension better performance. I’m very interested to test this out in the upcoming full review once I get the production sample of the GS77, so make sure youre subscribed for that one! Next up lets discuss the new Stealth 15M, another laptop from the Stealth series but unlike the GS its a bit more budget friendly and its even thinner at just 1.
Last year, the Stealth 15M was limited by what Intel had at the time for thinner gaming laptops, which was a quad core processor, but now with the new 12th gen Alder Lake parts the new Intel core i7-1260P in my unit has 12 cores and 16 threads, so more CPU performance in a smaller space. Combined with up to Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics and a 15.6 1080p 144Hz screen, Im expecting it to do well in gaming for its size. The Stealth 15M also has a matte black metal lid and interior.
Again quite a few holes for air intake on the bottom panel. Inside weve got a 52Wh battery down the front, an NVMe PCIe Gen 4 SSD to the left of that and Wi-Fi 6 card above, while the two DDR4-3200 memory sticks are on the other side of the board.
For ports the left has the power input, a USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A port and a 3.5mm audio combo jack, while the right has another Type-A port, two USB 3.
2 Gen2 Type-C ports, one which supports DisplayPort and HDMI. If youre after a combination of performance and portability, then the Stealth 15M is one youre going to want to keep an eye out for once we get them in for review. The next laptop Ive got is MSIs new Creator Z17, and so far Im quite impressed with it. Unlike the previously covered gaming models, this one has a 16:10 QHD+ touchscreen with pen support, so great for creators like me, however it still has a 165Hz refresh rate, so combined with up to Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti graphics it should be fully capable for both content creator workloads as well as gaming on the side – best of both worlds. I really like that theres pretty much no bottom chin, you just get this big glossy display to look at, its the first thing I noticed.
Its also great that like the GS77 earlier, the camera is 1080p.
A number of other brands are still using 720p, even in higher end laptops. The CNC milled aluminum chassis has some solid MacBook vibes, its definitely got a premium feel to it and feels way nicer than any other creator laptop from MSI that Ive used despite this being an early engineering sample. I found the keyboard nice to type with, the large touchpad feels smooth and theres a fingerprint scanner to the right of it just below the arrow keys. On the left the Z17 has the power input, an air exhaust, two Thunderbolt 4 Type-C ports and a 3.
5mm audio combo jack. Both Type-C ports have DisplayPort support, while the one closer to the back can also be used to charge the laptop. The right has an SD card slot, a USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A port, a HDMI output and theres an air exhaust on this side too.
MSIs Z17 actually ends up both smaller and lighter than the last gen Gigabyte Aero 17 that I normally use for content creation on the go, and while the Aero will also be updated to Intel 12th gen this year too, for some reason theyre removing most of the ports to a dongle if you need more than Type-C, but you still dont even get an SD slot.
In a creator laptop. Now this is a video sponsored by MSI, but they havent asked me to say any of this, this is all just my own personal thoughts and opinions. Honestly based on the port situation alone Id be going for the Z17 rather than the new Aero 17, but thats just me and I know what I need in my laptop. I dont think Ive seen this in any other laptops from MSI yet, but the back slightly rises up when the lid is open which should help air get in underneath for cooling while also giving an ever so slightly better angle for typing.
The bottom panel has plenty of air vents towards the back above the intake fans.
Inside weve got a 90Wh battery down the front, access to one of the two NVMe PCIe Gen 4 M.2 SSDs and the Wi-Fi 6E card on the right. The other M.2 storage slot and two DDR5-4800 memory sticks are on the other side of the board. Unfortunately I cant share performance benchmarks just yet as these are engineering samples and they cant be tested, so definitely make sure that youre subscribed for all of my upcoming full reviews where Ill go into more detail.
For now you can check out the rest of the updates coming to MSIs gaming laptops this year in the rest of my CES 2022 coverage..
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