Mi Notebook 14 Review

Xiaomi is one among only a few new brands within the laptop space, but its huge footprint across the Indian smartphone and television markets means it is not a replacement name. Brand recognition and trust are important when spending large amounts of cash . Of course, the Chinese giant is best known for offering excellent value within the entry-level space, and it’ll be interesting to ascertain how that translates to laptops. We’ve already reviewed the premium Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition model, and now it is time to require a glance at how Xiaomi is catering to more budget-conscious laptop buyers.

The vanilla Mi Notebook 14 loses a number of the distinctive design elements and features of its Horizon Edition counterpart, but it’s still a slim and lightweight laptop. It stakes its claim during a highly competitive segment, and can need to debar major players like Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, and Asus. let’s examine what the Mi Notebook 14 has got to offer.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook 14 design

While almost as slick as its sibling, the Horizon Edition, the quality Mi Notebook 14 remains quite modern and attractive. it’s a metal body with an anodised sandblasted exterior, and therefore the same logo-free lid that we liked on the costlier model. the general look is fairly minimalist and unassuming.

There’s really nothing to ascertain on the surface aside from the ports on the left and right and alittle indentation to assist you left the lid. Intake vents are on rock bottom and hot air is exhausted through the rear of the hinge. Unlike with the Horizon Edition though, you will have to carry the bottom down with one hand while raising the lid with the opposite . the entire weight is 1.5kg and thickness is simply under 18mm so this laptop should be easy enough to hold around and even commute with a day .

Flipping the lid open, you will see a comparatively thick chin below the screen and a few space all around it. this is often one among the key differentiators between the quality Mi Notebook and therefore the Horizon Edition, which boasts of slim borders. albeit there’s enough room on the highest for a webcam, this model doesn’t have one built-in. Xiaomi says that this was a conscious decision made during the planning process, but since people are now suddenly more hooked in to video conferencing for remote work and learning, an external USB webcam are going to be included with every Mi Notebook.

The keyboard deck is additionally metal, with a sunken tray for the island-style keyboard keys. The arrow keys are crammed into one row and there is no backlighting, but there are not any major issues with layout. actually there are additional Fn row keys here, compared to the Horizon Edition’s keyboard, in order that PrtScrn and Insert do not have to be secondary functions. The wrist rest areas are generous enough, and therefore the trackpad size and placement are quite standard.

There’s only slight flex to the lid, and therefore the screen doesn’t warp when pressure is applied. The hinge opens to 140 degrees and is sort of firm. Overall, Xiaomi seems to possess done an honest job with design – the Mi Notebook 14 doesn’t feel cheap and plasticky, which provides it a plus in its price segment.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook 14 Review

There are three variants of the quality Mi Notebook, all of which use an equivalent quad-core 10th Gen ‘Comet Lake’ Intel Core i5-10210U processor. This CPU has base and boost speeds of 1.6GHz and 4.2GHz respectively, and features integrated Intel UHD Graphics. All three versions have 8GB of DDR4-2666 RAM which is soldered and not upgradable. the bottom variant was launched at Rs. 41,999 and features a 256GB SSD. Stepping up to the center tier doubles the SSD capacity to 512GB, which looks like great value since it’s priced at Rs. 43,999. At the highest end, the SSD remains an equivalent but you furthermore may get a discrete Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU, for Rs. 48,999. this is often the one I even have for review.

Unlike the top-end Horizon Edition, there is no choice of CPU. Xiaomi has also used SATA M.2 SSDs for this model – you’ll swap yours out for an upgrade, but there is no blank slot for a further one. It also isn’t clear whether you’ll swap during a faster NVMe SSD. The port selection is additionally a touch limited, compared to the Horizon Edition. Most tragically, you do not get a USB Type-C port in the least . There are two USB 3.1 (Gen1) Type-A ports, one USB 2.0 port, an HDMI 1.4b video output, a 3.5mm combo audio socket, and a DC power inlet. An SD card slot would are nice.

A non-reflective screen is typically better for work, especially under indoor lighting. Xiaomi has gone with a 14-inch full-HD panel for the Mi Notebook 14. the corporate makes no claims regarding colour accuracy, but does boast of 178-degree viewing angles.

The battery features a 46Wh capacity which Xiaomi says translates to 10 hours of usage. You get a reasonably chunky 65W power adapter within the box, plus in fact the external 720p webcam. Dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5 are supported. The Mi Notebook 14 also has bottom-firing stereo speakers rated at 2W each, also as DTS audio enhancement.

Xiaomi ships the Mi Notebook 14 with Windows 10 Home and a one-month trial of Office 365. the 2 in-house apps that we saw on the Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition also make appearances here – Mi Blaze Unlock allows you to automatically check in to Windows if you’re wearing a compatible Mi Band, while Mi Smart Share is for transferring files to and from phones running the equivalent app.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook 14 performance

Initial setup went smoothly, and therefore the Mi Notebook 14 was ready to be used after following the quality Windows setup process. This laptop is convenient enough to use in various situations, even while reclining. Resuming from sleep sometimes took 10-15 seconds, but generally , usage was no trouble in the least . i used to be ready to multitask with over a dozen browser tabs open, streaming video simultaneously.

The screen is not vibrant and hues are somewhat muted. Xiaomi’s claim about viewing angles isn’t overstated, but the screen’s brightness will need to be pumped up fairly high. I did appreciate the anti-reflective finish. The speakers aren’t very loud, and sound is unfortunately scratchy and tinny. Typing is sort of comfortable. The keys are just a touch stiff, but that’s easy enough to urge wont to . On the opposite hand, the trackpad wasn’t always as smooth or responsive as I’d have liked, and therefore the click action may be a bit sticky.

Coming to benchmark tests, it is easy to ascertain the strengths and weaknesses of the Mi Notebook 14. SSD speed is restricted by the SATA interface, then the CrystalDiskMark test showed sequential reads and writes capped at 500.6MBps and 383.3MBps respectively, with random reads and writes coming in at 300.2MBps and 269MBps. In real-world task tests, the Mi Notebook 14 took 7 minutes, 6 seconds to compress a 3.24GB folder of various files using 7zip, and 1 minute, 34 seconds to transcode a 1.3GB AVI file to H.265.

PCMark 10 posted many 3,542 and 3,371 in its standard and Extended runs, respectively. Cinebench R20 achieved 361 and 1,604 points in its single- and multi-core tests. POVRay finished its benchmark run in 2 minutes, 52 seconds.

As for graphics performance, the Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU is certainly not meant for serious gaming or anything beyond entry-level performance. 3DMark’s Time Spy and Time Spy Extreme scores were 1,217 and 171 respectively, while the Night Raid test and Fire Strike Extreme managed 12,327 and 1,661 respectively. Shadow of the Tomb Raider barely managed to cough up 23fps while running at its Lowest quality preset at 1920×1080. Taking the resolution right down to 1280×720 and disabling AA entirely resulted during a jittery but playable 41fps average.

This means the Mi Notebook 14 is capable of running older and fewer demanding games. However, it did get rather hot, and unfortunately the world round the WASD keys, along side the left wrist rest, did become uncomfortable after just a couple of minutes of gaming. the proper side of the keyboard stayed cool but I could feel air being sucked in from between the keys by the cooling fan. Speaking of the fan, it did become audible while gaming, but to not a distracting degree.

Xiaomi promises 10 hours of battery life but doesn’t say under what conditions. I found that with casual use, which involved streaming a movie and multitasking mostly within an internet browser, I got a maximum of eight hours, but usually more like six hours per full charge. the extreme Battery Eater Pro test lasted 1 hour, 23 minutes which is less than average. Thankfully, this laptop does charge quickly – I went from zero to 55 percent in half-hour with the laptop turned off.

Verdict

Xiaomi has done an honest job overall, and therefore the Mi Notebook 14 is suitable for everyday performance. you should not expect to be ready to play modern games, and films won’t look or sound their best, but general productivity should be fine. Students and office workers, also as home users with reasonable expectations are going to be proud of this laptop. Construction quality is sweet , and that i do just like the minimalist look with the logo-free lid. Not tons of individuals are commuting lately , but if or once you do got to move around, you’ll appreciate what Xiaomi is offering.

The base variant doesn’t make much sense since you’ll double your SSD capacity for just a couple of thousand Rupees more. The top-end one, which I even have reviewed here, is of debatable value also since the GeForce MX250 GPU is of limited use in such a machine. However, the mid-tier option seems to hit a sweet spot and is sort of competitive, considering it’s priced under Rs. 45,000.

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