Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition Review

Xiaomi has entered the laptop computer market in India with its new Mi Notebook 14 and Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition product strains. These fashions are mild and compact, with few bells and whistles. Xiaomi goals to have common attraction whether or not you are an workplace employee, dwelling person, or pupil. However, in the event you’re anticipating shockingly low costs, you is perhaps a bit of stunned – Xiaomi is not going to show the laptop computer market on its head prefer it has with smartphones and sensible TVs. With costs starting from Rs. 41,999 (introductory provide) to Rs. 59,999, Xiaomi is aiming for the guts of the laptop computer market fairly than the price range phase.

Instead of rock-bottom costs, there’s an emphasis on model, specs, and worth for cash. This is an attention-grabbing technique for Xiaomi, which has an extended historical past of pulling the carpet out from underneath its rivals’ ft with unbeatable costs. Still, laptops are nonetheless very costly investments for most individuals, and nobody desires to spend Rs. 60,000 with out being positive of the standard and efficiency they’re getting.

Today, we’re reviewing the Core i7 model of the Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition, which is the costliest of the 5 laptops that Xiaomi has simply launched in India. Can the corporate tackle mainstream giants together with Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Acer?

Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition: Models and costs

Xiaomi’s naming scheme is considerably complicated, because the Mi Notebook 14 and Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition are actually separate product strains. There are three variants of the Mi Notebook 14 and two of the Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition. Within this latter product line, you have got two selections: the variant priced at Rs. 54,999 has a Core i5-10210U CPU, 512GB SATA SSD, and no Type-C USB port, and for Rs. 59,999, you get that port together with a Core i7-10510 CPU and a a lot quicker 512GB NVMe SSD. The worth distinction is so small that most individuals will select the dearer variant.

There are additionally three Mi Notebook 14 variants which are not all that totally different, particularly in comparison with the Core i5 model of the Horizon Edition. You can learn all about their specs proper right here. You’ll be capable of save fairly some huge cash by going for the lower-end sequence in the event you do not thoughts a barely bigger and heavier laptop computer.

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The lid of the laptop computer is totally clean, with out even an organization emblem

 

Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition: Look and really feel

Xiaomi has been accused of copying Apple previously, and there’s a hint of inspiration right here as nicely. The Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition has an all-metal physique, particularly an aluminium-magnesium alloy. We just like the minimialist look that Xiaomi has gone with – particularly the truth that there is not any emblem or any form of design on the lid. It’s only a plain flat floor, with nothing however the sandblasted texture of the steel for aid. We additionally seen that the silver steel takes on a heat hue when seen underneath shiny daylight, and appears nearly gray when it is darkish.

Weighing simply 1.35kg and at 17.15mm skinny, the Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition is extraordinarily moveable. It will not be an excessive amount of of a burden in any backpack or sling bag even when it’s a must to carry it round daily. Xiaomi can be pleased with the stability of weight – you possibly can elevate the lid with only one finger, and the Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition will not tip backwards or slide round in your desk.

The hinge appears pretty sturdy and has an affordable vary of movement. The display stays put with out wobbling when utilizing this laptop computer, and the lid itself barely bends even with strain utilized. Another factor we preferred is that the keyboard mattress doesn’t flex when typing. The solely slight disappointment was the trackpad, which was wobbly once we had been simply sliding a finger with out meaning to click on it. Overall, development high quality is spectacular.

Several low-cost cellphone makers together with Xiaomi routinely attempt to incorporate design parts from high-end fashions into low-cost ones, most notably slender display borders. That thought has carried over to the Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition which has a claimed 91 p.c screen-to-body ratio (for the lid no less than) with 3mm borders to the highest and sides of the show panel. This is one thing we usually see on very high-end compact way of life laptops such because the Dell XPS 13 or HP Spectre x360 13, however there is a catch.

While Dell, HP and others have managed to combine a tiny webcam into the display body, Xiaomi merely determined these laptops might do with out one. The firm says its analysis indicated that this might be okay with prospects, however the current lockdown state of affairs and rise of distant working has led to a surge in demand for video, and so you will get a easy USB webcam within the field with each Mi Notebook mannequin.

The webcam is a fairly giant gray block that may keep perched on the highest of the lid of any slim laptop computer, however there is not any clip or clamp so its angle cannot be adjusted independently, and it will not keep in place in the event you’re shifting round. This is not ultimate, and you will have to recollect to hold the webcam round with you, however it’s higher than another options we have tried, such because the Acer Swift 7’s pop-up digital camera or those under the display and off-centre on some Asus fashions.

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The keyboard is pretty nicely spaced and laid out

 

Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition: Software and value

Xiaomi’s repute for spam and bloatware precedes it, and many individuals have questioned whether or not the corporate’s laptops might be filled with annoyances like most of its telephones are. We’re completely happy to see that there is not a lot preloaded software program in any respect. Windows 10 Home is simply the identical as it could be on every other laptop computer, with out intrusive overlays or apps operating within the background.

You do get two preloaded apps: Blaze Unlock makes use of Bluetooth to detect a appropriate Mi Band, and may lock the display or signal you in relying on the band’s proximity. This may very well be handy, and Xiaomi guarantees that it is fast, however we had been unable to check it for ourselves. The different app is known as Smart Share, and it goals to be like AirDrop on Apple gadgets, letting you ship recordsdata and bits of knowledge from one to a different. We additionally discovered an pointless Mi Support app that solely linked us to Xiaomi’s web site for assist.

As for general consolation and ergonomics, the Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition gave us no bother. The keyboard is a bit of crisp, however we obtained used to it fairly shortly. We did not just like the cramped arrow key cluster, however the extra-stiff energy button is a pleasant contact, as a result of its location makes it straightforward to hit accidentally. The trackpad would not have impartial buttons, and as we talked about earlier than, the one on our overview unit was barely free, which made it sink just below our contact.

At Xiaomi’s asking worth of Rs. 60,000, we’re in premium laptop computer territory, and so we actually would have preferred a keyboard with backlighting – that is the form of factor you possibly can’t stay with out in the event you’re used to it.

We all the time want a non-reflective display, which is less complicated to work with underneath overhead mild and in shiny environment. Some folks want shiny panels as a result of they make colors pop extra, however we predict the tradeoff is price it. That mentioned, the panel is not nice when it comes to color vibrancy or brightness. It’s greater than sufficient for work and informal leisure, however do not count on nice visuals. In our expertise, black areas in movies seemed blotchy and movement wasn’t very easy.

There are two 2W audio system that fireside downwards from the underside to replicate off a desk. Sound is scratchy and hole, however can get fairly loud. You will not take pleasure in music very a lot however that is advantageous for the occasional informal video or sport.

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Only the upper priced variant has a USB Type-C port

 

Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition: Specifications and efficiency

The use of Intel’s 10th Gen processors will give Xiaomi a advertising benefit, since many rivals are nonetheless promoting 8th Gen fashions. The CPUs used listed here are from the mainstream 14nm Comet Lake-U household, not the extra fashionable 10nm Ice Lake sequence. Our overview unit has a Core i7-10510U processor with 4 cores, clocked at 1.8GHz with a lift velocity of as much as 4.9GHz.

The most attention-grabbing characteristic although is the discrete Nvidia GeForce MX350 GPU with 2GB of devoted reminiscence. The Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition is the primary laptop computer we have examined with this GPU, which is supposed just for entry-level graphics efficiency. It is not wherever close to as succesful as Nvidia’s GeForce GTX or RTX households so do not count on to play heavy video games. It’s nonetheless a giant step up over the CPU’s built-in graphics capabilities although, and can turn out to be useful for mild leisure in addition to picture and video enhancing.

Unfortunately, the 8GB of DDR4 RAM is soldered down and never upgradable. 8GB needs to be sufficient for most individuals over the subsequent few years, however Xiaomi would not even provide extra RAM on the time of buy. The SSD alternatively is replaceable. There’s additionally a 46Wh battery, which Xiaomi says ought to provide 10 hours of utilization per cost, plus fast charging as much as 50 p.c in half an hour.

You get two USB 3.1 Gen1 (5Gbps) Type-A ports, one USB 2.zero port, HDMI video output, and a 3.5mm combo audio socket. The larger priced variant with the Core i7 CPU additionally has a USB Type-C port, which works on the identical 5Gbps velocity. Oddly, DisplayPort video output is not supported, and neither is charging. The undeniable fact that the decrease variant would not have this port in any respect is stunning, however its performance is restricted even in the event you do pay extra. We’re additionally dissatisfied that there is not any SD and even microSD card slot.

The Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition (Core i7 variant) dealt with our typical benchmark exams nicely. PCMark 10 gave us 4,451 and 4,173 factors in its normal and prolonged check runs respectively. Cinebench R20’s single-threaded and multi-threaded check scores had been 477 and 1,777 factors. POVRay managed its ray tracing benchmark in an affordable 2 minutes, 36 seconds.

We had been additionally happy with CrystalDiskMark’s SSD check outcomes. We obtained sequential learn and write scores of three,507.6MBps and 1,895MBps, and random scores of 1,074.3MBps and 475MBps respectively. As for our real-world exams, compressing a 3.24GB folder of varied recordsdata utilizing 7-zip took Three minutes, 36 seconds, and transcoding a 1.3GB AVI file to H.265 took 2 minutes, 28 seconds.

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The USB webcam doesn’t have to be clipped onto the highest of the lid

 

Xiaomi mentions gaming in its advertising push for the Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition, which we thought was a little bit of a stretch contemplating its specs. Graphics benchmarks confirmed lukewarm outcomes: 3DMark’s Night Raid check posted a rating of 13,723 factors whereas the Fire Strike Extreme rating was 1,955.

We did load up a number of of our typical sport exams, beginning with Shadow of the Tomb Raider. We loaded it up at 1920×1080 with AA disabled and the standard set to medium, however obtained simply 24fps on common, with extreme dips. Still, the sport was considerably playable. At 1280×720, the typical went as much as 36fps however we nonetheless noticed important texture popping, lag, and poor graphics, particularly round characters’ hair.

Doom (2016), which is understood to be forgiving to weak {hardware}, ran fairly nicely at 1920×1080 with the standard set to Medium. This sport was absolutely pleasurable, although the body charge stayed at round 42fps. We would not have tried a sport like GTA V, however Xiaomi particularly cites it as playable. It defaulted to the bottom doable 800×600 decision with all results turned off, however we had been in a position to get a playable body charge after manually elevating this to 1280×720 and tweaking among the visible settings.

For a change of tempo, we fired up Civilization 5, utilizing a big map with loads of AI opponents. This sport additionally default to a low decision of 1152×864, with most high quality settings at medium. It was playable, however the expertise was undoubtedly scaled down in comparison with what we’re used to.

At this level we have now to notice that the Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition obtained extraordinarily sizzling once we had been enjoying video games – the left aspect the place our left hand rested was fortunately cool, and we might really feel the fan pulling air in between the keyboard keys, however the proper aspect, together with your complete steel physique, was too sizzling to the touch for greater than a second or two. Fan noise was not too unhealthy, however you will undoubtedly hear it when the system is operating full tilt.

Battery life is kind of good. We had been in a position to get by way of a workday with average use and with standby disabled. If your work includes doc creation and being on-line, with a bit of audio and video streaming thrown in, it’s best to be capable of make a full cost final no less than Eight hours. We famous that two hours of HD high quality video streaming introduced the battery degree down by about 15 p.c.

 

Verdict: Should you purchase the Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition?

The Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition isn’t one other Xiaomi product that may trigger stampedes due to an unbelievably low worth. It is, nonetheless, a reliable and enticing thin-and-light laptop computer, and its worth continues to be fairly affordable. It can be best suited for workplace staff or college students who prioritise productiveness and portability greater than leisure. Xiaomi has neatly chosen very fashionable specs and gone with a mode that anybody can be proud of. Sure, the shortage of a webcam is unlucky, and there are some issues we’d have preferred performed in a different way, however there are not any dealbreakers right here.

The thin-and-light laptop computer phase is certainly underserved – many laptops with comparable specs are both too costly or too cumbersome. Xiaomi has recognized a cushty area of interest for itself and we predict lots of people might be . On the query of whether or not to provide Xiaomi laptops an opportunity, we’d say sure. We additionally hope to see much more fashions serving a wider vary of worth factors.

Lots of people reacted negatively to the launch of the premium-tier Mi 10 5G (Review) smartphone, as a result of Xiaomi’s model is so intrinsically tied to low-cost gadgets. The Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition is much more costly, and this 12 months will mark a shift in notion for the Chinese large in India. With its own-brand retail and expertise shops, plus an unlimited after-sales service community in place, the time may very well be proper for premium merchandise. We hope the established manufacturers are taking be aware.


Is Mi Notebook 14 sequence one of the best inexpensive laptop computer vary for India? We mentioned this on Orbital, our weekly know-how podcast, which you’ll be able to subscribe to through Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or simply hit the play button under.

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