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 gentle and compact, with few bells and whistles. Xiaomi goals to have common enchantment whether or not you are an workplace employee, residence person, or pupil. However, in the event you’re anticipating shockingly low costs, you is perhaps slightly stunned – Xiaomi is not going to show the laptop computer market on its head prefer it has with smartphones and good TVs. With costs starting from Rs. 41,999 (introductory provide) to Rs. 59,999, Xiaomi is aiming for the center of the laptop computer market moderately than the price range phase.

Instead of rock-bottom costs, there’s an emphasis on model, specs, and worth for cash. This is an fascinating 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 needs to spend Rs. 60,000 with out being certain 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 most costly 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, for the reason that 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 decisions: 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.

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


Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition: Look and really feel

Xiaomi has been accused of copying Apple prior to now, and there’s a hint of inspiration right here as properly. 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 no brand or any sort of design on the lid. It’s only a plain flat floor, with nothing however the sandblasted texture of the metallic for aid. We additionally observed that the silver metallic takes on a heat hue when seen underneath vibrant 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 day-after-day. Xiaomi can also be pleased with the steadiness of weight – you may increase 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 screen 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 have been simply sliding a finger with out desiring to click on it. Overall, development high quality is spectacular.

Several low-cost telephone makers together with Xiaomi routinely attempt to incorporate design parts from high-end fashions into low-cost ones, most notably slim display screen borders. That concept has carried over to the Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition which has a claimed 91 p.c screen-to-body ratio (for the lid at the least) with 3mm borders to the highest and sides of the show panel. This is one thing we sometimes 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 screen body, Xiaomi merely determined these laptops might do with out one. The firm says its analysis indicated that this could be okay with prospects, however the latest lockdown scenario 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 moderately massive gray block that may keep perched on the highest of the lid of any slim laptop computer, however there is no 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 ideally suited, and you will have to recollect to hold the webcam round with you, nevertheless 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 screen and off-centre on some Asus fashions.

The keyboard is pretty properly spaced and laid out


Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition: Software and value

Xiaomi’s fame for spam and bloatware precedes it, and many individuals have questioned whether or not the corporate’s laptops will likely 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 will be on another laptop computer, with out intrusive overlays or apps working within the background.

You do get two preloaded apps: Blaze Unlock makes use of Bluetooth to detect a appropriate Mi Band, and might lock the display screen or signal you in relying on the band’s proximity. This might be handy, and Xiaomi guarantees that it is fast, however we have been unable to check it for ourselves. The different app known as Smart Share, and it goals to be like AirDrop on Apple gadgets, letting you ship information and bits of data 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 slightly crisp, however we received 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 simple to hit accidentally. The trackpad does not have unbiased buttons, and as we talked about earlier than, the one on our overview unit was barely unfastened, 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 sort of factor you may’t stay with out in the event you’re used to it.

We all the time desire a non-reflective display screen, which is less complicated to work with underneath overhead gentle and in vibrant environment. Some individuals desire shiny panels as a result of they make colors pop extra, however we expect the tradeoff is price it. That stated, the panel is not nice by way of 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 regarded blotchy and movement wasn’t very clean.

There are two 2W audio system that fireplace 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 effective 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 and marketing benefit, since many rivals are nonetheless promoting 8th Gen fashions. The CPUs used listed below are from the mainstream 14nm Comet Lake-U household, not the extra trendy 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 fascinating function 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 anyplace 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 an enormous step up over the CPU’s built-in graphics capabilities although, and can turn out to be useful for gentle leisure in addition to picture and video enhancing.

Unfortunately, the 8GB of DDR4 RAM is soldered down and never upgradable. 8GB must be sufficient for most individuals over the subsequent few years, however Xiaomi does not even provide extra RAM on the time of buy. The SSD then again 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 increased 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 incontrovertible fact that the decrease variant does not have this port in any respect is shocking, however its performance is proscribed even in the event you do pay extra. We’re additionally disenchanted that there is no SD and even microSD card slot.

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

We have been additionally happy with CrystalDiskMark’s SSD take a look at outcomes. We received 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 various information utilizing 7-zip took Three minutes, 36 seconds, and transcoding a 1.3GB AVI file to H.265 took 2 minutes, 28 seconds.

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


Xiaomi mentions gaming in its advertising and marketing 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 take a look at posted a rating of 13,723 factors whereas the Fire Strike Extreme rating was 1,955.

We did load up just a few of our traditional 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 received 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 vital texture popping, lag, and poor graphics, particularly round characters’ hair.

Doom (2016), which is thought to be forgiving to weak {hardware}, ran fairly properly at 1920×1080 with the standard set to Medium. This sport was totally pleasing, although the body price 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 potential 800×600 decision with all results turned off, however we have been capable of get a playable body price after manually elevating this to 1280×720 and tweaking a few of 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 now have to notice that the Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition received extraordinarily sizzling once we have been taking part in 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 appropriate aspect, together with your complete metallic 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 working full tilt.

Battery life is sort of good. We have been capable of get by a workday with reasonable use and with standby disabled. If your work includes doc creation and being on-line, with slightly audio and video streaming thrown in, it is best to be capable of make a full cost final at the least 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 just isn’t one other Xiaomi product that can trigger stampedes due to an unbelievably low worth. It is, nevertheless, a reliable and enticing thin-and-light laptop computer, and its worth continues to be fairly affordable. It can be most fitted for workplace employees or college students who prioritise productiveness and portability greater than leisure. Xiaomi has well chosen very trendy specs and gone with a mode that anybody can be pleased with. Sure, the dearth of a webcam is unlucky, and there are some issues we’d have preferred executed in another 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 snug area of interest for itself and we expect lots of people will likely be . On the query of whether or not to offer 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 yr will mark a shift in notion for the Chinese large in India. With its own-brand retail and expertise shops, plus an enormous after-sales service community in place, the time might be proper for premium merchandise. We hope the established manufacturers are taking observe.

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

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This post was last modified on June 16, 2020 3:44 pm

Joy: Hi Folks. I am Jyoti, pursuing my passion to write content on Technology and Automobiles. I am a B.Tech (IT) graduate who loves to write content on different niche. Being passionate since college days, I took it as my full-time career. I started this blog to deliver unbiased reviews to the readers and let them choose the right product based on their reviews. If you want to contact me, you can drop your mail at reviewtechauto@gmail.com

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