Xiaomi seems to be an omnipresent tech company when it comes to the product range it has. While it has been present in the laptop sector for a while, it launched its laptops in India only recently. The Mi Notebook 14 and the Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition, much like its ‘too good to be true’ smartphones, plan to leave the same impression, and on papers, they seem to already have.
I got my hands on the Mi Notebook 14 and used it for over a month to see how the laptop is really like. Read on IndiaTV Tech’s review of the same to see whether or not it is a laptop for you if you have a budget of under 50K.
Mi Notebook 14 Review: Design
The one thing that attracted me the most (apart from the specifications, of course) was the super minimal design the Mi Notebook 14 comes with. It is like a thin metallic slab if you just look at the lid. The lid is bare with no branding and this somehow looks good. The laptop gives you all the MacBook Air feels, I have fooled many into believing that I am using a MacBook when it is just the Xiaomi laptop with premium and minimal looks.
The Xiaomi laptop has a 14-inch display, which makes it compact to use and carry. Once you open the lid, there is a bezel-less display and the keyboard, forming the basics of a laptop. The side and top bezels are quite less but the bottom bezel has a significant presence. This is where the only Mi branding resides. The top bezel is home to a standalone web camera for video calling. The scissor mechanism keyboard has a touch trackpad and the Intel Core i5 branding in the bottom right corner.
As for the ports, the right side has a LED for charging indication, USB 2.0 port, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The left side has 2 Type-A USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, an HDMI port, and a DC Jack for charging.
The Mi Notebook 14 isn’t a heavy laptop and has a weight of 1.5kgs. It allows for one-hand lifting and carrying it around isn’t a problem. But it isn’t as lightweight as a MacBook Air. The laptop’s minimal essence and the feeling of a MacBook on a budget are some of the reasons that can lure you into going for it.
Mi Notebook 14 Review: Display, Keyboard
The laptop has a 14-inch Full HD Anti-Glare display with minimal bezels on three sides. However, the bottom bezel is visibly more and when I started using the laptop, it made the laptop look way too boxy. But as I got used to using it, the bottom bezel no longer sought attention. Due to the other ‘lesser’ bezels, there is more screen space, which makes the usage easier.
The display is well-lit and showcased detailed and bright content on it. I used my laptop a lot for watching videos and my viewing experience was mostly a delight. The display comes with support for the Night Light feature to lessen the blue light filter to avoid strain in the eyes while using it in the low or no light. The display also has a web camera that comes as a separate apparatus. While it wasn’t difficult to set it and use it, the idea of setting up each time you want to video call, wasn’t to my liking. Nonetheless, it did well and my video calling sessions were smooth.
Coming down to the keyboard area, it has an ABS texture and a scissor-switch design, pretty much like the one seen on a MacBook. The keyboard also has a dust protection layer. My usage primarily involves typing, making the keyboard a really crucial aspect of a laptop. In fact, I am using the Mi Notebook 14 to type this very review. The keys have the apt distance to the make typing easy breezy. The matte and soft finish of the keys make gliding through them a cakewalk and I didn’t face much problem with the keyboard. It feels like a MacBook and I couldn’t have asked for more under 50K. However, the keys are prone to accidental touches due to which I typed something other than I wanted to. But, that wasn’t frequent.
Among others, the multi-touch trackpad ensured a convenient scrolling, selection, zooming in/out, and swiping. The trackpad didn’t invite accidental touches and this is one of the smoothest one on a Windows laptop I have used so far. The best part about both the keyboard and the trackpad is that they aren’t prone dust and this ensures safety and cleanliness.
Mi Notebook 14 Review: Specifications, Features
The Xiaomi Mi Notebook 14 comes with a 1.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor with Intel UHD Graphics 620 and NVIDIA GeForce MX250. It comes with 8GB of DDR4 RAM and two SATA 3 SSD storage options: 256GB and 512GB. It has a 14-inch Full HD Anti-glare display, a battery life of up to 10 hours, and a 720p separate web camera. It runs Windows 10 Home and supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, Mi Blaze Unlock and Mi Smart Share, 2x2W Stereo Speakers, and DTS Audio Processing App Support.
Mi Notebook 14 Review: Performance, Battery
I used the Mi Notebook 14 as my primary laptop and used it for both work and leisure. My daily usage involves 9 to 10 hours of typing, watching videos, going through the internet, and even for some shopping to soothe myself. All the tasks were performed with great ease and I can safely say that the laptop didn’t make me miss the MacBook. I got comfortable really quickly and more often than not, my usage was smooth.
With a plethora of articles to write daily and using the internet for a number of tasks, the laptop hardly stammered. There were some lags but that was really minor to pay much attention to. Since I am not a gaming person, I didn’t play heavy-graphic games. But, I did use it for some minor gaming and the laptop handled them quite well. As for the audio, stereo speakers with DTS audio processing ensured a good audio output. The audio was loud and clear and didn’t call for the usage of an audio accessory, which was an advantage for me. However, there were times when the volume wasn’t quite high despite being the highest. One thing that was slightly a drawback was some heating while the laptop was being used.
The Mi Notebook 14’s battery is another element that impressed me a lot. With 7 to 8 hours of average daily usage, it was able to last me a day with all the ease. I just had to charge it once for a day and at times 2 days’ usage. The battery supports 65W fast charging and this is one feature that deserves special attention. The laptop charged fully in about 50 minutes and that is the quickest I have seen on one. However, it does heat a bit if being used while charging. The laptop runs Windows 10 Home and the usage was more than decent for me. I do like macOS more but it didn’t feel like a problem while using the laptop.
Mi Notebook 14 Review: Verdict
The Mi Notebook 14 is Xiaomi’s first laptop in India and proves to be a shocker at Rs. 43,999. With an eye-pleasing and easy-to-use form factor, 65W fast charging support, and impressive specifications, Xiaomi has blown people's minds yet again in the laptop segment. It does pose as a copy of Apple’s MacBook, but, having used one I feel it brings in the Mac comfort on a budget and I don’t feel the need to complain.
After over a month’s usage, the Xiaomi Mi Notebook 14 is a really good option under Rs. 50,000 and will act as your companion without a doubt. You can safely go for the laptop if you are looking for one for the price.