Saturday, September 18, 2021

MSI Modern 14 Review (B11MO). Hits the Spot

 MSI was a company that was associated with gaming laptops and PC gaming components. However, the brand now offers a wide range of laptops for creators, small businesses, and enterprises. We will be testing the latest update from the Modern series which MSI calls its "business and productivity" line of laptops.

MSI Modern 14 is a great choice for students and young professionals looking for an affordable, stylish laptop that they can carry with them everywhere. There are multiple models in the Modern 14 series. Each model has a different RAM, storage and CPU specification. B11MO is the model I am testing today. It comes with an 11th-Gen Intel Core i5 CPU and is priced at around Rs. It is available online for purchase at 54,990. Now is the time to find out how it works and whether it's worth your consideration.

MSI Modern 14 (B11MO) design

MSI Modern 14 comes in pleasing pastel colors like Carbon Gray, Beige Mousse and Bluestone. MSI sent me the second color, which could also be called rose gold. It's very attractive and will certainly grab attention whenever you use it. It is also very lightweight. The aluminum chassis is just 1.3kg in weight and measures 16.9mm at its thinnest point. The lid and base have very little body flexibility.

This 14-inch laptop has a wide range of ports. Two full-sized USB Type A ports (USB 3.0 Gen1) are included, as well as a headphone socket. On the left side, you will find the charging port, HDMI port, USB Type-C port and a microSD slot. Thunderbolt is supported by the Type-C connector on higher-end models.

The MSI Modern 14 has a 14 inch IPS display and narrow borders on three sides. MSI also managed to fit a webcam above the screen in the right position. The layout of the chiclet keyboard is good, with the exception of the Ctrl button to the right which feels small and cramped. There are three levels of white illumination, and a shortcut that allows you to change the primary function for the Fn row buttons. This is something I appreciate. The trackpad is fairly large and does not get in the way of typing.

The MSI Modern 14's lid opens up to double as the laptop's rear feet. This allows for more comfortable typing positions and raises the base at an angle. While the hinge hides the exhaust vents, the bottom has numerous tiny holes that allow for air intake. You will also find the speakers on the bottom. There are one speaker per side. This laptop is also certified MIL-STD-810G for greater durability.

MSI Modern 14 (B11MO), specifications

Although the MSI modern 14 (B11MO), can be configured with an Intel Core i7 processor, my variant has a Core i5-1135G7 which has four cores and a total eight threads. The 8GB DDR4 RAM stick is included, along with a second slot for upgrades. This variant does not have a dedicated GPU. It uses the Intel Iris Xe integrated GPU. You can also choose an optional Nvidia GeForce X450 GPU. The Core i5 or Core i7 versions of the B11MO model come with a 512GB M.2PCIe SSD.

MSI Modern 14 supports Bluetooth 5.1 and Wi-Fi 6. The MSI Modern 14 comes with a compact 65W wall charging adapter and a 52WHr 3-cell battery.

If you purchase this laptop now, Windows 10 Home will be included. MSI also advertises that the Modern 14 will receive a free upgrade to Windows 11 when it is available. It's minimalist in design, and even has a shortcut button on the keyboard. It allows you to set power and battery profiles and run system checks, as well as many other useful functions.

Performance and battery life of MSI Modern 14 (B11MO).

The MSI Modern 14 was my companion for a few weeks. I used it to watch streaming videos and occasionally for work. It performed very well during this time. The SSD made it very easy to boot the system and wake it up from hibernation. Although the base of my laptop is warm, I didn't find it uncomfortable sitting on my lap. The keyboard provides good tactile feedback and is quiet when typing. The trackpad was equally responsive.

It is also a strong performer, the Intel 11th Gen Core i5 processor. It scored decent benchmark scores, scoring 4,455 in PCMark 10, 515 points and 2,208 points respectively in Cinebench R20’s single- and multi-core tests. There were also 2,078 points in 3DMark FireStrike. This is a low score but it is expected considering this variant relies upon an onboard Intel GPU.

The MSI Modern 14 wasn't made for gaming. You'll get a slightly better gaming experience with variants that include the Nvidia GPU. The B11MO's Intel integrated GPU can still handle basic titles like Asphalt 9: Legends. I tried heavier titles like Assassin's Creed Odyssey, but it was not a pleasant experience even with a lower resolution and better visual quality.

The display is bright and vibrant, but the colours aren’t as lively. This can make it less enjoyable to watch media. The horizontal and vertical viewing angles are not great, but they aren't terrible. The matte finish makes reflections less of a problem. Stereo speakers don't sound great, even at maximum volume.

In terms of battery life, the MSI Modern 14 is excellent. I was able get nearly eight hours of battery life with light usage, such as Web browsing, productivity in Chrome, and watching videos through Netflix. This is a remarkable feat for a laptop this small and heavy. The laptop ran for approximately one and a quarter hours using the Battery Eater Pro benchmark.


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