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MSI Modern 14 Review – Lightweight Intel Comet Lake 14 inch laptop

MSI Modern 14 Review

The MSI Modern 14 series introduced this time has two systems, iGPU version and dGPU version. The former is Modern-14-A10M-477JP and Modern-14-A10M-618JP. The difference is the memory capacity (8GB, 16GB) and OS edition (Home, Pro). Read our MSI Modern 14 review to find out more about it.

The latter is MSI Modern-14-A10RB-808JP, Modern-14-A10RB-842JP, Modern-14-A10RAS-1020JP. Differences are, in order, Intel Core i5-10210U, Nvidia GeForce MX250, 8GB, 256GB, Intel Core i7-10510U, Nvidia GeForce MX250, 16GB, 512GB, Intel Core i5-10210U, Nvidia GeForce MX330, 8GB, 256GB. All OS are Windows 10 Home.

The panel and housing design and interface are the same. Depending on the model, there are differences between Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i7, but all comet Lake Comet Lake 10th generation cores. Overall performance is probably better with the latter dGPU-equipped machines.

MSI Modern 14

The iGPU version arrived. Although it is described as Modern-14-A10M-477JP in the package description, since it was equivalent to Modern-14-A10M-618JP in terms of content, it will be introduced as Modern-14-A10M-618JP.

MSI Modern 14 review – MSI Modern 14 specifications

MSI Modern 14 Modern-14-A10M-618JP specifications
Processor    Intel Core i7-10510U (4 cores 8 threads, 1.8GHz-4.9GHz, cache 8MB, TDP 15W)
memory    16GB, DDR4-2666, SO-DIMMx1 (Max 32GB)
storage    M.2 NVMe SSD 512GB
OS    Windows 10 Pro (64bit)
display    14-inch full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels), non-glossy
Graphics    Intel UHD Graphics
network    IEEE 802.11ac compatible, Bluetooth 5.0
The interface    USB 3.0 x 2, USB 3.0 Type-C x 2, webcam, SD card reader, HDMI, audio input, output
Battery capacity, drive time    Lithium-ion, 50Whr, 4 cell, 3,290mAh, max 10 hours
Size, weight    About 322 × 222 × 15.9mm (width × depth × height), about 1.19kg
price    JPY 134,800 (MSI store survey)

The processor is Intel Core i7-10510U of the 10th generation Comet Lake. It has 4 cores and 8 threads, and clocks from 1.8GHz up to 4.9GHz. Cache is 8MB, TDP is 15W. There is also a 6-core SKU for the U type, but it is suppressed to a general 4-core. Both iGPU versions have the same SKU.

Memory is DDR4-2666, 16GB. Since there is one SO-DIMM socket, it operates in single channel. Storage is M.2 NVMe SSD 512GB. OS is 64-bit version of Windows 10 Pro. While all other models are Home, only Modern-14-A10M-618JP is equipped with Pro.

Graphics is Intel UHD Graphics with a built-in processor. Equipped with HDMI for external output. The display is a 14-inch non-glossy full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels). With a narrow frame design that occupies about 80% of the screen, it is a compact housing that houses 14-inch in a 13-inch class. The color gamut is equivalent to sRGB.

The network is IEEE 802.11ac compatible, Bluetooth 5.0. There is no wired LAN. Other interfaces are USB 3.0 x 2, USB 3.0 Type-C x 2, webcam, SD card reader, voice input, output. In addition, it is equipped with a keyboard backlight.

However, Type-C does not support USB Power Delivery and Displayport Alternate Mode. Although the processor is the 10th generation, Wi-Fi 6 is not supported, which is a disappointing part.

The size is about 322 x 222 x 15.9 mm (width x depth x height), and the weight is about 1.19 kg. Built-in 50Whr, 4cell, 3290mAh lithium-ion battery, drive time is up to 10 hours.

MSI Modern 14 benchmark review

The case is metallic with a greenish feel and high quality. This size feels 1,174g, so it feels lighter than it looks when lifted. It is also impressive that it is light but solid because it conforms to MIL-STD 810G.

The front is a narrow frame with a screen occupation ratio of about 80%. Because of this, the webcam is in the lower center, not at the top. I tried it, but since the angle is lower than the type above, the reflection of the face is worse.

On the left side are power input, HDMI, USB 3.0 Type-C, audio input, output, various status LEDs. USB 3.0 × 2, USB 3.0 Type-C, SD card slot, lock port are located on the right side. It’s quite thin, as you can see from the height of the HDMI connector. There are 5 rubber feet on the back and a fan can be seen on the back right side. The battery is a built-in type and cannot be removed. The included AC adapter is approximately 65 x 65 x 28 mm in size, weighs 192 grams, and outputs 19 V, 3.42 A.

The 14-inch display is neat with a narrow frame, and has good brightness, color development, contrast, and viewing angle (however, it is not very good and is suitable for the class). In addition, since it is non-glossy, it does not tire your eyes easily even after long-term operation. The panel can be tilted 180 degrees.

The keyboard is an isolation type with off + three-level backlight. The key tops are stiff and the strokes are moderate, so I personally like the feel of tapping. There are some key pitches such as [], [Half-width, Full-width], and [Ro] that are partly narrow, but the basic measurement has secured about 19 mm. However, it seems that there is a key outside the [Enter] key.

The touchpad is a single plate type that has no physical buttons. The movement of the pointer was smooth, but the push equivalent to the click was hard, and it was a bit difficult to use personally. The palm rest is a bit narrow, but not so efficient.

MSI Modern 14 keyboard review

Vibration and noise are not a problem in the trial range. The fever becomes hot on the upper right side of the keyboard when a load is applied, such as in a benchmark test, and matches the part with the fan on the back. In any case, the heat does not come down to the bottom, so there is nothing to worry about.

The sound is clearer than the type that reflects from the back because there is a speaker in the slit on the keyboard and the sound reaches the ear directly. The width is also secured and there is a sense of stereo. However, the power is not enough. It is equipped with Nahimic, which will be described later, and seems to be particular about sound, so I would like you to do a little more.

The storage is NVMe SSD 512GB KINGSTON RBUSNS8154P3512G. Approximately 476.38GB is allocated in one partition of C: drive only, and free 439GB. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are made by Intel.

MSI True Color is a screen tool that switches color profiles according to scenes, Nahimic is a sound tool that switches profiles according to scenes, and Creator Center is a system for CPU, GPU monitoring, performance adjustment, battery management, etc. Will be a tool to manage. It’s unusual for a laptop with an iGPU only to have this kind of tool.

Benchmark test is PCMark 10, PCMark 8, 3DMark, CINEBENCH R20, CrystalDiskMark, PCMark 10, BATTERY, Modern Office. The results are as follows.

I don’t have the data of dual-core operation Intel Intel Core i7-10510U, so I don’t know the effect of single-channel operation, but the SSD is fast and the system performance is not bad. However, since it is an iGPU, it is also expected that the score of 3DMark will not increase.

PCMark 10, BATTERY, Modern Office 7 hours 37 minutes (keyboard backlight off. Brightness, battery mode etc. are system standard). According to the specifications, the maximum driving time is 10 hours, so it is a reasonable place. In this state, the panel was bright enough, and it seems that it will grow a little when the brightness is reduced.

MSI Modern 14 review – Benchmark result

PCMark 10 v2.1.2177
PCMark 10 Score    4,408
Essentials    7,732
App Start-up Score    9,944
Video Conferencing Score    6,744
Web Browsing Score    6,894
Productivity    6,401
Spreadsheets Score    7,585
Writing Score    5,402
Digital Content Creation    4,697
Photo Editing Score    3,784
Rendering and Visualization Score    6,984
Video Editing Score    3,922
PCMark 8 v2.8.704
Home Accelarated 3.0    3,449
Creative Accelarated 3.0    3,544
Work Accelarated 2.0    4,846
Storage    5,049
3DMark v2.11.6866
Time Spy    454
Fire Strike Ultra    294
Fire Strike Extreme    538
Fire Strike    1,124
Sky Diver    4,632
Cloud Gate    8,555
Ice Storm Extreme    45,161
Ice Storm    61,624
CPU    1,379 pts (10th)
CPU (Single Core)    412 pts (2nd place)
CrystalDiskMark 6.0.0
Q32T1 sequential read    1,603.690 MB, s
Q32T1 sequential light    1,037.275 MB, s
4K Q8T8 random read    838.141 MB, s
4K Q8T8 random light    785.371 MB, s
4K Q32T1 random read    542.006 MB, s
4K Q32T1 random light    373.231 MB, s
4K Q1T1 random read    27.929 MB, s
4K Q1T1 random light    74.903 MB, s

As described above, the MSI Modern 14 Modern-14-A10M-618JP is a compact and lightweight laptop PC equipped with the Intel Core i7 of the 10th generation Comet Lake and housing 14-inch in a 13-inch class case. It has a built-in keyboard backlight, so you can operate it in a dark room without any problems.

There are some areas that are worrisome, such as no wired LAN for size, single-channel memory operation, keys outside the [Enter] key, etc., but they are light, compact, and relatively inexpensive. This is one I would recommend to anyone looking for a 10th generation Comet Lake laptop.