MSI Modern 14 (B4Mx) review – the Ryzen processors are the stars of the show here

A couple of months ago we paid a visit to the MSI Modern 14. It was paired with the Comet Lake processors and it showed generally slow performance. Also, there were some questionable decisions made with it, so we are really expecting to see an improvement with the Modern 14 (B4Mx).

Actually, the new model introduces a huge difference in the design, which also aims to improve the thermals of the hardware. Again, we are going to see a thin profile, but now, MSI is implementing a lifted back of the base, which will surely provide a lot more air for its fan.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though. We should mention that this laptop is equipped with AMD’s Ryzen 4000U processors, which completely annihilated the Comet Lake family of Intel, seen on the previous Modern 14. Also, if you are not aware, MSI is marketing this laptop as intended for content creation. This means there are a couple of key features we have to look for – great display, decent performance, and not on the last place – respectable battery life, so you can do some work on the go, without worrying about your laptop dying.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/msi-modern-14-b10mx-b4mx/

Contents


Specs Sheet

MSI Modern 14 (B10Mx / B4Mx) - Especificaciones

  • BOE NV140FHM-N4V (BOE08D7)
  • Precisión del color  4.4  3.8
  • HDD/SSD
  • hasta 2000GB SSD
  • Ranura M.2
  • 1x 2280 PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4 
  • RAM
  • up to 32GB
  • OS
  • Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Home, Windows 11 Home, Windows 11 Pro
  • Batería
  • 52Wh, 3-cell
  • Material del cuerpo
  • Aluminum
  • Dimensiones
  • 319 x 220.2 x 16.9 mm (12.56" x 8.67" x 0.67")
  • Peso
  • 1.30 kg (2.9 lbs)
  • Puertos y conectividad
  • 2x USB Type-A
  • 2.0
  • 1x USB Type-C
  • 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps)
  • HDMI
  • 1.4
  • Lector de tarjetas
  • microSD (SD/SDHC/SDXC)
  • Wi-Fi
  • 802.11ax
  • Bluetooth
  • 5.0
  • Conector de audio
  • 3.5 Combo Jack
  • Features
  • Lector de huellas dactilares
  • Cámara web
  • HD
  • Teclado retroiluminado
  • Altavoces
  • 2x 2W, Nahimic 3
  • Unidad óptica

Todo MSI Modern 14 (B10Mx / B4Mx) configuraciones

#CommissionsEarned

What’s in the box?

Inside the package, we found a 65W power adapter, as well as some paper manuals, and the laptop, itself.


Design and construction

One of the key features of the Modern 14 (B4Mx) is its aluminum build. It certainly gives the notebook a premium feel, although its price tag is actually pretty easily-digestible. It weighs 1.30 kg and has a profile of 16.9mm – slightly heavier and taller than the previous Modern 14. However, it is still incredibly portable and we are also happy with the strength of the chassis, but you shouldn’t expect its clean surface to remain clean for long… unless you wash your hands every 2 minutes.

As we mentioned, MSI uses a hinge mechanism similar to ASUS’ ErgoLift. This uses the lid as leverage, thus lifting the backside of the base, providing more comfort during typing, and a lot more room for cool air to enter the chassis. An interesting surprise is that the lid can be opened with a single hand, and the camera is placed at its orthodox position – above the display. No more nose pictures for the Modern 14 users.

By the way, the lifted base actually helps with the ergonomics. Furthermore, the keyboard has a single color backlight, 1.5mm of key travel (according to MSI), and relatively clicky feedback. Now, MSI is using its traditional location of the function key, and interestingly, it shares some space with the right Control button. Weird decision. Thankfully, the Arrow keys have the same size as the character keys, but the area around them feels a bit crowded.

Interestingly, the touchpad of the laptop has a similar issue to the last MSI we’ve reviewed – the GF65 Thin 10Sx. It has a noticeable dead zone, where the touchpad gives millimeter-ish of travel without being registered as a click. Also, its area is a bit small, but it can be forgiven, because of the great gliding and tracking properties.

And if you switch the laptop upside down, you will see an MSI specialty – a huge ventilation grill, which reveals the cooling solution. While you are here, you can also find the speaker cutouts. As of the exhaust – it is located on the backside of the base, which fires the hot air towards the display.

Ports

On the left side of the notebook, you will find the charging plug, as well as an HDMI connector, a USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, and a MicroSD card reader. This leaves the right side with two USB Type-A 2.0 ports from the middle ages, as well as an audio jack.


Display quality

MSI Modern 14 (B4Mx) features a Full HD IPS screen, model number BOE NV140FHM-N4V (BOE08D7). Its diagonal is 14″ (35.56 cm), and the resolution – 1920 х 1080. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:9, the pixel density – 157 ppi, their pitch – 0.161 x 0.161 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 56 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).

It has comfortable viewing angles. We have provided images at 45 degrees to evaluate quality.

The maximum measured brightness is 337 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 318 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 7%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 6830K (average) – slightly colder than the 6500K optimum for sRGB.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 52% Brightness (White level = 140 cd/m2, Black level = 0.115 cd/m2).
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is good – 1100:1.

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.

Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.

Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.

The yellow dotted line shows MSI Modern 14 (B4Mx)’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers only 51% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.

Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.

We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you can compare the scores of MSI Modern 14 (B4Mx) with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).

The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.

The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.

Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 17 ms.


Health impact – PWM / Blue Light

PWM (Screen flickering)

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.

MSI Modern 14 (B4Mx)’s display is not PW-modulated, whatsoever. This makes it comfortable for use for extended periods of time.

Blue light emissions

Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.

Conclusions

MSI Modern 14 (B4Mx)’s display has an IPS panel with a Full HD resolution, good contrast ratio, comfortable viewing angles, and nonflickering backlight. Unfortunately, as Content Creator-marketed device, it won’t be of any help, because of its narrow (51%) sRGB coverage and inaccurate color representation.

Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for MSI Modern 14 (B4Mx) configurations with 14.0″ BOE NV140FHM-N4V (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS.

*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]

Read more about the profiles HERE.

Además de recibir perfiles eficientes y respetuosos con la salud, al comprar los productos de LaptopMedia también apoyas el desarrollo de nuestros laboratorios, donde probamos los dispositivos para elaborar las reseñas más objetivas posibles.

Trabajo de oficina

El perfil Trabajo de Oficina debería ser utilizado sobre todo por usuarios que pasan la mayor parte del tiempo mirando trozos de texto, tablas o simplemente navegando. Este perfil pretende ofrecer una mayor nitidez y claridad manteniendo una curva de gamma plana (2,20), una temperatura de color nativa y colores perceptualmente precisos.

Diseño y juego

Este perfil está dirigido a los diseñadores que trabajan con los colores de forma profesional, y también para juegos y películas. Design and Gaming lleva a los paneles de visualización a sus límites, haciéndolos tan precisos como sea posible en el estándar sRGB IEC61966-2-1 para Web y HDTV, en el punto blanco D65.

Salud-Guardia

Salud-Guardia elimina la perjudicial Modulación de Ancho de Pulso (PWM) y reduce la luz azul negativa que afecta a nuestros ojos y a nuestro cuerpo. Al estar adaptado a cada panel, consigue mantener los colores perceptivamente precisos. Salud-Guardia simula el papel, por lo que la presión sobre los ojos se reduce considerablemente.

Get all 3 profiles with 33% discount


Sound

MSI Modern 14 (B4Mx)’s speakers are extremely quiet, even at maximum volume. Additionally, its low, mid, and high tones have some deviations from clarity.


Drivers

All of the drivers and utilities for this notebook can be downloaded from here: https://www.msi.com/Laptop/support/Modern-14-B4X

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. This notebook has a 52Wh battery and it was able to last for 9 hours and 27 minutes of Web browsing and 7 hours and 47 minutes of video playback.


CPU options

The AMD version of this model comes equipped with AMD’s Ryzen 4000U processors. In particular, we found that the current versions on the market are equipped with the Ryzen 5 4500U and the Ryzen 7 4700U.


GPU options

Since there are only integrated graphics solutions here, the choices fall to the Radeon RX Vega 6 ant Vega 7.


Gaming tests

cs-go-benchmarks

CS:GO HD 1080p, Low (Check settings) HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings) HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)
Average FPS 66 fps 46 fps 31 fps

DOTA 2 HD 1080p, Low (Check settings) HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings) HD 1080p, High (Check settings)
Average FPS 86 fps 46 fps 26 fps

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

AMD Ryzen 5 4500U (15W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
MSI Modern 14 (B4Mx) 3.19 GHz (B+39%) @ 54°C 3.13 GHz (B+36%) @ 63°C 3.05 GHz (B+33%) @ 81°C
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 (14) 3.29 GHz (B+43%) @ 74°C 3.32 GHz (B+44%) @ 88°C 2.53 GHz (B+10%) @ 63°C

We see a great job from MSI controlling the frequencies and the temperature of its device’s processor. Although it lacks in the short-term load scenarios, it manages to maintain a frequency of above 3.00 GHz even after 15 minutes of extreme workloads. Keep in mind that some 45W processors struggle with that, and hits its power limit of 25W for the entire test.

Comfort during full load

And it does that with very low noise coming from the fan. However, you can use the High-performance profile from MSI’s Creator Center, which boosts the fans and lowers the temperatures. On the downside, the left side of the keyboard heats quite much for a thin and light notebook.


Verdict

One thing is sure about this laptop. Power and performance is not a problem. It manages to achieve crazy high frequencies for a 15W processor (although it works at 25W under load), and light gaming is not an issue, whatsoever. This makes productivity tasks easy as a breeze, and the 64GB maximum memory in dual-channel mode will certainly provide a lot of help.

Additionally, we were able to extract around 9 hours and a half of Web browsing and 7 hours and 45 minutes of video playback from the 52Wh battery, inside of the notebook. Pretty much everything seems on point here. And then come the issues. First – the speakers. If you are relying on your integrated speakers, you would be disappointed. They are both quiet and sound unimpressive. Then, there is the I/O selection. While it has a MicroSD card slot and a USB Type-C port, it only works at 3.2 (Gen. 1) speeds, and its two USB Type-A ports are 2.0?! Cost-cutting at its finest.

MSI Modern 14 (B4Mx)’s display has an IPS panel (BOE NV140FHM-N4V (BOE08D7)) with a Full HD resolution, good contrast ratio, comfortable viewing angles, and nonflickering backlight. Unfortunately, as content creator-marketed device, it won’t be of any help, because of its narrow (51%) sRGB coverage and inaccurate color representation.

So, it appears as MSI has built a tiny gaming machine, rather than a portable content-creating tool. Should you invest your hard-earned money for this little device? Sure, just get yourself an external monitor if you’re going to use it professionally.

Pros

  • Great performance and quiet under load
  • Decent battery life
  • Up to 64GB of DDR4 memory in dual-channel + an M.2 NVMe slot
  • Fairly long battery life
  • Its Full HD IPS panel has comfortable viewing angles and good contrast ratio (BOE NV140FHM-N4V)
  • PWM-free across all brightness levels (BOE NV140FHM-N4V)


Cons

  • Covers only 51% of sRGB and has inaccurate color representation (BOE NV140FHM-N4V)
  • Its two USB Type-A ports only support 2.0 speeds
  • Quiet speakers

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/msi-modern-14-b10mx-b4mx/

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Akshat
Akshat
2 years hace

What a comprehensive review. Great work guys! I don’t think there’s another M.2 slot empty for storage expansion?

JC Zamudio
JC Zamudio
1 year hace

Dual Channel? I thought this only have 1 slot for RAM?

Ammar Ahmad
Ammar Ahmad
1 year hace
Reply to  JC Zamudio

It has 2 slots, I’ll soon upgrade using another 8Gig stick

JohnIL
JohnIL
2 months hace
Reply to  JC Zamudio

The Intel models had one slot but because of the Vega graphics on the AMD using more RAM they put in 2 slots. Very smart if you ask me, I was sadly disappointed with only one slot on my Intel model. Especially losing dual channel support.

JohnIL
JohnIL
2 months hace

Certainly, looks like the AMD models are a better option. I bought an Intel model with the core i3 10110u and its not much better than a dual core Pentium. It quickly runs out of steam even on just a few browser tabs open. Only one RAM slot on Intel version 2 on AMD. Mine was at least cheap paid like $350 for it. Last time I will buy any PC that runs an entry level CPU.