Saturday, 22 August 2020

Maibenben Xiaomai 6 Pro E5100

 Well, this was the other item reviewed with the Zimai Bluetooth headphones, we now deal with the man pat of that same aliexpress order which is the maibenben Xiaomai 6 Pro E5100. The upgraded Xiaomai 6A but with a 6405u Pentium and an Nvidia Mx350 which actually sounds too good to be the dream budget laptop discrete GPU but sadly our dreams will be broken for one reason alone, NVENC is disabled when Nvidia made the chip. But well we can see how it copes for video editing and streaming later on.
Costing me £377.03 including the half of customs charge this is actually got more than i was expecting in terms of other results. 

The Video is below:






The Packaging and Goodies: 

Now, this is something to consider that the seller (the company themselves aka Maibenben) did provide with it, it shows how the value with the extras can prove to be effective yet charming in its regard, Which the extras were: 

  • 15.6" Screen protector
  • Zimai Earphones (wired) 
  • Maibenben USB Wired Mouse 
  • Maibenben Neoprene mouse mat with their slogan #onlyforbetter
  • UK Cloverleaf Power cable

The outer Box: 


But this was in the style of double box protection for the laptop which then had the bigger box for the inner box to be in and also the goodies to go in the box.

The front of the outer box 


The back of the outer box 



Then it is time to have a look at the goodies we were given, well in the packaging for each of them anyway. Now they are quite simple to understand for 2 of them, the smaller boxes are rather basic for it to make it easier to read for the most part. 

The Mousemat with the slogan

The fun times of the screen protector 

The back of the screen guard 
the bottom of the mouse mat 





The front of the mouse (which has not been reliable ) 

The back details of the mouse 
The front of the box for the wired Earphones 



The back of the packaging for the wired earphones 



The 2m Cloverleaf Cable 


The Inner Boxes


Then it comes to the inner box which protects the actual laptop box. This is somewhat basic but it is better to be safe than sorry.  This had the warning for the battery as well as the face there is a HDMI port on the laptop as well as specs in Chinese listed too. 

The front bottom corner of the box 

The bottom label of the box which includes 
The back of the box with the Battery warning as well as the HDMI



Then it was time to open the laptop actual box up, with the white background as well as an image of a laptop and the maibenben slogan, this, was much more in the case with the branding as well as some of the specs and Energy rating as well. 

The front of the box 


The warnings and the energy rating 

Specifications on the side 

The back of the box with the battery warning at the bottom

Then it was time to dive into the box and look at the bits.

The box and the goodies in front of it 


We first start with the Charger, its the same Delta 19v 3.24A charger used from the 6A and also used from Asus with the 5.5x2.5mm jack. 

The cloverleaf cable wit the Asian plug

The Delta 19v 3.24a Charger transformer 

The 5.5x2.5mm tip

Then we finally have a look at the laptop, with the same design as the 6a in almost every way, from the 2 lines on the back panel to the size of the touchpad and even the silicone keyboard cover. Like this is one of the things that has been the staple from the last review is the simplistic but sleek design. The USB Ports of 3.1 on the left, along with type c, USB 2.0 and card reader on the right, the HDMI and the powerjack on the left as well. 


The top of the laptop 

The lines are back again 

Underneath has only one difference with the Nivisa and the intel stickers not placed here 

The Left side of the laptop 

The right side of the laptop 
The thickness of it when the lid is closed down 



The keyboard and trackpad, with the addition of the 3 stickers 

A better look at the trackpad 

One of those closeup shots of the keyboard and the bezel 

A better look at how the lid goes down

Which after that we notice some nice little extras to add your own hard drive of 2.5" or even another SSD as well as spare screws to help you on the journey with making the most of the laptop.


The bubble wrap

More of the bag an whats inside 

The part number label 

Screws and caps in a bag too 

A better look at the brackets 

Then you have not 1 but actually 2 manuals, one is the Chinese original manual and that had a fair amount of advice and even how to use windows in some cases. It's not a thin manual either.

The front of the Chinese manual 
A peek at the gestures 

That makes it good but there was also a universal manual on the maibenben laptops that was in English and was included as well, This was even thicker again. #


The Front of the universal English manual 

Notice is not the same look as the Xiaomai 6 Pro in this manual 



But that and the warranty card was the last part left to look at before we can finally start on this of getting it booted up. 

The warranty card


Time to Setup: 


The Screen Protector: 


This is always the fiddly bit and really it made things more difficult than it already was on the concept of making sure the screen did not scratch or smash, now lets be clear,. things like this you need to be precise with your finger and actually its a good idea to even use gloves to see if this helps better, which in my case it did in a slight way. 
 
But the way it peels off is the same way as other proectors for phones, peel side 1 off first, then apply it to the screen then peel side 2 off so it gives it the protection as best as it can, this is fiddly and especially with how thin the bezel is, i did not apply too much pressure to risk the screen being cracked and that well is not good. 
 
 
 
The screen protector side 1
 
 
 

The screen protector side 2
 
 

Whjen side 1 is fitted
 
 

The screen protector is on
 
 


Which then it was time to press that button and turn it on, now be aware this does have windows included where as the 6a did not (but activated anyway ????). But this was where we find out the UK language was not installed, so i wont be able to use the custom background used in the maibenben adverts but ah well, its also good from the whole tracking of windows and national security confusion which has changed since last year.

The loading of the installed copy of windows

Setting up Windows: 

So, it was time to find out on installing windows 10 2004 the UK language pack, yes i could have just added int after setup but a clean install is better in the long run. So it was time for the trusted USB type C dual drive. 
 
 
The trusty sandisk dual usb type C

The BIOS: 

So, we have to use the bios here, F2 was the same key for the 6A and well this is no exepction here, and the layout is the same, but you can  have a look at the revisooons from this screenshot, funny fact though is the bios update on the website is older than the version that is shipped from the laptop. You can see that below: 



 
So, after checking secure boot was turned off (it was disabled from default), then making the usb the default. Which actually there is not much optiuons and the bios is locked. So its time to save the changes.


Saving the changes and reset

But then, it was time to see the windows installing. Now i did actually do a thing of extracting the product key since i rememvber Produkey works in Command Prompt which if you use the x64 bit  version. 
 
So after  that was done, it was time to follow the trusted guide of my heart
and delete the partitions included on the laptop. There were more and they did a built in recovery partition after as well. 

The list of partitons

Then it wqas tiome for it to install and extract, no ossies and within about 15 minutes, it was up and running, Windows was nearly finished installing. 
 
 
Extracting files part 1

Extracitng files part 2

Getting things ready
 
 Then it was time for the drivers. 

The Drivers: 

Now, this was not as easy as i was expecting, thios is due to the very slow servers from maibenben (not the drivers not being available) but i was being picky to make sure the second latest nvidia mx350 drivers works. That and the intel UHD 620 drivers are for the 6405u as well as the 5405u , but the exe might not be compatible so i used the Zip installation which did install the Intel command centre as well. 

The installation of the intel drivers

Once that was done, it was time to install the nvidia ones and that worked no problem at all. 
 
Installing Nividia Drivers
 
 
 
 
Then after a restart, it was time to connect to wifi to see if it would activate, it did, and then the other drivers, worked from windows update with no hitch, well minus the sound didnt update. But the Intel wifi drivers had to be updated which fixed some dropout issues. 

Then the rest of them were all set and it was ready to test.

I also uploaded some drivers like the PEGA Hotkey and the Realtek Audio drives here




The Tests: 

The introduction: 


These tests will be separated into some of the things I would use this for, the video might feel messy on how I explain it so I will try my best to get it listed here. 
We will seperate them into a few sections: 

  • Benchmarks
  • Display brightness
  • Camera
  • Upgrading
  • Weight
  • Gaming + Sound
  • Video Editing
  • Streaming



Benchmarks: 

Userbenchmark: 

So, this was the first and most important thing i've wanted to do, Now this was a suprise for some of them but i will embed the results below. 
 
 
 





UserBenchmarks: Game 5%, Desk 48%, Work 5%
CPU: Intel Pentium 6405U - 48.5%
GPU: Intel UHD Graphics - 2.7%
SSD: WDC WDS240G2G0B-00EPW0 240GB - 47.8%
RAM: Unknown 1x8GB - 39.2%
MBD: Maibenben E5100




This one below is with the MX350:


UserBenchmarks: Game 13%, Desk 58%, Work 11%
CPU: Intel Pentium 6405U - 49.3%
GPU: Nvidia GeForce MX350 - 20.1%
SSD: WDC WDS240G2G0B-00EPW0 240GB - 48.5%
RAM: Unknown 1x8GB - 38.4%
MBD: Maibenben E5100







This then leads us to the next benchmarks of Cinebench,


Cinebench


This one was surprising a later on approach but I would not expect the score to be good here so well jsut take it what you see. 


The results from the Cinebench test




Display and Camera: 

This is how the daily  life of screens and that go. It can be quite bright inside if on full brigutness in daylight, but when it comes to the outside, i could just about see it, especially with things like Microsoft Edge. 
 
Outside with its lowest brightness

The maximum  brightness on the maibenben outside



When it comes to the camera, the low angle well does make it a unquie way, but the qualty is not too bad minus a bit dull when it comes to the light quality, its perfectr for basic video calling, but looking posh for streaming this is not the best, even if you want to use a green screen. Its not happy in low light is what i can say too. 

The selfie outside with the laptop's camera

The inside selfie


When it comes to video recording, it's a bit of an odd one, well the quality is there but the sound is very sketchy at best, especially when outside, but it feels like my old 2010 vlogs of recording with a laptop, But this could be easier to do it now with the right headset (most with built-in microphones these days). Especially with the lightweight of the laptop compared to the Vaio and the Acer I had back those 10 years ago. But this will be important and compared in another review coming soon. 
 
 
 

Upgrading: 


Actually, this is one of those things that I managed to get in a clean way and upgrading without any major hassle, screws came out correctly, very little scratch damage to the casing. We start for this to happen by flipping the laptop upside down and then unscrewing those holes. 
 
The insides of the laptop
  
Then we get to really see how it feels and how it looks, like it can really show the layout of the parts and actually is a simple board takes up most of the top halfe and the bottom half is the battery and SATA 2.5" space for upgrading or adding extra storage, which hence is why they give you the brackets and the screws in the seperate bag earlier on and actually that wasnt too bad.

But for me, it was to fit some extra RAM, yes ram and ok about £18 odd for DDR4 kingston, but it fitted and then time to put it back together. 

The 4GB Kingston ram used

The laptp with the new ram fitted into slot A of all things but the ADATA is pretty good in this



Then it was time to put the laptop back together and the screws went in with no problem at all, like really, just went smoothly in and minus some not clipped in parts by the trackpad, it felt like nothing was taken apart at all, lets hope it feels the same when i replace either the WD green 240GB in there with either a cheap knockoff sunbow NVME ssd or even just add a 1TB ssd to it, since well i might be a karen and get faster for what i need and all.Then it was time to test the weight and then for the bigger tests this laptop has to offer us all. 

The Weight: 

This actually is one of those situations of the laptop is heavier than I realised even though it is a 15.6" laptop's weight, so many be im feeling a bit of a issue of the weight between a 12.5" workstation and a slimlime 15.6" laptop. But the Maibenben was ctually 0.10 kg heavier than the Dell latitute E6230 which is being replaced eventually. This was weight on the Mi Smart Scale 2

The weight of the maibenben

The weight of the dell latitude E6230


This means it is actually not that heavy to take with me if i want to video edit vlogs on the go, I've not tested compatiblity with MacOS and due to the way with nvidia optimus, there is no chance it will work. But oh well, for now that doesnt matter and its time to really put it to the Test. 

Gaming: 

Now, this will be the case of having to deal with alot of downloads and also trying to fit in those titles, We will cover 4 games to see how they can cope with this budget laptop. The games covered are below. I wanted to try more but well sadly time did not be on my side for filming.

  • Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition  - Microsoft Store
  • Fortnite  - Epic Games Store
  • GTA V - Epic Games Store + Rockstar Launcher
  • Untitled Goose Game - Epic Games Store

Now, this was only tested with the MX350 enabled sinnce none of these games would run using the Built in UHD graphics and that would be a big mistake if I tried. Now this is not going to be a easy way to explain it and settings are going to be varied. Now the sound when played was not actually tinny at all and the voices was really nice in terms of clear and not distorted due to the speaker's position. 

Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition: 

We will be honest and say, you will get 1080p 60FPS performance here. You will really not see any much dips unless you were using a high end texture pack. The main thing is that it could easily play and stream Minecraft using this laptop, not tested myself but well maybe oneday. 

The settings for minecraft

Snow in this case for the level

To prove that this is actually playing on the laptop and not just a ramdom screenshot


Fortnite: 

Now this is where I would say the laptop was struggling to play it actually smoothly, the menus were 1080p 60fps but sadly when it came to In-game, it would struggle between 40 to 50 fps and thats even on low settings. It can take some tweaks to try to get this optimised, but well maybe the requirements have upped since the end of Chapter 1. 

The collection screen

Now when i started the game and let it auto set settings, a low FPS

But when it comes down to tweaking, its near 60fps

But the plain lobby is a 60fps

Maybe the Direct X 12 beta might beat it, but remember even a i5-7400 with a GTX 1050 will not get 1080p 60 on high settings so this is not a shock that this laptop (with a tuned down but GPU chip same as the GTX1050 aka the GP107) will struggle to reach 1080p but 720p 60fps was a harder goal i will admit for this one.


GTA V: 

So, this instal required me to make a rockstar account and even my original name was taken but either way, i signed up and did a benchmark first, even on the stadnard settigs it was mostly around 40fps. Even on  a SSD there was some long loading times.

The loading screens


But then it was time to go into the story mode and well, try the game for myself for the first proper time of more than 5 minutes, I mean i struggled to even aim properly, but on default settings it was toggling around 40 to 50 fps. Which actually shocked me a bit. 

Seems better than I expected

The Settings


Then i changed and lowered the post processing settings from high to normal and it was getting high 40s to 60fps which was good. 

The changed settings

A clear showing this is near 1080p 60fps

Blurry cutscenes

Lower FPS when driving


But all in all, this is playable, which means yes the biggest main known games will run, Okay, the performance will dip if it was related to using the battery but well that is to be expected, the battery is weaker on the 6 Pro than the 6A from what i have experinced so far. 

But now we get to try an indie title that gave me a shock. The Game of geese. 

Untitled Goose Game: 

This was something i've purchased on the like 1st week of its relase since its mega cute and only £14.99 back then, but well this was to see how the game would perform. Actually it was mostly solid 1080p 60fps BUT there was a drop, now that i was not expecting whatsover. But it was only a minu 5fps drop. 

No lag for the menu or title screen

The geese has its fun

The Geese in the water



So then it was time to test the last 2 important things I would use this laptop for. Video editing and streaming, which well have some shocks to give. 


Video Editing - Vegas Pro 15: 

This is when i leanr about the codecs can make a difference, now first off. I've tested with both the Mx350 used for video processing and the Intel UHD graphics for video processing, I will conclude that the mx350 has no benenfit in this regard, since well Nividia blocked Cuda rendering and since the disabled NVENC. Which is unnofficaly confirmed so hopefully oneday some desision maker at nvidia needs a word and hopefully just a Vbios fix. But that can hinder some of the power. Rendering was very slow for 1080p 30fp (29.97fps actually) for the clips i recorded with the camera using the Magix Codec. The mainconcept AVC and the Sony AVC made no speed difference at all, even with quicksync.  N
 
But I did then notice one codec whch actually was giving good results. The Intel HEVC codec. 
 
The intel HEVC
 

Now using this codec, it was reendering 1080p 30fps about slightly more than the actual time of the clip itself, so it was a little bit slower than realtime rendering. And the video did have some delay in it with regard to the issue with the image stabliaztion playing up in one of the recorded camera clips. 

The time to render, notice it was actually 15 seconds longer than the length of the project.

That tells me i still have some tweaking to sort out, but its a good baseline for it. Now this also was and improvement compared to the rendering suing the celeron N4100 which is much weaker. For vloggers on a budget, this could be a bit of a weaker laptop, maybe the ryzen 5 series like the Damai E527 would be your strong point, (it could of been mine too but the AMD encoder for OBS is known to be complete of some word) . But that leads us to the big and final test. 

Streaming: Open Broadcaster Software. 

From here on out, this can be a mix of 2 reviews but actually, we will focus on the encoding side and the swttings side (the prif streambox kit review was filmed alongside this and timing for filming caused movment of location, i aplogise for that). But well this is where the good bits happen. 

So going into the Nividia control Panel and makeiing sure OBS uses the Nividia graphics is the first key point, since even if the NVENC will not work (but is listed in the output settings for encoder). The graphics is handled by the Mx350 and that leaves the CPU useage for x264 which if i use the Low preset high quality, medium file size option, in OBS. Yes i can acutally record at 1080p 60fps using a cpature card plugged into a PS4, there were very tiny frame drops as well.

The laptop plugged into the capture card



Now with this in mind, it means that streaming and record 1080p 60fps is not going to be possible, I know i can stretch it with 720p 60fps which i would say is better on a 10 mbps up connection via wired. But with anything, tweaks can be useful and if there was the NVENC then it would be no issue with this part at all. But there is a yes it can exist feature for the laptop. 

Conclusion: 

Now, we can make this clear, this laptop has alot more going for it than I was expecting after learning NVENC was removed from the MX350, but you can also tell that the power is a half cut from the GTX1050 which would have had the NVENC and the higher memory bandwidth. 

The video playback is smooth as well so i know its not a problem there, sure 4K might struggle and casting video higher than 1080p will be that little bit of lag with the wireless Display if not connected to a 5ghz 802.11ac access point. 

There also has been some lag with the WD Green SSD in some things, but one maybe irritation is that chrome and blogger are slowed right now, BUT that is not related to this laptop since it feels just as slow on chrome on the desktop (but with game WD green SSD though) 

But one downside is the repsonsiveness from the silicone keyboard cover, but that does protect the laptop from alot of busy kids around wanting X or wanting Y as well. When typing with it, there are some spelling mistakes more than usual like keys being missed when pressed. But that speed in blogger issue is happpeing on my Steambox, even with the 7400 and the WD Green m.2 SSD from the Xiaomai 6a .I swapped it with my dads old laptop SSD and that as smooth to acitvate and get setup. 

All in all, this is a decent teenage laptop actually, for schoolwork its got potential, for those art students the MX350 does kick in, for playing games it can do that smoothly if turned down settings but not too low. Content creation i would say is there with smooth recording from the cpature kit but rendering video will be a bit of a push to the CPU. 






All in all.

omracer's Rating: 7/10

The Good Points: 

  • Good value for money when on offer, normal price is a bit too steep.
  • Windows 10 included if you purchase the windows version
  • Feels casually fast for general use
  • Games can play at least 1080p 30fps on medium to high settings, maybe pushing near 60fps on older titles
  • Intel HEVC rendering is actually  not too slow using Vega Pro 15 Edit
  • This card record 1080p 60fps from a PS4 using a capture card or box via OBS Studio if running with nvidia graphics and x264 low preset for recoder 
  • Type C port
  • Easy to upgrade parts inside 

 

The Bad Points: 

  • The laptop is an import
  • The windows 10 Preinstalled on the computer is not got a UK keyboard layout, but product key works on reinstall of Windows 10 home UK english aka English international via usb drive. 
  • Nivida wanted to make money and life a misery due to no NVENC not being in the MX350 which is the GP107 cchip. 
  • HMRC customs fees might start to fe abused de to high import duties as of the time of this writing, 
  • The Bios is locked (stadnard) so the heating that goes along the bag might not vent properly. 

 

And there we have it, one review of a tool I've been using and will use alot more in the future, which another review i'm sorting uses this laptop for the testing and sorting out of Accounts for work which needs to be comfortable if i'm doing some caning from the week of this post ofhe tht time and holiday.

 

See you soon for some more posts of different things, reviews might not be until later on in Septemi ber after the streambox kit is done, Goose fair is cancelled so no reviews to appear from that this year. 

 

omracer