Well, that took us by surprise. Xiaomi, after announcing a Redmi phone with dual cameras, did its own version of Apple’s “one more thing” — it launched a 13.3-inch laptop that looks like a MacBook Air. No, seriously.
Named the Mi Notebook Air, it adopts the clean lines, aluminum body, and backlit, full-sized keyboard of its Apple counterpart. However, it is 13 percent thinner at 14.8mm and 11 percent smaller. And while the MacBook Air costs as high as $1,199, Xiaomi’s first laptop retails at only 4,999 yuan or about $750.
The Mi Notebook Air already comes with an Nvidia GeForce 940MX dedicated graphics card for faster graphics processing and ultimately, overall computer performance, something which the MacBook Air and most other ultraportables can’t claim.
Underneath the hood is an Intel Core i5 processor with an 8GB DDR4 RAM, a 256 PCIe SSD, and an expandable SSD slot for when you want more storage.
It runs Windows 10 and ships with Mi Cloud Sync pre-installed, so you can easily sync your phone contacts, photos, and other files. When paired with the company’s Mi Band 2 wearable device, it will automatically unlock when you are near. Cool, yes?
This is classic Xiaomi — throw in high specs and many features into the plate and make the price palatably low. In this case, the SRP can go as low as 3,599 yuan or around $540 if you don’t mind getting the 12.5-inch version with an Intel Core M3 processor with integrated graphics, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB SATA SSD.
The upside to that is the smaller model’s 11.5 hours of battery life. The higher-end version can only run 9.5 hours in between charges.
It remains to be seen whether Xiaomi’s foray into the notebook market pays off, especially since the outlook for the global PC market — including the one in China, where the Mi Notebook Air will be available starting August 2 — is not exactly rosy.