After becoming a hit with the masses due to its budget smartphone offerings — and killer ones at that — including today’s Redmi Pro release, Xiaomi is now stepping foot into a newer product category with the launch of its first ever laptop line-up. And boy their pricing team hasn’t changed in years !
At a launch event in Beijing, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer today surprised (even after insistent leaks) the people with the launch of its laptop — Mi Notebook Air — running Windows 10. The Mi Notebook Air will be available for sale in two display sizes, one powerful 13.3-inch model and another lighter and portable 12.5-inch model.
Both laptops in the Mi Notebook Air line-up feature a 1080p HD display with slim bezels that are packed under the glass. The thin bezels, however, are still able to fit in a small 1-megapixel webcam on the front. The metallic finish of the laptop, which also hosts a backlit keyboard, a USB Type-C charging port gives it a premium feel, very much alike Apple’s Macbook. And don’t panic, the laptop also hosts two USB ports unlike the Macbook which just has one Type-C port for all needs, including charging.
An of course, since the Mi Notebook Air is quite similar in looks and feel to the Macbook Air that Xiaomi itself could keep mum on comparing itself with the same. The new laptop offerings weigh around 1.28kg and are also just 14.8mm thick, which is thinner and lighter than the 13-inch Macbook Air.
While being clad in an aluminum outer shell, the device lacks any external logos or branding on the back. You will notice the ‘Mi’ sybmol only when you open up the laptop. Also to add to your knowledge, Xiaomi might be selling the Mi Notebook Air line-up under its own branding, but the laptops have actually been manufactured by a partner company called ‘Tian Mi‘.
Let’s take a look at the internal specifications of the two laptop models, before looking at the too-good-to-be-true price tag.
The 13.3-inch Mi Notebook Air is packed with an Intel Core i5-6200U processor, which can be clocked upto 2.7 Ghz. It is powered by an 8GB DDR4 RAM and comes with 256GB PCIe SSD on-board storage, with an expandable SSD slot(serviced by Xiaomi). The graphic requirements are fulfilled by a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce 940MX GPU, paired with 1GB DDR5 RAM. The 40Wh battery will last you for a good 9.5 hours — as promised by the company — but it can also be charged from 0 to 50 in just half an hour using the USB Type-C charger, bundled with the same.
The smaller 12.5-inch model is even lighter and thinner than its big 13.3-inch brother, but you would have to compromise on the internal specifications on this one. It is powered by an Intel Core M3 CPU, and no dedicated graphics card(no word on Internal graphics) and a measly 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD. Instead of two USB ports, you will have access to just one, including an additional HDMI port on this one. But, the lacking specifications and features add upto about a 2 hour increase in battery life.
Now, coming to the most important thing that you’ve been waiting to know — price. The smaller and lighter 12.5-inch Mi Notebook Air will be available to purchase at 3,499 RMB(around $550), while the flagship 13.3-inch Mi Notebook Air will go on sale on for a hefty price of 4,999 RMB(around $750).
Both models will go on sale in China on 2nd August, and there’s currently no information on the global availability of these affordable and feature-packed laptops. But, we hope that these will surely make their way to India and other developing countries in a time span of two to three months tops. These Windows 10 powered laptops could be a game-changer for Xiaomi, who is trying to become a part of every connect household in China.