Xiaomi is a multi-billion-dollar company mainly known for their smartphones. They are the world’s fifth largest smartphone maker, and they mainly design, develop and sell smartphones, mobile apps, and other consumer related electronics. It is the world’s 4th most valuable technology start-up. The company has diversified its production and now offers numerous products. With that being said, all Xiaomi products are made with one ambitious goal in mind – to become the absolute leader in the niche that it has been designed for.
Last year, they launched the first Airline notebooks at 12 and 13 inches, and very few believed that they could compete with tech giants like Apple, Lenovo, Acer, and Asus. The Xiaomi Air laptops were very stylish laptops that were let down by a few design and component issues. Even still, it was a great first attempt by Xiaomi for people who want the Apple MacBook Air look, without paying the MacBook Air price.
Xiaomi is known for producing very nice looking and sleep smartphones, for not a lot of money. For example, the Mi5 was an excellent low cost option for those looking for a smartphone for not a lot of money. The Xiaomi Air 12 was being sold for about $590. This specific laptop catered to a Chinese audience, so everything is Chinese focused including the plug and even the accompanying books on how to use the device. The laptop currently comes with Windows 10 Home Edition.
The Xiaomi laptops were loved by many for its sleep design and cheap price. It is now the third in popularity to Apple and Lenovo. This is a great sign that Xiaomi should continue making laptops and making them with more enhanced models. There have also been rumors, back in January, about a possible Xiaomi Notebook Pro. It has also been leaked that the laptop will probably cost around $863. The Xiaomi Notebook Pro should be top of the line, at half the price.
On September 11, Xiaomi held a conference where is unleased three new and cool products the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 Mi Note 3, and the Xiaomi Notebook Pro. Many fans of the Xiaomi Notebook Pro knew that the new laptop would sport the latest 8th-gen Intel Core chips and would also have other amazing features. The Notebook Pro price starts at $860 US which is a lot cheaper than what they though the price was going to be given its amazing features.
The features, when looked at, show that this is one of the best laptops on the market today, and for a lot less money.
The Xiaomi notebooks are known to have a minimalistic design, similar to that of the Apple MacBook’s. Both the packaging and the laptop itself are both smooth and slim. Prior to the Pro being released, the Xiaomi Notebook Air 4G, it too had the sleek design that has been mimicked for the Pro.
The package comes in a white box with a photo of the laptop printed on top. The backside of the box has a sticker that has information about the spec of the laptop inside. Just like its predecessor, there is no logo on the notebook itself. Even though customers seem to love the Mi logo, the manufacturer decided against having it on the outside of the laptop.
When one first handles the laptop fresh out of the box, it feels like you are holding a different model of the Xiaomi Notebook Air. It has an all metal design with a very minimalistic approach to any and all design features. The color of the laptop can be described as dark grey, called “Deep Gray” by Xiaomi themselves. It is a nice contrast to what is typically on the market: silver brushed metal designs.
It is an almost perfect rectangular slab of metal, weighing in just under 2 kg with its dimensions being 360 x 244 x 155 mm making it not very portable; however, with an extremely large display it’s the price one has to pay. In comparison to the Mi Notebook Air, it is a thigh lighter and costs less. The biggest difference between the two are the size and fewer ports. On the Notebook Pro you get a single HDMI port, two USB Type-A connectors and an audio jack on the left side, with two USB Type-C ports, as well as an SD card reader located on the right hand side. It is important to note that one of the Type-C connectors is used for charging the device.
The power button is located at the top right-hand side of the laptop, similar to the MacBook Pro, not ideal, but still nice. It has a bright 15.6 inch display, which is covered by a Corning Gorilla Glass sheet. It is interesting this was chosen given that the screen is not a touch-screen. The screen display provides 1080p resolution, wide viewing angle, 5.2 mm narrow frame, and a screen ratio of up to 81.5%. It also sports a 72% NTSC color gamut.
Being that we are dealing with 15.6-inch laptop, it is no surprise that we are dealing with a full-sized keyboard. It comes with a great touch sensitive keypad and a responsive touchpad right below it. The key height has been increased to 1.5 mm. They keyboard is also of course backlit, and offers an on-off option. The touch pad is large, at 6 inches, and houses a fingerprint reader. It does not have the physical right and left buttons, which some users might find annoying.
On the keyboard, a cool trick is that one can click FN + ESC to lock the FN key when wanting to adjust brightness, sound, and other functions.
Under the Hood
- It has a Core i5-8250U quad core 3.4 GHz CPU
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX150; Intel UHD Graphics 620
- Camera: 1 MP front webcam
- Connectivity: 802.11 ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2
- Storage: 256 GB Samsung PM961 SSD
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4
- Battery: 61 Whr
Being that the laptop has an eight generation Intel chip, it would not be right to include that as a sticker on the interior of the laptop. It has four cores, either threads, a base frequency of 1.6 GHz and a turbo frequency of 3.4 GHz.
The previous model had been criticized for a shortage of interfaces, and it seems that the manufacturer has taken heed of this and has added too many super-modern ports onto the laptop.
The bottom of the laptop has five anti-skid pegs strategically placed on the four corners of the device, and one in between the two at the top. It also has two vent grills that go from either end of the laptop. There are two speaker holes placed on either side of the bottom panel. Where customers have complained about poor audio quality, no one can seem to find issue with this model. It sports Harman Infinity speakers with Dolby Atmos panoramic sound for headphones. When opened, the maximum opening angle is 140 degrees.
Usage and Performance
When used, the laptop performed like a Core i7 than a core i5 powered option, especially on heavy threaded applications like Cinebench where the extra grunt of a Nvidia discrete CPU came to be very useful. Its read and write speeds struggled in comparison to the Notebook Air 2017, even though they both had the Samsung PM961 NVMe SSD. Even with that, one will not see a big difference in performance doing tasks.
The 61 Whr 4-cell battery reached a good 7 hours and 22 minutes of usage time, which is slightly shorter than what the MacBook Pro can do, but still a lot better than most other Windows options.
With heavy usage, the laptop was quite loud, as expected when performing multiple tasks on a laptop. When the CPU/GPU get too hot, the two fans within the laptop kick in and make quite a bit of noise.
The keyboard and the touchpad are above average in my opinion. The keyboard offers great feedback as well as good travel, and the touchpad is sensitive and responds well to all finger gestures. Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier with such a great screen, it is a shame that the laptop is not touch screen enabled. However, it does sport a Full HD resolution and a 300-nit brightness, and it provides optimum performance levels for almost all tasks. The colors are vibrant, however, some customers may complain about the lower pixel density and sharpness associated with larger displays.
The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 can be compared to the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro, but it is a lot more expensive that it. It also has a weaker graphics subsystem. When compared to the MacBook Pro, it is not surprising that the Mac is the better computer, however, it performs just as well if not on par with its Apple counterpart. There are many similarities between the two, but one thing that can’t be prepared is the price.
The Xiaomi Notebook Pro is a great laptop for the price. It is a nice, sleep piece of technology and great for people not looking to spend a fortune on a laptop. One thing that people should realize however, is that most other laptop brands, especially Apple, can just take their laptops in a be in and out in a matter of a few hours. With this laptop, you will have to wait months for support and repairs if anything goes wrong with the device. While this laptop is not top of the line, it does hold its own in the technological world.