Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air Review

15 November, 2016 | Tigran
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air Review

Hello there and welcome to the new episode of FindPare.com Reviews! Today we got a special piece of technology, not a usual resident that you would expect. Laptop market seeing a significant changes every year. New CPU’s, new form factors like 2-in 1’s, convertibles, laptops with touch screens and so on. Even if the desktop market share is gradually shrinking, mobile solutions demonstrate a steady growth. Usually, mentioning laptops means speaking about a small, but highly competitive family of well-known and established brands. HP, Dell, Apple, Lenovo, and Acer dominate mainstream market. Niche markets like gaming stations are taken by MSI, Razer, Alienware (Dell).  Nothing strange is going on here. Oh, wait, there is.

Please welcome a new, but surprisingly promising newcomer, Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air.

Many of us are well familiar with Xiaomi. Incredible Chinese designer and manufacturer of smartphones, smart accessories, home appliances. Xiaomi’s strategy is brutally simple, yet working perfectly like an old Volvo engine. They design and produce globally competitive products, yet keeping the prices below average. But the enter to the high risk and “show no mercy” market of laptops was the managerial decision that even other big players would think twice. Important point to focus on consumer behaviour, when the purchase process is starting. Majority will start to ask friends and colleagues, research on the web and read the reviews. And mostly end up to the mainstream brands that are well familiar, finally everybody is happy. However, what if we tell you that you can get an Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air  with fast CPU, dedicated graphics card and excellent screen for around $800, which is 30 to 40% cheaper from market average. So today we are going to tell you more about a promising newcomer.

To start, let’s have a look on a specifications

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air Specifications

General

Brand

Xiaomi

Model

Mi Notebook Air

Shell Material

Metal

Display

Screen Size

13.3 Inch (16 : 9)

Flame Size

5.59mm

Screen Resolution

1920 x 1080 (166 ppi)

System

Operating System

Windows 10 Home

CPU

Intel Core i5 6200U, Dual Core, 2.7GHz max

GPU

NVIDIA Geforce GT 940MX (1G GDDR5 graphics, 5GHz frequency)

External Memory

Reserved M.2 SATA SSD card slot for external storage expansion

Communication

WiFi Connectivity

Intel 2x2 dual antennas, support 2.4Ghz and 5GHz;
802.11 ac, compatible with 802.11 b/g/n;
Speed up to 867Mbps max

Bluetooth

Yes, V4.1

HDMI

Yes

Camera

Front 1.0MP (Support 1280 x 720 video talking)

Interfaces

Interfaces

1 x USB-C slot, 2 x USB 3.0 slots, 1 x HDMI slot, 1 x 3.5mm earphone jack

Other Features

Sensor

G-sensor

Languages

Chinese

Keyboard

Full size backlight keyboard, 1.3mm key process, 3nit brightness. Glass touch panel.

Power

Battery Type

4cell Li-ion polymer battery, 40Wh

Power Device Type

AC Adapter, 100-240V

Charging Voltage

Support 1C QC

Dimension & Weight

Product Size

309.6mm*210.9mm*14.8mm

Package Size

375mm*115mm*285mm

Net Weight

1.28kg

Package Weight

About 2.5kg

Package Contents

1 x Mi Notebook

1 x Charger (A right plug of adapter will be sent as your shipping country)

1 x User Manual

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air CPU Performance

Here we have a classic example of 5th generation Skylake CPU 6200U. This processor model is characterized by low power consumption while demonstrating an outstanding performance for its class. Xiaomi introduced this laptop as a stylish ultrabook. Thin, compact, with long battery life and capable of doing medium load tasks without any lags. This choice is perfectly legitimate. As we already mentioned above, other market niches like gaming rigs and convertibles already filled with many offers from different brands. Some of you may argue, that ultrabook division may also offer vast choice. However, show us an ultrabook in this price category (do they even exist?) with dedicated graphics card inside.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook perfomance

In terms of productivity, do not worry about any daily tasks, web surfing, watching movies and running Office Suite. Even more demanding applications like Adobe Photoshop and After Effects run smoothly on this machine. Of course rendering complicated scenes will take some time, but nothing no worry about considering the mobility focused CPU. Heavy tasks usually require some heat to make things run, and here is where a lot of laptops require an extra attention. Even if overheating is not an issue anymore, continuous overload may affect the temperature of chassis. Xiaomi, as they usually do, spent considerate amount of time designing the cooling system and made sure that heavy video editing sessions will run without any uncomfortable heat and noise.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air cooling

The only open question here is whether Xiaomi rushed to introduce its laptop ahead of Christmas season by putting Skylake chips, or it would be a better to wait couple of months to introduce with newly released Kaby Lake CPU”s.

Graphic Performance of Xiaomi Mi Notebok Air

Here we arrived at the sweet spot. When Intel announced the development of the ultra books, a new class of laptops, and the accent was focused on bringing thin, lightweight laptop solutions with long battery life.  They never mentioned or prioritized the graphical aspect, as it was left to other subclass. So seeing that someone is brave enough to squeeze a dedicated graphics card in to an ultrabook is clearly welcoming. Well, no one is talking about high-end units like 970M or GTX1060, but appearance of 940MX is quite a surprise. Not only overall system is working more quick, but also you can even run some non-demanding games on Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air.

Xiaomi Mi notebook air gaming

 

xiaomi mi notebook air fps

Do not expect running GTA V on ultra setting at 60fps, but Xiaomi’s ultrabook is capable of running Counter Strike series and similar games at comfortable playable frame rates without sacrificing a lot of quality settings. 940MX is also responsible for your image and video editing tasks, so you can do your magic on Photoshop while projecting everything on external monitor connected by either HDMI or trendy USB type C.

While speaking of the ports, let us show you what Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air got.

xiaomi mi notebook air ports

The new trend supposes the usage of minimum inputs. This is done in first place to make Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air thinner, as well as get rid of ports that are rarely used, especially while travelling or using outside. Here on the left side we have HDMI port for all our media consumption needs. Connect to big TV, or attach second monitor for extra convenience.  Next comes high speed USB 3.0 port and 3.5mm headphone / mic port. On the right there is only 2 ports available. Again USB 3.0 for fast data transfer and USB Type C, which is primarily designed to connect the charger. But there is enough juice in Xioami Mi Notebook Air, you can connect additional monitor or charge your new Android phone Type C socket. That’s all, no more LAN port, legacy DVI for additional USB’s here. Don’t forget that we are talking about ultrabook class, where fewer ports considered a new trend now.

Xioami Mi Notebook Air Display

Equipped with 13.3-inch Full HD display, this laptop demonstrates outstanding picture quality. As always, these guys haven’t went cheap and installed Samsung panel. All display is covered by synthetic sapphire, which not only protects against scratches, but also helps to deliver sharp and crisp image. Xiaomi used special laminated technology between the display layers to further minimize the thickness of the panel.

xiaomi mi notebook air review display

LED backlight technology combined with IPS matrix delivers great viewing angles and bright vivid colours even under the sunlight. Here is an example of differnet angles of the display:

xiaomi mi notebook air angles

 

We can certainly say that Xiaomi’s display quality and response time is on par with famous models as Dell XPS 13 and MacBook Air.

Xioami Mi Notebook Air Storage

Speaking about the storage, here again Xiaomi went with the trusted partner, Samsung, with installed 256Gb SSD drive. Compared to traditional HDD’s Solid State Drives (SSD) work much faster, without noise and not afraid of sudden drops. For storage maniacs and HD movie database collectors Xiaomi added an empty SSD slot, so you can easily add another compact storage.

xiaomi mi notebook air storage review

Xioami Mi Notebook Air Battery

To manage the “life without power socket”, Xiaomi packed 4 cell 40w per hour battery. Interesting part is that they did not pack generic battery here, but rather went with LG battery solution. While competitors tend to have more capacitive batteries, Xiaomi did a great job on optimising the system. You will get around 7 hours of comfortable web surfing with medium brightness settings and Wi-Fi ON. In case of movies, 5 hours of battery is expected with above average brightness and HD quality.

Conclusion

Xiaomi surprised the whole industry with the enter to the laptop market, and honestly shook the things a bit. Priced way below the market average reserved price for ultrabooks combined with powerful internals gave them clear competitive advantage. Xiaomi is planning to roll out Mi Notebook Air in China first, then slowly commence global sales with MSRP of $800. We can forgive them the use of Skylake CPU as they managet to perfectly optimize the whole system to run smoothly and take on even demanding tasks like editing and non-demanding gaming.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air Review
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