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This article was published on July 27, 2016

Xiaomi’s getting into the laptop game with its $750 MacBook Air clone

Xiaomi’s getting into the laptop game with its $750 MacBook Air clone
Abhimanyu Ghoshal
Story by

Abhimanyu Ghoshal

Managing Editor

Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and culture. Hit him up on Twitter, or write in: [email protected].

Chinese hardware giant Xiaomi already makes smartphones, TVs, air purifiers and fitness trackers. It’s now entering the laptop market with the Mi Notebook Air.

The new laptop doesn’t just sound like the MacBook Air, it also bears a striking resemblance to the latter. But Xiaomi says the 13.3-inch version of its new product is 13 percent thinner than Apple’s popular notebook, and 11 percent smaller overall.

The Windows 10-based machine features an Intel Core i5-6200U 2.7 GHz processor paired with 8GB RAM, an Nvidia GeForce 940MX dedicated graphics card and 256GB of SSD storage. It comes with a Full HD display and a full keyboard with individual backlit keys.

It’s available in gold and silver finishes, and the all-metal body weighs 2.82 lbs (1.28kg) – a tad more than the 2.38 lbs MacBook Air – and Xiaomi says it’ll last up to 9.5 hours on a single charge. You can juice it up via the USB Type-C port to 50 percent capacity in just 30 minutes. There are also HDMI and USB 3.0 slots for additional peripherals.

Mi Notebook Air body

You can also opt for the smaller 12.5-inch version that weighs 2.36 lbs and can run for 11.5 hours. This variant comes with an Intel Core M3 processor with integrated graphics, 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD.

Those specifications certainly sound great, and the price sweetens the deal even further: the 13-inch version will cost 4,999 yuan ($750) while the 12.5-inch variant will be available for 3,499 yuan ($525) when they go on sale starting August 2. The bad news? CNET says these laptops will only be sold in China.

It’ll be interesting to see how these notebooks fare in benchmarking tests in the coming days and weeks. Xiaomi has built a reputation as being capable of delivering high-quality products at a low price; hopefully its foray into laptops will see the company follow that philosophy and eventually bring them to more markets across the globe.

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