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Xiaomi’s latest premium máy tính suffers from one flaw

ByDesire Athowlast updated 21 April 2020


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The Xiaomi mi Notebook Air is a fantastic máy tính xách tay let down only by its battery life & the lack of an SD card reader.

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The Xiaomi mày Notebook Air is a fantastic máy tính let down only by its battery life and the lack of an SD thẻ reader.


The 3rd-generation of Xiaomi’s Mi máy tính xách tay Air (or mày Notebook Air, depending on where you buy the portable) has landed in a bid to outclass the growing legion of premium Windows laptops that aspire to lớn be the best alternative lớn Apple’s apple macbook Air or even the macbook Pro.


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Where to buy?

US online retailer, Newegg, sent us the xiaomi mi Mi máy vi tính Air 13.3 sample, but doesn’t sell the notebook yet.


Just bear in mind that the Air is all but a clone of these two aforementioned laptops, despite the name used.

These machines come not only from established players (the Dell XPS 13, the HP Spectre 13 or the Lenovo Yoga 920) but also from up-and-coming vendors such as Microsoft with its Surface Book 2, Huawei (and its MateBook X) and – wait for it – even Honor with the MagicBook. So will mi manage to up the ante with the Mi laptop Air 13.3 2018 edition? Let’s find out.


Design

Xiaomi used the same kiến thiết for its Mi máy vi tính Air as the previous generation. Well, there’s no need to lớn change a winning formula, plus the savings involved in not redesigning a new sản phẩm can be passed on to lớn customers (or indeed used to increase margins).



There’s still no logo on the cover of the máy tính xách tay Air – you can find a stylized ‘MI’ logotype underneath the laptop, but that’s it.


Xiaomi is still using the minimalist thiết kế which has become a signature feature: the laptop has a brushed metal finish, an all-metal enclosure, sharper-than-average edges & an evident disregard for super-thin designs.



There are no visual tricks khổng lồ shave a few millimeters off the spec sheet, and no tapered profile/wedge as seen on the laptop macbook Air.

As with táo laptops, there’s a chamfered cut & a centrally located hinge that link the base to the display. Flip the machine upside down và you’ll discover five rubber feet and six screws that keep the base together. The three grills for the downward-firing speakers are still present, which also facilitate cooling.

The máy tính is available in silver or dark gray colors, either with an Intel vi xử lý core i7-8550U or bộ vi xử lý core i5-8250U, the two being identical except for the base/maximum CPU speed và processor cache.



While the máy vi tính has exactly the same dimensions as its predecessor, the 2018 version is ever so slightly lighter by about 20g, which allows it khổng lồ dip below the 1.3kg mark (both models are shown next to lớn each other in the above và below images – the lighter colored mã sản phẩm is the 2017 incarnation of the notebook). The power nguồn supply unit still weighs 223g.



Open the máy vi tính and you will discover a sizeable display with an oleophobic glass overlay which encourages the user to touch the screen, only lớn be disappointed when nothing happens. No, the Air doesn’t bởi touch, which is sad to lớn say the least. A matte finish would have been better.


There are five ports in all. You’ve got an HDMI connector (a rarity on thin laptops), USB 3.0 port & earphone jack on one side, along with a USB 3.0 và USB Type-C on the other. The latter also doubles as the power nguồn port (so you can’t use it when plugged into the mains). There’s also a tiny status light that turns red when the PSU is plugged in to lớn let you know that it’s charging.


Spec Sheet

Here is the xiaomi Mi máy tính Air 13.3 configuration sent khổng lồ minhmangreen.com Pro for review:

CPU: Intel vi xử lý core i5-8250U quad-core 1.6GHz

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX150; hãng sản xuất intel UHD Graphics 620

RAM: 8GB DDR4

Screen: 13.3-inch 1920 x 1080 resolution

Storage: 256GB SSD

Ports: 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB Type-C, audio jack, HDMI

Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, công nghệ bluetooth không dây 4.2

Camera: 1MP front webcam

Weight: 1.29kg

Size: 310 x 210 x 11.6mm (W x D x H)

Battery: 37Whr


Specifications

The aforementioned drop in weight compared khổng lồ the predecessor model might be down to lớn the fact that the battery used here is a tiny bit smaller (37Whr as opposed khổng lồ 39.2Whr).

The other main difference is the use of the newer vi xử lý core i5-8250U processor which was announced last year, và has now been superseded by the 8265U which doesn’t bring much lớn the table other than a higher maximum turbo frequency.

For the rest of the spec, the key components (memory, communications, graphics & system storage) remain the same. The PM961 NVMe SSD is still rapid enough for most tasks & even though it has been succeeded by the PM981, the differences between the two remain negligible (except in terms of random write speeds).

The GeForce MX150 GPU is still there largely due to lớn the fact that Nvidia hasn’t released a successor. Another option might have been khổng lồ use the Ryzen 5 2500U with Vega 8 graphics, which other laptops lượt thích the Honor MagicBook have adopted, although you’d thua thảm the extra dedicated 2GB GDDR5 memory.

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Note that there are two memory slots, one of which is populated by a lonely memory module. Performance can be boosted by adding another memory module lớn enable dual-channel bandwidth gains.


Benchmarks

Here’s how the xiaomi Mi máy tính xách tay Air 13.3 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

Passmark: 3787

Passmark CPU: 7496

CPU-Z: 389 (single-thread); 1943 (multi-thread)

Geekbench: 3870 (single-core); 12219 (multi-core); 17300 (compute)

Cinebench: OpenGL: 78.81 fps; CPU: 552

CrystalDiskMark: 3285MBps (read); 1142MBps (write)

Novabench: 1606

Atto: 2975MBps (read, 256mb); 1148MBps (write, 256mb)

Windows Experience Index: 5.6


Usage & performance

This is the international version of the Xiaomi máy vi tính which means that it has a proper international Windows 10 home edition, which received relevant system & security updates without issues.

Single-core performance was roughly on par with last year’s máy vi tính which contains a 7th-generation intel CPU with a much higher base frequency. Where the 2018 edition shone was in multi-core tests where the four cores delivered some cracking scores.

The 13.3-inch Full HD IPS display is protected by glass made of sapphire và delivers bright, crisp pictures with good viewing angles & decent saturation levels. However, the glossy finish makes it near impossible lớn read in bright sunlight, which is a shame.

Last year’s complaint about a noisy tín đồ no longer holds as the device was relatively quiet during our benchmarks, only briefly firing up under taxing loads, partly due to a much lower CPU base clock speed & an upgraded cooling system.

Battery life is below average at 4 hours 15 minutes, which is barely acceptable even for a laptop with a dedicated GPU – and notably less than half the 9.5 hours claimed by Xiaomi.


Subjectively, the keyboard rates on a par with the likes of the Dell XPS 13. There’s less spacing between the chiclet keys but they are bigger (at 16mm) than the ones on the aforementioned Dell laptop. There’s a decent spring to lớn the keys with good travel and no flex.

As with its predecessor, the function keys on this máy tính xách tay are about half the kích cỡ of the normal alphabetical keys. The power button is located on the đứng top right-hand side of the notebook. The keyboard is backlit but doesn’t offer a middling ‘medium’ light setting – it’s basically on or off.

The touchpad is generously sized at 110 x 67mm – it has no physical button and comes with an integrated fingerprint scanner located on the đứng đầu right.

The fingerprint reader worked flawlessly và the sound quality of the four AKG speakers represents one of the better audio experiences we’ve heard on a thin-and-light laptop. Note that there’s no memory thẻ slot which may put off some potential buyers.


The competition

The international version of this laptop has yet to lớn be sold outside of trung quốc at the time of writing, so we have to lớn rely on the pricing of the likes of Gearbest where the máy tính is on sale for $760 before any taxes that may be levied by HMRC or the courier companies on behalf of the vendor. So what alternatives currently exist?

The HP Pavilion x360 14-cd0008na comes with the same CPU và a similar feature phối minus the dedicated graphics card. You vì get a touchscreen display, a convertible form factor, a thẻ reader, a localized keyboard, a bigger battery và an optional 3-year care pack with pickup and return service. At just under £629 (around $820) at the time of writing, it is a better khuyễn mãi giảm giá if you don’t need graphical grunt.

The Lenovo IdeaPad 530S comes very close lớn the Mi máy tính Air, at least on paper. It has a slightly bigger form factor (14-inch display), tips the scales at a hefty 1.5kg, has an AMD Ryzen CPU with Vega 8 GPU, but it is also cheaper at £599 (around $780) và has a localized keyboard.

At just £599 (around $780), the Dell Inspiron 13 5000 máy tính xách tay adopts the same phối of components as its main competitors but is pegged at a much lower price point. It doesn’t come with a fingerprint reader or a discrete GPU, although you will be able to upgrade the machine khổng lồ a whopping 32GB of memory.

Another alternative is the PC Specialist Lafite III. It has no discrete GPU but can be configured khổng lồ your needs & budget via a simple drop-down menu. As such it doesn’t have the same màn chơi of integration as the xiaomi mi Mi máy vi tính Air 13.3, but it is the only alternative here that can offer up to lớn 32GB of memory with a 2TB SSD in a thin khung factor – albeit at a cost.


Should businesses buy the xiaomi mi Mi máy vi tính Air 13.3 (2018) laptop?

It is worth noting that this máy tính xách tay was launched at the beginning of the year in đài loan trung quốc and has only just been released globally, with wider availability likely khổng lồ be coming towards black Friday 2018.

As with its predecessor, the xiaomi Mi máy vi tính Air 13.3 (2018) is not intrinsically a bad product. Yes, one might question the benefit of adding a dedicated graphics thẻ to a laptop that’s not gaming oriented. The same goes for the debatable addition of a glossy glass overlay on a screen that’s not supposed lớn be touched.

Other than that, the only deal-breaker for us remains the poor battery life, which at less than five hours is far from what we’ve come khổng lồ expect in the world of premium laptops.

Business users will appreciate the conservative thiết kế of the notebook which is devoid of any flashy elements. Also worth mentioning is the fingerprint reader, as well as the unique of the keyboard, which, once we’d got used to lớn the Enter key, proved khổng lồ be quite a hit.


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Managing Editor, minhmangreen.com Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in trang web building và web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue & started writing about the impact of công nghệ on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Then followed a weekly tech column in a local business magazine in Mauritius, a late night tech radio programme called Clicplus và a freelancing gig at the now-defunct, Theinquirer, with the legendary Mike Magee as mentor. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global techfests, Désiré now heads up minhmangreen.com Pro. He has an affinity for anything hardware and staunchly refuses lớn stop writing đánh giá of obscure products or cover niche B2B software-as-a-service providers.