Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air Crams Core i5 And GeForce 940MX Into A $750, 13.3-inch Frame

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Xiaomi is stepping into the laptop arena for the very first time, and its new Mi Notebook Air series is a strong entry into a very competitive market. Xiaomi, which is mostly known for its feature-packed and affordable smartphones, is using that same formula with its 13.3-inch and 12.5-inch laptops.

The 13.3-inch Mi Notebook Air ships with a 1080p display, an Intel Core i5-6200U processor, 8GB RAM, a discrete NVIDIA GeForce 940MX GPU and a 256GB SSD. A smaller 12.5-inch model comes with an Intel Core m3 processor, 4GB RAM, integrated Intel graphics and a 128GB SSD. It also retains a 1080p screen resolution.

Both laptops feature an internal slot to accept an additional SSD, but it can only be serviced by Xiaomi (unless you want to void your warranty). The larger laptop features a single USB-C port for charging, two standard USB 3.0 ports, and an HDMI port. The smaller laptop also includes a USB-C charging port and an HDMI port, but only has room for one standard USB 3.0 port.

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Both Mi Notebook Air models have an aluminum unibody design, and both are thinner and lighter than their respective Apple MacBook Air equivalents. The 13.3-inch model is rated for 9.5 hours of battery life, which is to be expected given its upgraded graphics muscle, while the smaller 12.5-inch model — with its integrated graphics — manages to extend runtimes to 11.5 hours.

As for pricing, the 13.3-inch Mi Notebook Air is priced at around $750, while its little brother features a $525 price tag. Each slots in well below pricing for the MacBook Air, which hasn’t seen any meaningful updates in years and is still saddled with a non-Retina 1440x900 display (1366x768 on the 11-inch model).

The bad news is that the Mi Notebook Air series for now is a China-only affair, with sales kicking off in that country on August 2nd. We can only hope that Xiaomi has plans for at least a limited global rollout so that U.S. consumers can get a taste of what the company has to offer in the laptop space.