Code Bytes: Xiaomi, a company best known for its pocket-friendly powerhouse phones, has dipped its feet into the laptop game again, having followed up last year’s Mi Notebook Air with the Mi Notebook Pro.

Xiaomi has another laptop out today. Along with the Mi Note 3 and the Mi Mix 2, the company has also unveiled the Mi Notebook Pro, a laptop that succeeds the company’s Mi Notebook that was launched last year. For now the Mi Notebook Pro, announced at an event in Beijing, is specific to China. But it is possible that Xiaomi may bring it to other markets, including India although last year the Mi Notebook didn’t launch here.

The Mi Notebook Pro has pretty solid specs. It packs a 15.6-inch display with narrow bezels (and thankfully the webcam is tucked away on top, rather than in some bottom corner). Under the hood, you’ll find a current-gen quad-core i7, up to 16GB of RAM, up to 1TB of SSD storage, and Nvidia’s new Geforce MX 150 chip.

 The Geforce MX 150 is essentially a more powerful alternative to Intel’s integrated graphics, with Nvidia claiming its four times as capable as the last-generation Intel HD Graphics 520. So, while the Mi Notebook Pro won’t let you play Destiny 2 on full whack, it should be able to handle some CS:GO or DoTA admirably.

Port wise, it comes with two USB-C ports, two regular USB ports, a 3-in-1 card reader, and a full-sized HDMI port. For authentication purposes, there’s a fingerprint sensor built into the wide, precision trackpad.And while looks don’t matter as much as cold, hard specs, it’s worth pointing out that the Mi Notebook Pro is an attractive piece of kit. But then again, it bears more than a passing resemblance to the MacBook Pro, wouldn’t you agree?

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro with 8th-gen Core i7 CPU launched, hopes to beat MacBook Pro

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro

Xiaomi has another laptop out today. Along with the Mi Note 3 and the Mi Mix 2, the company has also unveiled the Mi Notebook Pro, a laptop that succeeds the company’s Mi Notebook that was launched last year. For now the Mi Notebook Pro, announced at an event in Beijing, is specific to China. But it is possible that Xiaomi may bring it to other markets, including India although last year the Mi Notebook didn’t launch here.

The Mi Notebook Pro comes packed with state-of-the-art technology and has a slick design that should help it compete with other Windows laptops as well the Apple MacBook Pro. Although just like the Mi Notebook last year, this time around to Xiaomi seems to have used a TN screen, which has poorer colour reproduction and viewing angles compared to the IPS screens, on the Mi Notebook Pro. Although most Windows laptops, and even the MacBook Air, use TN screens, the Apple MacBook Pro uses IPS display.

Other than the screen, the hardware inside the Mi Notebook Pro seems very impressive. Unlike the Mi Notebook, the Pro variant has a bigger 15.6-inch screen. Although it retains the Gorilla Glass 3 layer on top of the screen, which makes it somewhat unique in the world of laptops.


Mi Notebook Pro top specs and features

— The Mi Notebook Pro is powered by 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor. This is unlocked processor (although unlocked is not going to be all that useful in a laptop) and can run with turbo speed of up to 4GHz. The Mi Notebook Pro is one of the first laptops to come with this processor.

—  The laptop uses two fans for cooling. Xiaomi says that the new cooling system moves around 40 per cent more air in the Mi Notebook Pro. Let’s hope it doesn’t make much noise.

— The Mi Notebook Pro comes with a 15.6-inch screen, topped with a Gorilla Glass 3 layer. The screen has a colour gamut (the amount of colours it can show) of 72 per cent of NTSC colour space. In other words pretty decent but it uses TN panel, which is common in laptops but not as good as IPS displays now found in high-end laptops like MacBook Pro.

— The Mi Notebook Pro has an all-metal chassis, similar to the MacBook Pro. It also has a large touchpad and a full-size keyboard. The laptop weighs 1.9kg.

Based on the design, specs, and name (which is as subtle as a punch in the jaw), Xiaomi is blatantly targeting people that would typically buy a MacBook Pro. It’s priced at 6399 Chinese yuan ($980), which is roughly half what the entry-level 15-inch MacBook Pro runs for ($1999).

Unfortunately, as was the case with the Mi Notebook Air, Xiaomi is only selling this in China — at least at first. That means if you want to get your hands on one, you’ll either have to book a weekend break to Beijing, or hit up one of the ubiquitous resalers of Chinese gear, like GearBest or BangGood.