Xiaomi has announced that it will be releasing its first ever notebook and we can’t ignore that it looks remarkably like a Macbook.

Hell, even it’s name Mi Notebook Air is strikingly similar to that of a certain thin laptop from the Apple stable.

We’re used to Xiaomi manufacturing things such as rice cookers and air purifiers but a releasing a notebook seems like a big risk for the firm to take.

Only, it isn’t taking that big of a risk as it’s simply licensing out the Mi name. “The Mi Notebook Air is a “Mi Ecosystem” product made by a partner — in this case, it’s Tianmi which literally means “field rice,” reports Endgadet.

One for each eye

The Air will be available in two iterations, a 13.3inch and 12.5inch. Both versions will house Full HD displays, 1MP webcams, backlit keyboards and are thinner than a Macbook Air.

The 13.3inch version of the notebook will contain an Intel Core i5-6200U dual-core processor running at 2.3GHz. The processor pairs with an enormous 8GB of DDR4 memory.

There’s also an NVIDIA GeForce 940MX GPU with 1GB of GDDR5 RAM handling graphial duties.

Storage is taken care of by a 256GB PCIe drive and there is an additional SATA port though according to Engadget, Xiaomi will have to fit a drive into that port if you want one.

The 12.5inch model has even lower specs than the 13.3inch model. Rather than the Core i5 you instead get an Intel Core m3-6Y30 CPU operating at 1.1GHz (2.2GHz Turbo) which reminds us of a smartphone we used last year. Even the RAM is slower running 4GBs of the DDR3 variety.

Graphics in this iteration are integrated and use the Intel HD Graphics 515 processor.

Storage for the 12.5inch model is a 128GB SATA with the PCIe left open for expansion in the future. Once again, this will have to be done by Xiaomi.

Both versions of the notebook have USB Type C, USB 3.0, HDMI and 3.5mm audio ports. Wifi connectivity up to the 802.11ac standards are supports so at least your internet will be fast.

Perhaps the saving grace of these notebooks will be in the price.

While there is no word on local availability, the Mi Notebook Air 12.5inch will retail in China for $525 (R7 475,55) and the 13.3inch model will fetch $750 (R10 679,36).

We can expect these to cost a bit more when the arrive in South Africa but even if you’re aggressive in your estimations those are still pretty good value for money notebooks.

The Mi Notebook Air launches in China on 2nd August and once we know whether it will be coming to South Africa, we will be sure to let you know.

[Via – Engadget]


Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.