Xiaomi has revealed their first laptop. Like the mobile handsets that rocketed the brand to cult status, it’s cheap, simple and looks a hell of a lot like an Apple.
The Mi Notebook Air (yes – Air), makes no secret of which consumers they are looking to target, those with not enough coin to buy a MacBook Air. The laptop comes in two sizes, 13.3-inch and 12.5-inch with a Windows OS and a very familiar metal shell with full-HD display.
All credit to Xiaomi, the company has capitalized on Apple’s brand-power in China to make budget products for the local Chinese market that generally exceed expectations in terms of performance, and there’s no law against that.
The use of Windows is also a smart choice for the company. In Beijing’s western districts there’s a number of merchants who specialize in replacing Apple operating systems for Chinese consumers who prefer a Windows experience with the status of an Apple device.
The laptop will retail for 3599 yuan (about $540 USD), for the smaller model and 4,999 ($750 USD). Like its Apple counterpart, the Mi Notebook Air features a full-sized keyboard with backlit keys. It comes in silver as well as gold, which has also proved a popular color option for the MacBook Air in China.
The Mi Notebook Air will go on sale in China on August 2, and like other Xiaomi products will likely sell through periodic flash sales. For those outside China, it’s not worth holding your breath. Xiaomi has only released a handful of products to western markets, and they are usually the ones that pose no issues in terms of patent suits and marketing costs.
Here are some of the more detailed Mi Notebook Air specs released by Xiaomi:
Size: 306.9 mm x 210.9 mm x 14.8 mm (13.3-inch)
Price: $750 USD ($540 for smaller model)
Processor: Intel Core i5 Processor (Intel Core M3 for smaller model)
RAM: 8GB DDR4 (4GB for smaller model)
Drive: 256GB PCIe SSD (128GB for smaller model)
USB: 2 USB slots plus type-C USB charging