Xiaomi Mi Laptop Air review: Ultra light with all the trimmings

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By Paisal Chuenprasaeng
The Nation Weekend

The new Xiaomi Mi Laptop Air performs all the tasks you need of it and much more besides

A NEW ultra-light notebook computer that packs a powerful punch, the Xiaomi Mi Laptop Air 13.3” will look good on any desk thanks to a sleek dark grey magnesium-alloy body that’s a mere 14.8 mm thick. The 13.3-inch Gorilla-glass laminated Full HD display has narrow bezels of only 5.59 mm, contributing to the laptop’s high screen ratio of 80.1 per cent and enhancing its premium look and feel.

The display has 1920×1080 pixels resolution with pixel depth of 166 pp and boasts a 170-degree viewing angle, meaning that you can see what’s on the screen no matter where you’re standing. Brightness is good too, with 300 nits and a high 800:1 contrast ratio.

And despite being ultra-light, its graphics performance is not compromised as the Mi Air uses NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card with 2 gigabytes of GDDR5 dedicated video memory rather than graphic power embedded in the chipset and having to share the main memory for the graphics display.

Performance-wise, the Mi Air gets it power from Intel’s latest processor, the 8th Generation Kaby Lake-Refresh Core i5-8250U with a clock speed of 1.6 GHz and maximum speed of up to 3.4 GHz. Adding to its impressive performance is an 8 GB DDR4 working memory or RAM running at 2.4 GHz and superfast 256GB SSD storage. The laptop also comes with an expandable SSD slot if you want to increase the storage capacity. Using an SSD drive enhances its performance because the PCIe SSD used by Mi Air is three times faster that the SATA hard drive widely used in laptops.

The fast quad-core processor, fast and high capacity of RAM and fast storage plus fast graphics translate into an impressive performance for an ultra-light laptop.

Moreover, the Mi Air comes with a fast wireless connection 802.11ac 2×2 Wireless AC adapter. The laptop has the ports you need –a USB-C, two USB 3.0s, one HDMI port and one 3.5mm headphone jack.

The USB-C port is mainly for charging the laptop but can also used simultaneously for data transfer with an optional dock attaining a transfer speed of 5 GB/s. With the high data transfer speed and optional dock and cables, you can output the display to 4K, thus allowing you to use the laptop as a movie player for your large 4K TV.

The Mi Air also has good sound quality whether you’re watching movies or listening to music. That sound quality is achieved by incorporating two 2W custom speakers developed by AKG and adopting Dolby Audio Premium Surround Sound technology. The Dolby Audio allows you to select preset sound settings of Dynamic, Movie, Music, Game and Voice and personalise your own sound setting by adjusting the equaliser.

The Mi Air laptop runs on easy-to-use Windows 10 Home operating system with Cortana, Microsoft’ personal digital assistant that allows you to use voice command to interact with the notebook computer.

During my test, Cortana guided me step by step through how to set up the laptop for first use.

I found that the Mi Air handled business applications, like Microsoft Word, fast and smoothly. Microsoft Edge web browser also ran fast and smoothly.

Photos editing and video rendering was speedy too thanks to its dedicated graphics adapter and video memory.

Video clips also ran fast and beautifully on the 13-inch display and the games had no glitches.

The backlit keyboard was responsive and easy to type on.

And the Mi Air comes with a large Windows precision glass touchpad (110 x 67mm) that feels smooth to the touch and supports multi-touch gestures for swift and precise controls.

What I liked most was the fingerprint scanner, which is integrated with the touchpad’s top right corner. Cortana guided me to scan my fingerprint that allows quick unlock of the laptop.

The Mi Air has good battery life with about nine hours of online video playback, 7.5 hours of local video playback, and 7.5 hours of web browsing. It uses a 40Wh high-density lithium polymer battery.

The battery charger is not large and can be carried along with the laptop easily. Since it uses the USB-C port for charging, you can also use it to charge your flagship Android smartphone. And Mi Air supports 1C fast charge technology, allowing up to 50 per cent of battery recharging in just 30 minutes.

The Mi Laptop Air 13.3” is available for Bt35,990 at Mi stores, IT City, Advice shops, and other major IT shops.

Key Specs

OS: Windows 10 Home

CPU: Intel 8th Generation Core i5-8250U quad-core processor 1.6 GHz

Memory: 8GB DDR4 2400Mhz

Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD plus expandable SSD slot

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card, 2GB GDDR5 video memory

Display: 13,3-inch 16:9 FHD Corning Gorilla glass screen with 1920×1080 pixel resolution

Connectivity : Intel 2×2 Wireless-AC at 2.4GHz, |5GHz Dual-Band, Bluetooth 4.1

Ports : USB-C port (up to 5GB/s transfer speed, supports charging, data transferring and video output) x 1, USB 3.0 x 2, HDMI x 1, 3.5mm headphone jack

Battery: 40Wh High-density lithium polymer battery , 1C fast charge supported

Dimensions: 309.6mm x 210.9mm x 14.8mm

Weight: 1.3 kg

The Nation
Republished with permission from The Nation
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