In 2016, Xiaomi announced its first laptops. No one believed this company could succeed because the Chinese notebooks market was occupied by Lenovo, Dell, HP, and other top brands. But the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 and 12.5 were considered as black horses later. They could not only make a tough competition to the mentioned brands but also pave the way for other Chinese manufacturers. Say, even Cube has launched a high-end laptop named Thinker.
Both Xiaomi laptops showcased great performance and came with a stylish look. Plus, they were priced quite affordable offered at an initial price of 4999 yuan ($791). This allowed many young customers who are tough on a budget to get their hands on a high-end laptop paying less. As a result, the Xiaomi notebooks got popularity quickly.
To attract more customers, Xiaomi launched the enhanced variants of its beloved laptops. The Xiaomi Notebook Air 13.3 Fingerprint Sensor offers way safer option to protect your data, while the Xiaomi Notebook Air 4G makes it possible to use this laptop anywhere via the 4G connectivity support.
Must Read Article: Xiaomi Notebook Air 4G Review
Thus there were up to 4 models including the initially launched Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 12.5/13.3, Fingerprint Sensor version, and 4G-enabled variant. Actually, all these models were performing well on the market. But once Intel announced the 8th-gen i-core chips, Xiaomi was among the first two launch its own laptops powered with these SoC. It made a huge stir around it because the Xiaomi Notebook Pro is considered to be one of the most powerful laptops on the market offered at a low price tag if comparing with other similar models.
No matter how powerful the aforementioned model is because many people recognize Xiaomi laptops via the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13. That’s why the Chinese Apple decided not to reinvent the wheel, and just packed its much-popular laptops with the latest Intel i7-8550U and i5-8250U chips. These laptops were announced a few days back. The i5 variant was priced 5399 yuan ($854), while the price tag for the i7 version has not been announced yet. Thus the chip change didn’t affect the pricing much.
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13 (2018) Design
‘It’s simple and light, but has become more stylish due to the dark gray color.’
Xiaomi has many fans around the world. The main reason why they are obsessed with this brand is Xiaomi’s ability to change the world. That’s why this company is usually called the Chinese Apple. Many Xiaomi fans like to call its CEO, Lei Jun a rebus. Many liken him to Steve Jobs. Actually, there are many similarities between these companies and their products, and the Xiaomi Notebook Air 13 is the best proof of that. The manufacturer has changed the bright silver color to the dark gray option just like the Apple MacBook Pro. So it killed two birds with one stone. First, Xiaomi showed it doesn’t scare of Apple. Second, the laptop has become more fashionable.
The laptop comes with a uniform frosted metal body. The top of the fuselage is blank just like the Notebook Pro.
The borders are narrowed down to 5.59mm. The ‘Mi’ logo is placed below the display.
The overall design is simple. Even in terms of palette, it uses 2-3 colors. The whole body and the touchpad use the same gray color, while the screen frame and the keyboard are black. The keyboard is backlit.
On the back, we can see the same five rubber feet, a horizontally placed ventilation grill, and two AKG custom speakers on both sides.
Though there have been made noticeable changes in hardware, none of them affected the thickness and weight. The Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13 comes with a thickness of 14.8mm and weighs only 1.3kg. Thus it’s quite light and portable.
There are two USB Type-A 3.1, one HDMI 1.4, and a full-featured USB Type-C ports as well as one 3.5mm audio jack. The USB-C port provides a fast charge option (charging up to 50% in 30 minutes), a fast data transfer (5 GB/s), and a 4K video output at 60Hz.
Display and Speakers
One of the selling points of this laptop is the 13.3-inch narrow-frame IPS screen with a Full HD resolution. It accounts for up to 80.1%. Thanks to the third-gen Corning Gorilla Glass with 7H the display is protected from major and minor scratches. Plus, it provides an excellent light transmission and abrasion resistance. The Spyder 5 Elite screen color gamut test showcased a 95% sRGB, 71% NTSC, and 74% AdobeRGB.
The next eye-catching feature of the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13 concerns the advanced customized AKG speaker module. It supports Dolby surround sound allowing users to get an ultimate immersive audio experience.
The original Mi Air 13 came with a dark gray keyboard. Unlike it, this model uses a black keyboard, which looks more attractive. Actually, the company has had to darken the keyboard’s color to emphasize the class of the product and give a higher value to the dark gray metal body. However, the key process is still 1.3mm.
We are dealing with a high-end laptop. So it’s been expected to see a fingerprint identification on it. Like its predecessor, the fingerprint reader is placed on the upper right of the touchpad with the shape of a bar. It’s supplied by ELAN. This push-type fingerprint recognition module has a high sensitivity.
Xioami Mi Notebook Air 13 Performance
‘The 8th-gen Intel quad-core chips paired with discrete graphics provide the most stable and smooth performance you can imagine.’
Ultra-thin laptops that have been gaining momentum in last years could handle only Intel’s dual-core chips. The reason is the quad-core CPUs create more heat than the slimmer profiles could manage. But everything changes with the 8th-gen CPUs. So the power of much larger and heavier laptops can now be stuffed into a tiny laptop. And though the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13 comes with the latest SoC of Intel, it may differ from other laptops with the same chip in terms of performance. Different laptop makers set the CPU to run at different speeds depending on how much cooling they provide into it, or how loud they want the fans to run at. The Intel i7-8550U processor is promised to provide 40% better performance than its predecessor, but we have to test everything ourselves.
First, we tested the laptop via CineBench R15. The i7-8550U scored 166cb and 555cb at the single-core and multi-core tests, respectively. So we can state this laptop is capable of handling many heavy tasks. Probably, it’s even more correct to say it is capable of doing anything you imagine.
The Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13 is also equipped with an NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card. So it’s not surprising to see it scoring 13.337 at in 3DMark’s Cloud Gate 1.1 test session.
These two tests show the new Xiaomi laptop provides 30% better performance than its predecessor.
As for the hard disk read and write speed, the device showcases 1902.29MB/s as well as a write speed of 1176.34MB/s. This is an outstanding performance.
Though the company didn’t make many changes in the appearance and many components, it has improved the cooling system. There is a 14-piece Seiko thin metal blade that increases the airflow by 63%, while the heat pipe size was increased by 37%. As we can see in the photos below, the maximum temperature it can reach is 50.3 ?. The thermal performance is excellent.
The Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13 comes with a 4cell Li-ion polymer battery supporting 40W input power. We tested it by setting the volume at 20%, while the screen brightness was 60%. After an hour of playing an online video, the power decreased from 100% to 86%. Therefore it is capable of providing up to 8 hours of video playback. If using normally it should stay alive for 10-12 hours on a single charge.
There are two aspects we should pay attention to when talking about this laptop. First, Xiaomi has upgraded its current laptops, and now the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13 can be considered to be one the most cost-effective high-end notebooks on the market. Plus, the manufacturer has come in with a more fashionable design to look like the MacBook Air more. Second, this notebook looks like the Xiaomi Notebook Pro and sports the same-gen chips. So we can say, Xiaomi has gathered all the best features into one laptop, but because of some marketing stuff, they are called differently. If the 15.6-inch model is called the Notebook Pro, the 13.3-inch variant is called the Mi Notebook Air 13. So does this mean we’ll see its 12.5-inch version soon?