Xiaomi is mainly known for its smartphones. But this company has a diversified production, and it offers various products. However, every Xiaomi product is made with an ambitious goal in mind – it should become the absolute leader in the niche it’s designed for. Last year when Xiaomi launched its first Air line notebooks at 12 and 13 inches, few people believed this company can make a competition to giants such as Apple and Lenovo.
But the Xiaomi Air laptops were beloved a lot, and as the GDK statistics showed, they occupy about 15% of the Chinese laptop market. Thus Xioami is the third after Apple and Lenovo. This was a good hint the company should continue making laptops and come in with enhanced models. This means Xiaomi should work on a few shortcomings and improve the existing features. We have been waiting for the next-gen Xiaomi laptop for a while. The first rumors concerning the Xiaomi Notebook Pro leaked back in January. That time we learned the new laptop will come with astonishing features but cost only 6000 yuan ($863). Thus the Notebook Pro should provide top-brand-like performance, at a half price.
On September 11, Xiaomi held a special conference, where it unleashed three new and cool products in face of the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2, Mi Note 3, and the Xiaomi Notebook Pro. Those who don’t follow the news referring to Mi brand were surprised a lot. But the devoted Mi fans knew the Xiaomi Notebook Pro will sport the latest 8th-gen Intel Core chips and many other incredible features. This awesome notebook price starts from 5599 yuan ($860), which is the way cheaper than the supposed price tag. Looking at the appearance of the laptop and getting acquainted with its specs list we understand this is one of the best laptops in the world. So this Xiaomi Notebook Pro Review should help you when looking for a new high-end laptop.
Xiaomi Notebook Pro Appearance
Xiaomi notebooks have always come with a minimalistic design. This statement refers to the packaging as well as the overall appearance of the product. The latest addition to this line before the Notebook Pro was out, the Xiaomi Notebook Air 4Gis the best proof of it. Back to our hero, it comes in a white packaging with the laptop’s photo printed on the top.
The back of the box carries a sticker with all the main information concerning the laptop inside.
Like the previous models, this one has no logo on the notebook. Though Mi logo is recognizable and beloved by many customers, the manufacturer decided not to put it there.
For the first time, when the Xiaomi Notebook Pro is taken out from the box, we have a feeling as we are dealing with a larger variant of the Xiaomi Notebook Air. It comes with the same all-metal design with a very minimalistic approach to any design element.
As for the size, the Xiaomi Notebook pro comes with dimensions of 360.7 x 243.6 x 15.9mm and a weight of 1.95kg. This is regular for a 15.6-inch laptop. This 15.6-inch display provides a 1080p resolution, wide viewing angle, 5.2mm narrow frame, and a screen ratio up to 81.5%. The biggest change in comparison to the previous models is the 72% NTSC color gamut. So the viewing experience will be the way better. If you don’t remember, the Notebook Air comes with a 50% color gamut.
As we are dealing with a 15.6-inch laptop, it’s expected to see a full-sized keyboard on it. The Xiaomi Notebook Pro comes with a great keyboard and a better touchpad placed below it. The experienced owners of the Xiaomi Notebook Air have complained about the keys height. So the company decided to make them higher at 1.5mm.
I have no idea why Chinese laptop makers put the Power On button on the upper right corner of the keyboard, but the fact is that Xiaomi has done the same.
We know we have to use the FN key in combination with other keys to adjust brightness, sound, and other functions. But only a few people know you can use FN + ESC combination to lock the FN key.
The Xiaomi Notebook Pro uses a 6-inch touchpad. Like the Air, it comes with a glass material. However, there is also an integrated push-type fingerprint scanner placed on the upper right corner of the touchpad.
This laptop is packed with an eight-gen Intel chip. So it would be a sin not to put a corresponding sticker there.
As for the interfaces, the HDMI, two USB 3.0 ports as well as a 3.5mm audio jack are placed on the left side.
The right side comes with two USB Type-C interfaces, card reader, and a microphone hole.
The previous model has been criticized for a shortage of interfaces. Seems the manufacturer has taken it too seriously and added too many super-modern ports to this laptop. The connectivity options can be considered as the key feature of this laptop.
The bottom of the laptop comes with five anti-skid legs. There are also two rows of vent grills. Finally, there are two speaker holes placed on both sides of the bottom panel. But if the previous model was criticized for not impressive audio experience, no one can complain on this model. It features custom Harman Infinity speakers and Dolby panoramic sound for headphones.
The hinges provide a maximum opening angle of 140 degrees.
Xiaomi Notebook Pro Performance
The selling point of this laptop is the 8th-gen Intel Core i7-8550U and i5-8250U processors. Generally, there are three options you can choose from – i7 + 16GB Version at 6999 yuan ($1074), i7 + 8GB at 6399 yuan ($982), and i5 +8 GB at 5599 yuan ($860). We are reviewing the highest model.
The Intel Core i7-8550U was announced in August. So it took only a month from Xiaomi to come in with its own model running on this amazing chip. The main improvement in comparison to the previous models, these ones use 4 cores instead of two. Thus the i7-8550U is a quad-core SoC, while its direct predecessors Core i7-7500U and i5-7260U were still dual-cores. The i7-8550U is equipped with four cores but at a lower base frequency of 1.8 GHz. The Turbo Boost is 4GHz and therefore also offer good short-term single core speeds.
However, the chip maker basically uses the same micro-architecture as the Skylake. So the per-MHz performance of Kaby Lake does not differ much. As Intel claims, it only reworked the Speed Shift technology for faster dynamic adjustments of voltages and clocks. Plus, the improved 14nm process note allows much higher frequencies combined with better efficiency than before.
As for graphics, the i7-8550U is paired with a new-gen significant GeForce MX150 GPU that uses a new Pascal architecture. In comparison to Skylake, the Kaby Lake now supports H.265/HEVC Main 10 with a 10-bit color depth as well as Google’s VP9 codec.
The chip is designed in an improved 14nm process technology with FinFET transistors (14nm+). It’s the same as the 7th-gen Kaby Lake processors. Intel still specifies the TDP with 15 Watts, which is typical for ULV chips. Depending on the usage scenario, the TDP can vary between 7.5 (cTDP Down) and 25 Watts.
The overall performance has been improved by 40% in comparison to the previous-gen chips. Xiaomi CEO, Lei Jun said they hadn’t tested this laptop via a benchmark, as they are sure the Xiaomi Notebook Pro is the best option in the market. However, we decided to check it out.
To understand whether this or that chip provides better or worse performance we compared the results with other chips, i7-7500U and i7-7700HQ. As you see, our hero scores twice more points at CPU-Z than the former SoC. On the other hand, there is a little difference in comparison to the next 7th-gen chip.
The CineBench provides identical results. The i7-8550U shows the best result in a single-core test. The multi-core test shows the newer SoC is capable of providing 44% better performance than the previous model.
As for graphics, the Xiaomi Notebook Pro comes with an MX150 GPU. It’s the main alternative to the GeForce 940MX. That’s why we decided to compare its results with the 940MX results at 3DMark.
I guess you understand this laptop and the hardware it comes with have no problem with a 4K video, heavy games, and multitasking. This is actually one of the best laptops in the globe.
Xiaomi Notebook Pro Battery
This laptop features an 8000mAh battery. But it works with a new chip and runs on Windows 10. So we need to know how this battery behaves when accompanied with such beasts. As usual, we tested it by using the laptop for different purposes – web browsing (up to 10 opened pages), online video playback, typing (up to 10 opened documents), and playing games. Each of them was done for half an hour. After two hours of testing the power reduced from 100% to 61%.
You can also check out the screenshots below showing the power consumption of each mini-test, and the percentage of a mini-test in the whole test.
Thanks to a faster USB-C, corresponding power adapter, and 1C fast charge support, the notebook charges up to 50% in 35 minutes. Moreover, it reaches up to 75% of power in 1 hour. And the Xiaomi Notebook Pro can be fully charged in 100 minutes only. But you have to know the charging slows down after 80 minutes.
We know the number of cores can be increased infinitely. But the chip makers do not know what to do with the hot air made during the working process. So when a new SoC comes, the first thing experienced users want to know refers to the temperature control. To understand this we measured the laptop’s temperature when playing a heavy game. It heats up to 40 degrees.
The Xiaomi Notebook Air laptops have been very popular starting the date they were out. And though they are capable of providing an excellent experience, the company couldn’t avoid some shortcomings. It’s been expected because the Air family models are the first for Xiaomi. However, Xiaomi always comes with great products. And the Xiaomi Notebook Pro is the best proof of it. After a year the first-gen Xiaomi laptops were announced, the company came in with an enhanced version of the Mi Air laptops. Shortly, it kept all the good features and improved all the shortcomings. This statement concerns the interfaces, keyboard, audio experience, and the overall performance. We can say, it’s one of the best laptops in the market. So if the previous models succeeded, this one will do it, undoubtedly.