If you are in the market for a premium Windows laptop that focuses on performance and design, you should seriously consider looking into the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro. I want to preface this by saying I don’t specialize in laptop reviews. If you want in depth detailed laptop reviews, you should probably visit Dave Lee’s channel. I will say, I’ve been using this machine alongside my MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and have thoroughly enjoyed it. And I’ll do my best to share what I liked about it with all of you.
It does start at $1,000 and can be purchased via GearBest.com.
The first thing you should know about this machine is that it’s a Chinese laptop and it runs a Chinese version of Windows 10 so you do need to install the English version of Windows 10 if you are in the US. That might sound complicated but I will link a video tutorial that walks you through the entire process. It is so incredibly easy. I was floored at how easy it was to install the OS. Windows update even fetched all of the required drivers for me so I didn’t have to go searching through some forums online.
It’s clear that Xiaomi is going after the users out there who like the minimum form factor of the MacBook Pro but for Windows over MacOS. What we have here is an aluminum unibody build construction with fairly sharp, abrupt edges and flat sides. It has a very industrial feel and look. The front of this laptop is completely clean of logos, texts, stickers, you name it. If you are a hipster who doesn’t like branded merchandise, I think you will love this machine. The only visible branding is on the inside under the display. There’s the Mi branding and that is it.
It weighs about 4.3 lbs. and it measures in at about 15mm thick so that’s about two smartphones. In terms of ports, we have two USB-A ports to USB-C ports, a full-sized HDMI port, and an SD card slot. The hinge feels really sturdy. There’s hardly any wobble when typing or touching on the display. The display itself is not touch screen, which is a little bit unfortunate. But if it were, this hinge would work great.
We are looking at a 15.6-inch 16:9 IPS LCD display with a Full HD resolution. It gets very bright and has great viewing angles. The contrast and color vibrancy is also very good but the display is very glossy and will pick up a lot of reflections. The resolution is also pretty conservative. It’d be nice to see a QHD resolution or higher.
We’ll see nothing but the backlit keyboard and trackpad below the display. Coming from the MacBook Pro, I found the keys to take some time to adjust to because of how much travel and space there is between the keys. But for someone with average-sized hands, I found the keyboard to fit me very well. The keys are nice and tactile. I had no problems typing up emails or even writing this script via the Notebook Pro’s keyboard.
Xiaomi has equipped this laptop with a precision trackpad that’s not as big as the new MacBook’s trackpad. But it seems bigger than the average Windows laptop trackpad and I like to think of its performance better than most other Windows trackpads I’ve used. I’ve used several different HP laptops and those trackpads were pretty bad. I will say, as a predominantly Mac user nowadays, it is a little bit harder for me to adjust to this trackpad. It seems like there is a tiny bit of lag. In the upper right hand corner, there’s a fingerprint scanner that works with Windows Hello. It kind of looks like it’s one of those swipe fingerprint scanners but it’s not. It’s like a modern day fingerprint scanner where you just put your finger on there. The setup process is nice and easy. Overall, I just love having the option to unlock my laptop with my finger.
The model I have features an 8 generation Intel Core i7 processor. It’s the 855OU processor and it’s coming with 6GB of RAM and the NVIDIA GForce MX150 GPU. With a fresh install of Windows 10, this machine offers exceptional performance for the price. I’m not much of a gamer anymore but I was able to run some basic games like Portal 2 and Minecraft without getting any issues. There is a 256GB Samsung PM961 NVME SSD. The read and write speeds don’t seem quite as fast as the Xiaomi Air Notebook 2017, which we reviewed earlier this year. But I did install the most recent drivers to help improve those speeds. And just like pretty much any other Windows laptop, you will start to notice the fans get louder when there is a heavy load on the machine but that’s just to be expected.
I never used the webcam for any serious video calls and that’s because it’s garbage. The resolution is potato quality. It’s nice to have for emergencies but image quality is bad.
The battery life isn’t exceptional but it is very good, providing me with over 7 hours of usage. That’s not as impressive as the new MacBook Pro, which this machine is trying to compete against. But it’s on the high-end for Windows laptops and you should be able to squeeze out some extra juice if you really maximize the battery saving mode and turn down the screen brightness, etc.
Last but not least, we have the Harman Kardon Infinity speakers. These sound great considering how thin this device is. While I wish they face up and out towards my face and not against my lap, I do like how clean the inside of this laptop looks without the speaker grills and they do sound pretty good.
Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed using the Mi Notebook Pro. It’s one of the best Windows laptops that I’ve ever used. It doesn’t have a touchscreen and you do have to install Windows 10 Home in English. But I don’t think those are deal breakers. For the price of around $1,000, the Notebook Pro could be absolutely worth it if you’re in the market for a sleek, well-performing Windows laptop.
For all you fun buffs out there, I like to think this laptop as the OnePlus 5T. If you want to purchase this machine, you can purchase it via GearBest.com.