Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi recently raised $1.1 billion in funding, valuing the company at an astronomical $45 billion. CEO and founder Lei Jun announced the deal in a Weibo post, adding that the company plans to unveil new flagship products next month. One of those could be a low-cost laptop modeled after the MacBook Air.
GizmoChina has leaked pictures of the rumored 15" system, which is a dead ringer for Apple's slimmest MacBook. The machine looks well-equipped, too, with a 1080p display, Core i7-4500U processor, and 16GB of RAM. The price? About ¥2999, the site says, which works out to less than $500 USD.
Although it's not unreasonable for Xiaomi to be working on a PC laptop, the projected price tag seems impossibly low. The processor alone sells for $393 in 1000-unit quantities, and 16GB of RAM ain't cheap these days. The unnamed system will reportedly run a modified version of Linux, which should save a few bucks, but I doubt that's enough to make up for the upscale specifications.
Update — Looks like this was too good to be true. Xiaomi communications manager Kaylene Hong told Tech in Asia that the GizmoChina story is "false news." The leaker who provided the image appears to have Photoshopped a picture from the website of Chinese notebook maker Kakatech, which offers an identical-looking system with less inspiring specifications.