Xiaomi breaks into ultrabooks with Mi Notebook series

Xiaomi had another announcement today besides the Redmi Pro handsets: it's getting into the notebook game. The Chinese phone vendor's first portable PCs—two models, both called "Mi Notebook Air"—premiered on the company's Twitter feed this morning. Xiaomi is clearly going after Apple's MacBook Air with the machines, as the all-aluminum chassis,  uncluttered design, and even the name all evoke Apple's premium image.

The Mi Notebook Air comes in 13.3-inch and 12.5-inch varieties. The smaller of the two places the greatest emphasis on being thin and light, and has modest specifications as a result. The 12.5-inch machine comes with an Intel Core m3 processor served by 4GB of memory and a 128GB SATA SSD. The screen in this model is a 1920x1080 unit, although there's no word on what type of panel it uses. All that comes in a package weighing slightly over 2.3 lbs, and it's about a third of an inch thick. Xiaomi says the battery should last 11.5 hours.

The 13.3-inch model is a little beefier, with a sixth-generation Core i5 processor, 8GB of DDR4 memory, and a 256GB NVMe SSD. This machine is equipped with a GeForce 940MX discrete chip, so it should handle some lightweight gaming, too. At around 2.8 lbs and 0.38" thick, the 13.3-inch Mi Notebook Air is a little bulkier than its smaller sibling, but still very sleek. We don't know the screen resolution for this model, but we suspect it is 1080p as well. Xiaomi claims the battery on this model should last 9.5 hours.

Both machines have an extra M.2 socket for further solid-state storage expansion, and they also feature backlit keyboards. Xiaomi includes Windows 10 Home on the notebooks. The ultrabooks are competitively priced, with the 12.5-inch model expected to sell for RMB 3499 ($525), and the 13.3-inch model for RMB 4999 ($750), but don't pull out the Mastercard just yet unless you're in China. These notebooks probably aren't coming to US shores anytime soon.

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