Xiaomi made its debut in India’s laptop market last year with the launch of the Mi Notebook 14, Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition, and Mi Notebook 14 e-Learning Edition. While the e-Learning Edition has already been discontinued by the brand, Xiaomi also plans to discontinue the other two models eventually. This move will be in favour of the new laptops launched recently, namely the Mi Notebook Pro and Mi Notebook Ultra.
The latest Mi Notebooks feature up to 90Hz refresh rate, up to 11th generation Intel Core i7 processors, a backlit keyboard, a long-lasting battery life, and a lightweight design. I received the mid-variant of the Mi Notebook Pro for the purpose of this review, which comes with an 11th Gen Core-i5 11300H processor and 16GB RAM. I have been using the laptop as my primary machine for a week now and here’s how I feel about it.
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro specifications
|Specs||Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro|
11th Gen Intel Core i5-11300H and 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11370H
|GPU||Intel Iris XE|
|RAM||up to 16GB DDR4|
512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Windows 10 Home (Windows 11 supported)
Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, 1 X USB Type-C, 1 X Thunderbolt 4, 1 X Type-A USB 3.2 Gen1, 1 X Type-A USB 2.0, HDMI 1.4, 3.5mm audio jack
2 x 2W Stereo speaker
56Wh (65W fast charging)
Rs 56,999 | Rs 59,999 | Rs 72,999
Design and display
With the Mi Notebook Pro, Xiaomi continues its metal-clad, minimalistic, and sleek design ethos from last year, with one minor difference. This time around, you’ll find the Xiaomi logo on top of the lid. The laptop is crafted from 6-series aviation-grade sandblasted aluminum alloy. You can feel the smoothness of the finish when you move your hand across the chassis of the laptop. The Mi Notebook Pro is quite compact and is just 17.3mm thin. It’s quite lightweight as well, tipping the scales at just 1.46kg, slightly heavier than the Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition (1.35kg).
The construction of the laptop is solid and I found the hinge to be pretty sturdy as well. Xiaomi claims that the hinge has been tested for up to 30,000 opening-closing actions. There’s a notch on the front from where you can lift the lid easily with one hand and the opening movement is quite smooth. What I particularly loved about the design is that you can place the laptop on a flat surface and lift the lid with one finger without the laptop moving away.
Coming to other elements, the Mi Notebook Pro has a 3.5mm audio jack and a USB-A port on the left edge. On the right edge, you’ll find a USB Type-C port, a Thunderbolt 4 port, HDMI, and another USB-A port. Speaking of connectivity, the laptop supports the latest Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. At the bottom, there’s a large air vent and a couple of 2W bottom-firing stereo speakers on either side. The laptop comes with an integrated HD camera and has a fingerprint scanner embedded in the power button. While camera quality is average, the fingerprint sensor is fast and accurate.
The display on the Mi Notebook Pro is a 14-inch LCD panel with QHD+ (2.5K) resolution and a 16:10 aspect ratio. It supports up to 300nits brightness and covers 100 percent sRGB colour gamut. The display offers good colour reproduction and great viewing angles. It also comes with DC Dimming with a flicker-free experience for reduced eye strain. If I had to nitpick, the colours were slightly on the muted side. There’s an anti-glare coating on the screen, which works as intended and doesn’t reflect light even when it’s directly overhead. Having said that, the visibility goes down drastically when you take the laptop outdoors.
Keyboard, trackpad, and audio
Coming to the keyboard, Xiaomi has retained the same keyboard as the Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition with one major change. The power button is no longer a part of the keyboard and instead sits outside in a circular key with a fingerprint scanner embedded in it. Additionally, the key that used to be the power button on last year’s Horizon Edition is now a macro key, which means you can assign any app or task to the key for a one-click launch. I had it set to launch Microsoft Word and it works as intended.
As for the actual keyboard, the ABS plastic keys are well-spaced with the exception of the arrow keys cluster which is tightly grouped. The keys have a scissor mechanism and a travel distance of 1.3mm. Thanks to the decent travel distance and scissor mechanism, the keyboard has a satisfying click. Xiaomi has also included a 3-level backlight in the keyboard, which was missing in last year’s offering. All in all, the keyboard on the Mi Notebook Pro is top-notch and if you type a lot, you will enjoy the experience just like I did.
As for the trackpad, Xiaomi claims that the Mi Notebook Pro has a 62 percent larger trackpad than last year’s Mi Notebook 14. While I cannot test the claim but the trackpad is big enough for comfortable navigation. Moreover, thanks to the Microsoft Precision Drivers support, it supports multiple gestures as well. My only grievance is that the trackpad is plastic, and it feels tacky with your palm rested against the cold metal on the sides. Additionally, I found the clicks to be more on the stiffer side than I would prefer.
The underbelly of the laptop has 2W speakers on each side. While the sides of the laptop do curve up, the speakers are actually placed on the flat portion, and as a result, the audio output does get a little muffled. I would have preferred if the speaker grilles were positioned on the curved portion so that they fired sideways instead of downwards. There is a DTS Audio app, which lets you tune the audio to your preference.
Performance and battery life
Coming to the core performance, the combination of the 11th-gen Tiger Lake chipsets, Iris XE GPU, and PCIe NVMe SSD leaves no scope for any complaint. You can pick the Pro variant in with either 8GB or 16GB RAM with Core i5 or 16GB RAM with Core i7. All three models come with 512GB SSD storage. Out of the box, the laptop boots Windows 10 Home and is upgradeable to Windows 11, which is expected to roll out in October. I received the middle order variant for the purpose of this review, which has 16GB RAM and the 11th-gen Intel Core i5-11300H Tiger Lake chipset.
As was expected, the laptop returned some impressive numbers in the synthetic benchmarks. In PCMark 10, it scored 4,145 points, whereas in Cinebench it returned 3,816 multi-core and 1,377 single-core scores. Both these benchmarking results are better than last year’s Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition, which featured the Comet Lake Core i7 (10510U) processor with NVIDIA MX350 graphics, 8GB of RAM, 2GB VRAM, and a 512GB NVMe SSD. In the CrystalDiskMark, the laptop returned a read and write score of 3,373 and 2,195 MB/s, which is impressive.
The numbers reflect in the actual performance of the laptop. I have been using the Mi Notebook Pro as my primary work laptop for a couple of weeks now. My typical work setup includes the laptop connected to a 55-inch 4K TV connected via HDMI port with a minimum of four Microsoft Edge windows open with multiple tabs as I keep switching and multitasking. Apart from this, I had Slack and WhatsApp Desktop running as well. I rarely encountered any lags or stutters on the laptop. Moreover, I was pretty impressed with the thermals as well, since the laptop didn’t heat up much even with my extensive usage.
Coming to the battery, the Mi Notebook Pro is equipped with a 56Wh battery, which comes with a 65W USB Type-C charger. During my stint with the laptop, I was able to get a steady 7-8 hours of usage on a single charge from the laptop, which is less than 11 hours claimed by Xiaomi but still impressive. The bundled charger juices up the laptop from zero to 50 percent in around 30 minutes or so and should fully charge the battery in an hour.
Xiaomi has priced the Mi Notebook Pro very aggressively at Rs 56,999, Rs 59,999, and Rs 72,999 for Core i5 + 8GB RAM, Core i5 + 16GB RAM, and Core i7 + 16GB RAM variants, respectively. At this price point, it’s pretty easy to recommend the laptop due to its premium design and powerful set of specifications. Prima facie, the laptop feels more expensive than it is. You get a stunning 2.5K display, stylish design, great performance, good assortment of I/O ports, good battery, and fast charging. Barring the speakers and outdoor legibility, there’s not much to complain about here really.
At a similar price point, you can also consider the Realme Book Slim (review), which starts at Rs 46,999 for the Core i3 variant and Rs 59,999 for the Core i5 variant. The laptop sports a 3:2 aspect ratio, thinner 14.9mm profile, lighter 1.3kg frame, Harmon Kardon speakers, and a dual-fan storm cooling system. However, you miss out on the HDMI port as well as the Thunderbolt port. In our review of the laptop, we found it to be a very strong contender for the Mi Notebook Pro, with the exception of the battery life.
Another option to consider is Xiaomi’s own Mi Notebook Ultra, which launched alongside the Pro variant. The base variant of the Mi Notebook Ultra comes with the same price tag as Pro’s mid-variant, which is Rs 59,999. You get the same processor but lower 8GB RAM compared to 16GB on Mi Notebook Pro’s mid-variant. Additionally, you get a larger 15.6-inch display with sharper 3.2K resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. Additionally, you get a bigger 70WHr battery that can last for up to 12 hours.
To conclude, those looking for a powerful laptop within a reasonable budget are spoilt for choices, thanks to Xiaomi and Realme. Given a choice between Mi Notebook Pro and Realme Book Slim, I would personally prefer the former because of the HDMI port. But I can see many opting for the Realme Book Slim because of its slim and lighter form factor. And if a larger, better display is more important to you, Mi Notebook Ultra should be your pick.
Pricebaba’s rating: 8 /10
- Vivid display
- Clean design and sturdy build
- Good performance
- Fingerprint scanner
- Fast charging
- Plastic trackpad
- Weak speakers
- Average webcam