Finding a good laptop is not such a simple task as it might seem at first glance. The market has no problems with gaming machines and budget proposals, but to find a middle-class device with a modern design, efficient hardware and small dimensions is not easy at all, especially when it comes to the 15.6-inch diagonal of the display. The choice today is limited to just a couple of models, and therefore the release of Xiaomi by the Mi Notebook Pro laptop expectedly attracted our most attention. How successful the model is – we’ll figure it out for testing.
Specifications Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro 15.6:
- Screen: TFT IPS, 15.6 “, 1920×1080, 141 ppi
- Processor: Quad-Core Intel Core i5-8250U, up to 3.4 GHz
- Graphics Accelerator: Intel UHD Graphics 620, NVIDIA GeForce MX150
- Operating system: Windows 10 Home
- Memory: 8 GB
- Built-in memory: 256 GB, free M.2 slot
- Support for memory cards: SDXC, up to 2 TB
- Wireless interfaces: Wi-Fi 802.11a / b / g / n / ac, Bluetooth 4.1
- Webcam: 1 megapixel
- Battery: 60 Wh, non-removable
- Dimensions: 360x244x15 mm
- Weight: 2 kilograms
Packing and equipment
The laptop is delivered in a regular cardboard box, and it is prepared in the spirit of the times for the meeting with its owner: only the power supply and the cable with USB Type-C plugs are placed inside the packaging at both ends.
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The case of Mi Notebook Pro, including the back of the cover, is entirely made of metal. Color options are only two, silver and dark gray. The device looks strictly, in a businesslike way, you immediately understand that this is a serious gadget for work.
The lid of the laptop is devoid of any inscriptions or logos, and the only mention of the manufacturer is located below the display. Above the screen was a place for a webcam with a modest resolution of 1 megapixel.
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The keyboard of the device is almost full-sized, the height is reduced only for a number of function keys. Under it is a huge touchpad. The tactile response in it is made in the old-fashioned, mechanical way, so it’s easy to press on it only at the bottom. In the upper right corner of the touchpad is a fingerprint scanner.
All peripheral connectors are located on the ends of the case: a 3.5 mm audio jack, two USB Type-A and HDMI ports are on the left, and an SD card reader and two USB Type-C ports are on the right. The last of the USB Type-C connectors is used to charge the laptop, and next to it is a LED indicator.
The speakers are placed on the bottom surface of the laptop, so you can get a high-quality sound only when the device is on a hard surface. There are also ventilation holes and four non-slip feet.
The laptop arriving for testing is equipped with a low-voltage processor Intel Core 5 of the eighth generation Kaby Lake, but on sale, there is also a modification with a more powerful Core i7. Chipset with integrated graphics Intel UHD Graphics 620. In addition to it, the laptop got a discrete graphics card NVIDIA GeForce MX150. The latter in benchmarks is about twice as powerful as Intel’s built-in solution.
The amount of RAM in our model is 8 GB of DDR4 type with a frequency of 2400 MHz, a dual-channel architecture is used. In the maximum configuration with a processor Core i7 laptop can be purchased with 16 GB of memory, but in both cases, it will be unplugged on the motherboard. The results of testing the laptop in the 3DMark benchmark are presented in the screenshots below.
SSD in Mi Notebook Pro runs on the PCI-Express bus, and its volume in all available modifications is 256 GB. After a “clean” installation of Windows and all updates, the user will be available about 230 GB of internal memory. This is probably the biggest disadvantage of the laptop: for such a device, it would be necessary to provide a modification, at least with 512 GB SSD. However, inside the laptop there is an empty slot for SSD format M.2, so you can buy a second drive and install it yourself, having received more memory. The results of testing the drive’s speed in the CrystalDiskMark benchmark are presented in the screenshot below.
Mi Notebook Pro managed to cheer with the games. In War Thunder and Metro 2033 Redux on high graphics settings (in the latter case – with anti-aliasing turned off), the level of fps is enough for a comfortable game, as they say, with a margin. But in GTA V the same can be achieved only on a lowered to 1600×900 screen resolution. Impressions of the game will not spoil it, but the level of fps will not fall below 30 frames in any scenes. Regardless of the “severity” of the game, the processor under load heats up to 70 degrees. This level does not go beyond the operating temperatures of the processor, but the metal case of the device is too good in the role of the radiator: its upper part is heated so that it is unpleasant to touch. The keyboard, however, remains hardly warm, and for comfort in games, such heating does not affect. We did not notice any drawdowns in performance for a long game.
Speaking about the multimedia qualities of the laptop, we can not help mentioning the built-in speakers. Located below and hidden behind the mesh, they cause mistrust, but only before the first turn on the music. The sound was very loud and clear: you can play and listen to your favorite music, and even watch a movie in the company.
The device is in operation
The overall impression of using a laptop consists of several things. First of all – the quality of the display. Mi Notebook Pro is equipped with a 15.6-inch IPS-matrix with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. Modifications with higher resolution is not provided, but it’s for the better: the familiar Full HD allows you to comfortably use your laptop and does not adversely affect the performance and autonomy of the device. The picture quality is excellent, the display covers 94% of the sRGB color space and 70% of the NTSC color space. The maximum brightness is high: it’s enough to work comfortably if not in direct sunlight, then just on the street. The display is glossy: someone likes it because of the best color rendering, some do not, but with glare, in any case, you have to put up with it.
The second thing we are dealing with when using a laptop is the keyboard. In Mi Notebook Pro it is an island type, the keystroke is average, at the level of most ultrabooks, but larger compared to the mechanism of butterfly. In place, almost all the necessary keys, including the navigation buttons for the text Home, End, Page Up and Page Down. The keys Print Screen and Insert are combined with the function keys F11 and F12, but this can be reconciled if you do not use them too often. The most, perhaps, the controversial solution here is the placement of the power button in the upper right corner: accidentally clicking on it will lead to the instantaneous falling asleep of the laptop. But this behavior is easy to fix in the Windows settings. By default, the keys of the upper row perform multimedia functions, and to use the F-keys it is necessary to press the Fn key. You can swap them with the combination Fn + Esc, but no indication of the current mode of operation is provided.
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Of course, the keyboard has a backlight. It is made in white and has only one mode of operation, but the brightness is chosen perfectly: emphasizes all the characters for maximum comfort in any lighting and does not blind the user in complete darkness.
The touchpad in the laptop, simply put, is gorgeous. The large size of the touch panel and the support of all standard Windows gestures make it possible to comfortably perform on the device almost all tasks without the need to connect a mouse. The context menu can be invoked by clicking on the bottom right corner, or by tapping with two fingers. Located on the touchpad fingerprint scanner works accurately and almost instantly: someone who opens and closes the laptop cover dozens of times a day will definitely appreciate the presence of such a “chip”.
Xiaomi positions the novelty as a competitive alternative to the MacBook Pro, and therefore the presence of two USB Type-A 3.0 ports and full-size HDMI in the device is not surprising. This allows in most cases to use a laptop, counting only on the built-in ports, and if you absolutely need the Ethernet and VGA connectors, you can buy a combined adapter for $ 30. But here are both USB Type-C ports in Mi Notebook Pro – it’s USB ports, without Thunderbolt support. 3. It’s hard to judge whether this is a serious drawback with the low prevalence of the corresponding accessories, but it’s worth keeping in mind.
Despite the 15.6-inch display, the Mi Notebook Pro was surprisingly light and compact, including thanks to the thin frames around the display. The mass of the device is only two kilograms: it is very small for such a device and is acceptable for carrying in a bag or backpack every day.
Performance in everyday tasks is excellent: thanks to a fairly powerful “stuffing” and fast SSD on Mi Notebook Pro, it’s comfortable to work not only in Microsoft’s browser or office suite but also with specialized software like Autodesk Inventor.
From the wireless interfaces available Wi-Fi 802.11a / b / g / n / ac support for both the frequency bands, 2.4 and 5 GHz, as well as Bluetooth 4.1. We did not notice any problems in their work, the connection is stable, and the speed of communication with the Internet was limited only by the provider.
The device is equipped with a non-removable battery for 60 Wh. The laptop is working for a surprisingly long time: of course, a full-time mixed use is not for him, but for the model with a 15.6-inch display, the results were very decent. So, the playback of FHD-video at an average brightness of the display and the included air mode discharges the gadget for seven hours. This is enough for watching a couple of movies on the long journey. In the surfing mode with the same average backlight level, Mi Notebook Pro worked 5.5 hours.
If we accept the lack of localization of the operating system and laptop keyboard for the inevitability, the only drawback of Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro, in our opinion, will be the lack of a Thunderbolt 3 interface.
While the laptop is not positioned by the manufacturer as a gaming laptop, it has excellent performance, sufficient for both specialized software and modern games. Quality “stuffing” (not only the eighth generation Intel processor and fast memory, but also an excellent display), a long time for the 15.6-inch machine battery life and convenient touchpad with a fingerprint scanner – everything falls into the box of merits, and the all-metal case and high quality of manufacture simply do not leave a chance not to fall in love with the device at first sight.
- all-metal housing;
- excellent quality hardware “stuffing”;
- a convenient touchpad with a fingerprint scanner;
- good gaming performance.
- need for self-localization of the OS ;
- absence of Thunderbolt.