Xiaomi offers a budget-friendly laptop for power use and its more ultra-portable variant.

China’s Xiaomi, hardware/software and internet services provider mostly known for its budget-friendly phones, has expanded its product portfolio. The company is definitely creating a diverse ecosystem around its core business with new products ranging from action cameras to smart weighing scales and water purifiers, from hoverboards to the company’s latest drone.

Today, Xiaomi unveiled the company’s first ever laptop, the Mi Notebook Air, at an event in Beijing. Comparing to other ultraportable laptops on the market, the Mi Notebook Air can boast of a discrete graphics card, Nvidia GeForce 940MX. It is necessary to note that discrete graphics cards are faster than embedded ones.

The key characteristics of Xiaomi’s Mi Notebook Air are:

  • Intel Core i5-6200U, up to 2.7GHz
  • 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD
  • 13.3-inch, full-HD (1,920×1,080-pixels)
  • 309 by 210.9 by 14.8 mm; 1.28 kg (2.82 pounds)
  • Type-C USB for charging, 2x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI, 3.5mm audio port
  • 40Wh battery, 9.5 hours

Xiaomi offers two variants of the Mi Notebook Air – a 13.3 inch variant for the power user and a 12.5 inch one as a more ultra-portable option. Both devices will run 1080p full-HD displays and come in a gold or silver machined full-metal body.

The Mi Notebook Air has new USB type-C ports, a full-sized backlit keyboard and traditional range of USB 3.0 and display ports that such a machine is expected to have.

The design of the new laptop is very plain, it lacks any exterior logos. The Mi logo is only seen when you open up the device. The thing is that the Mi Notebook Air is actually made by a partner called Tian Mi while Xiaomi is selling it under its own branding.

The Mi Notebook Air will be available for purchase on August 2 but, unfortunately, only in China. The retail price will make up 4,999 yuan (this converts to about $750, £570 and AU$1,000) and 3,499 yuan (or about $525, £400 and AU$725) respectively.

Xiaomi intends to take a firm position on the laptop market. However, IDC Research analyst Bryan Ma doesn’t sound optimistic about the Chinese notebook market. He says: “IDC expects China’s consumer notebook market to contract by 10.4 percent this year versus the -7.7 percent in the US and -9.3 percent worldwide.”

There have been some talks about Xiaomi’s plans to present a laptop since last year so now it will be especially interesting to see the result of the work. Let us remind that that the company has struggled to justify its huge $45 billion valuation. It sold more than 70 million devices in 2015 and, indeed, it is an increase from the previous year while many in the industry have felt volumes fall.

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