We have learned to know the notebooks offered by Xiaomi for some time and we have always remained pleasantly convinced of the product, which proves to be a valid alternative in the computer industry, too often and stupidly dominated by Apple's proposals. We could not therefore get away, thanks to the collaboration with Gearbest.com, who provided the sample, the new one Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 enhanced version with Intel eighth-generation processor that today we will analyze for you in our full review.
The sales package does not differ from those of the previous editions, made of white cardboard with the image of the product in plain sight on the front, while inside the notebook we can find the manual in Chinese also including the warranty (valid only in China: 1 year for the entire notebook and 2 years for the main components), loader with a Chinese socket (so you'll have to have a European adapter) with the exit 5 / 9 / 12 / 15V / 3A and 20V / 3.25A and 65W power, and finally the dual USB Type-C charging cable with length equal to 150 cm. The charger is really compact, with a minimal and elegant design, dimensionally similar to those used for smartphones, and that can be further reduced as the two metal bars can fold in on themselves.
For some aspects it makes no sense to talk about the software, as the enhanced version of the Mi Notebook will arrive at your home with Windows 10 Home Edition Single Language including the pre-installed Office Student 2016 package, but unfortunately totally in Chinese. I have tried alternative methods to install the Italian language, but in the end I am due to resort to the our guide through which I managed to translate the technological "little animal" into Italian. Operation that requires very little time (at installation level), in fact after only half an hour my notebook was ready for use. What is positive is that I managed to keep the original license of the notebook, as the latter is in digital format and resides directly inside the BIOS. Unfortunately, the lack of language remains one of the points against it of the whole series of notebooks proposed by Xiaomi, as often users with little familiarity with software and operating systems, prefer to work on other models of rival brands that at a much higher cost, however, provide a machine ready for use. And it's a pity because the Mi Notebook 13.3 Air. of eighth generation has really a lot to offer at a price that goes from 850 to 1000 around euro, prices vary according to the various offers in progress and although it involves a small risk due to lack of assistance and warranty remains anyway a great investment.
Personally I'm not a big user of Linux but know that for this I Notebook there is the full support with recognition of the hardware drivers automatically allowing you to enjoy the potential of the machine without having to dim. So you choose whether to use Windows 10, a Linux distro or why not have both operating systems in Dual Boot.
I would say that we are now ready to face the design of this Mi Notebook Air 13.3 enhanced version, which it does not differ from the models we have already reviewed. Simple lines, curves on the edges, which delimit one all-metal chassis, looking almost sensual thanks to a deep gray coloration. The Xiaomi notebook has dimensions equal to 309,6 x 210,9 x 14,8 mm and a low weight of 1300 grams, really ultralight if we consider that the whole body of our computer gadget is entirely realized in magnesium alloy, which translates into a premium build quality. Good stability on tables and surfaces in general thanks to the presence of 5 anti-skid rubber pads at the bottom of the notebook.
The only exception in the materials we find in the robust zipper display which results made of plastic and that almost completely covers the available surface. Although the material is not of the noblest, the construction is flawless, as the hinge is well balanced and calibrated, that is, we could open the lid of the display with one hand without the notebook flexing in any way (even when we keep it on our legs) using the comfortable groove on the front of the notebook. The hinge allows aopening and closing at 135 degrees.
Since our Mi Notebook is an import product at the keyboard level we will not find the Italian layout and this could create some difficulties for some users, who will either resort to memory to identify accented letters and special characters or will have to fall back on the purchase of dedicated stickers, which could make you give up the backlight. Of course, our keyboard is backlit (3 nits) with the possibility of deactivation via the dedicated button (F10) in order to save energy. The keyboard backlight turns out to be a realexcellent ally at night but unfortunately, after 15 seconds of inactivity the automatic switch-off is activated, and to turn it on again we have to press a key, an action that in some situations could compromise our work. Anyway the keys have a stroke from 1,3 mm e writing is a pleasure, an improved experience compared to that offered by the other Xiaomi notebook models, albeit the sound returned is certainly not suitable for use in the library. Finally, using the function keys F1 to F12 we can enable some extra features such as volume control or display brightness.
Under the keyboard of the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3. of eighth generation we find the mouse trackpad with glass-covered surface, which guarantees precise control of the cursor, in a reliable and fluid way, able to support the Windows 10 gesture. This is joined by the integration of a fingerprint sensor which becomes an excellent ally for privacy, thanks to support for Windows Hello, but it also saves time because we do not have to type the user password every time the screen is locked.
The display is also confirmed with respect to what has already been seen, ie a Sharp panel from 13,3 inches into 16: 9 (frame ratio 80,1%, frames from 5,59 mm) Full HD IPS with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution (166 ppi), translating into a resolution equal to 1,8 times that of an 24 monitor ″, namely richer details. Good brightness equal to 300 nits, contrast 800: 1, especially in indoor use, but also outside you can enjoy the visual quality offered, without too many compromises. Brilliant and faithful colors in extreme angles (viewing angle 170 degrees), but what should be a positive feature, namely the presence of one Corning Gorilla Glass display protection third generation, it turns out to be a double-edged sword as it is really too reflective, occasionally annoying the view with direct lighting. In the upper part of the display we have one 1 megapixel camera with HD 720p resolution assisted by a double digital matrix microphone and a small status LED, which makes the experience of video calls and / or chats in general more than optimal, but also small shots to post on the various social networks.
Another point in favor of this Mi Notebook is the audio compartment (Realtek ALC255 sound card) which consists of the two professional speakers from 2 Watt each with resonance area offered by the brand AKG by Harman with system Dolby Audio ™ Premium. Sound from thecinematic effect, full bodied, balanced on every frequency range, without ever distorting even when the volume is at maximum (and the volume level is really high), resulting in a pleasure for the ears when listening to music and multimedia audio content in general. A first innovation compared to the previous generations is also found in the audio sector, as the effect of the sound in headphones has been enhanced through the 3,5 mm jack, now also supported those with remote control and microphone, through which to control the music tracks (Apple headphones / headphones are not supported). Finally, at the software level we can customize the sound based on content, such as movies, music, games, etc.
One of the problems that in the past has afflicted the first generations of Xiaomi notebooks is the overheating of the entire surface, which is why the company decided to improve the heat dissipation system, which has been completely updated to ensure the best CPU performance. The ventilation grid hidden behind the display hinge integrates new metal materials with machining on 14 processes while the heatpipe volume has increased by 37% , bringing an air flow greater than 63% compared to traditional cooling systems. There are two fans that carry out this hard work, operation that they perform optimally, thanks also to the enormous grid placed on the lower panel of the notebook. In situations of high stress the Nvidia GPU never exceeds the 61 ° C reaching maximum temperatures of 82 ° C per CPU while during normal use we touch maximum values of 48 ° C. Another positive thing is the fact that during my use I never saw CPU saturation. The improvement of the entire cooling system is also perceived by the fact that the fans enter into action only when necessary ed the noise level of the same seems to have been decidedly revised downwards.
These values are definitely the result of hardware optimization that Xiaomi has preserved for its Mi Notebook Air 13.3 that is renewed right in the processor now using a Intel Core i7-8550U Kaby Lake of eighth-generation to 14nm with maximum clock to 4.0 Ghz (increased 40% performance compared to the previous generation), a SSD PCIe x 4 NVMe from Samsung 256 GB (expandable via free M.2 SATA slot), is 8 GB RAM DDR4-2400 MHz Dual Channel Memory and a Dedicated GPU Nvidia GeForce MX150 with memory support from 2 GB GDDR5 (to support we also find an integrated Intel HD 620 graphics card). And the performances are really stunning: lightning-fast at start-up, snappy during complex operations like video editing also in 4K and versatile thanks to the possibility of to be able to connect up to 3 screens in parallel of which 2 with 4K resolution. Perhaps the graphics card does not lend itself to games too demanding or that require high fps, but even the latest titles can be enjoyed in an optimal and enjoyable.
Certainly not lacking an excellent form Wi-Fi dual 8265 / 2.4 GHz 5 ac Intel XNUMX (maximum speed of 867Mbps), module Bluetooth 4.1, a USB Type-C port which allows the notebook to be recharged as well as being used as a video output, data transmission (5.0 Gb / s transfer rate) and peripheral devices, 2 3.0 USB ports (5.0 Gb / s speed), 1 HDMI input port, entrance jack from 3.5mm . Unfortunately there is no SD / Micro SD card slot.
Finally we should talk about it battery which for this notebook is from 40 Wh with possibility of recharging via the included power adapter with USB Type-C from 65 watt 5 / 20V max 3.25A and support for fast charging reaching a 50% of autonomy in just 30 minutes (upload to 100% in about 1 now and 45 minutes). Xiaomi declares that with this battery the eighth generation Mi Notebook Air 13.3 manages to get up to 9,5 hours of continuous use: honestly I have not experienced in what condition this is possible but I can no doubt say that in situations of intensive use such as video editing or gaming, the battery drain is quite consistent, performing no more than 3,5 hours mentre in more classic conditions like writing articles, active wifi, music reproduction, etc. you can also easily get 7 hours, considering that it is possible to intervene both on the backlight of the keyboard and on that of the display.
The qualitative leap in this enhanced version of the Mi Notebook Air from 13,3 inch feels and also a lot. Honestly, I don't consider the American keyboard layout to be a limit, or the fact that we have to put our hands on the operating system to make our technological friend in Italian. What matters is the yield and in this case I was not disappointed in any area. Although it remains a truly valid product and certainly more convenient than competing brand models, the Xiaomi notebook represents a significant investment for a common family. Maybe I wouldn't recommend it to a student or even to a gaming freak, but I find it definitely suitable for people like me who use a PC / Notebook a lot for work and need extreme portability. Well, with just 1,3 Kg in weight the Mi Notebook offers you a power and performance that allow for example to edit a video in complete tranquility or to work on a CAD / PSD file while you are on the train etc .. But maybe you are reading be part of that portion of users who are simply looking for a good notebook to use as a fixed location but do not want products with poor materials or that can limit the use of multimedia content. It is also recommended for you to purchase the Mi Notebook Air 13.3 version enhanced through the store Gearbest.com which offers the best technology at competitive prices, so don't miss the offer. Impossible to find better at this price !!!
Also this time Xiaomi does not contradict itself, improving a product that was already at the top. Improved CPU with the integration of an eighth-generation processor and improved cooling system. I can not say that this Mi Notebook Air 13,3 8th generation is perfect but then Confucius said: Better a diamond with a defect than a stone without.
- CONSTRUCTION AND MATERIALS
- ULTRA LIGHTWEIGHT WEIGHT
- CPU / GPU PERFORMANCE
- QUICK AND ULTRACOMPATIC CHARGER
- SLOT M.2 SATA FREE
- LINUX SUPPORT
- AUDIO COMPARTMENT
- ADVANCED PERFORMANCE TO ALL USER TYPES
- COOLING SYSTEM
- WRITING EXPERIENCE WITH KEYBOARD
- AMERICAN LAYOUT
- WINDOWS 10 HOME SINGLE LANGUAGE CHINESE
- ABS SLOT MICRO SD CARD
- SURFACE DISPLAY TOO REFLECTIVE