Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 12

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Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 12.5″ Review

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 12.5″ Review

Here it is, my Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air review (Core M model). It has just gone live on YouTube, while it’s not a tablet I sure do hope Xiaomi release one as this Mi Notebook is one fine lightweight ultrabook. It’s not perfect, but the build, screen, touchpad, and keyboard are all top notch and I’ve been using this non-stop since the day I got it. It’s now become my go to travel and on the go notebook.

And since I already have a powerful desktop, Core M’s I find are a good balance of speed and battery life. While it will never compete with the battery friendly 2W Atom’s at least I can still go a little crazy with multi-tabbing in Edge or Chrome without it slowing on me like the Atom’s do. The Mi Notebook Air does fall well short of it’s claimed 11.5-hour battery life. But what manufacturers claim on battery life ever turns out to be true?

Here is the review index:

02:42 – Keyboard & touchpad in more detail
04:54 – Loudspeakers
05:27 – Front web camera sample
05:50 – Ports
06:39 – Benchmarks & performance
10:13 – Battery Life & charge times
11:35 – Gaming
12:26 – Final word with Pros and Cons

The Mi Notebook Air 12.5″ Core M3 version can be found here for $459.99, (With coupon KAir12L) The Intel Core i5 6200U 13.3″ version with Nvidia 945MX GPU is expected to sell for around $300 USD more.

And a look at gaming on the Notebook Air:

Video tech reviewer and tech blogger. I have a huge interest in the latest tech, tablets, laptops, mobiles, drones, and even e-scooters. Active in the tech community since 2008 days of the Omnia i900 Windows phone. Samsungi8910omnia.com, Samsunggalaxysforums.com founder from way back.

32 Comments

  1. I ‘d liked to change the battery of my Xiaomi Air 12. Who knows where I can order it (same power or more i.e 10.000 mAh)

  2. We need a written review, i cant watch these things while in class!

  3. Hi Chris. I have an Asus UX305CA on pre-order, which has almost identical specs to this one (the one I ordered has the same core m3 cpu, 4 gigs of ram but a 256 gb SSD). However, I also like the look of this little Xiaomi. Did you get to try both models and do you think it is worth ordering one from China and cancelling my Asus order? Pricewise they are about the same, but ordering from China may incur extra taxes (VAT alone is 27 percent here in Hungary) and I don’t think I can rely on any sort of warranty. I’m interested to hear your thoughts on how they compare.

  4. Hello Chris,new guy in the forum.What options do i have ordering this laptop in order to avoid customs and vat?I live in Greece.Do you recommend this laptop or wait for the bigger one?

    • Hey George,
      I reside in Greece as well and ordered mine from ebay.co.uk fro an Irish reseller.
      If you check, they may have more in stock.
      No customs or VAT.
      Just the item price and shipping from UK (mentioned along with your order.

  5. this one or the cube i9?

  6. Hi Chris, any time-frame on the test for the 13.3″ model? Pity there is no i7 version, but i5 still looks good for me

    • Still can’t even order one yet. Very limited supply in China, only been out for a few days. So no ETA on my 13.3″ version sorry. And I also don’t want to be ripped off getting one early on, like I was with the 12.5″ version.

  7. I am quite interested with the 13.3″ version, but it is way too expensive for a laptop if compared to another much more mature brand. If only they released a 12.5″ with 8GB of RAM and an IPS panel, I might want it, but only the 13.3″ offers 8GB and IPS panel (am I right? I don’t have many sources confirming IPS panel on 13.3″). I don’t care about the 940MX, since I simply don’t game on laptops, and it just add another point of failure (many of my friend laptop died just because the GPU simply fails).

    Anyone got their 13.3″?

    • Not yet, it’s super hard to get hold of, even in China. Limited supply. The 12.5″ version is now everywhere.

  8. @Chris Great review!
    Thanks! It was very helpful!
    I just purchased a Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 12.5 (awaiting for it to arrive) and am currently looking for a case/sleeve/folio to go with it.
    The ones that I find on ebay are not to my liking, so I was wandering if you could share the precise dimensions of the notebook, so that I can find a suitable one.

    • After some research I got to the info I asked for. So, posting it here in case somebody else might also need it:
      Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 12.5 Dimensions: 29.2 x 20.2 x 1.29 (cm)
      With these dimensions I believe that any case that is compatible with Dell XPS 13 2015 and 2016 will also do for the specific notebook.
      Please bare in mind that I have not tried it for myself, but I will update the post once I have.
      Checking for Dell XPS 13 cases now, and will order one tonight, so that I have it ready once the Notebook arrives.

      • Please let me know. I’m looking for a case/sleeve for my Mi Notebook Air too. Love this thing, recently added a Samsung 950 Pro SSD and using the original drive now as my storage drive. So all I need now is a nice sleeve to protect it.

        • Hi Chris,

          The sleeve just arrived a couple of days ago.
          Unfortunately the fit is not good (about 3cm loose space both horizontally as well as vertically).
          I will keep this for now, as I cannot spend more money on this, but not really satisfied.

          I’m not sure if it’s the specific case that has this issue, or the Air 12.5 is not a similar size to XPS 13.
          Maybe the solution would be to just take it to a shop and compare sizes on the spot.

          • That’s unfortunate, Okay I’ll have to take it into a store with me. In the meantime, I found an old Wenger 11″ sleeve that just fits. Bit of a tight fit I must add. Now I can slip it into a back without worrying too much about it. Just very hard to remove it as it’s so tight.

        • There is an official Xiaomi sleeve (apparntley) that is sold by ibuygou but out of stock..
          https://www.ibuygou.com/p-xiaomi-12-inch-laptop-sleeve-8531.html

  9. Hey Chris,

    Mine arrived today. It wasn’t correctly set up for my region, with everything being in Chinese. Only way I could get it working was to reinstall windows. Now my touchpad won’t work.

    Any chance you can provide any drivers you might have via a dropbox link?
    I’m not accustomed to needing to install a touchpad manually..

    • so I managed to get it working by connecting an external mouse and going through device manager and doing a windows update on all drivers. Surprised it doesn’t do that automatically.
      Problem is, now the gestures aren’t working. Two finger scrolling is pretty much vital …

    • so I managed to get it working by connecting an external mouse and going through device manager and doing a windows update on all drivers. Surprised it doesn’t do that automatically.
      Problem is, now the gestures aren’t working. Two finger scrolling is pretty much vital …

  10. Nice review, you’re improving. Before long you’ll be huge, adding sponsored cuts, pushing brands with paid placements and selling your soul to $$$. Haha, time will tell!

    • I hope not. I don’t want to be doing those horrible sponsor adds like Linus Tec hTips. Pushing toothpaste or something completely unrelated in my tablet reviews.

      • Doubt that’ll happen, What you have is a niche and often a quite a rarity on YouTube, That is high quality Native English reviews of Chinese Tablets and Mobiles followed up with a verdict as well as a good website to go along with it. Keep it up!!

  11. Glassy and not OGS-screen for theese money?! I’m not buing it!

  12. Good review. You had quite a busy week I see
    (4 or 5 vidéos I think!!). I can not see why someone would buy it if for less you can have better pc with core i3 or even i5 from brands like assus or hp. The 13.3 will be horribly expensive. Is there something I don’t get here?

    • Portability, battery life. not everyone wants to game. I take it you’re from the US, you have cheaper tech. But something like this is a good option for Europeans which have to pay 20-30% more than non EU countries.

      • Nope, not US 🙂 good old France. My HP core i5 makes esaily 4-5hours and the one from work (Pro) makes 8h. Those are 15.6 inches screen so I don’t know what is inside a 13.3 inch Asus or HP. Can’t be bad. And… Xiaomi wants to become a premium / global brand like Huawei did. They don’t want to play in the same league as cube, teclast or chuwi. What they do with their products is what the other ‘big’ brothers do.. very few ports (USB for example ), no SD card slot (here and the mipad 2), no HDMI out on mipad 2 which is a good feature for a tablet.
        I still think that it is overpriced for what it is.

        • Errmmm bruv could you name any 13.3 incher that has the specs of the 13.3 inch model for under $800 which is approximately the officially price that xiaomi is offering the 13.3 inch model for….cause when you compare the specs alone together for the price not to talk of the premium feel and build and other factors..it seems to me you’re getting a fair deal

  13. Thanks, excellent reviews like always

  14. gud rivieuh brau

  15. Great review, thanks.

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