Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 12

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Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 12.5″ Unboxing, First Look and Impressions.

Xiaomi's Mi notebook, unboxing and first impressions

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 12.5″ Unboxing, First Look and Impressions.

Our Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air arrived today, it’s the 12.5″ version. This one has an Intel Skylake Core M3-6Y30, 4GB of 1866Mhz dual channel RAM, 128GB Samsung SATA3 SSD and a spare slot to add another even. And because I’m impatient, I had this sent out with Windows 10 Chinese only, knowing all too well it will not allow me to change it over to English.  But now there is an option to have English Windows 10 installed (but no valid key) and later being a proper fully licensed English version in the works coming asap.

I got this from Gearbest for $619 which is one of better prices but not as good as homeland China of $530. But again me being impatient I ordered DHL shipping and they had a field day on me with duty and taxes. If you’re in Europe, use the free or cheaper mail option to save on taxes. But it will take a while to arrive.

So here is the unboxing video with a more in-depth look at a few things like sound and even doing a clean Windows 10 install.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air video index:

02:51 – Just unbox it already!
04:27 – Weight
04:35 – Ports
06:31 – First boot
07:15 – Screen
07:48 – Keyboard and trackpad
08:34 – Speaker test
09:16 – Backlit keys
10:47 – Device manager, OS & free space
12:07 – Clean Windows 10 install & SSD benchmark
13:08 – First impressions

Further details on Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air:

  • My clean install went perfectly, Windows update had all the drivers. No need for a drivers dump. (But I did make one just in case)
  • Nice audio, loudspeakers. But they did distort a little with some of the bass tracks
  • The 128GB SSD is a Samsung unit and my second test I go 540 MB/s reads and 490 MB/s writes. Which is more like it.
  • Battery life looks to be the major con. Like all Core M3’s around 5-6 hours max at 25% brightness. Doing something demanding like multitasking and lots of Chrome tabs around 4 1/2 hours.
  • The screen is really nice for a 1080p unit. Sharp, great blacks, contrast, and colors. Xiaomi selected very a nice panel. Shame there is no touch support.
  • The type-c port is a USB 3.1 one, data, charging and display out work just fine at the same time.
  • The USB 3 port runs my 1TB external hard drive at USB 3 speeds.
  • Benchmarks are looks very good.
  • Thermals also look to max at 70 degrees.
  • The UEFI bios is completely locked down. No tweaking here…

I have to say I’m really impressed so far with the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air, this is a very nice unit. It’s without a doubt a premium device. Xiaomi has done a great job, now I’m more than ever interested in also review the 13.3″ more powerful Core i5 6200U & Nvidia 945MX version. If you have any questions feel free to ask below, better here than YouTube.

 

 

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.

37 Comments

  1. @chris Is it possible to use external 4K 60Hz display with such a unit? On my Teclast x98 pro i only get 30Hz and even that runs very slow. I’m searching for a mobile device to replace that tablet, just some office, youtube and low to zero gaming.
    But it would be lovely to connect my uhd device so i don’t have to use my desktop pc just for pdf reading or youtube.

    May i invest here, or should i wait for the 13,3″ i5 + gpu version?

    • Hi, yes this Mi Notebook’s Core M3 does 4k60, the HDMI port supports 4k 60fps I’m not sure if the type-c video put does.. The Atom cherry trails only do 4k 30fps max. And my own monitor is a 2560 x 1440 one which the Atoms at least run at 60 hz.

      • thank you very much

        i’m still unsure buying this or the 13,3″ version later.. tough decision.
        Anyways, thank you for these informations 🙂

  2. I guess the Windows version is Zhuangongban (the chinese only Windows 10) if it’s not you should have been able to choose Windows 10 SIngle Licence from the media creation tool with your favorite language and keep the activation.

    • By “Single Licence”, I meant “Single Language”, sorry.

    • Thanks for the info. I didn’t have that option when I ran the install from the USB flash drive. What am I missing?

      • I’ve just created another USB key install to try.

        Once you launch the MediaCreationTool.exe if you choose to create an installation media for another computer you should see a screen called “Select language, architecture & edition” there you can untick the checkbox to use the recommended settings of your PC, and then you can choose your language / arch (x86/x64) and windows 10 edition (Home/Home Single Language/N)

        At least on my Windows 10 Home computer it’s possible

        Make sure you have the latest media creation tool from microsoft, older version may still work but they may not include these options.

        • Great info. I will try that. Thank you. I have an older version, that must be the issue.

        • I tried this and Windows reports it as an invalid license. I had to use my Windows 10 Pro key to upgrade and activate to Win 10 Pro.

  3. Have you tried charging it off a 5V 3A USB-C charger?

    Have you tried using a USB PD Type-C Charger like the Chromebook Pixel charger or the Anker PowerPort+ 5 USB-C with USB Power Delivery.

    • Haven’t tried it yet with 5V 3A charger. I will soon. But my ivoler type-c charger works get. The stock charger charges it really quick in around 89 minutes to fully charge it. 40 minutes or so to 50%. I was thinking a fast charger with 12V 1.5 would charge it too if off. Will test this out and report back.

    • Tried it and it will be in my review video. Doesn’t work.

  4. Hello chris,I like your mi notebook air’s review so much.I have some question.How to clean Windows install to get 100% English? Can you guide me easy method step by step,please?I think,Everybody want to know about change chinese window to english language.My friends’ll go to china next month(I ask him to buy mi notebook ) and I’m very worried to buy mi notebook because it’s a only single windows chinese os . I follow techtablets.com for year and a half.It’s a good web to introduce newie tablet and notebook from china.Keep on good work.Thank you.

    • Very easy, create a Windows 10 media USB install. Use the windows 10 media creation tool https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows10 make a USB install drive. Run it from with-in Windows 10 Chinese OS, it will install Windows. When it boots the touch pad will not work. Enter in your wifi details, leave it for 15 minutes to download and install drivers from Windows 10 Update. Enjoy! If you want full gestures control download “Synaptic HID touchpad 64bit drivers” I’ll upload them soon.

      • Thank you so much for your answer.It’s show,I can clean install windows 10 by media usb install tools (run media usb install from within mi notebook’s windows 10 chinese os).Is it correct? I get it.Can mi notebook boot from usb drive since open system? Thank again.I’ll wait for your driver upload(full gestures control) on future.Good work and good review.Thumb up.

        • That’s correct run it from the Chinese OS. I found a full Win 10 Pro key from ebay for $10. It’s working, I think it’s an OEM key.

  5. I have to say, I really don’t get the pricing on this. I mean it’s easy to find a much better deal (better spec’s for the money) on a main-stream brand, with likely better support and more local source/supplier. Just one example I quickly found:
    $629.99 Dell – Inspiron 2-in-1 13.3″ Touch-Screen Laptop – Intel Core i5 – 8GB Memory – 128GB Solid State Drive
    Granted this one is a convertible notebook not a detachable tablet, but I’m sure you can find a similar deal on other big-name detachable notebook/tablets.

  6. Hey Chris, Is there a UEFI-Boot or what? is it totally locked/inaccessible?
    how many partitions are created in that ssd?

    • Hi bios settings cannot be changed, that is all locked out. But you can boot and change the boot order. The 128GB has recovery and then Windows install. I wiped all of my for the clean Windows install to get 100% English.

  7. You shouldn’t have to reinstall Windows to display English in Windows 10. This was definitely the case with older versions of Windows, but as far as I can tell, Windows 10 doesn’t have that restriction on Chinese versions of its OS. I live in Shenzhen and recently had the Chuwi Hi10 send back to the company to be repaired and told them to wipe the drive and do a clean install (conveniently, this wiped the Windows-only install and gave me an an Android dual-boot system). They made a Windows account all in Chinese when testing the tablet out, which is how it was returned to me. I had to go through a few different menus, but I was able to change everything back to English, including the lockscreen and system notifications.

    • I tried everything and it would not download the language pack correctly or install it. Only the app names were in English and the keyboard. Everything else Chinese. I had the same issue before, it’s the Chinese Windows 10 online version, it seems if you’re in China it will download and install. I might have needed to us a Chinese VPN to get it to work. Clean install was the quickest fix and all drivers install just fine from Windows 10 update. All I had to do later was install the Synaptics HID touchpad driver for full gesture control.

      • I don’t know what version of Windows 10 comes on the Chuwi Hi10, but I wasn’t connected to the internet when I changed the system language. I assumed Windows 10 worked more like a mobile OS with a bunch of languages already pre-installed.

        • This one was different, I tried everything to get full English and gave up. Clean install was the easiest and quite easy to do.

  8. Try type-c charger from Xiaomi with Cube i7 book.

  9. Hello ! Excellent work not only in this review but in all ! Compared with brands like apple asus lenovo hp , which punctuation would you give to this ultrabook ? Passing the keyboard, such is ? You have to do a lot of pressure to be bend , writing regular noticeable ? Regards ! Thank you very much !

    • The more I use the keyboard the more I like it, it’s not bad at all. The typing experience, feedback and travel of 1.2mm is fine. I rate this so far as a very good notebook for the price. It’s only fault would be 6 hours or so battery life, no touch screen and it could do with another USB port. Other than this it seems to be a very nice unit. I’m enjoying it.

  10. Can/will you notify us when the 13 inch is ready? Thanks.

    • Yes if I remember 🙂 But I’m interested in reviewing one so a high chance I will.

  11. Looks sweet. But why didn’t you get it from Banggood? http://www.banggood.com/Xiaomi-Laptop-Intel-Core-i7-8G-DDR3-NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-760M-15_6-Inch-p-941729.html It’s much cheaper there. $609 with coupon book12 and they don’t say anything about it being in Chinese, is it the English version?

    • I doubt anyone has it shipping in English from the factory. I got it because they had it up for order first and offered DHL shipping. I try to get the tech fast to review before YouTube and the web is flooding with crap from Aliexpress sellers.

      • Okay well can you please test out Linux Mint if you have time and some gaming with thermals. If I sell my i7 Book I’ll get this, but only with English OS.

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