Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro

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Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro First Impressions & Unboxing (Updated)

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro First Impressions & Unboxing (Updated)

Update 7th Oct: The spare slot will also take NVMe SSD’s (Samsung 960 Evo tested) so it’s a combo M2 SATA3/PCIE slot. Both slots are reported as PCie x 4 by Samsung’s magician tool. Yet the read rates are slower than expected (writes are full speed) Maybe a driver issue? Only the first type-c port is full USB 3.1 spec with data, charging and video out the other one is only data. Also the battery life. Approx 7-8 hours mix web use. 10 hours streaming video and about 2 hours gaming on the Nvidia GPU. A gaming review coming soon!

Ever since the release of the first Mi Notebook Air 12 & 13 I thought where’s the 15.6″ version? A version with more powerful components, larger keyboard, battery and more ports. Well, finally it’s here, the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro. Its design is very similar to the cheaper Mi Notebook Air 13 I’ve reviewed. A thin metal build with a fully laminated IPS screen and backlit keyboard. A much more powerful 8th gen Core i5 or i7 CPU, dual-channel DDR4 2400Mhz RAM, Intel Wireless AC 8265 and a Samsung PM961 256GB NVMe SSD.

The 15-inch Pro version steps thing up a bit with more ports. Two type-C ports (Sadly no Thunderbolt 3 support) two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and an SD reader. The backlit keyboard has been redesigned, the keys are now black to match the dark grey of the notebook. The touchpad is huge and has an integrated fingerprint reader. Below is the unboxing and detailed first look at the 8th gen Intel Core i7 8250 version with 8GB of RAM.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro first impressions & findings:

  • The build quality is excellent, slightly better than the Mi Notebook 13
  • That dark grey color looks amazing, I really do like it. Much better than the common silver.
  • No logos again on the lid and the lid is firm with little give in it. A minimal design and I prefer this.
  • The touchpad is big and a joy to use, the fingerprint reader is an ELAN one and works well
  • The keyboard I find great to type on, spaced out wide with good typing feedback. I love this keyboard so far!
  • The screen as expected for a 1080p one and 15.6″ isn’t super sharp. But they have selected a great looking IPS panel
  • The Type-C port closest to the status LED is the only one that charges.
  • Some changes to the power adaptor, it now uses a type-c to type-c cable. So you can use longer 3rd party ones.
  • The power supply is a multimode one, max rating 65W and max output is 20v 3.25A. The charge rate very quick for 60wh
  • At idle, the system consumes around 4.5W. Very low, this is on the iGPU. It translates into almost 10 hours of video playable
  • Underload I’ve seen around 20W used. Still, I need to sit down and use it for a day to get correct battery figures
  • The Windows install is the latest Windows 10 build, it’s in Chinese as expected. I upgraded to Windows 10 Pro to then install the English language pack
  • The NVMe SSD is a Samsung PM961, 1800 reads and 1100 writes. I expected faster, but I think it’s the drive not the slot’s fault. I will test my Samsung 960 Evo soon to confirm full PCI-E x 4 speeds.
  • So far fan noise has been minimal, only coming on installing drivers and benchmarking the system, It has yet to reach surface temps like the Mi Notebook Air 13. Hopefully, it won’t!
  • The system overall feels super quick and boots very fast.
  • The bios is mostly locked down. Only secure boot and boot order changes can be made. Linux will run once secure boot is disabled from a USB pen drive.
  • Inside the Mi notebook Pro, there is a  free SATA3 SSD slot. Great for adding a large SSD for storage.
  • The SD reader is quite slow, 30 MB/s reads and writes max it seems.
  • The speakers sound rich and quite loud. Quality Harman Infinity ones and I good like the sound they produce.
  • The wireless chipset is the same as the Mi Notebook 13 2017 model, an Intel Wireless AC 8265. Its range is excellent and very quick.
  • At almost 2 kilos the laptop isn’t light, but not too bad considering its size of 15.6 inches.
  • Geekbench 4 scores are almost double that of the Mi Notebook Air 13’s i5 7200U score on the multicore ranging. This is normal as the i5 8250U has two more cores and 4 more threads. So handles multitasking much better. It will be interesting to see how much faster it is at 4k video encoding.

So far the Mi Notebook Air is looking very promising, already I prefer it over the 13.3″ version due to the larger touchpad, improved keyboard, screen size and additional ports. But I still need to push the system hard, test some applications like Adobe Premiere Pro and Photoshop. Check the battery life and charge times. Also some games to really work both CPU and GPU to check to see if the improved cooler can handle the Nvidia MX150 and i5 8250U

The Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro is currently selling for $889USD / 789 Euros over at Gearbest here. Try coupon MIBOOKPRO

Screencaps from the Mi Notebook Pro unboxing:

 

Chinese tablet news, hands on videos and reviews of the latest Chinese tablets. I don’t review or cover just anything, only tablets I think are good enough and worth the attention.

23 Comments

  1. “so it’s a combo M2 SATA3/PCIE slot” – so , I can be sure buying a PCIe spare ssd disk? It will fit , are you sure? SATA has 3 ends, and PCIe – only 2.

    • Yes, it a combo slot the other one. So SATA3 or PCIE is fine, just needs to be 2280 in size so you can screw it in place.

  2. What about the fan ? Is it on during idle or light use like web browsing or watching video ?

    • Not always on during idle. But it is very faint and hard to hear on low. It does come on with YouTube and web browsing after a while.

  3. Is the WIFI card soldered or socketed on this model? I couldn’t really tell from the video.

  4. I wonder how hard it would be, to upgrade the 8GB to 16 GB of RAM….if one has a good quality solder station and a little experience? Shouldn´t cost that much yes? 😉

    • I don’t think it will be easy at all. Unless you’ve done something like it before.

      • Could you take some pictures, showing how the current module is soldered…..could perhaps give an idea of how hard it would be to solder on another module. If it is already using both ram sockets(2x4GB as your video suggests), it sounds like it’s very possible it would accept to change these out for 2x8GB instead. If it was only a single 8GB socket, one risks the other RAM socket/port has electrical components missing, so it is electrically disabled. Can you follow me? 🙂

        • If I repaste the CPU and GPU I will take some close up pictures.

          • Isn’t that always a good idea, as the paste used is rarely applied as optimally and/or as of as good a quality as the better ones you can buy yourself? 😉

            And speaking of paste….am thinking it would be nice to add some observations regarding temperature fluctuation and how it affects the fan speed/noise. Like what is temps at min/medium/max system performance and the fan noise levels accordingly.

            I currently have a Chuwi Hi13 and most say, I have come to appreciate it’s silent performance, being used to “noisy” desktops and laptops! 🙂

            Ps: If you don’t have a Db soundmeter, you can use a soundmeter app. on your phone, as a temporary solution….though not accurate, it still gives some kind of indication of where the noise levels are at I imagine.

  5. Sounds like a nice piece of kit so far Chris! 🙂

    Aaand…..I look forward to taking part in the competition to win your review sample, when you are done with the full review! ;-P

    • Looking good fo far and already it doesn’t get as hot as the 13.3″ version. Much better cooling in this one. Competition to win it? Haha. Not this one, I think I’ll be keeping it.

      • Ah come now Chris, small price to pay for a fast increase in internet traffic! 😉
        Besides that, you have so many other tablets to play around with anyways! ;-P

        But if you decide to get the 16GB/i7 model later on, I will gladly inherit your current model……can I make it more obvious, what I would think about having one on my table, in front of me now! 😉

        • ;D No the i7 /16GB while it would be nice, the jump in price is not worth it!

  6. I’m interested into the xiaomi, but I need the keys “y” and “z” to be changed against each other. Is it possible to physically change the keys like on many keyboards or notebooks?

    • I think so, it looks like the keys can be popped up and be swapped and pushed back in for your QWERTZ keyboard. However, I haven’t done it as I don’t want to damage, all I have done is use a knife to left up one key and it looks like it will work. So not 100% confirmed.

  7. Hi,
    Super quick snapshot of this laptop.
    I have to agree with your pros and cons. GPU power (and lack of extensibility through Thunderbolt) is a con for me to consider this laptop (especially at the current price of the Chinese resellers).
    One interesting thing in your pictures was the slot on the left for a 4G/LTE modem, unfortunately Xiaomi decided again to remove the slot. This could have been great to be able to put one such modem in this computer to get 4G connectivity. This would have set it above the MacBookPro (it is currently only better in my opinion by the possibility to upgrade the SSD and its price).

    Apart from that it is a good machine. Still not enough to upgrade from my 13 inches, but really nice looking. Cheers for the review.

  8. Besides MacBook Pro what other laptop would be suggested in comparison?

    • Dell’s XPS 15 that’s about it. But they haven’t got the 8th Gen refresh yet.

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