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 $977USD / 819 Euros over at Gearbest here. Try coupons GBPCPCS for 14% off or the $999 one using MIBOOKPRO
Screencaps from the Mi Notebook Pro unboxing: