Will Xiaomi Laptops Spell Doom for MacBooks?

Xiaomi laptops

The so-called new “MacBook killers” a.k.a. Xiaomi laptops are in town. We wonder: are their specs really killin’ it? Are these budget-friendly machines the worthy MacBook alternatives we’ve long been waiting for?

Beijing-based electronics company Xiaomi produces two laptops for half the MacBook price: the Mi Notebook Pro and the Mi Notebook Air. These premium yet low-cost laptops join the Xiaomi product lineup of smartphones, electric bikes, rice cookers, air purifiers, and yep, even pillows and plush toys.

Xiaomi laptops and Apple MacBooks share a lot in common, from the name and appearance to some of the specs. They have differences, too, that go beyond just the lower price tags.

How do Xiaomi laptops compare to their Apple counterparts? Let’s take a closer look.

Mi Notebook Pro vs. MacBook Pro: Which is better?

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro: The pros

More diverse ports

Connect more devices to a Mi Notebook Pro with its two USB-C ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a three-in-one SD card reader, and a full-sized HDMI port.

MacBook Pro has only four Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, so you need an adapter to use an HDMI connector or a regular USB.

Fingerprint reader

At the trackpad’s top-right corner lies a fingerprint reader that allows easy yet secure access to the Notebook Pro. It’s more convenient than typing a password, which can be time-consuming when you get it wrong or forget it.

More advanced audio tech

The Xiaomi Notebook Pro is one of the few laptops that come with Dolby’s Atmos sound technology. Paired with two 2.5W Harman Kardon Infinity speakers, this Xiaomi laptop delivers loud and vibrant sound for watching movies, listening to music, and producing music.

More powerful graphics card

DoTA and CS:GO fans, listen up! Xiaomi equips its Notebook Pro laptops with an NVIDIA GeForce MX150 dedicated graphics card that provides a seamless gaming experience. It’s more powerful compared to MacBook Pro’s integrated Intel HD Graphics 630.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro: The cons

Harder to set up out of the box

All Xiaomi laptops, including the Mi Notebook Pro, runs Windows 10 Home Chinese. It takes some effort and time to convert Windows 10 from Chinese to English. But once the machine is up and running, it will be worth it, especially if you’re more familiar with Windows than MacOS.

Lower screen resolution

At 142 pixels per inch, the Notebook Pro’s resolution doesn’t quite measure up to MacBook Pro’s 220-ppi Retina display. It’s a tad too pixelated for its 15.6-inch screen.

Slightly bigger and heavier

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro laptops (360.7 x 243.6 x 15.9 mm) are slightly bigger than MacBook Pros (349.3 x 240.7 x 15.5 mm). They’re also a bit heavier at 1.99 kg versus MacBook Pros’ 1.83 kg.

Specs comparison: Mi Notebook Pro vs. MacBook Pro


Mi Notebook Air vs. MacBook Air: Which is better?

Xiaomi offers two sizes for its Notebook Air laptops (13.3-inch and 12.5-inch options), just as Apple does for its MacBook Air (13.3-inch and 11.6-inch). For an apples-to-apples comparison, let’s focus on the 13.3-inch laptops of Xiaomi and Apple.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air: The pros

More powerful graphics card

Just like the Notebook Pro, the Notebook Air’s edge over the MacBook Air is its dedicated graphics card—making it a better choice for serious PC gamers and graphic designers.

The MacBook Air is geared toward casual users with its Intel HD Graphics 6000 integrated graphics card.

Slimmer and lighter

The Notebook Air sports a more compact design than the MacBook Air. The Xiaomi laptop is 14.8-mm thin and weighs 1.28 kg, while the Apple laptop is slightly thicker at 17 mm and heavier at 1.35 kg.

Better sharpness and detail

With a higher screen resolution (full HD) and pixel density than the MacBook Air, the Notebook Air’s screen display delivers sharper detail. But the Mac notebook beats Xiaomi in terms of color reproduction and overall viewing experience.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air: The cons

Harder to set up out of the box

Xiaomi laptops like the Notebook Air are a better fit for the more advanced user because its Windows 10 Home Chinese has to be changed to English first. Those with basic computer knowledge are better off using the MacBook Air, as the macOS High Sierra is a breeze to set up.

Shorter battery life

A fully charged battery on the Notebook Air drains faster than that of a MacBook Air. You can play videos and browse the net for up to 7.5 on the Xiaomi laptop compared to MacBook’s 12 hours of battery life.

Specs comparison: Mi Notebook Air vs. MacBook Air


Apple vs. Xiaomi Laptops: Which are worth buying?

It all boils down to your budget, preferred OS, and what you’ll use the laptop for. Xiaomi laptops provide better value for money with its lower cost and comparable specs with Apple laptops. If you’re after better screen display and performance (and you have lots of moolah to burn), going for a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air makes more sense.