Xiaomi has just announced a new laptop to rival Apple's MacBook Pro — only it looks every bit like its competitor, but with important exceptions.
The new Mi Notebook Pro, the follow-up to Mi Notebook Air, is an unapologetic MacBook Pro ripoff. "Ripoff" is a misnomer in this case, though. It seems Xiaomi was more inspired to copy the MacBook Pro and make a better product instead of mimicking all its aspects outright just for the heck of it.
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro Plays The Copying Game
The 15.6-inch laptop copies Apple's premium aluminum aesthetic, with a slick arrangement of ports and an overall clean-cut design. It's allegedly superior in terms of performance, however, and sports a more practical smattering of input/output ports. It has two USB-A, two USB-C, full-size HDMI, and an SD card slot. The MacBook Pro, by contrast, has four USB-C, a headphone jack, and not much else.
Surprisingly, the Mi Notebook Pro costs half as much as a Macbook Pro with a comparable spec configuration. On paper, everything looks great; all the boxes are ticked. It even has a fingerprint sensor integrated into the trackpad. But as The Verge notes, there are some flaws to watch out for.
For instance, it's not as thin as Xiaomi makes it out to be. Another: its screen is merely 1080p, a certainly decent enough resolution but laughable for its asking price. At 15.6 inches, 1080p looks rather pixelated, and it's unfortunate that there's simply no other choice. The new MacBook Pro is terrible at certain aspects, surely, but having a Retina Display is one of its most significant features.
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro Pricing And Availability
Those willing to look past the Mi Notebook Pro's relatively low resolution can purchase it in Xiaomi's home market soon. It starts at CNY 5,599, around $860, for an i5 model with 8 GB of RAM. For CNY 6,999, around $1,070, users get an upgraded i7 chip and 16 GB of RAM, along with an Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU.
If one looks past its similarities with the MacBook Pro, the Mi Notebook Pro actually looks excellent. For just around $860, customers get a well-spec'd notebook that's has a gorgeous minimalist design, not to mention all the necessary ports.
Engadget says this will only go on sale in China on Sept. 15, so don't expect a U.S. release anytime soon. That's, unfortunately, the curse with many Xiaomi products — they're often really cheap but almost always fail to reach stateside.