Today, I’m using the slightly more expensive Mi Notebook Ultra, and these are my initial thoughts. Xiaomi has segmented its laptop offerings into mainstream and premium tiers, similar to its smartphones and TVs, due to the rapidity of these launches. Xiaomi has followed up on the Mi Notebook 14 series with the Redmibook series and now the Mi Notebook 2021 family, just over a year after launching the reasonably priced Mi Notebook 14 series in India. The new Mi Notebook Pro and Mi Notebook Ultra, which start at Rs. 56,999 and Rs. 59,999, respectively, are actually quite similar and share a number of interesting features.
The main distinctions between the two are the display size and quality, as well as their overall size and weight. While last year’s Mi Notebooks were all 14-inch thin-and-light models aimed at a broad audience, the 2021 lineup so far consists of premium 14-inch and 15.6-inch models with more features and specifications, albeit at higher prices.
The Mi Notebook Ultra has a brushed aluminum body and a minimalist design.
Unlike last year’s all-black design, this year’s lid features a gleaming black Xiaomi logo in the center. It’s a sleek look that’s both simple and high-end. Xiaomi calls the Mi Notebook Ultra’s aluminium body Lustrous Grey because of the dark sandblasted and anodized finish. The Mi Notebook Ultra is 17.9mm thick and weighs 1.7kg, which is on the heavier side for non-gaming laptops these days.
When you open the lid, you’ll see the Mi Notebook Ultra’s main selling point: its 15.6-inch IPS LCD screen. The brightness can reach 300 nits, and the color coverage is 100 percent of the sRGB gamut. Because of its 16:10 aspect ratio and 3.2K resolution (2560×1600), as well as its 90Hz refresh rate, this is a little unusual.
The screen’s first impressions are that it is very crisp and pleasant. I prefer the 16:10 aspect ratio, and I’m glad to see it making a comeback after years of manufacturers prioritizing 16:9 for video viewing. It’s a minor but noticeable difference that makes everyday work more comfortable. It has a non-reflective matte texture and relatively narrow borders, and unlike last year’s models, it has a webcam in its proper location.
The black keyboard, which stands out against the dark metal, can be found on the lower deck. The layout appears to be adequate, with large arrow keys on the left and a column of paging keys on the right. A macro key, which is usually only found on enthusiast or gaming keyboards, is a unique touch – I’ll see how that works after I’ve used this laptop for a few days. Backlighting was on my wishlist for improvements to last year’s model, so potential buyers will be pleased to learn that it is now available. The power button has a fingerprint sensor built in, which should make everyday use more convenient.
There’s a fingerprint sensor built into the power button, the arrow keys aren’t cramped, and there’s also a macro key.
The hinge feels sturdy and the lid can be pushed back far enough. For the time being, I’m satisfied with the overall construction quality of this laptop – the lid doesn’t flex and it’s simple to open with one finger. After using the mi Notebook Ultra for a while, I’ll go into more detail about the keyboard and trackpad in my full review.
The 11th Gen Intel Core i5-11300H and Core i7-11370H processors are available. Both CPUs have four cores, HyperThreading, and Intel Iris Xe graphics. Both are based on the ‘Tiger Lake-H35’ architecture, with the only differences being clock speeds, cache sizes, and GPU power.
If you go with the Core i5 processor, you can get either 8GB or 16GB of RAM for Rs. 59,999 and Rs. 63,999, respectively. While the RAM is soldered and not upgradeable, the SSD is socketed, and Xiaomi recommends swapping it out at an authorized service center if necessary. A 512GB NVMe SSD is included in all models. For Rs. 76,999, the Core i7 is only available with 16GB of RAM.
There is no SD card slot, but there is an HDMI video output and a 3.5mm audio socket. With the included 65W adapter, you can charge this laptop through either of the Type-C ports. Dual 2W stereo speakers are included. One Thunderbolt 4 Type-C port, one USB 3.2 Type-C port, one USB 3.2 Type-A port, and one USB 2.0 port are included. The webcam resolution is 720p, and Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 are included.
Stay tuned for a full review, which will be published soon. Xiaomi claims that the 70Wh battery will last 12 hours, which I’ll have to verify in my full review. Over the next few days, I’ll be running a variety of tests, including games, and evaluating the ergonomics, design, and value-added features of this laptop. Also worth noting is that you’ll get a full license for Microsoft Office 2019 Home & Student Edition, as well as be eligible for a Windows 11 update when it becomes available.