China's Xiaomi has finally unveiled its first Mi Laptops for India. The Mi Laptop 14 Horizon Edition starts at ₹54,999 and is targeted at creators and professionals looking for a affordable, thin and compact laptop.
For a 14-inch notebook, the Mi Laptop feels compact and light (1.35kg) thanks to the small bezel size around the screen. It has a screen to body ratio of 91%.
The full metal body and lustreless finish gives a high end feel to Xiaomi’s laptop. Interestingly, Xiaomi hasn’t tried to promote the brand name by putting the Mi logo all over the laptop, something many companies tend to do. The entire notebook has Mi name at one place - right under the screen.
The keyboard looks well spaced with big enough keys for touch typing. However, they lack backlighting, which means typing in dark will be a problem. The touchpad is also small, but then most notebooks of this size have small touchpads these days, except MacBooks. The connectivity options include HDMI, USB 3.1 and USB Type-C and 3.5mm jack.
The Mi Laptops’ 14-inch screen is non-reflective and has Full HD resolution. Quad HD resolution is still not a thing in mid ranged or even many premium notebooks and won’t be missed. Due to thin bezels, the Mi laptop doesn’t have a front camera on top, and instead of adding one at the bottom of the screen Xioami has chosen to bundle a webcam with the device.
Running inside the Mi Laptop Horizon Edition is Intel’s latest 14nm based Core i7 10th gen CPU in the top variant and Core i5 10th gen CPU in the lower variant with 8GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB NVME SSD. It is a powerful combination and usually found in laptops that cost above Rs. 75000.
The laptop also includes a dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX350 (2GB RAM) GPU, which is good but won’t really help with very graphics intensive tasks. For instance, it won’t even run PUBG at medium settings. It isn’t in the same league as a GTX GeForce 1650.
That said, it’s a lot faster than Intel’s integrated graphics and will come in handy for photo and video editing to some extent. As a back to school laptop, this works.
Though fingerprint sensors are not common in laptops, many OEMs offer them and one can’t deny that they are more convenient to use than typing a password. The Mi Laptop doesn’t have a fingerprint sensor either, but it can be unlocked using Mi Blaze, which allows users to unlock the laptop through an Mi Band 3 or higher by bringing them close to each other, provided they are already connected via Bluetooth.
The Mi Laptop runs Windows 10 and unlike Xiaomi phones, Microsoft doesn’t allow OEMs to make any changes to how the operating system looks and feels. At most they can add a few apps of their own and Xioami put the Mi Smart Share app, a file sharing service.