Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 12.5-Inch Review: Is it Worth Every Centavo?

by Jamie Inocian  September 12, 2016

Xiaomi has long been known for cramming their devices with a respectable list of internals at a very affordable price tag. Their recent foray into the world of making notebooks lives up to their reputation with the Mi Notebook Air, but how does it fair in real world usage and is it worth the Php 29,990 price tag Widget City has placed on the device? Before going any further, let’s have a recap of the specs for the 12.5-inch Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air.

12.5-Inch Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air Specs

  • Intel Core M3 processor
  • 4GB DDR4 RAM
  • 12.5-inch Full HD display, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 128GB SATA SSD storage, SSD expansion slot available
  • 1 x USB 3.0 port, 1 x USB Type-C port, 1 x HDMI port, 1 x 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Lightweight at 1.07 kilograms, thin at 12.9 millimeters
  • 11.5-hour battery
  • Windows 10 Home OS



Minimalistic Apple-esque Design Language

If you watched the video we made for the initial review or read the article, we harped on how the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air looks a lot like Apple’s Macbook Air. There are, of course, a lot of differences despite their similarities but remains a light and compact notebook that was great to take around. It easily fit into a bag that was at least half the size of the one that we regularly take a long with us on a daily basis.


Just like the Apple MacBook Air, the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air is constructed using aluminum sans the Apple logo, of course. It’s plain, and somewhat bland to some, but may attract those who may enjoy a more minimalistic look to their gadgets.


Like it’s Apple counterpart, it has pretty limited connectivity options as well — a single USB 3.0 port, a USB Type-C port, HDMI port, and a 3.5mm audio jack; all the important bits, but you’ll need to invest in a USB hub or card readers if you need them.

Built for Everyday Productivity


At the heart of the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air is an Intel Core M3 processor paired with 4GB of RAM, 128GB of SSD storage, and Intel HD Graphics 515 integrated graphics that runs on Windows 10 in English — at least for the review unit on loan to us from Widget City. The short excerpt from its spec sheet should tell you one thing: the Mi Notebook Air is perfect for everyday productivity.


It may not be a gaming powerhouse or allow you to do heavy video editing, but it isn’t meant to in the first place. It’s meant to be a work companion for presentations, school reports, and even a bit of photo editing on the side. If you do have to scratch a gaming itch, graphically intensive games are certainly out of the question but you can probably squeeze in a few games of League of Legends; adjusting the settings to get decent frame rates.


It took some time to get accustomed to the keyboard of the Mi Notebook Air because of its smaller form factor, but the travel wasn’t so bad once we’ve gotten used to it. The keyboard also gets plus points for being backlit; making it perfect for those nights when you need to burn the midnight oil.


The Intel Core M3 Processor is also pretty good at sipping on the Mi Notebook Air’s 600Wh battery as well. Xiaomi estimated the battery to last for 11 and a half hours, and real world test confirm that you could squeeze that amount of time with the Mi Notebook Air — if you were just going around the Metro for meetings or presentations and not on the notebook the entire time.

Great for Media Consumption on the Go


What the Mi Notebook Air is also good at is for those chill moments where you just want to hunker down to that quick YouTube video in between work to clear your head. The 12.5-Inch IPS LCD Display does a bang up job and has more than sufficient brightness without being ostentatious. The colors were also on point — punchy with out being oversaturated — and has decent contrast ratios.


The Mi Notebook Air is also equipped with speakers provided by AKG and Dolby Audio tech to round out the AV experience. You may want to stay at around 75% of the volume though because it can get a bit distorted and, depending on what your playing, could potentially damage the speakers in the long run.

The Verdict: Another Bang-for-the-Buck Device from Xiaomi


With its spec sheet, performance, and price tag — it’s not hard to give the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air a thumbs up, and we’re giving it two. We cannot deny what the Chinese brand has done here; they’ve made a viable contender for the MacBook Air at half the price. Sure, the MacBook Air’s i5 processor may take the lead in processing power, but the 12.5-Inch Mi Notebook Air easily takes home the gold in terms of value for money. The 12.5-Inch Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air is available at Widget City for Php 29,990 and if you’re looking for a light, compact notebook to take around with you for meetings in and out of the office, you should definitely consider picking this one up.

Comments (2)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    I expected more tidbits on the battery life. Maybe a few synthetic benchmarks on the battery life or maybe your own benchmark on checking how long the battery lasts before we plug it in

    Hey, is it really DDR4? I found different variants all over the web with DDR3 ram, Where can I buy one here in Cebu?