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Mi Notebook Ultra: The Good, The Bad, And The X-Factor
Xiaomi has established itself as a noted brand in the smartphone industry and apparently plans the same for the laptop segment with the RedmiBook and Mi Notebook series. Last year we got the Mi Notebook Horizon series from Xiaomi which was a decent if not great laptop lineup. However, with the launch of the Mi Notebook Ultra and the Mi Notebook Pro, Xiaomi has redefined the premium laptop segment.
The Mi Notebook Ultra is the high-end variant that brings a bigger display than the Notebook Pro and also a higher refresh rate (90Hz). The prices are what dwarf the competition. The 8GB Core i5 variant is announced at Rs. 59,999, while the 16GB Core i5 model has priced at Rs. 63,999. The 16GB Core i7 variant that we received for review costs Rs. 76,999.
Xiaomi is aiming high with the new Mi Notebook series and seems like the brand has hit the sweet spot. It's not just affordable pricing we are looking at but premium-grade built and top-notch hardware as well. Here in this article, we are sharing our initial impressions of the Mi Notebook Ultra. Take a look:
Mi Notebook Ultra: The Good
11-th Gen Intel Core i7 Processor, 16GB DDR4 RAM
The Mi Notebook Ultra employs the 11-th Gen Intel Core i7 processor which is undeniably efficient with all the tasks. There is a Core i5 variant as well which will cost you a bit lower than this variant. The device boots within a few seconds and the apps fire up instantly speaking for its computational speeds.
We haven't used the laptop extensively yet, but based on our initial impressions, it seems perfect for working professionals who require a lag-free performance with different software and tools. The laptop comes with 16GB DDR4 RAM which aids with swift multitasking and faster speeds.
But, it isn't expandable, which is one of the shortcomings in our opinion. Thankfully, that isn't the case with the 512GB built-in NVMe SSD. You can expand the storage as per requirements. The laptop is pre-loaded with Windows 10 Home edition which you can upgrade to Windows 11 later on. We will be coming up with a comprehensive review detailing the performance feedback.
Premium Built And Appealing Design
The specs alone don't define the Mi Notebook Ultra as the best-in-class laptop for modern millennials. The design is also a major factor here. Xiaomi has used Aluminium 6 series alloy to design this laptop that makes it sturdy. It weighs 1.7kg and with a slim form factor, it is easy to carry around. Interestingly, the Mi Notebook Ultra has a striking resemblance to the Apple MacBook Pro (the looks majorly).
Credit goes to the greyish matte surface and a slim profile. It's the Xiaomi logo and the large form factor that distinguishes it from the MacBook. Besides, a larger mousepad surface and a fingerprint scanner-integrated power key are the additional perks. The gesture controls are smooth with the mousepad and the clicks are also well defined.
The added grove below the mousepad allows opening the lid easily. Xiaomi has also integrated a 720p webcam which was missing from the Mi Notebook Horizon series. While the webcam used could have been FHD, we would consider this integrated cam a welcome feature. The Mi Notebook Ultra is also Xiaomi's first backlit keyboard. Typing experience so far has been good. The keypad is nimble and no hard clicks ruin the experience here.
Multiple Connectivity Ports Including Thunderbolt 4
The Xiaomi Mi Notebook Ultra comprises a USB Type-C port, one USB 3.2 Type-A, one USB 2.0, one HDMI, and one 3.5 mm headphone jack that doubles as a mic-in port. There is also a Thunderbolt 4 port which allows a range of functionalities. Again Xiaomi seems to be taking on Apple MacBook Pro here with this feature.
The MacBook Pro was the first Apple laptop to feature the Thunderbolt 4 which Xiaomi has now integrated into the Mi Notebook Ultra. So, it's not just the design but some of the features as well that are alike. This port not only allows data transfers and charging but also helps to connect external peripherals such as additional displays.
Good Battery Backup, Faster Charging Speeds
The Xiaomi Mi Notebook Ultra is equipped with a 70Whr battery unit which as per Xiaomi's claims deliver up to 12 hours of backup with a single charge. However, the backup we got initially has been around seven to eight hours with tasks such as web surfing and occasional media playback.
We are yet to test the performance extensively and with gaming. We will be sharing the feedback on the same going in the coming weeks. A 65W adapter ships with the laptop for faster refuels.
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Ultra: The Bad
Lower Speaker Volumes
The Xiaomi Mi Notebook Ultra employs two 2W bottom-firing speakers for audio. The laptop has DTS audio support that enhances the audio clarity. However, the lower audio speaker volumes are what will make you consider using an external source. That's the only drawback we found while using the Mi Notebook Ultra. Specifically, with a high-end display embedded, a rich soundstage that is loud enough is what would have solidified the deal.
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Ultra: The X-Factor
The Xiaomi Mi Notebook Ultra's big 15.6-inch IPS LCD screen is the star attraction here. What makes this feature the X-factor is the support for 1600 x 2560 pixels 2K resolution, 16:10 aspect ratio, and a higher 90Hz refresh rate.
The Mi Notebook Ultra has a lower 60Hz refresh rate. You can easily toggle between 60Hz and 90Hz refresh rates using "Fn+S" keys. The moment you flip open the lid, the display grabs instant attention. It's a crisp panel with brighter colors and good viewing angles. The display comes with 300 nits peak brightness and 100 percent SRGB gamut.
The wider aspect ratio along with the higher screen resolution is what enhances the viewing experience. Besides, it's a treat for those of you who wish for a matte display surface over the reflective glossy panels. We have watched a bunch of movies and shows on OTT platforms and also via offline directory (downloaded files) and would like to say it's a binge-worthy panel.
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Ultra: Hit Or Miss?
The Xiaomi Mi Notebook Ultra is definitely a hit in our opinion. Our verdict comes on the basis of all the factors including pricing as well as specs. We have seen Xiaomi dominating the smartphone segment with its budget-oriented products. It's the same strategy that the company has opted for in the laptop segment.
Both the Mi Notebook Pro and the Mi Notebook Ultra brings top-of-the-line hardware at much lower rates than what the market has to offer today. And with the latter, it is clear that the brand is aiming to cradle up the ladder and offer Windows consumers a MacBook Pro alternative at cheaper rates.
We already have listed the key features above and have differentiated the factors into pros and cons. Nevertheless, a detailed review is in the pipeline which will clear your additional doubts on this device's performance and worth. So, stay tuned.