Xiaomi’s first laptop is a Macbook Air rival that’s as cheap as $540 minotebook

Chinese smartphone and smart device maker Xiaomi just announced its first laptop — and boy does it look familiar to products belonging to a company that begins with the letter ‘A’ ?

The Chinese tech giant is holding a press event to unveil its new Redmi Pro smartphone today, but it also dropped a surprise with the unveiling of the Mi Notebook Air. Even the name sounds familiar, right?

The laptop comes in two sizes — 13.3-inch and 12.5-inch — running Windows with a full-HD display, full-metal body and type-C USB charging and two USB slots. There’s a full-sized keyboard with Apple-esque keys that are individually backlit.

Under the hood, Xiaomi is promising an Intel Core i5 Processor with 8GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB PCIe SSD, and an expandable SSD slot. For games, there’s a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card. Size-wise, we are talking 306.9 mm x 210.9 mm x 14.8 mm with an apparent weight of 1.28 kg.

minotebook2  Xiaomi’s first laptop is a Macbook Air rival that’s as cheap as $540 minotebook2

The starting price is 3599 CNY, or around $540, with a flagship model priced at 4,999, or $750. Don’t hold your breath on an international launch, since many of Xiaomi products — particularly its first forays into new categories — are China-only affairs. What we know so far is it will go on sale in China from August 2.

As is so often the case, Apple is the standard for Xiaomi’s product comparison. The Chinese company said the Mi Notebook Air is thinner (13 percent) than its equivalent Macbook Air, and 11 percent smaller than its rival thanks to a 5.56 mm bezel.

Stay tuned for more details as we have them.