MacBook Pro 2016 Release Date Still a Couple of Months Away, Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air Is a Fine Alternative for Now

The release date of MacBook Pro 2016 is still months, away, but the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air seems like a very good option at this point

There is absolutely no accurate date for the announcement of Apple’s MacBook Pro 2016 and all models that are supposed to get released, and since we’re obviously not fishing for a Broadwell running MacBook Pro model, we’re going to be talking about a suitable alternative that resembles an awfully similar to Apple’s notebooks. Yes, you’ve guessed it, it’s the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air, and if you don’t have an issue running Windows 10 on your mobile machine, you’ll find this to be the suitable substitute. There are a total of two models and both of them cost far less than a MacBook Pro so let’s get started highlighting all the differences between them.

MacBook Pro 2016 release date Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air better option

1. Which model should you purchase out of the two Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air models? : The most immediate answer would be to purchase the version which features better hardware right? Not exactly, as most users can also find better use from the lesser powered version and we’ll get to all of those things in a bit. The screen sizes of both Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air, along with their resolutions have been listed below:

12.5-inch Mi Notebook Air: 1080p resolution

13.3-inch Mi Notebook Air: 1080p resolution

Mi Notebook Air (34)

The 12.5-inch model features less powerful hardware ranging from an Intel Core M processor to 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. All of these point to an underpowered machine but you can still use the notebook to carry out a small amount of tasks; just remember not to overdo it otherwise this version will run out of available resources to provide you with the experience that you deserve. However, the advantage of running a Core M processor is its efficiency, and looking at that statistic, you’ll be pleased to know that more processing firepower does not always equal to greater battery life.

That said, the 12.5-inch Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air is able to deliver 11.5 hours of battery life, but the company hasn’t exactly detailed what sort of work you will have to carry out in order to get nearly half a day’s worth of battery timing. We’d figure that low load tasks will be able to help gain better battery life, but lithium ion batteries will degrade overtime so you will not be able to gain the same life that you did with earlier cycles.

Mi Notebook Air (24)

Also, we’d like to recap on something that we covered in our MacBook Pro 2016 round up post. Apple’s superior macOS operating system is already regarded as an optimized platform, since it was shown that a 12-inch MacBook, which features underpowered hardware (the same Core M processor running in the 12.5-inch MacBook). However, this MacBook is not only able to edit a 4K video, but it passed that test with full marks. The improved OS updates and the free software suite that comes along with it will prove more than useful if you’re looking to experience both battery life and performance.

Mi Notebook Air (54)

This could also mean that you’ll be left limited to what Microsoft’s Windows 10 OS offers you, and its recommended that you choose to run software that puts less stress on the Core M processor. This will help to deliver a blend of both battery life and performance.

2. The 13.3-inch model is ideal for power users, though it’s disappointing that it does not feature an i7 processor : The hardware of the 13.3-inch Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air is quite impressive and if only the laptop came with an i7 processor, it would have become the ideal notebook to purchase in its price range. Regardless, the i5 processor is still not a bad choice, and the company most likely resorted to this to keep the costs of the notebook to a minimum. Intel isn’t known for dialing down the costs of its chips, especially when it involves an i7 processor, so some hard decisions had to be made.

Mi Notebook Air (30)

Coming to more details, the processor powering up the machine is an i5-6200U and is a dual-core processor with a total of four threads. Each core is running at a speed of 2.3GHz, which the maximum Turbo Frequency going up to 2.8GHz. For its base clock speed, 2.3GHz is more than enough to tackle a ton of tasks, and you also have 8GB of RAM to help you speed up multitasking. For comparison purposes, that 8GB of RAM is twice the amount present in 12.5-inch version.

3. What sort of gaming performance can you expect from the 13.3-inch model?: One huge hardware difference between the 12.5 and 13.3-inch model is that the latter features a Maxwell-based GTX 940MX GPU and once again, Xiaomi was forced to provide a combination of low-power consumption, costs and performance, and while a GTX 940MX is clearly a GPU with low levels of graphics horsepower, it’s the best that the company could come up with. We have provided the specifications of the GPU, along with benchmarking tests so you know where the chip stands when you want to taking the Mi Notebook Air for a gaming test run.

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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 940MX specifications

  • Codename: N16S-GTR-B/S
  • GPU clock speed: 1122MHz
  • Architecture: Maxwell
  • CUDA cores: 384
  • Boost clock speed: 1242MHz
  • Memory bus width: 64-bit
  • Video memory type: GDDR5
  • Total usable video memory: 1GB
  • Power consumption: Between 15-25 watts
  • Manufacturing technology: 28nm

Gaming benchmarks of GeForce GTX 940MX

Courtesy of notebook check, given below are some gaming benchmarks that you’ll find useful when gaming on the 13.3-inch version of the Xiaomi Mi Notebook. Since different gaming notebooks possess different hardware specifications, take these benchmarks as a guideline to the sort of performance you can expect from the 13.3-inch model. Because of different hardware, you could either achieve a better or worse result.

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst: All in-game settings were set to low

  • 1280 x 720 resolution: 46 frames per second average
  • 1366 x 768 resolution: 24 frames per second average
  • 1920 x 1080 resolution: 10 frames per second average
  • 1920 x 1080 resolution: 9.4 frames per second average

Overwatch: All in-game settings were set to medium

  • 1280 x 720 resolution: 78.3 frames per second average
  • 1366 x 768 resolution: 55.7 frames per second average
  • 1920 x 1080 resolution: 24.5 frames per second average

DOOM: All in-game settings were set to low

  • 1280 x 720 resolution: 38.5 frames per second average
  • 1366 x 768 resolution: 30.5 frames per second average
  • 1920 x 1080 resolution: 14.4 frames per second average

The Division: All in-game settings were set to low

  • 1280 x 720 resolution: 36 frames per second average
  • 1366 x 768 resolution: 22 frames per second average
  • 1920 x 1080 resolution: 8.8 frames per second average

Rainbow Six Siege 2015: All in-game settings were set to medium

  • 1280 x 720 resolution: 77 frames per second average
  • 1366 x 768 resolution: 48 frames per second average
  • 1920 x 1080 resolution: 24 frames per second average

Just Cause 3:  All in-game settings were set to low

  • 1280 x 720 resolution: 38 frames per second average
  • 1366 x 768 resolution: 30 frames per second average
  • 1920 x 1080 resolution: 15 frames per second average

Star Wars Battlefront: All in-game settings were set to low

  • 1280 x 720 resolution: 51 frames per second average
  • 1366 x 768 resolution: 32 frames per second average
  • 1920 x 1080 resolution: 16 frames per second average

Fallout 4: All in-game settings were set to low

  • 1280 x 720 resolution: 36 frames per second average
  • 1366 x 768 resolution: 23 frames per second average
  • 1920 x 1080 resolution: 13 frames per second average

Call of Duty Black Ops 3: All in-game settings were set to low

  • 1024 x 768 resolution: 54 frames per second average
  • 1366 x 768 resolution: 31 frames per second average

FIFA 16: All in-game settings were set to ultra

  • 1280 x 720 resolution: 123 frames per second average
  • 1366 x 768 resolution: 69 frames per second average
  • 1920 x 1080 resolution: 45 frames per second average

Metal Gear Solid V: All in-game settings were set to medium

  • 1024 x 768 resolution: 60 frames per second average
  • 1366 x 768 resolution: 43.5 frames per second average

Mad Max: All in-game settings were set to medium

  • 1366 x 768 resolution: 40 frames per second average
  • 1920 x 1080 resolution: 20 frames per second average

As you can see, all games with the exception of FIFA 16 had to be played at lowered settings in order to get decent frames, yet showing that while a gaming laptop can be made out of the notebook, you shouldn’t expect such groundbreaking performance. Also, since the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air features more firepower, it comes at the cost of battery life. According to the company, you will be able to get approximately 9.5 hours out of the laptop, 2 hours less compared to the Core M powered one. At this stage, it will be up to you which version to purchase because one perk will also result in one disadvantage.

4. How much storage do you require when you want to purchase one model?: Both models feature a vacant slot for you to purchase an additional SATA-based SSD and install it in the notebook but what about the existing storage present in both models. This is where the 13.3-inch model will present you with better performance as opposed to the Core M version. Both models feature an SSD, but the 12.5-inch features a 128GB SATA-based SSD while the larger one possesses a 256GB PCIe-based drive, resulting in more reliability, life span and higher read and write speeds from the latter. This will fire up the OS and applications in no time, and you’ll gain the upper hand in areas where the storage’s performance will be taken into account.

5. 12.5-inch Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air vs 13.3-inch Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air: All specification differences that you ever wanted to know: There is a vast majority of differences separating both Windows 10 powered notebooks and it would appear that a specifications table would be the best choice to highlight these major differences.

12.5-inch Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air vs 13.3-inch Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air12.5-inch Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air13.3-inch Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air
Display size276.5mm x 155.6mm293.76mm x 165.24mm
Resolution1080p1080p
Pixel per inch176 PPI166 PPI
Contrast ratio600:1800:1
NTSC Color Gamut50 percent72 percent
Web camera1MP

1280 x 720 video calls

Digital array microphone
1MP

1280 x 720 video calls

Digital array microphone
ProcessorIntel Core M-6Y30Intel Core i5-6200U
Processor clock speedDual-core running at 900MHz

Turbo speed up to 2.2GHz
Dual-core running at 2.30GHz

Turbo speed up to 2.80GHz
Wi-FiIntel 2x 2 Dual-Wi-Fi Antenna (802.11ac)Intel 2x 2 Dual-Wi-Fi Antenna (802.11ac)
Bluetooth4.14.1
Hard drive128GB SATA-based SSD256GB PCIe-based SSD
Maximum read speed535MB/s1.5GB/s
Graphics chipIntel HD Graphics 515 integrated graphicsNVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card 1GB GDDR5
Graphics chip featuresSupports three-screen displays and dual 4K video playback, can connect two 4K resolution display, full HD notebook display, three-screen display different contentSupports three-screen displays and dual 4K video playback, can connect two 4K resolution display, full HD notebook display, three-screen display different content
Battery capacity37Wh

USB Type-C fast charges 50 percent of battery in 30 minutes
40Wh

USB Type-C fast charges 50 percent of battery in 30 minutes
Total battery lifeOnline video playback 9.5hours

Local video playback 7.5hous

Web browsing 7.5hours
Online video playback 8hours

Local video playback 7.5hous

Web browsing 7.5hours
Dimensions292mm x 202mm x 12.9mm309.6mm x 210.9mm x 12.9mm
Weight1.07KG1.28KG
Keyboard and touchpadFull size backlit keyboard with 1.3mm key way distance

Supports multi-finger gesture functionality
Full size backlit keyboard with 1.3mm key way distance

Supports multi-finger gesture functionality
Operating systemWindows 10 Home EditionWindows 10 Home Edition
Available colorsGold and SilverGold and Silver
Price$525$785

We’d also like to thank EMIUI user Sepneela for taking out the time to compile the extensive number of differences between both models. We have also pointed out some things that will make both notebooks better according to a certain scenario.

Mi Notebook Air (40)

When should you purchase the 12.5-inch Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air?

  • Requiring more battery life
  • Portability
  • Affordability
  • Carrying out low-level tasks
  • Casual work-based tasks

When should you purchase the 13.3-inch Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air?

  • Battery life not a concern but processing power is a must
  • Light gaming sessions
  • Higher amount of storage, as well as being faster
  • More RAM for more multitasking

If a MacBook Pro 2016 is going to get announced far too late and you need a notebook replacement as quickly as possible, then be sure to invest your money in a Windows 10 powered Xiaomi Mi Notebook. They are affordable, beautifully made and they grant immense affordability for decent spec’d notebooks. If there is anything that you would like to point out regarding why both of these models would serve as a suitable alternative for Apple’s 2016 MacBook Pro 2016, why don’t you share a few details with us?