Many customers have been familiar with the brand of Xiaomi for up to 7 years. But this brand has been known only among smartphone users because the manufacturer was focusing only on making quality phones. In recent years, Xiaomi has entered too many fields and has stretched his tentacles to one product line after another. It has been a year and a half since the launch of Xiaomi’s first notebook. Just a month ago, the company finally expanded its laptop line entering the gaming niche. But what does exactly this mean? As Lei June has said, the Xiaomi Gaming Laptop is a ‘performance monster.’ We should make sure ourselves our protagonist really deserves to be called a gaming notebook.
Xiaomi Gaming Laptop Appearance
At the launch event, Xiaomi CEO said ‘this is a gaming laptop that can be brought to work.’ This simply means Xiaomi has avoided making a monster-like laptop like many models available on the market. So when looking at the Xiaomi Gaming Laptop no one will guess it’s aiming at gamers.
Like other Xiaomi laptops, this one adopts a minimalistic design with no logos. It even has the same dark gray color body as the Xiaomi Notebook Pro series models. By the way, we have heard there will be a black variant as well, but until today it’s not been listed.
In terms of heat dissipation, the Xiaomi Gaming Laptop has a built-in 3+2 large-diameter heat pipe and an enclosed innovative layout that can quickly transfer core or key heating elements to the fan zone. The unique S-shaped turbine metal blades and 12V drive motor quickly release heat to the fan zone as well. As a result, the heat dissipation area increased by 50%, while thanks to the stainless steel used in the grid it provides a 46% larger opening rate. The heat pipe increases the thermal conductivity by 25%, while the metal ultra-thin turbine blades help the laptop to reach a maximum speed increased by 20%. There’s also a special TORNADO key that kicks in ultra-fast cooling by dropping the temperature by up to 3-5 degree Celsius within 10 minutes.
The dismantling of the Xiaomi Gaming Laptop is very simple. Just remove the screws to open the back cover. In terms of scalability, there are two M.2 interfaces, two memory slots, and a 2.5-inch hard disk drive.
It is worth noting that the second M.2 interface is in conflict with the mechanical hard disk. You need to remove the mechanical hard disk to use it.
You should be acquainted with this technology from the unboxing article.
The Xiaomi Gaming Laptop sports a 15.6-inch IPS screen with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. It comes with a color gamut of 72% NTSC, and a maximum brightness of 300nit.
This is not a full-screen laptop like the recently announced Huawei Honor MagicBook, but the borders are narrowed a lot reaching 9.9mm of width. This is the reason why the camera is placed on the forehead and isn’t hidden under a key like the mentioned model.
The four-part (not full-size) keyboard is backlit supporting 16 million colors. It comes with hyperbolic keycaps featuring 1.8mm keyway.
The large-sized touchpad provides a good touch experience. Of course, as the game product, the utilization of the touchpad is still low.
Many think the hinges’ design affects the overall beauty and appearance, but it’s a matter of taste. So we should only state Xiaomi is using crescent hinges to save space.
The whole laptop is made of an engineering plastic, and the keyboard is not equipped with a keypad area.
The left side of the keyboard is equipped with a ‘Tornado’ mode button, which allows the fan to run at a full speed. That single key improves the cooling efficiency to a certain extent, and of course, it also brings some noise. As for the other 5 ‘custom keys’, they can be set to a variety of functions.
There are four USB 3.0 Type-A ports. Two of them are placed on the left side, one is on the right, and the last one is on the back. A headphone jack, as well as a microphone interfaces, are on the left side.
The all-in-one card reader is on the right.
Finally, a Gigabit RJ45 cable interface, HDMI2.0 interface, USB Type-C and round charging port are on the back along with the fourth USB port.
Almost half of the area on the D surface is occupied by the intake grille. However, for a better ventilation efficiency, no dustproof nets are arranged on the grille part, and it is indeed easier to accumulate dust.
The stickers also show the Xiaomi Gaming Laptop comes with genuine Windows 10 and Office 2016.
The laptop is equipped with a Dolby Surround sound system and has two 3W speakers. The volume and sound quality are very good.
Xiaomi Gaming Laptop Performance
Xiaomi has a notebook sporting the 8th-gen Intel Core chip. It’s the new Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13. But this gaming laptop comes with the seventh-generation Kabylake architecture Core i7-7700HQ processor that uses a quad-core 8-thread design clocked at a default frequency of 2.8GHz. On a turbo mode, it can reach 3.8GHz.
We tested the laptop via the CineBench R15 test. The multi-thread performance is 730cb, while the single-thread performance is 150cb. So we can state the overall performance is quite good.
The Xiaomi Gaming Laptop uses a GTX 1060 graphics card from NVIDIA with 1280 CUDA cores and 6GB of GDDR5 memory. There is also a variant with a GTX 1050 Ti 4GB GPU, but we’ll stick with the high-end model for review purposes.
In the 3DMark Firestrike test, the graphics score reached 11859 points, and the performance was very good.
As for the storage, the laptop uses a PM961 SSD from Samsung. We use Crystal Disk Mark for testing. The read and write performance was quite good.
Anyway, we are dealing with a gaming product, and it’s very important to see how it performs when playing games. To test that, we were playing ‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’, ‘Call of Duty WWII’, and ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’.
The average frame rate of ‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ under high quality reached 71.2fps, and the game was played very smoothly.
The average frame rate for “Call of Duty WWII” is as high as 103.4fps and the game runs without stress.
The built-in Benchmark score of “Rise of the Tomb Raider” under high quality also reached 79.86fps.
The heat dissipation is a real headache for all laptop makers. We also said the Xiaomi Gaming Laptop comes with a powerful fan system. But we have to test it to know for sure. So we used the AIDA64 FPU and Furmark to make a brutal ‘double bake’ test.
The first image refers to the default mode. The keyboard temperature reached a maximum of 54 °C. At the same time, the high-temperature area is located in the middle of the keyboard. It is relatively large. The palm rest does not have a high-temperature distribution. The overall heat dissipation performance is moderate.
Once the ‘Tornado’ mode was turned on, the heat dissipation was greatly improved and the temperature was reduced by 5°C. The hot area has been reduced. At this time, the noise level also has a certain increase, but it is still within the acceptable range. Under the double grilling, there is such a cooling performance that is a good level. However, the insulation of the keyboard part still needs to be improved.
During testing, the CPU frequency is always maintained at about 2.85 GHz, and the performance is good.
Xiaomi has been used to design minimalistic products. This statement is true for all of its products. The Xiaomi Gaming Laptop is no exception. Many gamers will complain about its design saying this notebook looks like a business laptop, but the truth is Xiaomi is entering the gaming industry and it should understand what people want from a gaming product. In this sense, the Xiaomi Black Shark gaming smartphone looks more acceptable.
In terms of performance, the gaming has reached a very high level, while the thermal performance is also satisfactory. Of course, the lack of the eight-generation Core processors is the biggest regret, but from the actual gaming experience, the impact is actually more limited. If there is no need for professional computing, the seven-generation Core can meet the demand.