On 27th March, the laptop range of the Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi was extended by a particularly powerful model. With the Xiaomi Mi Gaming Notebook, buyers get a portable powerhouse that can play the latest games smoothly thanks to GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. While Xiaomi’s previous notebooks set unrivalled low prices in the ultrabook segment, the manufacturer is now also expected to get the gamer’s heart racing. The most powerful version with Intel i7 7700HQ CPU, Geforce GTX 1060 with 6GB graphics memory and 16GB RAM costs 1430$ (9000 Chinese Yuan). In addition, there are two cheaper versions with 8GB RAM and Core i5 processor, which are available for as little as $950. Initially, sales will of course start in China – but the notebooks will also be delivered to the rest of the world via the well-known online shops such as Gearbest in the near future.
Versions at a glance
Xiaomi has introduced its new notebook in four different versions. While the cheapest can be described as a beginner gaming notebook, the high-end version is in the top league of the portable gaming sector.
|Hardware / Version||i7, 256/16GB, GTX 1060||i7, 128/8GB, GTX 1060||i5, 128/8GB, GTX 1060||i5, 128/8GB, GTX 1050|
|CPU||Intel Core i7 7700HQ mit bis zu 4x 3,8Ghz.||Intel Core i7 7700HQ mit bis zu 4x 3,8Ghz.||Intel Core i5 7300HQ mit bis zu 4x 3,5Ghz.||Intel Core i5 7300HQ mit bis zu 4x 3,5Ghz.|
|GPU||GeForce GTX 1060, 6GB GDDR5||GeForce GTX 1060, 6GB GDDR5||GeForce GTX 1060, 6GB GDDR5||GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
|RAM||16GB DDR4 RAM, 2400MHz||8GB DDR4 RAM, 2400MHz||8GB DDR4 RAM, 2400MHz||8GB DDR4 RAM, 2400MHz|
|Storage||256GB SSD + 1TB HDD||128GB SSD + 1TB HDD||128GB SSD + 1TB HDD||128GB SSD + 1TB HDD|
Other specifications such as 15.6-inch Full-HD display, USB Type C and HDMI 2.0 connection, Dolby Panorama Sound Speaker and 55 watt hour battery are the same in all versions. The appearance does not differ either.
Design and Display
Xiaomi tries to combine strong performance and an office-suitable design in its new gaming notebook. The notebook’s rather discreet appearance, which at first glance does not have much in common with an extravagant gaming notebook, speaks in favour of this. The case is with 2cm thickness still relatively narrow and also the weight of 2.7kg is blow average gaming notebooks. The display measures 15.6 inches and has a full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. This means that the laptop does not offer as much screen space as very large 17-inch notebooks, but the notebook can therefore still be easily transported. When closed, the gaming laptop looks almost like a normal office notebook. But Xiaomi also made sure that you don’t have to be ashamed at the next LAN party. For this purpose, multi-coloured LED lighting has been integrated into the keyboard. When these are switched on, an LED play of light in different colours is revealed, which can light up in “Breath”, “Wave” and “Colorful” modes. When closed, the lighting can also be used to let the laptop light up in pulsating light.
As always, the case is made of aluminium and, like the other Mi notebooks, has a noble finish. The keyboard has the English QWERTY layout. In addition to the normal buttons, there are also 6 buttons on the right-hand side, which can be assigned by the user himself. Below the keyboard is a large touchpad, but without an integrated fingerprint sensor.
All models have a strong GPU + CPU combination. Xiaomi uses the 7th generation of Intel Kaby Lake chips for the processor. The Intel Core i7-7700HQ of both high-end versions is a fast quad-core processor for notebooks, which was presented at CES in January 2017. It is the successor of the Core i7-6700HQ from the Skylake generation and is manufactured in an improved 14 nm process. The quad-core CPU clocks at 4 times 2.8GHz in standard mode and 3.8 GHz in boost mode. Compared to the faster Core i7 models, the Core i5 of the two cheaper versions does not support Hyper Threading and has lower clock rates. The CPU cores run at 2.5 – 3.5 GHz. The i5 processor is also manufactured using the 14nm process.
The mobile Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 is a graphics card for high-end laptops. It is based on the Pascal architecture, is produced in 16nm process and has 6GB GDDR5 memory on the Mi Gaming notebook. Compared to the desktop version of the GTX 1060, the laptop version offers the same number of shaders, but with a slightly lower clock rate.
The performance of the mobile GTX 1060 is several percent lower (about 6 to 15%) than that of a reference GTX 1060 desktop card, although the performance is still sufficient for current titles with a high level of detail.
As integrated storage, the Mi Gaming notebooks offer a combination of SSD and SATA hard drive. All models have 1TB HDD memory to store a sufficient amount of games and data. The most expensive version also offers 256GB SSD, while the smaller versions have only 128GB SSD memory built in. There will probably also be a second M.2 PCIe SSD slot to easily expand the SSD memory.
Due to its powerful configuration, the Xiaomi Gaming Laptop also needs a sophisticated cooling system. At the launch event, the manufacturer stated that they even have the most sophisticated cooling system in the current gaming sector. The Mi Gaming Laptop is equipped with a 3+2 Heat-Pipes system with 4 ventilation slots and two fans. There is also a special tornado button that lowers the temperature by up to 3-5 degrees Celsius within 10 minutes. How well the cooling system works in practice and how much noise the notebook produces will be examined in a detailed test report.
Connectivity and battery
The connections were distributed on the back as well as left and right. On the left are two USB 3.0 ports, as well as a headphone and microphone input. On the right side is a 3-in-1 card reader and another USB 3.0 port. Finally, on the back there is an HDMI 2.0 port, USB Type C, a power plug, a Gigabit LAN port and another USB 3.0 port. Thanks to USB Type C and HDMI 2.0 it is now possible to connect two external monitors with 4K resolution and 60hz.
Bluetooth 4.1 and a dual-band wifi module with .ac standard are available for wireless connection. A 1MP camera was used as webcam. We hope that this will produce a good quality despite the low resolution, but we are rather sceptical here.
As far as sound output is concerned, two 3W speakers with Dolby Panorama sound have been integrated. The Dolby boxes of the Mi Notebook Pro have already convinced us in our test, which is why we are optimistic that the gaming notebook also convinces in point of sound quality. The support of Dolby Panorama sound naturally accommodates the gaming experience through the spatial reproduction of the sound.
The Xiaomi Gaming notebook’s battery lasts 55 watt-hours. This capacity is about the average of current gaming notebooks. Xiaomi gives 5 hours of video playback and 6.5 hours of web browsing as reference values. In gaming use, however, only about 2 to a maximum of 3 hours should be possible. We will only be able to clarify how well the device performs in practice in a detailed test report.
The Xiaomi Mi Gaming Notebook is a perfect addition to the existing notebook range of the Chinese manufacturer. With the Mi Notebook Air 12 inch and 13 inch there are two handy notebooks for on the go. The Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro offers even more power and above all a larger 15.6 inch display for more demanding work. The Mi Gaming notebook now represents the top of the notebook series in terms of performance. Judging by the data sheet of the notebook, there are many points in favour of the portable gaming PC. We are already looking forward to taking a close look at the Mi Gaming notebook in a detailed review.