Xiaomi might launch a MacBook rival next week

Posted Jul 18, 2016 by James Walker
Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi is rapidly expanding into new regions and product ranges. The company has scheduled a launch event for next week where it is widely expected to unveil a premium Windows laptop to rival Apple's MacBook Air.
The new 2015 MacBook has only a single USB Type-C port for connectivity
The new 2015 MacBook has only a single USB Type-C port for connectivity
In a post on its forum last week, Xiaomi announced it has scheduled an event for July 27th at the China National Convention Center in Beijing. It invited fans to pitch their ideas on what will be unveiled, confirming it has more than one product to launch.
While the majority of people voted for a new smartphone, the company is more widely expected to launch two new laptops. The high-end notebooks will be the latest addition to Xiaomi's rapidly growing range, joining phones, tablets and smart home accessories.
As SlashGear reports, the laptops, potentially branded as "MiBooks," will be equipped with cutting-edge internals. The processor will be a powerful 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-6500U, accompanied by 8GB of RAM. In a similar vein to Apple, a single USB-C port is likely to cater for power, video and connectivity with external devices.
Xiaomi will use a design similar to that of Apple's MacBooks, basing the laptop on an ultra-thin chassis that gradually becomes thicker towards the hinge. 11-inch and 13-inch models will be available, the same options as for the MacBook Air. If history's anything to go by, Xiaomi is likely to be accused of directly copying Apple's designs.
There will be a few crucial differences between the MacBook and MiBook though. Xiaomi will be launching its laptops with Microsoft's Windows 10 on board, compared with Apple's own MacOS. Pricing is also expected to be significantly lower than MacBook territory, even though a Core i7 and 8GB of RAM will provide high-end performance.
Xiaomi has been rumoured to be building a laptop for years but this time it looks like it may finally be ready for a launch. We'll know more about its Apple-inspired notebook range when the company unveils it in Beijing next week, adding a low-cost but high-power laptop to the market.
Earlier leaks had suggested Xiaomi is focusing on creating a low-end product to begin with, leaving out the powerful internals to reduce costs and attract buyers. At one point, it was thought to be using a basic Intel Atom processor and an open-source Linux operating system instead of Windows.
The company seems to have reversed that stance, if it was ever the case, again looking towards the premium end of the market. This leaves it with a more complete product that is more likely to appeal to the kind of person who currently purchases MacBooks.
Leaked pricing from earlier this year suggests the 11-inch version will start at around $730, $130 less than the $899 list price of Apple's 11-inch MacBook Air. Apple products are popular in China but Xiaomi also has a strong presence in the market. The company could be able to replicate its success in smartphones with laptops as its fast-paced expansion continues.