This Apple Competitor Now Has Its Own Air Notebook

Xiaomi's Mi Notebook Air
Xiaomi's Mi Notebook Air

China’s Xiaomi is becoming a recognisable name around the world for its wallet-friendly Android smartphones, but its revenues were flat last year. So it makes sense that the firm has now unveiled its first notebook PC.

The computer has a familiar-sounding name: Mi Notebook Air. And indeed, it looks rather like something from Apple’s (AAPL) MacBook line (Xiaomi is also eyeing an Apple-esque retail strategy).

There’s a 12.5-inch version that weighs 2.36 pounds and has a claimed battery life of 11.5 hours. The larger 13.3-inch version weighs in at 2.82 pounds and has a battery life that’s two hours shorter, but it packs quite a punch in the graphics department.

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Unusually for an ultraportable, the larger Mi Notebook Air has a discrete Nvidia GeForce 940MX graphics card, rather than relying on the graphics muscle that comes with the Intel processor. This means it should be able to handle reasonably resource-intensive modern games.

According to CNET, Xiaomi has turned to a partner called Tian Mi to manufacture the Mi Notebook Air. The laptop is currently only slated for release in China—it will cost around $525 or $750, depending on the size.

Of course, the PC market is not exactly a sure bet. It’s steadily contracting around the world—and even more so in China, according to an IDC analyst quoted by CNET.

For more on Xiaomi, watch our video.

But that said, the release of the Mi Notebook Air does show that Xiaomi is diversifying its line-up. As Fortune recently reported, this is a company that wants to develop an ecosystem ranging from phones to rice cookers, so getting some laptops out there makes a degree of sense.

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