Xiaomi Mi NoteBook Ultra review: Purely for demanding professionals
The Xiaomi Mi NoteBook Ultra is easily one of the better built laptops that is also fuss-free to use. Is it the right pick for college students and young professionals?
Xiaomi may not be a prominent name in the world of laptops but it is fair to say they make some of the best Windows laptops.
Last year's Mi NoteBook 14 Horizon Edition painted us fairly impressed and this year, the Mi NoteBook Ultra is a step upwards.
Mi NoteBook Ultra configured with 11th Gen Core i7, 16GB RAM and 512GB storage; the absolute top-end model. Dive in for a detailed review.
Xiaomi Mi NoteBook Ultra Design
If last year's Mi NoteBook 14 did not remind you of the Apple MacBook Pro, this year's model is leaving no stone unturned to do just that.
It is almost an inch-by-inch replica of the 16-inch Intel MacBook Pro, except for a few details. It has a sturdy metal body painted in silver.
The webcam is back on the top-bezel. The hinge is much better than before and is highly firm – no wobbles at any angle.
Xiaomi Mi NoteBook Ultra Display
The Mi NoteBook Ultra easily has the second best display in this segment; the Asus ZenBook K15 OLED takes the top prize.
It is a 15.6-inch display with very slim bezels and the 16:10 aspect ratio is a bliss for work.
The pixel resolution of 3200 x 2000 makes Windows and everything it hosts look sharp, while the 100% sRGB colour profile is a treat for the eyes.
Xiaomi Mi NoteBook Ultra Performance
The Mi NoteBook Ultra variant I have has the high-spec 11th Gen Core i7 H35 processor paired with 16GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM and 512GB SSD storage.
There is no NVIDIA/Radeon graphics this time; Xiaomi relies on the Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics on all of its laptops this year.
For a general productivity laptop, a Core i7 processor is overkill. I subjected the laptop to the demanding work routine of a journalist, where it had to deal with 8-9 Chrome Tabs, MS Word, and some music streaming in the background.
No part of this routine made the laptop stumble. Editing images on Photoshop was not an issue, even with high-res 8K images.
Boot-up times have been quick. There is more than enough power for generic tasks.
Nonetheless, the Mi NoteBook Ultra redeems itself as an effortless work laptop, especially with its keyboard.
This is a nice keyboard with ample key travel and decent feedback. The backlighting certainly helps and the silver deck helps keep it looking clean despite the dust build-up.
The trackpad is fine but there is scope for improvement with regards to button travel.
Then again, Xiaomi offers the laptop with a free licensed copy of MS Office 2019.
Audio performance out of the two 2W speakers is adequate for casual YouTube sessions and virtual meetings; there is a scope for improvement here. A 3.5mm headphone jack is present too.
Xiaomi Mi NoteBook Ultra Battery
Xiaomi claims up to 12 hours of battery life on a single charge but my workflow could only extract 7 hours of maximum stamina before it conked out.
Not bad, considering there is a beefy Core i7 running inside.
Note that my work involves consistent connection to Wi-Fi and having the display set to 50 percent brightness, for at least 12 hours a day. Your mileage may vary based on your usage.
The Mi NoteBook Ultra costs Tk97,000. Its performance is flawless and the sharp 3.2K 16:10 display makes work easier.
The keyboard is satisfactory and the decent choice of ports helps with enhancing productivity, especially for a creative professional like yours truly.
It is not all perfect though. The battery life still has room for improvement and so does the graphics performance.
We understand that computer peripherals have become too expensive but it is Xiaomi who makes this; there could have been at least an option to offer a dedicated NVIDIA GPU for the high-end version.
Despite its quirks, the Xiaomi Mi NoteBook Ultra comes as a wholesome package that ticks almost all the boxes right for power users seeking a robust 15-inch WFH laptop.