Notebookcheck

Face Off: Xiaomi Mi Air vs. Dell XPS 13 9360 vs. Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016

Popular subcompact. The Xiaomi "copycat" performs surprisingly well against the more established XPS 13 9360 and the latest MacBook Pro 13. Its cut corners, however, become very obvious after spending more time with the Chinese-made notebook.

No one is expecting the Xiaomi Mi Air newcomer to knock it out of the park especially when compared to seasoned notebooks like the XPS 13 and MacBook Pro 13. We are, however, interested to see just how well it can perform when faced against the two most popular 13-inch subnotebooks currently available. Truth be told, the Xiaomi notebook does more things right than wrong even if it falls flat in several categories against the Dell and Apple alternatives.

We encourage users to check out our dedicated review pages below for more data and detailed analyses of each of the three models. This comparison is by no means a replacement, but a condensed aid for those on the fence.

Xiaomi Mi Air
Xiaomi Mi Air
XPS 13 9360
XPS 13 9360
MacBook Pro 13 2016
MacBook Pro 13 2016

Case

Case quality between these notebooks are above average even for the Xiaomi. It's obvious that the Mi Air is taking more than just a few cues from Apple, but the final unibody aluminum base is thankfully of high quality and not a mere facade. Its notable weak points include the relatively fragile lid that is more susceptible to twisting when compared to both the Apple or Dell and an overall modest design.

The XPS 13 and its Infinity Edge chassis proves that you don't have to utilize a unibody design for a high-end experience. Its combination of aluminum for the lid and carbon fiber for the palm rests is very resistant to twists and depressions with no noticeable gaps between materials. Its narrow bezels, for example, are much more rigid despite the seemingly frail appearance.

As for size and weight, all three are mere millimeters apart in length and width and even closer in thickness at essentially 15 mm each. For those who like to keep track, however, the Dell system is indeed the overall smaller and lighter system of the three by the narrowest of margins.

309.6 mm / 12.2 inch 210.9 mm / 8.3 inch 14.8 mm / 0.583 inch 1.3 kg2.82 lbs304 mm / 12 inch 201 mm / 7.91 inch 15 mm / 0.591 inch 1.2 kg2.71 lbs304 mm / 12 inch 212 mm / 8.35 inch 15 mm / 0.591 inch 1.4 kg2.99 lbs

Ports in Comparison

Xiaomi Mi Air
Xiaomi Mi Air
XPS 13 9360
XPS 13 9360
MacBook Pro 13 2016
MacBook Pro 13 2016

Connectivity

Connection options on the Xiaomi are limited to USB Type-A and a single USB Type-C port (likely Gen. 1) that also doubles as a charging port. The system makes up for its lack of Thunderbolt 3 with a full-size HDMI port. Meanwhile, the newest MacBook Pro 13 drops all USB Type-A ports in favor of two Thunderbolt 3 ports not unlike on the HP Spectre 13. While these ports are extremely versatile and can be used for anything from charging to daisy-chaining external monitors, they will require multiple pricey adapters.

The XPS 13 is the best of both worlds with both USB Type-A and Thunderbolt 3. It carries no HDMI, however, so users will likely still need to invest in a proper adapter. 

Ports and Connections

Xiaomi Mi Air Dell XPS 13 9360 Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016
USB 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.1 Type-C (charging) 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.1 Type-C gen. 2 + Thunderbolt 3 2x USB 3.1 Type-C gen. 2 + Thunderbolt 3
Video-out 1x HDMI 1x USB 3.1 Type-C gen. 2 + Thunderbolt 3 2x USB 3.1 Type-C gen. 2 + Thunderbolt 3
Audio 3.5 mm audio 3.5 mm audio 3.5 mm audio
Other None SD reader, Noble Lock None
Storage Bays 1x M.2 2280 1x M.2 2280 1x M.2 2280

Input Devices

Perhaps surprisingly, we experienced no major issues with the keyboards on all three notebooks. Aside from their overall cramped dimensions, the feedback on each key is crisp and relatively quiet on all cases. The keys on the new Apple notebook are slightly louder than on the outgoing generation and the Xiaomi only has a one-level white backlight, but these are just small nitpicks. There are no dedicated auxiliary keys except for the optional Touch Bar on the new MacBook.

As far as clickpads go, the new MacBook Pro 13 is the gold standard. Its large surface area makes for easy multi-touch gestures and its even tactile feedback doesn't favor certain corners of the surface over others. One step down is the Microsoft Precision Touchpad on the Xiaomi which, while still very good in terms of gliding characteristics, exhibited issues recognizing right clicks reliably on our test unit. The Dell clickpad is last for being merely average in feedback for its integrated mouse clicks. Fingerprints build up more overtly on its matte black surface compared to the glass Xiaomi and gray Apple clickpads.

Xiaomi Mi Air
Xiaomi Mi Air
XPS 13 9360
XPS 13 9360
MacBook Pro 13 2016
MacBook Pro 13 2016
Xiaomi Mi Air
Xiaomi Mi Air
XPS 13 9360
XPS 13 9360
MacBook Pro 13 2016
MacBook Pro 13 2016

Display

The Xiaomi and Apple notebooks have glossy screens and no resolution options whereas XPS 13 buyers have a choice between matte FHD or glossy QHD. The FHD screen on the Xiaomi actually holds up very well with its wider color gamut and more accurate colors than the Dell FHD SKU. Average backlight brightness between the two notebooks are almost identical, though the Dell system has lower black levels for a deeper contrast.

The Dell QHD SKU is an improvement over its FHD counterpart in terms of color accuracy with no significant sacrifices made to backlight brightness or contrast levels. The MacBook Pro 13 covers nearly the entire sRGB standard and its backlight is extraordinarily bright at over 500 nits for better outdoor visibility than both the Xiaomi and Dell. Unfortunately, its display response times are comparatively poorer and users may notice more ghosting on the Apple display as a result.

PWM was detected only on our Xiaomi test unit, so users sensitive to onscreen flickering may want to avoid using the Xiaomi for long sessions on low brightness levels.

Xiaomi Mi Air
Xiaomi Mi Air
XPS 13 9360
XPS 13 9360
MacBook Pro 13 2016
MacBook Pro 13 2016
Xiaomi Mi Air
Xiaomi Mi Air
XPS 13 9360
XPS 13 9360
MacBook Pro 13 2016
MacBook Pro 13 2016
Displays at a Glance

Xiaomi Mi Air Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016
Size 13.3-inch IPS 13.3-inch IPS 13.3-inch IPS 13.3-inch IPS
Native Resolution 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 3200 x 1800 2560 x 1600
Pixel Density 166 PPI 166 PPI 276 PPI 227 PPI
Panel ID Samsung LTN133HL09-M01 Sharp SHP1449 LQ133M1 Sharp SHP144A APPA034
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
49 (20, 29)
32.8 (16, 16.8)
43.6 (13.6, 30)
47.2 (19.6, 27.6)
Response Time Black / White *
27 (8, 19)
33.2 (10.8, 22.4)
29.2 (9.2, 20)
53 (10, 43)
PWM Frequency
50 (30)
Screen
Brightness middle
347
351.2
396.2
569
Brightness
334
325
357
542
Brightness Distribution
80
89
84
90
Black Level *
0.27
0.195
0.266
0.56
Contrast
1285
1801
1489
1016
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.29
7.4
3.9
1.4
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
4.69
9.08
7.58
2.9
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.62
6.71
4.16
1.8
Gamma
2.23 99%
2.74 80%
2.31 95%
2.16 102%
CCT
7307 89%
7222 90%
6514 100%
6877 95%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
62
50.48
57.5
78.4
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
95
73.31
88.7
99.3
Total Average (Program / Settings)

* ... smaller is better

Xiaomi Mi Air color profile
Xiaomi Mi Air color profile
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD
Apple MacBook Pro 13
Apple MacBook Pro 13

Performance

CPU Performance

Raw processor performance between the notebooks are very close to one another despite the generational gap between Skylake and Kaby Lake. According to CineBench R15, multi-threaded processes are only 15 percent faster on the i5-6267U compared to the i5-6200U in the Xiaomi. The performance differences are even narrower when compared to the two Kaby Lake Dell systems. Thus, the higher TDP advantage of the CPU in the MacBook Pro is almost entirely dedicated to its integrated Iris GPU.

Users need not worry about having an older Skylake CPU in the latest MacBook Pro series as the current ULV Kaby Lake series offers minimal performance advantages.

See our dedicated CPU pages on the i5-6200U, i5-7200U, i7-7500U, and i5-6267U for more benchmarks and comparisons.

Hardware at a Glance

Xiaomi Mi Air Dell XPS 13 9360 i5 Dell XPS 13 9360 i5 Apple MacBook Pro 13
CPU 2.3 GHz Core i5-6200U 2.5 GHz Core i5-7200U 2.7 GHz Core i5-7500U 2.9 GHz Core i5-6267U
CPU TDP 15 W 15 W 15 W 28 W
GPU GeForce 940MX HD Graphics 620 HD Graphics 620 Iris Graphics 550
RAM 8 GB DDR4 2133 MHz, Single-Channel, Soldered 8 GB LPDDR3 1866 MHz, Dual-Channel, Soldered 8 GB LPDDR3 1866 MHz, Dual-Channel, Soldered 8 GB LPDDR3-2133, Dual-Channel, Soldered
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
118 Points ∼54%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
124 Points ∼57%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7
137 Points ∼63%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
131 Points ∼60%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
294 Points ∼7%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
318 Points ∼7%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7
334 Points ∼8%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
339 Points ∼8%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
1.21 Points ∼50%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
1.45 Points ∼59%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7
1.67 Points ∼68%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
3.23 Points ∼10%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
3.61 Points ∼11%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7
3.86 Points ∼12%
wPrime 2.0x
1024m (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7
495 s * ∼6%
32m (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7
13.9 s * ∼3%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - --- (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
642.8 Seconds * ∼3%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7
573 Seconds * ∼3%
3DMark
Fire Strike Extreme Physics (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
5055 Points ∼18%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7
5474 Points ∼19%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Physics (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
4240 Points ∼15%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
5082 Points ∼18%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7
5523 Points ∼19%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
4937 Points ∼17%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Physics (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
2959 Points ∼7%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
3563 Points ∼9%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7
3948 Points ∼10%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
3455 Points ∼9%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
36369 Points ∼42%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7
45566 Points ∼53%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Physics (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
40769 Points ∼49%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7
44164 Points ∼53%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
4274 Points ∼66%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
4568 Points ∼70%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7
4176 Points ∼64%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
4218 Points ∼65%
Creative Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
4211 Points ∼44%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7
4172 Points ∼44%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
3144 Points ∼52%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
3535 Points ∼58%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7
2855 Points ∼47%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
3738 Points ∼61%
X264 HD Benchmark 4.0
Pass 2 (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
21.53 fps ∼1%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7
21.8 fps ∼1%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
22.3 fps ∼1%
Pass 1 (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
113.12 fps ∼42%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7
118 fps ∼44%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
120.2 fps ∼45%

* ... smaller is better

Xiaomi Mi Air
Xiaomi Mi Air
Dell XPS 13 9360
Dell XPS 13 9360
Apple MacBook Pro 13 (Source: iFixit)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 (Source: iFixit)

GPU Performance

Jumping from the integrated HD Graphics 620 in the Kaby Lake Dell SKUs to the Xiaomi Nvidia 940MX or Apple Iris Graphics 550 will see a very sizable performance increase. Fire Strike Graphics, for example, shows a 120 percent boost when moving to the Nvidia 940MX and a 75 percent boost when moving to the Iris Graphics 550. Subsequently, the HD Graphics 620 is significantly behind both competitors by about half the frame rates. The dedicated Nvidia GPU consistently outperforms the Iris Graphics 550 as well, albeit at much narrower margins.

See our dedicated GPU pages on the HD Graphics 620, GeForce 940MX, and Iris Graphics 550 for more benchmarks and comparisons. The raw graphical prowess of these GPUs is not sufficient for playing the latest demanding titles and are intended to cater to light games and graphics work.

3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
2091 Points ∼5%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
963 Points ∼2%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7
941 Points ∼2%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
1657 Points ∼4%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
12078 Points ∼7%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
8177 Points ∼4%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7
7896 Points ∼4%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
13172 Points ∼7%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
49119 Points ∼7%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7
42290 Points ∼6%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
2417 Points ∼5%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
1545 Points ∼3%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7
1610 Points ∼3%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
2696 Points ∼5%
Cinebench R15 - OpenGL 64Bit (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
51.34 fps ∼21%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
45 fps ∼18%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7
43.7 fps ∼18%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
36.9 fps ∼15%
Rise of the Tomb Raider - 1024x768 Lowest Preset (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
35.7 fps ∼10%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i5
17.4 (min: 16, max: 19) fps ∼5%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
27.3 (min: 24, max: 30) fps ∼8%
BioShock Infinite
1366x768 High Preset (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
57.11 fps ∼16%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i5
25.5 fps ∼7%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
47.9 fps ∼14%
1366x768 Medium Preset (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
65.55 fps ∼17%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i5
30.3 fps ∼8%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
56.2 fps ∼15%
1280x720 Very Low Preset (sort by value)
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
106.48 fps ∼24%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i5
50.5 fps ∼11%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
103 fps ∼23%

Stress Test

We run both Prime95 and FurMark to simulate maximum stress and to test system stability. These unrealistic conditions do not represent daily workloads and are instead meant to put both the CPU and GPU at 100 percent capacity.

Unfortunately, our stress test and core temperature data are incomplete for the Apple and Xiaomi systems. HWiNFO had issues recognizing certain hardware sensors in the MacBook Pro 13 and our Xiaomi editor did not provide any GPU core clock data under stress. We can, however, observe the CPU in the Apple maintaining a very stable clock rate as CineBench scores remain flat even after 10 consecutive runs. The processor itself can consume as much as much 35 W compared to its base 28 W TDP.

Impressively, the Xiaomi system is able to maintain a consistent Turbo Boost clock rate of 2.7 GHz whereas the Kaby Lake CPU in the Dell will throttle to as low as 1.4 GHz under similar conditions. Core CPU temperature on both systems remain in the high 70 C range despite their clock rate differences, so the cooling solution in the Xiaomi should be simultaneously louder and more effective.

Xiaomi Mi Air
Xiaomi Mi Air
Dell XPS 13 9360 Core i5
Dell XPS 13 9360 Core i5
Apple MacBook Pro 13
Apple MacBook Pro 13
CPU and GPU Clock Rates Under Stress

Xiaomi Mi Air Dell XPS 13 9360 Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016
Processor Core i5-6200U Core i5-7200U Core i5-6267U
Rated GPU Core Clock (MHz) 1122 1050 1000
Stable GPU Core Clock on FurMark (MHz) -- 900 --
Rated CPU Core Clock (GHz) 2.3 2.5 2.9
Stable CPU Core Clock on Prime95 (GHz) 2.7 1.4 --
Average CPU temperature 78 C 79 C -- C
Average GPU temperature -- C 79 C -- C
Xiaomi Mi Air
Xiaomi Mi Air
Dell XPS 13 9360
Dell XPS 13 9360
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emissions & Energy

System Noise & Temperature

Average surface temperatures under load are cooler on the Dell system when compared to the Apple or Xiaomi. The temperature gradient, however, is steeper on the Dell at just over 49 C at its warmest spot compared to 45 C on the Apple. This means that surface temperature development is more localized on the Dell and can be warmer than the Apple in certain spots. The Xiaomi notebook is by far the warmer-running system with surface temperatures reaching over 50 C when stressed.

The Dell systems run the quietest with the lower-end Core i5 SKU in particular running noticeably quieter than the competition. The XPS 13 Core i7 SKU and MacBook Pro 13 are essentially neck and neck at around the 35 dB(A) range when under heavy processing loads. This is impressive on Apple's part since it utilizes an older Skylake processor that is both less power efficient and more powerful than the Kaby Lake i7-7500U in the Dell. Unfortunately for Xiaomi, its Mi Air is significantly louder than both the Dell and Apple when under similar processing loads as predicted at the high 30 dB(A) to low 40 dB(A) range.

Our Xiaomi Mi Air editor has provided no temperature maps and so the below images showcase only the Dell and Apple under stressful processing conditions.

Dell XPS 13 9360
Dell XPS 13 9360
Apple MacBook Pro 13
Apple MacBook Pro 13
Dell XPS 13 9360
Dell XPS 13 9360
Apple MacBook Pro 13
Apple MacBook Pro 13
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Noise
off / environment *
31.15
28.8
30.2
Idle Minimum *
31.15
28.9
28.8
30.2
Idle Average *
31.15
28.9
28.8
30.2
Idle Maximum *
31.15
28.9
30.8
30.2
Load Average *
38.2
30.9
34.8
33
Load Maximum *
41.7
33.5
34.8
36.2

* ... smaller is better

Power Consumption

Apple products have been shown to be generally more power efficient than an Android or Windows counterpart. At its lowest power state when idling, we were able to record a power demand of just over 2 W on the MacBook Pro 13 Touch Bar compared to 4 W to 6 W on the Xiaomi and Dell. This advantage fades away when the systems are all set to High Performance mode and on their respective maximum screen brightness settings.

When under load, the more demanding CPU and Iris graphics of the Apple begin to flex their muscles. The notebook draws almost 60 W under heavy processing loads compared to 52 W on the Xiaomi and just 30 W on the Kaby Lake XPS 13 SKUs. In this case, the extra horsepower offered by Apple comes at a measurable cost when it comes to energy consumption.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *
4
4.1
6.4
2.1
Idle Average *
6.6
4.2
6.6
7.6
Idle Maximum *
7.4
5.1
6.8
8.2
Load Average *
41.7
22.1
27.5
56.4
Load Maximum *
52.4
29.4
32.4
59.8

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Runtimes are longest on the lower-end Core i5/FHD XPS 13 configuration at around 11 hours. This is longer than the MacBook Pro 13 Touch Bar by almost 2 hours when under the same WLAN conditions. The internal battery of the Xiaomi notebook is two-thirds the capacity of the XPS 13 or MacBook Pro 13 and battery life suffers as a result at just under 6.5 hours of WLAN use. The batteries are all non-removable as is common in this category.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
40 Wh
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
60 Wh
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7
60 Wh
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
54 Wh
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
718
1295
1053
WiFi v1.3
389
677
516
566
Load
83
157
129
66

Verdict

There are no winners or losers in this face off - only advantages and disadvantages unique to each model whether they be price, number of ports, display brightness, or graphics performance.
There are no winners or losers in this face off - only advantages and disadvantages unique to each model whether they be price, number of ports, display brightness, or graphics performance.

The Xiaomi Mi Air is an impressive first outing by the Chinese manufacturer. Its dedicated Nvidia GPU gives it the extra boost in graphics performance over the latest MacBook Pro 13 and XPS 13 and its workmanship is generally solid if not plain.

The Nvidia GPU, however, is a double-edged sword. While the Mi Air is the more graphically capable system, it also runs noticeably louder, hotter, and shorter than its two competitors. If that's not enough, the system is lacking Thunderbolt 3 for reduced compatibility with the latest docking stations and accessories. These reasons alone are enough to make the Dell or Apple more attractive than the Xiaomi.

Between the XPS 13 9360 and MacBook Pro 13 2016, Apple naysayers will be quick to point out the older Skylake CPU in the MacBook as a disadvantage compared to the newer Kaby Lake options in the XPS 13. Even with this in mind, the Apple notebook not only manages to run longer than the Core i7 Dell, but it also outperforms it in both CPU and GPU benchmarks. The Core i5 Dell SKU has the advantage in marginally quieter fan noise and longer runtimes over the Apple at the wider cost of CPU and GPU power.

Xiaomi Mi AirDell XPS 13 9360Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016

+ Slightly thinner profile

+ Strong unibody aluminum chassis

+ Full-size HDMI port

+ Wide color gamut and faster display response times

+ Dedicated GeForce 940MX GPU

+ Inexpensive

+ USB Type-A, USB Type-C w/ Thunderbolt 3, and SD reader

+ Strong carbon fiber and aluminum chassis

+ Smaller footprint (length x width)

+ Optional FHD/QHD displays; Deeper contrast levels

+ Narrower color gamut and dimmer display brightness on FHD display

+ Quieter system fan

+ Low power consumption; Longer battery life

+ Attractive unibody design

+ Larger and easier-to-use clickpad

+ Optional Touch Bar

+ Brighter display backlight; Full sRGB coverage

+ Faster CPU performance; Higher TDP

+ Intel Iris graphics

 

- Slightly larger footprint (length x width)

- Uninspiring and plain design

- No Thunderbolt 3 or SD reader

- Integrated clickpad keys can be unreliable

- PWM detected on certain brightness levels

- High power consumption; Smaller internal battery; Shorter battery life

- Warmer surface temperatures

- Louder fan noise

- No Kaby Lake options

- No HDMI

- Weaker integrated clickpad keys

- Slower GPU performance

- No USB Type-A, HDMI, or SD reader

- No Kaby Lake options

- Higher power consumption under heavy loads

- Slower display response times

- Pricey

Xiaomi Mi Air

Pricecompare

Dell XPS 13 9360

Pricecompare

Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016

Pricecompare

See more quick comparisons in our Face Off series:

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Face Off: Xiaomi Mi Air vs. Dell XPS 13 9360 vs. Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016
Allen Ngo, 2016-12-16 (Update: 2018-05-15)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.