Notebookcheck

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018 (i5-8250U MX150) Review

Klaus Hinum, Daniel Puschina, 👁 Klaus Hinum, Klaus Hinum (translated by Martin Jungowski), 03/28/2018

Upgrade. A quad-core and an MX150 in a notebook that weighs a mere 1.3 kg - the Chinese manufacturer has upgraded its 2018 model of the Air to a level on a par with the Mi Notebook Pro. Despite identical specifications the two differ in performance though, as our extensive review shows quite clearly.

Around 18 months ago, we had Xiaomi’s first Mi Notebook Air in review. It featured a sixth-generation Intel Core processor, a dedicated Nvidia GeForce 940MX GPU, and a Samsung PM951 SSD. Two generations later and we are once again putting a Mi Notebook Air through its paces. The latest model features an Intel Core i5-8250U processor, 8 GB of RAM, a 256 GB SSD, and like the earlier model it has a dedicated GPU. In this case, there is an Nvidia GeForce MX150, albeit the more energy-efficient model running at lower clock speeds.

Due to glaring similarities with the 13-inch MacBook Pro (2017) this particular notebook is going to be our first and main competitor. Other competitors playing in the same league as the Notebook Air are the Asus ZenBook 13, the Lenovo IdeaPad 320S, and the HP Envy 13.

Our review sample was purchased by TechTablets’ Chris at Geekbuying in China. His review of the Xiaomi Notebook Air can be found on TechTablets.com.

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Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018 (Mi Notebook Air Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce MX150 - 2048 MB, Core: 936 MHz, Memory: 1250 MHz, GDDR5, 390.77
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4-2400 single-channel
Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 166 PPI, SHARP LQ133M1JW15, IPS, laminated glass, glossy: yes
Storage
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, 256 GB 
, 256 GB SSD
Connections
2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 14.8 x 309 x 211 ( = 0.58 x 12.17 x 8.31 in)
Battery
39 Wh
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Primary Camera: 1 MPix
Additional features
12 Months Warranty
Released
01/01/2018
Weight
1.31 kg ( = 46.21 oz / 2.89 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Xiaomi has opted for the minimalist approach once again and kept the case design as simple as possible: no logo on the display lid, and footprint, material, and design are identical to last year’s model. The only difference is the color: The new color, referred to as “Deep Gray”, is darker than last year’s Silver. Subjectively speaking, it does look more professional and premium than before. Unfortunately, it is more susceptible to scratches. Compared to the MacBook Pro the Xiaomi is certainly not as well made as the former. However, the differences are fairly small, and the Notebook Air surprised us with its build quality, its high-quality touch and feel, and its rigidity.

With a 30.9 x 21.1 cm footprint and a thickness of just 1.48 cm the Notebook Air is 5 mm wider than the MacBook Pro but at the same time 0.2 mm thinner. With the scale stopping at 1.31 kg, the Mi Notebook Air was neither the lightest nor the heaviest, but it was slightly lighter than the MacBook Pro. At just 5.71 mm, its display bezels are surprisingly narrow.

Size Comparison

360 mm / 14.2 inch 244 mm / 9.61 inch 15 mm / 0.591 inch 2 kg4.3 lbs307.4 mm / 12.1 inch 211 mm / 8.31 inch 16.9 mm / 0.665 inch 1.2 kg2.74 lbs310 mm / 12.2 inch 216 mm / 8.5 inch 13.9 mm / 0.547 inch 1.1 kg2.43 lbs309 mm / 12.2 inch 211 mm / 8.31 inch 14.8 mm / 0.583 inch 1.3 kg2.89 lbs305 mm / 12 inch 216 mm / 8.5 inch 14 mm / 0.551 inch 1.3 kg2.87 lbs304 mm / 12 inch 212 mm / 8.35 inch 15 mm / 0.591 inch 1.4 kg3.02 lbs

Connectivity

Just like the case, the connectivity has also been sacrificed to the deity of minimalism. On the left side we find a 3.5-mm audio jack, a USB 3.0 Type-A port, and an HDMI port that supports 4K at 30 Hz. On the right side we find a single USB Type-C port capable of 4K at 60 Hz. The Air supports PowerDelivery and is charged via this single USB-C port. A small LED indicates the current status: Orange while charging and green once the charge level has passed a certain threshold.

Right side: charging LED, USB-C (3.1 Gen 1, PowerDelivery, DisplayPort 4K 60Hz), USB 3.0
Right side: charging LED, USB-C (3.1 Gen 1, PowerDelivery, DisplayPort 4K 60Hz), USB 3.0
Left side: HDMI 1.4 (max. 4K 30Hz), USB 3.0, headset
Left side: HDMI 1.4 (max. 4K 30Hz), USB 3.0, headset

Communication

Wi-Fi capabilities are handled by Intel’s Dual-Band Wireless-AC 8265 chip with support for MU-MIMO (faster transfer speeds through simultaneous connections to multiple devices), which obviously requires support on the other side, namely the Wi-Fi router. The Air’s Wi-Fi performance was decent by and large, but nothing to write home about: It was within 10% of the average of all subnotebooks. WWAN support is not available for the Mi Notebook Air.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Broadcom BCM15700A2 802.11ac
845 MBit/s ∼100% +39%
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
634 MBit/s ∼75% +4%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
609 MBit/s ∼72%
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
588 MBit/s ∼70% -3%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
585 MBit/s ∼69% -4%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
547 MBit/s ∼65% -10%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (30.9 - 950, n=127)
536 MBit/s ∼63% -12%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
522 MBit/s ∼62% -14%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
326 MBit/s ∼39% -46%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
308 MBit/s ∼36% -49%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Broadcom BCM15700A2 802.11ac
949 MBit/s ∼100% +93%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
682 MBit/s ∼72% +39%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
655 MBit/s ∼69% +33%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
580 MBit/s ∼61% +18%
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
557 MBit/s ∼59% +13%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (36 - 949, n=127)
532 MBit/s ∼56% +8%
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
525 MBit/s ∼55% +7%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
492 MBit/s ∼52%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
471 MBit/s ∼50% -4%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
295 MBit/s ∼31% -40%

Security

A very fast fingerprint reader is embedded into the touchpad at the top right corner, and it reacted quickly and accurately to fingers placed on top of it. Unfortunately, it also responded to our finger during regular touchpad use.

Accessories

There are no accessories included in the nicely designed box besides the USB-C charger.

Operating System

As expected, the Mi Notebook Air ships with a Chinese version of Windows 10 Home 64-bit by default. What surprised us was the fact that we were unable to change the language of the preinstalled operating system: The notebook came preloaded with a single-language version of Windows. Xiaomi could have been more accommodating to international users, and there are basically only two ways out of this dilemma: Either by wiping the preloaded operating system and installing an English version from scratch or performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 Pro during which the language can be freely selected.

Maintenance

Disassembly requires the removal of eight torx screws, one of which is hidden underneath a rubber foot. Once the screws are undone, the bottom cover can be carefully popped open by using a credit card. We advise you against using sharp objects such as knives for this purpose. Once removed one has access to both M.2 slots. The RAM is not upgradeable.

Warranty

According to its website, Xiaomi sells its hardware with a 12-month limited warranty, although their definition of hardware is limited to smartphones only. It is thus hard to say how to file a warranty claim for a device purchased directly from China.

Please see our Guarantees, Return Policies and Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

The Air’s webcam showed striking similarities to the larger 15-inch model’s. In other words: It was just as bad and barely good enough for modest video chat requirements. The integrated microphone was not particularly great either, and you should not expect too much (see video).

Input Devices

The keyboard is very similar to the Pro but with narrower spacing
The keyboard is very similar to the Pro but with narrower spacing

Keyboard

As usual, Xiaomi does not sell its hardware with keyboard layouts other than the default US layout. International users will thus have to either use a different mapping or simply get used to the new layout, which can take quite a while. The keyboard was pretty decent overall. Compared to last year’s model, the keys are no longer silver but black instead, which improved readability drastically especially once the backlight was switched on. Speaking of which, the backlight is not adjustable and can only be switched on or off. In terms of design, keyboard and backlight are now more similar to Apple’s MacBook. The quality of the keycap material has been improved noticeably; however, the keyboard does flex a bit when pressure is applied in the middle.

The Air’s keyboard is very similar to the one in the Mi Notebook Pro. The major difference is the gaps between the keys: Spacing is wider on the 15-inch model.

Touchpad

The touchpad is also very similar to the larger 15-inch Mi Notebook Pro. It is slightly smaller but just as smooth, accurate, and well supported by Windows thanks to its Precision Touchpad drivers. The touchpad, while obviously nowhere near to Apple’s Force Touch technology, was fairly decent for a Windows ClickPad.

Display

RGB subpixel geometry without matte finish
RGB subpixel geometry without matte finish

Featuring a reflective 13.3-inch IPS display made by Sharp (LQ133M1JW15) and protected by a layer of scratch-resistant sapphire glass, the panel offers a 1920x1080 FHD resolution without support for touch. Other display options, such as for example a 4K display, are not available.

362
cd/m²
373
cd/m²
364
cd/m²
346
cd/m²
370
cd/m²
354
cd/m²
345
cd/m²
336
cd/m²
343
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
SHARP LQ133M1JW15
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 373 cd/m² Average: 354.8 cd/m² Minimum: 26 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 90 %
Center on Battery: 370 cd/m²
Contrast: 1609:1 (Black: 0.23 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.9 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6, calibrated: 1.4
ΔE Greyscale 7.4 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
Gamma: 1.76
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
SHARP LQ133M1JW15, , 1920x1080, 13.3
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
AU Optronics B133HAN04.9, , 1920x1080, 13.3
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13IKB
LG Philips LGD04EF, , 1920x1080, 13.3
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
BOE070E, , 1920x1080, 13.3
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
APPA034, , 2560x1600, 13.3
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i7
BOEhydis NV156FHM-N61, , 1920x1080, 15.6
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
Samsung LTN133HL09-M01, , 1920x1080, 13.3
Response Times
4%
19824%
108%
17985%
-31%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
39.6 (18.4, 21.2)
44 (22, 22)
-11%
35 (17, 18)
12%
48 (23, 25)
-21%
48 (23.6, 24.4)
-21%
49 (20, 29)
-24%
Response Time Black / White *
29.3 (14.8, 14.5)
24 (13, 11)
18%
25 (14, 11)
15%
32 (17, 15)
-9%
33.6 (16.4, 17.2)
-15%
27 (8, 19)
8%
PWM Frequency
220 (18, 100)
131000 (90)
59445%
1000 (90)
355%
119000 (80)
53991%
50 (30)
-77%
Screen
7%
-13%
-2%
27%
-0%
13%
Brightness middle
370
329
-11%
335
-9%
281
-24%
551
49%
317
-14%
347
-6%
Brightness
355
306
-14%
303
-15%
264
-26%
514
45%
334
-6%
Brightness Distribution
90
86
-4%
85
-6%
83
-8%
88
-2%
80
-11%
Black Level *
0.23
0.3
-30%
0.46
-100%
0.23
-0%
0.48
-109%
0.352
-53%
0.27
-17%
Contrast
1609
1097
-32%
728
-55%
1222
-24%
1148
-29%
901
-44%
1285
-20%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.9
4.07
41%
5.09
26%
4.83
30%
0.8
88%
4.5
35%
3.29
52%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
12.2
7.05
42%
11.92
2%
8.89
27%
1.4
89%
9
26%
4.69
62%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
1.4
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
7.4
2.76
63%
3.23
56%
6.63
10%
1
86%
3.8
49%
3.62
51%
Gamma
1.76 125%
2.56 86%
2.18 101%
1.85 119%
2.16 102%
2.17 101%
2.23 99%
CCT
7529 86%
6915 94%
6214 105%
6794 96%
6672 97%
7307 89%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
56
54
56
62
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
86
82
86
95
Total Average (Program / Settings)
6% / 6%
9906% / 5397%
53% / 28%
9006% / 4925%
0% / -0%
-9% / 1%

* ... smaller is better

The display’s maximum brightness of 370 nits and its brightness distribution of 90% were very good, which was also true for its black level (0.23 nits) and contrast ratio (1,609:1). Those last two were best in class in our test group, and the only notebook even brighter than the Air was Apple’s MacBook Pro (551 nits). Color and grayscale accuracy were slightly off out of the box, but we were able to reduce the DeltaE deviation to 1.4 through calibration.

Grayscale, uncalibrated, slight blue/green tint
Grayscale, uncalibrated, slight blue/green tint
ColorChecker color accuracy, uncalibrated, DeltaE 2000 of 6.9
ColorChecker color accuracy, uncalibrated, DeltaE 2000 of 6.9
ColorChecker color accuracy, calibrated with the i1Pro Spectrophotometer, DeltaE 2000 of 1.4. Reds remained inaccurate.
ColorChecker color accuracy, calibrated with the i1Pro Spectrophotometer, DeltaE 2000 of 1.4. Reds remained inaccurate.

Unfortunately, the display’s high brightness is somewhat foiled by its highly reflective protective glass cover. Accordingly, the notebook was only usable outdoors in the shade.

A negative is the Air’s very low PWM frequency for brightness levels of 18% and below. Like the 2016 model, our review unit’s display flickered at just 220 Hz, which can cause headaches and sore eyes. In these cases, brightness should never be decreased below 18%.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
29.3 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 14.8 ms rise
↘ 14.5 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 71 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (24.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
39.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18.4 ms rise
↘ 21.2 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 45 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (39.6 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 220 Hz ≤ 18 % brightness setting
≤ 100 cd/m² brightness

The display backlight flickers at 220 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 18 % (100 cd/m²) and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 220 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

Flickering occurs at relatively low brightness settings, so extended use at this brightness setting or lower can cause eyestrain.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9270 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The viewing angles were superb and colors remained largely undistorted even at acute angles, as expected of an IPS panel. Truth be told we were bothered more by the reflections than the color distortions.

Decent viewing angles thanks to IPS technology
Decent viewing angles thanks to IPS technology

Performance

The Mi Notebook Air’s unmodified case now features an eighth-generation Intel Core processor, and buyers have the choice between the Core i5-8250U and the Core i7-8550U. Our review unit was equipped with the former. In addition, it also featured 8 GB of RAM, a dedicated GeForce MX150 GPU with 2 GB of RAM in addition to the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 GPU, and a Samsung PM961 SSD. Based on these specs, we expect a fast and responsive system capable of running current games on medium details. Let’s find out whether or not our expectations were met.

Processor

As mentioned before, the Mi Notebook Air now comes equipped with an Intel Core i5-8250U microprocessor with four cores and up to eight threads, effectively doubling the core- and thread-count from last year’s model based on Intel’s seventh-generation processors. The main difference between the i5-8250U and the i7-8550U is maximum clock speed: While the latter can run at up to 4 GHz on two cores and 3.7 GHz on all four cores, the former hits a ceiling at 3.4 GHz. All that with a TDP of just 15 W for both CPUs.

As can be seen below, our imported notebook featured a default setting of 15 W and a Turbo Boost Short Power Max for up to 28 seconds.

In Cinebench R15, we found our expectations met. The single-core score was average for an i5-8250U device and on a par with Dell’s XPS 13, which is more than acceptable for the Chinese manufacturer. The identically equipped Lenovo IdeaPad was much slower, and the HP Spectre 13 with its 600 MHz faster i7-8550U was not any quicker than the Air.

The multithread scores with load on all four cores paint a slightly different picture, though, and at just 522 points the Air scored significantly worse than average (582 points). The 15.6-inch Mi Notebook Pro equipped with the exact same CPU managed to squeeze out 576 points, and we suspect thermal issues to be the culprits here. Further details on this issue can be found below. The massive performance improvement when going from two to four cores can be best seen when comparing the HP Envy 13 (i7-7500U) with the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air: The latter is 48% faster.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02E00
Intel Core i7-8550U
170 Points ∼100% +18%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U
150 Points ∼88% +4%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
Intel Core i7-7500U
145 Points ∼85% +1%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
Intel Core i5-8250U
145 (min: 144.66, max: 144.78) Points ∼85% +1%
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
Intel Core i7-8550U
145 Points ∼85% +1%
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
Intel Core i5-8250U
144 Points ∼85% 0%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
Intel Core i5-8250U
144 (min: 143.11, max: 143.49) Points ∼85%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-7267U
141 Points ∼83% -2%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U
  (81 - 147, n=94)
141 Points ∼83% -2%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
Intel Core i5-8250U
132 Points ∼78% -8%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
Intel Core i5-6200U
118 Points ∼69% -18%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (20 - 185, n=280)
117 Points ∼69% -19%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02E00
Intel Core i7-8550U
723 Points ∼100% +39%
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
Intel Core i5-8250U
669 Points ∼93% +28%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U
630 Points ∼87% +21%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
Intel Core i5-8250U
576 (min: 544.28, max: 575.47) Points ∼80% +10%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U
  (320 - 730, n=98)
568 Points ∼79% +9%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
Intel Core i5-8250U
522 (min: 490.92, max: 522.49) Points ∼72%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
Intel Core i5-8250U
516 Points ∼71% -1%
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
Intel Core i7-8550U
515 Points ∼71% -1%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-7267U
383 (min: 377, max: 385) Points ∼53% -27%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
Intel Core i7-7500U
353 Points ∼49% -32%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (32 - 1051, n=290)
345 Points ∼48% -34%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
Intel Core i5-6200U
294 Points ∼41% -44%
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
3841
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5542
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
16272
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
5.87 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.79 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
73.88 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
144 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.62 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
88.16 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
522 Points
Help

The Air’s behavior remained largely inconspicuous when running Cinebench R15 in a loop. Thermal throttling could be witnessed right from the start, and scores dropped from 522 to 492 points (around 6%) immediately. Throttling continued throughout the entire test and Cinebench scores settled around that very level. Thus, the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air was about as fast as the Acer Spin 5.

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Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018 Intel Core i5-8250U: Ø497 (490.92-522.49)
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5 Intel Core i5-8250U: Ø548 (544.28-575.47)
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00 Intel Core i5-8250U: Ø538 (523.46-671.14)
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5 Intel Core i5-8250U: Ø593 (543-676.82)
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF Intel Core i5-8250U: Ø490 (484.71-533.5)
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB Intel Core i5-8250U: Ø470 (392.82-506.64)

System Performance

Overall system performance was also very decent, and the Mi Notebook Air found its place surrounded by other similarly equipped notebooks. It is worth noting that all devices in our test group were very close to each other, and that there were no peaks one way or another, save for maybe the Dell XPS 13’s Home Score Accelerated score. One way to improve performance somewhat would have been for Xiaomi to install a second RAM module thereby enabling dual-channel mode.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
4906 Points ∼100% +2%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
GeForce MX150, 7500U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
4900 Points ∼100% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4868 Points ∼99% +1%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4826 Points ∼98% 0%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
4811 Points ∼98% 0%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4811 Points ∼98%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U, NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (4339 - 4992, n=10)
4772 Points ∼97% -1%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4746 Points ∼97% -1%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
4563 Points ∼93% -5%
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4562 Points ∼93% -5%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
GeForce 940MX, 6200U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
4274 Points ∼87% -11%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Iris Plus Graphics 650, 7267U, Apple SSD AP0256
4081 Points ∼83% -15%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1283 - 5363, n=220)
4063 Points ∼83% -16%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
3994 Points ∼100% +9%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Iris Plus Graphics 650, 7267U, Apple SSD AP0256
3829 Points ∼96% +5%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3796 Points ∼95% +4%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
3780 Points ∼95% +3%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
GeForce MX150, 7500U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
3773 Points ∼94% +3%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3766 Points ∼94% +3%
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3705 Points ∼93% +1%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U, NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (3274 - 3935, n=10)
3687 Points ∼92% +1%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3656 Points ∼92%
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3574 Points ∼89% -2%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
3197 Points ∼80% -13%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
GeForce 940MX, 6200U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
3144 Points ∼79% -14%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1027 - 4211, n=248)
3044 Points ∼76% -17%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3656 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
5244 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4811 points
Help

Storage Devices

The only available storage option for the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air is the aforementioned 256 GB Samsung PM961 SSD. Once again, the PM961 flexed its muscles and outperformed all other manufacturers in the most important “Write 4k QD32”, “Read 4k QD32”, “Write 4k” and “Read 4k” categories. Accordingly, the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air felt very responsive and fast. Keep in mind that AS SSD benchmark scores for the Air are incorrect due to the RST driver bug that disables the onboard cache, resulting in write requests getting passed through directly to the SSD’s NAND flash.

The notebook features a second M.2 slot for secondary SSDs, which seems to support SATA SSDs only.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
Average Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
 
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-51%
5%
-36%
-16%
-15%
3%
Write 4k QD32
325.01
257.2
-21%
475
46%
161.3
-50%
339.86
5%
312.2
-4%
384 (94.9 - 621, n=42)
18%
Read 4k QD32
425.88
356.8
-16%
536.6
26%
494.6
16%
381.77
-10%
487.6
14%
419 (132 - 650, n=42)
-2%
Write 4k
146.89
78.63
-46%
142.6
-3%
109.4
-26%
127.49
-13%
153.4
4%
127 (46.6 - 177, n=42)
-14%
Read 4k
59.22
30.37
-49%
56.77
-4%
34.5
-42%
34.18
-42%
43.4
-27%
53 (29.8 - 62.6, n=42)
-11%
Write 512
842.9
256.6
-70%
636
-25%
172.3
-80%
353.88
-58%
781 (338 - 890, n=42)
-7%
Read 512
750.73
258.1
-66%
820.7
9%
735
-2%
839.63
12%
887 (406 - 1295, n=42)
18%
Write Seq
1159.9
263
-77%
1010
-13%
195.4
-83%
352.7
-70%
314
-73%
1136 (341 - 1423, n=42)
-2%
Read Seq
1287.8
435.6
-66%
1372
7%
1019
-21%
1875.2
46%
1209
-6%
1627 (800 - 2196, n=42)
26%
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Sequential Read: 1287.8 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1159.9 MB/s
512K Read: 750.73 MB/s
512K Write: 842.9 MB/s
4K Read: 59.22 MB/s
4K Write: 146.89 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 425.88 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 325.01 MB/s

GPU Performance

MX150 ULV edition
MX150 ULV edition

It is surprising to find a dedicated GeForce MX150 GPU with access to 2 GB of GDDR5 RAM in a small 13.3-inch device - definitely an exception in the sub-$1,000 subnotebook category. The only other competitor equipped with the same GPU and CPU is the Lenovo IdeaPad 320S, and that device performed very poorly in our GPU benchmarks.

The GeForce MX150 is the successor of the GeForce GTX 940MX and is clocked around 300 MHz higher than the latter. Most current games should run smoothly on low details, and most older games should run just fine on medium details.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (2796 - 4905, n=47)
4191 Points ∼100% +18%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-8250U
3539.5 (min: 3537, max: 3543) Points ∼84%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (230 - 10699, n=368)
1319 Points ∼31% -63%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (2323 - 3739, n=44)
3310 Points ∼100% +15%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-8250U
2873 (min: 2870, max: 2876) Points ∼87%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (222 - 3726, n=247)
1057 Points ∼32% -63%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (16227 - 22183, n=43)
19512 Points ∼100% +8%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-8250U
18120 (min: 18100, max: 18140) Points ∼93%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1484 - 22615, n=276)
7743 Points ∼40% -57%
3DMark 06 Standard
19210 points
3DMark 11 Performance
3819.5 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
12569 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
2616.5 points
Help
Clock Speed
1280x720 GPU Clock Speed Furmark 1.19 GPU Stress Test
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
1177 MHz ∼100% +45%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i7
1177 MHz ∼100% +45%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
813 MHz ∼69%
GPU Clock Witcher 3 ultra
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i7
1620 MHz ∼100% +26%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
1476 MHz ∼91% +14%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
1290 MHz ∼80%
GPU Clock Speed GPU-Z Render Test (max.)
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i7
1721 MHz ∼100% +4%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
1695 MHz ∼98% +2%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
1658 MHz ∼96%
Temperatures
GPU Temperature Witcher 3 ultra
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
63 °C ∼100%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i7
58 °C ∼92% -8%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
55 °C ∼87% -13%
1280x720 GPU Temperature Furmark 1.19
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
64 °C ∼100%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i7
55 °C ∼86% -14%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
50 °C ∼78% -22%

Legend

 
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018 Intel Core i5-8250U, NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
 
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i7 Intel Core i7-8550U, NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
 
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5 Intel Core i5-8250U, NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP

Gaming Performance

Quite often, dedicated GPUs in notebooks give rise to dreams of decent 3D performance and a smooth gameplay experience, and with its dedicated GeForce MX150 the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air is no different. Unfortunately, this particular model of the MX150 is the more energy-efficient throttled edition, which had a noticeable effect on all gaming benchmarks we threw at the device: The Mi Notebook Air performed worse than the average GeForce MX150-equipped notebook.

Nevertheless it was still much faster than the average subnotebook, which became glaringly obvious in our gaming benchmarks. Most subnotebooks are limited to Intel’s integrated UHD 620 GPU and are thus unsuited for running games in higher levels of detail due to the low single-digit frame rates this would yield. Accordingly, for most iGPU-only notebooks these benchmark results are entirely missing.

Civilization VI
1920x1080 High Preset
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i7
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
26.7 (99th percentile: 18.8) fps ∼100% +32%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (19.5 - 26.7, n=4)
21.8 fps ∼82% +7%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
20.3 (min: 14, max: 35) fps ∼76%
Average of class Subnotebook
 
20.3 fps ∼76% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02E00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
19.47 fps ∼73% -4%
1366x768 Medium Preset
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i7
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
53 (99th percentile: 34.2) fps ∼100% +18%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (42.9 - 53, n=4)
47.9 fps ∼90% +7%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
44.8 (min: 30, max: 78) fps ∼85%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02E00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
42.87 fps ∼81% -4%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (5.2 - 44.8, n=7)
18.4 fps ∼35% -59%
1024x768 Minimum Preset
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (75.5 - 87.7, n=4)
79.1 fps ∼100% +4%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i7
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
77.3 (99th percentile: 64) fps ∼98% +2%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
76 (min: 54, max: 121) fps ∼96%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02E00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
75.52 fps ∼95% -1%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (12.2 - 76, n=7)
39.8 fps ∼50% -48%
Final Fantasy XV Benchmark - 1280x720 Lite Quality
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i7
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
32.2 (min: 22, max: 41) fps ∼100% +10%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
29.3 (min: 6, max: 40) fps ∼91%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (23 - 35, n=6)
28.9 fps ∼90% -1%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
28.3 fps ∼88% -3%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (6.1 - 29.3, n=6)
16.3 fps ∼51% -44%
Rainbow Six Siege
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:T AF:16x
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (18.3 - 31.3, n=4)
24.8 fps ∼100% +2%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
24.3 (min: 7, max: 38) fps ∼98%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (10.8 - 24.3, n=9)
15 fps ∼60% -38%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:T AF:4x
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (37.9 - 45.8, n=4)
41 fps ∼100% +8%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
38 (min: 21, max: 66) fps ∼93%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (12.1 - 38, n=13)
20.1 fps ∼49% -47%
1366x768 Medium Preset AA:T AF:2x
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (69.7 - 87, n=4)
77.4 fps ∼100% +5%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
74 (min: 41, max: 121) fps ∼96%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (8.9 - 74, n=17)
31.4 fps ∼41% -58%
The Division
1920x1080 High Preset AF:8x
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (17.5 - 22.4, n=3)
20 fps ∼100% +14%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
17.5 (min: 7, max: 23) fps ∼88%
Average of class Subnotebook
 
17.5 fps ∼88% 0%
1366x768 Medium Preset AF:4x
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (38.1 - 47.1, n=3)
42.7 fps ∼100% +12%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
38.1 (min: 28, max: 53) fps ∼89%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (7.5 - 38.1, n=8)
17.8 fps ∼42% -53%
1280x720 Low Preset AF:1x
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (59.5 - 75, n=3)
66.6 fps ∼100% +12%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
59.5 (min: 46, max: 74) fps ∼89%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (4.3 - 59.5, n=11)
25.7 fps ∼39% -57%
Overwatch
1920x1080 Epic (Render Scale 100 %) AA:SM AF:16x
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Hynix HFS128G39TND
41.9 fps ∼100% +56%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (25.1 - 41.9, n=9)
31.2 fps ∼74% +16%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i7
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
30.3 (min: 25, max: 36) fps ∼72% +13%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
29.8 fps ∼71% +11%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5T-X01US
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
27.5 fps ∼66% +2%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
26.9 (min: 22, max: 32) fps ∼64%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (18.2 - 35, n=6)
24.4 fps ∼58% -9%
1920x1080 High (Render Scale 100 %) AA:SM AF:4x
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Hynix HFS128G39TND
66.8 fps ∼100% +56%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (38.2 - 74.5, n=9)
51.1 fps ∼76% +19%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i7
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
48 (min: 39, max: 58) fps ∼72% +12%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5T-X01US
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
46.1 fps ∼69% +7%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
46 fps ∼69% +7%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
42.9 (min: 36, max: 49) fps ∼64%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (13.9 - 58, n=14)
28 fps ∼42% -35%
For Honor
1920x1080 Extreme Preset AA:T AF:16x
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (19.4 - 22.5, n=3)
21.1 fps ∼100% +9%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
19.4 (min: 15, max: 27) fps ∼92%
Average of class Subnotebook
 
19.4 fps ∼92% 0%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:T AF:8x
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (25.2 - 30.7, n=3)
28.4 fps ∼100% +13%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
25.2 (min: 20, max: 33) fps ∼89%
Average of class Subnotebook
 
25.2 fps ∼89% 0%
1280x720 Low Preset
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (60 - 91, n=4)
77.4 fps ∼100% +29%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
60 (min: 50, max: 66) fps ∼78%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (9 - 73.3, n=9)
31.8 fps ∼41% -47%
Ghost Recon Wildlands - 1280x720 Low Preset
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (39.5 - 54, n=3)
47.2 fps ∼100% +19%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
39.5 (min: 31, max: 45) fps ∼84%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (3.2 - 39.5, n=7)
16.4 fps ∼35% -58%
Rocket League
1920x1080 High Quality AA:High FX
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (37.8 - 47.4, n=5)
42.4 fps ∼100% +6%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
39.9 (min: 32, max: 56) fps ∼94%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (14.5 - 48.5, n=19)
27.5 fps ∼65% -31%
1920x1080 Quality AA:Medium FX
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (54.3 - 76.1, n=5)
65.1 fps ∼100% +14%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
57.1 (min: 48, max: 75) fps ∼88%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (9.9 - 76.1, n=21)
38.3 fps ∼59% -33%
1280x720 Performance
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
156 (min: 126, max: 202) fps ∼100%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (128 - 160, n=4)
150 fps ∼96% -4%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (26.8 - 156, n=22)
83.7 fps ∼54% -46%
Middle-earth: Shadow of War
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:T
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i7
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
13 (min: 3, max: 105) fps ∼100% +17%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (11 - 14, n=6)
12 fps ∼92% +8%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
11.1 (min: 7, max: 16) fps ∼85%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
11 (min: 3, max: 33) fps ∼85% -1%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5T-X01US
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
11 fps ∼85% -1%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (9 - 11.1, n=2)
10.1 fps ∼78% -9%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:T
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i7
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
17 (min: 3, max: 62) fps ∼100% +16%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (14 - 20, n=6)
16.4 fps ∼96% +12%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5T-X01US
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
15 fps ∼88% +3%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
14.6 (min: 3, max: 52) fps ∼86%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (14 - 14.6, n=2)
14.3 fps ∼84% -2%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
14 (min: 3, max: 46) fps ∼82% -4%
1920x1080 Medium Preset AA:T
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
27.7 (min: 14, max: 31) fps ∼100%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (21 - 28, n=6)
25.3 fps ∼91% -9%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i7
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
24 (min: 15, max: 42) fps ∼87% -13%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
23 (min: 13, max: 39) fps ∼83% -17%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5T-X01US
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
21 fps ∼76% -24%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (7 - 27.7, n=3)
17.6 fps ∼64% -36%
1280x720 Lowest Preset
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (47 - 73, n=6)
60.1 fps ∼100% +7%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i7
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
60 (min: 34, max: 117) fps ∼100% +7%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
56.3 (min: 34, max: 104) fps ∼94%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
53 (min: 22, max: 131) fps ∼88% -6%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5T-X01US
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
47 fps ∼78% -17%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (7 - 56.3, n=5)
27.3 fps ∼45% -52%
Destiny 2
1920x1080 Medium Preset AA:FX AF:2x
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
29.7 (99th percentile: 18.8) fps ∼100%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (28.2 - 29.7, n=2)
29 fps ∼98% -2%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
28.2 fps ∼95% -5%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (10.8 - 34.7, n=4)
25.9 fps ∼87% -13%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5T-X01US
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
10.8 fps ∼36% -64%
1280x720 Low Preset
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
51.6 (99th percentile: 27.2) fps ∼100%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (48.4 - 51.6, n=2)
50 fps ∼97% -3%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
48.4 fps ∼94% -6%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (29.1 - 62.2, n=4)
47.8 fps ∼93% -7%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5T-X01US
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
29.1 fps ∼56% -44%
Assassin´s Creed Origins
1920x1080 Medium Preset
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i7
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
20 (min: 7, max: 25) fps ∼100% +11%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (18 - 22, n=3)
20 fps ∼100% +11%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
18 (min: 2, max: 39) fps ∼90%
Average of class Subnotebook
 
18 fps ∼90% 0%
1280x720 Very Low Preset
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (42 - 47, n=3)
44.3 fps ∼100% +1%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
44 (min: 6, max: 68) fps ∼99%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i7
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
42 (min: 22, max: 77) fps ∼95% -5%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (13 - 44, n=2)
28.5 fps ∼64% -35%
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
1920x1080 Medium Preset
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (18.4 - 22.1, n=2)
20.3 fps ∼100% +10%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
18.4 (min: 14, max: 21) fps ∼91%
Average of class Subnotebook
 
18.4 fps ∼91% 0%
1280x720 Low Preset
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (40.1 - 51.6, n=2)
45.9 fps ∼100% +14%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
40.1 (min: 30, max: 47) fps ∼87%
Average of class Subnotebook
 
40.1 fps ∼87% 0%
X-Plane 11.11
1920x1080 high (fps_test=3)
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i7
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
52.3 fps ∼100% +25%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (36.7 - 52.3, n=3)
43.6 fps ∼83% +4%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
41.8 fps ∼80%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (13.6 - 41.8, n=4)
24.3 fps ∼46% -42%
1920x1080 med (fps_test=2)
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i7
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
56 fps ∼100% +22%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (40.9 - 56, n=3)
47.6 fps ∼85% +3%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
46 fps ∼82%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (14.5 - 46, n=6)
23.8 fps ∼43% -48%
1280x720 low (fps_test=1)
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i7
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
82.7 fps ∼100% +45%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (48 - 82.7, n=3)
62.6 fps ∼76% +10%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
57 fps ∼69%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (5.3 - 57, n=8)
25.9 fps ∼31% -55%
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 29.7 fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 9.7 fps
World of Warships (2015) 42.1 fps
Rainbow Six Siege (2015) 74 38 24.3 fps
The Division (2016) 59.5 38.1 17 severe graphical problems fps
Overwatch (2016) 42.9 26.9 fps
Civilization VI (2016) 76 44.8 20.3 fps
For Honor (2017) 60 26.5 25.2 19.4 fps
Ghost Recon Wildlands (2017) 39.5 18.8 fps
Warhammer 40.000: Dawn of War III (2017) 60 fps
Rocket League (2017) 156 57.1 39.9 fps
Middle-earth: Shadow of War (2017) 56.3 27.7 14.6 11.1 fps
Destiny 2 (2017) 51.6 29.7 fps
Assassin´s Creed Origins (2017) 44 18 fps
Final Fantasy XV Benchmark (2018) 29.3 fps
Kingdom Come: Deliverance (2018) 40.1 18.4 fps
X-Plane 11.11 (2018) 57 46 41.8 fps
01020Tooltip
; The Witcher 3: Ø9.11 (2-12)

Unlike the CPU, the GPU was not throttled under sustained load at all. Neither The Witcher 3 (see graph below) nor the 3DMark Time Spy stress test showed any significant decreases in frame rate.

Emissions

System Noise

When idle (for example during our Reader battery test) both fans were switched off, and the device was virtually completely silent. However, due to the smaller heat sinks when compared to the 15-inch model the fans had to kick in much sooner and could thus be heard every now and then even in low-load scenarios. For example, this happened when installing a Windows update, which caused a CPU load of roughly 20%.

The sound pressure level under load was 43-44 dB(A) with little to no difference between gaming and maximum load. With a peak at 1,600 Hz, the overall frequency was fairly low and the fans were thus mostly unobtrusive by and large.

Noise Level

Idle
30.6 / 30.6 / 31.4 dB(A)
Load
43.6 / 44.2 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30.6 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2038.339.933.634.636.138.7372533.535.233.131.934.533.131.23131.43331.531.432.332.131.94031.832.632.334.533.535.232.75031.132.731.232.832.835.429.66331.237.930.130.732.231.432.48027.929.228.128.328.528.128.310032.128.527.227.432.731.527.712534.726.927.226.135.236.32716026.42525.225.226.625.725.12002624.625.123.82625.125.225026.72323.824.826.527.123.331528.421.822.32327.728.522.340032.92222.923.232.132.22150033.120.321.221.932.832.520.663033.419.621.621.233.834.119.580029.818.919.7212929.219.2100031.218.619.620.930.931.418.6125031.618.419.920.732.13317.9160034.718202138.537.617.6200032.718.119.520.931.532.417.6250032.617.818.519.931.232.317.5315032.117.417.919.131.231.417.5400031.217.517.918.430.430.617.5500031.117.617.618.130.630.717.7630029.217.817.617.828.529.418.180002618181824.925.7181000023.817.91818.122.824.917.91250022.717.8181821.422.817.71600020.81818.318.219.522.717.8SPL43.630.731.532.244.244.230.6N4.61.51.61.74.74.81.5median 31.2median 18.4median 19.7median 20.9median 30.6median 30.7median 18.1Delta2.92.12.82.632.52.3hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseXiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018

Temperature

Mi Notebook Air (2016) fans
Mi Notebook Air (2016) fans
Mi Notebook Air (2018) fans
Mi Notebook Air (2018) fans

The 2016 Mi Notebook Air model suffered from high temperatures, but while the case remained untouched Xiaomi did upgrade the internal fans. Not only was the amount of blades increased and the blades themselves enlarged, the new heatpipe is now also 37% longer than on the previous model. Unfortunately, these modifications seem to have gone largely unnoticed as temperatures under high load once again exceeded our comfort level by a significant amount.

The upper half of the keyboard got extremely hot, with surface temperatures passing the 50 °C threshold and the left side being significantly warmer than the right. At the bottom, temperatures rose up to 47 °C. That being said, it is worth noting that the 2016 model suffered from surface temperatures of 50 °C in the center of the keyboard while the 2018 model’s center temperatures were measured at “just” 44 °C. In return, the left side of the palm rest got uncomfortably warm.

Max. Load
 49 °C
120 F
50 °C
122 F
44 °C
111 F
 
 48 °C
118 F
44 °C
111 F
35 °C
95 F
 
 34 °C
93 F
30 °C
86 F
30 °C
86 F
 
Maximum: 50 °C = 122 F
Average: 40.4 °C = 105 F
41 °C
106 F
44 °C
111 F
47 °C
117 F
35 °C
95 F
42 °C
108 F
44 °C
111 F
33 °C
91 F
37 °C
99 F
37 °C
99 F
Maximum: 47 °C = 117 F
Average: 40 °C = 104 F
Room Temperature 20.6 °C = 69 F | Fluke 62 Mini / Flir / Fluke 43 II B
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 40.4 °C / 105 F, compared to the average of 30.7 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Subnotebook.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 50 °C / 122 F, compared to the average of 35.8 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22 to 57 °C for the class Subnotebook.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 47 °C / 117 F, compared to the average of 40 °C / 104 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 25.8 °C / 78 F, compared to the device average of 30.7 °C / 87 F.
(±) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 36.3 °C / 97 F, compared to the device average of 30.7 °C / 87 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are reaching skin temperature as a maximum (34 °C / 93.2 F) and are therefore not hot.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.6 °C / 83.5 F (-5.4 °C / -9.7 F).
idle top
idle top
idle bottom
idle bottom
max. load top
max. load top
max. load bottom
max. load bottom

Speakers

The most noticeable sound characteristic was the Air’s complete lack of bass. While mids and highs turned out to be decent overall it seems as if optimizing the sound output for the unmodified thin case was harder than anticipated. The older 2016 model suffered from the same issues, but at least maximum volume on the current model has been increased considerably.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2034.535.82534.132.9313031.24030.629.85030.433.26332.8328028.129.110028.930.312525.728.216024.935.420024.349.225022.959.83152366.740021.467.950020.669.563019.668.480019.370.8100018.570.212501866.3160017.864.4200017.766.7250017.466.2315017.564.2400017.763.2500017.664630017.768.4800017.7691000017.770.51250017.667.61600017.758.6SPL30.643.630.731.532.244.244.279.3N1.54.61.51.61.74.74.848.7median 18median 66.3Delta2.36.935.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseXiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (79.3 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 21.5% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.2% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (3.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (3.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (15.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 25% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 64% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 17% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 79% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 1% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Compared with the average subnotebook and notebook equipped with the exact same hardware, the Mi Notebook Air’s power consumption was not bad at all. In fact, the Air was slightly better than average. That being said, at 10 W its power consumption was a bit higher than the average MX150-equipped 13-inch notebook. The amazingly efficient ZenBook 13 UX331UA was particularly impressive and consumed up to 20% less energy than the Mi Notebook Air. The dual-core and 940MX-equipped predecessor was also slightly more efficient, although at 3% the difference is negligible.