A laptop that could change the PC market forever has just gone on pre-order

Xiaomi Laptop

One of the biggest smartphone vendors in China has entered the laptop market with a model that is, at least on paper, significantly better value for money than most of the competition.

(update: We've been made aware of the fact that a rumour about a Xiaomi laptop emerged back in 2014 sporting two pictures identical to the ones on the Banggood website. However, over the past three months, a number of independent news outlets have also revived the rumour that Xiaomi was indeed going to launch at least one laptop. This, coupled with the fact that the other pictures on the Banggood description appear genuine, leads us to believe that the listing is true. We've contacted Xiaomi and will update the article if needed)

The unnamed model has gone on preorder on Chinese e-tailer website Banggood for just under £490 (around $720, AU$ 1,000), with discounts for quantity orders.

Physically, it looks very similar to Apple's MacBook Air, complete with aluminium finish and a tapered edge, albeit with a display that is not only far bigger (at 15.6 inches) but also sports a much higher resolution (full HD).

The rest of the configuration is nearer to a MacBook Pro than it is to the MacBook Air though. There's an Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM as well as an Nvidia Geforce 760M GPU, which isn't the latest mobile graphics chip on the block but should handle older titles just fine.

No details emerged about the storage capacity (probably a 128GB SSD), but it is confirmed that the machine will run Linux, likely to be a cost-cutting decision.

While it comes with just two USB ports (plus a HDMI port and a card slot), Xiaomi's laptop also sports an intriguing flat connector port that alludes to a docking station.

Xiaomi is better known for its high-specced, low-cost smartphones, but also sells an eclectic array of products that includes power banks, Wi-Fi routers, action cameras, water purifiers and even robots.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.