In its first attempt, the RedmiBook 15 Pro fails to impress us largely because of the bad display. It also misses out on a Type-C port and backlit keyboard. For what it’s worth, it does bring good performance, ample port selection (apart from Type-C), and decent battery life. At the end of the day, the RedmiBook 15 Pro is a difficult recommendation, especially considering the current competition.
No backlit keyboard
No Type-C port
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The RedmiBook 15 Pro launched along with the RedmiBook 15 e-Learning edition marks Redmi’s entry to the laptop segment in India. While Redmi has had a fair amount of success after entering the wearable, audio, and smart TV segment in India over the past few months, this is the company’s attempt to replicate the same in the laptops space.
The RedmiBook 15 Pro is one of the few products from the brand that we’d not wholeheartedly recommend. The primary reason for this is the quality of the display used on the machine here. The display quality is bad and the viewing angles are challenging. Often, it becomes a hard task to just see the screen and check out the proper colours.
Leaving the screen behind, the RedmiBook also misses out on a couple of things such as a Type-C port, backlit keyboard, and also a fingerprint scanner. For what it’s worth, the RedmiBook 15 Pro is a good performer thanks to the Core i5 11th gen processor from Intel. You also get ample port selection barring the Type-C port. Furthermore, the battery life is just average and the machine supports fast charging as well.
Lastly, you are just limited to one single variant with 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD and only one colour option. In short, the RedmiBook 15 Pro in its first hasn’t impressed us at all 一 it misses on more things while getting a few things right. If you’re looking for something great in the same segment, especially with a better screen, you might want to consider the Realme Book Slim.
RedmiBook 15 Pro price in India and availability
The RedmiBook 15 Pro is priced at Rs 49,999 and it comes in Charcoal Gray colour option. It is available in one variant only 一 8GB DDR4 RAM with 512GB SSD. The laptop is available on Flipkart as well as Mi.com.
The RedmiBook 15 Pro comes in Charcoal Gray colour and that’s also the only colour option the laptop is available in. After witnessing a bunch of laptops with silver and grey finish, this is a welcome change and we were quite impressed with the colour here, although another colour option would have given consumers a choice.
The laptop is made completely out of a polycarbonate body with a brushed metallic finish. The machine weighs 1.8kgs and has a thickness of 19.9mm. Even though it's a plastic build, the laptop is built pretty well and the weight distribution is done perfectly as the laptop doesn’t feel heavy
There is a minimal Redmi logo with a subtle “Power your creativity” tagline on the face of the laptop as far as the branding is concerned on the outside. On the right side, you get a 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB 2.0 port, SD card reader, LAN port and Kensington lock. You get two USB 3.2 Gen 1, an HDMI, and a DC charging port to the left. On the bottom of the laptop, you get rubber pads and speakers. The keyboard and large trackpad occupy the layout on the inside while Redmi banding sits below the screen.
While we can’t call the laptop’s body a fingerprint magnet, it does attract a bit of smudge and dust. Overall, the RedmiBook 15 Pro is built decently enough to manage the day to day work. The Charcoal Grey is a standout colour when it comes to other options in the segment.
You get a 15.6-inch Full HD display 一 a first from the house of Xiaomi in India. With most people working remotely and students attending colleges online, the big screen experience is a welcome addition, but the quality of the display is one thing that is stopping us from recommending this laptop.
While we were not expecting a premium laptop-like display experience, we were at least hoping the display will be as good as we saw on the Mi NoteBook 14. But, we regret to inform you that isn’t the case here. The display on the RedmiBook 15 Pro is extremely underwhelming. The colours are off, the viewing angle is very tight and the same applies to contrast also. The brightness is fairly good, but that was not our issue. During our usage, we had to adjust the display every time we moved by even a few centimetres 一 viewing angle is that bad. Outdoor usage is equally bad on the machine.
The Full HD resolution is good, but the viewing angle and washed off colours make the display hardly usable. In the long run, using this might also bring eye strains. Watching movies or shows were also not enjoyable on the RedmiBook 15 Pro. For what it’s worth, the display is not glossy or reflective.
Keyboard and trackpad
This is one of the key highlights of the laptop. You get a full-sized keyboard and a large trackpad. The keys come with 1.5mm travel and it is spacious and you can work long hours. The lack of a dedicated numpad isn’t something we can call a deal-breaker, but it's worth mentioning it. We did not have any issues with the keyboard even while working all day 一 the clicks were satisfying and comfortable.
The power button sits on the top right next to the delete button is unusually wide 一 which might cause some issues at the start, but you will get over it quickly. One major disappointment comes when the sun goes down. The RedmiBook 15 Pro, just like its sibling Mi NoteBook 14, doesn’t offer a backlit keyboard. Using the laptop in the dark or after sunset was a tough act to follow.
On to the trackpad, the RedmiBook 15 Pro is a pleasant experience here with its large area utilizing the best of the space. The trackpad also supports Windows precision drivers and scrolling, swiping, zoom in/out worked well during our review period.
One area where the laptop doesn't disappoint us when it comes to performance. The RedmiBook 15 Pro is powered by 11th gen Intel Tiger Lake i5-11300H processor with up to 4.4GHz clock speed paired with 8GB of DDR4 3200MHz RAM and 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD. The company says the RAM can’t be expanded while storage can be expanded at the user’s risk (you will have to replace the existing SSD as it lacks an additional slot). Intel Iris Xe graphics is also present to take care of moderate graphic-intensive workloads.
In our testing, we got 1486.28 MB/s sequential read and 1308.44 MB/s sequential write speed in the CrystalDiskMark test which are just average scores. In Geekbench the RedmiBook 15 Pro secured 1243 in single-core and 3145 in multi-core and lastly, in the Cinebench R23 the machine scored 1229 and 3396 respectively in the single-core and multi-core tests. Here is how the scores stand compared to the Acer Swift 3 Intel Evo certified laptop.
|Header Cell - Column 0||RedmiBook 15 Pro (i5, 11th gen)||Swift 3 (i5, 11th gen)|
|Geekbench (Single core)||1243||1312|
|Geekbench (Multi core)||3145||4087|
|Cinebench R23 (Single core)||1299||1184|
|Cinebench R23 (Multi core)||3396||4164|
Keeping aside the performance from benchmarks and scores, the RedmiBook 15 Pro performed exceptionally well in our day to day usage. The performance was smooth and the laptop handled every task we threw at it although our usage primarily was based on a bunch of Chrome tabs open, meetings, photoshop, and occasionally gaming. The device is also pretty fast to sign in, reboot, or just wake up from sleep.
The Intel Iris Xe graphics does pretty well here with the capability to play some medium graphic games. We did manage to play a couple of games like Valorant and Asphalt 一 both ran smoothly in medium graphic settings. But, this isn’t ideal for gaming or graphic-intensive tasks.
As for the port options, you get the following options on the RedmiBook 15 Pro:
- 2 X USB 3.2 Gen1, 1 x USB 2.0
- HDMI Port
- 1 x HDMI Port (1.4)
- SD card reader
While the inclusion of an SD card slot and LAN port is duly appreciated, the company did miss a trick by not adding a Type-C port on the laptop. With Type-C ports going mainstream even for charging on laptops, this is a big miss. It also misses out on a fingerprint scanner.
The RedmiBook 15 Pro comes with a 46WHr battery unit on the inside and is paired with a 65W fast charger in the box. As per the company's claims, the laptop is rated to last up to 10 hours 一 but that wasn't the case with us. On average use, we got about five to six hours of usage between charges with 80% brightness. Our usage included mostly writing on Google docs for a few hours, CMS related work, meetings on Teams, Hangouts and communication on Slack. Gaming and Photoshop were used a few times as well.
The battery life is just average at best and is no way near what the company claims. Six hours on average isn’t that bad, but that isn’t great either. But, for remote workers, this shouldn’t be an issue. On the bright side, the company is including a 65W fast charging which takes about 33 minutes to charge up to 50% and an additional hour to trickle down to 100%.
For audio, the RedmiBook 15 Pro comes with 2 x 2W stereo speakers which are combined with DTS audio processing. The sound quality is decent enough for a medium-sized room and we did not have issues during our meetings and conferences.
The machine is packed with a built-in 720p is good enough for all meetings and video conferencing calls in the daytime. If you want better quality webcams, you can check here.
The RedmiBook 15 Pro supports dual-band Wi-Fi and the performance was adequate and the same applies to Bluetooth and 3.5mm headphones. In addition, you also get a LAN port.
Screens are one of the most important aspects of a laptop, and unfortunately, that is also the weakest point of the RedmiBook 15 Pro. While it might offer good performance, decent battery life, and ample port selection along with a fast-charging solution, but in the end, you'll really need to value those over the display. We really hope the next-gen Redmi laptops can address the issues on the RedmiBook 15 Pro.
If you are looking for a laptop around Rs 50,000 segment, the Realme Book Slim is shaping up well and might be worth the wait. Other options include HP 15s(Ryzen 5), Acer Aspire (i5 11th Gen), and Acer Aspire 5 (i5 11th Gen).
First reviewed: August 2021
Srivatsa is a prolific writer who spearheads the core writing team on tech news, buying guides, reviews, and all gadget articles. He is passionate about technology.