Xiaomi has just announced in in China the Mi Air 4G notebook, a portable computer that can be connected to the internet anytime, anywhere, using an internet of things (IoT) 4G LTE channel provided by China's largest telecom operator, China Mobile.
Xiaomi founder Lei Jun and China Mobile's Sha Yuejia said that the new device is an example of how a modern computer can be connected to the internet without a network cable or a Wi-Fi connection.
The 12.5-inch Mi Notebook Air 4G retains its full-HD display resolution, is powered by an Intel Core M3 processor coupled with 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM (1866MHz), and offers 128GB SSD (SATA) that's expandable via a second SSD slot. Other features include Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v4.1, AKG dual speakers, and Dolby Digital surround sound support. It is 12.9mm thick at its thinnest, and weighs in at 1.07kg. The company is touting a battery life up to 11.5 hours. It comes with an HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, a USB Type-C port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The 13.3-inch Mi Notebook Air on the other hand comes with a sixth-generation Intel Core i7 (2 cores, 4 threads, max clock speed of 3.0GHz) processor, which the company says will provide a 10 percent improvement over the Core i5 processor of the non-4G variant. Other specifications remain the same as last time, including a Nvidia GeForce 940MX GPU with 1GB of GDDR5 VRAM, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 256GB PCIe SSD.
Just like the 12.5-inch model, a second SSD slot on the 13.3-inch Mi Notebook Air 4G can be used for expansion. As before, the new 4G variant is touted to deliver a battery life up to 9.5 hours. Other connectivity, ports, and audio options are the same as the 12.5-inch model. It weighs 1.28kg and is 14.8mm thick.
The 12.5-inch version of the Mi Air 4G is priced at 4,699 yuan ($676), while the 13.3-inch version costs 6,999 yuan.
The 4G internet service will be free during the first year but it could be charged later.
Xiaomi launched its first PC product, the Mi Air on July 27 this year. Liu said that the company had sold 220,000 units of Mi Air in the first three months.
The Mi Air 4G is to be on sale in January 2017 and it will be exclusively available at the outlets of China Mobile.