Frankly speaking, we expected the Mi NoteBook Ultra to be priced roughly above ₹80K. Even if Xiaomi dares not cross the line with its pricing, the product itself is polished and powerful enough to demand extra dough from your pocket. Thankfully, you will not have to, because for what it is, there’s definitely more than enough in the Mi NoteBook Ultra to satiate everyone’s work needs.
The NoteBook Ultra isn’t as wafer-thin as the MacBook Air, but it is proportionate enough to be picked up with one hand and tossed in the bag when you want to carry it around. Xiaomi has also bundled a dinky charging brick with USB Type-C which makes life quite easy. But if you’re against having multiple chargers for your devices, Poco’s 67W fast charger is also enough to juice this laptop fast and easy. However, the cable won’t be very long for the job.
Thankfully, you won’t need to worry about charging this thing. The battery life is as good as it gets. Depending on your workload, the Mi NoteBook Ultra can last you one full day – we’re talking a hefty battery life from sunrise to sunset, or a good 6 to 7 hours of heavy use which involves juggling multiple emails on the RAM-sapping Google Chrome, constant music streaming, and a little wrestling with Microsoft Office and Photoshop. It’s safe to say that the Mi NoteBook Ultra is a working person’s laptop or a student hell-bent on catching up on One Piece from the start!
We had to take special precautions while working on the Mi NoteBook Ultra. The damn thing has such a fantastic screen that watching Netflix felt intoxicating. It’s impossible to find such a high-resolution screen with a 90Hz refresh rate at this price point, and that’s what makes the Mi NoteBook Ultra a disruptive laptop of sorts. The 3.2K (3200x2000) slapped on the 15.6in display is using an IPS panel with 100% sRGB colour gamut. This means it’s not shifting colour shades at the slightest tilt and it’s decent for Pro use as well.
Obviously, Netflix is only as good as the audio, and you can’t have everything for ₹63,999. The bottom-firing speakers only achieve their ‘loudness’ when kept on a desk. If the laptop is anywhere but a hard surface, the speakers get muffled, and you’ll have to pull out the headphones. If you have Xbox Game Pass then indie games like Carrion can be played with ease. They don’t require a lot of processing grunt, and the Intel Iris Xe can pull through these games nicely. It’s a great way to blow some steam in between work.
Just like the Microsoft Surface Laptop, Xiaomi has stretched the display upwards to a 16:10 ratio. Now the screen is a wee-bit taller and quite the nutritious pinch for Excel sheet lovers. While the chunk of its performance is great for everyday office work, the Intel Core i5-11300H and the 16GB RAM can be pushed. There’s no dedicated GPU and the i5 11th gen on this is still primarily meant for non-intensive workloads. That said, as an office laptop, the Mi NoteBook Ultra totally hits it out of the park.
The keyboard is generously spaced too. The quality and feedback from the keys are nowhere close to Microsoft’s givings, but it’s a decent package. One that doesn’t garner much attention and neither does it break the typing experience. The touchpad has also been given some spit polish from last year’s Mi NoteBook 14. It no longer feels flimsy or budget-y. It’s got a nice smooth finish but even now only the bottom half of the touchpad can be pressed inside like a button.
The camera and microphone are average at best. It’s passable for Zoom calls and using Windows Hello to unlock the device. We recommend using dedicated headphones for getting your voice across clearly. As for unlocking your device, there’s a great fingerprint scanner on the power button. So the laptop starts in a jiffy and you’re in the Zoom meeting before the gaffer can know you’re still in bed.
A laptop that hits the sweet spot of budget and features. The shortcomings from last year’s 14in NoteBook have been addressed and improved in some places. The high-resolution and high refresh rate display and powerful innards keep the Mi NoteBook Ultra from feeling boring or sluggish. It’s slick, fast and perfect for office obligations and students.
The overall experience of using the NoteBook Ultra is great and that’s not surprising at all because apart from the fantastic display and processor, it’s also packing a 512GB NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6, 5.1 Bluetooth and comes preloaded with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2019.
Did we forget to mention the metal (read: sturdy) build quality? Ya, it’s got that too, and an almost bezel-less display too. Pretty much a Mac design clone but no harm in that, right? The Mi NoteBook Ultra is almost faultless, for the price it comes at. There’s even a macro button to jump-start any task you would want! When it comes to office/daily use, it’s got it all and some.