Xiaomi rolls out first laptop to take on Lenovo, Apple

Published On: July 28, 2016 05:17 PM NPT By: PTI

BEIJING, July 28: Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi on Wednesday rolled out its first laptop, testing the waters in a market that has been flooded with premium tablets.

The laptop Mi Notebook Air, runs on Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system, sells for 4,999 yuan  for a 13.3-inch display.

A slimmed-down version for office use is also available for 3,499 yuan. The laptop is priced at a discount compared to many models with similar specifications from leading brands such as Lenovo, Dell, HP and Apple.

It is the Beijing-based firm's latest attempt to press ahead with its strategy of releasing top-spec devices at low prices.

"Xiaomi will continue to roll out budget devices with key components in the same league as those on premium devices," Xiaomi co-founder Lei Jun said during product launch in Beijing.

The company also launched a new phone under its budget smartphone line RedMi. The RedMi Pro is powered by MediaTeK's flagship processor Helio X25 and sells for between 1,499 and 1,999 yuan depending on specifications.

Xiaomi's chief domestic rival, Huawei, rolled out a tablet computer with Windows 10 and a detachable keyboard earlier this year.

Global PC shipments have declined for seven consecutive quarters as of the second quarter this year, according to tech consultancy Gartner.

Lenovo, the world's top PC maker, reported a drop in shipments of 2.2 per cent in the second quarter, while Apple, ranked fifth, posted a 4.9-per cent drop in the same period.

On the Chinese mainland, shipments slid 6.4 per cent as a slowing economy bit into demand for PCs by both businesses and consumers, Gartner said.

Analysts have attributed part of the decline in the PC market to a shift to tablet computers that can handle productivity needs.

Devices such as the Microsoft Surface tablet and Apple's iPad Pro have sought to replace PCs for consumers who seek a combination of productivity and mobility, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

While its China release is scheduled for August 2, Xiaomi has yet to announce details about the availability of its laptop elsewhere.

Huawei has been selling its Matebook tablet in Europe as well as China and other emerging markets. Both companies face hurdles in selling consumer electronic devices in the United States.

While Xiaomi has continued to push forward its strategy of packing impressive specs into budget devices, Huawei has sought to create premium products for higher margins.


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