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The long awaited RedmiBook 14 arrives

Friday June 7 2019

RedmiBook 14. PHOTO| COURTESY

RedmiBook 14. PHOTO| COURTESY 

KIUMBUKU MUCHUKU
By KIUMBUKU MUCHUKU
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This laptop is playing a fundamental role in how Chinese laptops will be perceived going forward. There has been every form of laptop from China, and with the current Chinese-America impasse, a rare opportunity arises.

Lenovo lost all points when they had their laptop scandal, Huawei is in the middle of their own little drama, which means Xiaomi has every opportunity to create a more prominent name for itself in the laptop game.

This isn’t their first laptop, but it is quite important.

This is the one that will determine whether Xiaomi will take the title from Lenovo and Huawei.

So, what did Xiaomi bring to play? The RedmiBook 14 is available with either an eighth Generation Intel Core i5 (Core i5-8265U), or an Intel Core i7 (Core i7-8565U).

That is mated with an NVIDIA GeForce MX250 with 2GB of GDDR5 memory GPU. It has 8GB of RAM, and comes with a choice of either a 256GB or 512GB Solid State Drive (SSD).

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The 14-inch display supports Full HD, though touch remains elusive. Unfortunate. It has a two USB Type 3.0 ports as well as a single USB 2.0 port, and, with very careful though, a single HDMI 1.4 port and to round it off, a 3.5 mm audio jack.

NOT BEEN VERY CREATIVE

For wireless connectivity, Xiaomi have added WIFI5 support, the “ac” component giving it very fast access.

They have not been very creative in the looks department, keeping it very straightforward with a near Macbook look.

Made with anodized aluminium, it is light, weighing a mere 1.5kgs. So, what makes this a compelling machine? Xiaomi has a very strong mobile business that has really blossomed. Their devices are renowned the world over and are extremely attractive.

Performance has also never been an issue with their devices. Everything about that is embodied into the RedmiBook 14. The build quality is exceptional, and despite the fact that it is not the best looker, at least it keeps the branding to a minimum.

The choice of 8GB RAM is bold, given that they were aiming for a budget device, and, nearly missed that. The SSD arrangement is also impressive, with the 512GB becoming the go to option.

Its can store plenty, but beyond that, it also makes the laptop extremely fast when it comes to using it.

TO CROWN IT OFF

To crown it off, it has a 46Wh battery that keeps it running for an impressive 11 hours straight, a Xiaomi hallmark that is now traditional to the company. Need to recharge it? It gets up to 50 percent capacity in 35 minutes.

This laptop ships with Windows 10, will support Intelligent Unlock 2.0 but, it makes for a superb Linux machine.

The base package, with a Core i5 processor and a 256GB SSD will set you back around Sh59,000 while doubling storage to 512GB means that the tag goes up to around Sh63,000, though if you go for the top of the range model, with the Core i7 and 512GB SSD option, you will be looking at close to Sh72,000.

To get your hands on this machine, you will have to buy it from China, as with the previous one.

Despite being a tad bit pricey and likely fitting in the mid-range class, this offers exceptional value for money, and yes, it propels Xiaomi on the right path for leadership.

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