I have to carry my laptop to work almost every day recently, and after a considerable span of time that old laptop had become overwhelming: with its power supply, the laptop weighted a total 3.3 kilogram. I felt like my commuting had transformed into physical exercise.therefore, purchasing a light laptop was placed on my agenda. The purchase process was basically me having difficulty choosing among these three.
The first choice is the LG Gram. It’s indeed good, and it’s quite astonishing that the bare weight of this 13 inches-laptop is less than 1 kilogram, besides, its battery life is exceptionally long. But it’s a bit pity that it doesn’t contain discrete graphics, which makes it impossible for me to play some masterpiece-level low-special effect game, moreover, it’s relatively expensive and a little bit far away from my psychological price of 1000USD. But if you care deeply about the weight, then this is your solid choice.
My second choice is the HP ENVY13 with discrete graphics card. Although the MX150 discrete graphic card is not a performance-level product, but it’s competent enough to run some low-special effect game, what’s more, its advance booking price on JD.COM was quite cost-effective. The computer configuration is i5+8G+256G; the advance booking price was 1000USD. Despite that it’s a bit costlier than the MI laptop with the same configuration and no fingerprint identification lock installed, the design of ENVY13 is really feminine as well as elegant and looks much more pleasing than the white collar-style of MI.
Reluctantly, I could only choose the object of today’s unpacking demo: 2017 MI 13.3 Inches Laptop, with the same configuration of i5+8G+256G+MX150; compared to ENVY13, it owns an extra fingerprint authentication lock and the MI Bracelet unlock function, which makes it slightly more convenient; in terms of price, the computer costed me 840USD.
When I removed the bag, I could see that a hole had already been poked on the surface of the box. Luckily it was only the outer box.There was a large buffer space between the outer box and the real package, which was tightly fixed in the outer box with foam sponge. The protection was very much in place.
The style of the actual package is quite minimalism: the display of the laptop on the pure white background.
It was empty on the backside, only a stick with the serial number was pasted at the corner.
The top and bottom of the package was again sealed with two pieces of simple tape, it seemed that MI doesn’t provide those disposable-and-recoverable adhesive tape.
After I unpacked the package, I found that MI adopted a packaging method similar to the Apple MacBook: with the laptop on top and a layer of black foam sponge served as buffer protection.
Took the laptop out as if it were a MacBook, then the instruction emerged from underneath.
Under the box containing the instruction booklet was the power adapter.
The booklet was quite simple as it was only a piece of paper on which the triple-guarantee card was printed.
The design style of the power source was also minimalism.
Max Power: 65-Watts.
The laptop was covered with a plastic film, those stickers on the bottom were pasted directly on the laptop. I suggest you tear them off and sellotape them on the plastic film for reservation.
This was how it looked after I peeled off the plastic film and put it on the table. A totally featureless design. Perhaps I’d have to buy a cover to decorate it someday later.
A piece of woven cloth could be seen covering the keyboard as protection after the laptop was flip-opened.
After I took the cloth off, I took a look at the C-Side where the keyboard touchpad is; this side is basically unoccupied by superfluous elements, except for a small i5 sticker; by the way, the fingerprint authentication lock is located on the upper-right corner of the touchpad.
The B-Side is a fullHD screen of full-bonded-glass, so I wasn’t surprise it’s a glossy screen; Light-reflecting is what I hate most about this kind of screen.
Except for the conventional mats, there are three openings on D-Side: The long opening on top is for heat-dissipation, the openings on lower-right and lower-left are for speakers, with a MI logo in the middle.
The texture of the mats is hard and the quality isn’t great as well. However, the openings for the speakers are quite exquisite, it could also be seen that the fixed screws below are hexagon ones.
A close-up of the MI logo, fairly Apple-style.
A close-up of the long heat-dissipation opening.
There are three interfaces on the left side of the laptop, they are HDMI, USB interface and audio interface respectively.
On the right side are two interfaces, one is a USB Type C interface for charging, and the other is a ordinary USB interface; a small indicator light is located near the charging interface.
I have to say that making the body of the laptop thinner was at the expense of abandoning the expansibility at a great scale: The HDMI is the only display interface, VGA is out of the question， it’s acceptable that it left out the LAN interface given the fact that WLAN is quite widespread nowadays, but the lack of SD card reader nonetheless makes it a bit more inconvenient.
The design of the back spindle is again featurelessly plain, but it should be pretty much durable.
This is the maximum revolving-angle of the screen, which should be enough.
Just like most of the light-weighted laptop, the cooling air outlet is in the slit between the screen spindle and the screen.
The integrated camera is located on the top of the screen with an indicator light on the left which would glow white when the camera is on.
A rubber ring for cushion is applied around the screen so you don’t have to worry too much about the tragedy of screen being abraded by the keyboard.
As shown in the photo, the left and right side of the screen margin is well-controlled, but it’s quite clear that the black-margin on the top and bottom of the screen remains well-visible.
Keyboard details: The power button is located on the upper-right corner of the keyboard with an extra white indicator light which would flash when the laptop is standing-by and remain on when the laptop is working.
Another indicator light installed in the Caps lock button.
There’s no keypad undoubtedly, and the up and down arrow keys are compressed into one single key sequence; I’m sure most people would understand just how inconvenient is that; please make a complete arrow no matter how much you care about space-saving.
A close-up of the touchpad, which should be made of glass like MacBook did.
The only opening is on the fingerprint authentication lock, so the part where it detects the fingerprint is concaved.
The i5 sticker; by the way, the i5 on the mobile platform shall all be genuine quad-core processor this time next year, therefore, purchasing this laptop now feels exactly like joining the Kuomintang army in 1945.
The recession part where you pinch to flip open the screen; the craftsmanship is quite meticulous.
The MI logo right below the screen.
Just like MacBook, to dissemble the laptop you have to unscrew every visible screw which include two different lengths on the back of the laptop.
Then you have to disassemble the mat located on top of the heat-dissipation opening, then unscrew a hidden screw underneath the mat, afterwards you may remove the back cover.
The first impression the inside structure laid on me was well-done, the most conspicuous parts are undoubtedly the huge battery below and the two heat-dissipation fans, with no obvious fly line.
The relatively centralized cable interfaces are located on top of the battery; the interfaces should’ve included battery interface, keyboard line, touchpad cable and fingerprint lock cable etc.
The interface of the two fans is located between two chips, one is Nuvoton, and the other one is Winbond, which should be related to temperature-monitoring.
The connection lines of the right and left speakers are placed here, and the two speakers are connected through a line right below the battery
There’s the word Harman on the speaker unit, so the sound quality should be guaranteed.
The last cable comes from the two antennas of the wireless network adapter and the display wirings beside.
The model number of the wireless network adapter is Intel 8265; it’s welded on the motherboard, which makes it unchangeable.
This is the screen spindle looking from the inside, which should be full-metal and looks quite sturdy.
The main heat-dissipation module consists of one thermotube and two fans, the one near the CPU/graphics card is bigger.
Black-color design is adopted on the heat-dissipation module of CPU and graphics card; the slender strip on the left is CPU, and the little one on the right is the discrete graphics card MX150.
The two metal masses on top are auxiliary heatsinks for internal memory particles and memory particles.
Below the rectangle heatsink on top of the CPU are four internal memory particles, between the particle and the heatsink there’s a thermal silicone grease that provides auxiliary heat conduction.
Below the small heatsink on top of the graphics card are two memory particles, there’s also thermal silicone grease that helps conducting heat.
The model of the primary hard drive is Samsung PM961, whose performance is quiet satisfying; it’s a pity that there’s no auxiliary heatsink connected to the bottom mass of the metal to provide heat-dissipation.
The second SSD interface on the other side, but it only supports hard drive of SATA protocol, it should be enough to expand an entertainment disk.
I could’ve dissemble the battery and motherboard to take a look at the back of the keyboard and motherboard, but it’d be quite troublesome, so I didn’t do it. So much for the dissembling time.
Took out the power supply to charge the laptop; when charging, the indicator light would glow orange, and when it’s fully charged the light would become green. You can also see the white indicator light on the power button.
Start the laptop up to appreciate the screen: it isn’t as borderless as the XPS does, but it’s at least tolerable.
Lastly, I’d like to post two pretty pictures of the keyboard backlight as a way to end the unpacking part. By the way the brightness of the backlight is fairish, but it’s a pity that the brightness isn’t adjustable: it’s only on or off.
I will talk about the detailed performance and screen test in my next article, coming soon.