Xiaomi RedmiBook 15 Pro: RedmiBook 15 Pro is a solid laptop for general use, but it loses the “Pro” aspects of its Mi Notebook predecessors. Are you ready for it?
Over the past year, the laptop market has seen dramatic changes. The global chip shortage increased WFH-induced demand, and rising component prices mean that you will pay more for a general-purpose notebook. Laptop buyers with tight budgets may not find the right time. Redmi’s RedmiBook laptops make their debut in this stressful environment. They rely on Redmi’s classic recipe of an attractive spec sheet, reasonable prices, and a simple design.\
RedmiBook 15 E-Learning Edition is Redmi doing its best: obtaining the lowest possible price and better specs. RedmiBook 15 Pro, however, is a completely different story. It wants to compete with the Dell Inspiron 3000, 5000 series laptops as well as the HP Pavilion models, Lenovo IdeaPad notebooks, and all the Core i5-equipped 15.6-inch laptops. The Redmi brand and Intel’s 11th Generation Tiger Lake CPUs are what help it to shine.
The RedmiBook 15 Pro looks interesting for a laptop that costs Rs 50,000, thanks to a few other useful titbits. Is it worth the money? Here are my thoughts after using the laptop for nearly 10 days.
Xiaomi RedmiBook 15 Pro: Design
Redmi’s name is on some of the most beautiful smartphones on the market, and you would expect a stylish notebook with some jazz to accompany their first laptop. Redmi’s laptop design team decided to go against the grain and created a dull grey clamshell design. The only thing that is interesting about the design is the slightly reflective “Redmi”, followed by the “Power Your Creativity” tag. It’s ironic, right?
Although the interior is still dull, you’ll see black keys and display buttons if you pay attention. It is hard to believe that Xiaomi has stopped using the beautiful bluish and silver colors on its Mi Notebook models. It is clean and spacious, in that your hands can rest around the keyboard. This notebook is quite a departure from the 14-inch notebooks that are the norm in this price range. Redmi opted for a smaller Numpad to achieve this sleek design, but it makes up for it by using a large trackpad.
The design is simple, but the materials are of good quality. The plastic body is strong enough to withstand regular WFH abuses. I haven’t noticed any creaks or irregularities on any surface. The hinge is strong and the display with anti-glare help. Although the sharp edges of the Mi Notebook are not for everyone, the overall weight of 1.8 Kg is a welcome addition. It is worth noting that Noida, a dusty cat, left marks on the laptop quite often. Keep a duster handy.
Although the overall image of the RedmiBook 15 Pro seems dull, this is typical for laptops at this price. Plastic shells will still be available in plain colors and gradients. RedmiBook’s design team should consider the new Lenovo IdeaPad Slim notebooks and the Dell Inspiron 3000 notebooks to spice up a generic laptop.
Redmi products don’t compromise on specs, and the RedmiBook 15 Pro is proof of that. There are two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports and a USB 2.0 port. An HDMI 1.4 port and an Ethernet port are also included. A 3.5mm microphone/mic port, an SD card reader, and a Kensington locking mechanism are all available. A USB-C Thunderbolt port is missing, which is becoming increasingly popular in the budget notebook category. Redmi uses a proprietary port to charge.
Xiaomi RedmiBook 15 Pro: Display
Redmi’s notebook line has opted for the 15.6-inch display instead of the 14-inch displays found on most popular models. This LCD display has a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. This LCD display does not have any special color certification or high refresh rates.
It is just an old, good-looking display. However, it isn’t a great one. The display is fine as long as you use it for writing documents, browsing the internet, light photo editing, and viewing YouTube videos. It is bright and colorful.
The display is lacking life for us creators. The display has poor contrast and is far too accurate in color. The Mi Notebook 14’s impressive display makes it difficult to view from all angles. You will need either an external display or a laptop with a better display if you use Photoshop or other photo editing software frequently. This is the compromise Xiaomi made to get the Intel 11th Gen chips.
Xiaomi RedmiBook 15 Pro: Performance
We have now come across the 11th Gen Intel chips. Let’s talk about the specifications. The RedmiBook 15 Pro is a powerful laptop that can be used for general purposes. Inside is the 11th Generation Intel Core i5-11300H processor, which can boost to 4.4GHz. This processor is paired with 8GB DDR4 RAM (non-expandable) and 512GB M.2 SSD storage. Redmi preloads these laptops with Windows 10 as well as licensed copies of MS Office 2019.
Although this setup isn’t going to thrill gamers, it has enough power for general computing. The RedmiBook 15 Pro has performed well in writing hundreds of stories that you can read here over the past few weeks. When contributing to a website, we need at least 5 tabs open in Chrome.
This is on top of the many tabs for research and emails. The laptop handled all of these tasks like a pro. I tried Photoshop on it, and the Intel Iris Xe graphics did a good job for basic editing tasks.
My curiosity led me to install F1 2020 on my RedmiBook 15 Pro. I was surprised at the results. I was able to run the entire 25 percent Grand Prix race at 720p resolution with Medium graphics at 30 frames per second without any frame drops. The game wouldn’t load after this first attempt. After loading Ori and The Will of The Wisps, the game crashed after a brief instance of loading at low settings. Redmi may have driver issues.
Although the hardware is promising, the RedmiBook 15 Pro’s design is not suitable for heavy-duty editing or gaming, particularly with the Iris Xe graphics at its helm. If you are looking for more power for editing/gaming, it would be a good idea to get an older model with a Core i5 10th Gen Core i5 processor and NVIDIA GTX1050.
GeekBench returned benchmark numbers for the laptop, with 1241 single-core and 3149 multi-core. These figures are not the best, but they will be sufficient for most computing tasks.
After spending many hours on the keyboard, the RedmiBook 15 Pro is a great choice for writers with limited budgets. It has good feedback and plenty of travel, making long typing sessions easy. Although it’s not as good as the ThinkPads’ keyboards, Redmi has mastered the basics of feedback. I was disappointed that there wasn’t a backlit option. It made me run for the lights in the dark.
The trackpad experience on the Mi Notebook 14 is much better than the clunky, inaccurate one. Its large size is great for busy days. The input is also precise with Windows 10 gestures.
This is the norm for this segment. Although the pair of 2W speakers can fill a bedroom, they may not be sufficient for a board room or class. Although the audio quality is not great, it is still better than those found in similar-priced laptops by HP and Dell. These speakers are not compatible with the DTS tuning app.
The mic is able to receive voice calls during Teams calls. Voice quality is good as long as you have your face well-lit. The privacy shutter is not available, but the LED notification light will be displayed when the camera’s active.
Xiaomi preloads RedmiBook 15 Pro’s MIUI+ file transfer app and the Mi Support app. The latter has never worked. Everything else, except for the preloaded MS Office 2019, is the same junk that you see on every Windows 10 notebook.
Xiaomi claims that an update for Windows 11 will be available when a stable version is released. To test the Windows 11 beta on my RedmiBook 15 Pro, I downloaded it and found the experience to be pleasant. I didn’t notice any performance improvements (at least in games), and the same holds true for battery life.
Xiaomi RedmiBook 15 Pro: Batteries
The RedmiBook 15 Pro, like the competition, is a 5- to 6-hour laptop. College students should be able to use the laptop for a day with a full charge, but professionals may need to have a charger. It is a 65W fast charging charger, and it takes about half an hour to recharge 50% of the battery. You will need to wait for a full charge before you can be patient.
Note that I used the laptop to stay connected to Wi-Fi throughout the day with the display brightness set to 50% and the display brightness at 50 percent. It was also kept on standby during lunch breaks or short breaks. Even with my cautious days, I couldn’t get close to the 10-hour mark.
Xiaomi RedmiBook 15 Pro: Verdict
All the pros and cons are considered and it is clear that the RedmiBook 15 Pro offers a solid value package. Core computing is reliable with the 11th Gen Core i5 providing ample performance to keep pace with professional computing.
Redmi could have done more to improve the design and display quality. However, the solid foundations make it an easy recommendation for students and young professionals in WFH as well as those purchasing their first laptop. Port selection and trackpad are both good. The build quality is excellent, though we miss the sleek, metal-bodied Mi Notebook 14.
If you are looking for a reliable Windows laptop that is easy to use and has 11th Gen Intel processor power, we recommend the RedmiBook 15 Pro. If display performance and beautiful design are important to you, the RedmiBook 15 Pro is a good choice. However, Dell and Lenovo offer similar prices or slightly more. The Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition, priced at Rs 54,999, is a better-designed alternative, even though it uses 10th generation Intel chips.
RedmiBook 15 Pro: Specifications
- Display: 39.6cm(15.6) Display Full HD (1920 x 1080) Resolution
- Performance: 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-11300H
4.4GHz max clock
Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics
- Memory: 8GB DDR4 3200MHz
- Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
- Wireless: 2 X 2 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 5
- Bluetooth V5.0
- Interface: 1 x USB 2.0
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
1 x HDMI 1.4
1 x RJ45 (LAN port)
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
1 x Kensington Lock
1 x SD Card Reader
- Keyboard: Scissor Mechanism
1.5mm key travel
- Touchpad: Multi-touch with support for
Windows Precision drivers
- Webcam: 720p (HD)
- Audio: 2 x 2W Stereo speaker
Support for DTS audio processing app
3.5mm combo audio jack
- Battery and Power: 10-Hour all day battery 46WHr 65W power adapter
- Weight and Dimensions: Package Contents
- Material: Polycarbonate with brushed metallic finish
Thickness: 19.9 mm
Length: 363.8 mm
Width: 243.5 mm
Weight: 1.8 kg
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