It used to be accepted that anything made in China – especially a “knock-off” of something mainstream – was bound to be inferior, and you’d be lucky if it even worked.

However, now the country’s own electronics manufacturers are carving out their own niche, and could soon be appearing in a tech store near you. Xiaomi’s “Notebook Air” – which is totally not inspired by the MacBook Air despite sharing a name, a design and a factory – is their first attempt at a laptop, and the results may surprise you.

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For those in the know, the laptop’s specs are formidable, boasting an SSD and a dedicated graphics card (something Apple’s equivalent doesn’t have). Priced at around £570, it’s certainly cheaper than its competitors on the market – although it’s only available in China…for now.

xiaomi-notebook

Founded in 2010, in just 6 years the company has gone from small business to China’s leading technology giant, putting its name to drones, phones, tablets and even an official Transformer based on its MiPad. While many established companies are shifting focus away from laptops to tablet and mobile, Xiaomi are making the opposite transition.

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Xiaomi keep prices low through selling their products online-only. Instead of huge marketing campaigns, they rely on word-of-mouth and social media, although their recent Hasbro collaboration is basically a marketing stunt in 3 dimensions that you can buy. Also, they manufacture in huge quantities and buy all their high end components in bulk.

xiaomi-wave

Xiaomi haven’t done anything original, but the average consumer probably won’t give a crap; they do everything the establishment are doing, but far cheaper, and could soon make a splash in the West like Huawei did – and you won’t be able to pronounce this company’s name either.

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