Xiaomi’s return to laptops is a Surface-style convertible. The Xiaomi Book S 12.4″ has been coming along, but we have finally been able to test it with peace of mind. A laptop with an ARM processor, Windows 11, and a generous touch screen of more than twelve inches with high resolution.
Xiaomi has high-end models like the Book Pro. Still, this time they offer us a more humble convertible, with the challenge of trying to become that economic alternative to the Surface. In our analysis of the Xiaomi Book S 12.4 “we explain if they have succeeded. It is not an easy task.
Design: a nice compromise between weight and solidity
The first feeling one has with the Xiaomi Book S 12.4″ is that it is a standard device. It is not a laptop; it is a tablet with an optional case with a keyboard and trackpad—a Surface-style convertible. Still, when using it, we have a similar experience to that of a traditional laptop. There are several reasons. On the one hand, there is its weight. It is somewhat lighter than many ultrabooks, but when we add the keyboard cover, which weighs 317 g alone, we have a total of just over 1kg, still very light but far from what is offered in the world of tablets.
There is also the size. As its name suggests, the Xiaomi Book S comes with a 12.4-inch screen. To get an idea, the Surface Go 3 stays at 10.5 inches. We are facing a generous diagonal that serves to generate a feeling more similar to traditional laptops. As we will discuss later, this size is accompanied by a good battery and a panel that looks good, although it suggests that the device in front of us will be more powerful and capable.
Power: this Qualcomm processor knows little
It is probably the choice that conditions the entire product. Xiaomi opts for a Qualcomm ARM chip for its convertible, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2, manufactured in 7 nanometers. Logically, this is not a gaming laptop or a high-end device that adds the latest Intel processors. Still, within the processors oriented towards productivity and autonomy, there are several options. And here, we believe that Xiaomi could have risked more.
It’s easy to wonder… wasn’t there another option for the processor?
We are facing a processor that is already two years old, although it opts for slightly higher clock speeds than the base model. An eight-core processor up to 3 GHz with an Adreno 685 GPU is insufficient for most desktop games. They come with 8 GB of LPDDR4X RAM.
After running some benchmarks, we see that the results are similar to those of an Intel Pentium Gold 6500Y. In models like Cinebench R23, we have obtained 1,296 points in multicore and 417 points in a single core, slightly below the Intel alternative.
User experience: great for productivity, rare when required
Windows 11 Armor
Windows 11, even if it is the version for ARM, is far ahead of other operating systems. iPadOS 16 is excellent, and Android is always there, but the possibilities and facilities of Windows are a plus that all users will appreciate.
Windows 11, first impressions: significant visual changes for a Windows that will make you feel at home
The use that I have given the Xiaomi Book S 12.4″ has been mainly for browsing and writing. The benefit that any student or casual user could provide it. And for this type of task, the device performs very well. Browse the Internet, write in Office, post on social networks, have dozens of tabs open, listen to Spotify, or watch videos. In all these tasks, we will have an ideal result. Although, when we move away from the most typical use is when we notice some lag.
Finally, we have the thickness and the finishes. With about 9 millimeters, the Xiaomi Book S 12.4″ is comfortable to hold and easy to store in a backpack or any folder. This is one of the advantages of the format; in this sense, the result is good. Although We cannot say that it is a light or stylish device, it is solid and sober; Xiaomi bets more on the pragmatic than the flashy.
The Xiaomi Book S 12.4″ is a convertible, but it arrives with size and weight that is very appropriate for laptops. It is comfortable to use, easy to store, and has a generous screen, but it does not convey extraordinary lightness.
At the level of connections, all are located on the right side. We have a USB-C port that we will use to charge the device and pass data. Just below the headphone jack, the power button and the volume buttons are added. We also have an SD (TransFlash) card and reader. All very common, as we could find in any other tablet. Simplicity prevails again ahead of the complex. I am in favor of some additional ports and avoiding the use of adapters, such as perhaps an HDMI or a second USB-C port. Still, I understand that Xiaomi chooses that we wirelessly link any accessory.
Xiaomi Book Case
The edges are smooth and made of an aluminum and magnesium alloy. In the case of the keyboard cover, we have a synthetic leather finish that provides a soft touch without being especially remarkable. Again, we have a device that you enjoy when you have it in front of you, but it does not have a finish or an element that makes it stand out and differentiates it, especially from the competition.
The keyboard cover seems essential to us. The keys have a good feel and travel. After spending hours writing, we have felt comfortable.
Xiaomi Book S Keyboard
About the cover, I must say that the result is quite good. The trackpad is large enough and accurate, while you quickly get used to the keyboard. With a trip of 1.3 millimeters, the keys are pleasant, and it is not difficult to spend hours typing from it.
The case connects via magnetic pins and can be propped up at any angle. On some occasions, depending on how we put it, the cover detaches from the tablet. You have to get used to placing it well. When the case is folded, the device is fixed and does not wobble. Something important when we are using it is to write quickly.
A touch screen that stands out for its brightness
In a convertible, the screen is a differential element. Fortunately, the Xiaomi Book S 12.4″ is at a high level. I would say above the average of the rest of the sections offer. Its good LCD screen makes the daily experience when using the device entirely Satisfactory After using the Xiaomi Book S 12.4″ for several weeks and spending 8 hours writing on it. I can say that it has exceeded my expectations.