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Xiaomi launches Mi Notebook Air, targeting Apple's MacBook lineup

Best known for its smartphones, China's Xiaomi on Wednesday revealed the Mi Notebook Air, its first laptop, apparently designed to take on Apple's MacBook and MacBook Air.

The flagship model features a 13.3-inch screen, with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8 gigabytes of RAM, 256 gigabytes of SSD storage, and an NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card, CNET noted. Dedicated graphics are relatively rare in laptops outside of high-performance systems built for gaming or video editing.

Other features include two USB 3.0 ports and one USB-C connection, the latter enabling charging. Battery life is rated at 9.5 hours.

A cheaper 12.5-inch model scales back specifications to include a Core M processor, 4 gigabytes of RAM, and a 128-gigabyte SSD. One benefit however is increased battery life, rated up to 11.5 hours.

Although branded under the Xiaomi name, both systems are actually being made by a partner, Tian Mi. They should go on sale in China on August 2, with the 13.3-inch model costing 4,999 yuan (about $750), and the smaller one priced at 3,499 yuan ($525).

There are no apparent plans to bring the Mi Notebook Air to the U.S., but the product could add to Apple's competition in China, where even the 11-inch MacBook Air is 6,288 yuan ($943).