The $500 “MacBook”


Hey, how’s it going? Dave2D here! And this is the Xiaomi Air 12. Now this is a device that a lot of people have been asking me to do a review for. I never did it when it first launched because it’s a product that is difficult to purchase, if you’re in North America, and there’s some inherent risks that come with purchasing a device from a smaller company like Xiaomi. But the thing that makes this thing special is that it’s kinda like the “rip-off version”, the “knock-off version”, of the MacBook 12″. It’s often compared to this because of it’s shape, it’s size, and it’s components, so I thought I would kinda do a video to showcase the two, so that you guys can have a realistic comparison between the two. One of the more important things about this device is the build quality. This is a very high quality device, it’s built really well compared to a lot of ultrabooks at this price point. So this thing actually starts at around $500, maybe $550 depending on where you purchase it from. This one in particular was from GearBest, and it cost around $530. Now the design language is quite similar to the MacBook, not that they’re identical, but you can see that it’s obviously been inspired by Apple’s design. Simple, flat slab, and this one actually has no branding or marking on the top of it, it’s actually difficult to tell which company this product came from just by looking at it. Now in terms of its thickness, this one’s thicker and heavier, but it’s very comfortable to hold still. The device is well made for the price, it’s not super solid, I wouldn’t say it’s as well-built as a MacBook, and I wouldn’t say it’s as durable as a MacBook, in terms of, like, when you press on it and how much flex there is. But it’s surprisingly well-made, and I would say it’s better-made than almost any other ultrabook at this price point. So the keyboard has some flex to it, it’s not a lot. Uhh… I mean, it’s not as rigid as a MacBook, I’ll demonstrate on the MacBook. It’s a little more rigid, but it’s not a huge difference. The display that they’re using is a 1080 panel, it’s not as high resolution as the MacBook panel, it’s also not as bright, nor as color-accurate. But it’s a really nice screen nonetheless. It’s also not a touchscreen, despite it being a glossy finish as well. The keyboard on the Xiaomi is actually pretty good, I would say it’s easier to get used to than the MacBook keyboard. I like how everything just feels like a regular keyboard on this, there’s no super-thin butterfly switches or anything, it’s very comfortable to type on. The one thing I don’t like is the trackpad, not that it’s a bad trackpad, but I definitely prefer the MacBook trackpad. This uses a Synaptic driver, so it’s not ideal, but it’s not bad. Okay, let’s talk about ports. So Xiaomi was smart, they realized that not everyone likes that whole “single port” thing on the MacBook. These guys have a single HDMI port, an audio jack, and then on the other side we have the USB-A and USB-C. Performance on this machine is pretty good. I mean, on paper it doesn’t look amazing, it’s a Sky Lake m3. But when you compare it for just actual use, regular use, day-to-day stuff, it performs really well. It’s not as fast as an i5 or an i7, but unless you’re doing more CPU-intensive stuff, you probably won’t notice a difference. One thing to note: the MacBook from 2016 is actually running the same processor, but the clockspeed is a little bit higher, so this particular chip, you can kinda ramp up the speed if you throw enough wattage at it, and that’s what Apple has done. They’re running the stock speeds, so 0.9 GHz, but when I use them, they feel really similar. If you want to play games on the Xiaomi, you can play some really light titles, but anything even mildly intense just won’t run very well on this system. The speakers on the Xiaomi are actually not bad, they’re better than most ultrabook speakers at this size, but they’re still not as good as the MacBook speakers, and I’ll give you a little quick speaker test. So, obviously, MacBook has better speakers, but this thing’s a lot cheaper, yeah. Okay, we’re going to take a look at the inside, pretty easy to get in there, it’s some torx screws. On the inside, you can see the single SATA stick that they include. The weird thing is that they have two M.2 slots, there’s only one of them that supports SATA, and then the other one supports PCIe, you have to use specifically those interfaces for those two sticks. The battery’s pretty big, it’s actually 37 watt hours, the MacBook has a 41 watt hour battery, and you’re going to get slightly better battery life on that thing. You’re going to get around 9 hours on the MacBook, around 7 hours on this, even though this has only a slightly smaller battery. The RAM is unfortunately soldered-on, it’s 4 gigs and you’re stuck with 4 gigs regardless of the configuration. And lastly you’ll notice there’s no fans, it’s a completely silent system, with the ultra low-voltage CPU. But everything in here looks nicely packed together, there’s no wasted space in here or anything. Thermal output is comfortable, I mean, it is an ultra low-voltage chip, so nothing gets super hot or anything. If you’re curious about the webcam, it looks better than the MacBook webcam. 720p, the MacBook has a 480p cam. So the ultimate question is whether or not the Xiaomi Air 12 is worth the price, because as you could see in this review, the MacBook is better across the board, except for a few things. So like, the keyboard on the Xiaomi is better, arguably, the ports selection is better on the Xiaomi, and, well, the webcam is better on the Xiaomi. But aside from that, the MacBook is better all around the board, other than the fact that it runs OS X, that’s a preference thing. So is it worth it? I think it is. It’s really difficult to compare something like this when the price is so different. But if you’re looking to purchase something that’s like a thin-and-light ultrabook, It– I’ve always felt that the MacBook was just too expensive for what it offered. This thing gives surprisingly good value at this price. The only thing, and really, the only thing that holds me back from just being like, “Hey, everyone just go buy this thing!” is the fact that it has to come from China, or somewhere in Asia, and if there are problems with this laptop, you’re going to have a tough time getting it fixed. That’s the end of this video, hope you guys enjoyed it. Thumbs if you liked it, subs if you loved it! I’ll see you guys next time.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

100 thoughts on “The $500 “MacBook””

  1. Dave Lee says:

    There are a couple high-end knockoff MacBooks. This is one of them. I still don't recommend these Chinese devices for the average consumer but they can deliver great value. Have any of you purchased one and then had problems?

  2. Shiv Sai says:

    Dave um did u just call xiaomi a small company?

  3. Yusuf Alan says:

    Türkler yokmu?

  4. Yusuf Alan says:

    3:34 de çomak var

  5. Duck Tale says:

    Did you review Xiaomi notebook pro?

  6. Ahmed Usman says:

    What song does he play for sound test

  7. ART KNOWN says:

    Omg that super ugly skin on your MacBook ! Killing the mac design esthetics here !

  8. Aman Pandey says:

    Dave lee is saying "A smaller company" to Xiaomi. hahahaha loll xD

  9. oliverrobotham81 says:

    So would you be able to play world of tanks on i?

  10. AI Ikmal says:

    Xiaomi is so big in malaysia

  11. Dozie Okasi says:

    What was the song in the intro

  12. Wasin Silakong says:

    Xiaomi company who sell the macbook using the realprice

  13. Bhramar Bar Dalei says:

    The new MiBook Air series of Xiaomi are really awesome!!!!

  14. Elias Martinez says:

    Macbooks, in general, aren't as durable as people think, I've been through a lot with all the mpb's 15 that I have own. Btw, still own one, but meh.

  15. believe in jesus and be born again says:

    40% commets xioami small???
    40% why u keep caling it knock off
    20% rest
    saved u time

  16. Palex Reds says:

    Gearbest ahahahahha how to waste your money. The worst assistance in the world

  17. Asif Zaman says:

    Inspired by apple? What would you say about zenbook 3? A copycat??

  18. Emmanuel Lindo says:

    F*ck always mentioning not like the macbook blah blah…Arggg

  19. danny david says:

    Whats his theme song? I cant find the one he says in the description

  20. Death says:

    The one advantage of being an Aussie – You're close to China

  21. Darnell Johnson says:

    which one is better to get MacBook or Dell laptop?

  22. Kulraj Sidhu says:

    this company is not allowed in NA because they have a contract with samsung i believe because they would be a competitor. idk its wat ive heard.

  23. Hansel Law says:

    Y is the title of dis in Chinese for my iPad lmao

  24. Shaque Johnson says:

    It IS Apple's design. It is a FACT. Guess their PHYSICAL stores across China are INSPIRED by Apple? No they try and mimic apple at every step. That's how China, the country itself works.

  25. svshootingstar says:

    We get it – you L-O-V-E Mac. The 2nd SSD slot is "weird", and Xiaomi is a small company. FYI, they are HUGE, and I wish all notebooks came with an 2nd SSD slot.

  26. DirtyMack says:

    Hey guys Xiaomi is totally not a knock off brand! That’s why they called their phone Note. And that’s why they called their only two laptop models Air and Pro – these are words anybody can use so y’all should just shut up. Also they print “Designed by Xiaomi in Shanghai, assembled in China” on all of their devices. Reminds me of something, but I can’t quite put my finger on it… I’m sure these are all just funny coincidences!

  27. DRA Channel says:

    I got this laptop but I didn't like it it's too slow . can't game on that so I gave it to my brother, I got the Zeuslap from ebay cheaper and much much better. Got it for 300 something in ebay

  28. T H I C C boi says:

    This is what i love seeing manufacturers do, taking the good ideas that apple has and getting rid of the bad things apple do, instead of other companies where they take apples dumb ideas and implement like removing the headphone jack, sealling in batteries, soldering ram and ssd to mb

  29. Top Aliexpress says:

    Please reply this I have no idea which one to buy.

  30. Mike loanzon says:

    How would you compare this to a MacBook 11in air? It's near the same price point and specs I think?

  31. MindTech says:


  32. Cowen K. Gittens says:

    It's a $700 laptop.

  33. VarunKatwaroo says:

    Can you do a review for the ASUS vivobook F510ua????

  34. Devil Snapfase says:

    And on xiaomi u can play games and windos not mac!! best

  35. Aïda K says:

    is it good for editing?

  36. iali00 says:

    Bought an XPS and moved away from Apple. Never willing to reward these Chinese knock off/copycat machines. Look at the Matebook. Fucking shameless copying. They have any creativity in that massive country?

  37. gaming blox21 says:

    Are going to review the Voyo A1 laptop from Voyo.

  38. Fuze says:

    xiaomi is huge in china

  39. Andrew says:

    I like your videos man. Thanks

  40. GOK says:

    this is costing actually 750$ now…

  41. Lyric Hartley says:

    Slap a Razer sticker on that boy.

  42. Aaron Eichler says:

    Xiaomi stores are coming to the US soon

  43. Ghost Syrius says:

    M perché se il titolo del video è in italiano il video è in inglese🤣

  44. Yolo Queen says:

    3:40 yeah😂

  45. Jakob says:

    why do you say its thicker while showing specs there states opposite? 1:17

  46. Vinz Lorenz says:

    from 500 to 1000 dollars. THATS XIAOMI PEOPLE!!!

  47. Simin Liu says:


  48. willy lauranto says:

    Thumbs if you liked it, subs if you loved it.

  49. Jack says:

    It’s $850 man

  50. Andre Corpus says:

    The hinge on mine is getting too loose, anyone have any tips on how to fix it?

  51. Tengteng Tian says:

    Xiao mi is the apple of china!

  52. Julio Ivan says:

    LOL so I click the gearbest link and it's sad to say but this laptop is not $500 anymore… I was a little late to this video.

  53. Rajat Soni says:

    Thumbs if you like it, Subs if you love it! 😆😆😆

  54. Cactuspractice12 says:

    now it's $790

  55. Joshua Christian says:

    What was the song he used for the speaker test?

  56. Lightning X7 says:

    compare that with lenovo yoga 330

  57. QeXDee says:

    i dont think xiaomi air is a Knockoff , its like saying the Razer Blade is a knock off of the MBP, both are completely different machine

  58. 石培 says:


  59. Dan Friedman says:

    $850 today

  60. Cñor pacman says:

    Macbook: $1300 for only 1 ghz cpu…………………….only a idiot would buy it

  61. Bong ERINO says:

    $860, title $500 zz

  62. fan boy says:

    Aren’t u chinese

  63. Tadej Brunšek says:

    Hey Dave! I think that making a risk to buy from Xiaomi, can come only from someone that is not familiar or does not follow the brand from the beginning. Because it is just a subjective opinion, still, some can doubt after watching the videos and hearing the words. For me, the Xiaomi is way credible company because I have used theirs products from the beginning on. Of course they cannot really compare to Apple, and some specs may be "a bit" lower, yet, quality of PCBs in their products is fabulous. No matter what you use if it goes for a shaver, PC, mobile phone, or an umbrella. They are young company, but yet, a proof what a company should run like. Yet even younger company Smartisan, makes the same quality products and has unbelievable good programmers behind software. And Xiaomi is not a small company 😉 Nor are the brands someone did just hear only last year for them 🙂

  64. Syed Shahrukh says:

    smaller company?? xiaomi??

  65. Zachary Chrapko says:

    Endless praise for Macbook track pads puts a skin over one

  66. A. S says:

    "MacBook" should be 'MacBook' in the title.

  67. TruthTeller says:

    this weird trend of calling every new xiaomi product "something apple killer" or "mac something clone" has become slightly annoying

  68. Sohail verma says:


  69. Ich says:

    Warun ist der Titel auf deutsch ???¿

  70. Vincent Nadeau Lacroix says:

    I got one and seriously it's surprised me on the durability. The only thing the ssd broke one time but nothing too be afraid to change so easy to access and for the price you don't have to fear about the quality of this compagny it's big they won't let out alot of item (cellphone, tablet , laptop) at cheap quality yeah some negative but try to find all the positive when you are in thin like this.

  71. MIguel Faro says:

    "Smaller company like xiaomi…." ahah… ah

  72. Israel Galivjan says:

    i feel like both macbook 12 and xiaomi air are crap. Who would buy a laptop with less than 2ghz speed?…. Or is this just me…

  73. o 0 says:

    Is that good for a programmer

  74. Sneaky Sheikh says:

    But does Roblox run on it…lol

  75. Mintu Roy says:

    can that usb c output to a monitor

  76. Katzenmädchen says:

    Wait there is no earpod thing?

  77. Fatal says:

    “Show me”

  78. Technom says:

    I kinda don't like it when people call Chinese/foreign ect. Companies "clones" just because they made a laptop from alluminium

    Apple sheep's gonna hate

  79. Miaoze Deng says:

    Xiaomi do not make any clones

  80. James Beazley says:

    yoo davey lookin a lil happy today hahaa


    Compare this with surface

  82. Matthew Vachon says:

    Love your videos man, but please, for the love of God himself… don't these PCs MacBooks… they are nowhere close.

  83. YONGFENG ZHAO says:

    it is common to use xiaomi to beat other double or even triple price competitors.


    I bought a 200 dollars budget phone for my mom for 3 years, well built and still fast , amazing….

  84. AungKyaw Zaaw says:

    xiaomi air 12 .I think really heating without fun..

  85. Antonio Raimundi says:

    The only problem I find is the Os 🙈

  86. Hemanth Nagubhai says:

    Wonder if it could be hackintoshed

  87. Gheorghita Melinte says:

    the macbook barely has any key travel, that's why it doesn't flex when you press on it :))

  88. The Wiedźmin says:

    In short you will have to pay more for better Build quality, speakers, screen, trackpad and build quality ?!
    Apple is such a rip off it's unbelievable,,,,

  89. Nemo zi says:

    Now you also can get it in Xiaomi Stores in Europe

  90. Justin 9 says:

    Buy this laptop if you want to support a communist government that ranks people with social score and lock up the ones they don’t like

  91. The Real Cool Pup says:

    Only bad thing is that it is from Xiaomi.

  92. Roy Gunarso says:

    Did you change your camera? The video looks a bit grey or bluish

  93. qwer55555555 says:

    macbook is better but it's 2x the proces so no wonder it has better battery speakers, screen. MacBook is crazy expensive for a stupid core m3.
    Dell has been making latitude series for years with m3/m5 ulv cpus, those can be bought cheaply now, with dell premium warranty etc. imo better than both xiaomi and MacBook.

  94. 【Cotton】 Michicorn モ為フ says:

    I live in Asia and there’s a XiaoMi store ! I’m planning on getting one thanks

  95. Sanjay Khosh says:

    Yeah Apple invented laptops everyone else is cloning them..

  96. Sanjay Khosh says:

    And apple recently launched 1200$ " Mi Mix "

  97. Danid Danid says:

    you know there is something fishy, when there are apostraphes on macbook

  98. Ransford Nartey says:

    This Dave guy right here is the real deal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *