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Good performance for a great price, but with some cuts – gadgets to use

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The Xiaomi Redmi brand launched the RedmiBook Pro and RedmiBook e-Learning Edition, the company’s first laptops in India, earlier this month. We got our hands on the RedmiBook 15 Pro, which is the top model. The laptop comes with impressive specs for the price of Rs. 49.999. Thus, Redmi is targeting both laptops and smartphones. Take a look at our RedmiBook 15 Pro review to see how well it lives up to its specs and justifies its price tag.

RedmiBook 15 Pro Review

pros

  • High performance
  • Good battery life
  • Large trackpad

Minuses

  • Poor display quality
  • No keyboard backlight
  • No USB type C port

Main characteristics

Main characteristics RedmiBook 15 Pro
Display 15.6-inch (1920 x 1080 pixels) FHD
Dimensions and weight 363.8 x 243.5 x 19.9 mm, 1.8 kg
Operating system Windows 10 Home upgradeable to Windows 11; preloaded from MS Office Home
CPU I5-11300H processor @ 3.4 GHz (max. 4.4 GHz) with Intel Iris XE Graphics
RAM / ROM 8GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD
Webcam 720p webcam
Audio 2 x 2 W speakers, DTS sound
Battery and charging 46Wh battery, up to 10 hours of battery life, 65W fast charge
Communication and ports Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11ac (2.4GHz & 5GHz), 1xUSB 2.0, 2xUSB 3.2 Gen1, 1xHDMI, Ethernet port, SD card reader, 3.5mm headphone jack
Options and price in INR 8 GB + 512 GB – 49,999

Design and build quality

When it comes to design, there is nothing special about the new Redmi machine. The laptop has a metal finish but is made of polycarbonate. Despite being housed in a plastic case, it is still well built and looks solid. The car weighs 1.8 kg, but the weight distribution is perfect so it doesn’t feel so heavy. Its thickness is 19.9 mm.

In terms of branding, there is a small Redmi logo and the slogan “Power your creative” on the back on the outside, while the inside has a Redmi stripe under the display.

In terms of ports, the right side has a 3.5mm headphone jack, SD card reader, USB 2.0 port, LAN port, and a Kensington lock. On the left, you will find 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, an HDMI port, and a charging port on the left. At the bottom are 2 speakers, an air vent and rubber pad, while the keyboard and large trackpad are at the top.

The RedmiBook 15 Pro only comes in charcoal gray and it is a new color in this price segment and most laptop manufacturers do not offer such a new color. However, for buyers with a bit of an interest in fashion items, a different color option will work.

Keyboard and trackpad

The RedmiBook keyboard is what impressed me, having been editing text for a long time. As such, anyone with anything to do with typing will find the keyboard very useful. The keys have 1.5mm travel and a slight springback. They don’t make a lot of noise, which makes your typing experience even better.

There is a full set of dedicated keys including PrtScn, Insert, Home, PgUp, and PgDn. However, this makes the left Shift key a little longer and the right Shift key a lot smaller, which can sometimes be annoying. It also makes the removal of the dedicated numeric keypad. In addition, there is no backlighting, which would be inconvenient when tying in low light.

As far as the trackpad is concerned, it is much larger than most laptops offer. It is also a plastic surface, so it may not be very sensitive, especially when scrolling. In addition, the entire panel is active, but this also leads to accidental touches, especially when typing.

Display quality

The display is undoubtedly the worst thing about this laptop. It’s a 15.6-inch Full HD display, but those numbers only look great on paper. When you actually turn on the device, you will see how inaccurate the colors are and how awful the viewing angles are. Plus, the contrast is good too.

You only get the best view if you set it to 90-100 degrees. If you tilt it a little more or less, the colors will start to distort with black shadows. The sharpness of the display is not very good.

If you want to use this laptop for watching videos, it won’t be a great experience due to its whitewashed colors and poor viewing angles.

However, beginners may not notice these problems right away, but they will show up when someone starts using it from a different angle. If it weren’t for multimedia, it can still be useful for work purposes like attending meetings, doing office tasks, as well as for students doing homework.

Performance

This is an area where the laptop has a strong footprint. In terms of performance, it features an 11th Gen Intel Core i5-11300H, which is a robust processor clocked at up to 4.4GHz. It is also paired with 8GB of 3200MHz DDR4 RAM and a 512GB NVMe SSD. RAM cannot be expanded and you can expand storage, but only after replacing your existing SSD.

But you most likely don’t want to, because this 512GB SSD from Lexar is much faster than other hard drives that come with other laptops at this price point. Also, read / write speeds were much better than others.

In our testing, we found a sequential read of 1603.65 MB / s and a sequential write of 1424.40 MB / s in the CrystalDiskMark benchmark. If we talk about other tests, our laptop gets 1382 points in single-core and 4142 points in Geekbench multi-core test.

Apart from the benchmark results, the laptop performed well in everyday use and never lagged behind. The Core i5 processor handled my normal multi-tabbed web browsing without issue in Chrome, Photoshop, and occasionally gaming. The device boots up quickly and wakes up soon.

The hardware has an integrated Intel IrisXe GPU. It’s better than Intel HD graphics, however don’t expect it to work wonders for graphics-intensive games. If you play older games with lower settings, you can run them smoothly. We played Asphalt and it ran smoothly at medium graphics settings.

In terms of software, the laptop runs Windows 10 Home edition, and later this year it will also receive a free Windows 11 update. Plus, it also comes with MS Office pre-installed.

Overall, the RedmiBook might be the most reliable performer you can buy for this price, but only if you can ignore the trade-offs.

Battery life

The RedmiBook 15 Pro is equipped with a 46Wh battery and a 65W power adapter. The company promises 10 hours of battery life, and during my testing, I found the battery life to be close to what it promised. My job is mostly about browsing pages in Chrome, with the laptop providing 7 to 8 hours of juice.

If you’re streaming movies and videos, the battery will drain faster, but you still get a full six to seven hours out of it. The included charger is reliable and increases battery power from 1-2% to 100% in just approx. 90 minutes.

Sound quality

RedmiBook 15 Pro is equipped with two 2W speakers that support DTS audio. These bottom-mounted speakers deliver loud sound on a hard surface. Sound quality is decent for a medium sized room. You will not encounter audio problems during meetings. The laptop also has a 3.5mm jack for wired headphones for a better listening experience.

Ports and others

In terms of ports, the RedmiBook 15 Pro offers most of what you need, with the exception of the USB-C port, which is becoming the standard for most laptops these days. However, it’s nice to see Redmi added an SD card reader and an Ethernet port, which is rare in laptops in this segment.

The laptop comes with a built-in 720p camera, which is a good thing as its subsidiary offered a bundled USB camera (in the Mi Notebook 14).

The webcam has poor image quality but is good for your Zoom meetings.

RedmiBook 15 Pro review: verdict

We all know that Redmi has been quite popular in the smartphone segment in India, so now the company has decided to enter the laptop market to capitalize on that popularity. But on the first try, Redmi failed to impress, especially due to the display, which is really not up to par at the moment. Plus, the lack of a Type-C port and the lack of a backlit keyboard make it a smart buy again. However, the laptop offers excellent performance and decent battery life. So if you can ignore display quality and performance matters the most to you, you can opt for the RedmiBook 15 Pro, otherwise there are many good alternatives available on the market.

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