Xiaomi Notebook Pro 120G review: Good design backed with performance

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When considering a new laptop, many users prefer to stick with a known, established brand. This is where companies like Dell, HP and Asus have an advantage since they are perceived to be more ‘reliable’ in the personal computer (PC) space. But that doesn’t mean there is no space for other brands to make inroads. Xiaomi, which leads the smartphone segment in India, is back with another laptop for the Indian market. The new Xiaomi Notebook Pro 120G comes with the latest Intel 12th gen processor and a 120 Hz refresh rate on the display. But is it worth buying? Here’s our review.

Xiaomi’s Notebook Pro 120G specifications: 14-inch 2.5K display with 120 Hz refresh rate | Intel Core i5 12th gen processor with Nvidi X550 for graphics | 16GB RAM + 512GB PCIe Gen 4.0 storage | 100W charging with 56Wh battery | Windows 11

Xiaomi Notebook Pro 120G price in India: Rs 74,999

Xiaomi’s Notebook Pro 120G: What’s good?

The Notebook Pro 120G comes with an aluminium chassis, with Xiaomi stating they are using the Aerospace grade series 6 for this laptop to ensure a more premium look. The laptop comes in a space grey colour, which looks inspired by Apple. But that’s not a bad thing. The branding on the top is minimal, and you can easily open the laptop with just one hand.

Xiaomi Notebook Pro 120G laptop in the grey colour. (Image credit: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

The Xiaomi Notebook Pro weighs around 1.4kg, so it is heavier than a MacBook, but still not too heavy or chunky. The keyboard layout is also inspired by Apple, and the power button includes a fingerprint sensor. With the Xiaomi Notebook Pro, you get a 14-inch 2.5K LCD display with a 16:10 aspect ratio and a maximum refresh rate of 120 Hz. The laptop’s default refresh rate is set at 120 Hz, though you can opt for 60 and 90 Hz. I would highly recommend you set this to 60Hz if you want a better battery life.

The display on the Xiaomi Notebook Pro 120G is excellent and sharp. It works well for daily tasks and entertainment purposes. I didn’t use the laptop for gaming, but for my daily work, which involves writing, editing, cropping photos, etc, and watching some shows in my spare time. But I chose to keep the brightness level low. The higher refresh rate is another useful addition to the laptop, especially if you want to play games which support it on the laptop. But again, not everyone needs this.

Xiaomi Notebook Pro 120G comes with a 120Hz refresh rate on the display. (Image credit: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

I was more interested in testing the Xiaomi NoteBook Pro 12G’s performance for daily tasks. This laptop gave me no trouble at all, even when I had multiple tabs opened on Chrome or when I was editing several photos. The Xiaomi Notebook Pro 12G was my primary laptop for a few days and I decided to do all office-related work on this, and it worked like a charm. Given the specifications this particular variant is packing — including 16GB RAM, 512GB storage, Intel 12th gen processor and Nvidia GeForce MX550 for graphics — most users will be happy using this as a daily driver.

The laptop runs on Windows 11 and comes with a dedicated fingerprint sensor to unlock the device. There were times when the sensor would not respond and I wasn’t sure why, but it worked fine at other times, though it was a bit slower.

The Thunderbolt 4.0 port, HDMI port and 3.5mm headphone jack. (Image credit: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

The Xiaomi Notebook Pro 120G also comes with one Thunderbolt 4.0 port, an HDMI port, a 3.5mm port, a USB-C and a USB 2.0 port. Some people may find the input/output options a bit limited. You can charge it via the Type-C Charger in the box.

The Xiaomi laptop comes with a full-size keyboard with 1.3mm travel on the keys. Xiaomi is using the scissor mechanism on these keys, and I had no trouble typing on this. There’s no stickiness as such, and the response is quick and fast. I enjoyed typing on the keyboard. What I didn’t care so much about was the touchpad, but more on that in the next segment.

The USB-C and USB 2.0 Port on the other side. (Image credit: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

Finally, on the audio front, this should be good enough for most users, though it is not something that stands out. I listen to music while working with a set playlist, and Taylor Swift definitely sounds different on this one.

Xiaomi’s Notebook Pro 120G: What’s not good?

While the 100W charger will ensure that the battery reaches 50 per cent in around 40 minutes, it takes nearly two hours or more to get to a full charge. I didn’t have a great battery experience with this laptop. With the high refresh rate turned on, the battery would last for around four hours. Turning off the refresh rate should give better results, but even with 120 Hz turned, I expected better performance on the battery front. Xiaomi is promising nine hours of battery life, but that’s likely when the refresh rate is kept to a standard 60 Hz.

The Xiaomi laptop comes with an excellent keyboard. (Image credit: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

The touchpad too doesn’t ensure a smooth experience. If I compare this touchpad to some other laptops I’ve reviewed more recently, Xiaomi was a disappointment. I would say a Bluetooth mouse is a must with this laptop as an accessory.

The front camera is 720p, which isn’t impressive. There are other laptops in a similar price range, offering a 5MP web camera. Again, not everyone needs the best web camera on a laptop, so this is not exactly the biggest deal-breaker.

Xiaomi Notebook Pro 120G laptop works well for daily usage. (Image credit: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

Xiaomi’s Notebook Pro 120G: Verdict

As a daily driver, this is a good laptop with ample storage and RAM to handle most tasks efficiently. But at Rs 74,999, Xiaomi’s Notebook Pro 120G takes on other similar options, such as the HP Pavilion Plus 14 (this one doesn’t have a 120Hz display), the Asus Zenbook 14 OLED (90 Hz display), and Dell’s new Inspiron 15 series (120 Hz display). Most of these laptops are in a similar price bracket, with the same 16GB RAM and 512GB storage space, as well as the Intel Core i5 (12th generation processor), though Asus is the most expensive at Rs 89,999.

So Xiaomi is evenly matched in terms of competition from other brands. Xiaomi also has an option at Rs 69,999, which has the same specifications, but without the Nvidia MX550 for graphics. The biggest challenge for Xiaomi will be to convince buyers that their laptop has the best to offer, which might not be easy considering the competition in the market.

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