MacBook Pro under fire as Xiaomi teases RedmiBook Pro 15 with Thunderbolt 4

Xiaomi's new laptop is absolutely delightful, if a little copycatish

Xiaomi RedmiBook Pro
(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Xiaomi has just shown off its brand spanking MacBook Pro which launches this week. Obviously it’s not called the MacBook Pro, but that’s just about the only obvious difference between the new RedmiBook 15 Pro and Apple's flagship laptop. The RedmiBook uses the which has a very Apple vibe to it. That extends to support for Thunderbolt 4 (and USB4), which is very exciting indeed because it can support as many as two 4K monitors (or a single 8K screen). 

You might think that we’re overplaying the closeness to Apple’s range here, but Xiaomi doesn’t even try to hide it. Other laptops in its range include the RedmiBook Air and the RedmiBook, which are stylistically very similar to their Apple counterparts. But there's a real market for exactly this kind of laptop, and who knows, it may one day feature in our best laptops guide. 

The RedmiBook Pro will apparently arrive with a number of CPU options. On the Intel side, there are Core i5-11300H and Core i7-11370H processors. The i5 is a quad-core, octa-thread affair which can run at speeds between 2.6Ghz and 4.4Ghz. The i7 has the same four cores, eight threads but clock speeds between 3.0GHz and 4.8Ghz (these mobile processors offer quite a bit of flex in their clock speeds for power-saving.)

The RedmiBook 15S Pro is the slightly tweaked name for the AMD Ryzen-equipped models. The 5 5600H has six cores and 12 threads with base clock of 3.3GHz and a boost of 4.2GHz. The Ryzen 7 5800H has eight cores and 16 threads. Apart from the obvious core and thread count boost over the Intel processors, these also include seven dedicated GPU cores for the Ryzen 5 and eight for the Ryzen 7. 

The downside of AMDs platforms is that Thunderbolt 4 is unlikely as it has not traditionally supported the port. While the company has claimed it could support it, there is also an argument that it's not a feature most customers care about. 

The Intel-equipped models will also have the option of a dedicated GPU in the form of the MX450 - it’s not clear if that’s also going to be offered with the Ryzen machines. Realistically, the MX GPUs aren’t really gaming products, so if that’s your main use then these machines probably aren’t for you. It should offer a performance boost over the integrated GPUs though. 

And at this point we return to the inclusion of Thunderbolt 4, which opens up a world of potential external GPUs. While these solutions aren't cheap, taking a PC out as your laptop for work, then coming home and plugging it into an external, but tricky to buy, RTX 3080 opens up a new world of options. 

The RedmiBook 15 and 15S will launch on the 25th of February. Availability outside China is somewhat unknown at the moment, as is the price, but we're salivating at the thought of this being both available in the west, and affordable. 

Source: Notebookcheck

Ian has been involved in technology journalism since 2007, originally writing about AV hardware back when LCDs and plasma TVs were just gaining popularity. Nearly 15 years on, he remains as excited about how tech can make your life better.