Chinese tech company Xiaomi is better known for its phones and other smart devices but it has decided to take on Apple's MacBook Air and various Windows 10 Ultrabook laptops. Here's what you need to know about the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air release date, price and specs. See also: Best ultraportable laptops.

With the Windows 10 free update deadline very much looming and the Anniversary Update just days away, we've got an interesting new laptop coming to the market which the firm says offers "ultra performance in an ultra-light package".

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air release date and price

In China the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air release date is 2 August but there's no word on a launch elsewhere at the moment.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air Windows 10 laptop

There are two models of the Mi Notebook Air and prices start from 3499 Chinese Yuan which is £400. The larger option will set you back 4999 Chinese Yuan which converts to around £575 so as per usual, Xiaomi is making cheaper options compared to rivals.

Gearbest, a retailer which you can use to import the device has the 12.5in model up for pre-order priced at £821. There's also a landing page for the 13in Notebook Air.

Read: Best laptops 2016.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air specs and features

Much like Apple's MacBook range, one of the selling points of the Mi Notebook Air is how thin and light it is. At 14.8mm and 1.28kg, the 13.3in Mi Notebook Air is both thinner and lighter than the MacBook Air of the same size (17mm and 1.35kg).

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air vs MacBook Air

The 12.5in model is just 12.9mm and 1.07kg, plus Xiaomi has gone for a similarly sleek and stylish aluminium design which comes in silver or gold colours. There's not even a logo on the lid of the laptop but you can customise the look with stickers and there's a range of sleeves to protect it in leather and microfiber.

As mentioned there is a choice between a 13.3- and 12.5in screen size, with a Full HD 1920x1080 resolution and a fully laminated display to reduce glare. The sapphire glass is extremely durable and there are tiny 5.59mm bezels.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air screen sizes

In the engine room of the Mi Notebook Air is an Intel Core i5 6th-generation processor which is dual-core and up to 2.7GHz – there will also be a Core m5 option. There's also 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a 256GB PCIe SSD for performance and there's an expansion slot should you want to add a second SSD.

The Notebook Air doesn't rely on integrated graphics either, with an Nvidia GeForce 940MX graphics card inside.

Specs for the 12.5in model differ somewhat with a Core m3 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. It doesn't have the space for the above Nvidia graphics card.

Xiaomi has chosen Windows 10 as the operating system and the laptop syncs with the firm's Mi Cloud and can also be unlocked with the Mi Band 2 fitness tracker. You also get a full-size keyboard and a multi-touch glass trackpad.

Other Mi Notebook Air specs include a 9.5 hour battery life (11.5 hours for the 12.5in model), AKG speakers, 11ac Wi-Fi, webcam and a range of ports: USB-C, HDMI, 2x USB 3.0 and a headphone jack.