Xiaomi Book S 12.4 review: A laptop or a tablet? In fact, it’s both!

Deepak Gupta July 12, 2022
Updated 2022/07/12 at 3:16 PM

Xiaomi took a big step when it showed its latest products. In addition to the obvious Mi Band 7, the brand also revealed a device that could soon be another success story for the brand. We’re talking about the Xiaomi Book S, a tablet that is actually also a laptop.

This is a format that has gained supporters and the question is always obvious. Is this a tablet or a laptop? Pplware has already had access to this new equipment and now reveals everything there is to know about this excellent machine.

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Xiaomi follows a successful formula

The formula adopted by Xiaomi for its new Book S is well known and has given rise to very interesting proposals. This is a hybrid that combines a generously sized tablet with a laptop that already allows for full work.

With the right extras it can convert quickly and completely change the way it is used. This guarantees great versatility, while making it an ideal machine for mobility and for working or having fun anywhere.

Something different that Xiaomi bet on was the processor of this hybrid. It left out some almost obvious options and opted to use a Qualcomm SoC. These have evolved and are also already a proposal that many manufacturers are adopting.

Xiaomi Book S portable tablet equipment

A tablet or a tablet? It's actually both!

Being a hybrid, Xiaomi's Book S follows a line that is already well known and that has been successful. This should be the same path that Xiaomi's proposal will be able to achieve, as mobility solutions are increasingly sought after.

When used as a tablet this is not a small device. Its 12.4-inch screen makes it large, yet perfectly usable in any situation. We'd like to see a frame that makes more use of the screen, but it's still enough.

In the portable version, and here we use the external keyboard and the back cover, this is a very interesting proposal. The same 12.4 inches of screen make it a perfect area to work anywhere and in any situation.

Extras that improve this equipment

Something that will also be extremely useful is its stylus, which gives the user additional work capacity in the trackpad or in tablet mode. In addition to that, we also have the touchscreen that allows you to control the entire system with your fingertips.

In terms of construction, this is a machine without any problems. It appears to be robust and all the elements are naturally arranged and perfectly accessible, whether it's the volume control, the on/off button or the other ports.

The only point to point out is the way in which the back cover connects to the Xiaomi Book S. This is not fragile, but requires some getting used to handling, as it is relatively simple to remove, something we don't want when mounting the way PRAÇA.

Xiaomi Book S portable tablet equipment

A SoC that lives up to what is required by the user

One of the big doubts that this machine left us when we received it was the capacity of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 SoC. Would this be able to live up to what other architectures offer us today?

The answer is a resounding yes. It is not a top processor and with an impeccable performance, but the truth is that it is enough for everyday life and for a use considered normal, which goes beyond browsing the Internet or watching videos.

Xiaomi Book S Specifications

  • Processor
    • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2
    • CPU: Qualcomm Kryo 495, 8-core CPU, up to 2.84GHz
    • GPU: Qualcomm Adreno 680
    • 7nm Manufacturing Process
  • Storage and RAM
    • 8GB + 256GB
    • LPDDR4X RAM
  • Screen
    • Size: 12.35"
    • Type: LCD
    • Resolution: 2560 x 1600 (WQHD+)
    • DPI: 244
    • Refresh rate: 60Hz
    • Ratio: 16:10
    • Brightness: 500 nits (typical) / 425 nits (min)
    • Touch: 10 point multi-touch
    • Color gamut: 100% DCI-P3 (typ.) / 95% (min.)
    • Glass material: CORNING® GORILLA® GLASS 3
  • Chamber
    • Rear camera: 13MP
    • Front: 5 MP
    • Face ID
  • connectivity
    • Bluetooth 5.1
    • WiFi 5 2.4/5GHz
  • audio
    • two speakers
    • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • dimensions
    • Height: 294mm
    • Width: 197mm
    • Thickness: 8.95 mm
    • Weight: 720g

One of the great advantages of this architecture is the energy savings it offers to users. With a battery that the brand claims is capable of reaching 13.4 hours, the user is sure of having a proposal that lasts much longer than a simple working day, being able to go further.

Xiaomi Book S portable tablet equipment

We wanted more from Windows 11 S, but it's easy to change

The only change we would make to this Xiaomi hybrid, curiously, is not in the hardware but in the software. The Book S comes equipped with Windows 11 Home, which alone is enough. The big disadvantage is that it is the S version, that is, more limited in terms of applications.

This supposed "prison" to the Microsoft store cannot and should not be seen as a limitation, but the truth is that it ends up being so. It's the way to guarantee security in the field of apps, but that ends up leaving out many of the tools we use.

Interestingly, and this is once again Microsoft's position, it is very simple to release this Windows. Exiting S mode only requires pressing a button and restarting, and has been proposed several times by the operating system itself.

Xiaomi Book S portable tablet equipment

The Book S 12.4 is an excellent proposition

The Xiaomi Book S is one of the machines that currently manage to guarantee mobility that is almost taken to the extreme. It is not a heavy device and being under kilogram is simple to carry.

Its extras, which must be purchased separately, perfectly complement this proposal. The keyboard is almost mandatory and is very pleasant to use. The keys respond quickly and the trackpad is perfectly sized and also always responds quickly.

The pen, which we consider an extra that could be very interesting for tablet mode, also has the same features. It quickly clicks on the side of the Xiaomi Book S and can (and should) accompany the user at any time.

Xiaomi Book S portable tablet equipment

This is an excellent proposal for anyone who needs a laptop that manages to be ultra-portable and has a long battery life. The use of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 SoC is not at all a limitation and even Windows 11 present can be easily "freed up" for other apps.

We were amazed at their capabilities and the answer to our initial question was quickly answered. Is it a laptop or a tablet? In fact, it's both and it's up to the user to choose how he wants to use it.

The Xiaomi Book S is now on sale in Portugal at Mi Store, which immediately received the first units. Its base price is €799.99 and for now it offers the Book S keyboard and charger. Pplware thanks Xiaomi Portugal for the loan of this excellent equipment for the tests carried out.

Xiaomi Book S 12.4

pros

  • portability
  • Drums
  • SoC
  • external keyboard
  • Price

cons

  • Windows 11 S
  • Back cover

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