Xiaomi introduced the Book S 12.4 tablet, which is based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 processor and runs Windows 11 on ARM. This chip comes with eight Kryo 495 cores that run up to 2.84 GHz, and a Qualcomm Adreno 680 GPU.
Xiaomi Book S 12.4 is equipped with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. Apparently, there will be no options with a higher amount of memory or storage yet.
Obviously, this configuration does not look as a flagship device, but it allowed Xiaomi to make it more affordable that devices from Microsoft. The Xiaomi Book S 12.4 price is 699 euros.
Xiaomi Book S 12.4 Hardware
For this money, you will get a 12.35-inch touchscreen display with an aspect ratio of 16:10, a resolution of 2560 × 1600, a brightness of up to 500 nits and a color gamut of 100% DCI-P3. The battery life is about 13 hours 24 minutes, although the battery in the tablet is relatively small - only 38 Wh.
The first wave of buyers will receive the device with a keyboard. The latter is a thin keyboard similar to Surface Type Cover. It will turn the device into a full-fledged laptop, with help of the fold-out kickstand. Lately, Xiaomi is about to sell the keyboard separately at a price of 150 euros.
Finally, the tablet supports the Xiaomi Smart Pen with 4096 pressure levels for the most natural typing and drawing experience. The pen connects via Bluetooth and has two buttons for quick action. You can buy it separately.
Camera and audio
The tablet includes a 5 MP front camera with 1080p video support, a 13 MP main camera, noise-canceling microphones (compatible with Qualcomm Aqstic technology) and two stereo speakers. The device comes with one USB-C port, a 3.5 mm headphone jack and a microSD card slot. Note that the USB-C port allows you to recharge the device, as well as connect an external display.
Sadly, Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.1 are the only options the device supports. It lacks the cellular modem. The latter, while supported by the SoC, is not available in any variant in this tablet. So the user is limited to Wi-Fi only.
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There are a lot of downsides here:
8GB of RAM
256GB of storage
Keyboard for the “Book” is sold separately
One USB-C port
Weak front facing camera
This isn’t so good for a Windows tablet. But don’t get me wrong, just the inclusion of a headphone jack and a microSD card slot are a one-up over the Surface Pro X. The big thing with Windows tablets it that, well, they’re not so great as tablets. People use their browsers most often though, so it kinda brings it closer to Chrome OS but Chrome OS has Android integration. Windows Subsystem for Android is nothing like Chrome OS. It’s not even like BlueStacks (in a bad way).
But this 2-in-1 has a place
I also never feel comfortable with these ARM desktop devices for the same reasons I dislike my ARM phone. I can’t install any operating system I want on it. I can’t install Linux. Bootloaders are locked, “safety” mechanisms get tripped. Does that happen with these ARM desktop devices?