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Gadgets

Xiaomi has come up with its own version of a Segway, for just over $300

The Chinese company's empire of tech gadgets is growing: on Monday it showed off the Ninebot mini, a self-balancing scooter that will sell in China for a super cheap $315.

Xiaomi

Having built a formidable empire in just a few years on the success of its smartphones, Xiaomi is expanding into all kinds of electronics. On Monday, the Chinese company introduced its latest effort -- the Ninebot mini, a self-balancing, Segway-esque scooter.

The tech giant, currently the world's fourth largest smartphone vendor, announced the product in partnership with fellow Chinese company Ninebot, which bought Segway earlier this year.

At a glance, the Ninebot mini looks like a cut-down Segway: it's smaller and comes with no handles, making it more like a self-balancing scooter or " hoverboard". It stands at only 59.5 cm high (about 2 feet), and weighs at 12.8 kg (28 lbs), allowing for relatively easy transport.

Xiaomi claims it only takes 3 minutes to learn how to ride the device. The scooter has a top speed of 16 km/hour (10 mph) and can travel up to 22 km (13.7 miles) on a single charge. Interestingly, it can also be controlled remotely via a smartphone's Bluetooth connection.

In keeping with Xiaomi's modus operandi of selling products at startlingly low prices, the Ninebot mini will cost just 1,999 yuan (roughly $315, AU$435 or £205) when it goes on sale on November 3 in China. By comparison, smart board scooters are priced at around $1,100 (AU$1,515, £710) in the US, while Segways can cost over $6,000 (AU$8,260, ‎£3,875).

The announcement was made alongside the reveal of the company's new 4K 60-inch smart TV, the MiTV, which is priced at less than half of some rival products at just 4,999 yuan (roughly $785, AU$1,075 or ‎£510). Xiaomi's new phones, TVs and the Ninebot mini aren't scheduled to be released in the US, Europe or Australia, though some of its other products are, such as the Mi Band fitness device.

The company also has plans to expand into yet another lucrative market -- in September, it said it would be bringing out a line of laptops, though it hasn't yet given a date.