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Hands-on: Xiaomi Mi Pad. Affordable compact tablet with powerful Tegra K1 processor under RM1,000

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The Mi Pad which was announced last week is Xiaomi’s first ever tablet that looks rather promising. The Android tablet market is highly competitive and Xiaomi believes it can be a game changer to deliver a better experience on a tablet. At Xiaomi’s launch on Monday, we managed to get a quick hands-on with the Mi Pad.

At first glance, it looks like an iPad mini from the front. The only difference is the Mi branding at the top left and the discreet capacitive Menu, Home and Back buttons at the bottom. The front 7.9″ display is the exact same unit that’s found on the iPad mini Retina Display model which pushes 2048×1536 pixels resolution. Over at the back, it has a glossy finish like the iPhone 5C. We had the white colour unit and it looks pretty cheap. Nevertheless, it is still solid to hold and we reckon it probably look better in darker colours.

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Even with the heaps of Android models available, the iPad still commands the largest market share for tablets. This is due to the Android’s tablet experience which is hampered by its software experience and limited amount of tablet optimised apps.

Xiaomi strongly believes they could tackle this problem. In mainland China, they have their own App Store for the Mi Pad which makes discovery of quality tablet apps easier. Since gaming is a major usage for tablets, the new Tegra K1 chipset with 192 Cores Kepler GPU opens up the possibility of desktop-like gaming on a mobile device.

The Tegra K1 processor is a 2.2GHz Quad-Core unit that’s mated with 2GB of RAM. There’s a choice of 16GB and 64GB of on-board storage which you can expand with a microSD card up to 128GB. The back gets a 8MP camera from Sony, without assisted LED light and the front comes with a 5MP shooter. The battery on the Mi Pad is rather huge with a 6,700mAh capacity that’s rated to last 86 hours of music or 11 hours of video playback. It is availabel as a WiFi only device and it supports faster connectivity with 802.11ac.

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During our short hands-on, we didn’t get to explore much as the software is still a prototype. The MIUI interface for the tablet looks more simplified and it is different from what you get on their smart phones or your typical Nexus tablet.

The Mi Pad isn’t on sale yet and they target to release this in mainland China as early as end-June or mid-July depending on how fast they can finalised its testing phase. In China, the Mi Pad is priced at 1,499 Yuan (about RM776) for the 16GB version and 1,699 Yuan (about RM880) for the 64GB unit.

In case you’re wondering, Xiaomi will be bringing the Mi Pad into Malaysia sometime later. With their official presence in Malaysia, they hope to release their new products shortly after it goes on sale in China.

Overall, the Mi Pad is a potential disruptor in the tablet industry and we are excited to see if Xiaomi can deliver an Android tablet experience that could finally put a dent in Apple’s iPad dominance. During the Mi Pad unveiling, Xiaomi says there are 100 optimised tablet apps and 400 games available for the Mi Pad. They are targeting to bring this figure up to 1,000 each by year end. It is still a far cry from what the iPad is enjoying right now but things may change rapidly in the mobile industry.

Xiaomi Mi Pad Hands On Video

Xiaomi Mi Pad Hands On Photos

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