Today Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun has launched Mi Pad, their first tablet in an event in Beijing. I didn’t see this coming at all and I expected Mi3s smartphone to be launched instead. However, Mi Pad is the first tablet powered by Nvdia Tegra K1 processor. The SoC has 2.2GHz 4+1 ARM Cortex-A15 core CPU and a 192-core Kepler GPU. Yes you read it right, it’s a 192-core GPU. You can learn more about the Tegra K1 processor here.
The 4+1 cores CPU is made up of 4 high speed cores and a power saving core. The 4 powerful cores will perform heavy task and turned off if unused and conversely the single power saving core is in charge of music playback and standby. This will help to save power consumption. The chipset should be able to handle anything you throw at it at ease like the Snapdragon 801. In terms of memory it has 2 GB of Ram and there’s two version for internal storage, namely the 16GB version and the 64GB version. However, both come with micro-SD expansion capability up to 128GB.
Mi Pad has a 7.9 inch 2048×1536 IPS display, which has the same size, pixel density (326 ppi) and aspect ratio with Apple’s iPad Mini with Retina Display. I always think 4:3 ratio is a good ratio for tablet as apps and games looks better on them. In terms of design, Mi Pad looks like a expanded iPhone 5C. Xiaomi’s website even stated they use the same manufacturing process with iPhone 5C’s back on Mi Pad and they claim they improve on it to show saturated and even colors on the large surface like the back of the tablet. They come in 6 striking colours, black, white, pink, blue, yellow and green. It weights 360g and with a thickness of 8.5mm as opposed to iPad Mini with Retina Display’s 331g weight and 7.5mm thickness.
Mi Pad has a 6700mAh battery and promises 11 hours of video playback, 86 hours of music or 1300 hours of standby time. It’s hard to judge now whether the claim is true or not and we shall see future review on this area. It can also support rapid charging with 9V 1.2A instead of the normal 5V 2A. It also houses a 8 mega pixel rear camera and a 5 mega pixel front shooter. Both has f/2.0 aperture for low light picture. Video recording is supported up to 1080p videos. Mi Pad only has WiFi version and LTE or 3G version is yet to be announced. The WiFi modem has MIMO (multiple in multiple out) technology for more reliable and faster connection. In terms of software, MIUI from their phone has been optimized for the tablet and you should expect smooth and highly customisable UI.
The 16GB version cost RMB1499 (around RM780) and the 64GB version cost RMB1699 (around RM880). There is no official date for release out of China. You can learn more about Mi Pad by visiting the website. Currently its only available in Mandarin so you might have to wait until they updated it before you can read it. Xiaomi also launch MiTV2 which is a insanely cheap 4K TV running Android in the same event and you can read more about it here if you’re interested.
In my opinion, the price is very tempting if you want an Android tablet as there is not much cheap and powerful tablet like this in the market. However we shall see how the new Nexus 7 (or Nexus 8) which rumoured to be announced before fall compete against Xiaomi Mi Pad. The specs are solid for sure, but given that Tegra K1 is a new chip, we do not know how well it lives to the hype. In addition, its the first time Xiaomi made a tablet. So, I will recommend not to rush for the buy and wait for the review and the new Nexus tablet first.