It took Xiaomi almost nine months to bring its first tablet, the Mi Pad to India. Now in tech aeons, that’s a long time. You know how quickly gadgets become dated these days.
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The most striking aspect of Xiaomi’s Mi Pad however is that when you carefully sift through its spec sheet, you realize it hasn’t aged at all.
That itself is enough to give you some idea about what we are going to deal with here. To begin with, the Mi Pad carries forward Xiaomi’s legacy of taking unabashed inspiration from Apple with quite ease. Heck it takes it to an all new level in the Mi Pad. Deep inside it is still Android though, and with the kind of credentials it has in the hardware department, it’s got enough to put the recently launched Nexus 9 to test, at least on paper.
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That when the Mi Pad was launched way earlier than the Nexus 9. The Mi Pad has been priced at Rs.12,999 in India, which is all very typical of Xiaomi. If you’ve been reading closely, you’d probably realize we have set some high benchmarks for this one.
Is the Xiaomi Mi Pad up for the challenge though? We find out. If you’re still scratching your head over why the name M(iPad) seems all too familiar, well, you wake up and smell the coffee. There’s a reason why Xiaomi is called ‘China’s Apple’, and it’s got a little more to do with just popularity and sales figures.
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Xiaomi takes a lot of design cues from Apple’s bold and metallic iPad Mini and infuses an all plastic frame to it as an only mark of distinction for the Mi Pad. In the process however it ends up making a tablet that actually looks like an iPhone 5C on steroids.
Putting aside the uncanny resemblance to Apple’s offering for a split second, the Mi Pad looks and feels to be a well-build device for its price. At 202×135.4 x8.5 mm and 360g, the Mi Pad is on the bulkier side so that single-handed operability is a challenge on the device. This is not very alarming though since being a 7.9-inch tablet you don’t expect to operate it with just the one hand.
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The back (which is removable), although, made of glossy plastic is not very prone to smudge/fingerprint. However, it was a little too slippery for our liking. The display is guarded by a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protective covering and won’t smudge easily, unless you have greasy fingers.
The right edge houses the traditional volume rocker and the power button, both made of brushed metal. They seem pretty firmly placed, are non-flimsy and offer good tactile feedback. The left edge houses a microSD card slot, much to our liking. The lower end of the display is marked by three capacitive buttons that are backlit and offer good touchscreen response. There is also an LED notification light on board. The Mi Pad comes with dual stereo speakers that are placed at the lower back end of the tablet.