Xiaomi has always been comparing itself with Apple. There is nothing wrong in aiming high, but Xiaomi has also been picked on all too often for ‘copying’ apple products.
The MiPad too looks a lot like iPad Mini - if we look at the size, design and positioning of the controls. Though the design may look like a clone, what Xiaomi has done is to give a device with great specifications.
The best part of the MiPad is the price, considering the specifications. Offering great value has been one of Xiaomi’s strengths.
Though they may look similar, the differentiator between an iPad Mini and MiPad is the plastic body (the iPad Mini has an all-metal body). The plastic back panel is also slippery.
The MiPad is 8.5mm thick and weighs 360 grams. If you think the combination of a slippery back and the weight could be risky, the consolation is that the MiPad comes with Gorilla Glass 3. To further assure us of the quality, Xiaomi claims the device frame is built with magnesium alloy and that it has excellent heat dissipation qualities and “absorbs twice as much shocks as aluminum alloy”.
On the top left is a glossy Mi logo and at the top centre is the 5 MP camera. The bottom bezel has the back-lit capacitive buttons.
The volume rocker and power buttons are on the right. The main 8 MP camera is on the left top left at the back. There are two speaker grills at the bottom of the back screen and there is a MicroSD slot too.
The device has a 1080 IPS display with a resolution of 2048x1536, 326 PPI, and this is something great at this price.
The MiPad has 2 GB RAM and internal memory of 16 GB, expandable to 128 GB with an external memory card.
Once the MiPad is powered on, we are taken to the main home screen of the MiPad that comprises of neatly arranged widgets. As with MIUI6 devices, there is no app drawer and all apps are on homescreens. The MIUI6 is gorgeous - but wait… where are the themes? Isn’t it the same MIUI6 that was on Mi4?
For some reason, Xiaomi has bundled a stripped-down version of MIUI6. Even the latest MIUI update received this week does not include the themes. But the stripped down version, though lacking in some bells and whistles, is not a dealbreaker.
The back-lit capacitive buttons at the bottom light up when the main screen is touched, but not when the buttons are touched.
The buttons dim within seconds and if we are used to handling phones with capacitive buttons that activate when touched, it takes takes a bit of unlearning to touch the screen to see the buttons that are hardly visible when not back-lit.
The MiPad is powered by ARM Cortex-A15 Quad-core 2.2-GHz processor, NVIDIA Tegra K1 CPU and NVIDIA Kepler GPU, 192 CUDA cores GPU, which makes it one of the most powerful tablets in this range. The device plays even graphics-intensive games with ease, but a few games and videos had scaling/letterboxing issues, which may be due to the device aspect ratio (4:3).
Despite the processors, there are frequent lags when we try to return to the home screen when multiple apps that use heavy graphics are open, which is surprising.
The camera is nothing to write home about as in other tablets, but coming from Xiaomi, this is a surprise. There is no flash and pictures are best shot only in bright light. The front camera that tries to detect the age of the subject gave my face multiple ages - ranging from a flattering 38 to a depressing 56 every time I moved the tablet.
The twin stereo speakers were surprisingly audible considering they were placed at the rear.
The MiPad comes with a massive 6700 mAh battery. Though this lasted a day with routine browsing and tweeting, it couldn’t stand graphic intensive games and ran out of juice quite fast. But considering the price of ₹12,999, the MiPad presents a different value proposition altogether.
Price : ₹12,999
Like : Value pricing; screen resolution; design.
Hate : Battery can't handle media consumption, stripped down MIUI6