New Delhi: Chinese handset maker Xiaomi launched its much anticipated Redmi Note 6 Pro in India on Thursday. Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro 4GB RAM + 64GB variant has been priced at Rs 13,999 while […]
- Mi Pad 3 pricing is said to start at CNY 1,999 (roughly Rs. 20,000)
- It is likely to sport a 7.9-inch display
- Mi Pad 3 is rumoured to sport a metal body
Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 tablet is rumoured to launch in China on December 30. The company is said to bring major upgrades to the innards with Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 compared to its previous tablet models, including an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor which is expected to be present at the front.
The rumoured Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 is expected to be priced at CNY 1,999 (roughly Rs. 20,000) for the 128GB storage model and CNY 2,299 (roughly Rs. 22,500) for the 256GB storage model. The Chinese company is also said to launch a magnetic keyboard worth CNY 99 (roughly Rs. 1,000) for the Mi Pad 3.
According to rumoured specifications, shared by Gizmochina, the Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 is said to pack a 9.7-inch display with a screen resolution of 2048×1536 pixels. Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 is said to be powered by a 2.6GHz dual-core Intel M3-7Y30 processor coupled with 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM. The tablet is expected to come in 128GB and 256GB storage options. Unlike the Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 that launched in both Android and Windows models, the Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 is rumoured to come in just Windows model running Windows 10. It is said to sport an all-metal body and come with large 8290mAh battery with fast charging support. On the camera front, the Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 tablet is rumoured to sport a 16-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel front camera. It is said to measure 239.5×164.5×6.08mm and weigh 380 grams.
To recall, Xiaomi launched its first Mi Pad tablet in China back in 2014 and it arrived to India last year with a price tag of Rs. 12,999. The tablet received a price cut earlier this year.
The company last year launched the Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 tablet with Android OS in two storage variants – 16GB and 64GB – which were priced at CNY 999 (approximately Rs. 10,300) and CNY 1,299 (approximately Rs. 13,500) respectively. A version running Windows 10 was also launched in only a 64GB variant, and was priced the same as the 64GB Android variant.
The Chinese company announced the news in a tweet and confirmed that the tablet will be available at the new prices from the companys store and Flipkart. Notably, this is the first permanent price cut of the MiPad tablet in India. To recall, the MiPad tablet was unveiled in India back in March last year at Rs. 12,999.
The price cut of the Xiaomi MiPad indicates that we may see the successor being unveiled in India soon. The company launched the Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 tablet with Android OS-based version in November. The tablet came in two storage variants – 16GB and 64GB – which were priced at CNY 999 (approximately Rs. 10,300) and CNY 1,299 (approximately Rs. 13,500) respectively. A version running Windows 10 was also launched in only a 64GB variant, and was priced the same as the 64GB Android variant.
To recap on the Xiaomi MiPad, the tablet was initially unveiled in 2014 in China. The tablet is powered by a 4+1-core Nvidia Tegra K1 SoC ARM Cortex-A15 processor clocked at 2.2GHz with the 192-core Kepler GPU coupled with 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM.
The Xiaomi MiPad features a 7.9-inch QXGA (2048×1536 pixel) IPS Retina display resolution with a pixel density of 324ppi, all of which is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 screen. Other specifications include an 8-megapixel rear camera with a Sony BSI sensor that can shoot full-HD resolution videos. It also features a 5-megapixel front-facing camera that includes an OmniVision sensor. Both cameras come with an f/2.0 aperture. Connectivity options of the tablet include dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0. The MiPad tablet is backed by a 6700mAh Li-ion battery and is available in Black, White, Red, Blue, Green and Yellow colour variants. The tablet measures 135.4×202.1×8.5mm and weighs 360 grams.
Xiaomi alongside the Redmi Note 3 also took the wraps off its Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 tablet. The Android OS-based version comes in two built-in storage variants – 16GB and 64GB – which are priced at CNY 999 (approximately Rs. 10,300) and CNY 1,299 (approximately Rs. 13,500) respectively. A version running Windows 10 has also been introduced in only a 64GB variant, and would cost the same as the 64GB Android variant. While the Android-based MIUI 7 version will go on sale in China starting November 27, the Windows 10 variant will hit shelves in December.
The Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 sports a 7.9-inch (2048×1536 pixels) resolution IPS display with a pixel density of 326ppi. It runs a 64-bit quad-core Intel Atom x5-Z8500 processor (2MB cache, 4 cores, 4 threads, base frequency 1.44GHz, burst frequency 2.24GHz) under-the-hood, clubbed with Intel HD GPU and 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM. It is also the first Xiaomi device to be powered by an Intel processor.
The Mi Pad 2 features an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and f/2.0 aperture, along with a 5-megapixel wide-angle front-facing camera. The tablet comes with Wi-Fi 802.11ac, USB Type-C, Bluetooth v4.1, and GPS connectivity. The metal-clad tablets 6190mAh battery is rated to deliver up to 648.8 hours of standby time. It comes in Dark Grey and Champagne Gold colour variants. Measuring 200.4×132.6×6.95mm, the Mi Pad 2 weighs 322 grams. The tablet is also 18 percent thinner than its predecessor, which was 8.5mm thick.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 was launched in a 2GB RAM and 16GB inbuilt storage variant at CNY 899 (approximately Rs. 9,500), and another with 3GB of RAM and 32GB storage at CNY 1,099 (approximately Rs. 11,500).
Now, a Chinese analyst has claimed that Xiaomi will launch its Mi tablet running Windows 10 in the third quarter. The news (via Gizmo China) has again kicked off the debate whether Microsoft and Xiaomi may work together for a Windows 10 smartphone or even a dual-boot device with Android and Windows 10.
Unfortunately, Pan Jiutang, an analyst, did not reveal any further details about the alleged Mi Tablet.
In other news, Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President, Operating Systems Group, Microsoft, posted an image of the Xiaomi Mi 4 running Windows 10 build 10240. In a follow-up tweet, he claimed to start the insider program in China with Mi phones in the coming weeks. He said, “We intend to start our insider program in China with Xiaomi phones in the next few weeks… The software is running very nicely on these!”
While the tweets dont give any clear intimation that Microsoft may launch a Windows 10-based smartphone in partnership with Xiaomi, it definitely tips the possibility in future.
Back in March, Xiaomis Vice President of International Operations, Hugo Barra had to clarify the nature of the partnership between the two companies. He said that Microsofts experimental program worked directly with the Mi fan community in China, and that Xiaomi had nothing to do with the program. Barra had also confirmed that the program was limited to the Chinese market. One of the reasons why Xiaomi was added as the testing partners was that Mi devices shipped with unlocked bootloader, Barra had pointed out.
Recent launches havent had as much of an impact as the first few did, but thats set to change again with the new Xiaomi Mi Pad. While there are plenty of Android tablets in this price range already, the company is promising high-end features and the kind of quality that competitors do not deliver. Apple, in particular, stands out as the prime target – not the horde Android manufacturers offering oversized phones.
Xiaomis biggest constraint has been its strategy of hosting weekly online flash sales, which might be great for generating some initial buzz, but only result in prolonged frustration for customers. Thankfully, the Mi Pad will be available for outright purchase without any such hassle. Lets see how the company adapts to this new territory.
Look and feel
In terms of its overall size and dimensions, the Mi Pad has a lot in common with Apples iPad mini. There is no mistaking one for the other though, as the Mi Pad is all glossy plastic. Xiaomi says it has used magnesium alloy in the construction of the Mi Pad, but you wouldnt know by looking at it. The shell isnt removable and so the battery is sealed in. Theres a microSD card tray on the left side and the power and volume buttons are on the right. The 3.5mm headset socket is on top and the Micro-USB port is on the bottom.
Theres an almost distractingly reflective Mi logo in the upper left corner, above the screen. You can see a camera cutout in the centre, but apart from those the front face looks blank. Capacitive touch buttons below the screen light up when you use them. Youll find a camera and microphone in the upper left corner of the rear, and two speaker grilles towards the bottom. Another Mi logo and some regulatory text are the only other things to be seen.
Despite Xiaomis promotional materials prominently showing the Mi Pad in a variety of colours (the iPhone 5c vibes we got were no doubt coincidental), it will only be available in white when it goes on sale in India. Maybe the other options will be available later. While the front face is black, the white rear shell wraps around and an outline is visible when looking at the Mi Pad head-on. The rear is glossy and extremely slick, unlike the Redmi 2s matte texture, and we did feel the device slip from our hands more than once.
Specifications and software
The most interesting line on the Mi Pads spec sheet is the SoC description. This is one of the only shipping products in the world that uses Nvidias Tegra K1 SoC. Nvidia launched the Tegra K1 with much fanfare in early 2014 but it just never took off in the way that the company had hoped. Despite promising benchmark numbers and arguably superior graphics performance, phone and tablet manufacturers just did not launch a lot of Tegra-based products last year.
The Mi Pad features Nvidias 32-bit Tegra K1, which has four cores running at 2.2GHz and a fifth low-power “companion core” that kicks in to let the main cores go to sleep when power needs to be conserved. The Tegra K1s main appeal is the fact that it leverages Nvidias Kepler-generation graphics architecture. Not only is the hardware potent, but support for game engines is also brought over from the desktop side of things. The Tegra K1 has 192 graphics execution units and so is theoretically on par with todays most bare-basic entry-level graphics cards. Of course power, heat and other factors mean you cant really compare desktop and tablet processors side by side.
The SoC is supported by 2GB of RAM. This model has 16GB of storage, and you can add up to 128GB more using a microSD card. You get Wi-Fi b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0, but interestingly no GPS. There is no version of this tablet with cellular data capability or voice calling.
If you had any doubt which tablets Xiaomi wants to compete with, look no further than the screen specs. The 4:3 LCD screen measures 7.9 inches diagonally and has a resolution of 1536×2048 – exactly the same as the second- and third-generation iPad minis. Not many small Android tablets use this kind of screen; 16:10 and 16:9 are much more common.
If youre interested in taking photos with your tablet, the Mi Pad has an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera. You can record 1080p video but theres no flash. The battery capacity is an impressive 6,700mAh.
MIUI 6 runs on top of Android 4.4.4. It looks much the same as it does on Xiaomis most recent smartphones including the Redmi 2, and is scaled nicely for the tablets screen size. It behaves like iOS in that there is no app drawer, and you see only app icons as soon as you unlock the device. Unlike on the phones weve seen, there is a separation of spaces for app icons and widgets – you can scroll to the left of the default homescreen to find a screen dedicated to widgets. If you fill this one up, new widget screens are created further to the left, while icons pile up on the right as you install apps.
For some reason icon-sized widgets such as settings toggles and quick contacts can only be placed on the icon screens, not the widget screens. While the end result looks clean, it is functionally confusing. We also noticed that Xiaomis usual themes app is missing. There arent very many built-in apps and even the ones there are seem quite functionally limited.
Thanks to its hardware, the Mi Pad should have tremendous potential for gaming. Sure enough, we were able to crank out a very impressive average of 42fps in the GFXbench test, and 25,338 points in 3DMarks high-end Ice Storm Unlimited run – Ice Storm Extreme was maxed out. These are the highest scores weve seen on small tablets, and are especially impressive considering the high screen resolution. Needless to say, 3D games looked very good indeed.
However we do have to say that the upper rear of the Mi Pad did get hot to the point that it was uncomfortable to hold. With the device in landscape mode for gaming, the difference between what our two hands felt was highly distracting.
As far as CPU-based tasks went, AnTuTu also returned a very impressive score of 48,666 points but Quadrant did not run. The UI was generally snappy other than a few odd, intermittent slowdowns and app crashes.
Xiaomi as always offers a Balanced mode and a Performance mode, and though it prompts users to switch when it detected benchmarks running, it doesnt try to optimise results automatically. We ran all our tests in Balanced mode, which gives users a better idea of what to expect in day-to-day situations. Even so, we ran our core tests again in Performance mode just to see the difference it made. The 3DMark score went up to 27,380 but GFXbench showed no improvement.
(Click to see full size)
We found the screen of the Xiaomi Mi Pad to be sharp, clear and generally pleasant to use. It struggled a bit under direct sunlight, mostly because of how reflective it is. We had no trouble playing any of our test videos and performance was smooth throughout. The speakers were a bit disappointing – even though the sound got pretty loud, it was muffled and harsh with distortion at higher volumes. The sound should be good enough for effects while playing games, but not movies or music.
The camera is pretty good by tablet standards. You wont want to rely on it to preserve any important memories, but its good enough to serve in a pinch. We were also impressed that the battery lasted 13 hours, 11 minutes in our video loop test. This is a pretty good result and it should be enough to keep you entertained at least through a long flight.
Once again, Xiaomi has delivered a product that isnt perfect, but offers absolutely terrific value for money. In doing so, the company has also once again displaced every competitor around it. One of the biggest problems with this tablet is that no 3G/LTE version is available, which for many people will be a dealbreaker. Even for a few thousand rupees more, a variant with cellular data would be very welcome in our market.
For what it is, the Xiaomi Mi Pad is still a fantastic bargain. It works well as a portable entertainment unit and its unobtrusive enough that you could just toss it in a bag and keep it with you wherever you go. It works well for reading, watching movies, playing games, and browsing the Web.
It might not be as polished as the iPad mini 2, but it does come in at slightly more than half its price (and offers expandable storage). If you really want an iPad then youll still buy an iPad, but for many people there is now a viable way to save a lot of money.
Xiaomi Mi Pad in pictures
Unlike other Xiaomi devices, the Xiaomi MiPad tablet will be available in Indiawithout the flash sale method, and will be made exclusively available via Flipkart on March 24 without any registration. Only the White colour variant will be made available in India.
Initially unveiled in May last year in China, the MiPad tablet is powered by a 4+1-core Nvidia Tegra K1 SoC ARM Cortex-A15 processor clocked at 2.2GHz with the 192-core Kepler GPU, alongside 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM, which can be considered a highlight of the device. The company claims that the tablet packs Kepler GPU architecture and supports OpenGL 4.4 and OpenGL ES 3.1.
The Xiaomi MiPad comes with a 7.9-inch QXGA (2048×1536 pixel) IPS Retina display resolution with a pixel density of 324ppi, all of which is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 screen. Notably, this seems to be the same Sharp-made display Apple uses on the iPad mini with Retina. The new Xiaomi MiPad runs on Android 4.4 KitKat with MiUI out-of-the-box.
Other specifications include an 8-megapixel rear camera with a Sony BSI sensor that can shoot full-HD resolution videos. It also features a 5-megapixel front-facing camera that includes an OmniVision sensor. Both cameras come with an f2.0 aperture. Connectivity options of the tablet include dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0. The MiPad tablet is backed by a 6700mAh Li-ion battery and is available in Black, White, Red, Blue, Green and Yellow colour variants. The tablet measures 135.4×202.1×8.5mm and weighs 360 grams.
The Chinese company revealed that the Mi Bluetooth Game Controller will be available at just CNY 99 (Rs. 980 approximately) in China through online channels without revealing any availability details.
Notably, the Mi Bluetooth Game Controller was first officially revealed late last year; though was limited to Mi fans for “testing and evaluation”, according to some reports.
The Xiaomi game controller sports a D-pad, analogue sticks, Y, X, A, and B buttons, as well as two shoulder buttons on either side. It also has a back button, menu button, and a home button with Mi branding. It is powered by 2xAA batteries.
The Mi Bluetooth Game Controller supports Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity and is compatible with Mi TV, Mi Box, Mi phones, and tablets. The company claims that the controller can last up to 80 hours of game play and packs 3 axis accelerometer. It measures 156x104x65mm; weighs 220 grams, and will be available in Black colour. The Bluetooth-enabled gaming controller has a working radius of 10 metres.
Xiaomis move to launch a gaming console appears to be plausible, considering that Chinese government last year lifted a ban from 2000 on gaming consoles. Last year, Microsoft taking advantage of the lifted 14-year ban, launched its Xbox One game console in China. Sony is yet to follow, but has announced its intentions. It earlier this month delayed the January 11 launch of the PS4 console in China, without providing a reason and saying it would announced the new launch date in a separate notice.
To recall, Xiaomi kicked off 2015 with the quiet launch of the Redmi 2 and this was soon followed by the Chinese companys first major event that saw the launch of the new flagship phablet, the Mi Note, and the “even-better” Mi Note Pro alongside the Mi Headphones and Mi Box Mini.