Up and coming Chinese company Xiaomi made itself known in the smartphone industry through unconventional sales tactics and low prices, and now it’s setting its sights on the tablet business, with the freshly announced Mi Pad.
The Mi Pad is a 7.9-inch tablet running the Jelly Bean-based MIUI ROM and powered by Nvidia’s impressive Tegra K1 chipset, first announced in January. The Mi Pad is the first device announced to feature K1, which combines four Cortex A15 2.2GHz CPU cores, a low-power companion CPU core, and a Kepler-based GPU with 192 cores. With 2GB of RAM, the Mi Pad should be a beast for gaming, but we worry about battery life, especially with that high-resolution 2,048 x 1,536 display.
Other Xiaomi Mi Pad specifications include 16GB or 64GB of expandable storage (up to 128GB), a 6,700 mAh battery, dual stereo speakers (rear mounted), an 8MP rear camera, and a 5MP front one.
Everything’s packed in a tight 8.5 millimeters body that weighs just 360 grams. However, the design is too close to Apple’s iPad mini for our liking, and Xiaomi even admitted that it inspired itself for the Mi Pad’s colorful plastic design from Apple’s iPhone 5C. The resemblance continues when it comes to MIUI, which features flat, bright icons with rounded corners and color gradients.
The Xiaomi Mi Pad will be available in six color options – white, black, green, blue, yellow, and pink. The 16GB version will go for the equivalent of $240, while the 64GB model will cost just $30 more.
Unfortunately, there’s no firm release date attached to the Mi Pad for now. Xiaomi announced a “beta” launch in China in June, but did not provide any details on an international rollout.
At the same launch event in Beijing where it introduced the Mi Pad, Xiaomi also launched a new Mi-branded smart TV. Powered by Android and offering an eye pleasing 4K resolution, the 49-inch set will cost just $640.
Xiaomi typically sells its devices through flash sales where it makes available a limited number of units that typically sell out in minutes. But the company recently began establishing a brick and mortar retail presence as well.
Xiaomi products currently sell in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore. Under the leadership of former Android lead Hugo Barra, the startup will extend this year in 10 of the world’s largest markets, including India, Russia, Brazil, and Mexico.