Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 first impressions: a powerhouse of a tablet, with a wallet-friendly price tag

“The Mi Pad 2 is available in Android and Windows Phone editions”

In India, Xiaomi is best-known for its smartphones, but its first tablet the Mi Pad (review), was also quite popular. Thanks to its enticing price tag and loaded specs, it was among the best tablets under Rs 15,000. The company launched its succesor in China last year. Sadly, there’s no news on if the Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 would be coming to India, but we were able to get our hands on it during the Intel Innovation and tech tour, and we think it’ll take the market with storm if and when it arrives here. Wondering why we think so? Read on for our initial impressions.

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Just like the first-gen Mi Pad, the Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 features a display panel measuring 7.98-inches. However, that’s where the similarities end. Unlike the glossy plastic body in its predecessor, the new Mi Pad features a metallic unibody, lending it a premium appeal. What’s interesting though is the fact that even with the use of metal, the device is extremely slim at 7mm. At 322g, it also is quite lightweight for a device of its size. The Mi Pad 2 can be held comfortably for long durations, and you’ll need to use both the hands to operate it.

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Talking about ports and buttons, the fascia is dominated by the display panel, which is flanked by a Mi logo, a couple of sensors and a front-facing snapper above, and the usual array of three capacitive keys at the bottom.

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Both the the power switch and the volume rocker are available on the right. The 3.5mm audio socket can be found on the top, whereas a USB-Type C port is placed at the base, along with the speaker holes. The rear features a primary camera and Mi branding further below.

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Similar to the original Mi Pad, the 7.98-inch IPS screen on the Mi Pad 2 bears a rich resolution of 2,048 x 1,536 pixels. With the pixel density of 326ppi, the screen is plenty sharp and colours pop out as well. Brightness levels also seemed to be pretty good.

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On the software side of things, Xiaomi is offering users the choice between Android or Windows operating systems. In fact, the Mi Pad 2 is the first offering from the Chinese brand to run Microsoft’s platform. While the Android tablet is layered with MIUI 7 running atop 5.1 Lollipop, the other variant provides the full-fledged version of Windows.

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The Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 marks a several firsts for the company. It’s the first device in its portfolio that comes powered by an Intel CPU. Taking charge of the performance department in the slate is the Atom X5-Z8500 chipset with its four cores clocked at 2.4GHz. The processor is coupled with 2-gigs of RAM, and the combination seems to be potent enough to handle any tasks thrown at it. During our brief session with it, we found it buttery-smooth.

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The two models of the Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 differ on the storage front. While the Android flavour features 16GB of memory on board, the Windows version comes with 64GB of storage. Out of the 16GB on the Android version, users will be able to access 11.8GB for their personal use. It must be noted that the Mi Pad 2 doesn’t offer an expansion slot, so you’ll need to make do with the built-in storage.

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While tabs aren’t meant for photography, some manufacturers offer a decent set of snappers to make them a complete device. The same is the case with the Xiaomi Mi Pad 2. It flaunts an 8-meg shooter at the back, and a 5MP front-facing snapper for selfies.

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The biggest disappointment with the Mi Pad continues with its successor as well – it doesn’t support cellular connectivity, though all the usual options like dual-band Wi-Fi along with the latest ac standard, and Bluetooth are available. The Mi Pad 2 draws juice from a 6,190mAh battery. Thanks to the support for fast charging, the slate can be charged quickly.

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While the Mi Pad 2 is more loaded than its predecessor, Xiaomi has kept its pricing in check. The Android edition is priced at 999 RMB (~Rs 10,200), whereas the Windows variant costs 1,299 RMB (~Rs 13,300). While its pricing and specs are exciting, don’t get your hopes up because the company hasn’t made any official statements about its launch in the Indian market.

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One of the earliest members of the 91mobiles' editorial team, Nitansh is a walking encyclopaedia of product specs. Name a phone and he’ll tell you the specifics on screen resolution, processor and camera without blinking an eyelid. Ask him if he remembers the launch date of a noteworthy phone, and he'll tell you the dates when the device first leaked, its global unveil, its Indian launch, and when it got a significant update. He’s a lover of all things Android, and loves writing reviews and scouting for new apps. A Wordpress whiz, he’s always ready to help out a fellow writer. While he juggles between many things at 91mobiles, he always manages to find time to write. In his non-tech avatar, Nitansh is a philatelist, which is a fancy word for stamp-collector.