Xiaomi Pad 5 initial review: A great slate?

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LONDON, UK (Pocket-lint) - The satellite of Android tablets has been alternatively quiescent successful caller years, what with Apple dominating the tablets marketplace overall, truthful for Xiaomi to dip its oar successful with its Pad 5 is simply a alternatively refreshing crook for Google-centric slates.

Alongside announcing its 11T and 11T Pro affordable flagship phones astatine its 15 September motorboat event, it was the Pad 5 that astir captured our attraction - successful peculiar arsenic Apple announced its caller iPad mini the precise nighttime before. So is Xiaomi's tablet worthy of your attention?

Design & Display

  • 11-inch LCD display, 2560 x 1600 resolution, 16:10 facet ratio, 120Hz refresh
  • Dimensions: 254.7 x 166.3 x 6.9mm / Weight: 511g
  • Finishes: Cosmic Gray, Pearl White, Green
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, nary 4G/5G/LTE

Other than Samsung and Lenovo you won't find galore brands successful the Android tablet space, which is arsenic overmuch contention arsenic it is opportunity. Xiaomi is intelligibly nary alien to creating high-end products - you lone request to look astatine its colourful Mi 11 Lite 5G arsenic 1 illustration of its eye-candy - and its Pad 5 pulls successful overmuch of this experience.

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That means a slender physique - it's conscionable 6.9mm thick, which is slimmer than plentifulness of existent flagship phones - and coagulated frame, intersected with immoderate tramlines for (there's nary 4G/5G enactment disposable here, though, dissimilar the Chinese variant - it's Wi-Fi only), making for a sleek and effectual look.

The 11-inch show is an LCD, not OLED, which whitethorn marque you deliberation it's not arsenic high-end arsenic could beryllium - but, actually, having seen the surface successful idiosyncratic astatine the London motorboat event, it's plentifulness agleam and colourful, positive packed with much than capable solution (it's WQHD+) to marque each kinds of contented look crisp arsenic you like.

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For a tablet the bezel is reasonably trim, too, which ensures the plan continues its neat and tidy appearance. You request immoderate bezel, of course, for gripping the instrumentality erstwhile watching content, playing games, oregon conscionable picking it up to cart about. 

Flip the Pad 5 implicit and the rear comes successful a prime of finishes, shown present successful a pearlescent achromatic - which is wherefore it has those "inside-of-a-shell" blue-pink hues - and its matte decorativeness does a decent occupation of avoiding the precise worst disposable fingerprints.

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Although the surface is flat, the rear isn't rather connected relationship of its insignificant camera protrusion - which volition marque for a small "desk wobble" if you're laying it level down whilst you work. It's not a elephantine lump, arsenic you'll spot connected the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, though, truthful that's a relief. Besides, you don't often request a rear camera connected a tablet - truthful the 13-megapixel offering present is conscionable good arsenic it is.

Hardware & Performance

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 processor, 6GB RAM
  • Xiaomi MIUI 12.5 bundle (on Google Android 11)
  • 13-megapixel main camera, 16MP selfie camera
  • 8720mAh artillery capacity, 33W fast-charging
  • Stylus enactment (sold separately)

The Pad 5 has been positioned competitively, which means it doesn't get the astir up-to-date hardware. Not that we deliberation you'll apt notice: the Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 processor connected board, paired with 6GB RAM, makes for what was a flagship acquisition conscionable a twelvemonth oregon 2 prior.

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Having utilized the tablet for a fistful of minutes astatine Xiaomi's showcase, it's wide the operating strategy runs slick and creaseless - helped on successful a ocular consciousness by the display's 120Hz refresh rate, it indispensable beryllium said - and portion we're yet to load up boat-loads of apps, this benignant of hardware is good equipped to manage.

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The main hurdle to this tablet's effectiveness is apt to beryllium its bundle though. Not due to the fact that it's built connected Google's Android operating system, alternatively due to the fact that Xiaomi's ain MIUI software, present successful mentation 12.5, has successful our erstwhile acquisition thrown assorted spanners into the works erstwhile it comes to things similar notifications. You'll apt request to excavation deeper into settings connected a per-app ground to guarantee that pop-up alert tin happen, oregon that an app won't automatically spell to slumber to effort and sphere artillery life. We'll beryllium seeing however adjacent to world this is erstwhile we unrecorded with and reappraisal the tablet successful full, of course. 

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Speaking of artillery life, the compartment connected committee is comparatively capacious - akin to that of a 10.5-inch iPad Pro, for illustration - and, therefore, we would expect longevity per complaint to beryllium decent. We already cognize however beardown Xiaomi's artillery throttling tin beryllium done assorted bundle additions, truthful if you privation it to spell the agelong region we fishy it won't beryllium an contented - although, of course, that volition instrumentality days and hours of further investigating successful the future.

It's besides worthy mentioning the stylus enactment for this tablet. We accidental mentioning due to the fact that we've not been capable to spot this pen successful enactment truthful can't remark connected however it volition function. Really we deliberation Xiaomi should bundle this successful the box, similar Samsung does with the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, to springiness it a existent other furniture of appeal. That, we think, would beryllium a small other thing to assistance abstracted it from the competition.

First Impressions

All successful all, Xiaomi's tablet task for wider markets is simply a good-looking, good priced and competently specified slate. It's a shame the stylus isn't included, and we're not definite yet whether Xiaomi's MIUI bundle volition origin immoderate hiccups, but if you're looking for a tablet predominantly for media depletion past it's a competitory offering against the likes of its Samsung oregon Lenovo nonstop competition.

That said, there's inactive the large question implicit usability beyond a 'big-phone-like' device, due to the fact that Google has to day mostly failed to clasp much work-focused functionality modes successful Android - thing Apple has dilatory (and not wholly effectively) been moving connected - and, therefore, without accessories to bolster its entreaty arsenic a versatile laptop alternative, it hits the aforesaid hurdles arsenic immoderate caller Android tablet has had to face.

Also consider

Pocket-lint

Alternative photograph  1

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

More reliable bundle (probably) and with the stylus included - it's cheaper, too, which is an evident bonus.

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Writing by Mike Lowe. Originally published connected 15 September 2021.

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