With a launch price of $351 the new Xiaomi Pad 5 tablet marks the return of the Chinese brand to the market, with a budget priced solution that may compete with Samsung and Apple tablets.
Although North American consumers are not familiar with Xiaomi tablets, Europeans do know the brand for its smartphones, and are now offered a new tablet, the Xiaomi Pad 5, which breaks a three-year period of silence from the Chinese manufacturer regarding tablets. The new Xiaomi Pad 5 was first announced in China last August, and is now available in Europe for €399, which translates to $467.
While the price is good for a tablet that aims to compete with Apple and Samsung offers in this segment, the Xiaomi Pad 5 model, with 6GB and 128GB, was introduced in some countries in Europe at a special launch price of €299.99 ($351) which is great when you look at the key specifications of this new model, built around an 11-inch 2560 x 1600 IPS LCD panel with 120Hz refresh rate that supports DCI-P3 color gamut and can display over a billion colors.
While the Qualcomm Snapdragon 860, octa-core 2.96 GHz processor used in the Xiaomi Pad 5 may not be the newest in the market, it is powerful enough for an affordable tablet that sits in the upper mid-range and offers specifications comparable to more expensive solutions. Xiaomi also announced the Xiaomi Pad 5 Pro, with a more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 870, octa-core 3.2 GHz, 8GB memory, with Dual SIM slot, optional LTE and 5G, but the tablet now available in Europe is the normal version. The Pad 5 and Pad 5 Pro versions will also have a 256GB option, according to Xiaomi.
Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos
With support for Dolby Vision, the Xiaomi Pad 5 tablet enables, says the company, “a premium HDR viewing experience bringing ultra vivid imagery with incredible brightness, contrast, detail, and colors you have never seen before on a screen. And even if you’re watching your favorite shows for a prolonged period of time, and no matter where you are watching, Xiaomi Pad 5’s True Display and built-in Low Blue Light mode ensures a clear but safe and comfortable viewing experience.”
In terms of sound the Xiaomi Pad 5 tablet supports Dolby Atmos through a quad speaker audio system that offers, according to Xiaomi, “extraordinary surround sound in landscape and portrait display formats. The ultra-large-amplitude speakers deliver powerful sound and a direct impact, giving you a cinema-like sound experience.”
Featuring two cameras, the tablet has a rear camera with13MP able to capture video at 4k/30fps, 1080p/30fps and 720p/30fps, while the front camera, with 8 MP offers 1080p/30fps and 720p/30fps. With dimensions of 254.69mm x 166.25mm x 6.85mm and a weight of 511g, this portable workstation runs Android 11, with Xiaomi’s MIUI Global 12.5.2 skin on top, and to guarantee that users are always connected, Xiaomi Pad 5 comes with longer battery life supported by 8,720mAh (typ) capacity.
Xiaomi is number one in smartphones
For a natural writing experience, the tablet can be used with the Xiaomi Smart Pens with only 12.2g, 4096 pressure sensitivity and 240Hz touch sampling rate. Xiaomi Smart Pen also includes convenient features such as Smart Pen function keys to quickly jot down notes, taking screenshots or easily switching between pen and eraser. Unfortunately, unlike the Samsung Tab S7 series, the pen is not included in the package, meaning you’ll have to spend close to $100 more if you need/want to use it. Still, the Samsung S7 tablets are more expensive than the Xiaomi Pad 5.
While many users will go for a brand like Samsung or Apple, the return of Xiaomi to the tablet market may change things a bit, especially if you’re looking for a more accessible tablet that still competes with the popular brands. After all, according to Counterpoint Research’s Monthly Market Pulse Service, Xiaomi surpassed Samsung and Apple in June 2021 to become the number one smartphone brand in the world for the first time ever, which may be an indication the company wants to extend to other segments… like tablets.
According to the data available, Xiaomi’s sales grew 26% MoM in June 2021, making it the fastest-growing brand for the month. Xiaomi was also the number two brand globally for Q2 2021 in terms of sales, and cumulatively, has sold close to 800 million smartphones since its inception in 2011. According to Xiaomi, after the launch of the Pad 5 in China, 200,000 units of the tablet series were sold in five minutes.
The new iPad (2021) tablet
Apple is well-aware of the competition and announced this month the new iPad (2021), which will go on sale on the 24th of September with prices starting at $329 for the Wi-Fi only model with 64GB of storage. Xiaomi announced the global release of its Pro 5 tablet one day after, in a clear sign that competition has started, and in terms of specifications and price, Xiaomi’s tablet is a competitive choice, especially if you need the extra storage space – 128GB.
The Apple iPad (2021) features a 10.2-inch Retina display with True Tone, a 12MP Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage, support for Apple Pencil (1st generation) and Smart Keyboard, the intuitive iPadOS 15, and twice the storage – that’s 64 instead of 32GB – of the previous generation. But the device still uses a Lightning connector, unlike most recent Apple devices, which offer USB-C. This and other features, like the old-style bezels – suggest that Apple is just trying to offer a tablet that can compete with cheap Android tablets which are becoming more popular. The Xiaomi Pad 5 tablet is the most recent example of that trend.