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Xiaomi's Mi Pad: High-end specs, mid-range price, absolutely no originality

By

May 15, 2014

Something here looks ... familiar

Something here looks ... familiar

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Take a stroll through a Shenzhen Market in China, and you'll probably see more than a few Apple knockoffs from no-name (or "white box") companies. But what happens when one of China's biggest tech companies has a go at the iPad mini? Meet Xiaomi's Mi Pad.

If you looked at the Mi Pad from more than a few feet away, you wouldn't be crazy for mistaking it for an iPad mini. It has roughly the same size and proportions, and the exact same screen size (7.9"), aspect ratio (4:3), and resolution (2,048 x 1,536) as the iPad mini with Retina Display. The biggest external difference is its plastic build, available in a variety of pastel colors (yes, it's a little bit of an iPhone 5c knock-off as well). Hell, the Xiaomi employees at the tablet's launch event were even dressed like Apple retail employees:

Why bother putting the spotlight on such an undeniable clone job? Well, the Xiaomi Mi Pad actually carries some impressive specs for an equally impressive price. And since there are only a couple of legit Retina iPad mini rivals on the Android side of the fence (most notably, Samsung's Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4), the Mi Pad could potentially fill a need for some hardcore Android devotees.

On the inside, we're looking at Nvidia's beastly Tegra K1 chip, with its quad-core CPU (this is the 32-bit version with A15 CPU) and insane 192-core GPU. The Mi Pad adds 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB or 64 GB of internal storage, and a microSD card slot. An 8 MP rear camera, 5 MP front shooter, and a 6,700 mAh battery round out the key specs.

As for the software, well, we start with Android 4.4 KitKat with Xiaomi's MIUI custom skin sitting on top. And go figure: MIUI is the most iOS-like Android skin we've seen. Xiaomi's gall here makes Samsung's alleged Apple copying look like child's play.

If you're looking for an all-original tablet, then you'll want to look elsewhere. And I personally wouldn't recommend throwing your money at such a blatant knockoff. But if something like this floats your boat, then you'll be able to get your hands on the Mi Pad later this year. The 16 GB Mi Pad will start at RMB 1499 (about US$241) while the 64 GB model will retail for RMB 1699 (around $273).

Source: Xiaomi (Chinese), (Google translate)

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Before finding a home at Gizmag, he had stints at a number of other sites, including Android Central, Geek and the Huffington Post. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica. All articles by Will Shanklin
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7 Comments

Haha. The copycats can try, but they're a saddled with 2nd tier software and google's legendary none-existent customer 'service'. Go ahead, buy a 'mipad'. When it breaks (2 months from now) you'll find out why cheap isn't always cheap.

Neil

Maybe they should have called it Me 2 Pad?

Skipjack

4:3 screen is a welcome feature. I'm glad someone gets it.

Jon A.

Once again Will saying something's a knockoff of an Apple product. Yes, it's a rectangle with rounded corners, just like every other tablet. This is not a new shape.

As for the actual product, the specs look pretty impressive, especially considering the price point.

Zaron Gibson

Xiaomi is a company operating on razor thin margin, so you should not be expecting innovations anytime soon, at least not in the hardware zone. But if bang for the buck is what floats your boat, you can't go wrong with this brand, which is building a cult following internationally.

thk

Will, please explain your comment "And I personally wouldn't recommend throwing your money at such a blatant knockoff."

It's not an iPad clone, it just happens to have the same screen size and aspect ratio (which personally I favour as opposed to the 16:9/10). It's got great specs and great price and runs a completely different operating system - so what's the big complaint? If it had an 8.4" 16:10 display would you slag it for being a Samsung rip off?

I don't get it....

Croxford

If I were presented with a whole bunch of Apple hardware - gratis - I too might write a review along this line. With a whole plethora Android tablets in the market there are bound to be some physical similarities among a few of them. So on basis does the author define this as a iPad knockoff???

BTW I just had the misfortune of having to do some work on my wife's iPad. Have never come cross anything more un-intuitive. Stupid thing won't even allow me to copy her files from net connected storage to local storage. No way to copy paste ! Thank god I never jumped on to the iOS bandwagon.

pmshah
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