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That of the Android tablet is a story that has always lived with ups and downs. Acclaimed and ubiquitous at the debut, they have slowly disappeared from the scene with a market that has significantly deflated in a few years. Well, also due to the recent pandemic that has given a significant boost to the category, tablets equipped with Google OS are back on the scene and more and more manufacturers are reintroducing this type of product into the line-up.
Among these realities we also find Xiaomi who, after a few years of silence, returns to churn out a respectable tablet, accompanied as usual by a certainly interesting price. Let’s talk about the new Xiaomi Pad 5 that throws the gauntlet to the iPad (in the basic version) with a price very similar but sometimes much better technical and stylistic characteristics.
DESIGN AND ERGONOMICS
If I were to find a real competitor of this Pad 5 as regards the aesthetic aspect, the choice would probably fall on iPad Air which however, it costs more, so the comparison would not hold up for all other considerations. The new Xiaomi tablet is in fact only 6.9 mm thick and weighs 517 grams , it is not a record for the category, but in your hand the feeling is that of dealing with a much lighter product.
Even the design is very reminiscent of the iPad Air; starting from the thin display bezels , up to the sharp but at the same time clean lines and a matte shell in the back that helps to slightly reduce the number of fingerprints left on the cover during use. In short, a tablet that is pleasant to handle, even considering the “neo” of the plastic used to make the back of the body.
Also in the back of the body we find the camera inserted, in a module characterized by a design that clearly recalls the one used in the latest smartphones of the company. This is a camera from 13 megapixels without infamy and without praise, let’s say it’s there, it can come in handy in an emergency, but don’t expect who knows what performance. The same goes for the 8 megapixel front, useful for video calls, which, however, suffers from a positioning defect that I often criticize and for many tablets. In fact, being inserted in one of the short sides, if we use Pad 5 in “landscape” mode we will have an unbalanced shot with the subject always off-center.
Among the defects I cannot then do not mention the absence of the audio jack , which has disappeared from the equipment of many smartphones and also of this Xiaomi tablet. Too bad, if you want to listen to music with wired headphones you will have to use a USB-C to audio jack adapter. There are also no certifications that certify its resistance to water and dust infiltration; the rule remains valid that a few drops of water does not compromise use, but better not to take a bath or shower together.
DISPLAY AND AUDIO
One of the elements that most convinced me of this Xiaomi Pad 5 is undoubtedly the display . The panel has a diagonal of 11 inches and offers a resolution of 980 x 1600 pixel with a refresh rate of 120 Hz e the ability to reproduce over a billion colors. In addition to these specifications, we have an aspect ratio of 11: 10 which offers a little more space in height and is therefore better than 16: 9 if you need to tile two windows on the screen horizontally.
Needless to go around it too much anyway, I loved this display from the first power on. An IPS panel with very deep blacks, but above all with a definition and sharpness that immediately seemed above average to me. Browsing, reading documents but also watching videos and other multimedia contents on this Pad 5 is really satisfying.
As always in the menu of settings then we find a myriad of items that can be adjusted to obtain the image that best suits us; from the color temperature to the blue light filter, up to the possibility of adjusting the refresh rate on 60 or 120 Hz In short, you can really find in every situation the compromise that best suits your needs.
Very good then the display which is accompanied by a good audio sector . Always remembering that we are still dealing with very small speakers, it should however be emphasized that the only flaw is the lack of bass tones. For the rest, the volume is really very high and the mids and highs are crisp and well present. The speakers, among other things, are four, two for each short side and allow you to obtain a fairly enveloping stereo sound.
HARDWARE AND PERFORMANCE
Under the shell of this Xiaomi Pad 5 we then find a Qualcomm SoC Snapdragon 660 accompanied by 6 GB of LPDDR4X RAM and by 128 or 256 GB of memory of storage on UFS memories 3.1. An excellent hardware therefore, which will support you in every situation, even if the CPU is not the latest arrival on the market and even if Xiaomi has not foreseen, at least for now, a version with data connectivity. There is WiFi 6 and there is bluetooth 5.0 but the SIM card slot is missing as well as there is no one for memory expansion via microSD cards.
- display: 11 “WQHD + 120 Hz, Dolby Vision, True Display, blue light reduction
- mobile platform: Qualcomm Snapdragon 860
- memory: 6 / 128 GB, 6 / 256 GB
- audio: 4x speaker from 16 x 20 mm, Dolby Atmos , Hi-Res Audio
- front: 8 MP
- rear: 13 MP
- software : MIUI Suite for Pad
- accessories: Xiaomi Smart Pen (not included )
- battery: 8. 720 mAh with rap refill ida up to 33 W (charger in pack of 16, 5 W. )
- dimensions: 254, 69 x 166, 25 x 6, 85 mm
- colors: Cosmic Gray, Pearl White
In terms of performance I can assure you that you will not have any problems in everyday use . I’ve been using this Xiaomi Pad 5 for three weeks now and have never noticed a noteworthy slowdown, noticeable lag, or a freeze on any of the running apps. Only on one occasion did I have to restart an application that I could not bring back to full screen after minimizing it to a floating window, but it was an isolated episode that never occurred again, despite having used that same function many more times .
You can then take advantage of multitasking by opening two applications at the same time and placing them side by side on the screen, or jump from one to the other in full screen, all with always very good responsiveness. You can obviously also play with it , I have tried two quite demanding titles like Genshin Impact and CoD Mobile and everything went smooth as oil. To tell the truth, I also used the beta of the Xbox Game Pass app to play much more complex titles, but in that case the cloud servers do the dirty work.
In general, however, the user experience is of a very good level, moving around the interface is an experience made satisfying by the reactivity offered by the platform and accentuated by the presence of a display a 120 Hz which definitely helps to make everything appear smoother . In the end, however, what matters is that using this tablet is a pleasure, in practically all situations. It would take a case with a keyboard to increase the possibilities in terms of productivity.
SOFTWARE AND AUTONOMY
I must then say a few words about the software. We are talking about a slightly revised version of MIUI , or the interface that Xiaomi uses on its Android smartphone. The version designed for phones, as well as the same Android system in the stock version are not exactly the best from the point of view of ergonomics if we think of a screen of this size
Xiaomi has therefore modified some aspects of its interface to better adapt it to the 11 inches of Pad 5. The quick options curtain remains separate from the notifications one, but thanks to the size of the display it is easier to go and retrieve the element that actually interests us.
The app icons are larger and more spaced, the taskbar in the central position is very reminiscent of that of the iPad OS but remains extremely functional, as well as the screen of the apps open in the background, let’s say clearly inspired. The management of the windows is also good with two apps open at the same time and, as always, the customization possibilities offered by the myriad of settings that we have available in the appropriate menu are excellent.
And finally, let’s take a look at the battery, its capacity and the duration of the charge. Inside Pad 5 we have an 8 battery. 720 mAh , which recharges in about two hours with the charger from 22, 5W included in the package, charging time which then drops to an hour and a half if we use a 33 W which is the maximum speed supported by the tablet.
Speaking instead of the duration, with an average intense use, mainly made of video streaming and browsing, I was able to use the tablet for a whole weekend without needing to load , limiting the use for a couple of hours a day you can also cover 3-4 days of use since the drain in standby is almost nil.
And here we are at the time to take stock and above all to do the math. How much does this Xiaomi Pad 5 cost? The price list says 399 euro , to which the 99 euro of the pen which, however, if you are not in a hurry, you could receive bundled with the tablet on the occasion of one of the many promotions like the one that was concurrent with the launch. At this price, in my view, however, decidedly honest, Pad 5 is an alternative to iPad in its basic version.
The latter costs in fact 389 euro in the version from 64 GB, half that of the Xiaomi Pad 5, and offers a much older design and generally inferior hardware in practically every respect. Perhaps only the software would tip the scales towards the Apple alternative but, as mentioned above, Xiaomi has worked quite well from this point of view and, although certainly perfectible, the usability is already much better than many other solutions. Older Android. If you are not somehow related to the Apple world, Pad 5 is certainly one of the best alternatives on the market and, considering the company’s discount policy, I invite you to keep an eye on the price because among the 300 and 350 euro this tablet can be considered a best-buy.
PROS AND CONS