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Redmi Pad Review: Redefining Budget Tablet Category
- Excellent Value For Money
- Stunning 2K 90Hz Display
- Smooth Performance
- Good Software Experience
- Long-Lasting Battery
- No 3.5mm Audio Jack
- No SIM Card Support
- No Fingerprint Scanner
Xiaomi's latest obsession is to redefine the capabilities of a low-cost tablet. Now, the company has introduced a new pocket-friendly tablet as part of its Redmi portfolio. The Redmi Pad comes in three configurations: 3GB+64GB, 4GB+128GB, and 6GB + 128GB for Rs. 12,999, Rs. 14,999, and Rs. 16,999, respectively. This special offer is only available for a limited time. Following this, the base variant of the tablet will be priced at Rs. 14,999.
The Redmi Pad has a metal body (IP52-certified) and a 10-bit 2K 90Hz display with a quad-speaker setup. The tablet is powered by an 8,000mAh battery cell and supports 18W charging. It is powered by the MediaTek G99 chipset (a first for a budget tablet) and runs MIUI 13.1 on top of Android 12. Xiaomi has launched the tablet in a Wi-Fi-only configuration to keep the price low.
If you're familiar with the sub-20K tablet market, you'll notice that the specs look too good to be true. There are almost no compromises, which is unusual in the budget tablet category. Having said that, we spent nearly a week using the Redmi Pad exclusively for media consumption, e-reading, casual gaming, and internet browsing. Is it the best option in the sub-20K tablet market? Let's find out.
Redmi Pad Design: Doesn’t Feel Like A Budget Tablet
Budget tablets are typically unsightly and have a cheap feel to them. The Redmi Pad is a clear exception, setting a new design standard for the category. It has a sleek metal body and a build quality that is typically found in products priced a category higher. The back of the tablet has a smooth matte texture, and the design is very minimal and modern. We are currently testing the Mint Green color variant, which is eye-catching and refreshing. The tablet is also available in Graphite Gray and Moonlight Silver color options.
Redmi Pad Ergonomics
The Redmi Pad is also extremely ergonomic. It is 7.1mm thin and weighs 465 grams, making it the same weight as two flagship phones, but wait until you hold it in your hands. Because of the smart weight distribution, the 10.61-inch tablet feels as light as a 7-inch tab or phablet. When I first held the tablet, I had the impression that I was holding a device weighing less than 300 grams. Weight distribution is important for almost everything you want to do on a big-screen device.
Redmi Pad Ports And Connectivity
The essentials have also been tweaked slightly. For example, if you hold the tablet in portrait mode, the camera is located on the right side to facilitate virtual calls. You can use the tablet in landscape mode to make video calls just like you would on a laptop. The tablet has a Type-C port and clicky metal physical buttons that provide good feedback.
There are four speakers, two at the top and two at the bottom to offer surround sound. The tablet also has a microSD card slot for expanding internal memory. The only thing that appears to be missing is a 3.5mm audio jack. Because there is no Type-C to 3.5mm audio connector included in the box, you can go wireless or buy one to use your trusted wired earphones.
Redmi Pad Display: 10 Bit 2K Display (10.61-inch)
The Redmi Pad has a 10.61-inch 2-K resolution 10-bit LCD display. The screen refreshes at 90Hz (another first in its class) and has a 15:09 aspect ratio, giving you more screen real estate for media consumption, e-reading, and web browsing. The display is bright enough for comfortable viewing indoors; however, visibility in direct sunlight is average. You will have some difficulty reading text or watching videos.
Redmi Pad Multimedia Performance
Tablets can be excellent media consumption devices if the hardware is good. Fortunately, the Redmi Pad includes the two most important features: a high-resolution display and a powerful sound system. Unlike the Realme, Nokia, and Motorola tabs, the Redmi Pad's 2K display provides better color accuracy. The whites are free of distracting blue or yellow tints, allowing you to watch videos with more realistic colors.
Of course, you can't expect AMOLED-level color saturation, but the 10-bit 2K LCD is as good as it gets for a budget tablet. The Dolby Atmos-poweredquad speakers handle audio very well. Even when playing music at maximum volume, the sound produced is loud and clean, with minimal distortion. Xiaomi could have included a 3.5mm audio connector with the tablet because a large percentage of the target audience still prefers to listen to music through wired earphones.
Redmi Pad Performance
Our review unit handled multitasking well, thanks to the MediaTek Helio G99 processor and ample 6GB RAM. This is the first time we've tested the octa-core chipset on a budget tablet, and its performance is noticeably better than majority of budget tablets we've tested in recent times. The performance is comparable to that of a mid-range phone. Apps load quickly, and the tablet can handle multiple apps at once without breaking a sweat.
Decent Gaming Device
The Redmi Pad is a good gaming device as well. Aside from running most casual games smoothly, the tablet can also run popular game titles such as COD Mobile, Asphalt 9, and Rainbow Six Mobile with minor adjustments to the graphics settings. The thermals are good, and we didn't notice any unusual heat signatures during long periods of multimedia playback or multitasking.
Multitasking On Redmi Pad
The MIUI 13 software deserves a lot of credit to ensure effective multitasking on the tablet. The latest MIUI for the tablet form factor, based on Android 12, is packed with utilities and features that allow for efficient multitasking on the 15:9 aspect ratio screen. To make the most of the massive 10.61-inch display, you can run apps in floating windows or split-screen mode. The multi-window feature allows you to run three applications at once.
It should be noted that the performance of the other two variants may differ marginally due to differences in RAM-ROM configuration. The base variant with 3GB RAM may stutter when multitasking or playing heavy games.
Redmi Pad Utility Features And Misses
- The Redmi Pad can also function as an e-book reader. The tablet includes a reading mode that adjusts the display's colors and texture to mimic a dedicated e-reader, and it works very well.
- If you use a tablet for educational purposes on a regular basis, the built-in document scanner will come in handy. The scanner can be accessed via the camera app and allows you to scan and share documents while on the go.
- Both cameras (8MP rear and 8MP front) perform admirably and adequately for a tablet form factor.
- The budget tablet lacks native accessory support, instead relying on a third-party pen (capacitive stylus) and Bluetooth keyboard.
- The tablet lacks a physical or in-screen fingerprint scanner. To protect your sensitive data, you can use software-backed face ID or traditional passcode measures.
Redmi Pad Battery Life And Connectivity
The Redmi Pad can easily last a full day of heavy use without seeking a power socket. With light to moderate use, the 8,000mAh battery cell can even last three days. The tablet supports 18W charging, and the bundled 22.5W recharges in about three hours. In terms of connectivity, the Redmi Pad supports dual-band Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth v5.2 but does not support SIM cards.
Redmi Pad Software Update Cycle
According to Xiaomi, the Redmi Pad will receive two major software updates- MIUI 14 and MIUI 15- and three years of security updates, which is quite good for the asking price.
Forget about the introductory prices; even at Rs. 14,999 for the 3/64GB variant, Rs. 17,999 for the 4/128GB variant, and Rs. 19,999 for the 6/128GB variant, the Redmi Pad is an excellent value for money. And, with the 10.61-inch tablet currently selling for just Rs. 12,999 for the base variant, I don't think you should put off purchasing a budget tablet any longer. It is, indeed, the best option for the majority despite some notable misses.