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Xiaomi Pad 5 Review- Best Tablet For Work & Play Under 30K?
Xiaomi's Pad 5 marks the brand's second entry into the tablet market, which has gathered some traction in the last year. The full-sized Android tablet has been introduced at a starting price of Rs. 26,999. The Pad 5's price point places it in the sweet spot of the Indian tablet market. The 11-inch tablet is costlier than Realme and Nokia's recently launched tablets but is more affordable than Samsung and Apple's premium tablets.
- Sleek & Premium Design
- Big & Fluid WQHD+ Display
- Smooth Performance
- Good Sounding Speakers
- Long-Lasting Battery
- Lacks SIM Card Support
- No Built-In GPS
- No 3.5mm Audio Jack
- LCD Panel Lacks AMOLED’s Deep Blacks
- MIUI for Pad Needs Some Optimization
The Pad 5 comes with two highly useful accessories- a stylus and a detachable keypad, both sold separately. Since we got the top-most variant (6GB+256GB) of the Android slate for testing without the accessories, the following review will inform you about the multimedia performance of the tablet. We will update the review once we get our hands on the accessories for all things productivity. Let's get started.
Xiaomi Pad 5 Design & Ergonomics
The Pad 5 is a gigantic slate with an extremely thin chassis. It is a mere 6.85mm thick and weighs 511 grams. This is still very light for a tab boasting a gigantic 11-inch screen. The front fascia is mostly glass and the frame is made out of metal. The back however is plastic but doesn't feel cheap by any means. The entire tablet feels sturdy and premium and justifies the price. Xiaomi has introduced the Pad 5 in just one color variant- Cosmic Gray, which is slightly disappointing. This tablet deserves some vibrant color shades.
Ports, Buttons & Essentials
The minimally designed tablet has all ports and buttons placed on the sides. When held in the portrait orientation, the top edge houses an on/off button, a microphone and two speakers. The right side has the volume rockers and a button-shaped magnetic strip that can be used to attach the optional stylus accessory. We couldn't test the magnetic attach force since the stylus hasn't come bundled with the tablet.
No 3.5mm Audio Jack & No SIM card Support
Moving on, the Type-C charging port, another microphone and two additional speakers are positioned at the bottom. The left edge is home to a set of pogo pins to help you connect a detachable keypad, which is also sold separately. Some notable omissions from the Tab 5 include a 3.5mm audio jack and official IP ratings to offer any protection from water and dust. The big tablet also misses on expandable storage, which is a bummer.
10.95-inch 2.5K Resolution LCD Is Built For Multimedia
Since it's tough to offer a sizeable AMOLED panel at this price point, Xiaomi decided to ship the Pad 5 with a high-resolution LCD panel boasting 2.5k resolution. The screen measures 10.95-inches and the WQHD+ resolution (1600 x 2560) delivers a respectable pixel density of 275 ppi. This is a 10-bit LCD producing over 1-billion colors with support for HDR10+ format and DCI-P3 color gamut.
LCD Panel Can Be Reflective
These numbers translate to a good real-life multimedia performance. Videos and games look immersive and the Pad 5 also works as an excellent big-screen device for e-learning, reading and simply browsing web pages. The outdoor visibility isn't class-leading (Peak brightness- 500nits) and you might struggle at times to consume content under direct sunlight. The LCD panel can be quite reflective in bright lighting. Also, blacks tend to appear gray while watching videos with darker scenes.
Fluid 120Hz Refresh Rate
On the contrary, the 120Hz refresh rate makes the UI navigation and scrolling buttery smooth. The touch-response is as good as we have experienced on the most premium tablets from Apple and Samsung. Overall, the Pad 5 bring an excellent screen for the tablet's price.
The big screen is accompanied by a set of quad speakers that support Dolby's virtual surround sound technology, i.e. Dolby Atmos. These are probably the best speaker configuration on a sub-30K tablet. The four speakers produce decently loud audio that comes across as crisp and detailed. You won't regret streaming a season of your favorite series or a movie even if you don't have wireless headphones handy. The quad-speaker setup is that good and the best part, the sound doesn't distort even at maximum volume.
Hardware Performance- Smooth Multitasking & Lag-Free Gaming
For a sub-30K tablet, the Pad 5 is well-suited for daily use and can also handle heavy multimedia jobs. The powerful internals ensures smooth processing and a lag-free multitasking experience with everything you throw at this slate. The tablet is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 chipset (Adreno 640 Graphics) and comes in two configurations- 6GB RAM + 128GB ROM and 6GB RAM + 256GB ROM. Xiaomi has used LPDDR4X RAM and UFS 3.1 storage in both variants.
Smooth Multitasking Experience
The SD860 is an old chipset but still packs a lot of grunt for a device like the Pad 5. You can read more about the SD860's raw performance in our Poco X3 Pro review. As far as the Pad 5 is concerned, the tablet never felt underpowered or stressed even with heavy multitasking and gaming. We were able to play the most demanding game titles at max settings without any major performance issues.
A few glitches were observed due to the big screen form-factor; however, this is something that the Xiaomi in-house team and the game developers can easily fix with software optimization. For anything less than gaming, the Pad 5 runs buttery smooth. Overall, the Pad 5 can easily tackle all your multimedia and productivity requirements without giving you any hard time.
MIUI For The Big Display
The Pad 5 runs MIUI Global 13.0.3 stable version. Based on the Android 11, the software has been modified to support the gigantic display and runs well for the most part. The number of bloatware has been kept extremely low and the Pad 5 also skips on the 'GetApps', which is the most annoying app in Xiaomi's ecosystem. The UI feels smooth but the app opening/closing animations need some fine-tuning as I noticed some overlapping and abrupt transitions.
Bloatware-Free UI & Much Needed Utilities
You do get the app drawer and a big search bar has been placed at the bottom for easy app searching on the tablet. The settings menu has been redesigned for the tablet form-factor and offers the most required utilities in an easy-to-understand interface. The most useful Xiaomi MIUI utilities are present on Pad 5. These include- Game Turbo, Floating windows, Second space, Reading mode, Battery saver, Dual apps, App lock, Screen recorder, Clear speaker tool, and more.
Besides, there's a dedicated section for the stylus and keypad accessories that we couldn't test during our review phase. The only downside here is the dated Android 11 and no concrete promise of future software upgrades.
Xiaomi Pad 5 Camera Performance
While we don't expect tablets to be powerful photography devices, they should at least address basic photography needs. The Pad 5 does that wonderfully with its 13MP rear camera and an 8MP front-facing camera. Both the cameras perform a decent job of clicking pictures and recording videos in good lighting conditions. You can even record crisp 4K 30fps videos from the 13MP rear camera provided that there's ample light in the frame. The camera app is easy-to-use and offers the most required features for basic photography needs.
Battery Life & Connectivity
We mostly used the big-screen tablet for what's it made for, i.e. media consumption, e-reading and a bit of gaming to make the most out of the gigantic display. With moderate usage, the battery lasted for almost three days and survived for a day and a half with heavy usage. That said, if you stream videos and play games all day long, make sure you plug the tablet for a quick refuel. The Pad 5 ships with a 22.5W fast-charging brick in the box; however, it supports 33W fast-charging. The bundled charger took 2 hours and 15 minutes to refuel the battery from 2% to 100%.
As far as the connectivity is concerned, the Pad 5 has an annoying limitation. It only comes with Wi-Fi connectivity and lacks a SIM card slot, which could be a dealbreaker for some potential buyers. The brand might introduce a cellular variant in the coming months but for now, you can only purchase the Pad 5 in two Wi-Fi-only configurations. The tablet supports Bluetooth 5.0 and lacks GPS.
The Pad 5 is an excellent big-screen tablet for consumers seeking productivity and entertainment on the go. For a sub-30K tablet, it aces the design and audio. The 10-bit 120Hz 2.5K LCD is good for the price but we missed the deep blacks and vibrancy of an AMOLED panel. There's no lack of firepower and the tablet is more than sufficient to handle all your day-to-day jobs. Make sure you choose the correct storage variant as the Pad 5 lacks an expandable storage option.
The biggest dealbreaker is the lack of SIM card support. The company could have offered cellular services for consumers who like to stay connected on the go for work and entertainment. Despite some of these notable omissions, the Pad 5 is still a good buy and is currently the best sub-30K tablet you can buy in India.