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Xiaomi returns to Android tablets with the 11-inch Pad 5

Xiaomi returns to Android tablets with the 11-inch Pad 5


The inspiration seems clear

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Xiaomi has announced its first tablet in a few years, the Xiaomi Pad 5. (The last one was 2018’s 8-inch Mi Pad 4; Xiaomi recently phased out its Mi product branding.) It’s launching in the company’s European markets. 

The Xiaomi Pad 5 is an 11-inch tablet with a WQHD+ 120Hz display, quad speakers, 6GB of RAM, and a Snapdragon 860 processor — that’s the new speed-bumped version of the 855, Qualcomm’s flagship chip from 2019. Round the back there’s a 13-megapixel camera, and there’s a 8-megapixel sensor on the front.

The Pad 5 pretty inescapably looks like an iPad Pro, from the slim bezels and flat edges to the tablet-specific MIUI customizations like the apps dock. The build isn’t as solid, and the screen doesn’t quite sit as flush with the chassis, but the inspiration is clear. The screen and speaker quality are both very good, though, and performance has been smooth — I’ve found it to be a more than competent device for tablety things like watching video and so on.

I’m less clear on how well it’ll work for productivity. Xiaomi product marketing head Abi Go tells The Verge that the company thinks of the Pad 5 as a “portable workstation” as well as an entertainment device, and there’ll be stylus and keyboard accessories in some markets. I haven’t been able to test those, though, and the track record of Android tablets in this arena is not great.

Still, it’s rare enough to see a good Android tablet at all these days, even if you’re just looking for a consumption device, and the Xiaomi Pad 5 compares quite favorably to Apple’s iPad lineup on price. It’ll cost €349 (~$413) for a 128GB version, or €399 ($472) for 256GB. The iPad Air is its most similar rival, and that starts at €679 ($803) for 64GB in Europe — though of course, it has the not inconsiderable advantage of being an iPad.

Xiaomi hasn’t given a specific release date for the Pad 5, only saying that it’ll vary by region.