Gadgetslab: MiPad

 

 

Tablets are as much a part of our lives as smartphones were just a few short years ago. A phone is a great little device for the occasional email, message, or quick bit of news, but if you want to watch a movie with any degree of comfort, read an eBook without wanting to gouge out your eyes, or maybe even get some actual work done, a tablet can’t be beat. Mi is following up on their extremely successful devices with what might just be another winner: The MiPad.

Design: 4/5

The MiPad has a design that is completely in line with their existing devices. A square-ish screen, framed my a deep black bezel that’s pleasantly thin, and a plain white back makes for a device that is beautiful in its uncluttered simplicity. The home, back, and multitasking functions are accessed via capacitive, backlit buttons that disappear after a set time, so the only hard keys on the device are the volume rocker and power button, both located on the right edge of the pad. The top edge houses the 3.5mm headphone jack, with a notification light just below it, on the face of the tablet, while the bottom is home to the microUSB port for charging and sync. The  back is plain save for a camera, the Mi logo, and speaker grilles, and is a nice plain white in our review model.

It’s a little wide, so single-handed use is not advisable, though two-handed use should only pose a problem to those with the smallest hands. The weight is pleasant: just enough to convey a solid feel, but not so much as to be a burden to handle or carry.

Hardware: 4/5

The MiPad follows the trend of Mi devices that offer amazing performance. This tablet has a massive 7.9 inch screen, with a resolution of 1536×2048 pixels. This gives a sharp pixel density of about 324ppi, which is plenty sharp, and won’t distract you with jagged edges, or really, even visible pixels. The display, which is protected by Gorilla Glass 3, should be able to handle more than the occasional bumo or drop without shattering, though I would advise trying to keep that from happening, as this is quite a hefty device. It’s not overly heavy, weighing in at 360g, but it’s got a bit of meat to it. At about eight inches tall, and over five inches wide, you’re not going to just be throwing this into your pocket, but it should feel right at home in a small messenger bag or something similar.

Pushing the MiPad along is a Quad-Core 2.2GHz Cortex-A15 processor, with 2GB of RAM. For storage, you have 16 or 64GB of expandable space, and a ULP GeForce Kepler GPU. Imaging is a little light, with an 8MP main camera, paired with a 5MP front cam, but as you’re probably not going to use this as an imaging device, it really doesn’t lose points in that department.

User Experience: 4.5/5

Having had a lot of experience with their other devices, I was expecting great things from the MiPad. The specsheet further reinforced this, and I was ready to get blown away. The moment it powered up, I knew it had great things going for it. The display is large, bright, and sharp. From icons, to text, to images, it offered great visuals. Videos are great to watch on a large screen as on the MiPad, so it passed that test with flying colors.

Overall performance was equally impressive. MIUI V6 is a solid OS. It’s smooth, stable, and handles app switching and multitasking quite well. The device responds to taps, slides, and button presses quite quickly, and seems to handle budgeting memory efficiently. The 2GB of RAM and zippy processor make short work of daily tasks, and don’t drop the ball even when a lot of apps are running. The whole experience with doing everyday things was pleasantly unremarkable, and just the way I like my technology.

Gaming was also quite solid. The games we tried, including  Asphalt 8, Dead Trigger 2, and Modern Combat 5 all performed flawlessly, even though the MiPad did nothing to imporove our gaming skills. If you don’t mind the bulk (or have the necessary hardware for peripherals) this would make an excellent gaming device.

My main problem with the device however, is that the back of the pad is quite slick. More than once, I almost lost it to gravity. Be warned, and get a case to avoid potential heartbreak.

Value: 4/5

For a price that’s just at the PHP11,000 mark, I can’t complain about the value of the MiPad. It has great performance, simple good looks, and a great user experience. There aren’t a lot of tablets that that can give you that, and a good brand at this price point.

What’s hot:

Elegant design

Impressive hardware

Excellent performance

What’s hot:

Slick back case

Essentially rung Android KitKat

Bottomline:

If you need a tablet, whether or not price is a concern, this is worth looking at.

 

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