So, you want to buy a Xiaomi tablet?
With so many different models and brands to choose from, it can be hard to pick the best tablet to buy. Many might choose an iPad, but there are a lot of situations where an Android tablet like the ones from Xiaomi would be a better choice. And a cheaper one, to be sure.
Xiaomi tablets vary in size and quality, but some offer excellent value for money and are very affordable, making them great iPad alternatives for those on a budget. Depending on your needs, Xiaomi offers a wide range of devices with excellent performance, good screens, Windows and Android, custom skin-MIU, and good accessories.
In this blog post, we give an overview of the best Xiaomi tablets of this year.
Best Xiaomi Tablets: An Overview
- The Best Xiaomi Tablet: Xiaomi Pad 5 Pro 12.4. The Xiaomi Pad 5 Pro 12.4 is similar to the flagship tablets of Apple and Samsung but is much cheaper. It offers an active pen, a nice 12.4-inch display, a powerful Snapdragon 870 processor, and an optional keyboard cover. It has good speakers, modern software, and a premium metal body.
- Best widely available Xiaomi tablet: Xiaomi Pad 5 (on Amazon*). If you want a premium tablet but want to save some cash, the Xiaomi Pad 5 is a great choice. While it lacks some premium features, such as a fingerprint scanner, it has a great 11-inch 120Hz display, a fast processor, Android 12 and good speakers. It also offers a keyboard cover and an active stylus.
- Best Xiaomi Windows tablet: Xiaomi Book S 12.4 (on Amazon*). The Xiaomi Book S has an ARM processor and runs on Windows 11 ARM. This tablet has a pretty 12.35-inch display, a high-end feeling aluminium-magnesium body, offers a keyboard cover and supports the Xiaomi Smart Pen. Performance is sufficient for most applications and multitasking, but it’s interesting for few people only.
- Best mid-range Xiaomi tablet: Xiaomi Redmi Pad (on Amazon*). Xiaomi’s Redmi Pad is a good mid-range tablet. It’s affordable and has a premium metal body, a 10-inch display that supports 90Hz, and great performance in most games. It also has great speakers, its software will get updates, and a battery life span of 10 hours. But it does not support an active stylus nor provides a keyboard cover.
Best Xiaomi Tablets: A Closer Look
As stated earlier, we have reviewed each tablet in separate articles, and you can check out the link under each recommendation for more detailed information.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the features of each tablet.
Xiaomi Pad 5 Pro 12.4
Xiaomi Pad 5 Pro 12.4 has the look and feel of a high-end tablet. The whole body is made of metal, including the power button and the volume control button. The screen-to-body transition isn’t as smooth as on the iPad Pro or Galaxy Tab S8+. It is 6.6mm thick and weighs 620g which is good.
It has a standard LCD which is 12.4 inches in size. The resolution is very high at 2560 x 1600 pixels so that text and icons are very sharp. It also has a 120Hz panel, which ensures smooth-looking animations.
Unfortunately, premium features like a fingerprint scanner, microSD card slot, and 3.5mm headphone port aren’t available. However, this tablet has a USB C 3.2 Gen 1 port that supports external displays. There are four speaker grilles on the side, and a connector for the optional keyboard cover is on the back.
Facial recognition can be used to unlock the tablet. However, since there are no additional sensors for this, it is not very secure. It has a 20-megapixel webcam that takes great selfies and is also great for video chats. On the back, there is a 50-megapixel camera which is also great for a tablet. Additionally, two sensors support the main camera.
The Xiaomi Pad 5 Pro 12.4 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chipset and can be combined with 6GB to 12GB of RAM, depending on the model. You can also choose between 128 GB and 512 GB of internal storage. There is currently no version that supports 4G, but performance is excellent in all other areas and the tablet is ideal for intensive multitasking.
You can also watch HDR content on YouTube and it looks great except for the deep blacks. Unfortunately, you cannot watch HDR movies on Netflix, and even HD resolutions are not supported. Since the tablet has a Widevine rating of L3, you can only watch Netflix in standard definition.
In terms of accessories, the Xiaomi Pad 5 Pro 12.4 is compatible with the Xiaomi Smart Pen, which is also available for the Xiaomi Pad 5 and the Windows tablet Xiaomi Book S 12.4. You can get the Xiaomi Pad 5 Pro 12.4 with the official keyboard cover, but it must be purchased separately.
The tablet has about 9 hours of battery life due to the size of the 10,000 mAh battery which is superb.
Prices range from $390 to $650 depending on the storage which is available in 6GB RAM/128GB, 6GB RAM/256GB, or 8GB RAM/256GB.
Overall, we think the screen is great, it also has a powerful processor, great speakers, a good keyboard cover, and a nice stylus. Battery life is also impressive, and the metal body is top-notch. It looks a lot like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ but is significantly cheaper. Sadly it’s been released in China only so far and that’s why for most, we can not recommend it.
Xiaomi Pad 5
Xiaomi Pad 5 is similar to the iPad Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S8. It has a metal frame, glass front and plastic back and looks like a premium device. However, compared to other high-end tablets, the transition from frame to screen is not as smooth.
It has an 11-inch IPS display with a very high resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. Everything looks sharp and clear with the bright, fully laminated display. Contrast and saturation are also excellent, and it’s a visually appealing display.
Since it has a Widevine level of L1, you can watch Netflix in HD, which was not possible with previous Xiaomi tablets. The screen, like the high-end tablets from Samsung and Apple, supports 120Hz, which means animations look very smooth, which is also a great feature for the stylus.
Xiaomi Pad 5 comes with Android 11, a custom user interface and software which are okay. However, there are minor bugs. For example, when using a split-screen view, either app may appear darker, as if the app is inactive.
The Xiaomi Pad 5 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 processor with 6GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of internal storage. Since the Snapdragon 860 is so powerful, you should be able to play almost any game at high graphics settings.
Fortnite is also supported and you can set the graphics to epic and the 3D resolution to 100% to be playable. However, we recommend increasing the 3D resolution to 75% to avoid stuttering and for a better experience. The Samsung S8 performs a bit better in Fortnite, and you can opt for epic graphics and play at 60FPS, which Xiaomi doesn’t support.
There are two speakers on each of the shorter sides, for a total of four. The sound quality is excellent for the price. While it doesn’t compete with some of the more expensive high-end tablets, it comes pretty close.
The rear 13-megapixel rear camera takes good photos and videos and is assisted by an LED flash. On the front, there is an 8-megapixel webcam, which is not as good but enough for video chats and occasional selfies. You can unlock your tablet with facial recognition using this webcam.
Xiaomi Pad 5 supports an active stylus, but you need to buy it separately and you should note that the stylus is not as responsive as on the 120Hz tablets from Apple and Samsung.
The keyboard cover is another item Xiaomi offers for the Pad 5. It protects the front and back while leaving the edges open.
The Xiaomi Pad 5 has a 9 hours of battery life in our standard YouTube HD playback test, which is a great result.
Prices range from $310 to $410 depending on the available storage of 6GB RAM/128GB and 6GB RAM/256GB.
Overall, though not perfect, the tablet features a slim design with a gorgeous 2.5K 120Hz display, as well as great stereo speakers and solid performance. The active pen and keyboard cover are also useful accessories. It’s okay for its price but note that some premium features, such as the fingerprint scanner and excellent build quality, are missing.
Read: Our Xiaomi Pad 5 Review
Xiaomi Book S 12.4
The Xiaomi Book S 12.4 looks like a standard Windows tablet. It has a 12.35-inch display, all-black bezels, and a black aluminium-magnesium alloy case. However, the back is quick to pick up fingerprints, so you might want to buy a case for it.
It has a webcam that can record FullHD footage on the front. For video chats, the quality is good. A facial recognition sensor, called Face ID by Xiaomi which imitates Apple, is placed next to it. It works perfectly when used with Windows Hello. There is a 13-megapixel camera on the back and the quality is good too.
The microSD card slot, USB C port, 3.5mm headphone jack, power button and volume rocker are all located on the right edge of the device. There is only one USB C port, which is also used for charging. You can connect complex USB C ports, external displays, and other accessories.
The screen of the Xiaomi Book S 12.4 has a size of 12.35 inches. It has a standard 60Hz display, 500 nit brightness, just like the iPad Air, and a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels, which makes text and icons look sharp. It’s fully laminated, and the touchscreen is responsive and bright. A 120Hz display would be better than a 60Hz display, but the only Windows tablets that currently support 120Hz are the Surface Pro 8 and Pro 9.
The speakers are fine for Netflix and YouTube. However, the sound quality is not amazing and is much lower than the iPad Pro. The speakers are in an awkward position as they sit on the sides. This means you can easily cover the speakers while holding the tablet when watching something.
The Xiaomi Book S is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 processor with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Unlike Surface Pro X, you can’t replace the SSD yourself. Also, unlike the Pro X, there’s no LTE or 5G version, which is a bit disappointing.
If you multitask a lot, especially if you are using x86 programs, the tablet can become very slow. We don’t recommend it as a gaming tablet, it can also get very hot when gaming or doing heavy work due to the lack of an active cooling system.
The Xiaomi Book S, like all recent Windows tablets, runs Windows 11. However, it is Windows in S mode. This means you cannot install apps that are not in the Microsoft Store. As a result, the system is said to be more stable and secure as you cannot accidentally install malware from random websites.
The downside is that you can’t install apps from websites. Google Chrome and some other apps, such as Photoshop, are among those missing from the store. Others like Lightroom, Drawboard PDF, Netflix and more are available.
If you turn off the S mode, you can install Google Chrome and Photoshop just like any other Windows PC. However, due to the ARM chipset here, many applications may not work.
The Xiaomi Smart Pen can be used to write on the touch screen of the Xiaomi Book S. It’s the same stylus that works with the Xiaomi Pad 5. However, due to the 60Hz screen, writing sometimes seems laggy. Especially compared to 120Hz tablets like the Surface Pro 8 or the iPad Pro.
You can also buy the keyboard cover for Xiaomi Book S 12.4 separately for about 150 USD.
The Xiaomi Book S 12.4 has a battery life of about 6 hours in S mode and out of it too.
For most, we cannot recommend the Xiaomi Book S 12.4 because of its ARM processor. It could be interesting for a small selection of people only. If you think you might be one of them, read our review to learn more.
Xiaomi Redmi Pad
In terms of design, the Xiaomi Redmi Pad looks like a standard tablet with a metal case. It’s well-made, but the transition from the screen to the body isn’t as smooth as on higher-end devices. The Redmi Pad is quite thin at 7.05mm and quite light at 445g.
A USB C 2.0 port sits between two of the four speakers, and one side has space for a microSD card. There are no other ports and no fingerprint reader. You can unlock it with facial recognition, but Xiaomi warns it’s not so secure.
The Redmi Pad has a 10.61-inch screen with a resolution of 2000 x 1200 pixels. What makes this tablet unique is that it operates at 90Hz. Tablets in this price range usually only support 60Hz. A faster refresh rate makes animations smoother, which is great for smooth animations and some games.
The screen is slightly darker than the iPad 9 at 400 nits but slightly brighter than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022. Contrast and colors are great for its price.
The Redmi Pad is powered by a MediaTek Helio G99 chipset and 3GB, 4GB or 6GB RAM. When you buy the device, you can choose from 64GB to 128GB of storage, but there is no 5G or LTE version.
According to Xiaomi, the Redmi Pad will receive major Android updates for two years and security updates for three years which is great. This means that the device is expected to last as long as a mid-range tablet from Samsung and much longer than tablets from many other manufacturers.
Out of the box, it is running Android 12 with MIUI 13.
The camera module on the back looks promising, but the quality is just satisfactory. Because it has an 8-megapixel camera, the photos aren’t very detailed, but they look okay in good lighting. The front camera is also 8 megapixels.
However, the tablet lacks multi-window mode which is a downside with the 3 GB RAM model. If you tend to multitask, a better option would be the 4GB RAM version for the price of the Xiaomi Pad 5, which is a premium tablet from the same manufacturer with a much better display, performance and speakers.
Overall, this is a good tablet that offers a bright and attractive 90Hz display. Good speakers and exceptionally long battery life make it a great entertainment tablet. Xiaomi promises two major Android updates which is good but it is not a good choice if you want a tablet with a working stylus or good keyboard coverage, which isn’t available. For Pad 5, you can get both a working stylus and a keyboard cover.
Read: Our Redmi Pad Review
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