Xiaomi has made a pretty good mid-range tablet with the Redmi Pad, which does almost everything right. At around 300 Dollars, it offers a 90Hz display, two big Android updates, a solid MediaTek processor, up to 6GB of RAM, a metal body, and four speakers. While reviewing it, however, I noticed one big weak point. In this Redmi Pad review you learn what that weakness is.
Display: 90Hz & 400 Nits
Before we look at weaknesses, we start with a highlight and that is the display. It’s 10.61 inches in size and has a resolution of 2000 x 1200 pixels. This is nothing special, as many tablets have a 10 inch panel with this resolution, which is just sharp enough. What is special, however, is that this is a 90Hz screen. Tablets in this price range usually only support 60Hz.
The faster refresh rate makes animations look smoother, and some games can take advantage of that as well. You can also select 60Hz in the settings to save some battery, or set a variable frequency. The tablet then decides how fast the screen is updated. For instance, when reading an e-book, you do not need 90 Hz.
Although the screen is a bit darker than the iPad 9 with 400 nits, it is a bit brighter than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022. Both are direct competitors. Otherwise, contrast and colors look great. Obviously, since it’s an LCD, the black levels are not as deep as an OLED.
There are four speaker slots punched into the sides and the sound quality is solid. The speakers sound nice and loud. However, the bass is stronger in the S6 Lite in a direct comparison. Still, for YouTube and Netflix, the sound is good. Since the tablet has a Widevine level of L1, you can watch Netflix with HD resolution.
Android 12: Three years of updates
Updates are another highlight. According to Xiaomi, the Redmi Pad will be supplied with major Android updates for two years and security updates for three years. So, it should be up-to-date as long as Samsung’s mid-range tablets and longer than those of many other manufacturers.
Currently, Android 12 is preinstalled and the tablet supports all common Android features. Well, except for one, more on that in a moment.
On top of Android 12 sits MIUI version 13, which is Xiaomi’s own interface that we already know from the Xiaomi Pad 5. The interface adapts Android quite a bit and some things look somewhat copied from iPadOS. This includes the Xiaomi Notes app in particular. Numerous other apps are preinstalled, such as Xiaomi’s own browser and some tools.
The taskbar from Android 12L is missing, but we get a dock from Xiaomi in return. There are also several settings that you should go through when you buy the Redmi Pad. I like the software. It’s not perfect, but overall I’m comfortable with the interface. The software is well implemented.
Hardware & Performance
The Redmi Pad is equipped with a MediaTek Helio G99 chipset, which is supported by 3GB, 4GB or 6GB of RAM. You can choose between 64GB and 128GB storage when buying it, but there is no version with 5G or LTE. I bought the cheapest version.
Benchmarks like Geekbench 5 show that it is significantly more powerful than entry-level devices like the realme Pad and Nokia T20. The graphics performance is also better than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022, which is a direct competitor from the mid-range. However, the Xiaomi Pad 5 up to the iPad 9 and iPad 10 are stronger. The results also look the same in the 3D Mark Wild Life test, which only tests the graphics performance.
In real life, the graphics performance is very solid. Games like PUBG Mobile run great when you set the graphics to HD. You cannot select higher settings. Sadly Fortnite is not supported.
Asphalt 9 is supported, and the graphics look okay, but you have to lower the settings a bit to make it run smoothly. Otherwise, stutters can be seen every now and then. That doesn’t apply to Alto Odyssey, this game runs fantastic, very smoothly and also looks great.
And now we get to the big weakness of the Redmi Pad. Single apps like Chrome, YouTube, Microsoft Office and even Adobe Lightroom run pretty well. However, multitasking is a disaster. In fact, you cannot even open two apps side-by-side on the 3GB RAM version. That’s right, Xiaomi has disabled the multi-window mode on this variant.
This is quite a shame, because a bit of multitasking is usually something even weak tablets can manage. It shouldn’t be a problem to have Microsoft Word and Chrome open at the same time. But that is not possible here.
I think there is no technical reason for this. Xiaomi probably just wants you to spend more money on the 4GB RAM version. After all, I have YouTube Premium and when I browse in Chrome, the picture-in-picture feature works fine. So it should run well when both are displayed the same size right next to each other.
To make it a bit more difficult, I launched Lightroom and started editing a photo. So far so good. YouTube continues to run in the background, especially when switching to audio only. Every once in a while Lightroom starts to stutter. Sooner or later, though, YouTube crashes or closes in the background. Yes, 3GB of RAM is indeed a bit small for this.
So, remember this. If you need multitasking and especially the multi-window view, then you have to choose at least the version with 4GB RAM.
Design & Built Quality
Xiaomi does everything right with the design. It looks like a typical tablet with a metal case, because that’s what it is. They add their own touch with a large rectangular camera module. It feels premium built, but the transition from display to the body is not as premium as on premium devices.
At 7.05mm, the Redmi Pad is thin enough and quite light at 445g.
A USB C 2.0 port is located between two of the four speakers and there is room for a microSD memory card on one side. There are no other ports and a fingerprint reader is also missing. You can unlock it via facial recognition – but even Xiaomi warns that this is not very secure. However, it works well.
A port for a keyboard cover is missing, because there is no such thing. And you cannot buy an active stylus either.
Yes, the camera module on the back looks promising, but the quality is acceptable only. It is an 8-megapixel camera and that means photos are not very detailed, but look okay in good light. And the same goes for the front camera, which is also 8 megapixels.
The battery life is surprisingly long at 10 hours, so you could easily watch YouTube for a workday and still have two hours left for the end of the day. For this battery test, I always run an HD YouTube video at maximum brightness in a loop.
Redmi Pad Review: Final Verdict
So, is the Redmi Pad a tablet for you? I think it’s great that for 300 dollars we get a 90Hz display that is quite bright and looks nice. The speakers are solid and the battery life is particularly long, which makes it a good entertainment tablet. What’s also really cool is that Xiaomi promises us two major Android updates.
The performance is good for this price range and it’s a solid lower-mid-range gaming tablet. Overall, it is a great tablet as long as two things don’t bother you.
It’s very disappointing that the multi-window mode doesn’t work. At least with the 3GB RAM version. It’s also not a good choice if you’re looking for a tablet with an active stylus or a good keyboard cover, as neither are available.
Let’s take a look at the alternatives.
If multitasking is important to you and you would choose the 4GB RAM version anyway, then you are starting to get into the corner of the Xiaomi Pad 5 in terms of pricing. This is an upper mid-range tablet from the same manufacturer with a much better display, much better performance, and better speakers. You can get both an active stylus and a keyboard cover for the Pad 5.
A direct competitor from Samsung is the 2022 Edition of the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite. The S Pen is included for a similar price and the tablet has 4 GB of RAM as a standard. The graphics performance is a bit weaker in benchmarks, but you will hardly notice a difference in real-world use. In return, you get good software features like Samsung Notes and Samsung DeX.
- Nice 90Hz screen
- Premium built
- Great speakers
- Long battery life
- Good enough processor
- Promised updates
- 3GB RAM version without split screen view
- No fingerprint scanner
- No stylus
- No keyboard option
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