The Xiaomi Redmi Pad SE is a new entry-level tablet that costs under 200 US Dollars, and yet it offers an 11-inch 90Hz display, plenty of RAM and a large internal storage, as well as a metal body and up-to-date software. But is it really as good as Xiaomi says? That’s what you’ll learn in this Redmi Pad SE review.
Hardware & Performance
The Xiaomi Redmi Pad SE is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 octa-core processor, which is supported by 4GB, 6GB or even 8GB of RAM, depending on the version. That is quite a lot of memory – especially in this price range. The internal storage is 128 GB in all versions, and there is a micro-SD card slot.
The Xiaomi Redmi Pad SE is an affordable tablet with an 11-inch 90Hz display and a Snapdragon 680 processor. While the hardware is sufficient for everyday tasks, it lacks the graphical power for demanding games. It's less suitable as a gaming tablet or for work, but due to its good display and solid speakers, it's a great and inexpensive entertainment tablet for Netflix and YouTube.
Benchmarks show that the CPU performance is pretty good. Especially in the Geekbench 5 multi-core test, it’s almost in the same league as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022, but the single-core performance is a bit weaker. The graphics performance is a good deal weaker, because the Redmi Pad SE is even below the first Redmi Pad here, and tablets like the Lenovo’s Tab P11 Gen 2 are noticeably stronger.
This is exactly what the 3D Mark Wild Life test shows. Here, the Redmi Pad SE is also weaker than the first Redmi Pad and it’s even a bit weaker than the aging Samsung Galaxy Tab A8. So, it cannot score with graphics performance.
And that is exactly what my gaming test confirms. Almost all games run smoothly and often surprisingly so. I was able to play the racing game Asphalt 9 very smoothly, which I think is also due to the comparatively large memory and the 90 Hz display. So, it runs, but the graphics do not look particularly pretty, but rather quite pixelated.
PUBG Mobile also runs surprisingly smoothly. Really pretty good. But here you can only set the graphics to “balanced”, which is the lowest, and the graphics look weak. But it’s playable.
So, the Redmi Pad SE is rather not a gaming tablet. However, the tablet manages everything else well. Browsing in Chrome, watching YouTube and Netflix, as well as emails, news readers, all that runs pretty well and even when you open apps quickly one after the other. Sure – not as good as a premium tablet, but really good for the price range.
Display with 90 Hz!
We get an 11-inch IPS display on the Redmi Pad SE, which offers a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels and a pixel density of 207ppi. That’s less than almost any smartphone, but I think it’s sufficient. FullHD is okay.
The display is definitely a highlight at the price, as it’s a 90Hz screen. Competitors usually only have 60Hz. So, animations and even some games can look particularly smooth. The simple Redmi Pad also has a 90 Hz screen, bit the original price is 100 Dollars more.
I also like the fact that it’s relatively bright with 400 nits. Not as bright as the iPad 10, but brighter than many other tablets. I read with it outside in a cafe in the sun and when the contrast of the content is high, like with a white background with black font, I could read pretty well with it. A dark movie is out of the question in direct sunlight, though.
Other qualities are also solid. Contrast is good, so is color reproduction, it’s fully laminated, and you can watch Netflix in HD resolution. Overall, a good display and a good tablet for Netflix and YouTube, because the sound quality of the four speakers is also good.
By the way: An active stylus is not supported. And no, the pens of the Xiaomi Pad 5 and 6 do not work either.
Design & Build Quality
The Redmi Pad SE looks and feels like a high-quality tablet. We get a metal body that is 7.36mm thin and weighs 478g. The transition from the display to the casing is not as high-quality as on the iPad Pro, but overall the build quality is great. Xiaomi offers it in lavender purple, graphite gray and mint green.
On the sides we get a power button and the volume rocker, as well as a MicroSD card slot, a USB C 2.0 port, and even a headphone jack. A fingerprint reader is unfortunately missing.
There is a 5-megapixel front-facing camera at the front, and the camera at the back offers 8 megapixels. Both take decent pictures, but do not win any awards, of course.
Software: Android 13 & MIUI
The Redmi Pad SE runs Android 13 out of the box, including the Google Play Store. And MIUI version 14 sits on top of Android, which is exactly the same software that we already know from the simple Redmi Pad thanks to updates, but also roughly from the Xiaomi Pad 5 and 6.
I think Xiaomi is actually surprisingly good with updates. The first Redmi Pad has already received major version updates and the Pad 5 and 6 are also kept up to date. Since I got the Redmi Pad SE, it has also received a few minor updates. That is great, because that was not the case for many Android tablets for a long time.
The MIUI interface is quite customized compared to normal Android. All apps are placed on the home screen out of the box and there is no app library. It is nice that a dock is built in, with which you can quickly open two apps next to each other. It is also great that the Google Play Store and almost all Google apps are preloaded.
However, I do not find Xiaomi’s own apps, including a browser, as useful. But you do not have to use them.
In my battery test, the Redmi Pad SE achieved a runtime of 8.75 hours. That is a very solid result. For this test, I always run an HD YouTube video at maximum brightness in an endless loop.
Redmi Pad SE Review: Final Words
So, is the Xiaomi Redmi Pad SE a good tablet? Overall, yes. You’ve seen it. We get a high-quality metal chassis, a pretty display that’s quite bright and supports 90Hz, as well as solid speakers and up-to-date software. I also like that we get a relatively large amount of RAM and internal storage.
However, it’s not perfect. Especially the graphics performance could be a good bit better. Therefore, I cannot recommend it as a gaming tablet. It’s also less suitable for working or studying, since there is neither an official keyboard cover nor an active pen.
Instead, it’s a good entertainment tablet for Netflix and YouTube, but also for surfing the Internet, answering emails and so on.
If you already have the first Redmi Pad, it is definitely not worth upgrading. The SE is not designed for that. The two are very, very similar.
An interesting alternative is the Lenovo Tab P11 Gen 2. Although it’s a bit more expensive, the tablet offers a slightly better performance, an optional keyboard cover, and it even has a 120 Hz display. I reviewed it as well, of course.
- Metal body
- 90Hz Display
- Long battery life
- Lots of RAM
- 128GB storage
- Very affordable
- No fingerprint scanner
- No active pen support
- Weak graphics performance
- No official keyboard
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