Xiaomi Pad 5 first impressions: Built for performance

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After a long hiatus, Xiaomi has re-launched its tablet portfolio in India with the launch of the Pad 5. This feature-packed tablet differs from most others in its segment, offering a high-resolution display, a powerful processor, and even support for Xiaomi’s smart pen. However, there are a few notable omissions that might prove to be deal-breakers for some.

In contrast to the plastic construction of the first Mi Pad (test report), the Xiaomi Pad 5 looks quite high quality. It has a metal frame sandwiched between the display and a polycarbonate back panel. The overall construction makes a fairly robust impression. The Xiaomi Smart Pen attaches magnetically to the top edge of the tablet for storage and charging, while the Xiaomi Pad Keyboard connects via the contact pins on the bottom of the tablet. Both accessories must be purchased separately.

The Xiaomi Pad 5 has a polycarbonate back

The Xiaomi Pad 5’s 11-inch LCD panel has a resolution of 1,600 x 2,560 pixels. It features a 120Hz refresh rate, which makes the interface feel pretty smooth. The display is also HDR10+ and Dolby Vision certified for better contrast and colors when streaming supported content. The 10-bit display also has a peak brightness of up to 650 nits. Adding to the certifications is the quad speaker setup with support for Dolby Atmos.

The Xiaomi Pad 5 is available in two storage variants. The 128GB variant costs Rs. 26,999 and the 256GB variant is available for Rs. 28,999. Both storage variants have 6 GB of RAM and no microSD slot for storage expansion.

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The Xiaomi Pad 5 has a single rear-facing camera

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 SoC in the Xiaomi Pad 5 seems a bit dated, but should be good enough for the tablet’s productivity and entertainment needs. Unfortunately, the Pad 5 doesn’t have a cellular variant, meaning you’ll have to rely on Wi-Fi for internet connectivity. The tablet also supports Bluetooth 5 and a USB Type-C port with OTG support. There’s no fingerprint reader, so users are limited to the 2D facial recognition system or the old-fashioned passcode for security.

The Xiaomi Pad 5 runs MIUI 13, which comes with several tablet-friendly tweaks, allowing apps to run in floating windows and more. However, this version of MIUI 13 uses Android 11 as a base. The UI is heavily customized but worked smoothly the first time I used it.

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The Xiaomi Pad 5 runs MIUI 13, which has been optimized for a tablet

The Xiaomi Pad 5 packs an 8,720mAh battery that charges quickly with the included 22.5W charger. The Xiaomi Pad 5 supports fast charging up to 33W, but you have to buy this charger separately. Xiaomi also bundled the Pad 5 with a 13-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel front camera.

The Xiaomi Pad 5 seems to be a big comeback compared to the first Mi Pad that launched in India. However, the Xiaomi Pad 5 belongs to a completely different price segment. The Pad 5 primarily competes with products from Samsung such as the Galaxy Tab A8 and the more expensive Galaxy Tab S7 FE (review) and from Lenovo such as the Yoga Smart Tab and the more expensive Tab P11 Pro (review).

I’ll put the Xiaomi Pad 5 through its paces to see if its software and accessories make it a solid productivity offering, in addition to being a potential entertainment powerhouse like the other tablets in its segment. Stay tuned for my full review coming soon.

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Xiaomi Pad 5 first impressions: Built for performance


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