Rumors of Xiaomi working on a tablet turned out to be true as the Chinese company today announced the 7.9-inch Mi Pad.
Building on the first partnership with NVIDIA for its Mi 3 flagship smartphone, Xiaomi is the first manufacturer in the world to use the NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor for the Mi Pad. Unlike the Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display which runs on the 64-bit A7 processor, the Mi Pad is powered by a 32-bit K1. In case you don't know, there are two versions of the K1: a 32-bit version and a 64-bit version. The 32-bit version consists of quad A15 CPUs with clock speeds of up to 2.3GHz. In the case of the Mi Pad, the processor's clock speed is 2.2GHz.
Gaming and heavy multimedia usage should not be a problem for the Mi Pad as the K1 is the first mobile processor to use a PC-class GPU, in this case the 192-core graphics engine from its desktop Kepler GPU architecture. You can find out more about its graphics performance in this dedicated article. Xiaomi also has some benchmark scores to show off its capabilities.
As far as the design and display are concerned, the Mi Pad is a mashup between the iPad Mini with Retina Display and iPhone 5C. It uses the same "unapologetically plastic" materials and colors (pink, yellow, green, blue and white) as the iPhone 5C, and sports a similarly-sized (7.9-inch) display and resolution (2,048 x 1,536 pixels) as the iPad Mini with Retina Display.
Other specs of the Mi Pad include 2GB RAM, 16 or 64GB storage capacity, microSD expansion up to 128GB, an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, a 6,700mAh battery and a 8.5mm thin chassis that weighs 360g. For comparison's sake, the 7.5mm thin iPad Mini with Retina Display (Wi-Fi only) weighs 331g.
Xiaomi has not announced a date for the global availability of the Mi Pad, but will start a beta test program in China next month. The 16GB model is priced at 1499 yuan (approximately S$300) and the 64GB variant will cost 1699 yuan (approximately S$340). Prices quoted here are provided by Xiaomi Singapore.
Hugo Barra, Vice President of Xiaomi Global, told HardwareZone that the Mi Pad will be coming to Singapore, but he has no information on whether both storage capacities and all five colors will be available for purchase. In the meantime, check out the promotional video for the Mi Pad below: -