The mid-range and budget tablet segment has been steadily gaining steam in the country. In fact, we recently reviewed the Realme Pad X (review), the Xiaomi Pad 5 (review) and the OPPO Pad Air (review), which offer enticing features at wallet-friendly price points. Now, Redmi has decided to foray into the segment with the Redmi Pad too, which is priced quite competitively at Rs 14,999. Although the tablet does not have any 5G capabilities, it does have a few hardware tricks up its sleeve which make it a compelling option. So, if you had your eyes set on the device, read on as we highlight the pros and the cons of the all-new Redmi Pad.
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As far as its construction goes, the Redmi Pad is as sturdy and solid as it gets. The metallic finish across the tablet’s back imparts a very premium feel to the device. Despite a thickness of just 7mm, there is next to no flex on the chassis. The Redmi Pad is made for consuming content in landscape mode thanks to the screen’s 15:9 aspect ratio. For audio purposes, there’s a quad-speaker setup with two speakers positioned on either side of the tablet. However, the 3.5mm headphone jack is nowhere to be found which can disappoint the few wired audio aficionados that still remain. The tablet features a standard USB Type-C port on the bottom and a power button up top. The volume controls are present on the adjacent edge with a microSD slot positioned just below. Much to my dismay, the device does not incorporate a fingerprint sensor, although the unit does ship with face recognition tech.
Talking about the viewing experience, the tablet offers a 10.6-inch 2K panel that refreshes at 90Hz. Both of these features already make the Redmi Pad a cut above the rest in the budget market. The LCD panel has relatively trim bezels on the side and also has satisfactory viewing angles. At 400nits of brightness, the Redmi Pad didn’t allow for the most comfortable viewing in sunny outdoor conditions. For general usage, the tablet lets you customise the colour profile according to your needs. OTT content can be viewed in HD quality only as there is no HDR10 certification available for Netflix. The advantage of a 15:9 panel is the lack of borders around content being displayed, thereby paving the way for a more immersive movie-watching experience. The icing on the cake is that the panel refreshes at 90Hz and as a result, offers responsive and fluid UI transitions and animations. Making matters that more interesting, the Redmi Pad is likely the only tablet at its price point that can push the refresh rate past 60Hz.
Performance on the device is taken care of by the recently unveiled MediaTek Helio G99 SoC. For the uninitated, MediaTek’s latest chipset is reasonably powerful and the SoC is more than adept at tackling a user’s productivity and multimedia needs, the likes of which include using Google Docs or Sheets whilst browsing through social media and watching videos at the same time. The 90Hz functionality makes switching between apps extra smooth and the processor is capable enough to not hamper the experience. Gaming can be fun on the large display although BGMI can only run at Ultra (45fps) frame rate and HD graphics.
The device does get moderately warm to the touch but only when subjected to hours of continuous gameplay. I did run the CPU Throttle benchmark to gauge the Redmi Pad’s ability to handle performance under sustained load. To wit, despite being taxed with 20 threads for 30 minutes, the device retained about 87 percent of its peak performance, which is great. You get up to 6GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.2 storage, both of which I find to be optimum in the tablet space. Furthermore, the storage can be upgraded up to 1TB via a microSD card.
Software-wise, the Redmi Pad is running on Android 12-based MIUI 13.1 which has been slightly tweaked for tablet needs. On the bottom, you have a dock for the most recent and utility apps. The navigation throughout the UI works exceedingly well when you get used to the various gesture-based control methods. Surprisingly Xiaomi has toned down the bloatware which persists in most of its smartphone offerings. Xiaomi has said that it will be offering Android updates for up to three years on the Redmi Pad. Moving on, the quad-speakers on the Redmi Pad are tuned by Dolby Atmos and they sound quite good. I particularly enjoyed how loud the tablet got while keeping vocals clear, something that most people will appreciate for watching movies and TV shows.
There’s also an 8MP camera on the back which can be used for some light photography although it is by no means going to replace your actual smartphone camera. The selfie camera also has an 8MP sensor and its 105-degree FOV does a respectable job with video calling. Lastly, the 8,000mAh battery housed inside is good to keep the tablet running for up to two days on moderate usage. My screen-on time ranged from 10 to 11 hours wherein I mostly consumed video content. There’s a 22.5W charger present within the box although the tablet itself can only be juiced up at 18W. Even so, it takes about three hours or so to completely fill up the battery.
The Redmi Pad is undoubtedly one of the most value-for-money offerings in the budget tablet market. And, the proof is in the pudding too and the device is backed by a 90Hz 2K panel, a powerful SoC, and quad-speakers tuned by Dolby Atmos. Now, I would’ve liked to see a fingerprint sensor and a headphone jack with the device. Furthermore, the tablet doesn’t support 4G connectivity either. Putting all that aside, the starting price for the Redmi Pad is highly competitive at Rs 14,999, which makes it the tablet to beat in the market.
Editor’s rating: 4 / 5
- Sturdy design
- Priced competitively
- Fluid 90Hz 2K display
- Long battery life
- Nice sounding speakers
- No fingerprint sensor
- No headphone jack
- Slow charging