With Android being the dominant platform for smartphones, you’d think it would be easy to find good Android tablets. There are plenty of options to choose from, but there are very few that actually stand out and offer a decent user experience. Most are bloated, slow, and very unattractive.
That’s not the case with the Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 — far from it, in fact.
- Display: 7.9-inch (1536 x 2048)
- Processor: Intel Atom X5-Z8500
- RAM: 2GB
- Storage: 16GB
- Size: 200.4 x 132.6 x 7 mm
- Weight: 322 grams
- Cameras: 8MP, f/2.0 main camera; 5MP front-facing camera
- Battery: 6190mAh
The Mi Pad 2 is sleek, wrapped in aluminum with rounded edges and a single piece of glass that covers the 8-inch display. If you want a thin tablet, the Mi Pad 2 doesn’t disappoint. The tablet is only 6.95mm thick, making it one of the thinnest metal body tablets on the market.
The powder coat finish is nice to the touch and the tablet is just small enough that it can comfortably be used for typing when held in portrait mode.
Since the Intel Atom chip inside the Mi Pad 2 isn’t exactly new, the tablet isn’t mind-bending fast. Apps and games take a while to load up if you’re starting from a fresh boot, but once an app is up and running, things move along without any hiccups.
The tablet fares quite well for gaming. The large display makes for an immersive gaming experience. You do run into a few slow downs here and there when playing graphic-intensive games, but I didn’t run across any issues while enjoying titles like NBA Live Mobile, Slither.io or Oceanhorn.
Where the Mi Pad 2 truly excels is as an e-reader or web surfing device. Load up your favorite e-reader app from the Play Store and the tablet’s high-resolution display can bring any book to life. Catching up on your favorite Netflix show or mindlessly going through YouTube is quite enjoyable, especially since the tablet is so light. The display is also bright enough that you don’t need to strain your eyes while reading and watching video in direct sunlight.
If you need to get work done, just connect the Mi Pad 2 with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and you have yourself a mini laptop replacement. With the right accessories, you may even like it enough to ditch your laptop if all you ever do is surf the web and do some occasional typing. In fact, this entire review was typed and edited on the Mi Pad 2 with a Bluetooth keyboard.
Like all other tablets, this device has front and rear-facing cameras. The best thing I can say is that they’re OK. Tablet cameras should never be used if you have a smartphone or an actual camera handy. It’s nice to see the large photo preview on the display, but the final result will be disappointing at best.
That being said, the front-facing camera is quite sharp, which means it delivers decent results for selfies and video calling sessions.
I’m also quite pleased with the Mi Pad 2’s battery life. The 6,200mAh cell isn’t the largest in the category, but it does keep the tablet running for nearly a week on a single charge if you use it sparingly. You can kill this thing in a single day, but you’ll need to use it for roughly 8 hours straight before the battery gives in.
The only real criticism that a few people have is that the Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 looks like an iPad mini knockoff. If you take a close look at the design and the software, you can definitely see the similarities between the two device. The good news? The Mi Pad 2 is a very good knockoff, delivering a well-rounded tablet experience which is quite enjoyable.
If you only have $200 to spend on a tablet, the Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 is an amazing choice. You can pick it up from GearBest for only $176 or €162.