Xiaomi also unveiled its most recent tablet, the Xiaomi Pad 5 , at the same time as its 11T smartphone lineup, which includes the outstanding 11T Pro . This gadget delivers a lot of power for only £369. It boasts a fast Snapdragon 860 chipset, a quad speaker array, an 11-inch screen, and an 8,720mAh battery that Xiaomi claims will last more than 5 days while playing music, more than 16 hours while watching a video, and more than 10 hours while gaming.

Could it be the ideal Android-based alternative to Apple’s new 9.2-inch iPad with a starting price of £319?

Despite weighing in at 511g, the Xiaomi Pad 5’s casing feels sturdy. My review unit was Cosmic Gray, with a matte finish on the backplate that gives it the appearance of a slab of slate. There is also a Pearl White version, although at the time of writing, it wasn’t offered in the UK.

Xiaomi Pad 5 specifications include an 11-inch, 1600 x 2560 IPS screen, a Snapdragon 860 processor, Android 11.1/MIUI 12.5, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, a 13-megapixel back camera, an 8-megapixel front camera, a quad speaker system, and an 8,720 mAh battery.

Photo: Xiaomi The design is pleasingly simple, with the USB-C charging and connection connector on one short edge and the power button on the other. There are also the grilles for the quad speaker array, two on each short edge. The volume rocker, a magnetic holder, and a charge port for an additional pen are all housed on one long edge. Connectors are located on the other long edge for an optional keyboard. At the time of writing, neither the stylus nor the keyboard were offered on Xiaomi’s UK website.

the backplate in Cosmic Gray. The Xiaomi Pad 5 is additionally offered in Pearl White.

Photo by Sandra Vogel for ZDNet The stepped lozenge that houses the rear-facing camera is the one annoying aspect of the hardware design. This throws off the appearance of the broad grey back and appears a little awkward. The single back camera is a 13MP sensor that can record videos in 4K, 1080p, or 720p at 30 frames per second. The short edge’s bezel houses the 8MP front camera, which can record 1080p or 720p video at 30 frames per second.

The 11-inch screen has extremely narrow bezels, is highly reflective, and offers WQHD quality (1,600 x 2,560 pixels, 275ppi, 16:10). Although the IPS panel’s maximum brightness of 500 nits may struggle in bright sunlight, its 120 Hz refresh rate guarantees smooth, sharp content and DCI-P3 color compatibility.

ZDNET’S TOP REVIEWS There are various color temperature presets (vivid, saturated, and standard), similar to Xiaomi smartphones, as well as a reading mode that mutes all tones. Though I prefer a black-and-white setting for reading e-books on a tablet, it’s not the same.

The four speakers significantly increase the enjoyment of watching videos and listening to music. At maximum volume, they produce high-quality audio with powerful bass and no distortion. Congratulations, Xiaomi.

18GB of the 128GB of storage are used immediately after purchase, and there is no MicroSD card slot for additional storage. The processor is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 chipset with 6GB of RAM. You’ll have to make do with Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi 5/802.11ac) or utilizing your smartphone as a mobile hotspot since there is no mobile broadband available.

Both split-screen and floating windows are supported by the MIUI for Xiaomi Pad Android overlay for app usage.

Photo by Sandra Vogel for ZDNet The Xiaomi Pad 5 runs on Android 11 and a variant of MIUI 12.5 called MIUI for Xiaomi Pad, which is made to maximize the larger screen area of the tablet. Simply tap on an app from the switcher screen, then tap an icon to launch it in split-screen mode, picking a different app for the rest of the screen. Everything works flawlessly thanks to the skillfully designed split-screen system. An alternative is to use an icon on the switcher screen to launch an app in a floating window that you can slide around and resize.

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The Xiaomi Pad 5 has good battery life; from a full charge in the morning to using it as my social media feeder throughout the working day, followed by some TV catch-up and reading, I never ran out of the 8,720mAh battery. However, charging is a tad sluggish, and there is regrettably no indication of the Xiaomi 11T Pro’s lightning-quick HyperCharge potential.

Overall, the Xiaomi Pad 5 is a stylish Android 11 tablet with a sturdy design, a brilliant 120Hz screen, a large battery, and superb speakers. It would be well worth checking out if your current tablet is getting on in years and you’re comfortable with the 11-inch form factor.

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