Today, during an event that took place at Beijing, Xiaomi launched their first ever tablet, called Mi Pad. According to reports, it is a plastic iPad clone, a point that was obvious from the name of the tablet.
The Chinese company has become well known for two things: offering low cost alternatives with the mobile market, and blatantly ripping off popular products to make their own. Despite that, they are a valid player gaining increasing traction in a market where low costs devices are in high demand.
Looks-wise, it is pretty much an iPad mini. The brightly colored plastic has a large screen with a thin border and rounded sides. There are three buttons on the bottom to get to the menu screen, go back and pull up settings. Honestly, other than the colors (which are a bit brighter) it is indistinguishable on sight from high-end tablets.
Considering the price tag, the specs aren’t bad. It is the first mobile device to feature the Nvidia next-gen 2.3 GHz Tegra K1 quad-core processor. It has 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB on-board storage with micro-SD support up to 128GB for $240. There is a 64 GB version available for only $30 more.
They showed off on the 7.9 inch display. It clocks in at 2,048 x 1,536 pixels, 326 ppi. That is comparable to most tablet models, and higher than most smartphones. Which might make it a contender for more than the iPad that it is mimicking. The Kindle Fire HDX, for example, has a 1920 x 1200 7 inch screen, with slightly less processing power.
Other features include two cameras (5 megapixel front, 8 megapixel back), and a custom operating system that is “based on” Android’s latest version of Kit-Kat. As in, they are also ripping that off.
This is kind of a weird tablet. One one hand, it looks like a really high quality device, which isn’t that common coming out of China’s tech industry in the last few years. Usually, Chinese manufacturing in the tech industry is better known for hardware utilized by brands like Samsung and Apple.
On the other, they are flat out taking other brand’s designs. The only thing they can really argue about it is that the final product is comparable to the brands they ripped off, and the almost certain popularity of the devices thanks to them being half or less the cost of others.
Ethical? No, but effective.