Long term rewiew of this budget friendly 11″ tablet that’s now been out for a while
Even after almost a year since it was announced, the Pad 5 sits comfortably among the best all-rounder tablet under 400 euros/dollars and now it can be found easily with a meaningful discount, packing an 11″ 2.5k 120hz display, a snapdragon 860, a long lasting battery 256/128gb of storage + 6gb of RAM and 4 speakers with dolby atmos integration.
External impression and build quality ⅘
The Pad 5 has a sturdy metal frame were are positioned 4 speakers and 4 microphones on the sides, the magnetic charging spot for the stylus on the top and the one for the keyboard on the bottom and the usb-c 2.0 port on the side (considering it in landscape mode).
The front is glass and the bezels are thin enough to the point where it’s comfortable to hold but it does not feel like it came out in 2010, and if you are viewing it in landscape mode, the 8mpx front-facing camera is on the left, which can result a bit odd for videocalls.
The back is a satinated plastic which helps with the handgrip but it also catches lot of fingerprints, and then there’s a camera module simila to the one you can find on Xiaomi Mi 11’s back and it hosts a single 13 mpx camera module even if there could actually could have been another one like on the pro model, which gets, in addition to the extra 8 mpx ultra-wide camera, a fingerprint scanner on the power button and the snapdragon 870.
The display is a 11″ ips, 2.5k, 120hz, hdr with dolby vision, which, specs aside, it translates in a very pleasant high definition, fluid and high brightness display, with very accurate color reproduction and one only real flaw, because being an ips the black levels aren’t quite there, but on this price levels, if you want and oled you’ll sacrifice a lot in other areas
While the snapdragon 860, which it’s a refreshed 855+, may seem a bit old, it still offer much better performance in any task compared to a 778g for example, having no esitation in every day task and still offering good performance in multitasking, games and everything you will throw at it, not letting you feel the need of the upgraded 870 pro model.
Compared to a 778g though, it draws more power and produces more heat, but both problems are well solved with a big battery and a good dissipation system.
internal storage is UFS 3.1 in both the 128gb and the 256gb configuration, so it’s fast and enough, while 6gb of RAM may seem the bare minimum and in fact I think 8gb would have been more appropriate, but turn on the 2gb of virtual ram (activated by default by the way) and keeping apps working in background won’t be absolutely a problem even with huge apps like 3D heavy games open.
The big 8720mah battery can get both through a full intense day of usage and through 3 days of light usage, because i found myself using it only for word writing and some youtube and I got to the and of the third day without much esitation just by using it on 60hz mode.
When pushed will still not bother you to charge it too often but, if it’s the case, you want to have the 33 watt max supported charger, because the 22.5 watt included charger seems a bit slow on this massive battery, and given the option 1.5 hour charging time on the 33 watt brick helps from more than 2 on the included one.
Software and productivity ⅘
With the Miui 13 (still based on android 11 though) the Pad 5 increased a lot the multitasking options with a low floating bar with 7 fixed apps and 3 recent ones, that let you access quickly all you need and the split screen or floating resizable apps.
The MIUI is heavily customized compared to stock android, and it offers lot of extra features mostly useful. There is also the possibility to download a pc mode (usable only on the tablet screen or with wireless screen casting, because of the usb being only 2.0), which paired with stylus and keyboard gives you an optimal light machine to work with almost flawlessly on the latest updates, because if now it’s very usable, the early versions were kinda janky.
So, in conclusion, the Xiaomi Pad 5 is an excellent work machine for the ones who search a light, durable tablet which will still be usable for some years, hoping that Xiaomi doesn’t leave it on android 11 and will soon release a major update, and so considering the price drop I would hopingly rate this with a solid
4.5 out of 5