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Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 Android Tablet Review - Utilizing NVIDIA Tegra K1 SoC

Author: Ryan Shrout
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Xiaomi

The Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 Tablet

The Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 is a Wi-Fi only Android tablet that features more than just NVIDIA’s latest Tegra processor. As the name implies, it has a 7.9-in IPS screen with a 1536x2048 resolution that results in a 324 ppi (pixels per inch) providing a crisp and clear image on the screen, as long as the resolution of the source is high enough. Text renders perfectly even when zoomed in, and the quality of the screen seems good for its price point. Specifications claim that the display is protected by Corning’s latest Gorilla Glass 3 as well.

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The tablet alone weighs just 360g (0.75 lbs), and is easy to hold for browsing or reading sessions. It’s available in numerous colors but, white is the color I'm taking a look at today. I do think the finish on the tablet is much too slick, and I think it would be very easy for the Mi Pad 7.9 to be accidently dropped.

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The size, weight and screen specifications nearly perfectly match Apple’s iPad Mini Retina, something that I am sure is not an accident. Even the look and color options on the Xiaomi Mi Pad appear to be almost identical to the colors available on Apple's iPhone 5C

The Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 ships with 2GB of RAM, and is available with either 16GB or 64GB of internal storage. A microSD slot allows you to expand the capacity later if you wish. The rear facing stereo speakers are decent, but really aren’t going to surprise you for sound levels out of a tablet.

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Connectivity is provided by a Wi-Fi radio that supports 802.11 speeds up to “ac” with a dual band capability. Bluetooth 4.0 is supported, but there is no cellular data connection option.

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The cameras on the Mi Pad are also surprisingly high quality. The rear-facing camera is an 8MP sensor and has the capability to record 1080p video, while the front facing camera runs at 5MP resolution. I was surprised to see that NVIDIA’s touted HDR functionality seemed to be lost in the default camera application. Xiaomi did include the ability to live preview some Instagram-style special effects for photos. Though the frame rate does drop when these filters are enabled, it was the first instance where the power of the Tegra K1 started to shine through.

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A lithium-polymer battery that comes in at 6700 mAh will keep the tablet running for up to 86 hours of music playback or up to 11 hours of video playback, according to Xiaomi’s specifications. That battery size is just a tad bigger than the iPad Mini Retina battery which iFixit found to be around 6400 mAh. Whether or not the K1 can be as energy efficient as the Apple A7 though has yet to be seen.

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The Mi Pad, as shipped, is running Android 4.4.2. I don’t have enough experience with Xiaomi to know how diligent they are with updating their devices to the latest builds of Android, but at least with 4.4.2, you aren’t missing any major features of the current release of the OS. The included launcher with the Mi Pad is pretty simplistic, but has a lot of remnants of the Chinese language that I have been finding difficult to disable. It’s hard to blame them for that though, as this device was intended for China and I had to import it directly. I would still love it if someone found a way to revert to a more stock Android experience though.

July 20, 2014 | 01:43 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Better than Xiaomi MiPAD and their crappy Android skin, stock Android, fully updated by Nvidia through OTA updates to the latest Android versions.

July 20, 2014 | 05:51 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The tablet design looks like a rip-off of HTC One

July 20, 2014 | 09:24 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That would be....because it is being made by HTC.

July 22, 2014 | 01:02 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Goes to show that HTC was smart enough not to make one but rather build it for them. Didn't want its name on a disaster.


October 27, 2014 | 05:37 PM - Posted by Alison49 (not verified)

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July 20, 2014 | 06:35 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Let's hold on and see if they have more success with this one. Historically, they have been too far on the higher performance / low battery life side of the power tradeoff to really get many phone and tablet makers to use their chips. I have never really heard of Xonami - they need design wins from Lenovo or HTC would be more impressive.

July 20, 2014 | 06:39 PM - Posted by JohnGR

"I think I can get away with telling you that other tablets using this SoC will be available pretty soon domestically, so you should probably wait for something you can pick up on Amazon or Newegg."

Everyone who read tech sites know by now than Nvidia's own Tablet comes at 22 of this month and it will be available in US in the 29th and in Europe from August 14. If they didn't, well, Google is a few clicks away :D

July 20, 2014 | 10:43 PM - Posted by Angry

There's also this wonderful thing called an NDA...

July 21, 2014 | 04:10 AM - Posted by JohnGR

Yes I know. But I am not under NDA and I am sure that people who read PCPerspective will appreciate the info. And not only them.

August 1, 2014 | 01:34 AM - Posted by john8990 (not verified)

Watch this:

July 20, 2014 | 10:26 PM - Posted by AMDBumLover (not verified)

what about max power draw?

July 21, 2014 | 01:02 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Same problem we see with all of nvidia's soc offerings. High power consumption vs the competition.

The review also is using last-gen competitor's soc based products against nvidia's newest.

Unfortunately not much will change in the mobile space with nvidia relegated to being a very small player gasping for any share.

July 21, 2014 | 02:02 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You're so wrong.

Xiaomi already sold out their entire first batch of MiPads with Tegra K1 and is on track to sell millions of them.

The next-gen Google Nexus tablet will use Tegra K1, that alone makes it very high volume product. Niche my ass.

But I guess haters gonna hate successful companies like Nvidia.

July 21, 2014 | 03:46 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The -rumor- of the next Nexus using Tegra was just that, a rumor. Has since been debunked.

Try not to make up fallacy predictions on sales of an unknown tablet maker from China as well, please.

nvidia is a very tiny player in the mobile space and that is not going to change. kudos to them on making a good soc, the reality is that is not enough for them to see any real success, as has been the case since tegra's first launch.

nvidia is a very small fish in a pond filled with sharks like Qualcomm and Samsung.

I assume you are either an nvidia stockholder or simple fanboy, perhaps a mix of both.

July 21, 2014 | 05:07 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Go back to AlwaysInnaccurate, Charlie.

Nvidia will sell millions and millions of super power efficient Tegra K1 SoCs and there's nothing you can do about it.

July 21, 2014 | 09:39 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If they can get these tablets running Steam OS they can sell, but Nvidia's CEO loves the control and closed ecosystem, and that will blow up in his face! The K1 may not be as power efficient as the other tablets, but that may be more a factor of the GPU, and less a factor of the CPU. Graphics wise the K1 is probably the best, but the PowerVR wizard, with hardware ray tracing, has yet to make it to market on any SOCs, and I hope it can get some design wins. Apple is going to release the A8, in a few months, but Apple needs to get a pro tablet, that can run the Full OSX, and the graphics programs that run on OSX, otherwise the market on the highest end will continue to be with M$, and Intel, overpriced even more so that Apple. These devices have to be available for more than just gaming, the K1 especially, would make a fine low cost graphics tablet, if it came with a full Linux distro.

July 21, 2014 | 04:24 AM - Posted by JohnGR

Yes they sold the first 50000 to Chinese resellers, who expect to make a good profit on eBay from those. Xiaomi didn't sold out to individual customers like you(I guess) and me.

July 21, 2014 | 04:21 AM - Posted by JohnGR

Nvidia is moving away from smartphones and maybe later tablets. I huge gpu advantage, is no advantage at all, on a tiny screen.

Nvidia is moving with Tegra to Chromebooks, notebooks, AIOs, convertibles and eventually they will come to desktop, with a full ARM based platform, where you would be able to add one or more hi end Nvidia cards and have the perfect Steam machine.

They are tiny in the smartphone arena, but they are going to become a big threat to Intel and Microsoft in the future. The funny part here is that Intel will desperately need a strong AMD alive and kicking in the GPU market, or Nvidia will grab all the gaming PC market for themselves, with the help of Steam OS.

July 21, 2014 | 01:44 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

How about some throttling tests? Going by your power consumption testing this chip must be really hot and unable to perform 100% for longer than 5 minutes.

This chip isn't suitable for a tablet and much less for a phone.

July 21, 2014 | 03:26 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Are there some Charlie's disciples hanging around here posting dribble infused rants and comments?

I've just seen a glimpse of what this SoC can do and is remarkable, should've removed any doubts. It's a shame that still people don't believe what's in front of their eyes.

July 21, 2014 | 04:44 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

We all seen what's this. A power hungry chip with overkill GPU performance. Phones are out of the question because of the power consumption and the lack of connectivity. If Tegra 4 wasn't good enough for phones this is even worse.

Nvidia just can't read the mobile market at all with software so far behind. Having the power consumption in check with somewhat less GPU power would have made a way better SoC.

Anandtech does throttling testing in their reviews so we will find out tomorrow.

July 21, 2014 | 04:00 AM - Posted by Ed (not verified)

Xiaomi actually has a great track record of updates. They were into software before hardware.

I just got a Xioami Mi3 phone, and the price/performance can not be beat. Their android implementation is also pretty slick, and I've actually flashed it into an older android phone after playing around with the Mi3.

The only question in my mind is after sales support. Their online software support is pretty good though.

July 21, 2014 | 09:22 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Call me when they get a full Linux distro running on this tablet, With Android it is just a toy! Get Steam OS running on it! Nvidia if you want this to be a real factor in the tablet market, do not go all in with Android, get some tablets running full Linux and graphics programs, and widen the market for the K1, I hope they get the Denver K1 version into tablets, and some real OS distros running on them.

July 21, 2014 | 03:31 PM - Posted by ZoA (not verified)

If there is one thing K1 proves is that TDP/power consumption is still the single most important factor deciding if mobile chip succeeds or fails in the market. Powerful graphic sound nice on paper, but at the end of day all it gets you is heavier and hotter pad/phone with shorter battery life.

Lets be serious, pads are only for causal gamers, and they typically don't give half a steaming turd about graphic performance of their games. Candy crush and gazillion tower deference clones don't need good graphic or compute, so K1 advantage is completely wasted on them. But on another side those casual gamers will not appreciate shorter battery life or warmer pad, nor are they likely to appreciate higher $ tag that comes with nvida chips.

Also why do OM still make pads without GPS? Who would buy pad without GPS? $300+ for 8''pad without GPS, they must be insane.

August 3, 2014 | 09:49 AM - Posted by atintop (not verified)

The next step for Xiaomi? To certify its products to Europe and start sending weekly containers of products to implement directly from us through a local distribution company, the brand choice and many dealers are waiting it.

iphone 5s prix

August 5, 2014 | 02:12 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Had the Nvidia K1 shield Tab. Really nice but man did it ever suck down the battery. Paid $300 for 16.. bought the Mi pad just a tad over $300 for 64gb. Little bigger screen battery life is so much better. It has a little bigger battery.

Yes the Nvidia Shield tab has allot going for it but for ME..I could not get around the battery life. Playing games.. be lucky to get 2-3 hours. Yes that bad. Gets REALLY HOT! Worse then the Tegra 4. Mi Pad gets just as hot. But I really like it better.

August 9, 2014 | 05:55 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Xiaomi has just launched its upcoming Mi Pad 3 which is actually having a tremendous features. Wanna know its pricing. visit here -

August 12, 2014 | 05:29 AM - Posted by Rizwan Ellahi (not verified)

Had the Nvidia K1 shield Tab. Really nice but man did it ever suck down the battery. Paid $300 for 16.. bought the Mi pad just a tad over $300 for 64gb. Little bigger screen battery life is so much better. It has a little bigger battery.

Yes the Nvidia Shield tab has allot going for it but for ME..I could not get around the battery life. Playing games.. be lucky to get 2-3 hours. Yes that bad. Gets REALLY HOT! Worse then the Tegra 4. Mi Pad gets just as hot. But I really like it better.

How to Root the and install Custom Recovery on the Xiaomi Mi3

August 14, 2014 | 08:47 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

As a mipad owner for me personally the main trick is the 4:3 retina screen. I don't play games anyway on the tablet, mainly use it for internet, mail, pdf/ebook reading. And for that the screen is awesome.

And about the K1, sure... it's prolly overkill in the gpu department (it at least is for me) but it's still one hell of a chip if you don't use it at 100% all the time and I sure don't.

It has the power when needed for me can chill pretty muchthe rest of the time. As a result I have never felt it as hot or anything.

As far as support goes, still quite a bit of work on the software department but very usable already and they release a weekly developer rom update so that's pretty awesome as well.

August 23, 2014 | 11:41 AM - Posted by Basavaraj (not verified)

Let I know price

November 9, 2014 | 01:43 AM - Posted by TABEEB WANI (not verified)

is sim supports to itt?????

March 5, 2015 | 08:58 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Mine has a sim slot which can also be used to hold a micro SD card.

Sold my ipad mini now that I have a far superior mipad. And no "itune" account required for my mipad.

November 27, 2014 | 01:46 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

i made a xiaomi mipad review video,wanna know what happened between mipad an ipad?? check this video.

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