Just over two years ago, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun told this author that he wasn't sure about making a tablet, but today he confessed that he's been quietly developing one this whole time. What we have here is the conveniently named Mi Pad, which was just unveiled in Beijing with super attractive price points: CN¥1,499 (about $240) for the 16GB version, and CN¥1,699 (about $270) for the 64GB flavor. To be honest, we saw this coming when MIUI was released for the Nexus 7 back in March, but what surprised us was that this new slate happens to be the first to feature the powerful Tegra K1 SoC. This follows Xiaomi and NVIDIA's earlier collaboration on the Tegra 4 variant of the MI3 smartphone.
Xiaomi Mi Pad launch event
Xiaomi Mi Pad hands-on
Xiaomi's Android 4.4 tablet comes with a 7.9-inch display (made by LG or AUO) with a high resolution of 2,048 x 1,536, which works out to be a sharp 326 ppi density with a 4:3 aspect ratio. Underneath that you'll find the Tegra K1 SoC, which includes a 2.2GHz "4+1" core CPU plus a 192-core PC-class Kepler GPU. There's also 2GB of RAM, 16GB or 64GB of built-in storage, microSD expansion of up to 128GB, a 6,700mAh battery and stereo speakers. Unsurprisingly, you can also take photos with this slate's two cameras: 8 megapixels on the back and 5 megapixels on the front. These are all tucked into a 8.5mm-thick glossy plastic body (which does look and feel a bit like a scaled up iPhone 5c), weighing a total of just 360g. By the way, there's no 3G or 4G version announced just yet, but you'll find the usual 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 radios.
Unfortunately, no date's been announced for the Mi Pad's global availability. All we know now is that there will be a beta test program in China in early June, so it may be a while before the device actually hits the market anywhere on this planet.