- The Xiaomi Pad 6 is the latest tablet from Xiaomi to be launched in the Indian market. And it sticks to the traditional Xiaomi formula of “great specs and features at an affordable price.”
- Xiaomi returned to the tablet market in India in 2022 with the Xiaomi Pad 5. The tablet received very good reviews but had issues with accessories, which were often not available.
- The Xiaomi Pad 6 is a significant upgrade from the Xiaomi Pad 5 in terms of hardware, design, and features, and remarkably still comes with the same price tag. If Xiaomi is able to handle its accessories well, this could easily be hands down the best tablet you can get for under Rs 30,000!
It had been quiet on the tablet front in India for a while, but the past few months have seen Xiaomi make a comeback in this segment. And it has done so by sticking to its tried and tested strategy of serving up great specs at surprisingly affordable prices. Both the Xiaomi Pad 5 and Redmi Pad have adhered to this formula, and now comes the Xiaomi Pad 6, the successor of the Xiaomi Pad 5. Like the Xiaomi Pad 5, the Xiaomi Pad 6 challenges the iPad. And we believe it actually does a much better job of rattling Cupertino’s Tablet Cage than the Xiaomi Pad 5 did.
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Xiaomi Pad 6 Design: Adding some premium elegance to a smart template
The Xiaomi Pad 6 adds a touch of elegance and class to the smart design of the Pad 5. Although both tablets have displays of the same size (11 inches), the Pad 6 is actually more compact. It measures 254 mm in height (in portrait mode), 165.2 mm in width, and a very impressive 6.5 mm in thickness, as compared to 254.7 mm x 166.3 mm x 6.9 mm of the Pad 5. It is also lighter at 490 grams as compared to the 511 grams of Pad 5. This drop in weight is remarkable when you consider that unlike the Pad 5, which had come with a plastic back and metal frame, the Pad 6 has an aluminum back as well as a metal frame.
Turn on the display, and the reason for the compactness will become evident – Xiaomi has narrowed the bezels around the display, leaving just enough for holding the tablet. The back and sides are flat, but the back of our Mist Blue model seemed mostly metallic but changed shades to a light blue depending on the angle of the light falling on it. The camera unit also has been designed to look like the square-ish one on the premium Xiaomi 13 Pro. There are two speaker grilles each at the top and the base of the tablet, with “Dolby Vision Atmos” branding between the speakers on top and a USB Type C port on the base. One side is plain, while another has volume rockers and a charging pad for charging the Smart Pen stylus.
Interestingly, Xiaomi has opted to keep the pin connector to its keyboard on the lower part of the back rather than on the side that connects to the keyboard. The brand says that this ensures better connectivity with the keyboard, and while we did have fewer accidental disconnects with the keyboard, just how well this plays out, in the long run, will be interesting.
All said and done, the Xiaomi Pad 6 cuts a very smart, elegant, and premium figure. The colors might be a little too understated, so it will not attract the sort of attention that the green of the OnePlus Pad gets or the rose gold and blue shades of the new iPad, but this is a very classy-looking device, and surprisingly compact and light for its display size. The minimalistically elegant types are more likely to prefer it, while the funky fun types might find it a little too plain. It comes with IP53 splash resistance, which is always handy.
Xiaomi Pad 6 Specs: Beneath all that modern jazz lies an old, but still strong, heart!
The Xiaomi Pad 6 packs in some impressive specs. The 11-inch display has what Xiaomi calls a 2.8K resolution, which actually is 2880 x 1800. It gives the display a pixel density of 309 ppi and also gives it a 16:10 aspect ratio, more rectangular than the slightly square-ish iPad and OnePlus Pad. The display is quite bright (550 nits) and vibrant and comes with a 144 Hz refresh rate, which can adjust itself to different levels depending on the content being shown on it. It is not as sensitive as the 1 Hz- 120 Hz refresh rate range you get on some high-end devices, but it is definitely better than having a single high or low refresh rate for all content.
The presence of four speakers, which adjust their delivery depending on whether you are handling them in portrait or landscape mode (a neat touch that we saw in the Xiaomi Pad 5 as well). There is support for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision, which makes this a very capable multimedia device. The cameras are a little on the basic side – a 13-megapixel one on the back and an 8-megapixel one on the front. They are good enough for regular snaps, the odd video, and video calls, but nothing beyond that. There is no subject tracking in video calls.
Driving all this is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870G processor, which is definitely not the latest and greatest processor around (it was launched in early 2021) but has solid budget flagship genes and has proved itself to be a capable performer for most tasks. There are two RAM and storage variants – 6 GB/ 128 GB and 8 GB/ 256 GB. There is no 4G/5G variant, though, as Xiaomi, like OnePlus, has put its Internet connectivity options in the Wi-Fi basket. We do not think this is a dealbreaker, given the availability and accessibility of 4G/5G phones and Wi-Fi.
Related Read: Got a Xiaomi Pad 6? Try out these 10 cool features
In terms of connectivity, you get Bluetooth and Wi-Fi – there’s no 3.5 mm audio jack or infrared port, but then those are increasingly nearing extinction in the tablet world—the tablet packs in an 8840 mAh battery with a 33W charger in the box. A big miss here is the fingerprint sensor, which we would expect in a device at this price point. There is support for Face ID, but it is not secure enough for transactions.
On the software side, the Xiaomi Pad 6 runs on Android 13 with Xiaomi’s MIUI 14 UI on top of it, with a number of tweaks and touches for being used on a tablet. There is support for Xiaomi’s Smart Pen (2nd Generation) stylus and also Xiaomi’s keyboard, although the tablet will work fine with just about any Bluetooth keyboard and even a mouse.
The absence of a newer chip and a fingerprint sensor might disappoint some, but the Xiaomi Pad 6 is easily one of the best-specced tablets at its price point,
Xiaomi Pad 6 Performance: Multimedia beast with lots of enterprise potential
As a standalone tablet, that bright display and quad-speaker arrangement make the Xiaomi Pad 6 a multimedia does an outstanding job, especially in the multimedia department. The Snapdragon 870G might not be able to play the new editions of Call of Duty and Genshin Impact very smoothly at maxed-out graphics settings, but it still handles them well enough. Scenic games like Alto’s Odyssey and The Room look magnificent on the display, and the excellent speakers just add to the whole experience – the sound of hinges creaking in The Room was downright spooky.
We even found watching football and cricket matches a very immersive experience with the sound of the crowds enveloping us – it works better in football, though, perhaps because of the nature of crowds. The Xiaomi Pad 6 is also superb at handling routine tasks like Web browsing, social networking and messaging, and mail.
Android’s lack of tablet-friendliness, however, comes to the fore in apps like Twitter and Instagram, which are not optimized for tablets. Xiaomi has added some interesting tweaks to the interface through MIUI, and these generally work well, including support for floating windows, a very neat three-finger swipe from the right side of the tablet (when in landscape mode) to get into split windows mode, and also the ability to connect almost seamlessly to the Xiaomi 13 Pro, letting you drag and drop content from it. The last feature is in beta, and we do not know if it will be extended to other devices, but it is definitely one of the coolest tablet-phone integrations we have seen. You can also connect the tablet to a monitor or TV, or projector through the USB Type C port (you will need to get a USB Type C to HDMI cable) and view content on a larger screen or even make a presentation right off the tablet.
MIUI 14 on the Xiaomi Pad 6 is clean and uncluttered, with not many third-party add-ons. It ran very well, and Xiaomi has done a good job in optimizing its apps for the tablet – the full-screen Calculator, which it made a point to showcase (the iPad still does not have one), is a great example. The brand says it will update it for three Android versions and will provide security patches for five years. We are actually more interested in seeing what Xiaomi does with MIUI for the tablet, as Android’s interest in tablets seems relatively limited at the time of writing.
Xiaomi Pad 6 with stylus and keyboard: Scribble, draw and type at a surprising price
Add the Xiaomi Smart Pen (2nd Generation) and the Xiaomi Pad 6 Keyboard to the tablet, and the Xiaomi Pad 6 takes on a whole new dimension. The best part? Neither of them costs a bomb – the Smart Pen (2nd Gen) is priced at Rs 5,999, while the keyboard will set you back by Rs 4,999.
OnePlus might have initially steered clear of any major software tweaks for its keyboard and stylus, but Xiaomi has done a fair bit in this regard. The Smart Pen (2nd Gen) comes with two buttons which can be used for scrolling content, taking screenshots, and opening the Notes app, and can customize shortcuts on the keyboard. The stylus has no handwriting recognition at the time of writing, but there are apps for that, and we found it working very smoothly for sketching and writing.
It comes with a rather staggering 150-hour battery life and can deliver up to 7 hours of usage on a minute’s charge, so there’s hardly any chance of your finding it out of charge even if you do not keep it clamped on the side of the tablet for charging! The stylus is compatible with the Xiaomi Pad 5, too, thanks to an OTA update that came in even as this was being written – we wish Apple would do the same for the Apple Pencil 2!
The keyboard is impressive as well. There’s no trackpad, and there’s only one viewing angle but at its price, it does deliver a lot of value, and Xiaomi’s shortcut customization does help. The keys are not super large but work well once one gets used to their positioning. A neat touch is the fact that although the keyboard itself is not backlit, the keys glow a little in the dark – the brand claims it is because of a special kind of paint on the keys. It certainly is handy.
If we had a complaint about the keyboard cover, it was its penchant for picking up dust on the back, but then we guess dust comes with the cover territory. A feature that we definitely love is the IPX4 splash resistance, which means the keyboard is safe from water, soft drink, and coffee spills. However, the keyboard is not compatible with the Xiaomi Pad 5 because it connects to the tablet on the tablet’s back rather than on its side.
We would have liked a few more viewing angles, but even then, at Rs 4,999, this is a bargain, just as the Smart Pen is at Rs 5,999. Xiaomi says that the availability issues that plagued the stylus and keyboard for the Xiaomi Pad 5 have been addressed, and both the Smart Pen (2nd Gen) and Xiaomi Pad 6 keyboard will be easily available. We do hope that happens because they add a lot of value to the tablet at a reasonably affordable rate.
Xiaomi Pad 6 battery life: In the iPad zone and charging briskly
The Xiaomi Pad 6 comes with an 8840 mAh battery, which means that it actually packs in a battery that is slightly bigger than the one on the Xiaomi Pad 5 in a frame that is actually slimmer. It also comes with a 33W charger in the box, as compared to the 22.5W one with the Xiaomi Pad 5. In terms of usage, we got through 10-12 hours of normal to heavy usage, often with the keyboard connected, which is right in the iPad zone. It also gets charged very swiftly for a tablet – the 33W charger got it from 0 to 100 in about an hour and forty-five minutes.
Xiaomi Pad 6 Review: Should you buy it? “A tablet. A notebook. A sketchpad…for under Rs 40,000!”
The pricing is the icing on the Xiaomi Pad 6. Even after significantly improving the hardware and design, Xiaomi has managed to price it at exactly the same level as it had priced the Xiaomi Pad 5 – the 6 GB/ 128 GB variant is available at Rs 26,999, while the 8 GB/ 256 GB variant is available for Rs 28,999. At those prices, it is the best tablet in the market by some distance. The iPad (9th Generation) is often available for less than Rs 30,000 but comes with lower storage (64 GB) and comes with the A13 Bionic chip, which shows signs of its age when dragged into the gaming zone. A slightly more formidable contender is the 2022 edition of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, which starts at close to the same price as the Xiaomi Pad 6 but comes with the S-Pen stylus in the box. It, however, has a smaller display and also a much less powerful chip (a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G). The OnePlus Pad does boast a more distinct appearance, a more powerful processor, and a distinct design, but it comes at a price that is much higher (Rs 37,999 onwards) and loses out on the software front.
All of this makes the Xiaomi Pad 6 easily the best tablet you can get for under Rs 30,000, and perhaps even Rs 35,000. In fact, you can get the 8 GB/ 256 GB variant along with the Smart Pen and the keyboard for a combined cost of just under Rs 40,000. Or even lower if you opt for some of the special productivity and creativity bundles that the brand has announced, which offer the keyboard and pen with the tablet at special prices. That makes it hands-down the best value-for-money tablet out there for anyone wanting a device that can triple up as a tablet, notebook, and sketchpad. It dons all three roles very capably and for not too much either.
To paraphrase a certain tech legend:
A tablet. A notebook. A sketchpad.
All for under Rs 40,000.
A tablet. A notebook. A sketchpad.
All for under Rs 40,000.
Are you getting the Pad 6 from (Xiao)mi?
- Super pricing
- Metal body, sleek design
- Works very smoothly
- Great (and affordable) stylus and keyboard accessories
- Software tweaked for tablet, keyboard, and stylus
- Splash resistance for tablet and keyboard
- No fingerprint scanner
- SD 870 is on the older side
- No 5G version
- Android for tablets is still work-in-progress
Keyboard & Stylus
The Xiaomi Pad 6 is a significant upgrade in terms of hardware, design, and features, and remarkably still comes with the same price tag. If Xiaomi is able to handle its accessories well, this could easily be hands down the best tablet you can get for under Rs 30,000!