Xiaomi Mi Pad 2: Looks like iPad mini, runs either Android or Windows 10

The 7.9-inch slate with 326 ppi display looks familiar on the outside. Boot it up or look at the internal components and you'll see the difference which can be had for as little as $156.
Written by Kevin Tofel, Contributor
Xiaomi Mi Pad 2.jpg

You have to hand it to Xiaomi: No other company makes its mobile products look more like Apple's. The China-based company launched the Mi Pad 2 on Tuesday and at first glance you'd swear it's an iPad mini.

Seriously, when I say this slate is designed like Apple's, I'm not kidding.

See if this sounds familiar: A 7.9-inch display with 2048 x 1536 resolution for 326 pixels per inch. That's exactly what Apple uses for its latest iPad mini tablets - and has since the iPad mini 2 debuted in November, 2013.

Dig deeper though and you'll see two key differences: The Mi Pad 2 runs on an Intel Atom chip and comes with either the Google Android or Microsoft Windows 10 operating systems.

It's not clear if Xiaomi is using Windows 10 Mobile on the tablet; if it is, it likely doesn't have to pay Microsoft any licensing fees as companies can install Windows 10 Mobile on devices with smaller screen sizes at no cost.

Xiaomi chose a 2.24 GHz Atom x5-Z8500 chip paired with 2 GB of memory to power its new small tablet. And that chip choice gives customers a second choice because both Android and Windows 10 can run on Intel's silicon.

Those that opt for the Android version will get Xiaomi's custom MIUI software interface for the open-source edition of Android; sorry, that means no Google Play apps or services. Either platform is available with 16 or 64 GB of flash storage.

Regardless of software choice, Xiaomi says the Mi Pad 2 can play video for 12 hours on a charge thanks to the 6,190 mAh battery. And the tablet features fast charging over its USB Type-C port.

The rear camera uses an 8 megapixel sensor - hey, just like the iPad mini 4! - with f/2.0 aperture and a 5 megapixel front camera. 802.11a/c Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 are the included wireless capabilities.

Looks aside, there's one area where the Mi Pad 2 is vastly different from Apple's small tablet offering: The price.

Later this month, the Mi Pad 2 with 16 GB of storage will be available for $156, while the 64 GB model will cost $197. Initially, only the Android edition will be sold, with the Windows 10 model launching next month.

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