Xiaomi targets the iPad Mini with $240, Tegra K1-powered Mi Pad tablet

Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone brand which is gradually gaining international recognition, has launched its first tablet. It’s called the Mi Pad, and it comes soon after rumors spread of its existence earlier this week. Unveiled at an event in Beijing, the Mi Pad is a direct challenger to the new wave of slates with approximately 8-inch screens, such as the LG G Pad 8.3, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, and the Apple iPad Mini.

The MiPad has a 7.9-inch display produced by Sharp with an impressive 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 324ppi. This can’t quite match the 2560 x 1600 pixels seen on the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, but is identical to the Apple iPad Mini. Inside the tablet is a new Nvidia Tegra K1 processor, running at 2.2GHz, and the Mi Pad marks the chip’s debut.

Announced during CES 2014, the K1 is Nvidia’s fifth generation Tegra processor, and it stands out because of its incredible graphical ability. Nvidia says mobile devices powered by the K1 should have graphics comparable to desktop computers, due to the use of its Kepler graphics chip, which is also used in PC gaming systems. 

The Tegra K1 gets 2GB of RAM to play with, while owners get either 16GB or 64GB of internal storage memory to fill. A MicroSD card slot can be used to increase this by up to 128GB. Xiaomi has fitted two cameras to the MiPad, a Sony 8-megapixel on the rear, and one with 5-megapixels on the front. Providing the energy is a 6700mAh battery, and the OS will be Xiaomi’s own, custom version of Android.

Xiaomi is well-known for its competitive pricing, and the Mi Pad is no different. The 16GB costs the equivalent of $240, while the 64GB is $275. Hear that Apple? That’s an extra 48GB of memory for $35. A precise release date hasn’t been confirmed, and as with all of Xiaomi’s hardware, a wide international launch looks unlikely for now.

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