Xiaomi Pad 6 review: Budget-priced, (almost) premium functionality

The Xiaomi Pad 6 tries to fill the gap in the market for work-oriented tablets that do not break the bank.

A picture of the Xiaomi Pad 6 with its accessories on a black floor
The Xiaomi Pad 6 looks to offer consumers premium tablet features at a budget-friendly price. (Photo: Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

The Xiaomi Pad 6 is one of Xiaomi's latest entries into the tablet market, offering a premium range of functionality at a budget-oriented price.

The tablet market has been an odd one, with the premium tablets like the iPad Pro or Galaxy Tab S8 being priced as much as a thin and light laptop, while the cheaper ones like the Galaxy A8 and the cheapest iPad have subpar specs and would at times have you questioning "Why do I even need this? My phone does this way better."

In reality, the cheaper, more budget-friendly options are usually just used as a bigger screen to watch videos, or for the older folks to play games on.

This leaves a big gap in the market for work-oriented tablets that do not break the bank. Why would you pay for an expensive tablet if you can get a more powerful laptop at the same price? This is where the Xiaomi Pad 6 tries to fill the gap.

I have been using a review unit of the Xiaomi Pad 6 for the past week, and I must say, the functionality of the pad is excellent for the price: S$459 (or RM1299 in Malaysia).

Before you think that this is just 'another budget tablet', give this review a chance to convince you otherwise.

The only gripe I have is that the accessories accompanying the Pad 6 aren't cheap by any means.

The Xiaomi Pad 6 in light blue with its accessories on a wooden table.
The Xiaomi Pad 6 has optional accessories like a keyboard that doubles up as a cover, and also a pen specifically for the tablet. (Photo: Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

Xiaomi Pad 6 specifications:

  • Snapdragon 870 System-on-a-Chip (SoC)

  • 8 GB of RAM

  • 128 or 256 GB of storage space

  • 144hz 2880 x 1800 LCD Screen

  • 13 megapixel rear camera

  • 8 megapixel front-facing camera

  • 8840mAh battery with 33w charging

  • WiFi only

  • Android 13 with MIUI 14

Performs as well as you would expect from a flagship

For normal daily use, the Snapdragon 870 SoC in the Pad 6 breezes through all tasks, be it for work or for mobile gaming. It was one of Qualcomm's flagship chips in 2021, and it still hasn't lost its steam.

I have reiterated in my past phone reviews that Android systems usually can function really well with just 6GB of RAM. The 8GB in the Pad 6 is probably more than enough, seeing that I have not run into any problems with multiple apps open at the same time.

The device has been extremely snappy to use, though that may also be attributed to the 144hz refresh rate of the screen.

Yes, the Pad 6's LCD screen comes with a high-refresh rate of 144hz. This makes navigating around apps and working on the screen buttery smooth. The colours are vibrant, and the resolution on the Pad 6 is also high enough that you would not notice any kind of weird pixelation on its 11 inch screen.

The 8840mAh battery in the Pad 6 lasted about 32 hours of continuous use, only requiring me to charge once in my whole week of using it (about 8 hours a day to do work stuff and also play a few games).

The rear camera is alright. Nothing groundbreaking, but I highly doubt that anyone would use a tablet as a main device to take pictures.

The front-facing camera is placed in a great position, though, on the vertical plane of the tablet, mimicking where a camera would be on a laptop. It is extremely useful, especially if you use the tablet in landscape mode, which you will be if you use the physical keyboard meant for the Pad 6.

The Xiaomi Pad 6's camera
The Pad 6's front-facing camera is placed on the side bezel rather than the top like other smartphones and tablets. (Photo: Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

Sound quality on the Pad 6 is great as well, videos and calls are clear, with little to no distortion.

All of this, at a mere 490g of weight. It is extremely light to carry around, yet its aluminium body makes it feel very premium.

But... it's not all rosy

At the price point that the Xiaomi Pad 6 is at, you wouldn't be wrong to think that Xiaomi did have to sacrifice a few things to get the price this low.

The first is that its internet connectivity is limited to only WiFi. You cannot insert a sim card to have constant internet connection throughout your day.

It also does not have a headphone jack. You will have to use wireless headphones or earbuds listen to your calls or videos in private.

Additionally, the pad does not have expandable memory, which means you are stuck with the amount of storage you bought your Pad 6 with. If you are constantly using your tablet for work (or storing videos), sooner or later, you will run out of space unless you constantly do some housekeeping.

Expensive peripherals

The major downside of the Xiaomi Pad 6 is the price of its accompanying peripherals.

Granted, they are all optional accessories, but each product adds a lot to the Pad 6 in terms of functionality.

First up is the Xiaomi Smart Pen. It is a really good accompanying tool for the tablet, being extremely responsive, and you can use it to write, draw and colour on your pad. I would dare say it even rivals the S Pen on the Samsung Galaxy Tab series, and can charge while being attached to the Pad 6. Sadly, it costs S$99 at retail, almost a quarter of the Pad 6's price.

Another peripheral that would be a nice accompaniment to the Pad 6 is the dedicated keyboard. It doubles up as a cover and protector for the tablet, while also being very easy to pair and detach if you need to take your tablet out of it. The keys are responsive, and it doesn't add that much weight and thickness to the pad itself. Sadly, this costs S$129.

The Xiaomi Pad 6 in its cover, with a white tablet pen.
The accompanying Xiaomi Smart Pen attaches magnetically to the side of the Pad 6 for storage and charging. (Photo: Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

If you don't want or need the keyboard, Xiaomi also has an official Pad 6 cover that retails for S$49.

To be clear, none of these accessories are bad. It really makes the Pad 6 a whole lot more useful than being 'just a tablet', but I wish we would not have to pay almost half of the tablet's price to get these quality-of-life improvements.

Is the Xiaomi Pad 6 worth buying?

Accessories aside, the Xiaomi Pad 6 is a high performance device that would suit someone who is looking for a tablet for work without spending too much.

All of its capability and performance for S$459/RM1299 is just really wild to me.

Sure, there are some drawbacks and things that Xiaomi had to sacrifice to get to this price point, but the cheapest iPad, which retails at around $500 new, does not offer anything like a 144hz refresh rate screen. The iPad even has thick bezels, and its body is also much thicker than the Pad 6.

Samsung's Galaxy Tab A8 might be a competitor on the value front, but the A8 only comes with 2 to 4GB of RAM, which may choke the tablet if you are using it for multiple apps. The Samsung has expandable memory, though.

You can buy the Xiaomi Pad 6 at all authorised Xiaomi dealers. The 128GB option will be available for an early bird price of S$449 from 22 to 29 July on the Xiaomi Global Lazada store.

Those who opt for the 256GB variant can get a free Xiaomi Pad 6 Cover, and will be able to purchase the keyboard at S$99 instead of S$129 at authorised retailers.

Dominic loves tech and games. When he is not busy watercooling his computer parts, he does some pro wrestling.

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