There's an adage growing more common among tech circles of late: tablets are dead. This proclamation has been thrown around for a while now, due in part to declining sales and because smartphones are getting so powerful to the point where buying a tablet becomes unnecessary.
It also didn't help that Google signaled the death of tablets by removing all mentions of it from its website — which later turned out to be a simple error.
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Alas, it appears tablets are far from dead, even though things have certainly become far too quiet in the Android tablet world. In fact, Xiaomi just announced a new one, called the Mi Pad 4, which comes with an 8-inch 1,920 x 1,200 IPS display, 3 GB of LPDDR4x RAM, and 32 GB of local storage expandable via a microSD card slot. All that for just CNY 1,099, or roughly $170.
Customers can bump the specs up to 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage for an extra CNY 300, or about $46. But those who want LTE connectivity can throw another $100 on top of the retail price, making the Mi Pad 4 effectively one of the cheapest LTE-enabled tablets from a global brand.
All models are available in either black or gold, and they pack a somewhat decent 6,000 mAh battery. Dual microphones and stereo speakers are also included. Things aren't too exciting in the camera department, though — there's a 13-megapixel rear shooter and a 5-megapixel selfie camera — but at that price, it's hard to complain. The only possible downside, as Engadget notes, is that it only charges via 5 V or 2 A, definitely something to keep in mind for users who plan on taking it with them to long flights.
Is It Coming To The US, Though?
Really, though, at that price, the Mi Pad 4 is a steal. Even the non-LTE version seems like a pretty slick deal. The screen alone is killer, and the fact that it's an IPS variant is the cherry on top. It's not clear, however, whether this tablet will make its way outside of China. Do note that importing one might be a hassle, as FDD-LTE bands don't really work that well in North America. Hopefully, Xiaomi is thinking of a stateside rollout, but given its relationship with the U.S. market, don't hold your breath.