The days of the mass-popularity of the tablet seem to be numbered, with future usage predicted to be more specialized, thanks to the gradual merging of tablet technology and features into mobile phones. Nevertheless, manufacturers still continue to drop the odd model on the market, for those tablet enthusiasts who wish to upgrade their existing ones.
Xiaomi has made its name mostly through the success and popularity of its mobile phones, but also has a couple of tablets in its product inventory. The Mi Pad was the company’s first effort – launched back in 2014, its main feature was an Nvidia Tegra K1 chip. This effort was swiftly followed up, the following year, by the Mi Pad 2, which boasted an upgraded Intel Atom processor. Since then, the company has been quiet about any possible successors.
While no official statement has been made by Xiaomi on the issue, a reported leak gives us a massive hint as to how the company’s next tablet will take form. The leaked presentation shows the Mi Pad 3 – a larger tablet, featuring a 9.7” retina display (2048 x 1536) – a significant step up from the previous models’ 7.9” screens.
The new device’s body, like those of previous generations, will be entirely made of metal, but with a modern, thinner look. Its new waistline measures just 6.08mm, but the tablet is actually slightly heavier – at 380g. The extra weight is due to the bigger screen and greater battery power of 8290mAh. This battery supports quick charge 3.0, and the device has a USB type-C port on its underside, flanked by the tablet’s speaker grilles.
As for the feature on most people’s minds – the new tablet’s processor – it looks like Xiami has gone with Intel’s 7th generation Core M processor (m3-7Y30), along with an integrated Intel HD Graphics 615 GPU. According to the leak, the Mi Pad 3 will boast a whopping 8GB of RAM, a major step up from its predecessors. It looks like consumers will be able to choose between storage capacities of 128 and 256GB. Both versions will come with a fingerprint scanner.
Interestingly, it seems the Mi Pad 3 will also boast a pretty impressive camera, with Xiaomi opting for a 16MP rear, dual-tone flash camera, plus an 8MP front ‘selfie’ and video camera.
It is likely that this new tablet will be launched with Windows 10 and have Cortana, plus the entire Microsoft Office Suite already instaled. For writers, it comes with a handy additional keyboard dock, allowing it to be used for less frivolous purposes. Android lovers, however, may be disappointed, as this device evidently shows just how cozy Xiaomi and Microsoft have become – it looks likely that the Mi Pad 3 will only support Windows.
The leaked document even went as far as mentioning the expected pricing for the device. In China, it is expected to go on the market as 1999 yuan – around $289 – for the 128GB version. The 256GB version is expected to be sold for 2299 yuan, which is around $333. The keyboard dock will be made available an an optional addition for 99 yuan – a mere $14. It’s all expected to become available in the first quarter of this year.