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Xiaomi launches the Mi Pad as a direct challenge to the iPad Mini in China

by Patrick Pierra

May 15 2014

Xiaomi’s first tablet is an iPad Mini look-alike, with a plastic case similar to the iPhone 5C.

It’s not a copycat, but it’s pretty close.

XiaomI’s first tablet device is called Mi Pad and it has a 7.9 inch screen -exactly the same dimension as the iPad Mini- with a 2048 x 1536 resolution.

The case is not in aluminium, though. It’s a plastic case which comes in six colors and makes it look like a large iPhone 5C.

Even the interface evokes Apple’s product. While the Mi Pad is an Android device, it runs a highly customized version of Google’s 4.4.2 KitKat OS, called MIUI, which makes it look like iOS7.

The Mi Pad will be the first tablet based on the 2.2GHz Tegra K1 chip.

With a starting price of $240 for 16GB of storage, the Mi Pad will be significantly cheaper than the iPad Mini, sold at $399 and up. It will be launched in “beta” in June to a limited number of customers.

No word yet on if the device will ever be sold out of China. But Xiaomi will certainly consider exporting it. The company has already started selling smartphones in Singapore and Taiwan. Hugo Bara, an ex-Google executive now in charge of Xiaomi’s global expansion, also said last month that the company wants to have a presence in Malaysia, India, Mexico, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.

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