The Xiaomi Mi Pad tablet has specs and a design that are eerily similar to Apple's iPad mini with retina display.
If you thought Samsung was notorious for copying Apple, China's Xiaomi is in its own class. The company's Mi Pad tablet looks so much like the Apple iPad mini, it's eerie.
The company's first tablet, unveiled in Beijing on Thursday, has display specs that are identical to the iPad mini With Retina Display: a 7.9-inch screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio and 2,048 x 1,536 resolution. The proportions of the bezel look extremely similar — with thin sides and a thicker top/bottom — and Xiaomi even went to the trouble of making the Android-based UI resemble iOS 7, according to CNET.
The design resembles what you might get from a mating of the iPad mini and the iPhone 5C. The tablet is thicker and heavier than the iPad mini at 0.33 inch and 12.7 ounces, and the back is made of plastic. It also comes in multiple colors, including pinkish-red, blue, bright green yellow, gray and white. To Apple, that's a familiar palette.
The Xiaomi Mi Pad packs a quad-core Nvidia Tegra K1 processor with 2GB of RAM and runs Android 4.4.2. The rear camera is 8 megapixels while the front-facing camera is an impressive 5 megapixels. The non-removable battery is relatively large at 6,700 milliamp-hours (mAh). It'll come in 16GB and 64GB versions.
Another important way Xiaomi's tablet differs from the iPad mini is price: While Apple's high-res tablet starts at $399, the Mi Pad is just $240 (both for 16GB). That's even less than the regular ole (low-res) iPad mini, which starts at $299.
While Apple (and even Samsung) knockoffs are commonplace in China, the Mi Pad is notable since it comes from one of China's fastest-rising smartphone makers, and one that appeared to be on the road to mainstream legitimacy.
Founded in 2010, Xiaomi quickly established itself in China's crowded mobile market, recently becoming the country's third largest smartphone vendor. In 2013, the company hired Hugo Barra away from Google's Android division to be its vice president of global operations.