Xiaomi reveals Android-based iPad Mini clone, while Samsung preps colorful new tablets.
Xiaomi announced the Mi Pad, a colorful tablet that's clearly inspired by Apple's iPad Mini. The company hopes to tempt customers with brighter options and lower prices. Separately, Samsung invited media to a tablet-themed event scheduled to take place in June.
Xiaomi, the Chinese device maker that hired Android-lead Hugo Barra away from Google last summer, revealed the Mi Pad on Thursday at an event in Beijing. Anyone with eyes can tell where Xiaomi found inspiration for the tablet's design (see video below).
For example, the Mi Pad has a 7.9-inch screen with 2048 x 1536 pixels -- the exact same size and pixel count of the iPad Mini's display. The tablet is sold in a number of colors, all of which mimic the appearance of the Apple iPhone 5c (which is made of plastic). Further, the user interface (called MIUI by Xiaomi) bears a striking resemblance to that used by Apple in iOS 7.
The Mi Pad doesn't run iOS 7, of course. It is based on Google's Android 4.4 KitKat operating system. Other factors that differentiate the Mi Pad from the iPad Mini are found under the hood. The tablet is powered by the Nvidia Tegra K1 mobile system-on-a-chip clocked at 2.2 GHz. Nvidia first revealed the K1 at the Consumer Electronics Show in January and the Mi Pad marks its first appearance in a consumer product. K1 will be available in both 32-bit and 64-bit configurations, but Xiaomi didn't say which one is inside the Mi Pad.
The Mi Pad will be sold in 16-GB or 64-GB variants and it supports microSD cards for storage expansion. Both versions connect to the Internet via WiFi, and there won't be an LTE 4G version.
The Mi Pad's price drastically undercuts Apple's tablets. The base iPad Mini with Retina Display costs $399. The base Mi Pad costs $240 (1,499 yuan) and the high-capacity model costs $275 (1,699 yuan). Even the 2012-era iPad Mini costs more, at $299.
The Mi Pad goes on sale in June. It will initially be available in China. Xiaomi didn't say if or when the tablet will be sold in other markets.
In other colorful tablet news today, Samsung invited media to an event scheduled to take place on June 12 in New York City. The invitation uses lots of bright colors and reads "Galaxy Premiere 2014: Tab Into Color." Samsung is clearly suggesting it will debut new, colorful tablets at the event. Samsung already brought high-end tablets to the market earlier this year in the NotePRO and TabPRO devices. Samsung typically reserves the "Tab" brand for its entry-level or midrange tablets. The new hardware on deck for June 12 will likely be a family of low-cost tablets that will be offered in a handful of colors.
Could the growing movement toward open source hardware rewrite the rules for computer and networking hardware the way Linux, Apache, and Android have for software? Also in the Open Source Hardware issue of InformationWeek: Mark Hurd explains his "once-in-a-career opportunity" at Oracle.
Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio
InformationWeek Elite 100Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
Building a Mobile Business MindsetAmong 688 respondents to our Mobile Application Development Survey ó up from 350 respondents in 2012 ó 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Whatís the holdup for that remaining 30%? Often, itís a lack of expertise.
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial ServicesIT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of September 25, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."