Today Xiaomi introduced its first tablet: the MiPad. The tablet bears similarity to both Apple’s iPad Mini and iPhone 5c. On the front of the tablet we have a 7.9” 2048x1536 IPS display (sourced from both Sharp and AUO Optronics) which is surrounded by an asymmetrical bezel. On the back we have a plastic shell of multiple different colors which Xiaomi itself states is made with the same injection molding technology as the iPhone 5c. There is also an 8MP Sony camera on the back with an F/2.0 aperture, and a 5MP camera on the front. The most interesting part of the Mi Pad is not on the outside, it's on the inside. The MiPad is the first consumer device to be announced that is powered by NVIDIA's Tegra K1 SoC.

As you may recall, NVIDIA introduced Tegra K1 to the world at CES 2014. It marks a huge departure from NVIDIA's mobile graphics strategy, abandoning the old Tegra GPU roadmap in favor of its desktop Kepler architecture.

Tegra K1 has two flavors, both built on a 28nm HPm process. One uses NVIDIA's Project Denver which will include two custom ARMv8 cores designed by NVIDIA. Denver is not slated to ship until later this year and so what we see in the MiPad is the other flavor of Tegra K1 which is a quad core ARM Cortex A15 design. Similar to other recent Tegra SoCs, this version of the K1 features four Cortex A15s plus an additional companion Cortex A15 optimized for lower frequencies for periods of low CPU usage. The CPU cores are based on a newer revision of Cortex A15 (r3p3) which includes finer grain power gating to reduce power consumption compared to revision r2p1 in the Tegra 4. This increase in efficiency will help balance out NVIDIA's move from a 1.9GHz max clock speed on Tegra 4 to over 2GHz on Tegra K1 (the move to 28nm HPm should help as well). The Tegra K1 SoC in the MiPad will ship with a max clock speed of 2.2GHz and 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM.

The GPU on Tegra K1 is something completely different from previous Tegra designs. Previous Tegra chips integrated NVIDIA's GeForce ULP core designed exclusively for its mobile platforms. With Tegra K1 Nvidia abandoned the idea of having a separate mobile roadmap for GPU designs and has merged its mobile and PC GPU roadmaps. The result is that Tegra K1 and all subsequent designs will ship with GPUs using the same architecture as NVIDIA's PC parts. With Tegra K1 we get a complete implementation of NVIDIA's Kepler architecture with 192 CUDA cores, 4 ROPs, and 8 texture units. It also brings along OpenGL ES 3.0, OpenGL 4.4, DirectX 11, CUDA 6.0, and every other API that Kepler supports.

NVIDIA has also shown a commitment to releasing software that will take advantage of their mobile GPUs. The company recently worked with Valve to bring Half Life 2 and Portal over to the NVIDIA Shield which is powered by a Tegra 4 CPU and I am sure that crafty users will bring the apps over to Tegra K1 devices if NVIDIA does not do so itself.

Beyond the SoC, the other internal specs for the MiPad include a 25.46 Whr (6700mAh) battery, 16 or 64GB of internal NAND, and a MicroSD slot. Connectivity includes support for 802.11 b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0. As with other Xiaomi devices, the MiPad runs Android with the MIUI UI atop it. It will launch in China sometime in June priced at 1499 yuan ($240) for the 16GB model and 1699 yuan ($272) for the 64GB model.

Source: Xiaomi via The Verge

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  • ams23 - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    While I am skeptical about this specific tablet coming to North America, what exactly could they be sued for? MiPad's exterior color scheme and materials are totally different than any ipad. The SoC hardware, camera hardware, and underlying operating system are totally different than any ipad. The screen size and screen resolution are the same, but that is hardly something that can be considered to be exclusive technology. The custom MI user interface is somewhat like ipad, but that is just customized MI icons sitting on the main screen and has been used for ages on their MI phones.
  • Penti - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    The only thing that is clone-like is that they use the same screen as the iPad Mini, or at least a related one, but that's obviously because the manufacturers hasn't went into any exclusive contract with Apple there. Others have done similar in Europe and there is no reason why they would have any trouble there. It's not like Apple was the first with a 4:3 slate (TabletPCs, LCD-based e-readers had them) for that matter, they existed before they sought any design patents. Neither did Samsung infringe on anything in that way. It's not like China ignores IP either, their companies are heavily invested in R&D and participate in the development of tech/standards, that they as any of their competitors protect with patents.
  • Morawka - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Speakers on the Back: apple does not do that
    MicroSD: Apple does not have that either
    Polycarbonite Tablet: everyone does that
    Camera in the Left side corner: wow you gonna patent camera placement?
    Pastel Colors: You gonna patent colors to?
    Pastel UI: again with the colors
    clock on lockscreen: dammit stop copying us that was a ingenious idea
    Same Panel Resolution: what you expect us to make a custom panel just so we dont match your panel resolution

    seriously enough, they are noticing what the market likes, and then putting it into there products.

    They can sue but it will be fruitless (no pun intended).

    i really hope this makes apple reduce nand upgrade prices tho. it probably will if it comes to the US. because at these prices and performance, apple will turn into a fashion statement product like Beats by dre.

    the only thing they have going for them is aluminium and a closed locked down eco-system, in which the latter will probably lead to their demise.
  • Abelard - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Possibly the most blatant ripoff yet! Look closely at the screen and you can see a small Control Center style arrow ^ at the bottom, and something that looks like Apple's distinctive Home button underneath. Not to mention the pastel color palette, narrow typeface, camera at top left corner, etc. The Tegra is interesting though.
  • name99 - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Except that it comes without all the bitching regarding Apple's use of "plastic" and "girly colors".

    Like so many other things, it's the end of the world when Apple does something new (no SD card, built-in battery, fingerprint reader...) but not worth mentioning as soon as someone else copies them.
  • Morawka - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    It's a design philosophy. You could say they are not copying, they are just doing what the market demands.
  • ams23 - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Obviously the iPad mini retina greatly influenced the MiPad design (especially exterior dimensions, screen, and resolution). That said, there are many differences too. The MiPad is completely different than iPad mini retina when it comes to CPU, GPU, underlying OS, choice of colors, exterior finish, SD card slot, cost for additional built-in internal storage, etc.
  • Anders CT - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    It is in no way a rip off. It uses the same panel, hence the same form factor. Nothing more.
  • UpSpin - Saturday, May 17, 2014 - link

    Arrow: Search for 'kit kat lock screen' and you'll see the arrow, indication for Google Now, too.
    Home Button: Well, people seem to understand the rectangle as home, so why shouldn't others use the same symbol? I mean, someone also had to introduce the house as a home symbol.
    Color: Honestly, colors? How can someone copy colors? And why don't you say that Apple copied Sony or Nokia or any other company which offered their devices in a plethora of different colors, including the ones used by Apple? (Sony VAIO P, VAIO C, Acer Aspire One, Nokia Lumia, ...)
    Narrow typeface: You mean something like Arial Narrow or any other narrow font? Brilliant, totally new. Never seen before. First of its kind.
    Camera: Ok, that's even more brilliant. Never ever thought of placing a camera not in the middle. That's genius.

    Yes, it's similar to the iPad, that's obvious. But have they copied it? No. And is it bad that it looks similar? No.
    It's the same that cars from different manufacturers look pretty similar, too. The reason: People like the current design trend.
    The same that pop music sounds similar, too. The reason music of a specifc genre sounds similar. But it's still a different music. No one can patent Rock, or Dubstep or whatever Apple lawyers/sheeps think they could/should patent.
  • Achtung_BG - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Maybe Nexus 8 or Tegra Note 2 will come with 4GB RAM.

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