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Xiaomi Redmi Pad SE review: Budget tablet good for learning, entertainment

Priced at Rs 12,999, the Xiaomi's Redmi Pad SE could be a decent option for students and professionals looking for a portable secondary device

Xiaomi Redmi Pad SE

Xiaomi Redmi Pad SE

Harsh Shivam New Delhi
Xiaomi recently expanded its tablet portfolio in India with the introduction of the Redmi Pad SE. Starting at a price of Rs 12,999, this tablet is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 and features an 8,000mAh battery. A combination of decent hardware and feature-packed software makes the Redmi Pad SE a good budget option for those seeking a portable secondary device for work, study, and entertainment. But does it perform without flaws? Let us find out:

Design

The Redmi Pad SE boasts a clean aluminium unibody design with a matte finish all around. In landscape orientation, the tablet features a centre-aligned front facing camera, but the rear camera is positioned on the top-left corner in a glossy camera island. This set-up works fine with the cover case, but not if you are holding and using the tablet in your hands.

Nevertheless, there is Redmi branding on the top-right side on the rear. The frame of the tablet is thin and features openings for dual-speaker set-up on the left and the right sides – in landscape mode. In the same orientation, the power button is placed on the left side and volume buttons to the top side. Right side of the chassis houses the USB-C port and the 3.5mm audio jack. The top side also includes the volume controls, a microphone, and a microSD tray, with the bottom side maintaining a clean aesthetic.

On the front, the 11-inch display is set within a sleek plastic enclosure and features significant features. The display is surrounded by bezels on all sides, providing a uniform look from every angle.

The Redmi Pad SE has a sleek profile and is lightweight, making it comfortable to hold for extended periods. This is further enhanced by the matte finish on the aluminium chassis, which offers a good grip. Additionally, the matte finish helps prevent smudges and fingerprint marks.
Redmi Pad SE
Redmi Pad SE
Display and audio

The Redmi Pad SE features an 11-inch FHD+ LCD display of 90Hz refresh rate. The display is vivid, but lacks sharpness and clarity. While this difference might not be noticeable in most scenarios, the visual limitations become apparent when streaming high-resolution video content. One strong point of the display is its accuracy in colour reproduction. Redmi offers multiple colour scheme options such as Vivid, which optimises colours based on the content, Saturated mode for enhanced colour vibrancy, and Standard mode. I personally used the tablet in Saturated mode, although using it in Vivid mode may feel the same in most situations.

The 90 Hz refresh rate makes the display responsive, with quick scrolling and smooth animations. However, the 400 nits of peak brightness leave you wanting more when using the tablet outdoors.

In the audio department, the quad-speaker system with Dolby Atmos sound delivers clear audio with adequate loudness but lacks depth and bass. Additionally, the positioning of the speakers on the sides in landscape mode can create a muffled sound output if you are holding the tablet with both hands while watching a movie. However, the inclusion of a 3.5mm audio jack is a welcome addition.
Redmi Pad SE
Redmi Pad SE display
Camera and microphone

The Redmi Pad SE impresses with its camera capabilities. Although not designed for professional photography, both the front and rear cameras perform their intended functions well. Photos taken with the rear camera are clear and more than adequate for capturing pictures of documents and notes. Similarly, the front camera, positioned for landscape orientation, excels in video calls, even under low light and artificial lighting conditions.

The tablet features a single microphone. While voice reception during video calls is adequate, the microphone tends to capture a lot of background noise.

Performance and multitasking

Xiaomi has been promoting the Pad SE’s multitasking capabilities, and it somewhat lives up to the hype. Powered by the Snapdragon 680 chip, the tablet may not boast the most powerful processor but is capable of handling everyday tasks. The processor is supported by 6GB RAM (as in the review unit), with an option to add an extra 5GB virtually. Tasks such as scrolling on social media, watching content, and browsing the web are smooth and seamless.

For multitasking, Redmi has implemented several software optimisations. Users can access the recently opened apps section to select apps for a split-screen setup, and customise the aspect ratio for each app in the split-screen. Additionally, a third app can be placed in a floating window, which can be minimised to a floating icon and placed anywhere on the screen. While most apps supported the split-screen setup, a few, like YouTube, did not open in a floating window. Despite this limitation, the feature is quite useful for students who want to take notes from a video while keeping Wikipedia open in a floating window for quick access. The processor handles these multiple tasks without any trouble, maintaining efficient thermal management. However, if you have multiple screens active and several tasks running in the background, you might start to notice some lag.

Battery

The Redmi Pad SE is powered by an 8,000mAh battery, which can last multiple days with light usage and up to a day and a few hours with heavy use. For instance, streaming an entire football match continuously in HD quality only reduced the battery from 70 per cent to 57 percent.

However, the impressive battery life is held back by the 10W charger included in the box which takes slightly more than three and a half hours to fully charge the battery from 5 per cent.

Verdict

Overall, the Redmi Pad SE is a decent option for those seeking a tablet for education, learning, and occasional content streaming. Priced from Rs 12,999, the device offers good value for money in its segment and serves as a reliable secondary portable device. However, if you need a tablet with powerful performance or an exceptional content-watching experience, there are other alternatives available in the market.

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First Published: May 20 2024 | 12:02 PM IST

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