As part of Xiaomi's 10 August livestream, the company showcased both its Mi Mix 4 smartphone and the Mi Pad 5 Series – a long-awaited return to the tablet space for the company – looking to give rivals like Apple and Samsung cause for concern.

Xiaomi has moved from strength to strength in recent months, occupying practically every smartphone segment with at least one capable entry and delivering some of the best value on the market; finding itself at 338th on the Fortune Global 500 and surpassing Apple and Samsung in terms of global smartphone sales for the first time ever (based on July's numbers from Counterpoint Research).

The company subsequently extended the reach of its new slate family beyond China by announcing the Xiaomi Pad 5 (note the loss of the 'Mi' branding, follow a statement on the name change that the company issued back on 24 August) as part of a global launch, on 15 September.

When does the Mi Pad 5 launch?

Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun initially announced the Mi Pad 5 Series as part of his 10 August annual address, with the base WiFi-only Pad 5 making its global debut on 15 September.

The three models announced in August: the Mi Pad 5, Mi Pad 5 Pro (WiFi) and Mi Pad 5 Pro (5G) were all made available to pre-order at 10pm CST (China Standard Time) on the day of their unveiling, with pre-orders running until 10am CST on 16 August, when all three Mi Pad 5s are then officially on sale.

Xiaomi didn't detail which markets globally the Pad 5 would be coming to on 15 September, with slight variation expected by region, although it is now available to buy from Mi.com in markets including the UK, Spain and Germany.

We discussed the global release of the Mi Pad 5 – along with editor Dom Preston's hands-on experiences with the tablet from the European launch event – in episode 83 of our weekly podcast Fast Charge, which you can watch right here:

How much does the Mi Pad 5 cost?

In China, the standard Mi Pad 5 starts at CNY¥1999 (approximately equivalent to £220/€260/US$310/AU$420) for the base 6GB RAM/128GB storage option, while double the internal storage ups the price to ¥2299 (approximately equivalent to £255/€300/US$355/AU$480).

The global release of the Pad 5 pushes the price of the 6GB RAM/128GB option to €349/£369, while twice the storage moves the cost up to €399 (not available in the UK).

In the UK, an early bird deal knocks £70 off the entry-level Pad 5 – see where to buy the Pad 5 in the UK here.

The Mi Pad 5 Pro, meanwhile costs from ¥2499 (approximately equivalent to £280/€330/US$385/AU$525) for the base 6GB RAM/128GB storage SKU, while double the storage again adds an additional ¥300 (totalling ¥2799 or approximately £310/€370/US$430/AU$590).

There's also the top-tier Mi Pad 5 Pro 5G, which benefits from 8GB of RAM and packs in 256GB of storage as standard, costing ¥3499 (approximately equivalent to £390/€460/US$540/AU$735).

As expected, international pricing ends up significantly higher than the direct conversion figures, however, it's clear that based on the hardware Xiaomi is offering up, it's still keen to undercut the competition.

For reference, 2018's Mi Pad 4 was a decidedly mid-range tablet, available internationally on the grey market from import retailers at a respectable sub-£250/€290/US$350 starting price, while 2020's 11in Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 starts at £619/€699/US$649/AU$1,049 and Apple's latest 11in M1-powered iPad Pro can be had from ¥6199/£749/€879/US$799/AU$1,199.

What features does the Mi Pad 5 offer?

In the run-up to the Mi Pad 5 Series' initial launch, there was talk of a trio of tablets, with two being particularly close in design and functionality, while the third offered up a more modest feature set.

On stage on 10 August, Lei Jun unveiled the Mi Pad 5 and Mi Pad 5 Pro, which as already mentioned, come in both WiFi and 5G flavours, although there's a little more than additional cellular connectivity on offer from the 5G variant.

Xiaomi Mi Pad 5 press image collage

All three slates are fronted by the same 11in 2.5K 120Hz LCD panel and their proportions mean that they're all also compatible with the additional keyboard cover and stylus that Xiaomi launched at the Chinese event.

The keyboard cover (priced at ¥399 or approximately £45/€50/US$60/AU$85) connects via POGO pins and features keys with 1.2mm of travel, and doubles as a protective case for the Mi Pad 5/5 Pro, while the ¥349 stylus (equivalent to £40/€45/US$55/AU$75) magnetically attaches to the side of the tablet's frame and charges wirelessly; offering up to eight hours of use per charge, weighing 12.2 grams and featuring a 240Hz response rate.

Xiaomi Mi Pad 5 press image w/ keyboard

At the 15 September global launch, the company made mention of the Xiaomi Smart Pen in select markets but it looks as though the keyboard didn't make it beyond the Chinese models.

The more modest Mi Pad 5 comes powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 860 chipset and a larger 8720mAh battery, while both versions of the Mi Pad 5 Pro packs in a Snapdragon 870 SoC and an 8600mAh cell.

Here's the Mi Pad 5/Pad 5's full spec sheet:

  • 11in 2.5K (2560x1600) 120Hz LCD
    • HDR10
    • Dolby Vision
    • 10-bit colour
    • TrueTone
    • Blue light protection
  • Quad surround sound speakers w/ Dolby Atmos
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 SoC
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB or 256GB storage
  • 13Mp rear camera
  • 8Mp front-facing camera
    • Face recognition
  • MIUI for Pad
    • Supports 300 optimised apps
    • Built-in split-screen multitasking
  • 8720mAh battery
    • 33W fast charging (91 minutes to 100%)
  • 6.85mm thin
  • 511 grams
  • Supports keyboard cover and stylus (each sold separately)
  • Colours: White, black or green (market dependant)

And here's the Mi Pad 5 Pro's spec sheet:

  • 11in 2.5K (2560x1600) 120Hz LCD
    • HDR10
    • Dolby Vision
    • 10-bit colour
    • TrueTone
    • Blue light protection
  • 8x surround sound speakers w/ Dolby Atmos
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 SoC
  • 6GB RAM or 8GB RAM (5G model only)
  • 128GB or 256GB storage
  • Rear cameras:
    • 13Mp rear camera (WiFi model)
    • 50Mp rear camera (5G model)
    • 5Mp depth camera
  • 8Mp front-facing camera
    • Face recognition
  • MIUI for Pad
    • Supports 300 optimised apps
    • Built-in split-screen multitasking
  • 8600mAh battery
    • 67W fast charging (67 minutes to 100%)
  • WiFi 6
  • Optional 5G
  • 6.85mm thin
  • 515 grams
  • Supports keyboard cover and stylus (each sold separately)
  • Colours: White, black (WiFi) or black (5G)

As well as an update on MIUI 12, the company also used the slates to introduced 'MIUI for Pad' – its Android-based tablet experience, that includes optimised apps for the Pad's larger display and a decidedly iPad OS-looking split-screen multitasking interface.

Unreleased Redmi tablet?

In the run-up to the Mi Pad 5 Series' Chinese launch, one FCC listing referenced another Xiaomi-made tablet, bearing the model number 21051182G.

While this mysterious slate didn't manifest during Xiaomi's 10 August or 15 September events, it's thought that this is an unreleased affordable Redmi tablet, which could yet still be released in the coming months.

Based on details combed from the FCC listing and China's 3C certification platform, the presumed Redmi slate reportedly runs on MIUI 12.5 (presumably in its MIUI for Pad form), sports dual-band WiFi and dual 4260mAh batteries (for a total capacity of 8520mAh), with 22.5W fast charging.

There's also talk of a MediaTek Dimensity 1200 or Snapdragon 765G chipset, in place of the aforementioned Snapdragon 860/870 chips in the Pad 5 line.