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Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro 12.4 review: Powerful flagship tablet

Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro 12.4 review: Powerful flagship tablet

Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro 12.4

The Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro 12.4 is the closest thing to an Apple iPad Pro from the Chinese brand. Yes, the name gives it away, but it does have a large 12.4-inch screen, as well as optional accessories (keyboard cover and stylus) that transform this slate into a laptop replacement. It also boasts impressive specs for an Android tablet, a sleek, high-end design, and a suitably premium price (for a Xiaomi tablet, that is). Prices start at S$789 for my 8GB+256GB review unit, which is very competitive against other high-end tablets.

Quick specs

  • 12.4-inch IPS LCD (3,048 x 2,032 pixels, Up to 144Hz)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage
  • 10,000mAh battery (120W charging)
  • 590g

With even Apple offering OLED screens for the latest iPad Pro, I was somewhat surprised that Xiaomi stuck to an LCD screen for the Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro 12.4. Of course, this 12.4-inch display isn't your average IPS LCD. It boasts a sharp 3K resolution (3,048 x 2,032 pixels) and a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz. While users can manually select between 60Hz, 90Hz, and 144Hz, Xiaomi says the tablet automatically switches between seven refresh rates (30/48/50/60/90/120/144Hz) when at the default setting. The display feels smooth and responsive while scrolling web pages, and just navigating the interface in general.

The screen on the Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro 12.4 is just about bright enough to be legible under the sun, and supports Dolby Vision. While colours don't quite pop like they do with an OLED screen, and the blacks are definitely not dark enough, they still look pretty good to me. I would have preferred an OLED, though. Do note that the display's 3:2 aspect ratio is more suited for productivity than watching the typical 16:9 videos. So you can expect to see black bars at the top and bottom for movies. The glossy screen doesn't help — there will be reflections if you're watching movies in a well-lit room.

Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro 12.4
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

Many devices boast of Dolby Atmos speakers, but few truly live up to the billing. I'm glad to say that the six speakers on the Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro 12.4 are the latter. They sound remarkable, producing a discernible spatial surround effect while playing Dolby Atmos content. The soundstage is also wider than you'd expect from such a sleek device. My only grouse is that the bass isn't prominent enough for me, but for everything else, these speakers are excellent for a mobile device.

At 590g, the Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro 12.4 weighs about the same as the 13-inch iPad Pro. It's not as ridiculously thin, but the Xiaomi is still sleek at 6.2mm thick. The build quality is excellent. The aluminium chassis is solid, and doesn't flex under pressure. The power button doubles as a fingerprint reader, while the webcam is on the landscape edge. This 32MP front camera is sharp with little noise in video calls, and automatically keeps your face in the frame. It can also shoot 1080p 30fps videos, and do a pretty nice background blur for portrait shots. The 50MP main camera is good for a tablet, but it's a lot less convenient to use than your smartphone camera.

Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro 12.4
Screenshot by Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

The accessories — the Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro Touchpad Keyboard (S$149) and the Xiaomi Focus Pen (S$129) — transform this tablet into a laptop. You can charge the latter by attaching it magnetically to the tablet's landscape edge. The keyboard cover has a kickstand that props up the slate. And because it's a 12-inch keyboard, the typing experience is good. It doesn't feel cramped, and keys are the usual sizes, though there's no backlight. The touchpad is a tad small, but it's smooth, and supports multi-finger gestures.

Xiaomi's HyperOS user interface has some features for the Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro 12.4's large screen. For example, supported apps can be used in split-screen mode or floating window mode, and you can easily save shortcuts to restore a previous set of split-screen apps. There's also a Workstation mode that (see screenshot above) that you can toggle from Quick Settings. It creates a PC-like desktop environment, with resizable floating windows that lets you drag-and-drop between apps, as well as keyboard shortcuts. The interface works better if you're using gestures instead of buttons to navigate.

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Performance on the Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro 12.4 is excellent, thanks to its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset (Qualcomm's 2023 flagship chip). It's about as fast as Samsung's flagship Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra tablet. More importantly, the Xiaomi tablet mostly maintained its performance, dipping by around 4% in a gruelling 20-loop stress test using 3DMark's Wild Life Extreme benchmark. The benchmark also recorded a peak temperature of 39 degrees Celsius. The tablet felt warm in games, but not uncomfortably so. This tablet also supports the latest Wi-Fi 7 standard (no 5G version), so it's future-proof for the next few years. However, Xiaomi typically offers only three years of software support, which is shorter than Apple or Samsung.

Battery life is decent. Despite its 10,000mAh battery, the Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro 12.4 lasted 6hr 3min in PCMark's battery test. That's similar to the Oppo Pad Neo tablet. The bright LCD on the Xiaomi is probably the reason here. However, you do get 120W fast-charging on the Xiaomi tablet that simply blows its competitors out of the water. In addition, the Xiaomi is much more affordable (S$789 for 8GB+256GB and S$849 for 12GB+512GB) than tablets from Apple and Samsung. Get it now from Lazada, Shopee, and Amazon SG.

Note: Review unit provided by Xiaomi.


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Verdict



CAN BUY

Great Android tablet for media and productivity

Buy it at Shopee
Buy it at Lazada
Available at Amazon SG

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