Redmi Pad SE Review: The Best Android Tablet For Those On A Strict Budget

The Redmi Pad SE comes with a 90Hz display, a Snapdragon 680 SoC, an 11-inch display with a 90Hz refresh rate, a large battery, quad speakers with Dolby Atmos and much more
Redmi Pad SE Review: The Best Android Tablet For Those On A Strict Budget

The tablet market is starved of good products, especially on the budget side of things. Apple, the king of the tablet market has zero budget-friendly tablets. Other companies like Lenovo, Realme and Honor, working on Android tablets, all have products under Rs 15,000, but they all underwhelm and aren’t worthy of any recommendations.

At a starting price of Rs 12,999, the Redmi Pad SE, from the kingdom of Xiaomi, is one of the easiest recommendations I can make. Of course, stretch your budget a little and you can buy a Xiaomi Pad 6 or a OnePlus Pad Go, both better tablets. But if you’re on a strict budget, there’s nothing better than the Redmi Pad SE.

The Redmi Pad SE is the younger brother to the Redmi Pad that launched a little while earlier. The Redmi Pad SE comes with a 90Hz display, a Snapdragon 680 SoC, an 11-inch display with a 90Hz refresh rate, a large battery, quad speakers with Dolby Atmos and much more. This tablet is meant mainly for multimedia tasks and basic daily tasks.

There’s no need to delve deep into the Redmi Pad SE as it isn’t the product that needs it. Just knowing what the tablet has to offer, that each part has been well-thought-out by the R&D team and that everything just works, is more than enough.

The tablet looks sleek and stylish but it does weigh you down, at times. The Redmi Pad SE comes in at 478 grams and during prolonged use may feel heavier than it is. The company has put a smart cover (flap-style case) on sale for Rs 1,299 and I’d highly recommend you get this. The case also doubles as a stand and can automatically wake up or put the tablet to sleep when opened and closed.

The build quality is superb. The aluminium body is rigid and there are no sharp edges. Like any other budget tablet competitor, the Redmi Pad SE also has thick bezels. They’re good as they help avoid accidental touches, but it also means less screen real estate.

Let me just run down on the features where the Redmi Pad SE shines:

- Display: The 11-inch FHD+ IPS LCD (with a 1920x1200 resolution, 400 nits brightness and 90Hz refresh rate) surprised me by being the star of the tablet. It’s far better than anything else in this segment thanks to the 90Hz refresh rate. Even the viewing angles are pretty good on this tablet.

- Quad speaker: Thanks to Dolby Atmos the quad speakers sound better than expected. They get loud but have decent clarity at high volume levels.

- Performance: Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 680 chipset paired with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage means the tablet will fly through daily tasks. Just remember not to push the tablet to its limits, because the device will slow down and start to lag. While watching videos (YouTube,

JioCinema, Amazon Prime, doomscrolling through Instagram, and browsing the web, I felt a kind of satisfaction I haven’t before, with any tablet in this segment. Everything just worked as expected. It was fast and fluid and the 90Hz refresh rate helped with the animations.

- Software: The Redmi Pad SE runs MIUI for Pad (based on Android 13). It’s a neat UI, with almost zero bloatware. MIUI for Pad features Split-screen and Floating Windows, among other nifty features for enhancing your multitasking skills.

Two years of major updates have been promised. There are also three years of security updates coming your way.

- Battery: Thanks to the 8,000mAh battery, I was able to get about 10 hours on a single charge, mostly watching YouTube videos, Indian Premier League matches, browsing the web, and doomscrolling Instagram. The tablet can be taken on a trip and easily last 2-3 days.

There’s a 10W charger bundled in the box that juices up the tablet in about three hours. The tablet does support an 18W charger, but you’ll have to buy an adapter separately.

- Camera: Yes, you don’t buy a tablet to click photos. 99 percent of tablets out there have substandard tablets. They’d never be able to replace the smartphone in your pocket, let alone the DSLR if you own one. Even the front camera, coming in at 5MP, is a disappointment. It’ll be strictly average for your video calls, but even then, you might get frustrated by the quality.

What is good though is the Document Mode within the camera UI. You can get a digital copy of any document you have. They come in three modes; Original, B&W and Enahcnes. The quality here is satisfactory.

Verdict: Should you buy the Redmi Pad SE?

If your budget is Rs 15,000 at the maximum, then yes, the Redmi Pad SE should be your only option.

If you can stretch your budget by just a couple of thousand rupees more, then you open yourself up to a couple of other tablets that are much better. That’s the tradeoff you’ve got to realise before diving into the Redmi Pad SE.

The Redmi Pad SE also works great as a gift.

To sum it up, the Redmi Pad SE is great, but that’s mostly down to the fact that it just chugs along and has a fantastic and aggressive price to boot. But that’s about it for the Redmi Pad SE. Nothing less, nothing more.

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