As expected, Xiaomi has unveiled its first Windows tablet powered by an ARM processor. The Xiaomi Book S features a 12.35 inch, 2560 x 1600 pixel LCD display and support for a detachable keyboard, and pressure-sensitive pen input.
Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 chip, the tablet should offer similar performance to the late 2020 version of the Microsoft Surface Pro X, which has a slightly modified version of the same processor.
The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 is a 7nm chip with 8 Kryo 495 CPU cores at up to 2.84 GHz, Adreno 680 graphics, and a Qualcomm Spectra 390 image signal processor and Hexagon 690 display signal processor, among other things.
While the chip is a few years old at this point, it’s still one of the most powerful Qualcomm processors around, having been designed for Windows laptops and tablets rather than smartphones and other mobile devices. That said, it’s starting to show its age in a few respects: it supports Bluetooth 5.1 and WiFi 5, for example, but not the newer WiFi 6 or 6E standards.
Xiaomi’s new 2-in-1 tablet pairs the chip with 8GB of LPDDDR4X memory and 256GB of storage and stuffs it into an aluminum body that measures 294 x 197 x 8.95 (11.6″ x 7.8″ x 0.35″) and which weighs 720 grams (1.6 pounds).
The Xiaomi Book S has a USB Type-C port, microSD card reader, stereo 2 watt speakers, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP/1080p front-facing camera with dual microphones and support for face recognition.
The tablet’s display supports up to 500 nits brightness, 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, and 10-point multitouch input. It has a 60 Hz refresh rate, a 16:10 aspect ratio, and 244 pixels per inch.
Xiaomi says the tablet supports up to 13.4 hours of battery life (take with a grain of salt, since the battery capacity hasn’t been revealed), and comes with a 65W GaN fast charger.
There’s a set of pogo pins on the bottom of the tablet for connecting to the detachable keyboard, and the tablet works with an optional Xiaomi Smart Pen which is sold separately. The pen supports 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity and has a 240 Hz touch sampling rate. The company says the pen’s battery is good for up to 8 hours of continuous usage, and takes just 18 minutes to fully recharge. Just need to jot down a few thoughts when the battery gives out? Charge it for one minute and you should get another 20 minutes of usage.
The Xiaomi Book S will be available in Europe soon for €699 (about $740) if you buy just the tablet or for €799 (~$845) if you want a tablet and keyboard bundle.
A step in the right direction, better than running Android I guess. But still only one usb-c port like the ipad, and ARM windows is fairly limited. Plus one of the advantages I see in the ipad is a decent aspect ratio in portrait mode for reading documents. 16:10 will display a pdf in the same size or smaller than the 10.9 ipad air, with black bars at the top and bottom.
If windows for ARM ran all the same stuff like M1 macs do, that would be a whole different deal!
Being a Xiaomi phone user and lover… I’m keeping my M1 Air – and getting rid of the ipad pro anyway. Still waiting for the right tablet, even the ipad pro lacks IMO.
Finally some competition in the Windows on Arm space. We need some low cost tablets too, maybe from Alcatel or Motorola to start seeing some real momentum.