Xiaomi’s latest iPad mini clone runs Android or Windows 10

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Xiaomi pic
Xiaomi pic1
Photo: Xiaomi
Sounds like iPad, looks like iPad. Photo: Xiaomi
Sounds like iPad, looks like iPad. Photo: Xiaomi

Xiaomi latest iPad mini clone got its grand unveiling today, and it has a neat trick up its sleeve. The 7.9-inch Mi Pad 2, which would look right at home in the Apple Store, can run either Android or Windows 10 — and it starts at just $156.

The new Mi Pad 2 is a big improvement over the original Mi Pad — which looked more like a giant iPhone 5c — with an all-metal form factor that’s both thinner and lighter, and updated internals. It’s powered by a 64-bit Intel Atom X5-Z8500, 2GB of RAM, and either 16GB or 64GB of storage.

Adopters also get a USB-C port, and a 7.9-inch display with 2048×1536 resolution (the same as the iPad mini).

This is a lot of hardware for RMB 999, which is what the Mi Pad 2 will start at when it goes on sale in China on November 27. But what’s really special about this tablet is the software: If you opt for the 64GB version at RMB 1,299 ($200), you can choose between Android or Windows 10.

Unfortunately, you cannot dual-boot between both platforms, so you’ll have to choose carefully — but it’s great to see Xiaomi giving customers this choice. It seems Android would certainly work better on a 7.9-inch display, but Windows 10 could be more useful to many.

Xiaomi hasn’t announced any launch plans for other markets — and it’s unlikely the company will officially bring it to Western markets. But if you’re interested, you should be able to find the Mi Pad 2 on Amazon, eBay, and other sites from third-party sellers following its official debut.