Xiaomi Mi Pad vs NVIDIA Shield - Specs Comparison

Written by B Johnson January 27, 2015
Xiaomi Mi Pad vs NVIDIA Shield - Specs Comparison
Hi guys, welcome back!

As a smartphone manufacturer, Xiaomi has already proved itself to the world that it is the real serious contender for Samsung and even Apple.

And that can be clearly seen on how successful this Chinese-based company in selling its smartphones all around the globe.

(Xiaomi Mi Pad vs NVIDIA Shield - Specs Comparison)

Thanks to its brilliant hunger marketing strategy in selling its devices to the consumers, this company now has become one of the top 5 biggest smartphone manufacturers in the whole world.

And more impressively, Xiaomi is basically not a smartphone manufacturer.

It’s only an online company that sells online contents for smartphones like wallpapers, screen savers, etc, through the MIUI – the UI designed by Xiaomi for Android devices, similar just like CyanogenMOD, etc.

But in the past 2 years, this company has shaped up into a real smartphone manufacturer alongside Apple, Samsung and other Android counterparts across the globe.

In fact, this Chinese-based company has managed to dump Apple and Samsung as the top smartphone makers in China.

Xiaomi Mi Pad vs NVIDIA Shield Tablet benchmarks and gaming performance

Anyway, just a couple of months ago, Xiaomi released its first-ever-gen tablet called Xiaomi Mi Pad.

One thing that in my opinion really stands out from this tablet is definitely its processor.

Thanks to Xiaomi’s decision to use NVIDIA’s latest and greatest Tegra K1 processor, not only is this tablet really powerful in graphical performance, but it’s also more than capable to deliver the same graphical power of today’s desktops/PCs.

So with that being said, i think it’s gonna be hard to find the real contender for this tablet, especially the one that has the same powerful graphical performance as this Xiaomi Mi Pad.

However, the superiority of Xiaomi Mi Pad on that sector can still be matched by one tablet. And that’s because this tablet is also powered by the same exact Tegra K1 processor, just like Xiaomi Mi Pad.

Interestingly, this tablet is coming from the same manufacturer that designs the processor inside the Xiaomi Mi Pad. And that is NVIDIA. Through NVIDIA Shield Tablet, it’s really obvious that this graphic chipset manufacturer has high hopes that its tablet could be the real gaming device across the tablet market.

That’s the reason why today i’m really excited to bring up these 2 devices in the same ring. I think it could be interesting to see how these 2 Tegra K1 tablets fare against each other, especially in terms of gaming performance.

I’m also really eager to explore more about the whole thing on these 2 tablets, like their software, cameras, features and of course, their gaming experience as a whole.

Well, if you’re also as interested as i am to know more about the comparison between these 2 devices, especially about their gaming performance, then here you go, my comparison review between Xiaomi Mi Pad and NVIDIA Shield tablet.


When it comes to overall quality, i think there should be no questions asked on these 2 devices. I know quite sure how impressive the quality of Xiaomi smartphones – from its display, cameras, performance and many more.

And this is amazing because even with that impressive quality, Xiaomi smartphone are really affordable to buy.

It goes the same NVIDIA Shield Tablet. Even though this manufacturer is known mostly for its graphic chipsets, NVIDIA amazingly is really mature in creating its own hardware devices – as shown on NVIDIA Tegra Note tablet.

So you can totally expect the same thing on this NVIDIA Shield Tablet.

As a matter of fact, with the new more powerful Tegra K1 processor – as opposed to the Tegra 4 processor inside the predecessor -, this tablet is now much even better than the previous-gen model.

Meanwhile, in terms of performance, especially graphical power, both tablets are probably on the same page especially given that Xiaomi Mi Pad and NVIDIA Shield Tablet are both powered by the same exact 32-bit Tegra K1 processor – even with the same clock speed of 2.2GHz per core.

So when it comes to gaming, there’s no doubt that these 2 devices are insanely powerful for that matter.

In fact, thanks to Tegra K1 processor – which is as powerful as today’s desktops/PCs, in terms of graphical performance -, both Xiaomi Mi Pad and NVIDIA Shield Tablet are probably the best performing gaming tablets on the market right now. But we’ll get more on that later.

But the questions remain, with all of their incredibly powerful specs and impressive gaming performance, which one between Xiaomi Mi Pad and NVIDIA Shield Tablet that is a so much better tablet in the whole aspect?

Which one that performs better when playing 3D heavy games?

Is any of these tablets really worth to buy, especially as a device to play heavy games?

Well, you're about to find out more about the answers of these questions at the end of this review, so be sure to stick around guys!


As far as the design is concerned, i think both tablets take some cues from other popular devices on the market. Xiaomi Mi Pad – as we all know already – is hugely “inspired” by the similar looking design of iPad mini, especially when knowing that this tablet also adopts the same exact screen size, resolution, pixel density and even the same 4:3 aspect ratio of iPad mini.

Xiaomi Mi Pad vs NVIDIA Shield - Tablet Comparison

Xiaomi Mi Pad

Xiaomi Mi Pad vs NVIDIA Shield - Tablet Comparison


And thanks to its similar looking bezels of iPad mini Retina, it’s gonna be pretty hard to find the difference between these 2 devices, especially when the screen and the UI are turned off (because their UIs look different).

But the most impressively about the design of Xiaomi Mi Pad is actually its material. Despite using just a plastic material all over it, the rear cover of this tablet amazingly feels really good, sturdy and comfortable in hands. And it doesn’t feel cheap at all, as thought by many people.

Not to mention, it’s also not prone to catch finger prints, which makes it more amazing than other Tegra K1 tablet made by HTC - Google Nexus 9 -, which is really finger-print friendly.

Similar just like Xiaomi Mi Pad, NVIDIA’s tablet also takes some design cues from other popular device. But interestingly, unlike Xiaomi’s tablet, this NVIDIA Shield Tablet is inspired by the design of HTC One, which is a smartphone, not a tablet.

This can be clearly seen on the dual-front-speaker grilles found on the left and right areas of this tablet (in landscape mode), which interestingly produce good and loud sound quality.

This NVIDIA’s tablet is actually not a huge departure from the previous-gen Tegra Note, which also has the same dual-speaker grilles on the front and of course, the stylus and its hole on the rear-cover.

Between Xiaomi Mi Pad and NVIDIA Shield Tablet, i think i have to go with NVIDIA’s tablet especially because it looks more modern and unique compared to other Android tablets on the market right now (with the exception of HTC Nexus 9 that also looks similar with the same dual-front-speaker).

Xiaomi Mi Pad may look great with iPad mini’s design and feel sturdy with its plastic material, but i think NVIDIA Shield Tablet looks more premium in the whole aspect.

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Xiaomi Mi PadNvidia Shield

Released June 2014,
360 g Weight)
7.9 inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 1536 x 2048 pixels, (~324 ppi pixel density), 16M colors
Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Protection
Quad-core 2.2 GHz Cortex-A15 Nvidia Tegra K1 Chipset
ULP GeForce Kepler (192 cores) GPU
Android OS
16/64 GB of Internal storage
microSD Memory Card slo for up to 128 GB
8 MP rear-facing camera
5 MP front-facing camera
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
HTML5 Browser
No Radio
Accelerometer, gyro, compass Sensors
Java MIDP emulator
Colors Blue, Green, Yellow, Pink, White, Gray
Li-Po 6700 mAh battery
    No SIM
    Released July 2014
    390 g (Weight)
    8.0 inchCapacitive touchscreen, 1920 x 1200 pixels, 16M colors (~283 ppi pixel density)
    * DirectStylus 2
    Android OS 4.4.2 KitKat
    Quad-core 2.2 GHz Cortex-A15 Nvidia Tegra K1 Chipset
    ULP GeForce Kepler 192-core GPU
    2 GB RAM
    Dual bass reflex port audio enhancement
    microSD Memory Card slot for up to 128GB
    Internal 16 GB
    No GPRS
    No EDGE
    Wi-Fi 802.11
    5 MP rear-facing camera with HDR
    5 MP front-facing camera with HDR
    HTML5 Browser
    No Radio
    Java MIDP emulator
    HDMI port
    19.75 Wh Li-Ion battery

    As 2 new-gen tablets, no doubt if both Xiaomi Mi Pad and NVIDIA Shield Tablet pack some high-grade quality specs on them, which are considered as high-end on today’s tablet market.

    In fact, Xiaomi Mi Pad comes with the specs that are on par with iPad mini Retina, which is the most popular high-end tablet on the market to date, alongside iPad Air.

    It has the same 7.9-inch “Retina” display sporting the same 1536x2048 pixel resolution just like iPad mini 2, a quad-core 32-bit Tegra K1 processor, 2GB of RAM, 192-core Kepler GPU, 8MP and 5MP cameras back and front (which take great pictures by the way), 16/64GB internal storage, microSD card for up to 128GB, a huge 6700mAh battery and many more.

    Meanwhile, NVIDIA Shield Tablet is also not too shabby at all in terms of specs. It has an 8-inch display sporting the full HD 1920x1200 pixel resolution, a quad-core Tegra K1 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB native storage, microSD card for up to 128GB, 5MP cameras front and back, 19.75Wh Ion battery and many more.

    On paper, it’s pretty obvious that this tablet is not “on the same level” with Xiaomi Mi Pad, especially on the display and camera sectors.

    However, both devices are still “on the same page” when it comes to gaming performance.

    And i think, the existence of stylus on NVIDIA Shield Tablet really makes up the lower resolution display and rear-facing camera compared to Xiaomi Mi Pad.

    If you haven’t known already, the stylus of NVIDIA Shield Tablet is really amazing, you can use it not only to take some simple notes, but you can even create some beautiful paintings out of this stylus.

    So long story short, the stylus of NVIDIA Shield Tablet is really awesome, even as amazing as S-Pen on Samsung Note


    If there is one sector that Xiaomi Mi Pad is really superior at than Xiaomi Mi Pad, then it’s definitely the display.

    Xiaomi Mi Pad is packing a 7.9-inch display with the screen resolution of 1536x2048 pixels (similar just like iPad mini Retina), as opposed to the 8-inch display with 1920x1200 pixel resolution on NVIDIA Shield Tablet.

    So when it comes to sharpness, then the clear winner here is definitely Xiaomi Mi Pad.

    And that’s not only because it has more pixels on its display, but it’s also because the display of Xiaomi Mi Pad is supplied by SHARP – which is also one of the screen suppliers of Apple.

    So basically, with this type of “Retina” display, the experience of watching movies, reading books/magazines, browsing the web, editing documents or playing games will be amazing.

    The text looks crisp and quite readable even from far distance, the image looks sharp, and everything on the screen just looks so great and pleasing to see.

    It actually goes the same with the full HD display found on NVIDIA Shield Tablet.

    Even though this tablet is sporting a lower-resolution screen than Xiaomi Mi Pad, having a full HD resolution actually already produces such a sharp looking display on this tablet.

    In fact, it’s more than enough for a small 8-inch tablet like this.

    User Interface

    Xiaomi Mi Pad and NVIDIA Shield Tablet actually fall in separate different paths when it comes to User Interface.

    As a Xiaomi-produced tablet, there’s no doubt that Xiaomi Mi Pad will come pre-installed with MIUI out of the box, which usually takes a lot of space in the memory (RAM), thanks to its heavy customizations, features and visual presentations here and there on its pre-loaded apps.

    On the other hand, NVIDIA Shield Tablet can be considered as much lighter in terms of software than Xiaomi Mi Pad.

    And that’s because this device is injected with stock vanilla Android UI – based on Android 4.4.2 Kitkat (upgradable to Android 5.0 Lollipop), without any heavy customizations from the manufacturer – NIVIDIA it is.

    So when it comes to overall performance, i think NVIDIA’s tablet is probably much faster and smoother in the long run than Xiaomi Mi Pad.

    But the good news is, Xiaomi Mi Pad is powered by a huge 2GB of RAM. So even with that heavy MIUI and its rich features, this Xiaomi’s tablet is still more than capable to perform really fast and smooth, even when opening some heavy apps at once.

    Meanwhile, the performance of NVIDIA Shield Tablet is definitely superior here compared to Xiaomi Mi Pad.

    Not only that, it’s also more efficient and effective with the use of energy from its battery, making sure that it’s able to survive longer than Xiaomi Mi Pad.

    Back to Top
    As Tegra K1 tablets, there’s no single doubt that both Xiaomi Mi Pad and NVIDIA Shield Tablet are gonna be great for gaming. But let’s talk about that later.

    In terms of overall performance, however, i think NVIDIA Shield Tablet is more superior and much faster than Xiaomi Mi Pad especially when controlling or operating the UI.

    And that’s because, first, it comes with stock vanilla Android UI without any heavy customizations, and second, it’s sporting a full HD 1920x1200 pixel display, which is lower than the 1536x2048 pixel display found on Xiaomi Mi Pad.

    So basically, the overall performance of NVIDIA Shield Tablet will be much faster and smoother than Xiaomi Mi Pad, especially when doing some heavy intense tasks like gaming.

    But even so, thanks to the Tegra K1 processor found on Xiaomi Mi Pad, i believe this tablet is also able to perform smoothly for doing some basic daily tasks.

    It goes the same when playing games. Again, thanks to the Tegra K1 processor – which is MADE for gaming – found on both devices, you can totally expect either Xiaomi Mi Pad or NVIDIA Shield Tablet to be really great for playing games.

    In fact, these 2 Tegra K1 tablets are currently 2 of the best gaming tablets on the market right now, even than the iPad Air.

    And that’s mostly because its Tegra K1 processor – as proved by benchmark tests held by some tech sites -, is capable to deliver the same graphical performance as today’s desktops/PCs.

    It even manages to outperform Apple’s A7 chipset and bring 3 times graphic power as Apple’s homemade processor on iPad Air and iPad mini Retina.

    So with that being said, then the gaming performance of both Xiaomi Mi Pad and NVIDIA Shield Tablet can be considered as better than iPads.

    However, between Xiaomi Mi Pad and NVIDIA Shield Tablet, in my opinion, i think i have to go with NVIDIA Shield Tablet as the one that has better gaming experience as a whole than Xioami’s tablet.

    And that’s mostly thanks to its dual-front-speaker grilles, which produces a strong and good sound quality to this tablet, making the gaming experience more realistic.

    This NVIDIA’s tablet will also be much smoother for gaming given that this device comes with very light weight UI and software – as opposed to Xiaomi Mi Pad that uses a heavy MIUI along with its heavy features, which really consumes a lot of space in its memory/RAM.

    And this has such a huge impact to the gaming performance of this tablet, especially when playing some heavy intense games. But even so, Xiaomi Mi Pad is still a great and powerful gaming tablet. No doubt about that.

    But of course, if compared side-by-side with NVIDIA’s tablet, i will definitely pick NVIDIA Shield Tablet over Xiaomi Mi Pad.

    Anyway, with Tegra K1 processor embedded inside these 2 tablets, basically you’re able to play some latest and the most graphics intense games like Modern Combat 5, Asphalt 8: Airborne, GTA San Andreas and not to mention, many other next-gen games that are made only for Tegra K1 devices – like Trine 2 (PS3 title), Half Life 2 (PC) and many other more that are about to arrive next year in 2015.


    One sector that always impresses me about Xiaomi devices is actually the camera. Despite being affordable devices, many of Xiaomi smartphones impressively have decent quality cameras.

    Even the cheapest model – Redmi 1S – is also able to take some decent shots with its 8MP rear-facing camera.

    Soon i found out that Xiaomi apparently uses Samsung’s camera module on most of its smartphones. And we all know already that Samsung GALAXY devices have the best quality cameras on the market.

    So with that being said, you can totally expect the same thing on Xiaomi Mi Pad.

    Thanks to its 8MP camera on the back and 5MP camera on the front, this tablet is more than capable to take some great quality photos and videos.

    As a matter of fact, according to what i’ve already seen on video reviews of this tablet on YouTube, the 720p videos taken by the camera of this tablet look really sharp and gorgeous. Everything just looks really crisp and impressively sharp.

    I believe this has something to do with the camera module supplied by respected manufacturers like Samsung or Sony – which has been proved their quality.

    So no wonder if Xiaomi Mi Pad is able to take some decent quality shots with its cameras.

    It actually goes the same with NVIDIA through its Shield Tablet.

    Even though there’s no further information regarding the supplier of the camera on this tablet, NVIDIA Shield Tablet is actually also as impressive as Xiaomi Mi Pad when it comes to picture taking or video recording.

    And that can be clearly seen on the previous-gen Tegra Note that gained many positive feedback from tech reviewers on the net.

    So you can totally expect the same thing on NVIDIA Shield Tablet. In fact, i even think that the 5MP rear-facing camera on this tablet is much improved and better than the one found on predecessor, especially thanks to the new build of software on this device.

    So if you’re really into photography and you’re also looking for a tablet that has great camera, then Xiaomi Mi Pad and NVIDIA Shield Tablet can be your good options here.

    Their camera quality may not be on par with iPad Air or Samsung’s flagship devices, but at least, the quality is still decent and the photos/videos are worth showing off to your Instagram or Twitter followers.

    Battery Life

    Xiaomi Mi Pad is powered by a pretty huge 6700mAh battery inside, while NVIDIA Shield Tablet comes with 19.75Wh Li Ion battery – or equal to around 5000 – 6000mAh battery (if i’m not mistaken).

    On paper, Xiaomi Mi Pad definitely looks more superior than NVIDIA’s tablet. However, in the real world implementation, i think both tablets are pretty equal in terms of battery life.

    Okay, Xiaomi Mi Pad may have a much bigger 6700mAh battery.

    However, in default, this tablet comes with MIUI, which is a really heavy weight UI filled with many advanced features and visual presentation (and i know quite well how power hungry the MI UI of Xiaomi devices).

    Not to mention, its display also caries much higher resolution than the screen of NVIDIA Shield Tablet (1536x2048 pixels VS 1200x1920 pixels), which will drain a lot of power from its processor.

    So with that 6700mAh battery, i believe this tablet is able to survive in a solid day on a full 100% charge – of course in moderate use.

    On the other hand, if you’re a power user and will likely use this tablet to do some heavy intense tasks without resting the screen at all – like watching HD movies in marathon or playing games in the row -, you can probably expect to see it last around 4 to 6 hours the longest.

    This really contradicts with NVIDIA Shield Tablet.

    Thanks to NVIDIA’s decision to use stock vanilla Android UI and only a full HD 1920x1200 pixel display, i believe this tablet is more than capable to survive in many hours even in heavy use.

    Not to mention, if this tablet already gets updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop – which comes with many improvements on battery department -, i think this will help a lot in making this device last longer ever for doing heavy intense gaming.

    However, don’t expect this tablet to survive like around 8 hours non-stop for gaming because that’s not going to happen, especially if you deploy some heavy console-quality games like Trine 2 or Half Life 2 in many hours without stopping.

    But basically, both tablets are really good equally, if not the best. And i strongly believe their battery life will be much improved when they are updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop.

    My Personal Opinions

    So in conclusion, i personally think that both tablets are equally great. No doubt about that.

    They have strong powerful Tegra K1 processor – which ensures heavy console-quality gaming -, sharp display, great quality camera, good sound quality (on NVIDIA Shield Tablet of course), comfortable design for gaming, plenty of free RAM, microSD card slot, great gaming performance and of course, the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet gaming controller.

    With any of these devices, you can do absolutely anything from watching HD movies, reading books/magazines, editing documents, browsing the web, taking photos, recording videos and the experience of doing these tasks are no doubt amazing, thanks to their high-grade specs.

    However, if compared side-by-side against each other, i personally would go with NVIDIA Shield Tablet instead of Xiaomi Mi Pad. And that’s mostly thanks to its stylus.

    As i mentioned already above, the stylus of this NVIDIA’s tablet is really amazing.

    Its touch response is really realistic, every result occurs in real-time on the fly to the screen, its thickness can be easily controlled according to your pressure to the stylus on the screen and there’s also this technology that prevents your palm from being registered when using the stylus.

    So long story short, the stylus of NVIDIA Shield Tablet is really awesome, even as impressive as S-Pen on Samsung GALAXY Note tablet. And i’ve already seen they perform side-by-side on some video reviews on YouTube.

    Meanwhile, Xiaomi Mi Pad doesn’t have stylus. And if any third-party stylus can work on this tablet, i don’t think its writing experience will be as amazing as the stylus of NVIDIA’s tablet.

    I think the only things that make this tablet better than NVIDIA Shield Tablet are its display and probably its MIUI.

    It has a much sharper screen and its UI has a lot of cool features and visual presentations here and there on its pre-loaded apps – as opposed to the full HD display and standard looking Android stock UI on NVIDIA Shield Tablet.

    However, in the whole aspect, not just as a gaming device, i’m still really consistent to say that NVIDIA Shield Tablet is a better tablet overall than Xiaomi Mi Pad, despite having lower full HD display, lower rear-facing camera, flat looking UI.

    This NVIDIA Shield Tablet still has some awesome things to brag in front of Xiaomi Mi Pad – like its dual-front-speaker grilles, modern-looking design, good sound quality, much smoother overall performance and of course, its amazing stylus.

    And i think these are more than enough to make it up for its lower resolution, camera and flat stock Android UI.

    Besides, having a full HD resolution on an 8-inch tablet is actually good enough for most of users. It looks already sharp and crisp for this small tablet.

    Not to mention, by using a stock Android UI, it actually really helps this tablet perform much even faster and smoother, plus more efficient with the use of battery, making it last longer.

    But even so, both Xiaomi Mi Pad and NVIDIA Shield Tablet are still decent quality tablets, even for gaming.

    So you’ll make no mistake if you pick up any of these devices in the near future.
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