Realme Pad review: Tablet for the budget conscious
The Android world is rather short of tablets. You might have thought there would be more of them to choose from going by the flood of smartphones around, but that’s far from the case. Of course, there weren’t anywhere near as many takers for them, but the Covid-19 pandemic came along and turned that on its head, when practically every member of a household needed a screen of their own to let the regular activities in their lives continue.
The Apple world, on the other hand, is populated with a whole line-up of regularly updated iPads of different types, giving those who can afford these and want to be in Apple’s ecosystem, plenty of choice. That leaves Android users with two categories of tablets — very expensive ones from Samsung, and budget ones also from Samsung, Huawei and Lenovo. It’s nice to have a new entrant now with Realme’s tablet, also in the budget category and not bad at all.
Sleek slate: The Realme Pad is a very nice looking device. It’s in Real Gold and Real Grey, of which we have the latter. It would be a typical tablet colour if it didn’t happen to have an interesting glinting groove on one side, making it look quite elegant. It’s slim and flat, which always looks good on a tablet. It’s also a very nice size at 10.4 inches of display. It’s not as landscape heavy as some tablets are, which I rather like because you can use it both as a consumption device to do things like read and turn it on its side to watch movies or work. On the work front, however, there’s no word on a recommended keyboard or one that comes from Realme. To me that’s a little incomplete, specially since people are buying tablets for learning and work and so on. Of course, you can pair it with any Bluetooth keyboard, but you’re on your own on which one will work well and how you want to stand the tablet up. There’s no case provided and you’re also on your own finding one that fits. I really think this is a thoughtless omission. The back does take on smudges, so keep a cloth handy.
The display on the Realme Pad isn’t very hi-res. It’s a 2000×1200 pixels and it’s not terribly bright either. It’s an IPS LCD panel and by no means an OLED. It’s not bad, however, and does a pretty good job of colours and angles given its limitations. Outdoors is another story. This tablet unexpectedly does have quad speakers and they sound pretty good and loud too.
Just about enough: The tablet runs on theMediaTek Helio G80 SoC with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC 5.1 storage. It’s nothing very much, obviously. Use the device to the hilt and you’ll definitely wish you had more powerful specs. It would be fine for tame tasks, but anything really demanding will pose a problem. Software is mostly stock Android and very bare bones and no effort has really been made with it beyond that.
The tablet takes a memory card in addition to two SIMs, which is just as well. It also has the 3.5mm jack, in case you want the kids to game quietly. There’s no fingerprint sensor. The battery is good and in the standard range for tablets at 7,100 mAh. Cameras (8MP) are make-do.
Starting Rs 13,999, the Realme Pad competes with Samsung’s A series tablets.