BEIJING -- If you ever wondered what the iPad Mini would be like if Apple decided to make it look like the iPhone 5C, well, look no further. The Mi Pad, from the Beijing-based company Xiaomi, is probably the closest you're going to get to a plastic iPad.
The Wi-Fi only 7.9-inch slate strongly resembles the iPad Mini, but is clad in shiny candy-colored glossy plastic instead of aluminum. Its screen resolution of 2,048x1,536 pixels matches Apple's Retina Display, Xiami boasts.
Powered by Nvidia's quad-core Tegra K1 processor, the Mi Pad has 2GB of RAM and 16GB or 64GB of onboard storage. It supports up to 128GB of extra storage via microSD. At a slender 8.5mm thick, it weighs 360g -- a little thicker and heavier than Apple's tablet.
It runs a heavily customised version of Android called MIUI, based on Android 4.4.2 KitKat. Strangely (or perhaps not), the new UI greatly resembles iOS 7, and it appears Xiaomi is going all out to deliver the Apple experience on an Android tablet.
Rounding out the specs is a five-element f/2.0 8-megapixel rear camera, and a 5-megapixel front camera for selfie addicts. The slate is powered by a large 6,700mAh battery -- but note that like on Apple's devices, it's not removable.
Priced at 1,499 Chinese yuan (roughly $240, £145, AU$260) for the 16GB version and 1,699 Chinese yuan (around $270, £160, AU$290) for 64GB, the Xiaomi Mi Pad will be available in China in June -- but as an "open beta". What this means is Xiaomi will let select users try out pre-production Mi Pads. There's no word on when it will hit retail stores, or in which other countries it will go on sale.