Review: Poco Pad: Enhance Your Digital Life

The prime personal assistant

If you have read my recent review of the Poco F6 and F6 Pro mobile phones, you will know that I have switched my allegiance to this brand having been a long-time Samsung lover.

The best thing about my new phone is that it has seamlessly established itself as my faithful digital companion (by the way, I’m not getting any reward for saying this!) At the time of the launch of these phones, the Poco Pad was also unveiled to the world and I now have the pleasure of reviewing this well-crafted device and its accessories, namely the external keyboard, case and Smart Pen.

In box one

The Poco Pad is a handy 280 x 181.9 x 7.5 mm (11.02 x 7.16 x 0.30 in) aluminium shelled device which is home to a 12.1” touchscreen display. Weighing in at a reassuring 571 g (1.26 lb), it is just the right size to carry around in a bag or briefcase to college/ university or the office. The screen is made of Gorilla Glass 3 and is smooth and glossy. Sounds good Huh?

Also in the box is a 33W Mains charger (2-pin) and a USB Type-A-USB Type-C cable.

In box two

To accompany the Poco Pad, there is a rigid case into which the pad can be housed. The case will offer protection to the pad and can conveniently fold into a stand allowing you to use the pad hands-free in horizontal and vertical positions.

In line with other leading tablets, an external keyboard is available for the Poco Pad. The keyboard can be connected to the pad via Bluetooth, offering users a more tangible way of interacting with the tablet. Physically, it attaches to the pad in a similar way to the rigid case mentioned above. There is a magnetic connection at the base of the pad which secures the pad rightfully in place.

The keyboard is also nestled in a foldable, rigid case and wraps around the pad doubling up as a case for the Poco Pad. The Poco Pad can be used with either the rigid case or keyboard NOT both.

In box three

Box three is where you will find the stylus or as it’s officially called – Poco Smart Pen. The Smart Pen resembles a real-life pen or pencil in size and shape. There is a nib at one end which can be replaced with the spare one, which is also in the box. At the opposite end of the stylus is a USB-2 charging port. Yes, sadly, the Smart Pen does need charging unlike another tablet I have reviewed. Fortunately, it was already partly charged when I took it out of the box and only required a one-hour top-up with the 33W charger. Just like the keyboard, the Smart Pen is also connected to the pad via Bluetooth. In tests, I found the pen performed well. The only minor niggle I had was drawing on a glossy surface took some getting used to. Depending on the software you use, you can produce varying degrees of pressure on brush strokes which I found to be a welcome feature that isn’t mentioned in any of the marketing spiel that I read.

Setting up

Not knowing how long the setting up process would take, I felt the first thing to do was to make sure everything had enough charge. This was a hassle-free process. The part that had me scratching my head was connecting the keyboard and stylus via Bluetooth. This took longer and was a bit more convoluted than I had expected but eventually it worked.

Features

Now that I knew it was all connected and happy, I decided to embark upon the setup process. As with all Android devices, you get the option to link your Google activity such as your Gmail, Calendars, Contacts etc… with the pad. I hastily whizzed through this as I was keen to get my teeth into this device (so to speak!) I opened the Notes app and began typing. The keyboard is a well designed QWERTY layout with a satisfyingly soft yet assured keystroke. The keys have a textured surface which I also quite like.

Then, with the Smart Pen in hand, I scribbled some words on the screen and they magically became editable text! The software was able to decipher my diabolical handwriting and convert it into words that anyone could read. How cool is that? I know this technology isn’t exactly new but it was a revelation to me.

My attention switched to drawing and painting. This required a bit of a learning-curve. However, this was down to the software I had downloaded from Google Playstore than anything else.

The brains and heart of the Poco Pad are powered by;

  • Qualcomm SM7435-AB Snapdragon 7s Gen 2 (4 nm) Chipset
  • Octa-core (4×2.40 GHz Cortex-A78 & 4×1.95 GHz Cortex-A55) CPU

And a

  • GPU run on Adreno 710 chipset

Loaded with these specs, you can be certain that the Poco Pad is a very capable device for those wishing to explore their creative freedom.

The Poco Pad is generously equipped with an 8MP Selfie Camera. Flip the Poco Pad over and you will see the main camera lens which has the same spec as the Selfie Camera as well as an LED flash. Video footage is captured in 1080p at 30fps which may not exactly be Oscar-worthy but it’s fine for everyday use.

With all of the content that you will be creating, I’m sure you will want to know what kind of storage capabilities this device has. Well, do not fret. The Poco Pad comes with 256GB of internal storage space and a MicroSDXC slot, enabling you to add additional storage space as you need it.

My first ever tablet was the original Samsung Galaxy Tab. While it afforded features and performance that were acceptable for the time, The Poco Pad has confidently met most of my expectations. The one area that requires some improvement is the sound quality. Boasting a total of four speakers with two at either end of the device, I was expecting to be blown away by the sound quality. You see, “Tinny” is an adjective commonly associated with speakers that don’t meet the grade. Tinny speakers produce a lifeless sound which feels diluted or washed out. Honestly speaking the sound produced by the Poco Pad speakers does feel a bit tinny. You might think the addition of speakers may elavate the sound quality but sadly, I feel in this case, that four tinny speakers exacerbate the issue. The speakers seem tuned to emphasize the vocals while subduing the music. The apparent lack of any bass leaves me gently tapping my toes when I really want to emphatically nod my head to the beat.

Sum up

If you are able to forgo the drawback of the audio performance (just my honest opinion), the Poco Pad is an Android tablet worth considering. Partnered with the keyboard and Smart Pen, this device is a versatile tool when you’re out and about, on the move, wheeling & dealing. An ever-growing choice of Android apps from Google Playstore will provide you with the tools required for everyday living, working, pleasure & leisure.

If you’re interested in the Poco Pad, head on over to their website for further details and to buy.

About Author
Chetan is a London-based designer by profession. He is passionate about the role design plays in everyday life whether it's graphic, digital, fashion, product or environmental design. Motivated by aesthetic design, function and the User Experience of emerging and new technologies, products and platforms, he is ever keen to learn, discover and innovate. Although he doesn't consider himself a nerd or a geek, he is a big movie fan and lists Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Harry Potter, The Shawshank Redemption and… Brewsters Millions among his favourites! Chetan is also an aspiring author and is currently working on his first novel.