Oppo Pad Air Review: If You Want Android!
If you are in the market for a tablet, there is little of an option or consideration you need to ponder over. Suppose you like the best of the best and have no preference in terms of brands. In that case, most people will usually go for an iPad, or if you are one of the few people who can work around the Huawei ecosystem, then you may consider the MatePad. But for the rest of you looking for an Android option, well, until the new Pixel tablet hits the shelves, there's the Oppo Pad Air, an affordable Android-based tablet on which you can consume your favourite shows, do a little bit of light work and...runs Android!
Despite being priced at just under S$400, the Pad Air sports a lightweight metal design that doesn't feel cheap. Similar to earlier Pixel phones, the back also has this cool-looking two-toned finish, with the top part having this sand-dune-like texture and the rest being your normal sand-blasted matte surface which makes the tablet very comfortable to grip
Not to mention that it measures just 6.94mm in thickness and 440g, making it excellent for long periods of content consumption and gaming! You even have your power and volume buttons at the top corner as well, very much similar to the iPad.
The textured design at the top also houses its 8MP camera, which is enough for a quick snap or video when you have no other options.
As far as tablets go, this is superbly well-built. No complaints here!
Display & Sound
On the front, you have a 10.36-inch, 60Hz IPS display at a resolution of just 2000 by 1200. With that slightly bigger screen real estate, you do lose out on the pixel density a little, but then again, it's a tablet that's just hitting the mid-range territory so for its use cases, it will be more than enough.
The display also goes up to 360 nits which is alright in most situations, just maybe not directly under the glaring sun. The top of the display also houses the 5MP front camera which you can use for video calls and maybe selfies? On second thought, just use your phone instead.
It is also kitted with a quad-speaker setup that outputs stereo audio and supports Dolby Atmos depending on the source and media. The audio is also one of the positive aspects of the tablet, with rich highs and deep bass for that cinematic experience. While it pales in comparison to dedicated speakers or higher-end tablets like the iPad, it more than pulls its own weight for a tablet at this price.
Performance & OS
The Pad Air is powered by the Snapdragon 680 and well, it's a 680, so you can't expect 8 Gen 1-level performances. It's great for streaming sites like YouTube, Netflix or Disney+, but if you tend to transfer your videos into the tablet for VLC and such, it will struggle if it's a 4K playback, so you have to be patient on that front.
Oppo Pad Air
3DMark Wild Life
3DMark WildLife Extreme
Light gaming is also possible here, but you'll want to be conservative with the settings to achieve that lag and stutter-free experience.
ColorOS is also optimised for tablet use here, with a bottom taskbar and a myriad of productivity features like picture-in-picture, split screens, file drag and drop and Smart Sidebar, allowing you to quickly pull up apps that you frequently use. The Pad Air also supports Face Unlock for those concerned with security, with no fingerprint scanners.
Being Android based also means you get a certain level of freedom regarding file management, transferring files of any format, and seamlessly allowing access to any apps, all without the need for companion desktop apps like iTunes.
The good part of all these is that if you need to do any light work in a pinch, such as editing documents or emails, the Pad Air should suffice!
With a large 7,100 mAh battery, the Pad Air can last a whole working day with heavy use or in a specific use case, a six-hour bus ride from Singapore to Genting ending with just under 60% battery!
Of course, your mileage may vary depending on brightness settings, location, and the like.
Pricing & Availability
The Oppo Pad Air is available at most retail and eCommerce platforms for about S$399 or RM1,299 for its 4GB RAM and 128GB storage configuration.
Overall, if you need an affordable tablet that runs Android, this is it. Although if you are a more spec-driven person, you might be repelled by its weaker chipset. In that case, you may want to compromise and go for an iPad Pro instead, or you can wait out for what the upcoming Pixel Tablet has to offer!