If you’re familiar with Xiaomi, it’ll be for the company’s cool smartphones that remain tantalisingly out of reach for most of us. Now there is another Xiaomi product that we can’t buy, but probably will want even more — an official Transformer version of the Mi Pad tablet. That’s right. A Mi Pad, that’s also a Transformer, and it’s utterly fantastic.
It’s being produced with Hasbro China to celebrate Xiaomi’s sixth anniversary, in the most awesome way possible. Details are slim at the moment, but it’s reported the toy (that obviously doesn’t work as a tablet) will be part of a crowdfunding campaign, while others state it’ll cost about $26. The slight confusion isn’t unexpected — Xiaomi’s products are only put on sale in China, and details take a while to filter through — but it does make us wary this is a slightly late April Fools gag. Which we really don’t want it to be.
If it’s real, the detail looks amazing. Rather than the substandard Transformers toys of today, the Mi Pad Transformer — who really needs a name — looks more like a toy from the 1980s. Both robotic and a faithful reproduction of the tablet itself, there are even parts of the tablet that become his gun and shield. Media devices have always played a part in Transformers history, and like the ever-popular Soundwave (who transformed into a cassette deck), the Mi Pad is a Decepticon. This could mean that should a Xiaomi Mi5 Transformer arrive one day, it may be an Autobot, and Blaster’s modern equivalent.
Without the full details, we don’t know whether the dimensions match the Mi Pad 2 tablet, which has a 7.9-inch screen and challenges the Apple iPad Mini, but at a far lower price. The Intel-powered machine came out in November last year and starts at around $150, succeeding the original Tegra-powered Mi Pad from 2014.
Since Xiaomi doesn’t sell its smartphones or the Mi Pad internationally, but does have an online store for its accessories, we can dream that this brilliant little toy will one day join the power banks and headphones those outside China can buy.