Oppo Pad Air review | Tech Radar

Two-minute review

The Oppo Pad Air tablet PC is an exciting new entry into the budget Android tablet market in India. Unlike other products in the market, this newbie from the Chinese smartphone maker is a weirdo in the market. Oppo’s Realme sub-brand has had a leg up in the industry and it might even have been a litmus test from the start.

The Oppo Pad Air is only available in one gray color variant. However, that doesn’t stop me from admiring the tablet’s design and build quality. The texture inspired by desert sand dunes on the back of the tablet adds to the already impressive metallic chassis of the Oppo Pad Air.

The tablet PC has a 10.36 inch 2K IPS display which is bright both in indoor conditions. During my time testing the Oppo Pad Air, I find no reason to be disappointed with the display. Colors are vibrant and the 2000 x 1200 pixel resolution makes up for the missing HDR support. With the addition of Dolby Atmos support through all quad speakers, the Oppo Pad Air is a well-packaged entertainment tablet for on the go.

The Oppo Pad Air runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 chipset which comes with 4GB of RAM and a choice of 64GB or 128GB of internal storage. You can expand storage via a microSD card but only up to 512GB. In terms of performance, the tablet PC can handle basic multitasking between web browsing and social media scrolling. Games like Candy Crush, Subway Surfer, and other low-graphics games run smoothly. However, it’s best to avoid action-packed titles like Apex Legends Mobile if you’re not a fan of pixelation. Although you can virtually increase RAM, it means sacrificing storage space. It runs on Oppo’s ColorOS 12.1 based on Android 12.

In terms of battery life, the Oppo Pad Air offers great battery life of up to 2-3 days with its 7100mAh battery. However, the SuperVOOC 18W fast charger will still take time to charge the tablet if you drain it completely.

Overall, the Oppo Pad Air is a budget tablet PC for users who want to browse the internet, stay connected on social media, check emails, and watch movies and shows without the premium features. At Rs. 16,999 for the base model, the Oppo Pad Air is a better alternative to the Realme Pad. The tablet PC is not suitable for extreme multitasking, but will get you through the week.

Price and availability

Oppo Pad Air sand dune texture on the back

(Image credit: Future/Sachin)

Oppo has priced its first budget Android tablet in India at Rs. 16,999 for the base model with 64GB of storage. The 128GB model retails at Rs. 19,999. The tablet PC has 4GB of RAM on both models and these are available for purchase from Flipkart and the i-store’s online and in-app store. company as well as offline retail partners.

As for the accessories for the Oppo Pad Air, you can buy the Oppo Life Smart Stylus at Rs. 3,999 through the company’s online store. Although the company does not sell a cover or case for the Oppo Pad Air, you will have to rely on third-party manufacturers.

Design

If you look closely, the Oppo Pad Air is inspired by the Realme Pad. But the company has given the tablet PC its own touch with the 3D texture of the dunes on the back. The tablet PC comes with a metal chassis with squared edges for easy handling.

When you hold it in landscape mode with the screen facing up, the power button is located on the left side just above two of the Oppo Pad Air’s four speaker grilles. You’ll also notice Dolby Atmos branding near the speakers. At the top are the volume buttons along with two microphones and the microSD card slot. On the right side of the Tablet PC, you’ll find two speaker grilles and a Type-C port for charging.

Just above the screen is the 5MP front camera for video calling. This is also surrounded by black uniform glasses around the screen. This is an all too familiar design and is not a deciding factor. The main 8MP camera is located at the rear and comes with a prominent camera housing.

While the overall design of the Oppo Pad Air is also similar to that of the company’s sub-brand portfolio, the former is a better choice design-wise solely for the mesmerizing dune texture. The build quality is excellent and you will be happy with it. The tablet is also lightweight at just 440g.

However, I wanted the company to add an LTE version by taking advantage of a hybrid SIM card slot. And as with smartphones, also pair a plastic case with the product.

Display

Oppo Pad Air with screen unlocked and icons visible

(Image credit: Future/Sachin)

The 10.36-inch screen of the Oppo Pad Air comes with a 2K IPS panel with a resolution of 2000 x 1200 pixels. The screen is bright and vibrant for watching movies and TV shows. At the tablet’s retail price, it performs well, if not better, than competing products at that price.

You can customize the color temperature of the display for warmer or cooler tones. Other than that, there are no additional features that make the display unique. You also miss HDR and high refresh rates.

None of that seems like much of a problem once you’ve delved deep into the online library of content you regularly enjoy. Most movies and shows work great in full screen on Netflix and other OTT platforms. The lightweight design also means you can comfortably continue your binge-watching sessions.

The display’s performance isn’t up to snuff when outdoors. The screen is reflective and forces you to turn the brightness up to maximum. To improve visibility, I even opted for the light theme.

Also, I recommend that you keep a cleaning cloth with you at all times. The screen tends to pick up a lot of fingerprints and smudges.

Performance

Oppo Pad Air launched in India

(Image credit: Future/Sachin)

The tablet PC runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 chipset found in many budget smartphones in the market under Rs. 15,000. And the performance is excellent considering the price.

The Oppo Pad Air is capable of handling any daily task you throw at it. Organize your calendar, send your emails, spreadsheets or presentations, browse the web and scroll through social media apps.

Multitasking is possible, but the Oppo Pad Air won’t be able to keep up with the demands of power users. The limited 4GB RAM is sufficient for most tasks, but there are a few downsides. Although the experience with ColorOS 12.1 is smooth, you will notice occasional lags. This is due to the bottleneck caused by limited RAM. However, I have observed that the tablet PC enables virtual RAM expansion by default once it is first configured. The RAM is extended by 1 GB in the settings, increasing the total RAM to 5 GB.

ColorOS is the same familiar user interface you’ve seen on Oppo’s smartphones. But, there are interesting multitasking features like split screen, flexible windows or dual windows. The sidebar also lets you add apps of your choice to a quick access menu.

If you plan to play on the Oppo Pad Air, it will be able to handle low graphics games. Larger titles will struggle, and I’ve seen pixelated images when playing Apex Legends on default settings.

Speaker performance is geared more towards the treble and midrange. Although it lacks strong bass, the quad speakers deliver Dolby Atmos spatial surround. Pairing the tablet with a TWS earphone, like the OnePlus Nord Buds, that supports the feature will add to the entertainment experience

Battery life

Oppo Pad Air front view in landscape in outdoor conditions

(Image credit: Future/Sachin)

The 7100 mAh battery of Oppo Pad Air is enough for users for 2-3 days. This is when the tablet is used for long hours watching movies and using productive apps like Gmail or Google Workspace. Battery life tends to decrease when screen brightness is set to full.

When it comes to charging the Oppo Pad Air, you get an 18W SuperVOOC fast charger in the box. If it is completely drained, it will be better to save the tablet to recharge it 2-3 hours before going to bed. This tablet doesn’t beat any of the competition, but shares the same performance and battery expectations as the others.

Should you buy the Oppo Pad Air

Oppo Pad Air in gray color

(Image credit: Future/Sachin)

Buy it if

Don’t buy it if

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