Not all tablets are designed to be an extension of your laptop or an extension of everything smart and powerful, some, like the Oppo Pad Air, are just there for sheer video entertainment or educational purposes. So if you’re willing to pull out your pockets for an Android tablet that doesn’t need to do fast computing, the Oppo Pad Air will be more than enough to be a student’s study tablet with a decent display for YouTube videos and a camera passable for Zoom calls.
Oppo Pad Air review
Entertainment in the air
4GB RAM | 64GB storage
The 10.36in display is a colossal one at this price point which makes you wonder how many interesting things you can do on the Oppo Pad Air. We’ll get to the bit but you might need some muscle power to keep the 440g Pad Air in the air with one hand. The massive size makes it quite wobbly for one-hand use, so the Oppo Pad Air requires your full attention. Like both hands on the wheel sorta thing. It’s a two-hand-use tablet that has a 2000x1200 resolution LCD IPS display with nice thick bezels for you to rest your thumbs. The flat sides and a ribbed section at the back will keep things firmly pressed to your fingertips and avoid any accidental oopsies. Although, the sturdy metal body should be able to handle a few nicks if you toss it around the living room.
The display itself is slightly questionable. Oppo’s website calls the display a 2K resolution display but you shouldn’t confuse that resolution with a 1440p resolution display which are also called 2K displays at times. The Pad Air is marginally above FullHD with its 2000x1200 resolution. It doesn’t support HDR either. So the content on the display is rather dull compared to most budget smartphones that have OLED displays. You also can’t force apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to stream in 4K so the content is streaming at FullHD on the Oppo Pad Air which is slightly disappointing.
Although, the sheer size of the display makes binge-watching shows and movies quite eye-catching. The best type of videos we enjoyed was anime content with bright colours and no need for HDR subtleties. Rick and Morty looks clean without much need for the display to conjure up deeper colours. Cyberpunk Edgerunners has bold and bright colours which look very captivating on the 10.36in display. Even the aspect ratio of the display is quite content friendly. You’ll barely find black bars on top for most shows and movies.
Moving to anything like Stranger Things where the HDR and resolution quality matter to enjoy the darker and the more cinematic scenes, the Oppo Pad Air falls short. There are noticeable artefacts in the HD resolution, especially after our eyes have been trained to enjoy 4K. The colour and brightness quality is also dull and unexciting.
That said, the audio quality is fantastic. The stereo speakers are Dolby Atmos supported so whatever you’re looking at on the 10.36in display, it’s going to sound way better than it looks. These are very loud as well and don’t sound fatiguing at higher volumes either. It’s clean on all frequencies for the price. Although, the stereo separation is a bit lacking. The soundstage is also not as wide as we thought it would be for a four-speaker system. We’re ok to overlook these gripes for the pocket-friendly price.
Performance and UI
Now the reason why the Oppo Pad Air is incapable of being a powerhouse is because there’s only 4GB RAM and yes, that’s ancient by Android tech standards. Meanwhile, the 64GB storage variant is not enough either. Although there’s a MicroSD slot for storage expansion and if your usage is to dabble between schooling and consuming video content, then the Pad Air should suffice. There’s a 128GB variant too if you want more storage.
However, for the price, the Oppo Pad Air has one of the most reliable performances thanks to the Snapdragon 680. Oppo hasn’t padded the tablet with bloatware or any excessive apps. In fact, it's mostly littered with Google’s apps and fairly light on the software side. You can start multitasking with split-screen mode and even have a third app open as a floating window. It’s all nice and easy but there’s a severe limit to getting typing work done on this. There’s no way to attach a magnetic keyboard and third-party keyboards that come with a protection cover are severely limited. Oppo also doesn’t sell such accessories in India. Nabbing a Bluetooth keyboard might do the trick but you will not have the book-like (protection case and keyboard together) convenience that Apple iPads do.
That said, opening multiple apps is easy and reading Gmail or writing notes while attending a Zoom meeting is all part of the Oppo Pad Air’s existence. The front camera is also placed on the side and the video quality is enough to mark your attendance for the maths paper. Maybe even the early Monday morning briefings with the boss. Showing them your dog through the rear camera might not look very pretty.
Now for a fraction of the cost of most tablets, the Oppo Pad Air is a real value product for budget buyers. It’s packing all the necessary bits for students to start attending online classes and for folks who want to sit and make presentations on a big display. The mammoth 10.36in display might be a wee too big for your hands so getting any writing work done will require a Bluetooth keyboard and a kickstand which you might have to buy separately. Oppo doesn’t sell these accessories in India and finding the perfect fit for this device is going to be as challenging as getting a US visa. But you may want to fly to China instead where Oppo does sell these accessories. So maybe they might come to India in the near future. Although we don’t know that for sure.
Regardless, a tablet with a price this tempting deserves your attention. If you can push your budget beyond ₹25,000, there are some incredible tablets too.
A student’s tool and an Excel sheet magician’s cheapest love story, this massive tablet is worth the short cash
|Display:||10.36 inches, LCD IPS, 2,000x1,200 resolution|
|Battery:||7,100mAh, 18W Fast Charge, Quick Charge 3.0 support|
|Storage:||64 GB/128 GB UFS 2.2, supports up to 512GB MicroSD card|
|Audio:||Stereo with support for Dolby Atmos|
|Processor:||Qualcomm Snapdragon 680|