I enjoyed the company of the OnePlus Pad for two weeks, and we bonded, which is rare for me with a tablet of any kind that’s not a 7-inch e-reader. I tend to find tablets useless; even iPads are just wasted mobile displays. I also think any tablet over 8 inches is excessive and ergonomically corrupt because it is uncomfortable to hold for long periods. Most 10 and 11-inch tablets are just awkward, and this comes from someone who can palm a basketball.
OnePlus altered my opinion on tablets with its Pad, starting with its display design. The 7:5 aspect ratio feels more like a book in hand, making it comfortable to hold and fun to use.
Here are the three things the OnePlus Pad does better than an iPad.
A tablet I actually want to hold
As I mentioned above, the OnePlus Pad’s 10.1 x 7.45 x 0.25 inches are meant to be held in one or two hands. The display's 7:5 aspect ratio takes a larger tablet and gives it a shape that is far more ergonomic, allowing for a comfortable fit and a more natural, book-like experience.
Although the iPad Air isn’t too far off, measuring in at 9.74 x 7.02 x 0.24 inches, which I like, the OnePlus Pad just felt more natural in my hand. I also believe that the OnePlus gives you more display without being too big.
The price is the price, no need for storage upgrades
For $479, you get 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. If you buy the iPad Air, you get 64GB of storage that you will eat up in no time as you take photos and download books, movies, games, music, apps, and family videos. Then you will have to up your iCloud storage, which gets expensive. I am paying $9.99 monthly for 2TB of iCloud storage to cover my Apple devices.
With the OnePlus Pad, 128 GB won’t last long either, and yes, you get a Google Drive backup of 15GB or whatever the free amount of storage is. However, that 128GB gives you more time to figure out where to offload your media. Sure, Apple offers a 256GB Air, but it costs $749, I refuse to spend that much on a tablet.
Yes, Oxygen OS is just a skin over base Android, but it's one of the better skins, and it is optimized to run smoothly. Combined with the MediaTek Dimensity 9000 chipset, Oxygen OS runs quickly and smoothly. The operating system uses fast pair technology to connect to your smartphone, earbuds, and other peripherals within moments. When connected to the magnetically attached keyboard, it is the best Chromebook experience I've had to date.
I ran Google Workspace and the rest of my daily workload, editing photos in Pixlr or Photopea without restriction. Then I ended my day by reading a book on the Kindle app. The OnePlus Pad let me transition quickly from work to relaxation without a hitch. I found Oxygen OS to be even more user-friendly than iPad OS, which may stun some readers, but it's just such a clean version of Android, and that could be why.
The only issue that I can point out as to why the iPad will remain dominant is Android's lack of tablet-focused apps. The iPad has its own very focused OS and, more importantly, hyper-focused endless apps specifically designed for the iPad.
However, for $479, you get a fantastic display, a better form factor, a good pair of cameras, and a powerful chipset that, although it can’t match the iPad Air’s M1, can hold its own against anything else in the Android tablet space while saving you so much money.