Review: Oppo Pad 2 a solid Android tablet with a gorgeous display

The Oppo Pad 2, photographed by Newshub for Daniel Rutledge's review.
The Oppo Pad 2 with stylus. Photo credit: Newshub.

Oppo has released a new premium tablet in Aotearoa with a unique display and a price that undercuts its primary competition.

The Oppo Pad 2 is a great Android tablet which, despite a few drawbacks, should satisfy with its balance between value and quality.

The display is of a 7:5 aspect ratio (2800x2000), which is highly unusual and said to be a first for the industry. Somewhere between 3:2 and 4:3, it proved to be a really comfortable size for me and one of the highlights of this device.

This screen itself is gorgeous too, with 2.8K resolution and a pixel density of 296 PPI, an adaptive refresh rate of up to 144Hz and a maximum brightness of 500 nits. You can manually switch the display to 'professional mode' to get a 10-bit colour display, which I'd recommend you do unless you want to conserve battery life, as it makes the colours pop with a little extra beauty and accuracy.

Having such a high-quality display means working on this tablet is a nicer experience than it often is with other screens, as well as browsing image-heavy social media platforms.

But where it really excelled for me was as a viewing device for entertainment. There's something about the mastery Oppo has employed with this display and the small size of the unit overall that made watching film and TV on it really spectacular.

In terms of power, the Pad 2 packs a MediaTek Dimensity 9000 chip and comes with 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage. That chip benchmarks slightly lower than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which powers the new Samsung Tab 9 range, but it's still grunty as.

It never felt sluggish, even when I had a demanding game open at the same time as about a dozen other apps. It's always zippy, jumping between applications and ultra-fast to start up and get going, too.

The Oppo Pad 2 in portrait mode.
The Oppo Pad 2 in portrait mode. Photo credit: Newshub.

The main frustrations I had were more around the Android system, mainly as I'm more used to Apple's iPadOS. However, I have seen feedback online that Oppo's ColorOS Android skin isn't as good as some alternatives out there.

At just 6.54mm thick and 552g, the Pad 2 is nice and easy to carry about, despite its relatively large 11.61-inch display. 

I took it on a plane and watched a movie on it - in economy class - with absolutely no hassles. Propping it up using the keyboard case on the tray table left plenty of room for a drink and snack, which absolutely is not the case with a larger, comparatively clunky laptop.

Speaking of clunky though, the Smart Touchpad Keyboard that Oppo sells as an optional accessory isn't up to the standard of its comparable iPad counterparts. I found it slipped out of its magnetic lock much easier, which was annoying, and the keyboard itself has a bit of a tinny feel in comparison.

Now, about the value. While the Pad 2 is less expensive than the cheapest option in the recently announced Samsung Tab 9 range, it's still asking for around $1000 - and more if you want the peripherals with it, like the official stylus.

That's a much higher cost than budget Android tablets out there from the likes of Lenovo; but as is the case with Oppo smartphones, it is Samsung customers in New Zealand the brand primarily has in its sights with this device.

The Oppo Pad 2 with Smart Touchpad Keyboard.
The Oppo Pad 2 with Smart Touchpad Keyboard. Photo credit: Newshub.

That price puts it closer to the entry-level devices from Samsung and Apple than their premium options, but its specs are more in-line with their top-end offerings. There is a level of polish and prestige particularly with the iPad Pro line that the Pad 2 can't compete with, despite its specs; but when price is taken into account, Oppo is delivering a very impressive package.

If you're keen on a premium new Android tablet and aren't addicted to the convenience of a whole ecosystem of connected Samsung products, I'd highly recommend checking the Oppo Pad 2 out and potentially saving some money by getting it over a Tab 9.

It won't be the right choice for everyone, but if you don't mind the ColorOS system and the 7:5 display strikes a chord with you, it could well be just what you're after.

Newshub was supplied an Oppo Pad 2 for this review.