HONOR Pad X9
- Comes with free keyboard/case
- 120Hz dynamic refresh rate
- Certified low blue light and flicker free
- Great battery life
- 4G connectivity
- Graphic heavy games took a toll on it
- Not waterproof
- No NFC
I love tablets. In fact, I have 5 tablets in my personal possession. Of course, two of the tablets are for my two sons for their games and YouTubeKids. But I’m not that kind of parent who gives too much screen time for them. It’s a good thing they prefer real physical games instead.
This time I received the new HONOR Pad X9 for review, which I think is probably the best and most affordable tablet for a digital nomad like myself. The reason why I said it’s the best is because the tablet comes with a keyboard that doubles as a protective case right out-of-the box. That’s right. For such an affordable price, you will get not only the tablet itself, you will also get a keyboard to use on-the-go.
As far as I can remember, if you want to buy a tablet along with a keyboard, you may have to purchase it separately. Or if you’re invested on a much expensive tablet, you may get a keyboard for free. But that usually will cost you a bomb.
But that is not the case with the HONOR Pad X9. It is probably the cheapest tablet you can get with a free keyboard plus a spec that is good enough for gaming and productivity. And trust me, I use it on a daily basis to get my work done even when I’m out and about. It has great portability too. It is small enough to fit in my bag, therefore I will have it with me most of the time.
Now let’s get to the gritty details and get to know why I love the HONOR Pad X9 so much.
HONOR Pad X9 – First Look and Design
For starters, the display size for the HONOR Pad X9 stands at 11.5 inch with HONOR FullView Display feature. It supports 2000 x 1200 screen resolution with up to 120Hz dynamic refresh rate. This means the HONOR Pad X9 will have a much smoother scrolling and transition between apps. It also comes with a hardware level TÜV Rheinland Certified Low Blue Light and TÜV Rheinland Certified Flicker Free that is easy on the eyes while in use for a long period of time.
Just like HONOR’s mid and high end smartphones, the HONOR Pad X9 also comes with Circadian Night Display which will automatically adjust the display into warmer colours to reduce the amount of blue light, ensuring the secretion of melatonin to improve sleep, helping users to get longer and better sleep quality.
The HONOR Pad X9 is very slim at 6.9mm thickness with chiselled edges, which means the sides are not rounded off. I particularly like this type of body construction, mostly adopted by smartphones in 2023. And it is weighted at 495g, making it light and pleasant to carry around.
There is also a single 5-megapixel camera at the back that I find good enough for simple shots, but don’t expect me to capture stunning photos with the Pad X9. It also comes with a similar 5-megapixel selfie camera at the front, located right at the top of the screen, smack in the middle when viewing the tablet in landscape mode. It is also good enough for a video call on Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
The power and volume rockers are located at the top as well, when placing the tablet in landscape mode. If you have the keyboard attached, it can stand up at an appropriate angle to give you a comfortable view of the display. Pressing the power button will turn on the display and it will immediately scan your face, that if you already assign your face to unlock the HONOR Pad X9. Unlocking with the face ID is almost immediate, which is quite accurate for me.
The HONOR Pad X9 only comes with a single colourway, which is Space Gray. Yes, the name of the colour is the same as the fruity brand devices but hey, I don’t mind it one bit.
As a bonus, the HONOR Pad X9 comes with a total of 6 speakers. There are two sets of speakers on each side (in landscape mode) and two more speakers firing from the bottom. This gives a rather loud and immersive audio experience if you’re into gaming or simply love watching movies. The audio quality is pretty good on this one. It uses HONOR Histen Sound technology to deliver vibrant and dynamic 360° audio for a compelling cinematic surround sound experience.
As for the keyboard (and case), it is highly durable but can only be connected to the tablet via Bluetooth. Unfortunately, it doesn’t connect to the table via any physical connectors. However, the connectivity latency is pretty low. I hardly notice any lag from the moment I type in a word to show on the display. It is instantaneous. I have used a tablet keyboard that is connected via Bluetooth that lags big time. Not on this device though.
The keys are quiet on each press and it is a joy to use. Although I feel that the space is a little cramped, I got used to it almost immediately and was able to type as fast as I usually do. It’s just too bad that it doesn’t come with a trackpad, else it would totally replace my laptop. But that is a missing novelty that I can live with, especially at this price point.
Apart from being a keyboard, it also serves as a protective case for the HONOR Pad X9. It is sturdy enough to absorb any knocks and bumps. But I dare not drop the tablet on the floor to test it out. But I’m sure it will protect the tablet well enough.
There is also an on/off button at the side of the keyboard to conserve battery. There is also a USB-C port right next to it for charging. The battery on the keyboard can last me about 4 days before needing to charge. And when it is connected to the tablet, I can see the battery indication right at the top-right corner of the tablet’s display. With this, I can know when to charge the battery.
Performance and Daily Use
The HONOR Pad X9 is powered by Snapdragon 685 with 4GB of RAM + 3GB of HONOR RAM Turbo. That brings a total of 7GB of RAM available. It also comes with a 128GB of internal storage, which is sufficient enough for my daily use.
HONOR Pad X9’s Snapdragon 685 chipset allows it to reach a CPU clock speed of 2.8GHz, while the GPU performance has been improved 14.5% over the Snapdragon 680 to guarantee fluid graphics and quick responses. This is noticeable when I’m playing games or doing some multitasking work. In this regard, the overall performance is pretty good.
The device is powered by Android 13 right out-of-the-box with MagicOS 7.1. The performance by the OS has been optimised to run smoothly on the HONOR Pad X9 and since I am familiar with MagicOS, it feels right at home.
For work, I mostly spend my day writing articles and browsing the internet. Believe it or not, I am writing this article on the HONOR Pad X9 itself. Since it is very portable, I can continue my writing anytime, anywhere, as long as I have an internet connection. Here is another huge advantage with the HONOR Pad X9.
This device is connected to the internet 24/7 via a SIM card that I have placed in the SIM tray. That’s right. The HONOR Pad X9 comes with 4G connectivity that can also receive calls. Surely I will not hold this huge tablet against my face when I receive a call but that is possible. Of course, I will use my trusty wireless earbuds to receive or make calls. Data connectivity is very stable and since it is a 4G enabled device, the speed is good enough to stream movies in HD whenever I want to. It can also act as a hotspot for my other mobile devices. Talk about a true digital nomad device. Oh yes, I can also add a MicroSD card for extra storage. Cool.
Another novelty feature that comes with the HONOR Pad X9 is the ability to connect to other HONOR devices such as smartphones and laptops via the HONOR Connect. Through HONOR connect, the HONOR Pad X9 enables users to enjoy a multi-device experience. I can monitor notifications, read and respond to texts, drag and drop files, and access apps with the help of HONOR Connect. I do this and it is connected to my HONOR 90 phone all the time. If you have an HONOR laptop, you can do the same too. Easy peasy.
When it comes to battery life, the huge 7,250mAh battery can last me up to 3 days on normal usage such as writing an article, browsing the net and watching a little bit of YouTube. When I add gaming into the picture, the battery can still hold up for 2 days before I plug in the charger. The battery also supports 22.5W HONOR SuperCharge, which will fill up the juice in just over an hour.
The HONOR Pad X9 is great for gaming as well. I have my usual PUBG Mobile game installed. I also have a “lighter” game such as Angry Birds 2 which is easy on the graphics. First, let me tell you about my gaming experience with PUBGM on the HONOR Pad X9.
First of all, I didn’t get to set the graphics to its highest setting. I can only manage to run it at full HD at 30fps, which is good enough. But from what I’m seeing, the graphics are clear and smooth. Gameplay may have a little lag at first but when it is fully loaded up, it becomes smoother. I can say that the HONOR Pad X9 handles the graphics pretty well but there are some hiccups during intense combat. However, the touch responsiveness is quick and accurate.
I came to the conclusion that the HONOR Pad X9 is not meant for graphic demanding games. The Snapdragon 685 can only do so much and it is trying its best to cope with the demanding graphics from the game. But having said that, I still enjoy a few long gaming sessions on the HONOR Pad X9. On the upside, the 6 speakers on the device provide an immersive surround sound so I can hear shots or footsteps coming from any direction.
For less graphic demanding games such as Angry Birds 2, it’s a no brainer. The game runs smoothly without any lags or delays. It is truly an enjoyable device for games and entertainment. Although I spend most of my time on the HONOR Pad X9 for work, I will always find time for gaming. At times, I would fire up Netflix to binge on some of my favourite shows as well. It is truly made for work and play.
As for the camera performance and features, I can say that it is best to stick to my trusty HONOR 90 for that. Don’t get me wrong. The HONOR Pad X9 can still capture some decent pictures. But it is not made with photography in mind. I can use it to scan some documents and save it in PDF format. That it does really well. And the selfie camera is good enough for video calls but it lacks the high-definition quality.
I do use it for video calls frequently as my “actual” work requires me to hold video calls on Microsoft Teams and Zoom on a daily basis. So it doesn’t really matter to me on the video call quality but it would be nice to have it in HD quality. Having said that, I will not be reviewing its camera performance in this review.
The HONOR Pad X9 is probably the best budget tablet that you can find to-date. I said this because it can really perform well for my daily tasks. I can even do a split screen to display two or three windows at the same time to make my task easier. At the same time, I can also connect to my phone or laptop for easy file transfer, all thanks to the HONOR Connect feature. Best of all, it is connected to the internet all the time via the SIM card with 4G connectivity. Surely it’s every digital nomad’s dream device right here.
Another great point it has is that the keyboard/case comes free when you purchase a brand new HONOR Pad X9. You will never get this package especially at this price point. I have seen other brands selling their tablets at the same price point but you will have to purchase the keyboard separately. That will put a dent in your wallet.
So, if you’re thinking of getting a brand new tablet for work or play, I do recommend you to check out the HONOR Pad X9. It is very affordable, great performance and long lasting battery that will keep you going for days.
Intrigued? You can now purchase your very own HONOR Pad X9 for only RM1,099.00 from HONOR’s official HiHonor website and also get a free keyboard worth RM299 right now.