This week Xiaomi is celebrating its birthday as the company hits seven years old. What better way to celebrate than with the launch of a new tablet: the Xiaomi Mi Pad 3.

(Well, we'd like to see the release of the upcoming Mi6, though for now we'll refrain from being fussy.)

Successor to its Mi Pad 2, the Mi Pad 3 is an affordable Android tablet with a 7.9in screen, 64GB of storage and a capacious 6,600mAh battery. Here are the facts you need to know.

When is the Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 release date?

The Mi Pad 3 goes on sale today - 6 April 2017 - but only in China. In the UK there is no official launch date, because Xiaomi products are not officially sold over here. But don't let that put you off, as we'll explain below.

How much does the Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 cost in the UK?

The official RRP of the Mi Pad 3 is ?1499, which converts to $217 or £174.28. However, you will pay more than this in the UK due to the fact you cannot officially buy it here.

How to buy the Mi Pad 3 in the UK

As with all Xiaomi products, you can get hold of the Mi Pad 3 through a Chinese importer such as Geekbuying.

Geekbuying already has a pre-order page set up for the Mi Pad 3, which it says will ship in 28 days. Geekbuying offers free shipping to the UK, though you will have to allow for slightly longer delivery times.

The current price - though this will likely fluctuate - is £247.70 ($299.99), and although higher than the RRP that's still a pretty good deal for such a well specified tablet (we'll explore this in greater detail below).

Before you buy anything, be sure to check out our guide to buying Chinese tech.

Xiaomi Mi Pad 3

What are the key features and specifications?

The Mi Pad 3 is a very well-specified compact tablet with plenty of performance, storage and battery power. It runs MIUI 8, in common with all Mi mobile devices, and features several upgrades over the Mi Pad 2 but is more of a refresh than a total re-write.

Whereas its predecessor came with 2GB of RAM and 16- or 64GB of storage, the Mi Pad 3 features 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage as standard. Battery capacity has also increased from 6,160mAh to 6,600mAh, with battery life now expected to reach up to 867 hours on standby and 12 hours for media playback.

The camera has been upgraded from 8Mp to a 13Mp, f/2.2 model.

You've less choice when it comes to colour, though, with the new tablet available only in Champagne Gold. The Mi Pad 2 was additionally available in Dark Grey. The pair otherwise look very similar.

One thing to note is that while the Mi Pad 2 could run Android or Windows, the Mi Pad 3 is restricted to Android only. This is due to a processor change - from the x86 compatibility of the Tegra K1 in the Mi Pad 2 to the new MediaTek MT8176 chipset that integrates two 2.1GHz Cortex-A72 cores and four 1.7GHz Cortex-A53 cores.

Specification Mi Pad 3
Display 7.9in (2048x1536, 326ppi, 4:3) IPS
Processor 2.1GHz MediaTek MT8176 hexa-core 64-bit
Graphics PowerVR GX6250
RAM 4GB LPDDR3
Storage 64GB eMMC 5.0
Battery capacity 6,600mAh
Camera 13Mp, f/2.2 rear, 5Mp front
Connectivity Dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, USB-C, Bluetooth 4.1
Operating system MIUI 8 (based on Android)
Dimensions 200x132.6x6.95mm
Weight 328g

Read next: Best Android tablets 2017

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