Pipo M6 Android Tablet Review

Pipo M6 Android TabletThe Pipo M6 Android tablet is marketed as a cheaper alternative to the Apple iPad. It has a 9.7″ screen with a 2048 x 1536 pixel retina resolution and from the front it even looks like an iPad. If you are interested in the iPad because of the gorgeous retina display, note that the Pipo M6 has an identical display.

Of course, the iPad runs on a totally different operating system but if you are looking for a similarly sized device with the same display as the iPad but at a fraction of the price, the Pipo M6 is a great candidate. Because of the different operating systems, it is difficult to make an apple-to-apple (pun not intended) comparison based on the hardware specs alone. The one comparison that would be of interest to most people would of course be the price. The cheapest iPad model with just WiFi and 16 GB of memory sells for $500. The WiFi version of the Pipo M6 sells for around $260. The 3G iPad with 16 GB ROM sells for $629 while the 3G Pipo M6 goes for $300.

Buy Pipo M6 from Dino Direct

DinoDirect.com is a world’s leading cross-border online store with millions of active customers from more than 200 countries. DinoDirect is committed to becoming the best reliable marketplace on the net by offering high quality products with the widest selections, reasonable price, worldwide free shipping and superior 7×24 customer service.

Buy from DinoDirect

Buy Pipo M6 from Amazon.com

PIPO M6 Quad Core Retina IPS Tablet PC (WHITE). RK3188 ARM Cortex-A9 Quad Core CPU. Android 4.2. RAM 2GB. Storage Capacity 16GB. Screen 9.7 Inch Retina IPS capacitive touch screen. Resolution 2048x1536.

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com

Buy from Amazon.com

Buy Pipo M6 from Amazon.co.uk

Pipo M6 with 9.7 Inch retina IPS screen (2048 x 1536px) , 180 degrees viewing angle. Super slim, Aluminum shell, capacitive Touch Screen, 10 point multi touch.

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.co.uk

Buy from Amazon.co.uk

Buy Pipo M6 from AliExpress

AliExpress has numerous retailers that are offering the Pipo M6 at a great price and some even have free international shipping thrown in. Multiple choices available including with and without 3G or throw in an additional keyboard case with your purchase.

Buy from AliExpress

First Impressions

The Pipo M6 comes packed in a simple packaging which contains the tablet and some accessories like the charger and some cables. It also comes with a pair of earbuds that are actually quite good quality. The packaging itself could have better to give a better impression that this is a high quality product instead of a cheap knock-off. I have personally come across rather nice and classy looking packaging from China brands so this is one area that Pipo should improve on.

The M6 tablet itself is a rather good looking tablet. It has the same metallic brushed metal back panel like the iPad. It also has rubbery plastic on both edges to provide a better grip. The construction is good and the unit does not creak or bend when I applied pressure on the housing and twisted it. Pipo’s reputation of producing tablets with nice industrial design remains intact.

The rear camera is located at the upper left corner instead of in the center like the M9 and M9pro. The M6 measures 243 x 190 x 10 mm and weighs 630 g. For comparison, the iPad measures 241 x 186 x 9.4 mm and weighs 652 g. As you can see they are almost about the same size and weight.

Since the Pipo M6 has the exact screen resolution as the iPad, it also means that the screen has a 4:3 ratio instead of the more common widescreen aspect that most Android tablets have.  This is not a major issue but for those who like watching movies, movies with 16:9 aspect will have horizontal black bars when viewed on a 4:3 aspect screen.

How does the Pipo M6 compare with other tablets?

Refer to our Top China Tablets Full Guide comparison matrix with over 40 tablets.

Pipo M6 Specifications

BrandPipo
ModelM6
CPURockchip RK3188 Quad-core ARM Cortex A9
RAM2 GB DDR3
ROM16 GB Nand Flash
CameraFront 2MP, Rear 5MP
Screen Size9.7 inch
Screen TypeIPS
Resolution2048 x1536 pixels (Retina)
Wi-Fi802.11 b/g/n
3Gon 3G model only
Bluetoothv4.0
GPSNo
Battery Type10,000 mAh
Size243 x 190 x 10mm
Weight630 g
Operating SystemAndroid 4.2.2

The Pipo M6 is powered by the Rockchip quad-core RK3188 ARM Cortex-A9 CPU with Mali-400 MP4 GPU. The RK3188is very popular and it powers many Android devices including tablets, TV sticks and TV set-top boxes. It provides great performance and on benchmarks, it outperformed many other quad-core CPUs including the Nvidia Tegra 3 and Samsung Exynos 4412.

There are 2 versions of the M6 available, with and without 3G. The only difference with the 3G model is that it comes with an extra slot for inserting the SIM card.

The tablet comes with 2 GB DDR3 RAM and 16 GB Nand Flash ROM for storage. If you need more storage, you can add an additional microSD card for up to 32 GB of additional storage. It is worth noting here that the iPad does not come with any expansion card slot. A 32 GB version of the iPad costs $600 while the 64 GB version costs a whopping $700. For comparison, a 32 GB microSD card costs under $30.

The display looks really gorgeous with great contrast and just the right degree of color saturation. The viewing angle is also great at almost 180 degrees.

The tablet comes with 2 cameras, a front 2MP camera for video conferencing and a rear 5MP camera. There is an LED flash included.

The M6 comes with Bluetooth v4.0 which is great for improving battery life when using Bluetooth. However, it has no GPS receiver.

The rechargeable Li-ion battery is 10,000 mAh and is rated by Pipo to last up to 9 hours. This is quite a high capacity battery. The battery on the M9pro which has a slightly bigger 10.1″ high resolution screen but the battery is only 7,800 mAh.

Pipo M6 Performance

The problem with high resolution or retina displays is the extra power required to push all those pixels on the screen. There are reservations whether the RK3188 quad-core chip has enough processing power to power a retina screen. On the Pipo M6, my initial findings were not good. The Pipo M6 definitely struggled and overall the tablet felt a little sluggish.

It seems like Pipo is aware of this limitation as they also added an alternative display mode that lowers the resolution to 1600 x 1200 pixels. The tablet performs much smoother at this resolution. However, this is not the display’s native resolution and as a result, the display doesn’t look as clear. It is a weird solution and it doesn’t make much sense. Pipo should have just used a native 1600 x 1200 display unless it is all just a marketing ploy to match the iPad’s specifications.

It looked bad for the M6 until I installed the latest firmware update released on 31 July. Performance in the HD or  2048 x 1536 mode improved significantly. Although it still does not feel as smooth as the 1600 x 1200 mode, but the slight lag is acceptable. With the new firmware, it is possible to leave the M6 in HD mode all the time.

Both the 5 MP and 2 MP cameras on the Pipo M6 are only of average quality at best. I have yet to come across a China tablet that has a very good camera. In terms of specification, the M6 beats out the iPad that has a 5MP rear camera but only a 1.2 MP front camera. However, the cameras on the M6 does not even come close to the iPad especially the rear camera that has backside illumination. However, if all you need to do is to take simple photos and videos to be shared on the web or social media, the M6 is more than adequate for the task.

The Pipo M6 has front stereo speakers that are quite loud although they are not very clear. The front placement of the speakers is good as they do not get muffled when placed lying down. However, the speakers are located near the bottom where your hands normally grip the tablet in landscape mode. My palms usually cover the speakers when I’m playing games that have onscreen game pad controls. It would have been perfect if the speakers were placed a little higher.

Battery life for the tablet is rated at up to 9 hours. I could actually stretch the battery up to 11 hours of light usage with mostly web browsing. With heavy usage with mostly games and watching videos, the battery lasts between 6-7 hours. This is quite decent battery life and it is a little better than I expected due to the high resolution display.

Conclusion

The Pipo M6 is a very impressive Android tablet. While it is not perfect, it far exceeded what I expected out of a device that has similar specifications to an Apple iPad but costs almost half the price. It had problems initially with sluggish HD display mode but the new firmware resolved the problem. Battery life is quite good considering the quad-core CPU and retina display. Overall, the Pipo M6 gets a 5 star rating from me.

Where to Buy Pipo M6

Buy Pipo M6 from Dino Direct

DinoDirect.com is a world’s leading cross-border online store with millions of active customers from more than 200 countries. DinoDirect is committed to becoming the best reliable marketplace on the net by offering high quality products with the widest selections, reasonable price, worldwide free shipping and superior 7×24 customer service.

Buy from DinoDirect

Buy Pipo M6 from Amazon.com

PIPO M6 Quad Core Retina IPS Tablet PC (WHITE). RK3188 ARM Cortex-A9 Quad Core CPU. Android 4.2. RAM 2GB. Storage Capacity 16GB. Screen 9.7 Inch Retina IPS capacitive touch screen. Resolution 2048x1536.

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com

Buy from Amazon.com

Buy Pipo M6 from Amazon.co.uk

Pipo M6 with 9.7 Inch retina IPS screen (2048 x 1536px) , 180 degrees viewing angle. Super slim, Aluminum shell, capacitive Touch Screen, 10 point multi touch.

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.co.uk

Buy from Amazon.co.uk

Buy Pipo M6 from AliExpress

AliExpress has numerous retailers that are offering the Pipo M6 at a great price and some even have free international shipping thrown in. Multiple choices available including with and without 3G or throw in an additional keyboard case with your purchase.

Buy from AliExpress

Our Rating

 

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Pipo M6 Android Tablet Review, reviewed by Roy Yap on 2013-08-16T13:37:32+00:00 rating 5.0 out of 5

Author: Roy Yap

Roy Yap is the administrator of TopChinaTablets.com. Roy has been writing both online and for print magazines for many years. He writes mostly technology related articles, particularly on consumer electronics and gadget reviews.

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9 Comments

  1. Hi,

    Just wanted your view on which tablet i should get pipo m9 pro or m6 pro.

    thanks

    Post a Reply
    • I would recommend the M6 if you don’t mind half the storage (can always add an SD card) and no GPS. Otherwise, I think that the M6 is a better buy overall.

      Post a Reply
      • Hi,

        Thanks for your reply just one more question what is a good phablet?

        your reviews are good buy the way very helpful

      • I haven’t really looked into the phablets from China so I can’t make an informed recommendation.

  2. Can you, please add some information on other ports? Like micro USB and in power jack. Is power charge like Onda V972 or separate like Vido N90?

    Post a Reply
    • It has a Home button and a Volume rocker on the top edge. On the right edge are the Power button, MicroSD slot, HDMI port, micro USB port, 9V DC port, microphone and a 3.5mm audio jack.

      The micro USB port does support charging but you need at least a 2.5A USB charger.

      Post a Reply
  3. I’m curious, I just ordered the Pipo M6 Pro and it does have GPS. Is this a new added feature? Also in your review you say it ran better after you upgraded the firmware. What version upgrade did you go to. The one I ordered had 4.2.2. Thanks.

    Post a Reply
    • I won’t be surprised if there is a variant that comes with GPS. Hardware specs for Chinese tablets are seldom set in stone even for models that have identical looks and model number. At the time of my review, the latest firmware version was 4.2.2 and dated 31 July. The latest firmware currently is dated Aug 14. Your tablet would most likely come with the Aug 14 firmware.

      Post a Reply
      • Thanks for the follow up. I was worried and almost cancelled my order to get the M8 that was recommended over the M6, but on review of those 4 M8’s offered none had GPS, which is a necessity for my needs. Hopefully I won’t notice the somewhat slower display response times that you mention, as I have nothing to compare it to. This is my first Tablet.

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