OPPO Pad Neo Review: Content Consumer

OPPO is known for many things, but tablets is not one of them. In fact, when it comes to viable options outside of Apple, few options really spring to mind, which is something that the company’s OPPO Pad Neo is aiming to change.

It is the most recent tablet that OPPO has launched in South Africa, and at 11.4″ is designed to not only be good when it comes to consuming content as every solid tablet should, but also be used within a work environment as a potential second screen at a desk or on its own when portability is needed.

We spent the past few weeks with the Pad Neo, including two overseas trips, to see whether this tablet can indeed be used for work and play, or whether OPPO is still a few iterations away from having a viable iPad alternative.

Solid slab

We begin our review, as usual with the aesthetics. Here OPPO is not going to blow people away, but there is really only so much you can do with this form factor.

In general the company has done a solid job, with the curved edges of the aluminium body being comfortable to hold, the black glass portion of the rear that houses the camera array looking quite nice, and the button layout about what you’d expect from an 11.4″ tablet.

Speaking of which the bezels are kept slim so the screen-to-body ratio is good, and the 11.4″ display itself is both bright and crisp. It is an LCD panel that delivers a resolution of 2408×1720, along with supporting a healthy refresh rate of 90Hz, and 400nits of brightness.

In general it ticks all the boxes needed of a modern tablet. Our only issue is the responsive of the touch interface, specifically near the edges of the device.

For whatever reason, in certain apps it took a handful of tries before we could navigate back, enlarge or shrink the fullscreen view, or use the swipe gesture to exit. It was a particular problem when using Crunchyroll and YouTube, which is a bit of an issue given this device is designed to support and not impede the viewing experience for applications like those.

Hopefully this was just a blip, and more of an issue with our review unit on those two apps, but it happened often enough to warrant mentioning in this review.

The rest of the key specifications of the device are as follows:

OPPO Pad Neo
Display11.4″ LCD (2408×1720)
Dimensions25.5 x 18.8 x 0.68 cm (height, width, depth); 538g
ProcessorOcta-core MediaTek Helio G99
Battery8 000mAh
Rear Camera8MP
Front Camera8MP
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.2, WiFi 5, LTE
PortsUSB Type-C x 1 (charging and headphone jack)
RRPR6 999

Along with featuring a SIM slot to support up to LTE connectivity, the number of ports on offer are limited. We understand that tablets are not comparable to laptops on that front, but we did find it odd that no 3.5mm headphone jack is present, with only a single USB Type-C available to cater to both charging and wired earphones (if you have a dongle). Plenty of wireless earphones are available on the market, but much like laptops, having a dedicated 3.5mm jack is still a thing, and one we would have liked to see here.

We also would have liked to see some sort of protective cover included in the box. Sure, it is easier to do so for a smaller device like a phone, but given that OPPO is one of the rare companies that does include generic plastic clear covers for its smartphones, the absence for tablets is noticeable.

One aspect we cannot fault is the speaker experience, with four Dolby Atmos tuned speakers on offer and support for Hi-Res audio, the Pad Neo is well appointed on this front, delivering both crisp and booming sound when needed.

All play and no work

Now let’s shift to performance, and on this front the Pad Neo certainly delivers in terms of facilitating entertainment. The display is vibrant as mentioned, and even at the lower brightness settings does not feel overly dull or lacking in terms of visual fidelity.

It therefore makes the Pad Neo an expert device if your primary concern is watching videos, movies, series, or streaming music and other content.

The only thing we wish we had was some sort of smart cover to help prop up the tablet, especially as leaning it against other objects does not seem a long-term solution. This was especially evident when we tried to use the Pad Neo as a second screen of sorts, running live streams or webinars in the background while we worked on a laptop during the day.

As there is no dedicated smart cover with a keypad and tracked integrated, like many premium work/play tablets support, it always feels like this tablet is more geared towards content consumption and less so for multitasking for work.

It feels like OPPO missed a trick here, and if there was a better peripheral experience or integration, the tablet would become an entirely different value proposition.

Our frustrations with a lack of work peripherals aside, the OPPO Pad Neo performs well when asked, switching between apps speedily and navigating with ease. We don’t put too much weight in benchmarking for phone reviews, and the same rings true for tablet ones, but for those keeping record, we got a single-core and multi-core score on GeekBench 6 of 717 and 1 917 respectively for the Pad Neo.

For comparison, the last notable tablet we reviewed, the Nokia T20 (10.4″, 2022) mustered scores of 346 and 1 254.

Final verdict

As a content consuming device, the OPPO Pad Neo truly its great. It has superb battery life, a rich and detailed display, and a pleasing UI that brings the entertainment experience all together. The problem we have, however, is that it is not well positioned as a device that can be used for work too, which at R6 999, a tablet like this, really should.

The fact that OPPO seemingly sells no branded accessories to pair with the Pad Neo is rather telling too, as there is no protective cover in the box, and seemingly no options we can spot online either.

Added to this is the fact that it can be paired via Bluetooth to a keyboard, but seemingly has not been optimised for such an experience.

Perhaps we are asking more from the OPPO Pad Neo than we should, but if a great smartphone is required to enhance your ability to both work and play, the same should hold true of a great tablet. As such, the OPPO Pad Neo is only successful on the play aspect, and not the work one.



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