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Huawei MatePad 2021 Review: An Affordable Entertainment Tablet

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

The new Huawei MatePad is an entry-level tablet that promises immersive home theatre-like video and audio quality while still performing well for a bit of gaming and of course, work. However, it’s not flawless. In fact, it takes a lot of getting used to.

Huawei MatePad

Credit: Huawei

You get a portable 10.4-inch tablet that weighs 460g and sports a 16:9.6 slim bezel 2K FullView display that has also received TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light certification, meaning that your eyes are safe from blue light exposure while you enjoy videos in HD. Additionally, it has a pixel density of 225ppi and supports a 100% sRGB colour gamut.

The tablet is also fitted with the new Huawei Histen 6.1 and comes with a quad-channel speaker system powered by Harman Kardon. We also found that the tablet’s audio provides good stereo when left on a flat surface. This, combined with the tablet’s Wi-Fi 6 connectivity and display, makes it ideal for streaming videos without a hitch. The tablet’s front and rear camera are both 8MP, but the front camera has fixed focus while the rear one has autofocus.

A 7nm Kirin 820 processor capable of speeds of up to 2.36 GHz powers the whole tablet. Additionally, the tablet also has 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. If that much storage isn’t enough for you, you can expand the tablet’s storage with a microSD card of up to 512GB. Combine all these with its integrated Mali-G57 GPU and NPU systems, and you have a tablet that is not only handy for streaming videos but gaming too.

The tablet comes equipped with a 7,250mAh large-capacity battery, providing users with around 12 hours or so of battery life.

Huawei MatePad

Credit: Huawei

But before we talk about the tablet’s performance, let’s discuss its features. The tablet prides itself on being a perfect companion for everyday entertainment due to its display, audio and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity. You can immerse yourself in a home theatre-like video and audio experience without the need for headphones or similar devices. To take advantage of its 2K screen and excellent speakers, you will need content.

The tablet also comes with Huawei Video pre-installed, which offers a varied selection of free and paid international drama series, movies and documentaries. It is a good source for content since the service also partners with other providers like Mango TV, TVB, Discovery Channel, CJ Entertainment and many more. For S$7.98 per month (probably the cheapest video service out there), users can subscribe to Huawei Video+ where one can have unlimited access to premium channels and content. For those who are unaware, Huawei Video is the company’s video-on-demand service that is similar to Netflix and we feel it is a missed opportunity for Huawei to not aggressively promote this service.

Speaking of Netflix, Huawei has made it easy for users to download and install it. Through its Petal Search service, one can easily search and be directed to a third-party Android store where you can easily sideload the app. While testing the sideloaded Netflix app, we found out that it doesn’t really give you anything higher than a 720p stream. Using a similar method, you can also download a third-party YouTube app but like most third-party apps, it can be a little buggy. In this instance, you won’t be able to watch videos in full-screen if you stream anything above 1080p.

The tablet also comes with an eBook mode that mimics e-ink by changing the contrast, brightness and definition. It also comes with support for M-Pencil for a natural and intuitive writing experience. The pen has a pressure sensitivity level of 4,096 and tilt support, allowing users to write with accuracy and sensitivity.

Huawei Children's Corner

The tablet is also great for families that have kids due to the addition of the Children’s Corner app. This app allows you to download many educational apps and games for children to play and enjoy. Something that really impressed us is the MatePad’s ability to lock the screen with a numpad that frequently changes the numbers’ placements and the app also overwrites android’s toolbar and navigation bar by disabling it altogether. This makes it impossible for your child to exit from the app without your password.

While we’ve been praising the tablet so far, it also has its flaws. Big ones, in fact.

Let’s start with the tablet’s CPU performance. When tested on Geekbench, the tablet’s Kirin 820 processor scored only 612 at single-core and 2240 when at multi-core. Such scores are not the most impressive for a tablet but good enough for light usage.

As it is right now, if you’re looking for an affordable, family-friendly tablet that lets you easily multitask for work and entertainment, then you’ll be contented with the new Huawei MatePad.

The Huawei MatePad (S$498) is now available for purchase in all HUAWEI Experience Stores, selected consumer electronic stores including Best Denki, Challenger &, COURTS, Harvey Norman, Sprint Cass and Huawei official online stores in Lazada and Shopee.


Content by Lawrence Ng

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