Huawei sets off on an ambitious mission of entering the tablet market, sending a message that they dare to tough it out with the overwhelming competition.
To start things off, you’ll notice that Huawei’s MediaPad looks quite similar to its competition, which isn’t exactly a bad thing. It measures approximately 10.5mm thin, weighs a mere 390g, and arrives in the 7-inch form factor, which clearly defines its portability. It has an aluminum finish on the rear, where you’ll spot the 5mp camera (which we’ll talk about later) and the discrete flap that conceals the slots for the placement of a SIM and microSD card. Opening the flap is easy, and so is inserting the cards – the entire process shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.
It’s clearly suggested using the MediaPad in portrait mode (as indicated by the orientation of the Google and Huawei logos on the back). When held in its prescribed position, you’ll notice the discrete 1.3MP front-facing camera on the upper left corner. On the top side of the tablet, you’ll discover the speakers and the 3.5mm headphone jack. On the right you’ll find the power button and volume switch. On the bottom, you’ll see the ports for the power adapter, mini HDMI and mini USB. Other than that, the MediaPad is a purely touchscreen device.
Powering the unit on for the first time took longer than expected, but with the way devices work nowadays, you’ll most likely be switching between sleep/wake modes anyway. Once everything is booted up, the familiar Honeycomb interface greets you on the MediaPad’s surprisingly brilliant 7-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1280×800. Colors are vivid and well-defined, which makes the display visually stunning.
As far as features go, there’s no real distinct selling point to the MediaPad – instead it offers an excellent alternative for those who want to go for the underdog in the tablet wars. The only unique trait in this tablet is the inclusion of Huawei Office, which allows you to create text documents, spreadsheets and presentations while on the go, and it supports Word, Excel, and PDF formats as well. Again, while having an office program on a tablet isn’t new, it’s nevertheless a useful pre-installed program to have.
On another note, the MediaPad’s touch-screen keyboard works amazingly well – it was accurate and responsive and proved to be a breeze when typing up documents in Huawei Office, or when using the web browser. While touchscreen typing is usually frustrating, Huawei excelled in their on-screen keyboard, and could very well be what sets it apart from the rest.
The 5MP rear camera with 4x digital zoom leaves more to be desired though – images produced have more grain than we’d like, even on its highest quality settings. And without any built-in flash….well you can see where we’re going with that. The same goes for the front-facing 1.3MP camera, which is used for video calls. Don’t be mistaken however – if you need to take a quick snapshot or capture a moving memory, the MediaPad’s camera will live up to the task. Just don’t expect fantastic jaw-dropping results.
The MediaPad performed relatively well with regards to connectivity, but it can be a little slow in acquiring and defining new access points. We tested its 3G and WiFi surfing and streaming capabilities and it performed similar to any other smartphone or tablet in its class. So if you’re looking for a mobile device that you can take around and quickly access the web with, the MediaPad will fulfill those needs.
Armed with Qualcomm’s dual-core 1.2GHz CPU, opening media files and gaming was sufficiently fast. Once again, the MediaPad performs almost on the same level as its more popular competitors, which makes it a refreshing new face in the tablet race that is dominated by with the same familiar names, over and over.
The MediaPad is suggested at Php 21,990, which roughly places it on the same tier as other high-end tablets. After spending some time with the Huawei’s entry, I find that the retail price is actually quite justified, considering the surprising quality of the MediaPad. However, I believe there is some concern with the close proximity of their price tag when compared to the public’s preferred brands, and so a little something more ohould be offered to sway people’s opinion. And of course, this isn’t even diving into questions of support for the upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich.
Huawei’s MediaPad is pretty impressive and will definitely give both consumers and the competition something to think about. It might seem like just another tablet in the crowd, but it will able to live up to your essential needs and wants. So if you want to deviate away from what’s trending hot and own something different, then Huawei’s MediaPad is definitely worth taking a chance on.
What’s not: -Camera needs improvement -Expensive
Buy Meter: 8.5
Huawei surprised us with their MediaPad – it looks great, is lightweight and performs well. It’s a great alternative for those who want to take the road less traveled.
- 7-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display
- 1280 x 800 resolution
- dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm processor
- 5MP rear-facing camera with AF, HD video recording
- 1.3MP front-facing camera for video calls
- 1080P full HD playback support
- HDMI port
- HSPA+ 14.4 Mbps connectivity
- 3G support, 802.11 Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth
- 8GB internal storage, expandable to 32GB via microSD
- Adobe Flash player 10.3
- Android Market access, Google services