(Cybertech) – Having also launched its first HarmonyOS watch, Huawei has announced a new tablet to fit into its revamped ecosystem. It’s called the MatePad Pro, and comes in both 12.6-inch and 10.8-inch models.
It’s safe to say the 12.6-inch MatePad Pro is the one Huawei’s drawing more attention to, and it’s easy to see why.
The front of the tablet is dominated by a huge OLED display that takes up 90-percent of the available surface area. That’s enabled by even, skinny bezels on all four sides and the fact that there’s no punch-hole camera cutting into the space.
Instead, Huawei pushed its selfie/video call camera into the right bezel, meaning it’s ideally placed for video calls in landscape mode.
That’s not all that’s impressive about the screen. It supports HDR10 and features 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, plus covers 100-percent of the DCI-P3 colour gamut.
The aim with this is not just to make it a great screen for media consumption, but also for creativity. With the right apps – for instance FilmoraGO HD – you can even use it for multi-stream video editing if you want to.
For those wanting it for document editing on the fly you can use Microsoft Office, WPS office or – of course – just log in to Google Docs in the browser and use that.
This screen is joined by an eight speaker system for loud, immersive stereo audio. For video and voice calls there are four microphones for far-field pickup and noise cancelling.
It’s powered by the Kirin 9000E chip, features a 10050mAh battery for up to 14 hours of use and support for Wi-Fi 6 standards up to 1.8Gbps. That battery supports 40W SuperCharge for fast refill while also supporting up to 27W wireless charging.
There’s even a triple camera system on the back joined by a 3D depth sensing array. Huawei didn’t go as far as calling it ‘LiDAR”, but the aim from it is to offer precision awareness of space that it’s in. A bit like the latest iPad Pros.
Hardware is only part of the story however. HarmonyOS is the big play here and it’s a massive change over the previous EMUI-based software. It is however safe to say that Huawei may have taken some inspiration from Apple’s iPadOS.
HarmonyOS has an app dock at the bottom of the screen which you can place priority apps in, while also temporarily adding programs you’ve recently used.
Like the iPad’s ‘Sidecar’ feature, Huawei’s Mirror Mode and Extend Mode allow you to use your MatePad as a sketchpad or external monitor for your MateBook respectively.
As you’d expect, it’s designed to make the most of Huawei’s ecosystem. That means if you have a Huawei phone you can use the multi-screen collaboration feature to control your phone from the tablet.
The software even features something called ‘FreeScript’, which is just like the iPad’s ‘Scribble’, allowing you to handwrite in text fields with redesigned Huawei M-Pencil.
This M-Pencil has been redesigned to make it really easy to use, thanks to having a transparent tip, allowing you to be really precise.Like its predecessor, you can snap it magnetically to the side of the MatePad Pro and it’ll charge wirelessly.
Of course, the MatePad Pro also supports a magnetically attached keyboard/folio cover which has a full size keyboard and even 1.3mm of key travel for a pleasing typing experience.
HarmonyOS even has mouse support, allowing you to connect a Bluetooth mouse and use that alongside the keyboard case for those times you want more of a laptop experience.
It measures just 6.7mm thin, weighs just over 609 grams and will be available in Europe in Matte Grey.
As mentioned there’s a 10.8-inch model too, with the key difference – apart from size – being that it’s got a Snapdragon 870 processor inside. That’s an interesting move from Huawei, which typically uses its own Kirin processors.
Similarly, there’s a non-Pro MatePad 11 being announced with a Snapdragon 865 processor inside. This one features a 10.95-inch 120Hz screen with much lower 1500:1 contrast ratio but still supports the M-Pencil and (smaller) smart magnetic keyboard.
It’s got quad speakers powered by Harman Kardon and offers up to 12 hours battery life.
On the whole, it shows one thing: Huawei is serious about tablets and serious about making a success of its own ecosystem. While it’s still in its early days, HarmonyOS is at long last here and ready for the masses.
Writing by Cam Bunton.