No, I’m not even kidding. The name, the look, the fact that the stylus is called the M-pencil. They’re not even trying to hide it so why should we, amirite? But here’s the thing: the iPad Pro is a phenomenal iPad so I guess it won’t be too bad if Huawei made an Android version called the MatePad Pro, right? Well, not really because every “Android iPad” will always be missing the iPad’s strongest feature, iPadOS.
Huawei launched a whole bunch of products today at their virtual launch including a brand new folding smartphone (well, I’ll use brand new very generously), a new pair of laptops and this, the Huawei MatePad Pro.
And what it is, is a 10.8″ tablet that has some pretty respectable features. Up front, is that reasonably sized display that also pushes a resolution of 2560×1600, giving you a pixel density of 280ppi. For comparison, the iPad Pro only packs 264 pixels per inch so the MatePad has the leg up there. On top of that, the MatePad Pro features a 90% screen-to-body ratio, coverage of the DCI-P3 colour gamut as well as a max brightness of 540 nits.
Despite having a smaller display, Huawei’s new tablet is a little thicker and a little heavier than an 11″ iPad Pro, weighing in at 492g and measuring 7.99mm in thickness. That said, the MatePad Pro will have 3D graphite heat dissipation technology to keep your device cool. There is also a quad speaker setup and a quad microphone setup that’s tune for far field pickup.
Inside, the tablet is powered by Huawei’s flagship 7nm Kirin 990 processor that’s mated to 8GB of RAM and either 256GB or 512GB of internal storage. It supports storage expansion, but only via Huawei’s NM card.
Keeping the lights on is a 7250 mAh battery that charges via USB-C. It also has support for 40W SuperCharge fast wired charging as well as 27W fast wireless charging. In addition, this new tablet supports reverse wireless charging so you can use it to top up your other wireless charging devices.
Obviously, as it is competing with the iPad Pro, it will also come with support for a magnetic keyboard with 1.33mm key travel as well as two stand (60°/70°) angles for you to adjust between. Huawei also has the aforementioned M-pencil (which CEO Richard Yu keeps accidentally referring to as a “pen”) stylus that has 4096 points of pressure sensitivity as well as tilt detection. It even magnetically sticks to and charges via the top of the MatePad Pro.
Again, nothing that I’ve talked about above is bad to see on a tablet. In fact, a lot of those are the hallmarks of a great tablet—it’s just interesting to see how far Huawei’s willing to go to make their device look and behave like an iPad. That being said, what makes the iPad so special isn’t its hardware. Instead, it’s the software. It’s iPadOS—one of the most comprehensive in-between operating systems I’ve used to date.
On the MatePad Pro, however, you won’t be getting iPadOS. Instead, it’ll be running on EMUI 10.1 that’s based on Android 10…without access to Google Mobile Services (GMS). This means that it’s not even quite like other Android tablets, and you’ll have to rely on the Huawei App Gallery to get your fix of applications. Still, Huawei’s tried really hard to pull in a lot of what makes the iPad so great to use.
The multitasking and multi-window, for example, works nearly identically to that of iPadOS, right down to the ability to launch multiple of the same applications in multi-window that Huawei calls the App Multiplier. Plus, the new MatePad Pro will also support Huawei Share so you can actually “cast” your Huawei device to your MatePad the way you can with the company’s laptops.
Oh, and the MatePad Pro will also come in a 5G variant, which is neat for the future when 5G becomes more of a thing.
In any case, I’m pretty interested to see how these tablets will fare in Malaysia. In Europe, the MatePad Pro will be priced as follows:
Huawei MatePad Pro WiFi
6GB RAM+128GB storage — EUR549 (~RM2,520)
8GB RAM+256GB storage — EUR649 (~RM2979)
8GB RAM+256GB storage (M-pencil, Vegan Leather) — EUR749 (~RM3,438)
Huawei MatePad Pro LTE
6GB RAM+128GB storage — EUR599 (~RM2,749)
8GB RAM+256GB storage — EUR699 (~RM3,208)
Huawei MatePad Pro 5G
8GB RAM+256GB storage — EUR799 (~RM3,667)
8GB RAM+512GB storage — EUR949 (~RM4,356)
For more details, head to the Huawei product page.