Huawei MediaPad Review: Great Display, But What Else?

by Reads (21,376)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Software & Support
    • 6
    • Upgrade Capabilities
    • 6
    • Usability
    • 6
    • Design
    • 6
    • Performance
    • 6
    • Features
    • 6
    • Price/Value Rating
    • 6
    • Total Score:
    • 6.00
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Overview

  • Pros

    • Display resolution
    • Fast hardware
    • Solid performance
  • Cons

    • Poor battery life
    • Mediocre image quality
    • Lousy speaker output

Quick Take

The Huawei MediaPad is an solid tablet with an excellent display. Poor battery performance and mediocre speaker output mar what is otherwise a great Android tablet.


The 7-inch MediaPad is the latest and most powerful model offered by Huawei. This device comes with a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 3G network support and Android Honeycomb (3.2) OS, and it will receive the upgrade and Android Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) in just a few weeks, according to Huawei.

The MediaPad was available exclusively through mobile carriers for several months, including AT&T’s HSPA+ network (T-Mobile offered it in the US, under the name SpringBoard), however, it is now available without carrier constraints in many European and Asian countries, with a somewhat different software bundle.

Build & Design

Huawei MediaPad

From the front, Huawei’s MediaPad does not seem different from any other tablet ? there is just a black frame surrounding the display, without any buttons. The MediaPad tablet is actually reminiscent of the HTC Flyer due to its design, in that the MediaPad?s aluminum unibody also has two black covers along the upper and lower tablet edge, and the lower one can be removed.

There are SIM and microSD card slots under the bottom cover, while a 5-megapixel camera and a LED flash light are situated on the upper cover. MediaPad’s lower edge includes a power connector, a microHDMI port and a microUSB slot. Given the powerful multimedia abilities, this device has to offer, microHDMI output is a great plus, especially since the MediaPad supports mirroring over an HDMI cable.

It is a shame that the battery cannot be charged via microUSB, but solely through a proprietary power connector, however, this microUSB supports USB hosting and peripheral devices can be connected to the tablet, like mouses, keyboards, and even external hard drives.

Huawei MediaPad

The power button lies on the right edge, just like volume control, while the audio jack and the speakers are located along the upper edge. 

Interestingly, Huawei has “borrowed” some of its design from Apple as well, not just HTC, and the speakers along the upper edge seem nearly identical to the ones on iPhone 4/4S (even though they are situated on the lower edge of the device).

MediaPad’s entire build is very solid and robust, making it the highest quality Huawei tablet TabletPCReview has evaluated. Weighing .86 pounds, it?s .7 pounds lighter than its most similar competitor, the HTC Flyer, and it is .1 inches slimmer (its dimensions are 7.48 x 5.08 x .41 inches). 

The Flyer has been on the market longer than the MediaPad, so such advantages like a more advanced OS and powerful processor are not surprising. However, what is pleasantly surprising is that the MediaPad is cheaper than the HTC Flyer. It is possible to purchase the MediaPad for under $500 in most countries, without a contract.

Display
Without a doubt, the MediaPad has an outstanding display. No surprise, considering its 1200 x 800 resolution with a density of 216 pixels per inch and a 7-inch diagonal. At launch, the Huawei MediaPad has the highest PPI count of any 7-inch tablet.

The imaging is very sharp, bright and the details are above average. Color vivacity rivals output from other top tablets. Thanks to its dual-core processor, the screen’s qualities are especially emphasized while playing games and watching video, making this device ideal for the kind of user who wants entertainment above all. Perhaps this is why Huawei named it the MediaPad ? you will not find a better 7-inch device of such kind for multimedia consumption.

Viewing angles are very broad, but still, some contrast is lost while turning the tablet at an angle. Direct sunlight also kills contrast, but it?s no worse on the MediaPad than with other tablets. 

The touchscreen is responsive, as is the case with most other quality tablets. Typing on the keyboard is also not a problem, despite the small display dimensions for a tablet.

Huawei MediaPad specs:

  • Android Honeycomb (3.2), upgradeable to ICS
  • 7-inch diagonal widescreen (1280 x 800, 216 PPI) capactive touchscreen
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8260 dual-core processor (1.2 GHz) 
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB internal memory, expandable to 32GB via microSD
  • Front-facing 1.3-megapixel, rear-facing 5-megapixel webcams
  • 802.11 Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, 3G, HSPA+ on some models
  • 3.5mm audio jack, microHDMI, microUSB, microSD, SIM, power pinhole charge input
  • 7.48 x 5.08 x .41 inches
  • .89 lbs
  • Ships with charger, microUSB to USB cable, cable clamp


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