Huawei's MatePad Pro has been officially announced and this uber-sleek tablet appears to be Huawei's answer to the iPad Pro. With Huawei already taking on Apple and creating some of the world's best camera phones (opens in new tab), could this MatePad Pro launch be the next step in its disruption of Apple's reign?
But of course, the MatePad Pro isn't exactly like the iPad Pro. The MatePad Pro has a punch-hole cutout corner, which we kind of like as a nod to our analogue filing days. It also means that the 10.5-inch screen (2K) takes up 90 per cent of the body of the tablet. That's a lot of screen. It might just make it into our best drawing tablets (opens in new tab) roundup.
That little cutout houses an 8MP selfie camera, and round the back there's a 14MP main camera. The pixel resolution is 2,560 x 1,600 and the aspect ratio is 16:9. The MatePad Pro comes with either 6/8GB RAM and 128/256GB storage, and like the iPad, it comes in either Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi and cellular options. It runs on a Kirin 990 chip (the same as you'll find in the Huawei Mate 30 Pro) and has a 7,250mAh battery, wireless charging and even reverse wireless charging – so you can use it to charge other devices (a pretty cool feature, we think). There are also four speakers.
Huawei's tablet comes with an M-Pencil, which has 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity – the same as the Apple Pencil. And like the latest Apple Pencil, you can charge the M-Pencil on the top of the frame, where it attaches magnetically.
One of the neat things about the new MatePad Pro is how it works with other Huawei devices. For example, you can mirror your Huawei smartphone's screen on your tablet, which is pretty cool. Although we're not 100 per cent sure how useful that is in practice. One compatibility problem is, however, that it doesn't play nice with Google Play and other Google apps, although it runs EMUI 10, which is based on Android 10. More usefully, there's also a laptop mode, where you can have multiple windows open at once.
The MatePad Pro will be available in white, black, green and orange, and will cost $470 for the basic 6GB RAM/128GB SSD WiFi model. The models with Cellular start at $540, and the top-specced version with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD will cost $640. There's also talk of launching a 5G version in the future.
Pre-orders begin today, with the official release coming on 12 December. However, as yet, the MatePad Pro will only be available in China. And with the Huawei ban still ongoing, it's not clear when, or if, it'll launch elsewhere. So it looks like Apple can rest easy for a little longer. And if you were hoping to add this one to your Christmas list, you may have to wait till next year.
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