Excited was an understatement for what I felt when Huawei launched the MatePad Pro last February. I have always wanted a certain rival’s tablet to do digital sketches and typography with but I didn’t want to spend a fortune getting it. Luckily, the MatePad Pro is Huawei’s contender to this pricey tab that delivers the same value and more.
A Ditch-Your-Laptop Kind of Tablet
A good measure of a tablet’s productivity is when you’re able to confidently leave your laptop when you have to run to a meeting, take a flight, or simply need to quickly work without the bulk of a PC. There are also plenty of storage options available—6/8 GB of RAM + 128/256/512 GB of ROM. Our test unit has the 6 GB + 128 GB setup and 7,250 mAh of battery that’s enough for an entire day and more. It comes with a 20W charger in the box but supports the faster 40W supercharger as well. It also supports 15W of wireless charging and can also reverse charge compatible devices at 7.5W.
If you’re looking to use it for work, the MatePad Pro comes equipped with optional add-ons like a Smart Magnetic Keyboard (slash-cover) that connects via Bluetooth to the tablet. There’s also the M-Pencil that lets you write and draw digitally. With the two, you’re virtually unstoppable.
The Smart Magnetic Keyboard is a dream to use, you just click it on the back of the MatePad Pro and it will automatically connect and be usable in a matter of seconds. The keyboard itself is crisp and snappy and is great to type on, even for long periods of time. There’s a desktop mode setting you can use too so I ditched my laptop for the day and used the MatePad Pro to do all the writing, editing, and whatnot and it didn’t disappoint. I’m also giving it extra points because the MatePad Pro is so much easier to cart around (from my room to the kitchen—for some motivational snacks—that is) than my full-sized laptop. It already comes pre-installed with a third-party office suite, WPS Office, that is also optimized for use with the M-Pencil. There’s a voice note support feature as well as a smart pencil brush feature for text selection. But if you still prefer Microsoft Office, you can also get that through the Huawei App Gallery.
Next up on the accessories is the M-Pencil, which I am in love with. Trust me, even if you’re not into art, you’d appreciate it too. It’s a tad heavier than your typical pen at 14 grams and is 16 centimeters long. It looks quite like a pencil, down to its hexagonal body shape and pointed tip. Like the keyboard, it snaps onto the side of the tablet magnetically when not in use and wirelessly charges there, too. Just to get the technicalities out of the way, Huawei says it can be used for up to 20,000m of writing and it has 4,096 pressure-sensitive levels and tilt support. It also comes with an extra pen tip out of the box. There is absolutely no lag when writing and drawing (fine, it’s got sub-20ms latency, to be exact, but it’s imperceptible to the human eye anyway).
You can already easily create digital drawings just through Huawei’s notepad app but for the serious artists, you can download third-party sketchbook apps on the App Gallery too. But the M-Pencil is more than just for artists, it’s also great for note taking. Huawei’s vanilla notepad app uses AI tech to convert your handwriting into text so it’s easily turned into an editable document. There’s also another more sophisticated pre-installed app on the MatePad Pro—Nebo—that’s made specifically for the brand. Huawei collaborated with developer MyScript to create Nebo for Huawei. On the app, you can do several cool things that are intuitive and feels like writing on high-tech paper. For example, you can simply scratch out your erasures rather than have to select the eraser tool, erase what you need to erase, then switch back to the pen tool. The app can also convert your notes and even mathematical equations into text. It can also quickly solve them for you with just a few taps. There’s also a separate calculator app by MyScript that helps solving equations easier—perfect for educators and parents.
Powered by the same Kirin 990 (4G for the PH version) that powers Huawei’s flagship smartphones, the MatePad Pro can handle all of your processes and more. It’s also got nifty features that can link your phone (Huawei or Honor only) to the tablet for seamless use. The multi-screen collaboration feature displays a mirror of your smartphone’s screen right on the tab and here, you can control your phone, respond to messages, listen and watch music and videos, and drag-and-drop transfer files without even changing screens.
More Than Just Screen
The MatePad Pro sports a 10.8-inch punch hole 2K QHD display with a 90% screen-to-body ratio. It boasts of having the thinnest bezels on a tablet yet, at only 4.9mm. The screen itself has a pixel density of 280ppi (higher than the iPad Pro’s 264 ppi) delivering crisp details and vibrant colors. It also supports up to 540 nits of brightness. Using it under direct sunlight is still a bit of a struggle, though. The display size makes it ideal for working on spreadsheets, presentations, and the like, but enough about productivity. Watching movies and TV on it is a treat on the screen and with its Harman Kardon quad-channel stereo speakers which flanks both sides, it’s almost like having your own home theater setup on-the-go. It’s loud enough to fill a room and sounds full and crisp even at maximum volume.
Huawei’s MatePad Pro is a productivity nut’s dream come true. It’s a good choice for those who want a lighter, more compact device that can do basic PC work or for artists and creators who are looking for a digital sketchbook.
Currently, the MatePad Pro is available for pre-order online for P32,990 (6GB + 128GB) and comes with the M-Pencil and Smart Magnetic Keyboard for free. The accessories are priced at €99 (~P5,511) for the M-Pencil, €129 (~P7,181) for the Smart Keyboard, €39 (~P2,171) for the MatePad Sleeve and Folio Cover. As of writing, we have not yet received the Philippine price of the accessories for the MatePad Pro.
Display: 10.8 inches 2K QHD punch hole display; 2560 x 1600 resolution, 280 ppi; 90% screen-to-body ratio
Chipset: Kirin 990 4G (5G global model available)
OS: EMUI 10.0.1 based on Android 10.0
Memory: 6/8 GB LPDDR4X
Storage: 128/256/512 GB, expandable up to 256 GB
Camera: Rear – 13MP, autofocus; Front – 8MP, fixed focus
Connectivity and Ports: Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11A/B/G/N/AC, MIMO, VHT160, 2.4, 5 GHZ; Bluetooth 5.1, BLE, SBC, AAC, LDAC; TD-LTE, LTE FDD, TD-SCDMA, WCDMA, HSPA+, DC-HSDPA, CDMA2000, CDMA1X, EDGE, GPRS; Bluetooth 5.1, USB type-C 3.1 GEN1; 3.5 mm headphone jack ambient light sensor, gyroscope, AGPS, Beidou, Galileo, QZSS, accelerometer, compass, Hall effect sensor
Battery: 7,250 mAh, Lithium polymer, non-removable; 20W quick charge or 40W supercharge; 15W Wireless Charging; 7.5W Wireless Reverse Charging
Colors: midnight gray
Price: P32,990 (accessories not included)