Huawei patents an 8 inch budget- MatePad tablet with Dual Speakers

The tablet market had been on a steady decline so far. However, the trend recently shifted towards a healthier growth thanks in large due to the demand brought by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Now, a Huawei design patent has been spotted online for an 8 inch MatePad with dual speakers, which is possible to capitalize in the unexpectedly well performing market.

Huawei had filed a new design patent with the CNIPA back in 2019. This was finally published earlier this month and reveal 15 colored renders of the yet to be announced tablet. Looking at the images, the device may be the Huawei MatePad T, which is an affordable tablet under the 5G tablet the Chinese tech giant had launched previously. Although this is still unconfirmed.

However, the MatePad T was spotted receiving a WiFi certification in early April 2020. This certification revealed that 6 models are in the making, with the differences likely being in the memory and networking versions. In other words, WiFi only models, 4G LTE support and even 5G enabled MatePad T models being launched. Furthermore, the tablet is expected to run Android 10 out of the box with EMUI 10 custom skin, and again without the official Google services support.

Unfortunately, finer details like internal specifications are currently unknown regarding the MatePad tab. Although, recently launched Kirin 810 or 820 SoC might be planned for the device. The tablet is meant to be a budget option so it might go for the former, with a single camera on the rear, and front, according to the design patent. A notable inclusion is the dual speaker system, with one speaker grill at the bottom, and one on the top. More information or official teasers from the company should arrive soon, so stay tuned.

Then again, this new putative IP may differ from the MatePad T8 as depicted in some leaked marketing material. The patent shows that the “new” tablet has dual side-firing speakers, located along its top and bottom edges. These features are missing from the T8’s alleged official images.

Furthermore, the alleged WIPO document also clearly specifies a rear panel with an attractive pattern reminiscent of the Honor 9X series. This detail hints at a glass back, whereas the MatePad T8 has been leaked with a plainer, metallic unibody.

On the other hand, both of these leaks show a very similar single rear camera module. Therefore, it is possible that they pertain to 2 different variants of the same device. For example, it is possible there is a MatePad T8 Pro in Huawei’s future product cycle.

However, should this be the case, it seems the “vanilla” model will have an edge all of its own: it is the only one of these 2 apparent designs shown with a headphone jack.

How is the design?

Huawei went all out with the design of the MatePad Pro and while it doesn’t stray too far from the big slab of metal with a big screen blueprint, there are a few tweaks here that separate it from the pack.

The MatePad Pro comes in four different colors. The Forest Green and Orange colorways come with a vegan leather back, while the Midnight Grey (tested) and Pearl White models opt for a fiberglass chassis paired with an aluminum frame.

Whichever you go for, the MatePad Pro looks and feels like a premium tablet. It’s 10g lighter than the 2020 iPad Pro (11-inch) and the weight distribution is spot on.

Huawei went all out with the design of the MatePad Pro and while it doesn’t stray too far from the big slab of metal with a big screen blueprint, there are a few tweaks here that separate it from the pack.

The MatePad Pro comes in four different colors. The Forest Green and Orange colorways come with a vegan leather back, while the Midnight Grey (tested) and Pearl White models opt for a fiberglass chassis paired with an aluminum frame.

Whichever you go for, the MatePad Pro looks and feels like a premium tablet. It’s 10g lighter than the 2020 iPad Pro (11-inch) and the weight distribution is spot on.

huawei matepad pro review punch hole camera

huawei matepad pro review keyboard m pencil

The 10.8-inch display adopts the punch-hole selfie camera design found on most of 2020’s top smartphones, including Huawei’s own P40 series.

The punch-hole display helps accommodate the tablet’s industry-leading 90% screen-to-body ratio, which easily beats out the iPad Pro (~82.9%) and Tab S6 (~82.5%). I found the camera hole was small enough to go unnoticed during everyday use.

The MatePad Pro looks and feels like a premium tablet.

Otherwise, the LCD QHD panel (2,560 x 1,600) is colorful and gets plenty bright. It can’t match the 120Hz refresh rate found on the iPad Pro or the vibrancy of Samsung’s AMOLED panels, but I didn’t have any complaints overall.

The only design problem I have is the minimal number of security options. With no fingerprint sensor, you’re left with a traditional password or PIN, as well as face unlock, though this is software-based.

What’s performance like?

The MatePad Pro is powered by Huawei’s custom Kirin 990 processor, complete with a dual NPU and 6GB RAM as standard (8GB for the 5G models). We already know Huawei’s top SoC is a capable performer and that holds true for the MatePad Pro. Animations are smooth, RAM management is impressive, and it handles 3D gaming with no hiccups.

On the storage front, the base Wi-Fi model comes with 128GB storage which matches the iPad Pro and Galaxy Tab S6. If you want more memory there’s a 256GB variant, or you can add an extra 256GB via an expandable storage slot. Unfortunately, you’ll need to buy one of Huawei’s proprietary (and fairly pricey) Nano Memory cards instead of a regular MicroSD card.

huawei matepad pro review display

One of the best things going for the MatePad Pro is battery life. Huawei squeezed a huge 7,250mAh cell into its flagship tablet. The tightly-optimized power management of the dual NPU and the less power-hungry LCD display combine to deliver incredible endurance. I managed to squeeze two days out of it under heavy use. Even when stress testing the tablet with a video on loop at medium brightness, it took just over 14 hours before finally hitting zero.
Getting back to 100% is also a breeze with support for up to 40W fast charging, though you only get a 20W charger in the box. The MatePad Pro also supports 7.5W reverse charging — a first for a tablet — for quickly juicing up your Huawei smartphone or any other accessories with wireless charging.

What else does the Huawei MatePad Pro do?

Like most leading tablets, the Huawei MatePad Pro can be paired with a keyboard case and stylus for greater productivity — both sold separately.

I’ll be blunt: the Smart Magnetic Keyboard case isn’t great. It’s similar in design to Apple’s folio keyboard covers in that it’s a magnetic cover with two viewing angles and no trackpad.

Unfortunately, the furthest back you can position the display is ~60 degrees, which is still quite an upright angle for a screen and keyboard, especially if you’re tall. There’s also too much space between the keys and the travel is quite shallow. Furthermore, the magnet isn’t very strong making it far too easy for the tablet to slip out.

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