Tablets are in a peculiar, if not interesting position in the personal computing market. On one hand, smartphones are getting more powerful and larger, replacing the need of an additional device for entertainment purposes; while on the other hand, laptops are getting lighter, spawning a niche thin & light segment for those who want maximum portability.
This places tablets as a whole in a quandary of sorts, as they go through an identity crisis to find their place in the market, which brings us to Huawei. The company is stepping up with not one, but two MatePads, which aim to offer a PC-like experience on top of the convenience of tablets. And today, we have the more budget-oriented model, the MatePad 11.5″ for review, which retails for RM1,499.
Table of Contents
HUAWEI MatePad 11.5″ – Specifications
|Huawei MatePad 11.5″
261 x 177 x 6.85 mm
|CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1
GPU: Adreno 644
|11.5″ HUAWEI FullView IPS Display
2200 x 1440 pixels
|Battery and Charging
40W wired charging
|Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e, tri-band
|HUAWEI MatePad 11.5″ Smart Keyboard
HUAWEI M-Pencil (2nd Gen)
|IP68 / IP65
What’s In The Box?
- HUAWEI MatePad 11.5″
The HUAWEI MatePad 11.5″ is only available in one colour option: Graphite Black. The design uses an all metal construction for the shell and feels sturdy to hold. It is also quite thin, coming at only 6.85mm for the chassis. Despite the materials used, it doesn’t feel as heavy as I thought it would be.
At the back, you will find a 13 megapixel rear camera located at the top right. The left side houses the power button, while the top edge houses the volume rocker and SIM tray.
This tablet also has quad speakers, with two on each side. The bottom houses a magnetic connector for the HUAWEI MatePad 11.5″ Smart Keyboard attachment.
As the namesake implies, the MatePad 11.5″ is equipped with an 11.5 inch IPS display with a resolution of 2200 x 1440 pixels. The visuals look sharp even when I tried to pixel-peep.
The IPS display is capable of bright and vivid colours, with the sole limitation being the middling contrast ratio. That being said, the tablet feels fluid and smooth to use, thanks to its 120Hz refresh rate.
There is however, one pet peeve of mine. I find the display colour gamut options to be quite limiting. While brands offer presets such as vivid, warm or DCI-P3 colour gamut, The MatePad 11.5″ only allows users to fine tune the colour temperature.
Audio quality on the quad stereo speakers is above average. The mid-range has a warm note to it, while the treble is pronounced but not overbearing. Mid-bass extension is decent too.
Camera quality isn’t really a strong suit of tablets, and the Huawei MatePad 11.5″ is no exception. While you can get by if you need to scan a document, or take a quick snapshot for work, I wouldn’t recommend using it for more than that.
It does however support up to 4K30 video recording for the rear camera, and 1080p30 for the front, which could come in handy for video calls or online meetings.
|CPU Single Core – 797
CPU Multi-Core – 2831
GPU OpenCL – 2,594
|3DMark Wild Life
The HUAWEI MatePad 11.5″ is powered by Qualcomm’s current-gen midrange chip, the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1, with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The chipset is fairly peppy, and I didn’t face much stuttering or during my day-to-day use.
Gaming performance is decent as well, as it can run most games at medium to high settings with acceptable frame rates. It also performed surprisingly well when editing videos using CapCut, as long as I used 1080p footage.
HUAWEI has been touting the “PC-like” user experience with the MatePad 11.5″, and I largely agree. Granted, it does take a while to get used to as you are dealing with a tablet UI, with extended functionalities that mirror laptops. However, once I took my time with it, it feels intuitive to use for my day to day work.
The MatePad runs on HarmonyOS, which offers a similar experience to the Android based EMUI. While it does not have Google Play, Huawei’s own AppGallery has a bevy of apps that act like their PC counterparts, namely WPS Office. Unlike the truncated versions from on smartphones, the tablet-specific version is fully fledged, complete with a “ribbon” interface, pivot tables and more.
HUAWEI MatePad 11.5″ Smart Keyboard
In order to get the best out of the tablet, Huawei has provided me the Smart Keyboard attachment. It also doubles as a folio cover and a kickstand. As the keyboard and case are connected via magnets, I could remove the keyboard and use it on my lap, while laying the tablet on the desk.
The typing feel is as good, if not better than most laptops, albeit some keys are smaller than I would have liked.
The HUAWEI MatePad 11.5″ is equipped with a 7,700mAh battery and a 40W fast charger. I could get about 3 days of battery life with moderate use for work and entertainment.
Huawei is targeting the MatePad with a specific target audience in mind, those who want the portability of tablets with the familiarity of a PC experience.
For me at least, the MatePad 11.5″ suits my working style, as I already have a desktop PC to handle the heavy tasks; and I only need to perform lighter tasks such as social media postings, and occasional video editing when I am on the go.
If you are like me, and does not need tons of horsepower to perform your computing tasks on the go, then the HUAWEI MatePad 11.5″ should at least be in your consideration.
For more information, please visit the HUAWEI official website.