Huawei MediaPad

Based on its platform, processor and IPS display, the Huawei MediaPad warrants a closer look before you splash out on a tablet this year.


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Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon


Just when you thought you'd made up your mind about which Android tablet to buy, along comes Huawei, with a new 7-inch tablet that deserves a look before you splash out on an HTC or a Samsung.

First impressions

We'll admit to approaching product announcements from the traditionally budget category OEMs like Huawei and ZTE with a pinch more caution than the well-established brands. However, Huawei, in particular, is quickly gaining a stronger reputation for delivering high-quality devices at significantly lower prices. Its IDEOS smartphone series has been a hit with the CNET team so far, and the new MediaPad looks to continue this trend.

On paper, the MediaPad stands ahead of the current range of Android tablets on a couple of key specifications. It will run on Google's upcoming Android Honeycomb 3.2 platform, which promises to bring everything that we love about Honeycomb to the smaller 7-inch screen (Honeycomb tablets have so far been between 9-inches and 10-inches). It also tops the clock speed of the other tabs that we've seen, with a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm processor.

Its design looks to be a solid step forward from the last Huawei-built tablet that we saw in Australia: the Telstra T-Touch Tab. Its 7-inch IPS LCD display is surrounded by a unibody aluminium design, with iPad-like design flourishes on the underside. It has rear- and front-facing cameras, with 5-megapixels on the back and a 1.3-megapixel sensor above the screen.

The rest of the specs sheet looks like standard Honeycomb fare, with 8GB of internal storage, plus a microSD card slot, Wi-Fi b/g/n and a GPS receiver for use with Google Maps. Huawei is quoting six-hours of actual use from its Lithium-ion battery, and measures the MediaPad at 10.5mm thick with a 390-gram weight.

Outlook

Based on its platform, processor and IPS display, the Huawei MediaPad warrants a closer look. Of course, the big question is whether Huawei can deliver the MediaPad for a comparably low price, similar to its smartphones, and this is a piece of information that we don't anticipate receiving until closer to its launch.

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