Despite the continual shrinkage of the Android tablet market, Huawei continues to take the tablet-making business seriously. After getting a glimpse of the Huawei MatePad Pro a couple of weeks ago, the device has now been officially unveiled. The company looks to be positioning it as a rival to the iPad Pro in China, and that's the only place it's launching right now.
The core specs include Huawei's in-house Kirin 990 SoC, 6GB or 8GB of RAM, a 10.8-inch 2560 x 1600 LCD screen with 540-nit brightness, up to 512GB of internal storage, a 13MP f/1.8 rear camera, and a 7,250 mAh battery with fast charging. It's quite a looker, with a 90% screen-to-body ratio and a slim 4.9 mm bezel all around. Despite packing four speakers and a large battery, it only weighs about 460 grams (1.01 lb) and boasts 7.2mm thickness at its thinnest section. Due to that thin bezel, however, Huawei had to place the 8-MP front-facing camera inside a hole punch in the top left corner, just like it does for some of its phones.
Aping the iPad, Huawei has made an optional keyboard case and a stylus for the MatePad Pro, both of which bear striking resemblance to their Apple counterparts. Huawei's M-Pencil even charges the same way as the Apple Pencil by magnetically attaching to the edge of the tablet. Huawei, however, has a couple of tricks of its own. Besides being able to charge wirelessly at 15W, it can also perform reverse wireless charging to juice up other devices at 7.5W.
The tablet will run Android 10 with Huawei's EMUI skin and no Google apps. While Huawei recently got a third 90-day reprieve from the US Commerce Department, Google still cannot certify new devices from the company due to the ongoing trade ban. Although, this tablet is only slated for launch in China right now, and Google services don't work there. Perhaps we'd see the MatePad Pro stateside if not for the trade ban.
The base model will cost 3299 yuan (about 469 USD) when it goes on sale in China next month with 6GB of RAM, 128GB storage, and Wi-Fi. For those with extra money to burn, there's a model that goes for 5999 yuan (about 853 USD) with 8GB of RAM, 512GB storage, and LTE, which puts the MatePad Pro into iPad pricing territory.
5G version and international availability
Huawei has unveiled a 5G version of the MatePad Pro and announced that it will make the tablet available internationally. All models will be sold across Asian Pacific regions, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, starting in April with the 5G-less variants. The pricing is as follows:
- 8GB of RAM/256GB of storage: €800
- 8GB/512GB: €950
- 6GB/128GB: €600
- 8GB/256GB: €700
- Wi-Fi only
- 6GB/128GB: €550
- 8GB/256GB: €600
Accessories like the M-Pencil, the Smart Keyboard, and the Folio Cover will be sold separately and cost €100, €130, and €40, respectively.