Huawei started off as a brand which was best-known for their flagship ”P” and ”Mate” series smartphones which once dominated the high-end mobile market in countries as such China and Malaysia – giving Apple and Samsung a run for their money.
Things however, wasn’t on Huawei’s side in the mid-2019 as the company was slapped with a trade ban which not only prohibits the smartphone giant from sourcing key components from the global supply chain, but also restricts their access to Google Play services.
These curtailments inevitably resulted in a delay of Huawei’s smartphone launches as the company works on new alternatives for key components in it’s existing smartphones, as well as those of the upcoming models.
To make up for that, the company has recently dived into the smart office space, launching a wide selection of laptops and tablets that aim to improve multi-tasking experience for it’s users, especially when working across multiple devices.
Having impressed by the seamless productivity experience offered by the company’s high-end Huawei MateBook 14s (Review) and Huawei MatePad Pro 12.6 (Review), we were thrilled to test out whether the more affordable Huawei MatePad 10.4 (2022) is able to replicate the same experience.
Huawei has been keeping it’s MatePad series design’s consistent over the past couple of years, just like what it did with it’s MateBook series laptops. While some may think of that as boring or uncreative, but it’s actually an odd strategy that pans out well not just for Huawei, but also other brands such as Apple.
Reason being is simple – it’s a tried and tested design which has proven to be popular among Huawei fans over the past few years, so there’s never a real reason for the company to make big design changes just for sake for having changes. As a MatePad Pro user myself, I somehow appreciate the kind of familiarity it provides that makes me felt at home despite switching over to a new device.
In terms of design, the Huawei MatePad (2022) sports a sleek-looking exterior with a slim profile of just 7.35mm which is comparatively thinner than most other smartphones in the market. This makes the slate ultra-portable, allowing it to be slotted easily into even a small-sized backpack. Likewise, it’s featherlight weight of 450 grams is also more manageable than a laptop which easily weighs more than twice it’s weight.
The MatePad (2022) that I’m holding to for review features a gray-colored paint job with a Matte-like finish that gives the tablet a slightly understated outlook just to my liking. Needless to say, one big advantage of adopting matte finish (over glossy backs) is that you no longer have to worry about those unsightly smudges that builds up over time.
Moving on to the front side of the slate, we’ll be greeted by a spacious 10.4” display that offers plenty of screen estate for both work and entertainment on the go. Most would also appreciate it’s slim bezels which allow for a near full-screen experience that makes binge watching and gaming way more enjoyable on the tablet.
As for the display itself, it’s an IPS LCD display that produces an acceptably sharp 2,000 x 1,200 pixels screen resolution which is more than good enough for image browsing and video streaming. More importantly, the screen is also able to get sufficiently bright with a peak brightness of 470 nits to ensure the screen remains visible even when using it within an environment with strong ambient light.
Likewise, those who tend to use their tablet for long hours would be glad to know that the front display is also TUV-certified for low blue light and flicker free that help to avoid eye strain and discomfort. This is in fact an important, but yet often overlooked feature which consumers should perhaps place more emphasize on since eye fatigue would affects productivity negatively.
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Speaking of productivity, the Huawei MatePad 10.4 (2022) is certainly an awesome companion in this aspect. To help users take advantage of it’s spacious display, the slate itself also supports a Smart Magnetic Keyboard, second-generation’s M-Pencil (a stylus that works on select MatePad models), and even a wireless mouse.
For instance, you can easily turn the tablet into an ultra-portable ”laptop” by connecting it to a Smart Magnetic Keyboard and a wireless mouse. This makes it easier to edit office documents using reliable built-in apps such as WPS Office. As I’d mentioned in my past reviews, I really enjoy working with this setup whenever I was working away from home, considering that it’s way more convenient than having a bulky laptop in your backpack.
Similarly, the Huawei MatePad 10.4 (2022) can also be used as a sketchpad when paired with the second-gen’s Huawei M-Pencil. Otherwise, the M-Pencil is also useful whenever you need to quickly drop down notes during meeting or alter your design drafts.
No matter how impressive the hardware is, it’ll never be enough for a slick user experience and that’s where the software comes into play. The new HarmonyOS 2.0 powering the device features a wide range of multi-tasking features that allow users to put it’s spacious display into better use.
Among the more notable features include the Multi-window mode that allows you to display up to four different apps on the screen simultaneously. That means you can be attending a virtual meeting in full screen mode while at the same time reply to messages on various messaging platforms such as Whatsapp via a floating window.
Other than that, features like App Multiplier that allows you to spin two instances of the same app. Although this might sounds a bit like the Twin App feature that allows you to login to two different accounts on social media apps (by having two apps of the same on the device), but it’s largely different in terms of functionalities.
What the App Multiplier actually does is that it bascially keeps the ”parent” page of the app on the left-side of the screen, while it opens up the ”child” page (as located by the link that you clicked on the ”parent” page) on the right-side of the screen. This is no doubt an intuitive feature that will come in handy whenever you need to do a quick comparison of any product’s specs or prices.
While all the above features definitely sound exciting, the biggest highlight of the new HarmonyOS 2.0 actually lies in the newly introduced Super Device feature that allows users to enjoy a seamless multi-tasking experience across interconnected devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, monitors, and even Smart TVs. The only pre-requisite is that these devices have to run on the latest HarmonyOS 2.0 or supported software.
Say for instance you own a Huawei MateBook, connecting the Huawei MatePad (2022) to the laptop will allow you to enjoy features such as Extend Mode which lets you display one of the laptop’s program on the tablet so you won’t have to cram multiple programs on a single screen.
Likewise, pairing the devices in Mirror mode will allow the MateBook screen to be mirrored and synced in real-time to the tablet screen, allowing you to use the tablet as a sketchpad whenever the situation calls for it. Finally, you can also take advantage of it’s collaboration mode to seamlessly drag files and texts across different operating system for better productivity.
The Huawei MatePad (2022) is powered by the company’s in-house HiSilicon Kirin 710A chipset which offers sufficient horsepower for our daily workload and entertainment needs. Although this clearly isn’t a flagship chip like the Kirin 9000E used in the higher-end MatePad Pro 12.6, but it’s still capable of delivering a smooth multi-tasking experience when coupled with a well-optimized OS.
In fact, it’s impressiveness also extends to the gaming side of things as I hardly encounter any tinge of lag even when playing more demanding game titles such as PUBG Mobile (yes, it’s finally available on AppGallery since December last year). More importantly, the tablet didn’t exhibits any heating issue when using it over a prolonged period of time despite it’s slim design and the lack of dedicated cooling system.
Over to the memory side of things, the Huawei MatePad (2022) also features 4GB worth of RAM along with 64GB built-in storage which should probably be enough for an average user. Nonetheless, it’s storage capacity can still be easily expanded via a microSD card just in case the storage capacity runs out.
Battery & Charging
To keep it’s lights on, the Huawei MatePad (2022) is backed by a respectable 7,250mAh battery which never fails to supply me with at least a day’s worth of battery life under normal usage condition. Even with four to five hours of video streaming and gaming in between, I’m still able to end off the day with it’s battery life sitting comfortably above the 15% mark.
In the event that the battery runs out, the Huawei MatePad (2022) can be quickly recharged via a 22.5W charging adapter that’s available out of the box. During my testing, the bundled charger is able to recharge a completely flat battery from 0 to 100% in approximately 2.5 hours which is acceptably fast for a battery of such capacity.
While it’s true that the Huawei MatePad (2022) isn’t a high-end tablet like the MatePad Pro, but it’s still a device with plenty to love about from it’s snappy performance to it’s extensive suite of multi-tasking features which makes it an affordable all-rounder for work and play.
With the new Super Device feature, existing Huawei laptop and smartphone users now have even more reasons to get themselves the MatePad (2022) to enjoy a seamless multi-device experience that will bring their productivity to a whole new level.
For those who’re interested, the Huawei MatePad (2022) is available in Singapore at S$448 and S$548 respectively for the Wi-Fi only and LTE models. It’ll be up for grabs at at all Huawei Authorised Stores, selected retailers as well as Huawei official online stores in Lazada and Shopee.