Following the launch of the Huawei Mate 40 Pro (Review) last year, Huawei has been lying low in the local smartphone market as the company work to make it’s mark in other IoT areas like tablets, smartwatches, TWS earbuds as well as high-end monitors.
Among these areas of expansion, Huawei’s growing presence in the tablet segment is perhaps most strongly felt, with a total of four different models launched within a short span of just six months.
This is a good sign to consumers as it simply means more choices for them. However, to rival companies like Apple and Samsung, it meant that Huawei is shaping up to be a serious competitor that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
The most recent additions are none other than the Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8 (2021) and the MatePad 11 which actually hold special meaning to the MatePad series lineup, in the sense that the duo are the first batch of tablets to be shipped with HarmonyOS 2.0 out of the box.
Having spent more than two weeks with the Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8 (2021), my experience with the new slate is nothing but positive. However, does it have enough to justify it’s S$998 (US$737) price tag? Let’s find out in our Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8 (2021) review!
Ultra-sleek & Lightweight Design
I’d reviewed quite a number of Huawei MatePad tablets over the years, and one thing that never fails to impress me is the design of these slates – especially how sleek and stylish they are. The new Huawei MatePad Pro is of course, not an exception in this aspect.
It flaunts a super slim chassis measuring just 7.2mm in thickness, which is even thinner than the pencil-thin MatePad 10.4 (Review) that I reviewed a couple months back. It’s sleek and lightweight design makes the tablet extremely portable, allowing it to be easily slotted into any small or medium backpack without even noticing of it’s weight.
The Midnight Gray variant which I received for review comes in a slightly muted color that’s furnished with a smooth matte finish, similar to what we saw on the MatePad 10.4. On the outside, this colorway gives off a really classy and elegant vibe.
Though I’m not exactly sure of the material used to fabricate it’s rear panel, but it does feel premium and pleasant to touch. Most importantly, the overall build of the slate is superb, and certainly live up to it’s asking price.
Spacious & Vibrant Display
Coming over to the frontside, we’ll be greeted by a vibrant 10.8” LCD display which boasts an admirable 90% screen-to-body ratio that offers a more immersive and enjoyable viewing experience thanks to it’s teeny bezels.
The front display comes with an ultra-sharp 2560 x 1600 pixels screen resolution as well as DCI-P3 wide color gamut coverage that’s capable of delivering crisp details and realistic color reproduction in games and movies.
Likewise, it’s impressive 540 nits peak brightness also gives the screen plenty of brightness to remain visible under the sun. While this might not actually affect those who only use the tablet indoor, but having a reasonable peak brightness is paramount for those who frequently use the tablet when commuting.
Beyond the hardware realm, the slate is also equipped with the company’s in-house ClariVu visual technology that further enhances color contrast and saturation of video playback and game contents.
In order to ensure an all-rounded entertainment experience, the Huawei MatePad Pro also features a powerful quad-speaker sound system tuned by renowned audiophile specialist Harmon Kardon that impresses with it’s astounding sound quality.
Turbo Boost With Peripherals
As with any other high-end slates, the Huawei MatePad Pro also brings support for the new generation’s Huawei M-Pencil for users to leverage it’s spacious display. This makes it way easier for users to drop down notes during meetings or showcase their artistic talent by doodling on apps like Sketchbook.
Speaking of doodling, the MatePad Pro probably offers one of the best experience in this aspect especially with the new M-Pencil which isn’t just comfortable to hold, but also impresses with it’s high pressure sensitivity and low-latency that make it felt as if you’re drawing with an actual pencil and paper.
Stylus aside, the Huawei MatePad Pro also carries support for a compatible Smart Magnetic Keyboard (available for purchase separately) which doubles up as a fashionable-looking folio case and to some extent, a protective cover.
Pair it along with a wireless Bluetooth mouse, you’ll get a mini ”portable laptop” that comes with some additional perks and features that most laptops within the same same price range couldn’t offer: touch display, superior audio system, cameras and etc.
All The Multi-tasking Features You Need
As I mentioned at the start of the review, the Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8 (2021) is the first tablet to run on Huawei’s proprietary HarmonyOS 2.0. Despite that, the new HarmonyOS do share quite a fair bit of similarities with the EMUI interface, so you’ll expect to see some familiarities every here and there.
While I wouldn’t go into in-depth details on the new HarmonyOS, but it’s worth highlighting it’s extensive suite of multi-tasking features and functionalities that further elevate your productivity experience with the MatePad Pro.
Among the features I found most useful include the App Multiplier functionality that allows you to run two instances of the same app, which is great when you need to do a quick comparison of any product’s specs or prices.
On top of that, there’s also the usual Multi-window mode that allows you to display up to four different apps on the screen simultaneously. This means you’ll be able to reply your emails while watching your favorite TV series without the need to switch any app.
Similarly, Huawei laptop users can also connect the MatePad Pro seamlessly to the laptop, and subsequently mirror the laptop display over to the slate and use it as a writing and sketching pad. Otherwise, the MatePad Pro can also be used as a secondary display where you can drag certain task on the laptop over to the tablet.
Enormous Power For Gaming Or Multi-tasking
Unlike any of the past Huawei MatePad series slates, the Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8 (2021) also made it’s name as the first MatePad series tablet that’s powered by a non-Kirin chipset.
More specifically, the MatePad Pro is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chipset that offers comparable performance (on AnTuTu 8 and Geekbench 5) with Huawei’s flagship Kirin 9000 chipset that was used in the Huawei MatePad Pro 12.6 (not available in Singapore).
Whether you’re talking about gaming or multi-tasking, the Snapdragon 870 chipset is more than capable of handling them without breaking a sweat, delivering a smooth and lag-free experience.
To keep it’s lights on, the Huawei MatePad Pro is fitted with a massive 7.250mAh battery which can easily offers you more than a day’s worth of battery life even with heavy usage.
Despite it’s huge battery capacity, a full charge from 0 to 100% takes slightly less than 2 hours via it’s bundled 22.5W charging brick. In fact, you can speed up the charging time to around 90 minutes with a 40W SuperCharge charging brick which is available for purchase saperately.
Other than that, it’s also nice to have a 27W wireless charging, 10W wireless reverse charging and 5W reverse charging support aboard the Huawei MatePad Pro as well.
The Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8 (2021) is an ultimate productivity companion that combines both hardware and software excellence to deliver a true flagship experience. It not only serves well as a secondary productivity device that’s ultra-portable and reliable, but is also a great entertainment hub for gaming and binge watching.