The premium segment of the smartphone and tablet space, for the longest time, was a two-way battle between Apple and Samsung. But guess what? There’s an emerging force that’s shaking things up a bit. And that’s Huawei. The growing China brand released a stunning portfolio of products yesterday including the Mate 8 phablet, Huawei Watch for ladies, gold edition Nexus 6P and the MediaPad M2 10.0 tablet.
Move over iPad Air, Galaxy Tab S2
Late last year, the Mate S and MediaPad M2 8.0 made a debut in Malaysia. The MediaPad M2 10.0 is really the original M2’s bigger sibling.
True to its name, it’s a 10.1-inch tablet with a 16:10 display aspect ratio. It’s not the highest density screen with 1,920×1,200p resolution @ 224PPI, but it’s still bright and crisp enough for general use. What’s important is the bigger display delivers more immersive movie watching, more engaging games and more productive work.
The design is pleasant and minimalist, if unremarkable, with a metal back. There are no capacitive buttons on the front, instead, it makes use of on-screen buttons. The power button and volume rocker are on the right side, with a fingerprint sensor built into the home button.
It isn’t the lightest (500g), nor thinnest (7.4mm) tablet around but is comfortable when handled with both hands.
To put things into perspective, the iPad Air 2 measures 6.1mm thin and up to 444g (Wi-Fi + LTE); while the Galaxy Tab S2 measures 5.6mm thin and up to 392g (Wi-Fi + LTE).
It lives up to its ‘M’ badge, being uber multimedia-centric. Like the iPad Pro, it uses a four-speaker set-up – 2x treble and 2x bass), developed with audio specialists Harman Kardon. From first impressions, audio quality is impressive for a tablet, and great for video and music playback.
The brains behind the MediaPad M2 is the Kirin 930, borrowed from the Mate S. It’s mated with either 2GB or 3GB RAM, and 16GB or 64GB of storage.
There’s microSD expansion should you require more storage. In terms of connectivity, there are Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + 4G LTE variants to choose from.
The MediaPad M2 10.0 runs Android 5.1 Lollipop with EMUI 3.1 on top.
The pen is mightier than the…
Having tested out the MatePen on the delightful MateBook at MWC 2016, I’d say Huawei has got it down pat with the stylus. On the MediaPad M2, the ‘M-Pen’ works brilliantly, boasting 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity.
It feels natural to write, draw and scribble with the M-Pen, in itself a pretty well made input device. The only real gripe is that, unlike the Surface Pen on the Surface Pro series, there’s no magnetic strip to store it on tablet. The only option is to buy the accompanying smart case, or put it in your pocket (it has a pen-like clip).
Its large 10-inch frame means it gets a massive battery – 6,600mAh to be exact, which should assure you hours of video playback.
Pricing and availability
The MediaPad M2 10.0 will be available in April and comes in four variants:
- Silver 2GB + 16GB, WiFi – MYR1,299
- Silver 2GB + 16GB, LTE with M-Pen – MYR1,599
- Gold 3GB + 64GB, WiFi with M-Pen and Case – MYR1,699
- Gold 3GB + 64GB, LTE with M-Pen and Case – MYR1,999