Huawei MediaPad review
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Huawei MediaPad - the world's first 7-inch Android 3.2 Honeycomb tablet. The MediaPad is a complete entertainment powerhouse driven by Qualcomm's dual-core 1.2GHz processor, supported by Huawei Device's Hispace cloud solution and Google Android Market.
Review On : Huawei MediaPad
By ZAM KARIM
One of the first 7in Tablets to run on Honeycomb, the Huawei MediaPad also has enough Features to rival the bigger 10in Androids.
ANDROID Tablets typically come with 7in or 10in screens.
The bigger models have always had one distinct advantage - they run on Android 3.2 Honeycomb which is tailored for Tablet computers.
The 7in models, on the other hand, are more portable but run on the older operating systerms - Android 2.2 Froyo or Android Gingerbread 2.3 - which are actually meant for smartphones.
This basically means you are getting the same user experience as using a smartphone but on a 7in screen.
If you are not willing to wait for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus which will be the first to sport the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, then Huawei might have a solution for you.
Its MediaPad is one of the first 7in Tablet to be powered by Honeycomb which means it can offer the same user experience as its larger siblings.
The MediaPad looks quite ordinary and some have remarked that it looks like a big HTC Android phone from the back.
The resemblance is due to the anodised aluminium unibody and removable dark plastic cover which are popular with HTC phones.
At 190 x 124 x 10.5mm in size, the MediaPad is a lot more comfortable to hold than a 10in Tablet and it will also easily fit inside most bags.
The device is also very light - it is about half the weight of most 10in Tablets.
There are no physical access buttons on the front - there are only power and volume adjustment keys on the right. At the bottom you'll find the a micro USB port for syncing, a charging jack and a mini HDMI out. However, it doesn't come with a HDMI cable.
Having tested a few Honeycomb Tablets that used a proprietary data port, a standard micro USB port on the MediaPad was a welcome sight.
Honeycomb supports the USB On-the-go protocol which allows users to connect external peripherals like a mouse or keyboard directly to the Tablet.
So, with the MediaPad you can hook to any peripheral that uses a mini USB connector. However, it's rare to find a keyboard or mouse that uses a micro USB port so we didn't get the chance to test this feature.
Despite its small size, the MediaPad is no dwarf when it comes to firepower. Its 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 1GB RAM makes it at least as powerful as 10in Tablets using the Tegra 2 chip.
We watched 720p movies (the device can handle 1080p videos too) and played Asphalt 6 on it without any hiccups.
The MediaPad utilises the same IPS (In-Plane Switching) panel technology as the iPad which gives the screen better viewing angles and brightness. However, the screen is still hard to view under direct sunlight.
The capacitive touchscreen was generally responsive and there was not much lag when switching between landscape and portrait modes.
It doesn't come with any UI customisations and instead what you get is a plain vanilla OS with a few standard apps thrown in like Facebook, Twitter, Gameloft's Let's Golf 2 and Documents to Go.
Our review unit allows for 3G Connectivity and we had no problems connecting it to a mobile broadband network.
The MediaPad ships with two cameras - the front-facing 1.3-megapixel one is meant for video calls and the rear 5-megapixel is for shooting pictures.
The camera uses the standard Honeycomb interface and the rear camera can also shoot 720p videos.
Suffice to say, the image quality is nothing to shout about and are simply so-so. Also, there is no LED flash to help you brighten up a subject.
In terms of battery life, the MediaPad can last up to six hours of continuous use. We also noticed that the device can get pretty hot especially on the back after prolong usage.
We are not really sure what is causing the problem but the heat is quite unbearable. Thankfully, we had a makeshift protective folder to shield our hands from the heat.
Portability is definitely the Huawei MediaPad's main selling point and it has enough firepower to rival some of its bigger 10in siblings. The fact that it runs on Honeycomb also makes it an interesting option compared to the 7in Tablets running the older operating systems.
Perhaps, the only drawback is its price tag - at RM1,399 it is a bit on the pricey side. You can probably get a 10in Tablet at that price range.
Another downside is that it generates a lot of heat which makes it less comfortable to use for long periods.
If you can look past these little issues then you will find that the Huawei MediaPad is a pretty interesting and functional 7in Tablet.
Pros: Runs on Honeycomb; as powerful as most 10in Tablets; slim and lightweight.
Cons: Gets very hot; a bit pricey.
PROCESSOR: 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor
MEMORY: 1GB RAM
DISPLAY: 7in WXGA (1,280 x 800-pixels) touchscreen
GRAPHICS: Adreno 220
CONNECTIVITY: 3G, HSPDA, EDGE, GPRS, GSM
Camera: 5-megapixel with autofocus (rear), 1.3-megapixel (front)
PORTS/SLOTS: Micro HDMI out, 3.5mm audio jack, microSD slot, SIM slot
OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 3.2 Honeycomb
OTHER FEATURES: A-GPS, digital compass, accelerometer, USB On-the-go, HTML5, Adobe Flash
DIMENSIONS (W x D x H): 190 x 124 x10.5mm
Review unit courtesy of Huawei Technologies Malaysia Sdn Bhd, (03) 2179-9495