Huawei MatePad Paper Review – GSMArena.com News

Huawei continues to generate significant revenue, thanks to the diversification of its consumer business and the introduction of more smart devices in its portfolio to make up for lost smartphone sales. During MWC 2022 we saw the first Huawei MatePad Paper e-ink tablet, and after spending some quality time with it, we’re ready for our review.

Huawei MatePad Paper Review

This device is trying to position itself in the golden mean between well-known e-readers and full-fledged tablets. It has powerful internal components, a beautiful body, a large screen and features that put it in a unique place where there is no competition. Let’s take a closer look.

Design

Huawei MatePad Paper is an ultra-lightweight device, even with its large 10.3 inch screen. It weighs 360 grams and is evenly distributed across the entire body at 225.2mm x 182.7mm, which means it doesn’t feel heavy in any scenario.

The front panel is mostly taken by the e-ink panel, while the back side, as well as a small part of the left frame are finished in plastic with a leather-like texture. While we enjoy the big speakers on top and bottom, we have to mention that there is no IP rating, so you should be careful at the beach or in the shower.

Huawei MatePad Paper Review

There’s a power switch on the top that acts as a fingerprint scanner, and there’s also a volume switch on the top right that can be used to turn pages while reading books. The MatePad paper is charged through the USB-C port, located at the bottom. There are also three small magnets on the right side to keep the M Pencil in place for proper charging.

Speaking of M Pencil, it comes in retail box. Huawei also bundles the Folio with the same faux leather finish and tiny magnets to go along with the MatePad paper. It also serves as a screen protector.

The retail package also includes a 22.5W charger with the appropriate USB-A cable and a second tip for the M Pencil if something goes wrong with the cable installed. The stylus connects via Bluetooth, so technically any Huawei M Pencil will work, but only one stylus can be connected at a time.

e-ink display

The 10.3 inch diameter makes this one of the largest e-book readers out there. Huawei believes that this is the optimal size for such a unique device. The resolution is 1872 x 1404 pixels, which is 227 ppi. A quick comparison shows us that the number of DPI is more than in the regular Huawei Matepad tablet, specifically the 10.4-inch Matepad from 2020.

The text is well defined and can be modified through various settings controls. We would have loved to see sharper letters but even without sharp edges the words are readable. It even makes it look more papery with how the physical ink sometimes absorbs and smudges the paper.

Huawei MatePad Paper Review

The biggest problem with e-ink displays is the refresh rate. The screen records all the touches, only the e-ink needs a lot of time to refresh. This can be frustrating for some who want a quick response, and prevents the MatePad Paper from serving as a proper tablet.

Huawei offers three update modes – “Update Now” which is an individual screen change, Normal, which is the default, and Smart AI. The latter should adapt to business reports or GIFs, which are played on the screen, but in fact we did not find a clear difference.

Huawei MatePad Paper Review

The device can play YouTube videos and even some games, since the device is capable of playing them. However, this is an experience that Huawei wouldn’t recommend, and neither are we – the screen is simply not meant for videos, and even less so for mobile games.

Screen response rate when interacting with the M Pencil is also an issue. It does the job – words and numbers can be typed in, but the experience is frustrating.

Performance software and e-books

Huawei MatePad Paper comes with HarmonyOS 2.0. The interface is designed specifically for this e-ink tablet, and while it does retain some gestures like the top left swipe for notifications and the top right swipe for the control panel, there’s a different home screen. It highlights all the latest appointments for notes, inbox, books and calendar.

There is a settings bar on the left that has quick access to user profile, settings, books, all applications such as AppGallery, browsers, games and system systems such as Calculator, Calendar, Files, Cloud and Optimizer.

Huawei MatePad Paper screenshots
Huawei MatePad Paper screenshots
Huawei MatePad Paper screenshots
Huawei MatePad Paper screenshots

Huawei MatePad Paper screenshots

Huawei has a dedicated shortcut for Huawei Bookstore. The company proudly claims to have more than two million addresses in its store, but in reality not all regions will be able to access all of these addresses. However, you can add titles manually via bluetooth or USB-C with full epub and pdf support.

Speaking of PDF, it is important to have an internet connection when preparing to read a book, because MatePad Paper will need to download a dedicated reader app for these files. Other book stores such as Kobo and Aldiko can be found via the AppGallery or sideloaded, but it is understood that the Apple and Google services will not work.

Huawei MatePad Paper Review

Huawei told us that this device can be used as a secondary tool in business presentations but we had issues using it as a second screen with the Huawei Matestation X. It also doesn’t look like a natural extension, due to the lack of colors and the slow refresh rate.

Battery life and other devices

The battery capacity is listed at 3625 mAh. That’s far from most other tablets, but it’s a completely different screen we’re talking about here and Huawei says it can last up to 28 days while saving power. There is some battery drain on standby if Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are on, but even with the backlight on, the MatePad Paper app can easily last up to two weeks on a single charge.

Huawei MatePad Paper Review

We’ve had the device for over a month now and it needs to be recharged twice so far, even with our active use. In other specifications, the device runs on the Kirin 820E chipset which is the same platform as the Huawei nova 8 smartphone. The storage capacity is 64 GB, while the RAM is 4 GB, which is probably more than this device needs.

22.5W fast charging provides a five-minute charge for two hours of reading, while charging from 0 to 100% takes about 100 minutes.

price and verdict

We won’t hide it, as we have a hard time comparing MatePad Paper with other competitors. It does a lot more than the Amazon Kindle and hardly enough like any other Huawei MatePad.

There are some standalone devices like reMarkable but they don’t have a dedicated app store or access to a huge ecosystem that extends features across devices.

Huawei MatePad Paper Review

Huawei has decided to put a €500 price tag on this unique device. It sounds a lot, which is a lot for an e-ink reader. However, it’s also a unique e-ink reader that the likes of Amazon can’t match.

Huawei MatePad Paper Review

We must commend Huawei in due course. The company launched a unique product that offers both worlds features to a specific group of consumers – those interested in reading e-books and taking notes on a large screen while also having access to all Huawei features in its ecosystem.

We highly recommend the menu for this specific group of people. We can also say that Huawei MatePad Paper is a solid choice for any user who wants some of these features – others come naturally as an add-on.