Huawei has just launched their most powrful MatePad of the year - the MatePad Pro 2021. The last time we had our hands on of these things was exactly 1 year ago, and the device has received some pretty nifty upgrades since then. While it still offers the same RAM and storage of 8GB and 256GB respectively, it now features a Kirin 9000E chip and Mali-G78 GPU.
Larger, more stunning display
The display now has a larger option measuring in at spacious 12.6 inches. It utilises an OLED panel which delivers rich blacks with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, thanks to individually lit pixels that can be turned off completely. Indeed, the viewing experience is exceptional, especially when you want to immerse yourself in a good movie.
But entertainment is not all it's good for - the MatePad Pro 2021 also boasts HDR10 and a colour accuracy of Delta E < 0.5, which rivals some professional reference displays. For comparison, a typical standard of accuracy would be Delta E <2 or <1.
Another welcome update is the webcam, which no longer mars the display as a punch-hole, but has been relocated to the right bezel instead (top, if viewing in landscape mode). Even so, the bezels remain impressively slim, with a 90% screen-to-body ratio. The new location also makes it ideal for video calls, which are pretty much the norm for people working from home nowadays.
It is also the world's first TÜV Rheinland Full Care Display 2.0-certified tablet, which means it meets a rigorous set of criteria to ensure your eyes are protected from harmful blue light.
Huawei claims that they are the first to fit a whopping EIGHT speakers within a tablet, and at first listen, I completely believe them. The audio is rich with great bass, thanks to its separate tweeters and woofers. It also gets unbelievably loud without experiencing any distortion - a feat that a good number of laptops still haven't managed to achieve, let alone a device as slim and light as this.
Be it for video conferencing or diving into a Netflix and Chill session, the speakers definitely won't let you down.
Bigger battery, fast charging
With its larger size comes a larger battery. The MatePad Pro 2021 boasts a 10,050 mAh battery, which purportedly supports up to 14 hours of continuous local 1080p HD video playback, 9 hours of web browsing, and 17 days on standby. To charge up its tank from 0-100, you'll only need two hours and 10 minutes with Huawei's 40W SuperCharge capabilities.
Apart from that, it also supports admirable 27W wireless charging speeds, as well as 10W reverse charging, which is handy for juicing up your phone or watch in emergencies. Your tablet is your power bank too!
Improved features, better multitasking
Instead of a cluttered home screen, Huawei has introduced an Apple-like Bottom App Dock, which can show up to eight frequently used apps on the left, as well as 11 recently used apps on the right. While not particularly innovative, it certainly is a huge step up in terms of usability compared to the previous model.
You'll also enjoy Service Widgets, which you can customise to show you the info that's most vital to you. Multitasking has also been taken to another level, with up to 4 windows supported at the same time, compared to 3 from the previous model. You can use 2 apps in split screen mode, with the size being easily adjustable with a slider, as well as 2 more floating apps that you can expand or minimise at any time.
Huawei's App Multiplier is now also supported by over 4,000 apps. This feature enables users to run 2 separate instances of the same app, opening up possibilities for easier multitasking.
Tablet-PC Multi-screen Collaboration can be used in 3 ways - Mirror, Extend, and Collaborate modes. The names are pretty self-explanatory - Mirror Mode mirrors your tablet's display to another screen, ideal for using the MatePad Pro as a drawing tablet or to present ideas; Extend uses the MatePad Pro as an additional screen for extra display space; Collaborate allows users to easily drag files to and from their Huawei laptop to the MatePad Pro seamlessly.
The 2nd Gen Huawei M-Pencil features a more rounded hexagonal shape, which is vastly more comfortable than the previous generation. Apart from that, the tip of the M-Pencil is now transparent, offering users a glimpse into its innards; the nib is platinum-coated as well, making it more visually appealing while staving off the oxidation process.
As before, it supports up to 4,096 pressure levels which is great for artists who want to work with a higher level of tactility, and it also supports tilt-writing for easier shading. Automatic Bluetooth pairing and magnetic charging are still present, and the input latency is as low as 9ms.
It also supports a wide range of useful features such as FreeScript, which allows you to input text in any field, Double-tap Toggle which allows you to easily switch between two tools, as well as Instant Shape and Instant Table, which enables easy creation of standardised shapes and organised tables.
The new Huawei Smart Magnetic Keyboard is largely the same as before, with a comfortable 1.3mm travel distance and decent key spacing. This time, however, it also features a Fn key as well as support for multiple shortcuts, emulating a PC-like user experience more effectively.
The keyboard weighs 350g - coupled with the 12.6" MatePad Pro's 609g (616g and 626g for the non-5G and 5G vegan leather options), it still maintains a sub-1kg weight which makes it perfect for bringing around.
Pricing and Availability
The Huawei MatePad Pro 2021 retails at RM3,999 and will be available in Matte Grey from 18 June 2021 onwards. Pre-order it now or any time before 17 June, and you'll receive freebies up to RM1,747. More details to come soon.
For a full review, stay tuned for our upcoming video!