The review of Huawei MatePad Paper: a little tablet, a little ebook reader

La recensione di Huawei MatePad Paper: un po’ tablet, un po’ ebook reader thumbnail

The first time we crossed paths Huawei MatePad Paper was in Barcelona. Busy days those of the Mobile World Congress, passed running from one part of the fair to the other, yet we could not find the time to touch the Chinese e-ink tablet. Enchanted by its presentation, we wanted to understand what this unusual product was likedesigned to combine the functionality of a tablet with the physical characteristics of an ebook reader. The field test had thrilled us: writing with the M Pencil on MatePad Paper was very pleasant and satisfying, with the pen flowing on the display exactly like a pencil on paper.
The few minutes spent at the MWC with this device were satisfying, it is true, but not enough to grasp its strengths, weaknesses and potential. For a more accurate analysis we had to wait a few weeks but now, after more than a month with Huawei MatePad Paper, we are ready to tell you everything you need to know about this device.

The Huawei MatePad Paper review

Before telling you how it is Huawei MatePad Paper let’s answer another question: what is it?
This is the Huawei’s Primo E-Ink Tablet. This means that the display uses the same technology that for years we have seen applied to ebook readers but, at the same time, we are faced with a device that is not designed solely for reading. That’s why we have the M-Pencil, access to the App Gallery, applications for notes, the browser for web browsing … In short, it is as if the ebook reader had evolved and, at the same time, merged with a tablet .
But this is the quick summary.
Now let’s get into the details as we like it.

Design

Huawei MatePad Paper recensione USB C

Aesthetically MatePad Paper is sober and minimalwith a aluminum alloy frame and a rather low weight: 360 grams that allow you to carry it everywhere, whether it’s the backpack you go to work with or the bag you’ve decided to take with you on vacation. Even the thickness, with its 6.65 mm, contributes to the general portability of a product that can easily stand out from the crowd.

The edges are clean and essential, enriched only by the power button, which it integrates the fingerprint readerthe volume rocker and the USB-C connector for charging.
They complete the picture 4 microphones and two speakers. What are they for? The microphones are perfect to capture audio during a lesson or meeting, so you enrich your notes and you are not obliged to write down every single word.
The speakers are useful not only for the reproduction of these files but also for the possible listening of multimedia contents, with powerful volume and well-balanced sound.

Huawei MatePad Paper control panel review

The main protagonist, however, is him: the 10.3-inch e-ink display. IS backlit and yes, you can adjust it by hand or try your hand at selecting one of the two presets present, Day and Night. However, the light is always white so you will not be able to define its temperature.

But this is the theory. How does it behave in the field? Actually very good. First of all you have a lot of space available, much more than what is normally offered by ebook readers. The screen is then well defined so writings, images and contents will be better defined.
The brightness is not bad either, even if the presets haven’t wowed us completely. The manual adjustment on the other hand is very convenient and allows you to adapt the display to any situation. At night in the dark, perhaps we would have preferred an even lower light but probably from a technical point of view it was not possible to do so.

There is also a technology on board that Huawei calls it Smart Refreshwith the update frequency that adapts to the type of content so the experience is more fluid than that offered by ebook readers.

The hardware and accessories

Huawei MatePad Paper cover

Under the body we have the Huawei Kirin 820E processor, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal memory. Compared to a classic tablet, they may seem like a few, but for this MatePad is amply sufficient.
Then there are WiFi 6 e Bluetooth 5.2 that give you all the connectivity you need.

Associated with the MatePad Paper you will also find the M-Pencil, the pen of Huawei that we have already had the opportunity to use and appreciate associated with other products of the Asian giant. It is very comfortable, with excellent grip, low weight, 4096 pressure levels and reduced latency to 26 ms.
In short, really well done and above all perfect for taking notes.

Plus you have the cover, in vegan leather with a tab that allows the magnetic coupling of the M Pencil. It is particularly elegant, well cared for and holds the pen firmly anchored to the tablet, a pen that still magnetically attaches to the tablet.

Huawei MatePad Paper review: everyday use

Huawei MatePad Paper recensione split screen

We have been using MatePad Paper for a few weeks, at home, in the office and on the go.
We used it primarily for reading books and documents, with a brightness that allows you to use it even during the day, under direct sunlight.
The experience is absolutely satisfying, with the plus of be able to take notes directly on books and documents thanks to the M-Pencil che flows very smoothly within the Huawei apps. And no, we’re not just talking about the application for reading ebooks. In fact, you have at your disposal Note, with which you can take notes, outline concepts and record voice memos; plus there is FreeScript, which transforms handwriting into typed text, thus facilitating the possible passage of files from the e-ink tablet to a PC.
With the pen you can also select text, delete it and insert or delete spaces, so you save a lot of time to correct or fix your notes.

Huawei MatePad Paper review notes

Writing with apps not made by Huawei is a little less easy: there is a lot of lag. We discovered it by carrying out some necessary experiments for this review but then, on balance, we always used the Notes app of the Chinese giant, more for completeness than for the fluidity defects of the others.

Ok but the other apps… where can I find them?
Legitimate question. On Huawei MatePad Paper you have AppGallery, the store of the Asian company that informs you about the applications optimized for this device. In addition there is Petal Searchthe Huawei search engine that will allow you to expand your horizons even further and also download all the other applications you want to carry with you on this device.
This allows you to use MatePad Paper too to consult emails, to read newspapers or to surf the web. All activities that are quite natural on this terminal.

Huawei MatePad Paper appgallery review

We conclude with the 3,625 mAh battery. Calculating the actual autonomy is rather difficult because it depends on the use you make of it. Huawei declares about 30 days of autonomy in stand-by and 6 days of navigation. For us, with normal use, notes and books, it lasted about a week.

Huawei MatePad Paper review: conclusions

Huawei MatePad Paper review writing

Huawei MatePad Paper is on sale for € 499.90, price that includes the cover, the M-Pencil with 2 additional pins, the charger and the USB / USB-C cable.
In our view it is ua good solution for managers, professionals and students, for those who want to explore new productivity options. New options because here you have some pluses compared to other similar devices: the feeling similar to pen and paper, the incredible autonomy and a display that stresses your eyes much less.
Plus it creates fewer possibilities for distractions and helps you focus. Of course, you can still use the browser to open social networks but you are not constantly bombarded by notifications. In short, if you need to focus, it’s perfect.

We are obviously facing the first generation of a rather unique product of its kind so there are some defects and some limits but Huawei has raised the bar of ebook readers and e-ink displays for notes a bit.

We point out that until 24 October 2022 you can take advantage of a 10% discount using the code AHWTABLET on the official Huawei store.