Huawei has just launched its latest mid-range tablet, Huawei MatePad 10.4 which looks premium thanks to its matte midnight gray and reflective surface.
With 4 speakers – 2 on each short side – on the thin 7.5 mm pages you will also find a power button, volume switch and USB-C port.
Call me a date, but this is actually the first device I use that doesn’t have a 3.5mm jack. But don’t worry, because Huawei supplies an adapter if you ever need to pair wired headphones with a cradle.
The faux leather exterior of the Magnetic Keyboard makes everyone who wears this pad look sophisticated and smart like the board director who will give a killer presentation. When used, the tab securely clicks into place, turning the tablet into a laptop, which is what I am actually writing this article on.
More than it looks
On top of its looks, the MatePad 10.4 is slim and light with 460g. It’s easy to hold your wrist and shoulder when you carry it in your hand or when you put its rough-sized B5 gearbox in your purse.
The 6.5mm black bezels around the 10.4-inch screen (hence the name) make it comfortable to hold without accidentally running any commands. There is also a front camera at the top of the screen in landscape mode.
Horizontal orientation is the way the card works best for a full laptop or cinema experience.
Multitasking worked well on the card. Multi-screen windows have allowed me to watch Netflix while going through email at the same time. Not to mention the 4 stereo speakers that project the sound of my show loud and clear.
Since the tablet is cheap, the screen is not a phenomenal AMOLED, but an LCD. Although you probably won’t be able to tell by the pre-installed Huawei wallpapers that appear live when locked.
I’d say the LCD trade-off is most noticeable when you watch videos on YouTube or Netflix.
Its resolution is high enough with good brightness that is visible even during daytime use outside, albeit with little glare.
Huawei in MatePad 10.4 also offers Eye Comfort and eBook modes. The first is a blue light filter to reduce eye fatigue, while the second makes the entire screen mimic a newspaper.
When the latter is turned on, the texture of the screen is grainy, and the colors are converted to grayscale, intended for reading articles or e-books.
The The most furious part
The first thing I do after receiving a new device is to install my frequently used applications. So I never noticed how much I depended on Google for work and leisure until I turned on the background.
Let’s get the elephant out of the room: Huawei’s software doesn’t come, nor does it support Google Play or its services due to the trade war between the US and China. If I wanted to use Microsoft Teams or Netflix, I had to download their APK versions which made me feel more vulnerable.
In fact, I’m writing this article on a pre-installed Notepad block because I couldn’t access Google Docs and lost my Microsoft Word login information.
However, MatePad 10.4 overcomes this by giving you a pre-installed application called Petal Search. Here you can easily find and download the APK of any application. So I was able to install Google Chrome and Netflix.
Although I would try to do it over and over for YouTube and Gmail, it would fail over and over again. So I got stuck for browser versions, which was a subordinate, if not frustrating experience.
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All in all, the MatePad 10.4 is great for working on the go, from an easily portable to a good “click” feel for your magnetic keyboard.
Eye Comfort and eBook modes are also positive, especially for those who are sensitive to blue light and sensitive to eye strain.
I think it’s pretty obvious that its incompatibility with Google apps is the biggest downside for me. Of course, if you’re someone who relies heavily on Microsoft, this shouldn’t bother you too much.
But as these are just my first impressions of the MatePad 10.4, it might add to me the longer I spend with it.