The closest I experienced to Huawei was when I tried out a few Honor devices in 2020, when the brand was still owned by Huawei.
Besides, I can’t say that I paid much attention to the innovations that the Chinese technology giant brought out. After all, my circle consists mostly of Apple or Samsung users, and the Xiaomi device is also used occasionally.
My colleague did it before tried MatePad 10.4 which was a generally enjoyable experience, other than the fact that it relies on Google services – which are missing on Huawei phones and tablets.
The MatePad 11 I also reviewed that there are no Google services, but as you will see, this was not a big problem for me. What mostly intrigued me was the possibility of collaboration between tablets and MateBook D15 (2021).
To get out of the way: was the lack of Google services on MatePad 11 such an obstacle to my life? I use Google quite often, but do I rely on it?
Not really. Like most other handheld devices, Huawei comes with its pre-installed email app. I always used a third-party app to check mail in my inbox, so I didn’t mind.
For other services such as Google Docs, Spreadsheets and Forms, you’ll need to skip a few hoops to make it work. I don’t need Google Chrome either, because I use Samsung Internet browser, Safari and Microsoft Edge most of the time on other devices.
What me was however, it was bothered by the lack of a YouTube app. I could technically “download” it as a quick app to the home screen via the Huawei app gallery, but that meant I was still watching it in browser mode.
It goes without saying that this is not as flawless an experience as the corresponding YouTube app would offer, which is a shame because the 10.95-inch IPS LCD screen with a refresh rate of 120Hz made it a really nice entertainment device. Four stereo speakers (2 on each short edge) made it even more comfortable.
Entering the games due to the pandemic, I couldn’t give up the opportunity to download some of my favorites on MatePad 11. (If you’re wondering, these are Genshin Impact and Tears of Themis by Chinese developer miHoYo, a review for the latter is coming soon * emoji wink *.) Unfortunately, Huawei App Gallery did not have them.
Luckily, my attention was drawn to a wonderful app called TapTap. Through it, I was able to download my two favorite games and was thrilled to play them on MatePad 11.
Genshin Impact is a harder game than these two, and since I’ve seen a load that can put on many other devices, I wasn’t too hopeful about the tablet’s performance. Indeed, only most of the settings on the media were enough to overclock the device and the number of frames per second (FPS) dropped.
Played, but why would I settle for just that when I had a much better experience waiting for me on a gaming laptop for which I had already earned precious money?
The MatePad 11 is essentially a really nice leisure tablet with some extra features conducive to light creative work, but more on that later.
|Excellent sound quality
|No Google services
|Clear and vivid screen
MateBook D15 (2021)
About the MateBook D15 variant for 2021. I have nothing to say about this as a standalone device, but I will point out what I liked and what I didn’t like.
At first I was surprised by its 15.6-inch screen which became even bigger thanks to the thin bezels. The color of the screen was vivid and clear.
Unlike Huawei’s phones and tablets, its laptops still come with Google services. I prefer working on a laptop and will more likely require Google services for it, so I was glad to see this.
As for business, the MateBook D15 hasn’t changed my experience much. The games on it were also decent, although I could see my FPS drop in Genshin Impact at higher settings, and overall there was a slight lag.
I’m not familiar with Huawei laptops, I first assumed it didn’t have a webcam (thin frames would make it impossible to have it in its usual place). Still, there was a Camera app that confused me.
After googling the answers, I learned that there was a pop-up camera in a series of Fn keys. Benefits: You’ll never suddenly panic because your webcam is on when you’re not ready for it, and that allows your laptop to have a wider screen.
The biggest scam? Prepare to see yourself at an ugly angle, towards your nostrils and a well-defined double chin.
All that aside, what I found most interesting in reviewing these devices was Huawei’s Tablet-PC Multi-screen Collaboration feature.
|Large, clear screen
|Jumping camera with a strange angle
|It holds up decently for difficult games in the short term
|The sound quality is sharp for the ears
“Two monitor” setting for WFH or remote operation
Through research, multi-screen collaboration is not a new feature of Huawei, but it previously seemed to be only available between phones, or between phones and tablets / laptops. Basically, it is a program that maps your phone to another device so you can have drag and drop and other benefits. As far as I can see, it is comparable to Samsung Flow.
On the other hand, collaboration between tablets and multi-screen computers now allows users to connect their tablets to laptops. It offers 3 modes: Mirror, Extend and Collaborate. Huawei has instructions for enabling these features here.
Connecting the devices was smooth and flawless, although it should be noted that if any device falls asleep, you will need to reconnect them.
As its name suggests, it reflects what’s on your MateBook on the MatePad screen. One of the advantages of this feature is the way you can sign or draw documents.
For example, in Word Doc I can use an M-pen (I got a second generation, which is a solid pen) on a MatePad with a laptop mirror screen to sign my name or take notes. Then I can use my finger to select a specific scraper and adjust its position. All this will be reflected in real time on the actual document in the laptop.
This acts as an extension of your laptop screen, which means you can drag and drop a window onto the tablet screen so you don’t have to constantly switch between tabs. If you’re already familiar with using a monitor, this is nothing new. It only allows you to view multiple windows at once while controlling them from a single point: a laptop.
In this mode, the laptop and tablet are connected but run their own systems. This means that the files you have on your tablet can be dragged and pasted into a document on your laptop, for example.
Overall, the collaboration on multiple tablet screens worked well, albeit with a slight lag in mouse movement. My job doesn’t really require this kind of technology, so I probably didn’t make enough use of it, although it’s nice to have it.
My first real taste of the technological ecosystem
I have never been someone who agreed to the notion of technological ecosystems. After all, most of my adult life I used iPhones and laptops that ran on Windows.
Since I’ve never tried a technology ecosystem, I’ve convinced myself that I don’t like the idea of being tied down and fully relying on just one brand for all of my devices. Was that little benefit really worth the obligation?
But with this experience I can definitely see the attraction now. The only thing my arsenal lacked was a Huawei ecosystem completion phone. In addition, I found the tablet setup to be a decent price, with the MatePad 11 starting at RM 1,999 and the MateBook D15 starting at RM 2,999.
This meant that I could technically have a fake setup of “dual monitors” that is portable for roughly RM5K. It’s a nice option for remote work, and even just for WFH when you’re running out of space.
People today have less time to think and care about small things like device compatibility – the technological ecosystem easily overcomes that. It makes sense for technology manufacturers to move in this direction, as it is a feature that many current workers will love.
As for me, I’m happy with my way of mixing and stacking, but in the future when the time comes to change, I’ll probably consider subscribing to the technology ecosystem, and Huawei has become a strong candidate for that in my eyes.
- You can learn more about MatePad 11 hereand MateBook D15 (2021) here.
- You can read more of the Vice President’s judgments here.
VP Judgment is a series in which we personally test products, services, whims and applications. Want to suggest something else to try? Leave a comment here or send a suggestion to our Facebook page.