Huawei MatePad Paper Overview: E-ink Reimagined

Tablets have been experiencing a current renaissance, with a number of corporations releasing Android and Home windows slates to compete with the likes of the iPad and Floor. However LCD and OLED screens aren’t the very best for studying, and so many individuals nonetheless want to purchase a devoted eReader, with Kindle and Kobo units persevering with to promote effectively.

However what if e-ink might be used for extra than simply studying books? The MatePad Paper is basically a hybrid of the 2, with a black and white show however many key options of HarmonyOS – Huawei’s reply to Android.

Which means it’s able to sending emails, shopping the online, and taking handwritten notes, none of which you’d affiliate with an eReader.

However is that sufficient for the MatePad Paper to be thought of a sensible buy? Or ought to potential patrons follow extra conventional tablets? I spent a number of weeks testing the system to search out out.

Design & show

Slick, premium design
Wonderful 10.3in e-ink show
Poor fingerprint sensor, good audio system

The design of the MatePad Paper is modest, giving little indication of what it will possibly do. Aesthetically, the system is like an over-sized model of the Kindle Oasis, albeit with out the bodily web page flip buttons.

Slim bezels flank the show on three sides, with the highest left bigger to permit for the MatePad Paper to be comfortably held with one hand. This makes plenty of sense, and I’m actually not complaining about an 86.3% screen-to-body ratio.

The display itself is a 10.3in panel, making it one of many largest e-ink shows you should buy. A 1872×1404 decision means textual content is evident and crisp – noticeably higher than on the most recent Kindles. It additionally will get impressively brilliant, even when this will’t be set to regulate mechanically.

Being e-ink quite than LCD or OLED means the show is way slower to refresh than a conventional pill. This makes navigation really feel sluggish at occasions, however the advantages to your eyes might be value it for most individuals.

E-ink screens are broadly believed to scale back eye pressure, as they don’t trigger us to blink lower than typical. They’re additionally lit from the edges quite than the again, which reduces the quantity of blue mild emitted.

General, the MatePad Paper’s show is effectively suited to its supposed function.

To the left of it you’ll discover a leather-like coating created from plastic. It does a very good job of imitating the actual factor, extending across the whole again of the system. This offers the pill a slick, premium really feel. It additionally provides loads of grip, while not having to fret about fingerprint smudges.

The MatePad Paper is barely obtainable within the black end pictured, however I’m glad Huawei opted for a minimalist design. On the again, the one different characteristic of observe is the corporate’s brand within the centre.

A typical quantity rocker may be discovered on the suitable aspect, nevertheless it’s on the prime the place issues get attention-grabbing. The facility button doubles as a fingerprint sensor, in an similar setup to the MateBook E that launched alongside it.

Sadly, the expertise is simply as disappointing. I constantly struggled to unlock the MatePad Paper utilizing this technique, with profitable makes an attempt registered barely 1 / 4 of the time. It meant typing my passcode far more typically than I’d have preferred, with no webcam to supply an alternate.

Subsequent to the ability button you’ll discover a {hardware} characteristic not obtainable on most e-ink units – a big speaker grille. This combines with one other on the backside to ship wealthy, punchy audio. It will get impressively loud, providing extra bass than you’d count on from a tool of this measurement.

There’s no possibility to attach wired headphones by way of a 3.5mm jack, however a single USB-C port can be utilized for charging or information switch. The MatePad Paper depends closely on the cloud, so there’s no actual want for extra USB ports.

At 6.7mm thick and 360g (with out the quilt hooked up), it’s impressively slim and light-weight. The system additionally feels sturdy sufficient to throw in a bag and never fear about it.


Efficient, light-weight folio cowl
Wonderful M-Pencil stylus
Each included within the worth

That’s the pill {hardware} taken care of, however Huawei contains two additional equipment within the field.

The folio cowl is a helpful addition, defending the back and front of the system whereas sustaining a premium design. It’s created from the identical leather-style plastic because the rear of the pill itself, with magnets permitting for it to be simply hooked up. I want these have been barely stronger, although – a hefty nudge and it will possibly simply be dislodged.

Nonetheless, that’s solely a problem while you’re utilizing the system. With the quilt closed, a powerful magnetic clasp secures it in place. This doubles as a storage location for the M-Pencil, the identical stylus that works with many different Huawei units.

I can’t confirm Huawei’s declare of 4096 ranges of stress sensitivity, however the expertise is sort of totally different on an e-ink show. There’s a noticeable delay between starting to jot down or annotate and the data displaying on the display, which takes some getting used to. Nonetheless, it does provide extra resistance than common pill screens, making for a extra lifelike pen-on-paper-like expertise.

Huawei says the M-Pencil will get you ten hours of battery life, however 30 seconds of charging is supposedly sufficient for 10 minutes of use.

This received’t be a priority should you connect the stylus to the aspect of the MatePad Paper, the place it wirelessly costs. When you’ve got Bluetooth turned on, connecting to the pill is seamless too.

Having two very succesful equipment included within the field is an actual bonus.

Specs & efficiency

Huawei Kirin 820E processor and 4GB RAM
Efficiency typically sluggish, however higher than e-ink rivals
64GB of storage must be lots

In contrast to some e-ink units, we all know so much about MatePad Paper’s internals. It’s powered by the Huawei’s personal Kirin 820E processor, which will also be discovered on some funds telephones. It normally has 5G help, however there’s no mobile connectivity of any description on the MatePad Paper. You additionally get 4GB of RAM on the one configuration obtainable.

Evaluating efficiency is tough, as direct comparisons with equally priced Android or Home windows tablets can be unfair. A restricted choice of obtainable apps means I couldn’t run our typical benchmarking software program, both.

I’ll say it’s noticeably sooner and extra responsive than the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Version, however that system is way much less succesful. Right here, you’ll wish to transfer between books, observe taking, and internet shopping, all of which take some time to finish.

A noticeable enter delay left me questioning whether or not the MatePad Paper had registered my contact at occasions, however e-ink units aren’t meant to excel at efficiency. The important thing takeaway is that it’s attainable to make use of all of the obtainable apps with out an excessive amount of challenge – you will simply must be extra affected person than typical.

There’s no various to the 64GB of on-device storage, which appears to be like extra like 46GB with the software program put in. Nonetheless, e-books and notes are normally very small recordsdata. You’ll in all probability solely get near capability should you obtain plenty of audiobooks, however Huawei gives an additional 5GB of cloud storage totally free.

Software program

HarmonyOS 2 software program
Very totally different feel and look to telephone OS
Underwhelming in a number of key areas

The MatePad Paper runs HarmonyOS 2, Huawei’s reply to Android. Nonetheless, the expertise right here may be very totally different to what you’ll discover on the corporate’s smartphones and tablets.

That’s evident as quickly as you’ve arrange the system, with a house display consisting of 4 widgets: calendar, notes, e-mail and books. Every of those doubles as a shortcut to the related part, however there are separate ‘Notes’, ‘Bookshelf’, ‘Bookstore’, and ‘Apps’ tabs on the left aspect.

Throughout the latter you’ll discover Huawei’s App Gallery, however there’s an especially restricted choice obtainable to obtain. On the time of writing, it’s solely El Mundo, The Occasions & Sunday Occasions, The Solar Cellular, MindLine Thoughts Map, and a Chinese language dictionary app.

That’s extraordinarily disappointing, particularly when in comparison with the 45,000 obtainable on the same old App Gallery. It means you’ll should be content material with the default internet browser, calendar, e-mail consumer, and voice recorder, even should you don’t use different Huawei units.

The corporate has additionally taken the weird choice to pre-install the Huawei Well being app, regardless of it having no relevance to the MatePad Paper. You’ll be able to’t even depend your steps utilizing the system – it merely gives an outline of the opposite {hardware} related to your account.

The choice of books throughout the ‘Bookstore’ can also be very restricted. It has only a fraction of the titles on the Kindle Retailer, with lots of the hottest not obtainable. After all, you’ll be able to sideload all book codecs (besides Amazon’s personal) and PDFs, nevertheless it feels clunky by comparability.

The core notes app works effectively, with the choice for handwritten notes, pictures, textual content, and even voice recordings due to the included quad microphones. I additionally actually loved having the ability to take a fast observe with out unlocking the system, with the power to transform each into searchable textual content.

Swiping down from the highest of the display reveals your notifications, nevertheless it’s a laggy mess. A number of swipes are sometimes required to dismiss something, and there’s no strategy to clear all of your notifications. The very best answer I discovered was to hit ‘Handle notifications’ and switch as a lot off as attainable.

As is the case on iOS, swiping in from the top-right nook reveals a fast settings menu. That is far more efficient, permitting you to simply alter key choices that may take ages to search out inside the principle Settings app.

The MatePad Paper makes use of the usual three-button navigation Android customers might be accustomed to, which works effectively most often. That features the power to rapidly shut all open apps, however there’s no possibility for split-screen multitasking. Given the scale of the show, it seems like a missed alternative.

When you get used to its quirks, you’ll be able to obtain so much utilizing HarmonyOS on the MatePad Paper. However there’s a steep studying curve, and it lacks the polish of most cellular working techniques.

Battery Life

3625mAh battery
First rate several-day battery life, however nothing particular
Comparatively quick USB-C charging

Huawei has outfitted the MatePad Paper with a 3625mAh battery. That’s low by fashionable pill requirements, however e-ink shows devour far much less energy than LCD or OLED panels.

Certainly, you’re taking a look at days quite than hours on a single cost. With only some minutes of studying, listening to audiobooks and taking notes every day, you’ll be able to lengthen this to a full week.

Nonetheless, this can be a good distance in need of the 10 weeks Amazon says its newest Kindles provide. In the event you’re utilizing the MatePad Paper as a major studying or note-taking system, it’ll must be charged virtually as typically as a daily pill. Standby time can also be poor, with a big drop in proportion after only a few hours.

This may be boosted by decreasing display brightness and turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, however this makes the MatePad Paper a lot much less gratifying. There’s additionally no battery saver mode should you’re operating very low.

Nonetheless, the system is spectacular when you should join the ability. The 22.5W adapter within the field takes round 90 minutes for a full cost, a lot sooner than you’ll discover on a Kindle. In the event you simply wish to learn for some time, only a few minutes related will get you effectively over an hour of utilization.

There’s no wi-fi charging, however I doubt you’ll miss it on a tool of this measurement.

Worth and availability

That is maybe the most important motive to not purchase the MatePad Paper. It prices €499 (approx £420/$530) for the one mannequin obtainable, which gives 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

There’s at the moment no availability by way of the Huawei web site, however you should buy it at AliExpress from £447/$548 on the time of writing.

Put merely, that’s too costly for the system in its present state. The one actual competitor is the reMarkable 2 at £299/$299, whereas the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Version prices simply £179/$189.

With the most recent common iPad and Floor Go Three each considerably cheaper, dropping over £400/$400 on the MatePad Paper turns into a lot more durable to justify. Loads of different options can be found in our greatest eReader and greatest pill charts.


The MatePad Paper is an thrilling first-gen system, however a number of shortcomings imply it received’t persuade many individuals to surrender their pill or different eReader.

A big, high-quality show is superb for notetaking and annotating textual content, particularly with the wonderful stylus included within the field. I additionally actually loved the MatePad Paper’s premium design, whereas battery life and audio system are each above common.

However the 10.3in display is just too massive to make studying conventional e-books really feel comfy. There’s additionally plenty of work wanted on the software program, which is a pale imitation of full HarmonyOS.

The latter may be addressed with future updates, nevertheless it’s not value taking the chance for most individuals – particularly at this worth. In its present type, the MatePad Paper is barely value utilizing should you want an excellent system for notetaking and annotating.

Huawei MatePad Paper: Specs

10.Three in 1872×1404 E Ink show
HUAWEI Kirin 820E processor
64GB storage
HarmonyOS 2
Twin audio system
Quad microphones
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.2
3625mAh battery
22.5W charging by way of USB-C
225.2mm x 182.7mm, 6.65mm
360g (pill solely)
m-Pencil (2nd technology) and MatePad Paper Folio Cowl included in field

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