Despite the ‘Mobile’ part of MWC, the conference typically sees much more than just smartphones. This year that was especially true, with metaverse-themed announcements as well as laptops and tablets galore. There’s plenty of new and exciting devices, but there were some eye-raising ones as well, such as the Lenovo Legion Y90 smartphone with 640GB of storage or the Snapdragon-powered Thinkpad X13s laptop. However, perhaps the most curious among them is the Huawei MatePad Paper.
The Huawei MatePad Paper, as its name hints at, is a tablet with an e-ink display. Yep, you read that right, this is an full-fledged tablet that uses the same type of faux paper screen more commonly found on eReaders like the Amazon Kindle. The 10.3-inch, e-Ink display has a 1872 x 1404p resolution and comes with a screen-to-body ratio of 86.3%. E-ink displays though typically suffer from extremely poor refresh rates, making it great for reading a static page with low battery consumption but horrible for almost anything else. Huawei seems to be tackling that with something called a ‘smart refresh rate’, though video is likely still not possible.
It’s not like you’ll want to watch content on it either as it’s still an e-ink display, so it will only output a greyscale image. There is a 32-stage backlight to it though, so the MatePad Paper ought to be an excellent eReader even in total darkness. The Huawei MatePad Paper though seems to be targeted more towards note-taking in particular, as it comes with a second generation Huawei M-Pencil stylus. Huawei claims that the M-pencil has a 26ms latency and 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity, and can magnetically attach itself to the MatePad Paper too.
Under the hood, the MatePad Paper has a Huawei Kirin 820E system-on-chip mated to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. And unlike most eReaders out there, it runs HarmonyOS, Huawei’s own alternative to Android. This means that you should still technically be able to install apps on it, though its selection is significantly less than an Android tablet. But with a full mobile OS onboard, you should be able to write down what you need and easily send it out via email and such.
The Huawei MatePad Paper can be also linked to your computer or smartphone for file sharing. Seeing as there’s an actual mobile OS under the hood, you can translate content with the MatePad Paper as well. There’s a fingerprint sensor on the power button too, while those who prefer audio books will be pleased to know that it comes with stereo speakers. Powering it is a 3,625mAh battery that Huawei says will last up to 28 days in standby mode, while connectivity gets taken care of with WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2.
The Huawei MatePad Paper won’t be cheap though, coming in at EUR499 (~RM2,319.95), though European pricing is typically higher than local pricing. There’s no word yet though if Huawei plans to introduce it into Malaysia. That price tag does however include with it the Huawei M-Pencil stylus as well as a folio cover case for the tablet.