The Huawei MediaPad has two cameras, a user-facing 1.3-megapixel one for video calling and a 5-megapixel main sensor on the back. It doesn’t have a flash, but does at least provide autofocus, letting you hone-in on relatively close objects.
Autofocus speed was fairly slow, but this could have been in part down to the lighting conditions of the environment – which were terrible for photography. The camera interface is the Honeycomb standard, predictably. It can capture 720p video – but we can’t comment on its quality at this point. We’ll be back with more in the full review.
The web browser is the standard Android edition too, but the browsing experience should be just about perfect as the capacitive touchscreen feels very responsive and full Flash 10.3 support is in. Naturally, Wi-Fi support is here, including “N”, and if you opt for the 3G version you’ll get 14.4mbps HSPA .
Huawei says the MediaPad has a 6-hour battery life, a claim which we won’t get to test until we get a sample in for a full review. However, even if this figure is bang on, it’s still a lot less than most 10.1in Honeycomb tablets manage – the standard is between 8-10 hours. It should beat the comparable Acer Iconia A100, mind, which conked out after just 4 hours of video playback.
In pure design terms, the MediaPad is a success. It has the luxury feel that’s important in the tablet space, and is a lot comfier to hold than larger 10.1in models. Pricing is a sore point, though, because at around £275 ex. VAT (£330 inc) for the Wi-Fi-only model, it’s not a great deal cheaper than larger alternatives from better-known brands. Shop around and you’ll find the Motorola Xoom for under £330 and Asus Eee Pad Transformer (sans must-buy keyboard) for under £340. We doubt whether the MediaPad has the enough of a draw to attract buyers away from the iPad and the upcoming 7in Amazon Kindle Fire.
If you are interested in the Huawei MediaPad you’ll have to wait however as it won’t be available in UK stores until some time in the first quarter of 2012.
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