I had the opportunity to review the really good looking Huawei MatePad 11 tablet and I am liking the design and what it’s capable of. What’s best about it is the ability to seamlessly work and connect with any Huawei MateBook as a mirrored display or an extended display.
This is very useful for business users as you can easily get your job done quicker with an easy drag and drop function between the two devices. To me, that is probably the biggest advantage it has over its competitors and Huawei have done it right out-of-the-box.
What else can this new Huawei MatePad 11 do? Read on.
First Look and Design
The Huawei MatePad 11 is by far the most good looking tablet in 2021. It comes with a metallic chassis and it’s using vegan leather at the back panel to give it an exclusive premium finish. The review unit comes in Olive Green colour, which elevates the premium look on the device. I very much prefer this colour option as opposed to the Matte Grey variant. And the gold Huawei logo printed in the middle made it look even more beautiful.
The IPS LCD front display measures at 10.95” (close to 11, hence the name) and it supports 120Hz refresh rate. There’s a front facing camera at the top when having the tablet in landscape position and you can mount it on the magnetic detachable cover/keyboard that comes with it.
Around the back, there’s a single camera setup with an LED flash to accompany it. The camera bump does protrude quite a bit but you will have the cover/keyboard snapped on to eliminate the bump at the back.
And I must say, I love the quad stereo speaker setup on this Huawei MatePad 11. It is probably the best sounding tablet that I have used and tested this year. Of course, the speaker setup is by Harmon Kardon and comes with Dolby Atmos. So in landscape position, you will find two speakers on each side of the tablet.
At the top of the device (while in landscape mode, with keyboard), there’s the volume rocker and external SD card slot. The power button is located on the left side near the top. You can also magnetically snap on the M Pencil 2 at the top of the device to keep it safe and also to have it charged up.
I keep mentioning about the keyboard. Yes, the Huawei MatePad 11 comes with the keyboard that doubles up as a protective case. Most other companies will sell the keyboard as an optional item but Huawei gives it to you along with the tablet. Cool right? I love the keyboard layout and feel. It has the premium feel to compliment the tablet.
You can have the tablet stand in two positions according to your preferences. But the magnet on the keyboard that holds the tablet into place is quite strong. I often had to use extra energy to move it and when I do, the magnet that is attached to the back panel unsnapped. It doesn’t bother me but I think the magnet that holds the tablet at the back should be stronger.
Overall, I think the Huawei MatePad 11 is a beautiful tablet that works best for business users.
Daily Usage and Performance
Here is where I will tell you why I think it suits the business users. First of all, the Huawei MatePad 11 is a mid range tablet without the hefty price. For a tablet like this, the price point is just right for most working class people. It works best if you’re always away from the office for business or sales. It can do just about anything a laptop can do while keeping it compact and portable.
As I said earlier, the best feature of the Huawei MatePad 11 is that it can seamlessly connect with the Huawei MateBook series for easy file transfer and extra screen. I used this feature a few times when I wanted to copy a file from the laptop to the tablet. It is as easy as dragging and dropping to a desired folder. It is fast and super easy. At the time of writing, this feature only works between the Huawei MatePad and Huawei MateBook D14 or D15.
The OS that runs all these functions is Harmony OS, Huawei’s own version of Android operating system but with its own caveats. It doesn’t come with Google Mobile Services so you will miss a lot of your usual apps if you’re on normal Android. But you can always use a third party app to download your usual apps but you won’t be able to use any GMS natively.
No doubt, Harmony OS is a beautiful OS. It has matured since its first release 2 years ago. The OS is cleaner and refined. But with the absence of GMS, Huawei has to create an OS that is capable of doing something extra. But I do hope they will be able to use GMS again.
For battery life, the Huawei MatePad 11 comes with a 7250mAh battery and it can last about two days on a single charge. If you use the MatePad for entertainment, you may drain the battery sooner but it can still last you the whole day.
The Huawei MatePad 11 is powered by Snapdragon 865 SoC and supported by 6GB of RAM and up to 256GB of internal storage with the ability to expand more via MicroSD card. With all the powerful setup, the Huawei MatePad 11 works really well and is very snappy. Multitasking is very normal for this tablet. You can even open multiple windows when working on multiple files. But you are limited to having only 2 separate windows open at the same time, but still, this is a step forward.
Let’s not forget that it also comes with quad stereo speakers on board. This is extremely enjoyable when watching movies or playing a music video clip. The surround sound enhanced by Dolby Atmos is super crisp and “bassy”. Not only can it perform well for business, it is also an excellent entertainment device. Of course, I have watched many movies on it and I loved it.
As for gaming, I did test the Huawei MatePad 11 with PUBG Mobile. The large display somewhat gave me an advantage in spotting the enemies. The powerful Snapdragon 865 helps to render super smooth graphic quality in maximum fps. The surround sound quality from the quad stereo speakers is beyond amazing. I don’t actually need to wear an earphone when using the Huawei MatePad 11.
Basically what I’m trying to say is, you can push the limit of the Huawei MatePad 11 as much as possible without it crashing or slowing down. Not only is it beautiful, it is also powerful.
If you wish to take photos with the Huawei MatePad 11, you actually can. But with only a 13MP single camera setup, don’t expect too much. It is a good shooter, but only when it is well lit up.
The Huawei MatePad 11 was able to take some decent shots when I was testing it. But I noticed that once a while the photo will turn up to be too smooth like it has been overly processed on the image smoothness. That’s okay for portrait shots but it even smoothens up landscape photos. Colour balance is okay and the exposure is fine. I won’t shout too much about the camera department as the results are just okay. But I got a couple of shots to show as a sample.
The M Pencil 2 is quite a bit of fun to use. If you love drawing, you might want to give this one a try. Although lacking in drawing apps, there are a few that you can use with the MatePad 11. I tried drawing on the MatePad 11 and I failed so badly. I’m not much of an artist anyway, but at least I tried.
Using the M Pencil 2 gives a smooth gliding experience. It is very responsive and accurate. The latency is so low that it gives you an impression of drawing/writing on paper. For better experience and if you’re using the tablet for arts and drawing, I suggest you get a paperlike screen protector. Drawing or writing will be so much better.
The Huawei MatePad 11 is a gorgeous tablet in my opinion. I absolutely love the Olive Green colour variant. The 2560×1600 resolution display is beautiful although it is based on an IPS LCD. And the smoothness of the 120Hz refresh rate is so satisfying.
This is a tablet that you can always carry with you whether it’s for business or leisure. The size is big enough for you to work on but small enough to fit into your sling bag. Believe it or not, I am using a medium sized sling bag and I can fit the MatePad 11 in it. So yes, I have the tablet with me all the time, everywhere I go.
So if you’re a digital nomad or someone who loves gadgets, the Huawei MatePad 11 is something you should consider because it works really well with Huawei’s laptop range such as the MateBook D series. Or if you’re someone who does not rely on Google’s services (but can always access GMS in the browser), then you should give this Harmony OS powered tablet a go.
As for me, I had a lot of fun with it.
Find out more about the Huawei MatePad 11: https://consumer.huawei.com/my/tablets/matepad-11/