Huawei’s most powerful tablet, the MatePad 12.6 is a size jump from the very similar-looking Huawei MatedPad Pro of 2020. It provides the need for consumers of a lighter device that can suffice for their everyday work, compared to a laptop that is 2x the weight of this tablet.
So how does the Huawei MatePad 12.6 fair in today’s demanding work from home, mobility, and ever-changing landscape of digital computation?
Here is our full review of the Huawei MatePad 12.6
The MatePad is big at 12.6″ but fortunately smaller in regular footprint due to its 90% Screen-to-Body ratio, its also thin at 6.7mm and 609g light, these are the characteristics
The side bezel is curved and separated from a solid backplate, curiously we can’t understand why Huawei opted to use an all-plastic body.
Though it feels solid, it’s not as premium as compared to the metal iPad of Galaxy Tab, but perhaps Huawei targeted to obtain the lightest weight possible and avoid any problems with the magnetic snap-on for the case and M-Pencil.
Included is the magnetic keyboard case which wirelessly charges the keyboard and connects via Bluetooth. The case can be adjusted in 2 angles for convenience for the 5-row keyboard. Though we find the keyboard to be a bit narrow for the palm compared to the other foldable folio keyboards in the market, and a touchpad would have been nice to complete the experience already.
We just have to take note that sometimes when the dock is upright, the Bluetooth signal is not immediately connecting and sometimes the virtual keyboard is not disappearing even when the Bluetooth keyboard is already connected.
The main highlight of the MatePad 12.6 is its OLED FullView Display, it has a good 1,000,000:1 Contrast Ratio and DCI-P3 Wide Colour Gamut delivering a new level of accuracy in the color of ΔE<0.5.
Watching Netflix shows is pleasurable with great brightness, though the quality of videos is only at SD with compatibility of Widevine L3 and not L1. So we weren’t able to maximize the 2650×1600 OLED display.
Brightness wise the MatePad 12.6 can handle direct sunlight brightness to be still visible and even be dimmed in a comfortable in dim conditions like about to sleep or when the light is off and you don’t want to bother anyone else with the brightness of your display.
Powering the Matepad 12.6 is the Kirin 900E Processor with a Mali-G78 Mp22 GPU and 8GB RAM, a combination that can handle most applications we used for work and play. The majority of the applications used were lag-free
Play wise running Genshin Impact can do stable gameplay with no frame drops in settings of medium to high. We remove the anti-aliasing TAA and it did the trick of making everything more stable.
Now running on Harmony OS 2, the MatePad 12.6 is now able to maximize the new layout of service widgets. Huawei’s non-app drawer centric UI since the beginning is now more layered by swiping apps up to expound information, the bottom dock can preview items when long pressed or hovered with the M-Pencil, and notifications are seperated from the control panel as it cleans up more priority in look.
Additionally, the App Multiplier of the Harmony OS can open windows of multiple apps, great for comparisons and multi-tasking. Great to maximize the 12.6-inch display of the Matepad.
One feature the MatePad has versus other tablets is its 3D Sensing Camera that can utilize for future apps and probably app developers. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to use the camera in our review time.
The MatePad can also do utilization of its display via Mirror Mode to duplicate the display, Extended display, and collaborate mode which can throw items from one display to another. Unfortunately, this can only work with the Huawei PC Manager right now, checking in using other Windows devices this feature cannot be enabled.
One good thing about the MatePad is a wireless charging pad and can also do reverse charging, this feature is a bit hard to see in tablets, but it seems Huawei is making this a standard in all of their premiere product. This is also the reason why the included Bluetooth keyboard can be powered by using the wireless charging feature.
M-Pencil an Keyboard
The Huawei M-Pencil 2 is now more agile, easier to hold though bigger compared to the previous generation. But we like the 360 transparent tips or choice of the original rubber tip and the platinum-coated nib making it more fluid to glide into the glass of the MatePad.
The M-Pencil 2 is a bit heavier and can grip more into the tablet compared to the previous generation, there is also now a capacitive button enabled for selection ear the tip for more engagement activation. Charing is also fast in giving 30 seconds of charge for 10 minutes of writing.
Huawei’s M-Pen Zone serves as an app zone for creativity and even the MyScript Calculator for amusing instant solving of mathematic solutions.
The angle of the keyboard magnetically snaps to stand through an origami-style, unlike the iPad and Galaxy Pad it snaps with contact points and rather uses kick stands. Huawei’s approach has its advantage of 4
Multimedia & Camera
The MatePad 12.6 has 8 firing speakers for a more surround and fine-tuned of high and low frequencies. From music to movies the audio quality is sufficient enough for personal and sharing between 2-3 people besides each other.
We just noticed a minor incompatibility with Genshin that in the loading screen the music has some audio volume irregularity, but overall gameplay is fine.
The Rear Camera is recognizable at 13MP assisted with an 8MP wide-angle camera for occasions you need to take some photos. On this occasion, it’s not that relevant to using the tablet for photos unless it’s really the last resort versus your smartphone.
The front camera is an 8MP selfie camera fixed focal is good in all applications we mostly did in all good color production and clarity. Additionally, in call-in Zoom, Teams are clear thanks to the multiple microphones with AI noise cancellation technology to avoid the annoying echos, keyboard typing, and ambient sounds.
Battery for All-Day
The MatePad 12.6 has a 10,050 mAh battery that can last more than a day gave moderate use such as social media messages, listening to music, video calls, and editing documents.
The casual playing of Genshin Impact at the end of the day for 2 hours leaves us around 30% of battery, which is enough for a dry-down night with some videos or leisure. Mostly charing the tablet.
Charging the MatePad takes around 2 hours and 20 minutes using the 40W charger, but alternatively, we just use the 65W PD Charger of our laptop to also charge the MatePad to enable quick charging. It might be slower but it can still be enough for charging without any rush as we use it at home most of the time.
The App Concern
Till now, you will have to depend on Huawei’s App Gallery and the petal search tool to get your app of desire. Except for the Google App Services such as YouTube, Maps we were able to do some turn around in
Updating apps is easier using the APK Pure app based on experience, it will download the latest needed APK fast and install. Most of the time it works based on experience, but you should understand that apps that need GMS still are not possible.
Though the latest update of Genshin Impact for Sangonomiya Kokomi had some hiccups, usually we had to wait for some time for the new APK to be playable and needs a clean installation to work.
The Huawei MatePad 12.6 is in very tough competition against the Apple iPad Pro and even the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ considering that these are the premium tablets of the mentioned brand. The Kirin 900E Processor with 8GB RAM and Mali-G78 Mp22 GPU can handle most multi-tasking and even high settings of Genshin Impact from time to time. (Not to mention you’re forced to be free to play)
For Php55,995 the MatePad 12.6 comes with the Bluetooth keyboard and M-Pencil 2 worth Php13,998 for free plus a free WiFi 5 router worth Php1,299 additional via their online store. Overall the Huawei MatePad 12.6 is a very good tablet if you can work around the issues of having no Google Mobile Services, as what Huawei is doing now is fairly easy to do so. Utilizing the APK Pure and Petal Search will most likely ease up give what you need.
What we love
- Great display color and brightness, though no 120Hz display as compared to competitors
- Performance is great as long as you can maximize the
- Despite Google Mobile Services, having petal search and APK Pure can provide 90% of what we need.
- Speakers are good and enjoyable for any content
What needs to be improved
- M-Pencil Magnet is still easy to be bumped off when alignment is wrong
- Features such as the Mirror, Collaborate and Extended mode only works for Huawei Laptops
- Bundled Bluetooth Keyboard case sometimes hiccups in connection
Huawei MatePad 12.6 Specifications
- 12.6-inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600) OLED screen
- Huawei Kirin 9000E with 22-core Mali-G78
- 8GB RAM and 256GB storage + up to 256GB via NM memory card
- Triple camera:
• 13MP F1.8 (main) + 8MP F2.4 (wide) + 3D depth
- 8MP F2.0 front camera
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax + Bluetooth 5.2
- GPS,A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo, QZSS
- Octa speakers w/ Histen 7.0
- USB Type-C x 1
- HarmonyOS 2
- 10,050mAh battery
- 40W Huawei SuperCharge | 27W Wireless Charging
- 184.7 x 286.5 x 6.7mm
- Colors: Green, Grey