matepad 11 cover review

Intended as a more affordable mainstream variant of the ultra premium MatePad Pro 12.6, the MatePad 11 brings a lot to the table for what you pay for and it’s now up for preorder in Malaysia. Here’s our Huawei MatePad 11 review where we put it to the test.

Huawei MatePad 11 review angled

Huawei MatePad 11 Review – What’s in the Box

Our Huawei MatePad 11 review sample has a modest assortment of kit out of the box on top of the tablet itself which is wrapped in a protective fabric envelope. In the box you get the following gear:

1 x SIM eject pin 

1 x Warranty card

1 x Quick start guide

1 x USB-C to USB-A cable

1 x Charger

1 x MatePad 11

In Malaysia, the MatePad 11 comes with a tempting preorder special that notably tosses in the new Huawei 2nd Gen M-Pencil stylus and an accompanying smart magnetic keyboard that magnetically latches on to the rear of the tablet and integrates a compact keyboard for paperwork crunching duties.

Huawei MatePad 11 Design and Build 

Our MatePad 11 review unit is the higher end 256GB storage variant which comes in a stunning Olive Green finish. If your pockets aren’t as deep, you can get the 128GB variant in Matte Grey which is functionally identical

The Olive Green backplate is perhaps one of the most unique seen of late as it features a faux leather texture that not only feels and looks exceptionally premium, repels fingerprints and offers excellent tactility too.

Huawei MatePad 11 review green

Intended to be used primarily in landscape mode like the MatePad Pro 12.6, the MatePad 11 has a volume rocker up top, and a microSD card tray at the base. 

On its right side are two of a matching set of quad speakers, with two drivers to each side, tuned by Harman Kardon along with a USB-C port for charging and docking duties. 

Huawei MatePad 11 review corner

The left side features the other matching pair of speakers along with a power button. Unlike the faux leather textured backplate, the sides are done up in a very shiny shade of metallic green. 

Overall build quality is excellent with reassuring sturdiness and heft. It’s also light enough for one-handed use at 485g.

Huawei MatePad 11 review keyboard and pen

Our MatePad 11 review sample came with a smart magnetic keyboard with a 2nd Gen M-Pencil, both of which are available for free with the preorder.

If you lucked in on the preorder, you’ll get the free Huawei 2nd Gen M-Pencil stylus that’s identical to the one seen with the Matepad Pro 12.6. You also get issued a smart magnetic keyboard case specific to the MatePad 11 that features an NFC sensor in the lower right corner for Multi-Screen Collaboration with a compatible Huawei smartphone.

The case itself looks suitably posh and latches on instantly to the MatePad 11’s backplate with two grooves above the keyboard allowing you to prop it into two possible viewing angles at 55 and 65-degree angles.

Huawei MatePad 11 Specifications

For Malaysia, Huawei has issued the MatePad 11 in two different variants, each with a corresponding colour scheme. The stock variant comes in Matte Grey and has 128GB storage. The higher end version comes in Olive Green and 256GB of storage.

Bar the difference in storage sizes and paint job, both versions are functionally identical. For Malaysia, the MatePad 11 lacks LTE connectivity but on the bright side features WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. It also has the rare addition of a microSD card slot – somewhat of a rarity in Huawei issued gear – that lets users expand the storage up to 1TB.

Huawei MatePad 11 review top angled side keyboard

The overall hardware for the MatePad 11 also oddly eschews their traditional Kirin processors and uses a proven Snapdragon 865 processor paired with 6GB RAM running their own HarmonyOS 2.0 firmware.

The display is a 10.95-inch TFT IPS LCD with 2,560 x 1,600 pixels resolution which is rated to support the DCI-P3 colour gamut though Huawei hasn’t stated what percentage of said colour gamut it can support. Also of note is that it has a 120Hz refresh rate though this can be dialled down to just 60Hz to extend battery life. The rear camera is a modest 13MP with flash while the front is 8MP.  Keeping it powered is a 7,250mAh battery which is rated for all-day endurance. Here’s how it stacks up:

Price RM1,999 (128GB Matte Grey), RM2,399 (256GB Olive Green)
Display  10.95-inch IPS TFT WQXGA LCD, 2,560 x 1,600 pixels, 275 ppi
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 2.84GHz
OS HarmonyOS 2.0
Memory 6GB RAM/ 128GB or 256GB + microSD card (up to 1TB)
Camera 13MP (rear) / 8MP (front)
Battery 7,250mh w/ 22.5W fast charging
Size/Weight 253.8 x 165.3 x 7.25mm/ 485g
Huawei MatePad 11 Review – Specifications

Huawei MatePad 11 Performance and Benchmarks

The MatePad 11’s display proved to be bright and vibrant with relatively good colour accuracy and fairly deep blacks though the MatePad Pro 12.6 is a better choice for content creators on account of its lusher OLED display. Of note is the MatePad 11’s smooth 120Hz refresh rate which makes it  ideal for gaming, helped also in part by the expandable memory via the microSD card slot and proven Snapdragon 865 SoC. 

When paired with the MatePad 11’s quad speakers, which were pleasantly loud and offer good detail, the tablet makes for an excellent Netflix binging platform and for Spotify too. Here’s how it fares under synthetic benchmarks:

3DMark Wild Life 3,805
3DMark Wild Life Extreme 1,099
3DMark Wild Life Extreme Unlimited 1,100
3DMark Wild Life Unlimited 3,814
3DMark Sling Shot Extreme Open GL ES 3.1 Maxed out
PCMark Work 3.0 9,358
Geekbench 5 Single core score 915
Geekbench 5 Multi core score 3126
Huawei MatePad 11 Review – Benchmarks

Apps and games ran in a smooth fashion with buttery smooth switching between apps. This is borne out in benchmarks. From a hardware perspective, the MatePad 11 has enough pixel crunching punch to go toe to toe with its contemporaries in its price range and likely a notch or two higher too though, as always, the conundrum here isn’t so much the hardware but applications on offer which remains a pickle especially for those reliant on apps that require Google’s mobile services.

Huawei MatePad 11 review camera

The provided rear 13MP camera is capable of capturing up to 4K and 1080p video while the front is capped at 1080P though all footage is capped at a 30Hz frame rate. Stills are either in the usual 4:3 or 1:1 aspect ratio. Oddly enough, the camera menus have been drastically pared down and features far fewer options than usual along with the omission of a Pro mode. Front video calls need bright lighting for best effect and shots from both the front and rear are sufficient for social media.

Huawei MatePad 11 review – AppGallery

For applications, the MatePad 11 needs to rely on their own AppGallery app store which still omits applications reliant on Google services so some apps won’t work. If apps are not available on the AppGallery, you’ll have to hop through a few extra hoops and use their own Huawei Petal Search to find what you need via third party sideloading sites like ApkPure which can be an occasionally frustrating process as you occasionally need to download an older apk file of an app to make it work.

You can still watch YouTube via a browser but the majority of Google’s apps work in a finicky fashion which requires reliance on alternatives.

Huawei MatePad 11 review shortcuts

The first time you fire up AppGallery, the app will suggest a variety of apps for you to download.

Google hijinks aside, Huawei has padded out the AppGallery with the vast majority of the banking, online shopping and other apps necessary for day to day use in Malaysia. 

Netflix runs without issue and the more popular games like Asphalt 9 and PUBG run smoothly though not all games can take advantage of a 120Hz refresh rate. 

For productivity, our MatePad 11 review sample came with WPS Office preinstalled which was able to handle paperwork in a neat fashion. The provision of a front mounted selfie camera comes in handy as the tablet works with all the usual video call apps like Zoom, MSTeams and Webex which makes it handy for conference calls. For video editing, VN proved to be an adequate non-linear video editor.

Huawei MatePad 11 – HarmonyOS 2.0 and Multi-screen collaboration

Huawei’s implementation of their own firmware that they’ve dubbed as HarmonyOS 2.0 is a competently executed affair which has a number of features like Multi Screen Collaboration, easier pairing with other Huawei laptops, phones and displays. 

Huawei MatePad 11 review homescreen

The user interface is otherwise similar to that seen in the MatePad Pro 12.6 with a similarly high level of polish. Much like Apple’s iPad OS, the tablet has a dock at the base that lets you park frequently used apps for easier access. Another feature of note is that swiping down from the upper left corner of the display gets you app notifications while swiping from the right corner gets you access to the control panel and system shortcuts. 

Huawei MatePad 11 review Huawei Share

Getting the Huawei MatePad 11 up and running is a fairly straightforward process and offers an optional sign-in to their own Huawei ID though this is necessary to make full use of the Huawei ecosystem.

The hat trick on offer here is the seamless integration offered by HarmonyOS 2.0 with Huawei’s other devices, enabling it to perform a number of multitasking tricks collectively dubbed as Huawei Share. You can pair the tablet with a compatible Huawei phone and create a controllable instance of it on the MatePad 11’s display.

Huawei MatePad 11 review

Our MatePad 11 review sample was able to seamlessly pair up via Huawei Share to act as a secondary screen to the MateBook D 15

You can also pair up the tablet with a Huawei MateBook laptop, allowing the tablet to act as a very useful secondary display. There’s a slight bit of lag here but it otherwise functions as intended. There’s a huge amount of potential here for multitasking though you’ll need to understandably invest significantly in Huawei’s ecosystem to make the most of it.

Huawei MatePad 11 Review – Battery Life

Under practical usage scenarios involving WiFi on, web browsing, movies and word processing, the MatePad 11 was easily able to last north of two days of use. In PCMark Work 3.0, the tablet managed to get a respectable 18 hours and 15 minutes of battery life. 

Battery life

In terms of charging speed, the MatePad 11’s built-in 7,250mAh battery supports 22.5W charging via the bundled charger and it managed to go from dead zero to full in 2 hours hours and 30 minutes.

Should you buy the Huawei MatePad 11?

The Huawei MatePad 11 proves to be an immensely well polished tablet with an excellent 120Hz display, solid performance and good battery life. What elevates it over a standard issue slate is the fact that it can act as a screen extension in tandem with a Huawei MateBook laptop which makes it useful for mobile workers and those working from home.

Huawei MatePad 11 review top

The lack of Google is irksome but Huawei has made significant inroads in making the tablet effective with a slew of apps useful for Malaysians. If you’re not tied into Google’s services, the MatePad 11 is well worth a look and an ideal recipient of a solid silver award.

Hitech Century Silver award

Huawei MatePad 11 Review unit courtesy of Huawei Malaysia. Available at the Huawei online store, official Shopee and Lazada store.

Huawei MatePad 11 review
4
  • Display
  • Performance
  • Portability
  • Battery Life
  • Design

Huawei MatePad 11 review

The Huawei MatePad 11 is a well specced tablet with a smooth 120Hz display and a fair price tag for what you pay for that’s ideal for everyday use, light paperwork duties and content consumption. What elevates it over a standard issue slate is the fact that it can act as a screen extension in tandem with a Huawei MateBook laptop which makes it useful for mobile workers and those working from home. The lack of Google is irksome to overcome but Huawei has made significant inroads in making the tablet effective with a slew of apps useful for Malaysians. If you’re not tied into Google’s services, the MatePad 11 is well worth a look.

Pros

 Vibrant 120Hz display Good battery life Respectable specifications Immense multitasking options with Multi-Screen collaboration

Cons

Middling cameras No LTE Sideloading apps a chore

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