First revealed at Huawei’s recent global launch where they revealed their new HarmonyOS operating system for phones and tablets, the Huawei MatePad Pro 12 is their first premium tablet for 2021.
With top-shelf design and impressive specifications, the Huawei MatePad Pro 12 shows that they’ve still got skin in the game and still a force to be reckoned with if not for recent events. Here’s an unboxing of the Huawei MatePad Pro 12 along with a quick once-over of its impressive specifications.
What is the Huawei MatePad Pro 12
Intended as a slim, highly portable content creation and consumption device, the MatePad Pro 12 is the first of a new generation of tablets from the brand that runs on Huawei’s own freshly minted Harmony OS 2 with apps sourced off their own Huawei AppGallery and comes with a slew of accessories that include a stylus as well as a keyboard case that turns it into an ersatz laptop of sorts.
Unboxing the Huawei MatePad Pro 12
Much like its predecessor, the MatePad Pro 12 features a premium unboxing experience. Popping the cream white box revealed the MatePad Pro 12 itself wrapped in a protective plastic sleeve.
One thing to note is that the contents inside may not necessarily be what will come in the Malaysia retail units and we’ll keep you posted on the exact item manifest once we’ve gotten more details. Here’s what else comes in the box of our review sample.
1 x quick start guide and warranty guide
1 x SIM eject pin
1 x 40W SuperCharge charger
1 x USB-C cable
1 x 3.5mm to USB-C dongle
1 x Huawei MatePad Pro 12
Bundled separately is the MatePad Pro 12’s M-Pencil stylus. The provided M-Pencil stylus is intended specifically to work with the tablet and needs to be paired to it wirelessly to work.
It has an integrated battery that offers a good hour or so of usage and which can then be recharged by latching it back to the side of MatePad Pro 12 while double tapping the lower portion lets you change pen tools in drawing apps when in use. Within the packaging itself, the stylus also has two extra replaceable nibs in case the original gets worn out.
The bundled wireless keyboard case also merits its own individual package and has a series of magnets that enable it to securely latch on to the rear and the base of the MatePad Pro 12. Two indented grooves allow you to position the tablet into two preset viewing angles as needed.
At press time, it wasn’t stated if the stylus and the keyboard will come packaged by default with the tablet but judging from how its predecessor the MatePad Pro 12 was bundled at launch last year, the odds are good that Huawei will pack all three together as a pre-order or as an early bird special.
Huawei MatePad Pro 12 Design
In terms of colour choices, you have the option of a shade of Olive Green and in the case of our MatePad Pro 12 sample unit, a shade of Matte Grey. The paint job is relatively smudge resistant and the whole affair looks suitably posh and light, weighing in at 609g while being just 6.7mm thin which is barely thicker than a late 21st century print magazine.
Up front, the MatePad Pro 12 has a 12.6-inch diagonal OLED WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600 pixels) display that has the approximate dimensions of a sheaf of A4 paper.
This is also on account of the slim 5.6mm bezels all around which lend it an impressive 90.1% screen-to-body-ratio with curved edges all around framing the display, making it one of the larger tablets in the market for its size and weight.
The large size of the display enables it to tackle heavy duty multitasking and this time around, the MatePad Pro 12 is able to handle up to three open tabs onscreen simultaneously.
ike other Huawei tablets, the slate is also able to pair up with another Huawei phone via ‘Multi Screen Collaboration’ to display a live instance on the display. It’s also able to work with the recently released Vision S smart displays too for an even larger view.
On paper, the display has a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio with a 100% DCI-P3 colour space which lends it well towards content creation work in tandem with the bundled stylus and keyboard, allowing users to write, jot notes, doodle and perform a host of tasks.
Perched in the corner is an 8MP camera with the ability to snag 1080P video for video calls. The key perk here is that they’ve prudently eschewed a punch hole camera and have managed to minimise the camera design so that it comfortably sits on the edge of the bezel for a full unimpeded view of the display.
Intended to work in landscape mode, the tablet itself has a volume rocker where it’s top would be if docked with its bundled keyboard along with a set of magnets for the bundled M-Pencil stylus to latch on and charge itself when not in use.
The M-Pencil itself also has a corresponding set of grooves to enable it to comfortably attach itself without sliding off. Instead of buttons, the M-Pencil requires you to double tap the lower portion as a button to swap pen tools.
Ergonomics have been improved with a rounded grip and it feels a lot more comfortable to wield. According to Huawei, the M-Pencil has enhanced accuracy and more responsiveness when interacting with the display with a rated 4,096 levels of sensitivity and a reduced 9ms latency.
On its left and right sides are grilles for the 8 built-in speakers tuned by Harman Kardon, evenly split between both sides. The left side also hosts a power button while the right features a USB-C port for charging duties.
The base of the MatePad Pro 12 is otherwise bare save for a series of magnets embedded in the chassis to latch onto the optional keyboard dock accessory along with a SIM tray for Huawei’s own NM cards to augment the existing storage.
The backplate itself is mostly a nondescript swath of matte grey save for the inclusion of the rear dual camera array in the corner which has a primary 13MP and secondary 8MP ultra wide angle camera capable of 4K videos.
Huawei MatePad Pro 12 specifications
Befitting its role as one of Huawei’s most powerful tablets for 2021, the MatePad Pro 12 is armed to the teeth. On top of the aforementioned 12.6-inch OLED WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600 pixels) display, the MatePad Pro 12 features Huawei’s Kirin 9000E octacore processor.
Built on a 5nm process, the Kirin 9000E features a 1+3+4 chip architecture with Arm Cortex A77 CPUs for the primary and tri-chip cluster with the former clocked at 3.13GHz and the latter at 2.54GHz.
The quad chip cluster instead uses a quartet of Cortex A55 chips running at 2.05GHz. The chip itself theoretically has support for 5G but the MatePad Pro 12 intended for Malaysia is a WiFi only model though it does support the latest WiFi 6 802.11ax along with Bluetooth 5.2. A variant does exist with 5G connectivity though it isn’t slated for deployment in Malaysia at this point in time.
Storage is substantial at 256GB of storage and the tablet packs 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM which is more than sufficient for most tasks. Keeping it powered is a generous 10,050mAh lithium polymer battery and the tablet has 40W fast charging with the bundled charger along with 27W wireless charger and 10W reverse wireless charging to juice up other gear. Here’s a more thorough chart of its specifications.
|Display||12.6-inch OLED display, 1,600 x 2,560 pixels, 90% DCI-P3, 240ppi, 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, 400 nits|
|Memory||8GB RAM / 256GB +NM cards|
|Cameras||13MP + 8MP rear / 8MP front|
|Speakers||8, tuned by Harman Kardon|
|Battery||10,050mAh lithium polymer|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth v5.2, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax 2.4GHz/5GHz|
|Size/Weight||286.5 x 184.7 x 6.7mm / 609g|
Huawei MatePad Pro 12 and the new HarmonyOS 2
Running under the hood is Huawei’s own HarmonyOS 2 firmware with apps sourced from their own Huawei AppGallery or if unavailable, sourced via third party app repositories via their Petal search app.
If you’ve used Huawei’s most recent EMUI in their most recent tablets and phones like the Mate40 Pro, you’ll have a very familiar experience getting about.
The best part is that since its inception, the Huawei AppGallery has almost all of the necessary apps for Malaysians for banking with apps from the major banks in Malaysia, ecommerce via Shopee and Lazada, entertainment with seamless usage with Netflix and YouTube viewing via a browser as well as a slew of popular games like PUBG and Genshin Impact
On the productivity front, you can sort out Word documents, spreadsheets and the like via Microsoft Office though you’ll have to buy your own subscription if you want to get serious work done or you can alternatively opt for the free, if somewhat ad-laden, WPS Office.
Apps aside, HarmonyOS has a few tablet centric features on offer like a dock at the base of the tablet for frequently used apps. Sliding down from the left side of the display brings up notifications while doing it from the right brings up a control panel.
Harmony OS also has several tricks that work with other Huawei gear like the ability to pair up with a Huawei MateBook laptop to act as a secondary screen extension.
Unfortunately, this feature only works with a Huawei laptop for now. This is on top of its prior ability for Multi-screen collaboration where you can project an instance of your Huawei phone onto its display that you can use to make calls and use apps off the phone.
Another interesting Huawei feature is what they call as ‘Super Device’ where you can cluster up a series of Huawei devices like their wireless earbuds, speakers and whatnot into a ‘group’ of devices that you can pair up with at will in seconds such as transferring the audio from speakers to headphones when playing a movie and the like.
There’s a lot of potential on offer here and I’ll tinker with what Harmony OS 2.0 is capable of in the coming weeks.
Huawei MatePad Pro 12 Availability and Preorder
While official launch dates, specifications and prices aren’t available for the MatePad Pro 12 for Malaysia, what is certain is that it will be arriving in the near future according to Huawei.
At the global live stream launch, they did mention global prices and at launch, it retailed for CNY 5,400 which is about RM3,545 but as always, this likely isn’t its final price locally as we have to factor in taxes, shipping costs and a host of other factors.
What is certain is that the tablet is coming to Malaysia as the local Huawei Malaysia site has been updated to reflect the existence of the MatePad Pro 12. Stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted for our upcoming full review and the price for the MatePad Pro 12!