Huawei MatePad Paper Review: E-ink Reimagined


Tablets were experiencing a contemporary renaissance, with a number of corporations freeing Android and Windows slates to compete with the likes of the iPad and Surface. But LCD and OLED monitors don’t seem to be the most efficient for reading, and such a lot of other folks nonetheless choose to shop for a devoted eReader, with Kindle and Kobo gadgets proceeding to promote neatly.

But what if e-ink might be used for extra than simply reading books? The MatePad Paper is largely a hybrid of the 2, with a black and white show however many key options of HarmonyOS – Huawei’s solution to Android.

That approach it’s able to sending emails, surfing the internet, and taking handwritten notes, none of which you’d go together with an eReader.

But is that sufficient for the MatePad Paper to be thought to be a sensible acquire? Or will have to potential consumers stick to extra conventional tablets? I spent a couple of weeks trying out the machine to determine.

Design & show

  • Slick, top class design
  • Excellent 10.3in e-ink show
  • Poor fingerprint sensor, excellent audio system

The design of the MatePad Paper is inconspicuous, giving little indication of what it may well do. Aesthetically, the machine is like an over-sized model of the Kindle Oasis, albeit with out the bodily web page flip buttons.

Slim bezels flank the show on 3 facets, with the end left better to permit for the MatePad Paper to be very easily held with one hand. This makes numerous sense, and I’m in no way complaining about an 86.3% screen-to-body ratio.

The display screen itself is a ten.3in panel, making it one of the most biggest e-ink shows you’ll purchase. A 1872×1404 solution approach textual content is obvious and crisp – noticeably higher than on the newest Kindles. It additionally will get impressively brilliant, even supposing it will’t be set to regulate mechanically.

Huawei MatePad Paper review

Being e-ink quite than LCD or OLED approach the show is way slower to refresh than a standard tablet. This makes navigation really feel gradual now and then, however the advantages in your eyes shall be value it for most of the people.

E-ink monitors are broadly believed to cut back eye pressure, as they don’t reason us to blink lower than same old. They’re additionally lit from the perimeters quite than the again, which reduces the quantity of blue mild emitted.

Overall, the MatePad Paper’s show is easily suited for its supposed goal.

To the left of it you’ll discover a leather-like coating constructed from plastic. It does a excellent activity of imitating the true factor, extending round all the again of the machine. This offers the tablet a slick, top class really feel. It additionally provides quite a few grip, without having to fret about fingerprint smudges.

The MatePad Paper is most effective to be had within the black end pictured, however I’m satisfied Huawei opted for a minimalist design. On the again, the one different characteristic of word is the corporate’s emblem within the centre.

Huawei MatePad Paper review

A regular quantity rocker will also be discovered at the appropriate aspect, nevertheless it’s on the peak the place issues get fascinating. The energy button doubles as a fingerprint sensor, in an equivalent setup to the MateBook E that introduced along it.

Unfortunately, the revel in is simply as disappointing. I constantly struggled to liberate the MatePad Paper the use of this system, with a hit makes an attempt registered slightly 1 / 4 of the time. It supposed typing my passcode a lot more ceaselessly than I’d have appreciated, with out a webcam to supply an alternate.

Huawei MatePad Paper review

Next to the facility button you’ll discover a {hardware} characteristic no longer to be had on maximum e-ink gadgets – a big speaker grille. This combines with some other on the backside to ship wealthy, punchy audio. It will get impressively loud, providing extra bass than you’d be expecting from a tool of this dimension.

There’s no technique to attach stressed headphones by means of a three.5mm jack, however a unmarried USB-C port can be utilized for charging or information switch. The MatePad Paper is based closely at the cloud, so there’s no actual want for extra USB ports.

At 6.7mm thick and 360g (with out the quilt connected), it’s impressively slender and light-weight. The machine additionally feels sturdy sufficient to throw in a bag and no longer concern about it.


  • Effective, light-weight folio duvet
  • Excellent M-Pencil stylus
  • Both integrated in the cost

That’s the tablet {hardware} looked after, however Huawei contains two additional equipment within the field.

The folio duvet is an invaluable addition, protective the back and front of the machine whilst keeping up a top class design. It’s constructed from the similar leather-style plastic because the rear of the tablet itself, with magnets bearing in mind it to be simply connected. I want those had been reasonably more potent, despite the fact that – a hefty nudge and it may well simply be dislodged.

Huawei MatePad Paper review

However, that’s most effective a topic when you find yourself the use of the machine. With the quilt closed, a powerful magnetic clasp secures it in position. This doubles as a garage location for the M-Pencil, the similar stylus that works with many different Huawei gadgets.

I will’t test Huawei’s declare of 4096 ranges of force sensitivity, however the revel in is reasonably other on an e-ink show. There’s a noticeable extend between starting to write or annotate and the tips appearing at the display screen, which takes some being used to. However, it does be offering extra resistance than common tablet monitors, making for a extra real looking pen-on-paper-like revel in.

Huawei MatePad Paper review

Huawei says the M-Pencil gets you ten hours of battery existence, however 30 seconds of charging is supposedly sufficient for 10 mins of use.

This received’t be a priority if you happen to connect the stylus to the aspect of the MatePad Paper, the place it wirelessly fees. If you might have Bluetooth grew to become on, connecting to the tablet is seamless too.

Having two very succesful equipment integrated within the field is an actual bonus.

Specs & efficiency

  • Huawei Kirin 820E processor and 4GB RAM
  • Performance ceaselessly gradual, however higher than e-ink opponents
  • 64GB of garage will have to be lots

Unlike some e-ink gadgets, we all know so much about MatePad Paper’s internals. It’s powered by means of the Huawei’s personal Kirin 820E processor, which may also be discovered on some price range telephones. It typically has 5G beef up, however there’s no mobile connectivity of any description at the MatePad Paper. You additionally get 4GB of RAM at the most effective configuration to be had.

Evaluating efficiency is tricky, as direct comparisons with in a similar fashion priced Android or Windows tablets can be unfair. A restricted choice of to be had apps approach I couldn’t run our same old benchmarking tool, both.

I can say it’s noticeably quicker and extra responsive than the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition, however that machine is way much less succesful. Here, you’ll need to transfer between books, word taking, and internet surfing, all of which take some time to finish.

Huawei MatePad Paper review

A noticeable enter extend left me questioning whether or not the MatePad Paper had registered my contact now and then, however e-ink gadgets aren’t supposed to excel at efficiency. The key takeaway is that it’s conceivable to make use of the entire to be had apps with out an excessive amount of factor – you can simply wish to be extra affected person than same old.

There’s no choice to the 64GB of on-device garage, which appears extra like 46GB with the tool put in. However, e-books and notes are typically very small information. You’ll most probably most effective get as regards to capability if you happen to obtain numerous audiobooks, however Huawei provides an additional 5GB of cloud garage totally free.


  • HarmonyOS 2 tool
  • Very other feel and look to phone OS
  • Underwhelming in different key spaces

The MatePad Paper runs HarmonyOS 2, Huawei’s solution to Android. However, the revel in right here could be very other to what you’ll in finding at the corporate’s smartphones and tablets.

That’s obvious once you’ve arrange the machine, with a house display screen consisting of 4 widgets: calendar, notes, e mail and books. Each of those doubles as a shortcut to the related phase, however there are separate ‘Notes’, ‘Bookshelf’, ‘Bookstore’, and ‘Apps’ tabs at the left aspect.

Within the latter you’ll in finding Huawei’s App Gallery, however there’s an especially restricted variety to be had to obtain. At the time of writing, it’s most effective El Mundo, The Times & Sunday Times, The Sun Mobile, MindLine Mind Map, and a Chinese dictionary app.

That’s extraordinarily disappointing, particularly when in comparison to the 45,000 to be had on the standard App Gallery. It approach you’ll need to be content material with the default internet browser, calendar, e mail shopper, and voice recorder, even supposing you don’t use different Huawei gadgets.

The corporate has additionally taken the odd choice to pre-install the Huawei Health app, in spite of it having no relevance to the MatePad Paper. You can’t even rely your steps the use of the machine – it merely provides an summary of the opposite {hardware} hooked up in your account.

The choice of books inside the ‘Bookstore’ may be very restricted. It has only a fraction of the titles at the Kindle Store, with lots of the most well liked no longer to be had. Of route, you’ll sideload all guide codecs (with the exception of Amazon’s personal) and PDFs, nevertheless it feels clunky by means of comparability.

Huawei MatePad Paper review

The core notes app works neatly, with the choice for handwritten notes, photographs, textual content, or even voice recordings due to the integrated quad microphones. I additionally in reality loved having the ability to take a handy guide a rough word with out unlocking the machine, having the ability to convert each into searchable textual content.

Swiping down from the end of the display screen unearths your notifications, nevertheless it’s a laggy mess. Multiple swipes are ceaselessly required to brush aside anything else, and there’s no technique to transparent your whole notifications. The highest answer I discovered was once to hit ‘Manage notifications’ and switch as a lot off as conceivable.

As is the case on iOS, swiping in from the top-right nook unearths a handy guide a rough settings menu. This is a lot more efficient, permitting you to simply alter key choices that might take ages to search out inside the principle Settings app.

The MatePad Paper makes use of the usual three-button navigation Android customers shall be accustomed to, which goes neatly normally. That contains the facility to briefly shut all open apps, however there’s no possibility for split-screen multitasking. Given the dimensions of the show, it looks like a overlooked alternative.

Once you get used to its quirks, you’ll reach so much the use of HarmonyOS at the MatePad Paper. But there’s a steep finding out curve, and it lacks the polish of maximum cell working methods.

Battery Life

  • 3625mAh battery
  • Decent several-day battery existence, however not anything particular
  • Relatively speedy USB-C charging

Huawei has supplied the MatePad Paper with a 3625mAh battery. That’s low by means of fashionable tablet requirements, however e-ink shows devour a long way much less energy than LCD or OLED panels.

Indeed, you’re taking a look at days quite than hours on a unmarried rate. With just a few mins of reading, being attentive to audiobooks and taking notes on a daily basis, you’ll lengthen this to a complete week.

Still, it is a good distance in need of the ten weeks Amazon says its newest Kindles be offering. If you’re the use of the MatePad Paper as a number one reading or note-taking machine, it’ll wish to be charged virtually as ceaselessly as a normal tablet. Standby time may be deficient, with an important drop in share after only some hours.

This will also be boosted by means of decreasing display screen brightness and turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, however this makes the MatePad Paper a lot much less stress-free. There’s additionally no battery saver mode if you happen to’re working very low.

However, the machine is spectacular when you wish to have to glue the facility. The 22.5W adapter within the field takes round 90 mins for a complete rate, a lot quicker than you’ll in finding on a Kindle. If you simply need to learn for some time, only some mins hooked up gets you neatly over an hour of utilization.

Huawei MatePad Paper review

There’s no wi-fi charging, however I doubt you’ll omit it on a tool of this dimension.

Price and availability

This is possibly the most important reason why no longer to shop for the MatePad Paper. It prices €499 (approx £420/$530) for the one style to be had, which provides 4GB of RAM and 64GB of garage.

There’s recently no availability by means of the Huawei web page, however you’ll purchase it at AliExpress from £447/$548 on the time of writing.

Put merely, that’s too pricey for the machine in its present state. The most effective actual competitor is the reMarkable 2 at £299/$299, whilst the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition prices simply £179/$189.

With the newest common iPad and Surface Go 3 each considerably inexpensive, losing over £400/$400 at the MatePad Paper turns into a lot tougher to justify. Plenty of different choices are to be had in our highest eReader and highest tablet charts.


The MatePad Paper is an exhilarating first-gen machine, however a number of shortcomings imply it received’t persuade many of us to surrender their tablet or different eReader.

A big, fine quality show is very good for notetaking and annotating textual content, particularly with the superb stylus integrated within the field. I additionally in reality loved the MatePad Paper’s top class design, whilst battery existence and audio system are each above moderate.

But the ten.3in display screen is just too large to make reading conventional e-books really feel relaxed. There’s additionally numerous paintings wanted at the tool, which is a light imitation of complete HarmonyOS.

The latter will also be addressed with long run updates, nevertheless it’s no longer value taking the danger for most of the people – particularly at this worth. In its present shape, the MatePad Paper is most effective value the use of if you wish to have a perfect machine for notetaking and annotating.


Huawei MatePad Paper: Specs

  • 10.3 in 1872×1404 E Ink show
  • HUAWEI Kirin 820E processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB garage
  • HarmonyOS 2
  • Dual audio system
  • Quad microphones
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • 3625mAh battery
  • 22.5W charging by means of USB-C
  • 225.2mm x 182.7mm, 6.65mm
  • 360g (tablet most effective)
  • m-Pencil (second era) and MatePad Paper Folio Cover integrated in field


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