Tuesday, 23 November 2021 01:15

Huawei launches new MatePad 11 tablet with 120Hz refresh rate, magnetic stylus, keyboard cover and more

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Huawei's ability to be inspired by Apple is no secret, with its newest MatePad 11 tablet no exception thanks to a similar design, similar magnetic stylus and similar magnetic keyboard cover, although it runs Harmony OS 2.0 and naturally comes with Huawei-centric features - and a competitive price.

Although Huawei's smartphones and tablets no longer offer the Google Play Store, they do have the Huawei App Gallery, and access to a range of third party stores with APKs of Android-compatible apps that, for the most part, seem to work just fine on Huawei's Harmony OS, which I confirmed when testing one of Huawei's P40 models, either in 2020 or earlier this year.

Things might have changed, but Huawei hasn't stood still, announcing that the popular Canva graphic design app is coming to the Huawei Gallery App Store and is being promoted as a top app for the MatePad 11, which Canva certainly is.

Huawei has also managed to equip the tablet with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, one which was released in December 2019, and which is presumably more than powerful enough to power this tablet.

Whether Huawei had stocks of this processor it kept to release this tablet, or was able to get them in other ways despite the bans the previous Trump administrations placed on Huawei is something I don't know the answer to, but access it clearly had, because this is the processor found within the tablet, rather than one of Huawei's own Kirin-branded ARM processors.

The 120Hz screen refresh rate makes it one of the few tablets beyond Apple's iPad Pro models that have this super smooth system, while Huawei says that its Harmony 2 OS is not only "built for a new generation of smart devices," but also "empowers the HUAWEI MatePad 11 with brand-new functionality making it one of the very first Huawei tablets with this operating system."

We're told the new tablet desktop is "more organised than ever before, offering users a new way to view important information efficiently. Leveraging distributed technology, the HUAWEI MatePad 11 is also equipped to harness the capabilities of other all-scenario devices – ranging from smartphones to PCs – to better support creativity and productivity use cases."

And, not only is there the 120Hz-capable refresh rate display, the tablet is "also equipped with the HUAWEI M-Pencil (2nd generation)," with Huawei stating the stylus has an input latency as low as 2ms, offering smarter and more natural interactive handwriting experiences to consumers."

The popular Australian graphic design app Canva, will be be "made available in AppGallery on the upcoming HUAWEI MatePad Series, including the HUAWEI MatePad 11. Canva can now be easily downloaded in AppGal;ery, providing users with a full suite of free and innovative graphic tools."

Larking Huang, MD of Huawei Consumer BG Australia said: “The most exciting thing we can do is create innovative technology that people love, and the launch of the HUAWEI MatePad 11 is just that.

"The versatile tablet, running on HarmonyOS, will bring value and synergy to our Australian customers.

“At Huawei, we are committed to bringing the biggest and best apps and services to our AppGallery, so with our collaboration with Canva, we will enable our customers with industry-leading graphic tools to bring creative expressions to life both freely and passionately,” said Huang.

So, not only does the 120Hz refresh rate on the display make scrolling smooth and fluid, while frame rate adaption technology additionally helps to provide users with a more enduring battery life, the screen also supports the DCI-P3 colour gamut, ensuring "images and videos alike look exquisitely vibrant on the display."

The screen is also "designed to minimise users’ exposure to blue light and flickers, two of the primary factors causing eye fatigue. The tablet has earned the TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light (Hardware Solution) and TÜV Rheinland Flicker Free certifications[2], giving you peace of mind that your eyesight is protected, even after working on the tablet for hours."

Four channel audio for full sensory immersion:

Huawei also promises its MatePad 11 delivers "immersive audio experiences with the quad-channel large-amplitude quad-speaker system. The powerful built-in speaker system delivers room-filling, immersive sounds for any audio content. The sound system is designed with and tuned by the expert audio engineers at Harman/Kardon, ensuring that the sounds produced by the speakers are faithful to their source material."

As for the 2nd-gen M-Pencil, we're told "the Huawei stylus pen has been upgraded to better help users capture their inspiration. The HUAWEI M-Pencil (2nd generation) features a new platinum-coated pen nib, ultra-low latency and support for 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity."

In addition, the new transparent pen tip of the stylus is inspired by the clear case back design of luxury watches, which showcases the inner workings of the stylus.

It comes comes with a frosted texture for a better handwriting experience, and when paired with the HUAWEI MatePad 11, we're told this new stylish has "a low input latency of as low as 2ms, complementing the high refresh rate of the FullView Display to provide some of the most responsive, consistent, and authentic writing experiences available on today’s tablets."

We are also advised that "pairing and charging the stylus with the tablet are also as effortless as ever."

Users are advised they "need only move the stylus next to the HUAWEI MatePad 11 to attach it and initiate both processes magnetically. The new HUAWEI M-Pencil (2nd generation) supports a breadth of innovative interaction features, including HUAWEI FreeScript[5], which transforms handwritten content into machine-encoded text in real time for any text field. It also supports Double-tap to switch between the current tool and the eraser, Instant Shape, Instant Table[6] and more."

Then there's the Tablet-PC Multi-screen Collaboration

Here, Huawei says "Multi-screen Collaboration now supports tablet and PC interactions, offering three modes that enable the devices to work together in new ways. Mirror mode lets users project the PC screen onto the tablet, transforming the tablet into a drawing pad that can be paired with the HUAWEI M-Pencil (2nd generation)for producing quick sketches and delicate calligraphy works.

"Office workers can take advantage of Extend Mode and get a second screen for the PC, enjoying even more screen space for working. The innovative Collaborate Mode enables true cross-platform interactions between HarmonyOS 2 and Windows, allowing users to transfer content such as text, images and documents between connected devices with a simple drag and drop.

"Alongside Multi-screen Collaboration, the brand-new Multi-Window feature supports the display of up to four apps concurrently. It also supports two concurrent floating windows for an even better cross-app multi-tasking experience. When they are not needed, floating windows can be stowed in the App Bubble for easy access whenever the need arises.

"The upgraded App Multiplier enables two tasks to run separately within one app, thanks to the new Window Lock feature that supports parallel and independent operations in the two windows. For example, when using a shopping app, you can open a window each for two products and compare them. Or you can write an email in the left window and reply to instant messages in the right window, improving your work efficiency. As of June 2021, nearly 4,000 apps have adopted App Multiplier to improve their user experience on tablets."

So, what of the "New Tablet Desktop?"

Huawei says its MatePad 11 "brings a brand-new desktop design that presents the most important information in a clean, organised UI. The new Bottom Dock shows the most frequently used and recently used apps for users to easily locate their apps without hassle. New Service Widgets[10] can also display real-time information and allow users to access certain app features without launching the apps themselves. These widgets can be placed anywhere and are also fully customisable for users to personalise their device according to their preferences."

What about the apps? Huawei says there's a "full Suite of Apps to Meet your Needs:"

Here Huawei says its tablet is "versatile, and it incorporates multiple apps ready to help boost your productivity and complete any task required from work to personal activities or enjoy your favourite entertainment. Whether the user is taking notes at school with Flexcil, working on a document on WPS, or playing an immersive game like Guns of Glory, the HUAWEI MatePad 11 is a fun and powerful tool to help you get it done.

"The HUAWEI MatePad 11 is also built to be the all-round creativity assistant as it perfectly complements Canva, the local design app. Users can see their Canva works of art come to life thanks to the immersive screen in crystal-clear clarity on the 10.95 inch, 2.5K HD FullView Display. Plus, equipped with 128 GB of storage, all Canva creations can easily be stored on the device.

"Additionally, the Huawei Browser on the HUAWEI MatePad 11 can be used as an entertainment fix by easily streaming a user's favourite movies and TV shows. They can also go one step further and transfer videos captured on their phone easily to the HUAWEI MatePad and use Gilmora Go to create stunning edits. Plus, for that special touch, maximise the HUAWEI M-Pencil to create great-looking drawing on their videos.

Available for $949 RRP at the Huawei Experience Store and Mobileciti, there's also a "Black Friday offer from 22 November – 1 December which will include a bonus HUAWEI Smart Magnetic Keyboard ($239 RRP) and HUAWEI M-Pencil ($139 RRP)."

Sp, if you want a tablet with the important accessories which is competitively priced, has access to what should be quite a wide range of apps, and during Black Friday sale time comes with the stylus and keyboard accessories that would otherwise cost an extra $379, then check the Huawei MatePad 11 out and see how it compares with iPads and other Android tablets for yourself.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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