The MatePad Pro 11, which was previewed last summer, will be the high-end tablet portfolio of Huawei in 2022. In contrast to the smaller Pro from last year, which had a 10.8-inch diagonal display, the larger Pro has an OLED screen, hence the name 11. This 11-inch tablet is as attractive as any other high-end model (mostly compared to Apple iPads) and is free of the Apple Tax that is charged on all iPads.
The MatePad Pro 11 is one of the lightest tablets you’ll find with a screen this size, weighing only 449g. Your wrists will not have any trouble reading e-books in portrait mode, but 16:10 content requires both hands due to the aspect ratio. The lightweight magnesium alloy frame has beautifully rounded edges that won’t irritate your hands. Despite having a scarcely perceptible 5.9mm at its thinnest point, it is reassuringly strong. The sole exception is where the hump for the rear camera extends just a tiny bit farther. It serves mainly as a surface for the magnetic keyboard cover, which is an optional accessory.
The only colour accents on the tablet body are a dab of red on the power button and some gold trim around the Huawei logo and back camera lens, while the frosted effect on the rear panel looks adequately upscale. Although it feels smooth to the touch and hides fingerprints admirably, it gleams in the light like metal. Apart from the SIM tray and the four-speaker grilles (two at the top and two at the bottom), the sides are relatively cleaner, with no cluttering of too many buttons.
With a display-to-body ratio of 92%, the MatePad Pro 11’s front face is almost entirely covered by a screen. The cleverly concealed punch-hole selfie camera also prevents attention from being drawn away from the OLED panel’s pleasingly vivid appearance. It satisfies the majority of the requirements for a high-end tablet with a 2560 x 1600 resolution and a fast refresh rate.
The visuals are richly detailed, and the text and icons appear razor-sharp. When you walk outside into the sun, the peak 600 nits brightness helps to give excellent visibility. Excellent viewing angles and precise colour reproduction are both present. You can typically rely on a natural tone mode, which adjusts colour temperature on the run based on ambient lighting, or there is a detailed colour wheel for manual modification.
The Huawei MatePad Pro 11 features a phase-detect autofocus 13MP, f/1.8 main camera on the back, along with an 8MP, f/2.2 ultrawide and a 16MP front-facing camera for video calls. The front camera is limited to 1080p, while the rear cameras are capable of 4K video recording at 30 frames per second. When given sufficient light, photos are reasonably clear, with a fair amount of detail and natural-looking colours. Some of the images may benefit from a little bit more sharpening, and there is some noise when you start zooming in on the darker areas, but not enough to detract from the overall image.
HarmonyOS 3, Huawei’s customised version of Android, has a strong emphasis on productivity, but it feels less polished than either iPadOS or Samsung’s freshly upgraded OneUI. Consider the app dock, which functions like an iPad and has room for both favourite apps and recently-opened ones. Launching a second app simultaneously requires using a whole distinct vertical menu. Additionally, there is no option to save particular app pairings for quick access. However, it can manage two more apps in floating windows, and drag-and-drop functionality makes for some real multitasking. The cross-collaboration between Huawei’s Super Devices and its own brand phones and laptops is equally seamless.
Even though Huawei’s App Gallery is a good substitute, we still need the Google Play Store. It will instead direct you to reliable APK hosting sites if it doesn’t offer exactly what you’re looking for. It’s a pain, and even then, some apps that depend on Google’s back-end software won’t work.
Is It Worth It?
The Huawei MatePad Pro 11 retails for $495 and is available throughout all offline stores of Huawei. It is also available on Huawei’s official website and Amazon. On the hardware front, the MatePad Pro 11 excels with a stunning screen, fantastic audio, and solid battery life. It also shoots good pictures, which is not often true with tablets, even expensive ones. However, there are some rough lines on the software side. Even though HarmonyOS 3 is multitasking-friendly, there are still extra steps to take because Google services are not available.
Users who depend on specific apps for their jobs may find that the lack of support for an app is an end to their desire for this tablet. But it costs a lot lesser than similar tablets like an iPad Pro or the Samsung Galaxy Tab. For those looking for a slate that can do it all, that feature alone might be worth considering. The tablet still has a lot to offer as an ambitious consumer model. For the price being paid, it is worth it.