Huawei Breathes New Life Into Android Tablets With the MediaPad M5

Huawei Breathes New Life Into Android Tablets With the MediaPad M5

Just as many of us were bemoaning the lack of new high-end Android tablets, and their potential replacement with Chrome OS convertibles, Huawei has announced an intriguing new Android-based media powerhouse, the MediaPad M5. Available in both 8-inch and 10.8-inch screen sizes, the tablet is the first to feature a curved “2.5D” display. Huawei says this helps make the tablet lighter, although the 10.8-inch model is still a couple ounces heavier than Samsung’s 9.7-inch S3 model.

Huawei MediaPad M5 By the Numbers

There are three models of the M5: an 8.4-inch, a 10-8-inch, and a Pro version of the 10.8-inch with a faster iteration of Huawei’s Kirin 960 Octacore processor. All three come with what sounds like an impressive QHD (2560 x 1600 pixels) display. Huawei says the MediaPad M5 is the first tablet display to use curved glass, which keeps everything a little smaller and lighter.

Huawei Breathes New Life Into Android Tablets With the MediaPad M5

The 8.4-inch model has two Harmon-Kardon tuned speakers, while the 10.8-inch models have four. All of them feature what Huawei calls Hi-Res audio for delivering high-definition sound, and are powered with an AK4376 audio chip. The 8.4-inch model ($319 MSRP) and base 10.8-inch tablet ($349 MSRP) come in Space Gray, while the Pro tablet ($449 MSRP) is Champagne Gold. Based on pre-release specs provided by Huawei, the only difference other than color and $100 between the regular 10.8-inch model and the Pro version is the use of a Kirin 960s processor instead of a Kirin 960.

Some Nice Design Touches

The tablet has a metal frame that’s designed to make it more resistant to bumps and knocks. That could be a nice touch if that plus the curved design allow for comfortable and safe use without a case. Of course, stylus-enabled tablets are at their best when you can prop them up for writing on a table, so except for units like the Surface Pro that feature an integrated kickstand, most serious tablet users wind up with a case anyway.

Huawei Breathes New Life Into Android Tablets With the MediaPad M5

Is There a Huawei MediaPad M5 In Your Future?

If you’re looking for a better media consumption device than your smartphone or existing table, it’s quite likely the M5 will fit the bill. The active stylus and solid overall specs also make it a likely replacement for many of the pen-enabled Android tablets already on the market. Once we have one in hand, we’ll be taking a look at how Huawei’s Desktop View performs at Android multi-tasking compared with either the more traditional Android-powered Samsung Galaxy S3 tablet or the emerging crop of Chrome OS devices that can also run Android.