Huawei MatePad Paper review: A Kindle killer that thinks it’s a tablet

Huawei MatePad Paper review: A Kindle killer that thinks it’s a tablet

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An unfastened  eBook connected  the Huawei MatePad Paper.

Huawei MatePad Paper

MSRP $550.00

“The Huawei MatePad Paper is an fantabulous big-screen eReader and comes with the tactile M Pencil stylus for adjuvant note-taking, but the precocious terms hinders it from being a existent Kindle competitor.”


  • M Pencil and Folio Cover included
  • Text and dependable note-taking is excellent
  • Thin and comfy to hold
  • Large surface adds versatility


  • No h2o resistance
  • Sparse prime successful the Bookstore
  • High price

Is the Huawei MatePad Paper an e-reader, a productivity tool, oregon a tablet? It’s really a small spot of each 3 and this makes it a reasonably niche portion of kit, peculiarly due to the fact that of its eye-wideningly precocious price. However, unlike Huawei phones, you tin bask the MatePad Paper adjacent if you trust connected Google’s services during your mundane life. Combine that with Huawei’s endowment for making large hardware, and anyone who is superior astir e-books volition privation to instrumentality a person look.


At its heart, the Huawei MatePad Paper is an e-reader, taking connected the almost ubiquitous Amazon Kindle range. However, with its 10.3-inch high-resolution E Ink screen, it’s larger and much versatile than the e-book-focused Kindle. It besides comes with a stylus truthful you tin usage it arsenic a notepad oregon sketchbook, and the bundle has a pre-installed email program, a dependable recorder, and assorted different productivity features.

The apical  of the Huawei MatePad Paper erstwhile   its held successful  hand.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The slim slate measures 6.65mm heavy and is 182mm wide, and weighs 305 grams. This is heavier than a Kindle Paperwhite, but lighter than a 9th procreation Apple iPad and due to the fact that the value has been arsenic dispersed done its chassis, the MatePad Paper ne'er feels dense astatine all.

Huawei has covered the MatePad Paper successful what looks a spot similar leather but feels a batch similar plastic. It does person a pleasant tactile decorativeness though. The chassis itself is integrative with a brace of speakers, a measurement control, a USB Type-C transportation to complaint the device, and a fingerprint sensor successful the apical close of the body. This is moderately reliable, but not each that fast.

Side presumption    of the Huawei MatePad Paper held successful  hand.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

I’ve been utilizing the MatePad Paper mostly arsenic an e-reader and for this it’s excellent. I similar the ample surface arsenic I tin person smaller substance and acceptable much connected 1 page, and haven’t recovered the value off-putting. It’s comfy to clasp for agelong periods, and the large surface means you tin remainder it connected your thorax erstwhile speechmaking successful bed. The left-hand broadside of the chassis has a larger bezel than the different side, giving you determination to clasp the device.

For speechmaking e-books, the MatePad Paper is simply a large companion, and there’s thing precise chill astir the large, monochrome E Ink screen. I besides similar that it doesn’t look similar conscionable different iPad clone, and the blase benignant makes it basal retired against the elemental Kindle.


The MatePad Paper’s 10.3-inch E Ink surface has an 1872 x 1404 pixel resolution, resulting successful a 227 pixel-per-inch (ppi) pixel density. For reference, this is little than the 300ppi connected the smaller Kindle Paperwhite and the 264ppi of a 9th procreation Apple iPad, and I bash notice. Text is inactive defined and readable, but it’s not rather arsenic razor-sharp arsenic you get connected the Paperwhite oregon an Apple iPad.

The Bookstore app connected  the Huawei MatePad Paper.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

You tin alteration the size and value of the font and the brightness, but there’s nary system-wide enactment to change the look of the screen, specified arsenic changing the inheritance colour for alternate “paper” looks. It’s monochrome each the mode too, truthful don’t expect to presumption colour images, meaning it’s not truly suitable for speechmaking comics oregon magazines. The MatePad Paper’s surface delivers a basal but competent viewing acquisition but isn’t arsenic crisp arsenic the contention oregon suitable for overmuch extracurricular of substance viewing.

As this is an E Ink surface you person to woody with immoderate hold erstwhile interacting with the touchscreen. The lag tin frustrate if you effort to bash things excessively quickly, but if you’re conscionable tapping to crook the leafage oregon navigating done menus it’s fine. The motion power strategy works good provided you’re patient, and it’s close capable that you tin easy usage the sliders to set volume, font size, oregon surface brightness.

The Huawei MatePad Paper successful  its Folio Cover.Huawei MatePad Paper successful its Folio Cover Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Huawei touts a Smart Refresh diagnostic connected the MatePad Paper, but I’ve recovered adjacent with this switched connected the surface does request manually refreshing often, owed to “ghost” images appearing connected the E Ink surface down the substance you’re trying to read. It’s not a problem, but if you’re not alert a refresh cures it, past it tin beryllium a worry.

What astir video? Well, it works. There’s a browser installed and you tin entree YouTube done it. Video plays astatine a debased framework complaint and lone successful monochrome, truthful you won’t beryllium watching movies connected it, but you tin archer what’s going connected and the audio not lone sounds great, but it’s in-time and synced with the debased framework complaint video. However, watching video isn’t fun, and though the surface is adjacent bigger than an iPad, the MatePad Paper is definitely not a multimedia powerhouse.

Reading books

E Ink screens are perfect for speechmaking e-books. They aren’t uncomfortably bright, don’t strain your eyes with excessive flicker, and don’t emit blue light to ruin your slumber patterns either. I’ve been speechmaking connected the MatePad Paper for much than a week now. By default Huawei installs its ain Bookstore app, but what a disappointing spot it is. The enactment is sparse astatine champion truthful don’t spell looking for perennial favorites similar the Harry Potter series.

An unfastened  eBook connected  the Huawei MatePad Paper.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

I checked the Amazon Kindle store’s apical 20 books and past searched for them successful Huawei’s Bookstore. While the immense bulk aren’t disposable the mates that bash amusement up aren’t successful English. The fewer authors from Amazon’s apical 20 database that are successful Huawei’s Bookstore person books successful Italian for example, portion I recovered Min Jee Lee’s Pachinko successful Hungarian. I could bargain immoderate classical lit successful English and immoderate much modern titles, but the prime is thin, to accidental the least.

Any books you bargain done the Bookstore are kept successful the Bookshelf app. Visit it and you’ll find a Most Popular conception which I presume is pulled from the Bookstore, wherever each recommended publication has a escaped preview. Except, each the books it shows are severely written, soft-core smut with titles similar The Secret Alpha Boss, A Mistaken Marriage with Mr. CEO, and Forced Marriage with the Billionaire.

I’m nary prude, but pushing this connected what could beryllium a household instrumentality shows mediocre moderation connected Huawei’s part. From a method standpoint, erstwhile you unfastened 1 of these books (for probe purposes, obviously), the formatting is wholly off, leaving maine acrophobic astir each pay-for titles from the Huawei Bookstore.

Bookshelf app connected  the Huawei MatePad Paper.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Is that it, then? A bully instrumentality killed by unspeakable software? No. Although Huawei’s AppGallery app store is disposable connected the MatePad Paper, it’s Huawei’s Petal Search that comes to the rescue. This diagnostic besides lets you find and download APK files of apps not disposable successful Huawei’s AppGallery, and Amazon’s Kindle scholar is installable this way. I signed into my account, and it works and syncs without a problem. You tin happily work your Kindle books connected the MatePad Paper.

What astir different books and stores? There’s evidently nary Apple Books oregon Google Play Books service, but done Petal Search Kobo Books is disposable arsenic an APK file, portion FBReader and Aldiko scholar apps are successful the AppGallery. However, making them enactment for you could beryllium different story. Some files alerted maine they were retired of day and though I could transportation files from my Mac Mini utilizing a USB Type-C cablegram and Android File Transfer, the dreaded DRM caused a occupation successful immoderate situations, specified arsenic formatting issues for PDF files.

Huawei's Bookstore app connected  the MatePad Paper.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The MatePad Paper besides uses Huawei’s Super Device transportation and record transportation system. When I tried this with a Huawei Mate-book X laptop it wasn’t instantly evident however to transportation files, and it besides informed maine the diagnostic didn’t let APK record transportation astatine all. It would fto maine usage the MatePad Paper arsenic a 2nd screen, an wholly unhelpful diagnostic connected an E Ink device.

While it sounds similar a spot of a symptom to wrangle apps and files connected the MatePad Paper, compatibility and record transportation issues aren’t unsocial to it, and I’ve had akin occupation with different e-readers successful the past. The Kindle app works, displays acceptably, and you tin bargain books done it without a problem, which whitethorn beryllium each immoderate radical truly need.

Stylus and software

The MatePad Paper uses Huawei’s HarmonyOS 2 software. There’s an onscreen keyboard to benignant and the E Ink surface manages to support up rather well, though I wouldn’t privation to benignant thing of immoderate magnitude utilizing it. For that, you get the 2nd procreation M Pencil stylus included successful the box. Similar successful size and thickness to an Apple Pencil, it has 4,096 levels of unit sensitivity and a 26-millisecond latency, positive it’s charged erstwhile magnetically attached to the broadside of the MatePad Paper.

Huawei wins points for including the magnetically charging M Pencil successful the container with the MatePad Paper, thing fewer different companies do, and that’s conscionable the commencement of the bully news. It’s an implicit joyousness to use. Huawei has tailored the surface and stylus’s enactment with it to consciousness precisely similar penning connected paper, and it does an astonishing occupation of replicating this tactile experience.

There’s a Notes app installed, and successful it, determination are a fewer options including insubstantial styles, pen types, font colors, and substance boldness. You tin person handwriting to substance acceptable to transcript and paste into an email, and successful my constricted testing, it did good astatine recognizing my scrawl unless I went retired of my mode to constitute messily. I liked however it besides picked up misspellings.

Handwritten substance   connected  the surface  of the MatePad Paper utilizing the M Pencil stylus.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

What other tin you bash connected the MatePad Paper? Using the M Pencil you tin annotate pages successful a book, and there’s a split-screen mode to instrumentality notes erstwhile speechmaking too, and this works successful speechmaking apps installed separately. There’s a dependable recorder app that does a amazingly bully occupation and I could spot it being utilized for lectures oregon interviews, and the speakers for playback are large and clear. The MatePad Paper has a competent email app with speedy setup for Gmail, Yahoo, and Microsoft accounts, positive a calendar and calculator pre-installed.

Battery, storage, and connectivity

The MatePad Paper comes with 64GB of retention truthful there’s plentifulness of abstraction for books, elemental files, and emails. Unfortunately, there’s nary abstraction for a MicroSD card. It connects to a Wi-Fi web and has a Bluetooth 5.2 transportation for headphones truthful you tin perceive to audiobooks.

Inside is simply a 3,625mAh artillery that Huawei says volition past for 28 days connected standby, which doesn’t truly mean overmuch successful the existent world. So far, utilizing the MatePad Paper regular for astatine slightest an hr of reading, on with utilizing the further features of the tablet and charging the M Pencil, I’ve seen astir 10 days of use.

This is acold little than you’d get from an Amazon Kindle, and the terms you wage for the larger surface and further functionality. Use the MatePad Paper solely arsenic an e-reader and you’d apt agelong this clip out, but don’t expect it to proceed for weeks without a sojourn to the charger.

Price and availability

The Huawei MatePad Paper’s last planetary merchandise day hasn’t been confirmed yet, but we bash cognize a terms for its European motorboat — 499 euros. That’s astir $550. For this, you get the MatePad Paper, the M Pencil stylus, and a folio screen successful the box.

Our Take

The MatePad Paper is ace thin, alternatively classy to look at, and comfy to hold. It makes cleanable consciousness arsenic a Kindle Paperwhite alternate for those who whitethorn find the 7-inch surface excessively small, oregon privation to get a small much functionality from their E Ink device.

However, you could bargain 3 Kindle Paperwhite e-readers and inactive person immoderate wealth near implicit for a fewer books for the terms of 1 MatePad Paper. That means you’ve got to really program to use the stylus, the note-taking, and the productivity features for it to marque immoderate sense.

Just due to the fact that it has a surface the size of an Apple iPad, don’t see it a nonstop alternate either, arsenic the E Ink surface means if you privation to ticker the video you’re amended disconnected with a regular tablet. An iPad 10.2 is cheaper than the MatePad Paper too.

While I bash deliberation it’s an fantabulous alternate to a Kindle, the remainder of the features won’t ever appeal, and it can’t vie with existent multi-purpose hardware similar a tablet. The MatePad Paper occupies a niche-within-a-niche, and portion I americium enjoying speechmaking my e-books connected it I’m precise alert I would bash the aforesaid connected a competing instrumentality for a batch little money.

Is determination a amended alternative?

Yes. If you lone privation to work e-books and root the bulk of them from Amazon, past the Kindle Paperwhite is cheaper and arsenic arsenic capable. If you privation to besides usage a stylus and ticker video connected a large screen, the 9th procreation Apple iPad 10.2 is compatible with the first-generation Apple Pencil, and inactive comes successful astatine astir the aforesaid terms arsenic the Huawei MatePad Paper. If an Apple instrumentality isn’t for you, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 Plus is an fantabulous Android tablet.

How agelong volition it last?

The Folio Cover included with the MatePad Paper does assistance support it, but there’s nary h2o absorption truthful you’ll privation to beryllium cautious successful the bath oregon astatine the beach. You should beryllium mindful of the bundle concern too. While Huawei volition update HarmonyOS, galore apps you privation indispensable beryllium downloaded arsenic an APK file, and there’s nary implicit warrant they volition proceed moving without responsibility implicit time. That said, if you lone work e-books, the MatePad Paper’s regulation volition beryllium the 64GB of interior retention space, but if you don’t capable that up rapidly it should past you for respective years.

Should you bargain it?

No. The precocious terms makes it a pugnacious merchantability erstwhile enactment up against wide disposable competing products similar the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite and Apple iPad 10.2.

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