Tablets that aren’t the iPad are few and far between these days, but Huawei is going to try something similar with an OS that may be a little similar, too.
Huawei’s phones haven’t been quite the same ever since Google was given orders by the US government to stop working with Huawei, and subsequently saw updates to Android stripped from Huawei’s phones and tablets. That created some drama for the company, but in the months and years since, it has been trying its own flavour of Android to keep the momentum going.
Earlier in the year, we saw where it was going: HarmonyOS, a version of Android that is not-quite-Android, and yet obviously still runs Android apps, despite not being connected to Google’s Mobile Services, and therefore not running the Google Play Store and all your purchases from it. The result is likely very similar to what was on the P40 Pro, in that it’s a version of Android that may prohibit you from using things like Uber and Google’s Play Services, even if other apps can be found on Huawei’s equivalent of the same.
If you’re okay with that, knowing full well Google’s Play Store isn’t supported on your phone, you might be okay with a tablet equivalent, something Huawei is putting out in a device that clearly isn’t made by Apple, and yet appears as a not-quite-iPad.
Almost taking a page out of the 11 inch iPad Pro — complete with a case that is very reminiscent of what Apple has made in the past — Huawei’s MatePad 11 is an 11 inch tablet running HarmonyOS 2, spec’d a little like its phones, with an eight-core chip, 128GB storage, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and with the added bonus of support for a stylus.
In short, it’s basically Huawei’s answer to what the Galaxy Tab S7 is for Android and what the iPad Pro is for Apple, but with the Huawei touch. It does come with a tablet experience the company says makes it more like a desktop, with a shortcut bar at the bottom for frequently used apps plus widgets for micro apps, which itself sounds a little like what both Android and iOS provide, but again, with Huawei’s not-quite-Android operating system, HarmonyOS.
The main feature may well be that screen, which is as close to 11 inches as it gets — 10.95 inches, actually — running a resolution of 2560×1600 and supporting 120Hz, making it fast for animations and the like.
It’ll even have a little bit of support from Australian online design gem Canva, which is launching on Huawei’s AppGallery, making it yet another bit of software commonly found on the major tablets, as well as what Huawei releases.
“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,” said Larking Huang, Managing Director of Huawei in Australia.
“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,” he said.
It’s worth noting that while Canva is available locally on the Huawei AppGallery store, you may want to check if your regular apps and games are also available alongside it. While the MatePad will be about to browse the web and use a variety of services, Huawei’s equivalent to the App Store is still growing, and may not have everything, so check before hand.
In the meantime, however, you’ll find the MatePad 11 in select stores, priced at $949 in Australia.