For Mobile World Congress 2022, taking place in Spain this week, Huawei has announced several new computing products, plus something unexpected: An Amazon Kindle challenger called the MatePad Paper. It’s more than just an eBook reader, though, and reminds us of the various E Ink-equipped Boox tablets we’ve seen at CES in the past. Let’s take a closer look.
The MatePad Paper has a 10.3-inch E Ink screen set in a modest 360-gram body, which is 100 grams lighter than than a 10.2-inch Apple iPad. It’s designed with a book-like spine to make it easy and natural to hold. Huawei has used an anti-lare screen to make it readable in sunlight, and the screen has a smart refresh mode to help make video smoother. E Ink’s main drawback is its slow refresh rate, which isn’t really a problem when only reading books, but it’s not great on a device that can do a lot more like the MatePad Paper.
As the MatePad Paper uses E Ink, it’s not a full-color display. It’s a 16-bit grayscale screen with the ability to show 256 monochrome colors, so if you do watch video, it probably won’t be the most enjoyable experience. What about the software? It runs Huawei’s HarmonyOS, the same as its smartphones, and while it comes with the App Gallery for apps, we’ve been told the device also supports sideloading of APK files. This means there’s a good chance you’ll be able to install your preferred e-book reader app, but if not, Huawei Books is installed and features a library of 2 million books ready to purchase.
Huawei’s M Pencil stylus is supported so you can take notes and draw on the screen, plus it will convert handwriting into text, there’s a feature to sign PDF files, a split screen mode, and a voice recorder to take audio notes. It connects using Wi-Fi, has a fingerprint sensor for security, and comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage space.
The MatePad Paper may not suffer from the lack of Google Play and Google Mobile Services in the same way as Huawei’s smartphones do, as e-books can be purchased in many different formats from different stores. The flexibility of the Paper’s large screen along with the different features means it will potentially be more useful than a small Kindle too. At the time of writing, Huawei has not confirmed the price or availability of the MatePad Paper, but we will update this article when it releases the information.