Huawei MediaPad Tablets vs. iPad: What Should You Buy?

When forum user herbertvwright asked if Huawei has caught up to Apple in the tablet market,  I was slightly surprised to discover the answer. The MateBook X Pro shows that the Chinese tech giant can hold its own when it comes to laptops, but can the company's tablets match the "quality, durability [and] speed" of the iPad?

While Huawei can't touch the iPad Pro's blistering-fast speed and industrial design, it's not even trying to right now. Let's consider Huawei's $329 MediaPad M5 and $449 M5 Pro, two midrange tablets that Huawei's aimed squarely at Apple's $329 iPad, as well as the upcoming, family-focused MediaPad M5 Lite.

Regarding durability, the M5 and M5 Pro feel about as solid as the current iPad (which isn't experiencing the "Bendgate" that its big brother, the iPad Pro, is).

These tablets also rival the iPad in speed, as the Geekbench 4 scores from the Kirin 960s-powered MediaPad M5 Pro (5,868) and Kirin 960-powered MediaPad M5 (6,457) either stand toe-to-toe with or beat the 5,983 from the iPad's A10 Fusion chip.

However, the next round of the battle is about to take place. While we don't know which processor Apple will bake into its next iPad and the rumored iPad mini 5, we do know that Huawei's giving the MediaPad M5 Lite an Octa-core Kirin 659 CPU, which is already more than a year old.

Regarding overall quality, though, I give Apple the edge for iOS 12, which still feels more polished and complete than Huawei's EMUI-skinned version of Android 8.0 Oreo. While iOS 12 supports complex AR-based apps and adds speed to older iPads, EMUI takes the already-flawed Android tablet experience — so few apps are designed for bigger screens — and junks it up with too many gimmicks, such as its confusing unlock screen and optimizer options.

Huawei has piqued my interest with its MediaPad M5 Lite, though. Priced at $299, it's $30 cheaper than the iPad, and features support for multiple users, so kids can log in to their own interface using the fingerprint recognition.

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We don't know what to expect from iOS 13, but if Apple can finally launch a version of iOS with support for multiple users, it could bring the iPad up to par with the MediaPad in terms of family-friendliness.

Bottom Line

At the end of the day, the MediaPad M5s are a decent alternative to the iPad, unless your needs aren't rooted in general usage. If you're looking for the strongest market of apps, it's hard to ignore the advantages that iOS tablet apps have over Android, especially in AR.

Credit: Laptop Mag