Despite a tactile tablet market that shows no sign of growth, some builders persist and try to exist on this market abandoned by the general public. Among them are Huawei, which has just released a new tactile slate, the Mediapad M3 Lite 10.1. On paper, it does not offer much new, but it has the merit of trying to make the sector live.
After having rubbed the world of the high-end tablet with the Mediapad M2 and then that of the compact tablet with the Mediapad M3, the Chinese manufacturer Huawei has just unveiled the last-born of this small family, skillfully named Mediapad M3 Lite 10.1. Behind this extended name hides a proven recipe in the world of Android tablets: a product with the correct technical data for less than 300 €.
The slate hosts a 10.1-inch (25.7 cm) IPS display with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 px, a Snapdragon 435 chip, 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage. Memory can be expanded with a microSD card (up to 128GB). The picture is served by a duo of 8 Mpx sensors, one on the front and the other on the back. Finally, the battery peaks at 6,600 mAh and the device runs Android 7.0, largely modified by the famous overlay EMUI 5.1 from Huawei.
The M3 Lite is sold around 299 € in all the good webmarchands and a variant with connection 4G is exchanged for 50 € more, that is 349
Unlike the small world of smartphones, which is in the process of transforming with the fashion of the screens without edges, tablets have little evolution in design and ergonomics in recent years. This is noticeable in the blink of an eye in front of the Mediapad M3 Lite. The edges around the screen are relatively large and the panel occupies only 71% of the front panel: a score far from what is currently available on high-end smartphones (occupancy around 80%), but fairly standard in the world of tablets.
The back of the Mediapad M3 Lite 10.1.
Apart from this slab that seems a bit lost in the middle of these wide edges, the rest of the tablet is rather well built. The metal borders are of quality, nothing creaks or cracks. We only regret that the shell is plastic rather than metal, especially since Huawei was one of the first manufacturers to use the “noble material” on smartphone.
Unfortunately, the tablet uses a micro-USB connector instead of the new USB Type-C standard. The fingerprint reader is rather reliable and fast to recognition, but strangely, unlocking the tablet itself is a bit long. Still, it’s an extra button to wake the tablet, and it’s a little quicker to find when the beast is laid on a table.
The screen and the fingerprint reader of the tablet.
Huawei does not give in to the sirens of the WQHD on this M3 Lite, but this does not prevent the manufacturer from delivering a screen with globally satisfactory performances. On the colorimetric side, the tablet approaches perfection with a delta E at 3.3 and a color temperature pointing to 6,548 K. Two values very close to the ideal standards of 3 and 6,500 K respectively. It will have to be damn to detect any colorimetric drift on this screen. These results (best for this tablet) were obtained by adopting the “Hot” profile in the display settings.
As for legibility also, this remains honorable (for a tablet). The contrast reaches almost 1,200: 1, the maximum brightness 422 cd / m² and the reflectance is rather contained, at 13%. Add to this a minimum brightness of 2.3 cd / m² and you get a tablet whose screen will remain perfectly usable under most conditions, day or night. In addition, the viewing angles are generous. We could rant a little bit on the low rate of 224 pixels per inch, but in reality, for the use that is made of the tablet, this is quite suitable.
Not much to say on the side of the use either: with 102 ms of tactile delay and 12 ms of remanence, everything seems fluid and responds to the finger and the eye. In short, without achieving perfection, the screen of this M3 Lite will satisfy the greatest number without too many problems.
By embarking on an entry-level SoC like the Snapdragon 435, Huawei clearly did not focus on gross power. Given the price of this tablet, one would have expected to have at least one Snapdragon 625, but the manufacturer, Qualcomm’s core mobile chip seems to suffice. And in fact, it can not really be wrong: thanks to a good software optimization, navigation in the OS as on the web does not suffer from any slowdown. We only notice a few seconds of lag at the opening of applications a little demanding, or when consulting documents a little heavy.
The non-negligible advantage of embarking a chip with little power is that the heating of the tablet is relatively controlled. Whether during long games or after pushed the tablet into its multimedia entrenchments, the temperature does not climb excessively and the use is not burdened.
As for video games, as you would expect, the Snapdragon 435 and its graphic counterpart the Adreno 505 are a little bit worthwhile. It will take some graphic sacrifices to run the games a little gourmet Play Store, the tablet not being provided at the base for this kind of use.
To enjoy the best audio experience on the Huawei tablet it is necessary to disable the “SWS effect” of the headphone in the sound settings. This returns the distortion to a much more acceptable level and the frequency response curve is also more presentable. The dynamic is wide and the sound scene well marked; only the output power sins by being too weak.
On the other hand, the 4 loudspeakers that surround the screen, they do not lack power and restore a surprisingly complete signal. Only small flat, the sound is sometimes a bit metallic, but for a tablet at this rate, we are rather well served. Note that no handsfree kit is included with the tablet.
Rarely the strong point of the touch-sensitive tablets, the photographic art is not to the honor here. Whether in daylight or night, performance is acceptable, but really nothing more. Either way, capturing snapshots with a 10-inch tablet at arm’s length is still a feasible feat.
When the light is sufficiently generous, the center of the scene stands about, as long as one is not too looking. The colors are pretty well transcribed and nothing drools. As soon as you look a little closer, you notice that the details are badly missing and that the contrast as the dive is absent subscribers. But the real black dot photo of this M3 Lite is located on the edges of the cliché. As soon as one has the misfortune to move very slightly from the center of the scene, one notices indeed a blurry veil that settles down by crushing a good package of details – a typical consequence of poor management of optics . It is therefore necessary to pay attention to its framing to obtain a valid photo.
In low light, the Mediapad manages to capture an image a little better than a good package of shelves, but this is done at the cost of a violent rise in ISO, which mechanically reveals a significant amount of digital noise and aberrations chromatic. The edges suffer from the same optical defect; if we do not dive into details, the elements remain legible, but the quality is not at the rendezvous. Faced with the Yoga Tab 3 Plus, the Mediapad does not hold the picture, but to be honest, the tablet of Lenovo is a kind of UFO tabletto-photographic.
By opting for an entry-level chip and a “only” Full HD screen, Huawei guaranteed a long battery life for its Mediapad, and it did not fail. On our SmartViser test that combines streaming, watch, music, web and other uses, the tablet holds 20 hours and 4 minutes. Or, in normal use, about 3 days. Thanks to this honorable score, Huawei slate slipped into third place in our comparison, just behind the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Plus and the Samsung Tab A. And to spoil nothing at the party, the day before is also solid , with only a small handful of percents lost in a weekend of unused.
Thought for multimedia with its 4 speakers, the tablet happily makes a nice score on our test Netflix autonomy, which consists of seeing how many hours of streaming a device can swallow before surrendering the soul. And with this little game, the Mediapad M3 Lite 10.1 takes just over 15 hours.
Finally, it will take approximately 2 hours 30 minutes to fully recharge the tablet.
At the end of the day, the Mediapad M3 10.1 does not have much to reproach itself, except for the glorious photo performances (but on a tablet, it’s excusable, because there is not its primary function). It does not have much to offer, but has a solid range and a virtually flawless display. Enough to make it an ideal video playback partner, especially with its four speakers. Ultimately, this is perhaps the aspect that counts most in an Android tablet today.