All eyes are on smartphones, smartwatches and VR headsets at this year’s IFA trade show in Berlin, with a few PC industry veterans also still hoping for a miraculous laptop revival or at least the long overdue mainstream market penetration of Windows-powered convertible computers/tablets.
Where does that leave “traditional” Android slates? In limbo as far as most OEMs are concerned, including Samsung, which “forgot” to unveil the Galaxy Tab S3 alongside the Gear S3. Not Huawei, though, whose MediaPad M3 looks about as ambitious as any 7-inch+ high-ender released in the segment’s glory days.
The 8.4-inch “Ultra 2K” display is boldly billed as 30 percent sharper than that of the iPad mini 4, at 2,560 x 1,600 pixels resolution, with a robust octa-core Kirin 950 processor and 4 generous gigs of RAM squeezed inside an “ultra slim” metallic body.
But perhaps the main claim to fame of the MediaPad M3 8.4 is “professional Hi-Fi sound”, powered by audio professionals from Harman Kardon, with an AKM Hi-Fi chipset built-in, Super Wide Sound 3.0 dual speakers, and “tailor-made” AKG earphones in tow.
Priced at between €350 and €450 for the old continent, depending on storage (32 or 64GB) and connectivity (LTE or just Wi-Fi), the Marshmallow-based Huawei MediaPad M3 also purportedly lasts up to 11 hours in continuous video playing on a single charge, thanks to a 5,100mAh battery, fingerprint recognition completing a near-flawless spec sheet. Does it still matter, though?