Tablets Guide

Huawei MediaPad (3G) review

Huawei MediaPad - Mainstream Slate

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Overall rating 7/10
Solid design
High resolution display
Decent battery mileage
Frequent app crashes and system lags
No differentiating feature from other Android tablets

Performance Benchmarks

Speedy Monster?

The Huawei MediaPad is different from the other Honeycomb tablets in two aspects. While most Honeycomb tablets run on NVIDIA Tegra 2 processors, Huawei chose to go with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor on the MediaPad. The MediaPad also has a slightly faster dual-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz.

Will the differences in processor and clock speed affect the performance of the Huawei MediaPad? We decided to compare the Huawei MediaPad against a fellow 7-inch tablet, the Acer Iconia Tab A100, and also wanted to see how it fared against the single-core HTC Flyer. As per usual, the Apple iPad 2 is included as a standard benchmark to match for all tablets. 

The following benchmarks are used for raw performance evaluation: - 

  • Quadrant evaluates the CPU, memory, I/O and 3D graphics performance. This is an Android OS based test.
  • Smartbench 2011 is a multi-core friendly benchmark application that includes both the Productivity and Games Indices for a more complete gauge of the overall performance of Android tablets.
  • SunSpider Javascript benchmark measures the browsing performance of the tablet. 

How the Tablets Stack up
Device Huawei MediPad Acer Iconia Tab A100 HTC Flyer Apple iPad 2
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core 1.2GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon single-core 1.5GHz Apple A5 dual-core 1GHz
GPU  Adreno 220 ULP GeForce Adreno 205 PowerVR SGX 543MP2
OS Google Android 3.2 Google Android 3.2 Google Android 2.3 Apple iOS 4.3

It is not surprising to see the Huawei MediaPad having a slight lead over its dual-core Acer Iconia Tab A100 in the Quadrant benchmark. This is due to the fact that the Quadrant benchmark is an older test that is yet to be optimized for dual-core devices yet, which also explains why the single-core 1.5GHz-powered HTC Flyer clinched the top spot here.

The Smartbench 2011 benchmark, on the other hand, is multi-core ready, hence a more objective assessment of the performance of the MediaPad. Unfortunately, the Huawei slate's performance was not consistent; having an average score in the Productivity segment while outpaced by its counterparts in the Games segment. 

Next, we shall take a look at the browser performance of the tablets. Being an OS independent benchmark, the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark will provide an idea of the browsing capabilities of the different tablets.

Despite running on Android 3.2 and a faster 1.2GHz dual-core processor, the Huawei MediaPad failed to take the lead in the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark. While the other two Android slates (Acer Iconia Tab A100 and HTC Flyer) registered almost the same scores, the MediaPad fell behind the pack by quite a margin. Our browsing experience also coincided with the earlier benchmark results as it felt slightly more sluggish compared to the other Honeycomb tablets we have reviewed. Do note that the the benchmarks are conducted on the tablets using stock firmwares and are not conclusive indicators of their actual performances.

Putting these benchmarks aside, we found the Huawei MediaPad to be average at best. We encountered slight lags while navigating the user interface and faced our fair share of app crashes, which even involved common apps like Facebook, Twitter and Pulse News Reader. These apps froze at certain points during usage and we had no choice but to forcefully close them. Overall, the user experience was unsatisfactory.