The tablet sector may not be in the best form, this does not prevent some courageous manufacturers to present novelties at the end of 2018. After Samsung with its Galaxy Tab S4, it is the turn of Huawei to launch a new touch slate, the Mediapad M5 Lite. Presented at IFA 2018 , this tablet is a little less well equipped than the “standard” model released 6 months ago .
Less well endowed also means less expensive, since this 10-inch tablet is sold 299 € (against 349 € for the big sister). At this price, it comes to compete with the new iPad sold just 40 € more expensive. A complex pricing positioning as the market today is divided between iPads on one side is the cheap Android tablets on the other.
Does Huawei’s offer deserve a place? This is what we are going to see.
For its M5 Lite, Huawei has taken exactly the same recipe as its standard model. A large slab of 10.1 inches here (against 10.8 on the M5) coupled with a plastic shell of good quality. The design is simple, but effective and the tablet exudes seriousness thanks to its quality of construction and its impeccable finishes.
Only small complaint, we would have liked to see screen edges a little finer – and as to do, an implementation of the “neutral touch point” to hold the tablet by pressing the screen without triggering actions. The only difference with the Mediapad M5 is that this Lite version is obviously made to be held in landscape mode, as evidenced by the positioning of the fingerprint reader.
With 475g on the scale, you can not say that the Mediapad is a featherweight – few 10-inch tablets are, however – but it is still possible to hold comfortably with one hand for a few minutes. However, the location on the right edge of the USB-C and mini-jack is not very practical, since the cables interfere with the grip.
Huawei made some concessions on the M5 Lite’s screen compared to the standard M5 model. If the resolution is reduced here, the quality is fortunately always at the rendezvous. By default, the screen tends to pull a little blue, but just take a look in the settings and opt for the “hot” profile to correct this annoying drift. Thus we obtain a perfect color temperature (6,513 K) and a faithful colorimetry since the delta E reaches 3.7 (we consider the color accuracy sufficiently good for a dE less than 3).
Side readability, no worries either, with a maximum brightness of 437 cd / m² and a minimum of 3.5 cd / m², Huawei tablet can adapt to all light conditions. The reflectance rate of 11% does not spoil the party either. Only the contrast at 1,163: 1 disappoints a little, but it remains acceptable.
Finally, in use, the 224 pixels per inch offer a comfort of reading quite sufficient. On their side, afterglow as touch delay are average with respective scores of 15 and 92 ms. Not enough latency to use or visually on the screen. In short, if the screen of the Mediapad M5 Lite is not perfect, it is more than adequate.
No problem on the performance side of the Mediapad. Even if the tablet does not take advantage of the latest chip of the manufacturer, it performs well with the Kirin 659 associated with 3 or 4 GB of RAM. We juggle between apps and navigate the interface or the web page with ease and fluidity.
Fortunately, the tablet only heats very little, whether during long sessions of play or photo and video capture.
Side video game, it will make graphic concessions to turn the 3D titles a bit greedy, but the whole is rather fluid and efficient.
The headphone output of the Mediapad M5 Lite suffers from the same flaws as the “standard” M5. The power output is too thin and the channel separation is confusing. While the signal is distortion-free and the dynamics are broad, it is not enough to produce an ideal listening experience.
However the 4 speakers around the screen are for their part largely powerful enough to enjoy a movie. We just regret the presence of distortion at full volume and a slight effect “sound box” that distorts a little signal. However, we appreciate the rather complete and faithful reproduction of the sound spectrum.
Although this is not the primary purpose of the tablet, the Mediapad M5 Lite is doing well in photo. At least as correctly as an iPad. It must be admitted that the bar is in any case not very high for tablets.
The 8MP rear camera does no miracles with a pixelated rendering that lacks sharpness and contrast. The outline of the scene is there, but you can not expect more. On the other hand, the colors are well restored and the white balance respected.
At night, difficult to see much. While the Mediapad manages to capture more light than an iPad, but the result is not glorious so far. Digital noise is everywhere and chromatic aberrations can be seen here and there. The tablet still manages to restore some details thanks to its good light management.
The front sensor 8 MP, meanwhile, is not too bad in daylight with a good dose of detail and a strong contrast. Smoothing is minimal once the “Embellishment” option is turned off. Only the colors are a bit off the plate with a rendering too pale.
Finally, the application is full of many capture modes, among which the “pro” that allows you to take control of ISO, speed, white balance, etc. The video capture for its part nothing to blame, being fluid and effective.
The autonomy was already the strong point of the Mediapad M5 and this model “Lite” is even better thanks to its less high-end components and less energy-consuming. In fact, she’s so much better that she has moved up to the top of our comparison with no less than 23 hours and 47 minutes of endurance on our home test protocol. This is much better than three quarters of the competition and this should allow you to recharge your tablet only every 3 days if you use it a lot.
Best of all, the day before is solid with barely 5% of loss in one night despite several accounts that synchronize. The downside, it will take well 3 hours to recharge the device in full.
As the saying right away, the Mediapad M5 Lite suffers from the same problem as all other Android tablets: an OS that does not fit very well to large screens and a lack of applications cut for this kind of devices. But difficult to blame Huawei for that. Who says Huawei also says necessarily Emotion UI , the overlay that the manufacturer has always affixed to Android. By default, we find an “iOS” interface with rows of icons aligned along the virtual desktops and no application drawer. Fortunately, it is possible to find the latter by doing a little tour in the settings.
In addition to having a paint job on the Android interface, Huawei has also preinstalled a package of home applications. Five games are preinstalled automatically and a suite of apps ranging from calculator to compass via Facebook and Netflix are also integrated. Fortunately, many are unmountable.