Huawei has announced its first e-reader, the MatePad Paper. But this is a little different from the typical Kindle. For starters, it’s compatible with Huawei’s M-Pencil, so it can be used for taking notes as well as just reading Like reMarkable 2 or Onyx Box Note Air 2There is also a built-in microphone for voice recording. It also has a larger 10.3-inch E Ink screen compared to the 7-inch screens found on most Kindles.
These specs mean that the MatePad Paper has the potential to be a productivity device, as well as one that’s only intended for consumption. It looks a lot like an Android tablet that comes with an E Ink display, down to the fact that it runs Huawei’s HarmonyOS software and comes preinstalled with the company’s App Gallery.
If you’re looking to use the device purely as an e-reader, Huawei announces that it’s equipped with the company’s own Huawei Books Store, which offers access to two million books. Huawei adds that it is compatible with PDF files as well as other standard e-reader formats. But popular e-book marketplaces such as Amazon’s Kindle app and Google Play Books are not currently included in Huawei’s App Gallery, which could mean that your existing e-book library won’t easily move around.
Huawei says the MatePad Paper has a fingerprint sensor built into the power button, a USB-C port for charging and data transfer, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a backlight with 32 levels of brightness. Its battery can last four weeks in standby mode, according to Huawei. The company didn’t provide any specifics about the technology it uses to allow the M-Pencil to write on the screen, but since the stylus requires a charger, we’re assuming it uses an AES-style drawing layer like the iPad, rather than EMR like its e-ink competitors.
All of these features aren’t cheap, with the Huawei MatePad Paper at a recommended retail price of €499 (about $558). That’s a lot compared to the starting price of around €90 for Kindles from Amazon, but more in line with a similar Android tablet like the Onyx Boox Note Air 2, which retails for €499 in Europe. At least Huawei is including the M-Pencil and a standard cover with MatePad paper. Huawei has yet to announce a release date or markets for its first e-reader, but a US release seems unlikely.
The MatePad Paper was announced along with a bunch of new Huawei devices at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. There’s the MateBook X Pro laptop, the MateBook E 2-in-1, the MateStation X all-in-one, a laser printer called the Huawei PixLab X1, and a portable Bluetooth speaker called the Sound Joy.
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