I know many of you are eagerly anticipating Huawei's MediaPad 10 FHD Android tablet that's supposed to be shipping soon. In the meantime, we have its little brother, the Huawei MediaPad 7 Lite in for review. I'm not sure if this will hit US shores beyond importers; so far it's slated for Russia, China, Taiwan, South Africa, the Philippines and Malaysia. I also hear it's made an appearance in India.
Unlike the FHD model, the MediaPad 7 Lite is a budget-spec tablet with a high end unibody aluminum casing and a simply superb, though not high res, IPS display. The tablet looks embarrassingly like the HTC Flyer and has much in common with the Huawei-manufactured T-Mobile Springboard.
The tablet runs on a 1.2GHz single core ARM CPU, and that's certainly nothing to write home about. It scores 1378 on Quadrant vs. the 4,000 to 5,000 scores we see on top tablets. But still, it doesn't feel slow. It runs a clean version of Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich and the software is clearly well tuned. The web browser is responsive and it plays 1080p video like a champ. You'll want o use an MHL adapter to fully make use of that resolution.
The MediaPad 7 Lite has the best 1024 x 768 IPS display we've seen on a tablet. It compares favorably to the higher resolution Nexus 7. It's very sharp, clear and has good colors. Text doesn't look pixilated or jaggy. Go figure. The tablet has single band WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth and a GPS. There's a front VGA camera and a so-so 3MP rear camera. It's all powered by a 4100 mAh Lithium Ion battery.
The MediaPad has an unlocked 3G SIM card slot for use with GSM carriers. It's quad band GSM/EDGE, but as far as we can tell, it lacks US 3G bands. We tested it with an AT&T SIM card and it only found EDGE networks. The 13 ounce tablet also has a microSD card slot to augment the internal 8 gigs of storage.