MatePad Paper, the tablet from HUAWEI that simulates paper and pencil

At the end of June, HUAWEI announced the availability, also in Italy, of MatePad Paper, the e-ink tablet that promises to offer a reading and writing experience like on paper. A tablet different from the usual on which, above all, read and take notes but also, thanks to the presence of the Harmony OS 2 operating system and the AppGallery store, consult web pages, read newspapers, listen to music or audio books. After several weeks of testing, here are all the features and our impressions.

The main features

HUAWEI MatePad Paper is a very thin and light black and white display tablet to carry (it weighs only 360 grams), with extra space around the edges to offer an experience very similar to that of holding a book and a frame in magnesium alloy capable of absorbing shocks. The back of the tablet is covered in eco-friendly vegan leather, a skin-friendly, scratch-resistant and non-slip material: a choice, again, which offers an experience more like that of a book and less “cold” than traditional ones. tablet with aluminum back. In the package, in addition to the charger, we find the second generation HUAWEI M-Pencil, which supports up to 4,096 pressure levels. MatePad Paper has a 10.3-inch display with a Smart Refresh mode that self-adjusts the screen refresh rate based on the content users are viewing, while saving energy. The display is designed to simulate ink on paper, is very comfortable to use for reading and does not tire the eyes with the blue light typical of traditional screens.

How the tablet works, what we find inside

The MatePad Paper home page features several panes: quick access to the calendar, email, HUAWEI Books store and notes. Notes that are one of the main functions of the tablet: you can divide them into categories, folders, blocks and you can also choose between different templates: blank sheet, lined, dotted or squared, but there are also more specific templates such as to-do list, Cornell Notes, reading notes or SWOT analysis. Inside the notes it is also possible to insert photos, voice notes and simulate the effect ballpoint pen, pencil, marker, with black, gray or white color and in bold, medium or thin style. Among the functions offered by the tablet also Split Screen, to divide the screen into two parts and take notes on the right side while consulting a document on the left, while it is always possible to take notes on any screen. Among the many possibilities made possible by the HUAWEI ecosystem also the simple transfer of books and documents from the PC to the tablet (or vice versa). The device supports quick fingerprint unlock (present on the top power button) and has two speakers. HUAWEI MatePad Paper features the HUAWEI Books app, which offers more than two million reading resources in over 20 languages. The store is not well stocked with books in Italian but on MatePad Paper it is also possible to import books purchased (or borrowed) from other stores or from public libraries. Finally, on the tablet there is a web browser, a calculator, the WPS Office suite.

Our impressions and our experience, availability and prices

HUAWEI MatePad Paper is a tablet that impressed us positively because it is really different from the usual and ideal for users of digital workers who, however, also remain anchored to paper and pen and who do not “give up” to take notes only on the keyboard. The writing experience is really effective: when the tip of the pen meets the screen there is a kind of friction effect very similar to that of a pencil on a notepad. On some small occasions we have found the latency a bit too high (i.e. the time between when we place the pen on the screen and the moment when the stroke appears on the screen). The possibility of transforming handwritten text into digital text is also very useful. The screen is also very particular: accustomed to the very bright displays of smartphones and tablets at the beginning you remain a bit disoriented but you get used to it and, above all, you can read newspapers and books for hours without getting tired (MatePad Paper has , among other things, received the TÜV Rheinland Paper Like Display certification precisely for reading not binding for the eyes). Another thing to keep in mind is that, due to its nature, the tablet is not very fast when we have to turn the pages of a book or we have to scroll the pages of menus and websites. Finally, let’s talk about the 3,625 mAh battery, which is really very performing: it allows reading and writing for several days and is able to keep the tablet on standby for almost a month. Charging takes place in just under an hour and a half with the included charger. Huawei MatePad Paper is sold in black with 64 gigabytes of storage space at a price of 499.99 euros.

Pros and cons


  • It does not tire the eyes
  • Writing experience like on paper


  • In some cases high latency of the M-Pencil
  • Display a bit “slow” when scrolling through the pages