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Hands-on with Huawei's MediaPad M3 Lite and T3 tablets

Huawei has announced two new tablets in two different form factors, hitting the low and mid-ranged markets hard with high quality hardware.
By
August 25, 2017

Huawei is far from being a household name, especially in western markets such as the United States, but there’s no denying the brand’s global recognition is on the rise. The company’s growing reputation started with the Huawei Nexus 6P, and has grown as the company has introduced various handsets under its brand, as well as its Honor sub-brand.

Now Huawei is bringing us two new Android-powered tablets – both in 8 and 10-inch sizes — in attempts to take a slice of the budget tablet market. So what does Huawei bring to the tablet with the MediaPad M3 Lite and the MediaPad T3? Let’s jump in and take a closer look.

MediaPad M3 Lite

Starting with the Huawei M3 Lite, you’ll have the choice between an 8-inch and 10-inch variant, though both options offer the same premium aluminum shell. Spec wise, both devices essentially are the same, powered by the same unspecified Quad-A53 1.4GHz + Quad-A53 1.1GHz processor package — likely a Huawei Kirin processor or a MediaTek chip. The camera configuration, RAM, storage, and software are also identical between the two models. The differences comes down to 4 Harmon-Kardon speakers in the bigger model instead of two, battery size, and the obvious display devices.

The 8″ device feels very welcoming in the hand as an e-reader style tablet. We rarely see this form factor much anymore outside of the iPad and Kindle, and many of the Android options attempting to follow this form factor are outdated and just begging for a replacement.

The 10″ variant may be the bigger brother, but that doesn’t mean it’s better. Though this thing has got 2 more speakers surrounding the body, you’ll have to be a fan of the landscape if you opt for this model. Though it sports a bigger battery, the extra 2.1″ of screen is sure to drain this thing a little bit faster, so we’re glad to see such an immense capacity bump. If you’ve been waiting for something that lets you watch content smoothly on the fly, this may be worth a look.

The M3 will cost you either $199 or $249, depending on if you go with the 8-inch or 10.1-inch version. Looking for a deeper spec breakdown? Here you go:

MediaPad M3 Lite 8"MediaPad M3 Lite 10"
Display
MediaPad M3 Lite 8"
8-inch IPS display at 1920 x 1200 resolution
283 ppi
MediaPad M3 Lite 10"
10.1-inch IPS display at 1920 x 1200 resolution
224 ppi
Processor
MediaPad M3 Lite 8"
Quad-A53 1.4GHz + Quad-A53 1.1GHz co-processor
MediaPad M3 Lite 10"
Quad-A53 1.4GHz + Quad-A53 1.1GHz co-processor
Speakers
MediaPad M3 Lite 8"
(2) Harmon-Kardon tuned speakers
MediaPad M3 Lite 10"
(4) Harmon-Kardon tuned speakers
RAM
MediaPad M3 Lite 8"
3 GB
MediaPad M3 Lite 10"
3 GB
Storage
MediaPad M3 Lite 8"
16GB
MediaPad M3 Lite 10"
16GB
MicroSD
MediaPad M3 Lite 8"
Yes, up to 2 TB
MediaPad M3 Lite 10"
Yes, up to 2 TB
Cameras
MediaPad M3 Lite 8"
Front: 8MP (Fixed Focus)
Back: 8MP (Auto Focus)
MediaPad M3 Lite 10"
Front: 8MP (Fixed Focus)
Back: 8MP (Auto Focus)
Battery
MediaPad M3 Lite 8"
4,800 mAh
MediaPad M3 Lite 10"
6,600 mAh
Software
MediaPad M3 Lite 8"
EMUI 5.1 Lite based on Android 7.0 Nougat
MediaPad M3 Lite 10"
EMUI 5.1 Lite based on Android 7.0 Nougat
Colors
MediaPad M3 Lite 8"
Silver
MediaPad M3 Lite 10"
Silver
Weight
MediaPad M3 Lite 8"
320g
MediaPad M3 Lite 10"
450g

MediaPad T3

The Huawei MediaPad T3 Lite comes in the same two sizes as the M3 Lite series, though the 10″ model is actually 9.6″ vs the 10.1″ in the M3 Lite. This is the lower end version of the MediaPad line, but it should still make a great option for those looking for a nice feeling tablet at a competitive price.

When it comes to specs on these devices, they are just about exactly the same, and that’s true for the batteries, too. We’re not sure why Huawei chose to keep a 4,800 mAh capacity on the 10″ device, but we’re assuming it had something to do with thermals. If you want something with better battery life, we’re suggesting you go with the 8″ device, or upgrade to the M3 Lite if you were looking for a landscape option.

The T3 series will set you back just $139 for the smaller model, or $159 for the 9.6-inch version. Tech specs of the MediaPad T3 are as follows:

MediaPad T3 8"MediaPad T3 10"
Display
MediaPad T3 8"
8-inch IPS display at 1280 x 800 resolution
MediaPad T3 10"
10.1-inch IPS display at 1280 x 800 resolution
Processor
MediaPad T3 8"
Qualcomm MSM8917 + Quad-A53 1.4GHz co-processor
MediaPad T3 10"
Qualcomm MSM8917 + Quad-A53 1.4GHz co-processor
Speakers
MediaPad T3 8"
(2) Huawei tuned speakers
MediaPad T3 10"
(2) Huawei tuned speakers
RAM
MediaPad T3 8"
2 GB
MediaPad T3 10"
2 GB
Storage
MediaPad T3 8"
16GB
MediaPad T3 10"
16GB
MicroSD
MediaPad T3 8"
Yes, up to 2 TB
MediaPad T3 10"
Yes, up to 2 TB
Cameras
MediaPad T3 8"
Front: 2MP (Fixed Focus)
Back: 5MP (Auto Focus)
MediaPad T3 10"
Front: 2MP (Fixed Focus)
Back: 5MP (Auto Focus)
Battery
MediaPad T3 8"
4,800 mAh
MediaPad T3 10"
4,800 mAh
Software
MediaPad T3 8"
EMUI 5.1 Lite based on Android 7.0 Nougat
MediaPad T3 10"
EMUI 5.1 Lite based on Android 7.0 Nougat
Colors
MediaPad T3 8"
Space Grey
MediaPad T3 10"
Space Grey
Weight
MediaPad T3 8"
350g
MediaPad T3 10"
460g

What do you think of Huawei’s new budget tablets? Let us know down in the comments.