Huawei MediaPad M2 10.0: Is It Worthy?

Android tablets often seem like an endangered species. Not as endangered as, say, Windows 10 Mobile tablets (these will exist, more on that in a future post), but they do seem to be rarely developed unless you’re Samsung or Alphabet/Google. Interestingly, though, the endangered species that are Android tablets are taking one of the few steps an endangered species can take to survive in the changing of an ecosystem: They are evolving unique abilities.

The Pixel C is certainly a strange animal that is attempting to mimic the wild success of Microsoft’s Surface series. Samsung is trying out the “bigger is best” model. The Acer Predator series is going quadrophonic with sound. And now the recent push by Huawei onto North American shores is also trying out something not unique, but definitely something that hasn’t been well implemented in the Android tablet ecosystem: It has a veritable Surface Pen/Apple Pencil (not exactly, but that seems to be the idea).

Enter the Huawei MediaPad M2 10.0.

mediapadm2It’s a good looking tablet, and the “active stylus” feature–if it works–would probably be seen as useful by many Android users. I don’t agree with the present push by Silicon Valley to try and get people to replace their laptops/desktops with tablets, but some people really seem to get hot and bothered by drawing on their tablets, and if you’re one of those, then MediaPad M2 10.0 looks like a good option.

But how does it fare as a device for follow the Dark Android Project principles and using it for the purposes of privacy, anonymity, and security? Well, first off, take a look at this tablet’s specs:

mediapadm2_specsNot bad as far as specs. If you weren’t concerned about having a security-hardened device, there’s not really much wrong with this device. And really, the only security issues are the built-in fingerprint reader (which raises huge real and potential security issues), the EMUI 3.1 software that skins Android removes a lot of common abilities that people expect from Android (like the primary drop-down menu), and it’s questionable whether or not this device will get updated out of Android 5.0 up to Android 6.0.

There is the possibility that because Huawei is a popular company amongst the Android community, since it worked with Alphabet/Google to develop the popular Nexus 6P, that a niche development community would be created around this tablet (especially since it has the active stylus). Maybe people will develop a custom ROM, or hopefully CyanogenMOD, for the ¬†MediaPad M2 and thus you could get updated to newer versions of Android, but all of that is a roll of the dice, in my opinion, and you’re not likely going to win that crapshoot.

But again, if none of what I described above matters to you, then there is a lot to like about the MediaPad M2 10.0. Like I said, the specs are pretty good. The screen is particularly nice as it won’t drain the very decent battery included like so many of these QHD and 4K screen tablets do (unnecessarily). 3GB of RAM is pretty good. The Kirin 930 octa-core processor is fair (and should allow you to at least root the device). And again, that active stylus–while something that doesn’t blow up my skirt–is an interesting offering for more mainstream-consumer-facing tablet.

Unfortunately, there is no price announced yet. Personally, unless you’re really sold on the the idea of having a higher end stylus for your tablet, I’d get the NVIDIA SHIELD K1, or the ASUS ZenPad S 8.0 (which you can now get in a 4GB of RAM model, as I understand it), both of which will give you plenty of tablet (and Dark Android capability) for the very low money that they cost.

But I’ll leave the “voting with your dollar” to you.

Carpe lucem!