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Huawei Readies Flagship 7-Inch Tablet

6/20/2011 02:00:13 PM Eastern

Singapore
- Huawei stepped up its tablet portfolio by unveiling what it claims is the
world's first tablet incorporating the Android Honeycomb 3.2 operating system,
which is optimized for 7-inch touchscreens.

Huawei

The
MediaPad is its flagship tablet that will complement the lower-priced Ideos S7
Slim, which also features 7-inch touchscreen. The S7 Slim has been available at
Best Buy at $299 in a Wi-Fi-only version.

Despite
its flagship status, the MediaPad will be the most affordable tablet in its
class, vowed Huawei Device chief marketing officer Victor Xu at a press
conference, here. "The 7-inch tablet remains the preferred size for
portability, and Honeycomb Android 3.2 is dedicated to enhance the full
potential of 7-inch tablets," he added. Other versions of the Honeycomb OS are
optimized for larger-screen tablets.

The
device, which features Qualcomm dual-core 1.2GHz processor, will be available
in the third quarter around the world, including the Americas, Asia Pacific and
select European markets, said Xu. It will be sold through carriers and
retailers at pricing will be announced in "the near future," he said.

The
MediaPad incorporates 14.4 Mbps 3G HSPA+ cellular-data technology and Wi-Fi
802.11a/b/g/n. Xu didn't say whether a Wi-Fi-only version would be available,
though the company has done so in the past.

Compared
with Huawei's other current and past tablets, the MediaPad is the slimmest,
lightest and fastest yet, the company said. It measures 0.4 inches deep
compared with the Ideos S7 Slim's 0.49 inches, weighs 0.86 pounds compared with
the Slim's 13.8 ounces, features 14.4Mbps HSPA cellular technology compared
with the Slim's 7.2Mbps, and has a dual-core 1.2GHz processor speed vs. the
Slim's single-core 1GHz processor. The S7 features Android 2.2.

 Other key features include uni-body
aluminum-alloy chassis, 1080p video capture, 1080p HDMI video output,
preinstalled Flash 10.3, HD-video capture, 5-megapixel camera/camcorder with
autofocus, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats, 4,100mAh batter
delivering up video playback, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, assisted GPS, and preinstalled
social-network apps such as Twitter, Facebook, AIM and Google social
networking.

The
device delivers more pixels per inch (ppi) at 217 ppi compared with
large-screen rivals such as the Apple iPad 2 at 132 ppi, the Samsung Tab 10.1
at 149 ppi, and the Motorola Xoom at 160 ppi, Xu said.

 For use with the device, Huawei will offer its
cloud-based services, including its own app store with more than 2,000
downloadable apps. Huawei will also offer Cloud-based apps for vertical
markets, Xu said. The device will also access Google's app store.

 The MediaPad will sport one of the fastest
processors among tablets announced to date. The HTC-made 4G HSPA+ Flyer for
T-Mobile and HTC-made Evo View 4G for Sprint are 7-inch tablets with 1.5GHz
processor, and the LG G-Slate slated for T-Mobile's 4G network features
dual-core 1GHz processor. And Hewlett-Packard's WebOS-based TouchPad features
Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core 1.2GHz processor.

For
consumers, Xu said he envisions tablets offering three key functions:
connecting the home to the outside world, controlling home systems and
providing entertainment.

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