It is, very much, in a class of its own.
While the critics continue to argue among themselves over whether there is even an identifiable niche in the market for tablet computers like the iPad – the ‘it is too big to be truly mobile and not big enough to replace the laptop’ row rages on – the Huawei S7 has quietly gone about its business in a hugely impressive manner.
In many ways, the Huawei S7 tablet is 2010’s answer to the Filofax – a truly mobile 7″ organiser and browser. It even has that 80s-style leatherette coverwrap synonymous with the famed Filofax to neatly protect the technology inside. It could, largely because of its mid-sized splendour, enjoy more real usability on the morning commute than any number of its larger tablet rivals could dream of, too.
So, from the off, let’s stop all the ‘is it a real rival to the iPad’ nonsense, shall we?
This is a different machine.
And in this case, size really does matter.
It is more than small enough to carry in your hand, case or bag, but not so big that when you pull it out on the train it’s going to be cumbersome or make you look like the most ridiculous of attention-seekers.
And it’s big enough to mean that while you can anonymously enjoy reading the headlines, sending an email or watching a video, you’ve not developed serious red-eye by the time you reach Piccadilly.
It’s also a natural companion to an Android smartphone. I can see many Android owners using the Huawei S7 tablet as a big brother to their smartphone for a more comfortable read to and from work on a daily basis.
So, as an Android device, there’s that whole acclaimed world of apps from the Google Marketplace at your fingertips – on a decent mid-sized screen that won’t make you squint. It’s all win.
It could be the perfect tablet for the more technically minded and, especially, the businessman who commutes.
But it’s not only its size that makes the Huawei S7 a real contender. It’s price is a real eye-opener too.
It comes with 3G and wi-fi connectivity already under the hood and costs just £299.99. That’s a huge saving in comparison to the entry level 3G and wi-fi equipped iPad. The 3G capable 16GB iPad is priced at £529. Even with the addition of the necessary 32GB SD card for storage on the Huawei S7 tablet you are looking at an almost £200 saving on the price of a basic 3G enabled iPad.
So, how does the technology inside the unit break down? Well, the Huawei S7 armoury includes a 768MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 7-inch resistive WVGA (800×480 pixels) touchscreen display, Wi-Fi b/g/n and 3G HSPA connectivity.
It also provides Bluetooth 2.1 support (including A2DP), a 2-megapixel camera and, naturally being an Android device, has a wide range of apps available, which can be downloaded directly from the Android Market.
It all works a treat too. The 7″ touch-screen is neat and responsive, the unit is nicely designed and easy to handle with a mere handful of operation buttons designed to keep navigating your way around its multifunctions streamlined and simple.
I’m impressed. It does what it’s supposed to. It also looks the part and won’t hurt the bank balance. It may just become the businessman’s new best friend.