The Good: The Huawei MediaPad M3 has a stylish and sturdy aluminum design. The HD screen is sharp and the fingerprint sensor is fast. It has dual Harman-Kardon speakers that are crazy-loud. The Bad: Audio sounds tinny at maximum volume. The Bottom Line: The Huawei MediaPad M3 is the best small and stylish Android alternative to the Apple iPad Mini 4. The Huawei MediaPad M3 is like a louder, more affordable Apple iPad Mini 4, that runs Android.The stylish, aluminum-clad tablet bears a striking resemblance to the in design, and its performance is just as powerful, however the Huawei tablet has better and cheaper pricing -- for both Wi-Fi only and models. The Wi-Fi only model will hit the US in December for $299. AU and UK pricing and availability have yet to be announced.Sight and sound 8.4-inch screen2,560x1,600-pixel resolution IPS screen359 ppiHarman Kardon speakers are great for media consumption (aka watching hella amounts of Netflix), so it's no surprise that the very literally named MediaPad M3 is one of the best binge-watch-friendly models around. Its got a satisfyingly sharp screen (so streaming HD content looks great) and houses Harman Kardon-tuned speakers on its top and bottom edges (or left and right, if holding horizontally).The speakers are surprisingly loud, crisp and clear; dialogue in movies was always at the forefront and vocals in music sounded appropriately accentuated. Additionally, with the speakers on each end of the Huawei MediaPad M3, it makes for a more immersive listening experience (even though the iPad Mini 4 also has two speakers, they're both located on the same side of the tablet). The downsides to the Huawei tablet's speakers are the same ones that plague all tablets: audio is tinny at maximum volume and seriously, where's the bass?Supremely sleekLet's be real: all tablets kind of look the same and how one feels in your hands can many times be the deciding factor. (I mean, it's meant to be a handheld device after all.) The Huawei tablet's sleek, aluminum design manages to feel solid and lightweight at the same time. With respect to the , it's one of the most posh Android models available. In comparison to the iPad Mini 4, the difference in dimensions are slight. In my opinion, both successfully balance the sleek and solid sweet spot that all tablets should aspire to.Smooth operator Huawei HiSilicon Kirin octa-core processor32GB, 64GB internal storage4GB RAMNano-SIM card slotMicroSD card slot, with up to 128GB card supportThe Huawei MediaPad M3 isn't all beauty and no brains; its performance is as graceful as its design (yes, I equate brains with performance when it comes to tablets). The tablet outperformed the iPad Mini 4 and Samsung Galaxy S2 8.0 in 3DMark, making it one of the fastest Android tablets for gaming. Big games like Hearthstone launch quickly, however loading times for levels in games like N.O.V.A. 3 and Dead Trigger 2 take around 20 to 30 seconds. This is average for a tablet with the Huawei's specs and despite the small wait, it's a perfectly playable tablet. To find a model with faster loading speeds, you'll have to upgrade to a speed demon like the 9.7.The Huawei MediaPad M3 features a split-screen mode that's activated by long-pressing the recent apps button. It works with many apps, including Google apps (Chrome, YouTube, Drive, Maps, and so on). Netflix, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as well its native apps, like email, videos, calendar and calculator apps.Split-screen functionality is something that comes native in Android 7.0 Nougat, yet the Huawei runs on Android 6.1 Marshmallow. The split-screen mode is courtesy of Huawei's own EMUI user-interface. Tablets 8-inches or smaller aren't typically used for multitasking, making the split-screen feature more of a novelty than a necessity, but since Huawei has yet to share when or if the tablet will upgrade to Android 7.0 Nougat, it's a welcome addition to the tablet's feature set.Like all high-end tablets these days, the Huawei MediaPad M3 has a fingerprint reader for extra security, which recognized my fingerprint quickly and consistently. Battery life should extend through an entire work day as it lasted an average of 10 hours while continuously running a downloaded movie. It's not the longest tablet battery life I've come across (though it is a bit longer than the iPad Mini 4's), but that's pretty good for its size.On the LTE model, you can take a SIM from any carrier (including Google Fi), pop it in, and use it like a phone. Obnoxious? Yes, but also useful. The LTE model's price varies by country, however in comparison to LTE versions of the iPad Mini 4 (which doesn't work with Google Fi), the Huawei tablet is still more affordable. At the time this was published, Huawei has yet to share full pricing details. We'll update the review as soon as we have that information.To iPad, or not to iPad? Aside from the Harman Kardon speakers, the biggest difference between the Huawei MediaPad M3 and the Apple iPad Mini 4 is their . Android gets a bad rep for its perceived inferiority to (thanks to a smaller app store and the unfortunate fact that apps sometimes debut on iOS before Android), but the availability gap in apps is closing and the Google Play Store is still full of more great apps than you'll ever have time to use.Increasingly, the real reason to pick one operating system over another is more preference -- as well as how much you've invested in iOS apps along with iTunes music and movies. If the media content you want to consume is tied to iTunes, stick with the iPad. If not, the small and solid Huawei MediaPad M3 is one of the best Android alternatives to the high-end Apple iPad Mini 4. Editors' note November 1, 2016: This review was updated to clarify that the Wi-Fi only model will be available in the US..Editors' note October 31, 2016: This review was updated to add information on the tablet's split-screen function.