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Huawei MediaPad 7 Lite

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Not content with firing forth a bevy of new smart phones, Huawei is lining up another tablet to bulk out its already ample mobile gadget portfolio.

The MediaPad 7 Lite is a cut-price, reduced-power version of Huawei's dual-core MediaPad. Read on for my first impressions.

Hardware

As its 'Lite' suffix suggests, the MediaPad 7 Lite is not intended as a tablet powerhouse. Under its surface sits a mere single-core 1.2GHz chip, along with 1GB of RAM.

Compare that to the Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor Google has tucked into its very reasonably priced Nexus 7 slate and it's hard to see a huge market for the MediaPad 7 Lite -- although it does have something Google's slate lacks: 3G. Wi-Fi is also on board.

MediaPad 7 Lite
The MediaPad 7 Lite's 7-inch size will pit it against the mighty Google Nexus 7 -- good luck with that.

As the name suggests, the MediaPad has a 7-inch screen -- with a 600x1,024-pixel resolution.

On-board storage is 8GB but this can be boosted via the microSD card slot, so you should have plenty of space to store apps, games and media content.

The slate packs a 3.2-megapixel rear camera and a front-facing lens for Skype video chats with your buddies.

Under the hood is a 4,100mAh battery, which is slightly smaller than the 4,326mAh cell inside the Nexus 7. But with only a single core to tax it, the MediaPad could manage to stay alive for a little longer than Google's tab. We'll be sure to test its durability when we get it in for review.

Ports-wise, you get micro-USB 2.0 and HDMI-out so you can plug the slate into your TV should you desire.

Software

The MediaPad 7 Lite runs Android 4.0 -- Ice Cream Sandwich -- which looks to be very lightly skinned with Huawei's own software wrapper. We'll have a good poke and prod around the tablet when we get it in for a full review to see how slick and speedy -- or not -- Huawei's skin makes the user experience.

With ICS on board, you'll be able to load the tab with apps from the Play store, including Google's excellent ICS-or-above-only Chrome OS browser.

Design

The MediaPad 7 Lite has a two-tone silver and white finish. The design looks fairly uninspiring without being especially ugly.

Being a 7-incher, this tablet is highly portable -- fitting in all but the smallest of bags and potentially even being pocketable for owners of capacious trenchcoats.

It's not the thinnest tablet in town -- at 11mm thick -- but it's only a smidge fatter than the Nexus 7. It is a tad heavier than Google's tablet though, weighing in at 380g versus the Nexus' 340g.

Outlook

The MediaPad 7 Lite is expected to launch in the UK sometime between the start of October and the end of the year. The official UK price hasn't been confirmed but Huawei has slapped a rough RRP of €249 (£200) -- without a 3G contract.

At £200, the MediaPad 7 Lite doesn't sound very competitive with the Google Nexus 7, but it's possible it will be offered free with 3G contracts, so stay tuned for a full review.

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Huawei MediaPad 7 Lite

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