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May 18, 2017

Huawei takes the fight to Amazon with a brand-new 7-inch budget tablet

by John_A

Why it matters to you

Looking for a tablet that isn’t flashy and won’t break the bank? Huawei’s latest is a compelling choice.

If you’re in the market for a budget tablet, there are quite a few options out there — though it’s often hard to tell which of them offer reasonable value and which just aren’t worth the trouble. Fortunately, Huawei has just given shoppers another option, and it’s available at Walmart stores right now for just $90.

It’s called the MediaPad T3 7, and it checks all the boxes for the bare minimum for an Android tablet, while offering a few surprising benefits. For one, the whole thing is crafted from anodized aluminum, which is somewhat surprising for a sub-$100 tablet. And although the device only comes with 16GB of onboard storage, you have the ability to expand that up to 128GB with a MicroSD card.

In other respects, the MediaPad T3 7 is about what you’d expect. The device sports a 7-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1024 x 600, and is powered by a MediaTek MT8127 quad-core processor along with 1GB of RAM. Spec-wise, it’s perfectly on par with another popular budget tablet, Amazon’s Fire 7 — which, coincidentally, was also refreshed today.

Huawei’s tablet features front and rear 2-megapixel cameras, which will make do for video chatting, and a 3,100mAh battery. The company doesn’t elaborate as to how many hours users can expect to get out of a single charge, but the outgoing Amazon Fire 7 managed about 7 hours on a 2,980mAh cell, so expect it to fall somewhere in that ballpark.

Comparisons between the MediaPad T3 7 and Fire 7 will inevitably be drawn, and they stack up quite favorably. The Fire 7 starts at $30 less, but only offers 8GB of storage. Bump that up to 16GB, and you’re paying $70.

There is also the issue of operating systems: Amazon’s devices run on a forked version of Android, which means you’ll miss out on Google apps as well as the Play Store. If you are heavily invested in Amazon’s ecosystem, are a Prime member, or use Alexa frequently, this may be a trade-off you’re willing to make.

Conversely, the MediaPad T3 7 runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow which, while not the most current version of Google’s operating system, provides access to far more software.

The MediaPad T3 7 is not yet listed as available for shipping online, but you can pick it up at brick-and-mortar Walmart locations right now.




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