Huawei MediaPad Will Wield Android 3.2 'Honeycomb'

Huawei is the latest vendor to produce a tablet computer, announcing plans to launch a 7-inch MediaPad based on Google's as-yet-unreleased Android 3.2 "Honeycomb" operating system.

Huawei introduced MediaPad, a 7-inch tablet computer running Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) forthcoming Android 3.2 "Honeycomb" powered by a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.2GHz processor.

Huawei, which unveiled its plan June 20 at the CommunicAsia conference in Singapore, said the device weighs less than a pound and is less than a half-inch thick.

The slate supports 1080P full high-definition video playback and an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) port, and features a 5-megapixel auto-focus, rear-facing camera with HD video-recording capabilities, as well as a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera to enable video chat.

Intended as a media consumption tablet to challenge the likes of Samsung's 7-inch Galaxy Tab and HTC's Evo View 4G, the MediaPad supports Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) Flash 10.3 and comes preloaded with Facebook, Twitter, Let's Golf and the Documents to Go applications. There is 8GB of internal storage.

The device, shown on Engadget, connects to HSPA+ (Evolved High-Speed Packet Access) networks with a peak of 14.4M bps, as well as WiFi.

The biggest news with this machine is the Android 3.2 platform. Android 3.2 is basically the same as the current Android 3.1 platform-with scalable widgets and USB host support, among other perks-rolling out on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

However, 3.2 is tailored for the 7-inch screens and other slate sizes and supports Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) chips, according to This is My Next.

The MediaPad has only 6 hours of playback, which might inhibit some consumers expecting the 10-hour battery life Apple's iPad affords people. The MediaPad could ship in the U.S. in the third quarter of this year.

Huawei is mostly known around the world as a telecommunications solution provider, but the company has launched about 10 low-cost Android smartphones and sold some 7 million mobile devices in the first quarter.

Huawei is just the latest of several companies perhaps unexpectedly coming to the fore with Android tablets.

Panasonic unveiled a ToughBook last week, while Lenovo has two Android tablets on tap for the summer, one for consumers and one for businesses. Toshiba meanwhile is launching its 10.1-inch Thrive Android tablet July 10 for $429.