Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei has taken a giant plunge into the fast growing tablet market by taking the wraps off its 7-inch Android Honeycomb powered tablet called MediaPad. But can it beat the iPad?

The specs are quite impressive: 7-inch LCD capacitive touchscreen, Qualcomm dual core 1.2GHz processor, 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, HD video recording, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats, 1080p HD video playback, Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) OS, support for HSPA+ and 802.11n Wi-Fi networks, HDMI-out, Flash 10.3 support, preloaded Facebook, Twitter, and Documents To Go apps, and the Let's Golf game, and 8GB built-in storage (expandable up to 32GB via a microSD card slot).

MediaPad will run on 4,100mAh battery that promises up to six hours of run before needing a recharge.

According to Huawei, the MediaPad is the first tablet to come with Honeycomb 3.2 preinstalled. The company said there's not much difference between 3.1 and 3.2 Honeycomb with the exception being that 3.2 is suited to perform on smaller screen tablets like the MediaPad.

The MediaPad is expected to launch in Fall but Huawei did not confirm the exact date.

How does the MediaPad stack up against iPad 2? The answer is - not too well.

MediaPad is no beast or monster and though it boasts of powerful specs, its chunkiness (iPad 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 are far slimmer) and form factor are big let-downs.

Huawei has not announced the price of MediaPad yet but Huawei, which makes mobile phones and sells them through telecom operators, is known to price its product competitively. Huawei's Ideos S7 tablet, which is selling in some markets, runs on Android 2.1 and cost between $300 and $400.

If Huawei prices MediaPad attractively, it can present itself as a viable alternative for those who can't afford iPad 2.

Would you buy a MediaPad or an iPad? Leave your comments below.

Watch the MediaPad demo video below: