The Huawei Matebook made a big splash last July even before it was out.
When its pre-release was announced and review samples went out, tech writers went bananas. Featuring an out-of-box experience that is at once sleek and vibrant, cool yet friendly to the touch, the Matebook features a slim, user-friendly 2-in-1 tablet/laptop hybrid that has an irresistible clean, futuristic look. But it comes wrapped in a faux-leather portfolio that is downright lush, offering users a high price range experience on a mid-range budget.
The company’s first foray into the burgeoning world of Windows 10 convertible tablet/laptops has been a tremendous success, as consumers continue to snap up the fashionable yet functional machine. It features a brilliant, vibrant display, the aforementioned faux-leather carrying portfolio, a slim build and a ridiculously light weight at a mere 640 grams–in fact it is nearly as thin as the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S, and it is even slimmer than the Microsoft Surface Pro 4.
You would be remiss not to start any talk of the design of the Huawei Matebook without first mentioning the faux-leather case and accents that come standard with the company’s heroic first effort at ...
12 in Full HD IPS touchscreen (2160 x 1440), 10-finger multi-touch support
Intel Core m3-6Y30 900 MHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 2.20 GHz
4GB LPDDR3 1866 MHz
Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
2 in 1
Intel HD Graphics 515 with shared graphics memory
1 USB Type-C (also used for power) • Headphone output/Microphone input combo
33.7WHr, 4430mAh (up to 9 hours)*
1.41 lbs (639.56 g)
But it’s not all about looking good for the Huawei Matebook, not by a long shot. This machine comes with plenty of horses under the hood as well. Running on an Intel Core m3 2.2GHz processor with 4GB of memory and a base level of 128GB of storage, the Huawei Matebook impresses with its speed as well as its brilliant display. The 12-inch screen is vibrant and plenty bright enough for presentations, but with enough richness of color and shading that watching movies in the hotel room after a day of conferences is plenty satisfying as well.
You would be remiss not to start any talk of the design of the Huawei Matebook without first mentioning the faux-leather case and accents that come standard with the company’s heroic first effort at cracking the Windows hybrid market. Right out of the box you are met with a luxurious portfolio that would impress at any business meeting, along with a similarly accented cover for the machine’s power supply and other accessories.
But the laptop/tablet hybrid that the admittedly impressive cover is protecting is equally impressive. The Huawei Matebook is a machine that, if it were necessary to sum it up in one word, would be all about “class.” This hybrid is sleek, slim and insanely light (680 grams and a mere 0.7 mm thick) a testament to cool minimalism. It comes in gray or a subtle golden hue, all metal on the back, and featuring a front that is very nearly all glass, with tiny bezels of merely 10 mm surrounding the screen.
And back to that faux-leather portfolio for a second: it isn’t just for show. The Huawei team has designed a deceptively clever flipstand that offers much more choice than it might seem at first glance. Though the company says it only offers two positions, it has been shown to actually be much more versatile than that, offering a much wider range of solid positions.
Another tremendous design innovation is the implementation of an impossible-seeming fingerprint reader placed along that aforementioned narrow bezel. However, multiple testers found it to be accurate, responsive and easy to use, considering how narrow an area the reader is scanning.
The Huawei Matebook comes with a single USB C port (more on that later) and a headphone jack, a cleverly designed connector for the keyboard underneath, and a pair of surprisingly responsive speakers along the top edge that put out a respectable amount of sound.
From category: Laptop Reviews
Once you get past the features like the portfolio cover and the arrestingly brilliant display, you can get to the real heat of the meat on the Huawei Matebook: it’s ease of use and speed. Featuring either an Intel Core m3 2.2 GHz processor or an Intel Core m5 2.7 GHz processor, along with 4GB of LPDDR3 memory (up to 8GB), and a base of 128GB of SSD storage, (available with up to 512GB) this machine is lightning fast. It is plenty respectable for use in a business or other presentation environment, as well as in light gaming, and it will make mincemeat of any kind of word processing, web surfing, or video playback.
One of the greatest features of the Huawei Matebook is the impressive 12-inch display. It comes with resolution of 2160×1440, among the highest in laptop/tablet hybrids of its class, and colors are breathtakingly vibrant and clear. Quibblers may find the Samsung Tab Pro S AMOLED display to be slightly superior, but only just.
The included stylus features 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, and cleverly comes with its own in-built laser pointer. It can also be used to run slide shows, allowing the user to click forward and back using the two buttons along its side.
The aforementioned travel dock comes with its own faux-leather case, and a place to store the stylus, as well as the expansion dock, which comes with an Ethernet jack, USB, HDMI and VGA ports, as well as a separate case for the included headphones.
- The list of pros is a long one on this baby, but it starts with many things we’ve already touched on: the slim and super-clean design, the light weight of the machine (680 grams! Crazy!), the included faux-leather carrying case, and the amazing 2160×1440 resolution on the gorgeous display.
- The speedy Intel Core m3 2.2 GHz processor speed as a base is nothing to sneeze at either, nor is the fact that it comes with a minimum of 128 GB of storage, whereas many laptop/hybrids are opting to go smaller on this particular spec these days.
- To find anything to complain about in terms of this gorgeous machine forces one to think good and hard. But it is also a lesson in understanding trade-offs and how they work: you can’t have a massive off-road vehicle without sacrificing some gas mileage, just as you can’t have a sports car without giving up some passenger room.
- And you can’t have a laptop/tablet hybrid this thin and sleek without making some sacrifices too. Along the way to designing the Huawei Matebook the designers jettisoned every kind of port except for a single USB C port and a headphone jack. And some reviewers have complained that since the sole USB C port is also used for charging, you are held hostage to this limitation. However, a USB hub is a simple accessory that most users already own. What’s more, Huawei offers one specifically designed to work with the Matebook as an extra, featuring not only a full-sized USB A port, but also an Ethernet jack, HDMI port, and even VGA for presentations.
Durability and Security
Here’s the thing about that much-touted lightness of weight of the Huawei Matebook: it still feels solid somehow. This is no delicate flower. The keyboard snaps solidly to the tablet, and the metal-encased pair stand up to all manner of folding and unfolding with gusto, despite their thinness and lack of weight.
As for security, the side-edge fingerprint reader as mentioned is one of the best encountered in recent memory, offering reliable scans along with ease of use as well as allowing the designers to sacrifice none of the slimness and sleekness of line the machine has.back to menu ↑
The full-sized keyboard is the bearer of the aforementioned faux-leather case, which doubles as the stand for elevating the tablet screen when attached. The keyboard clicks satisfyingly and reliably to the tablet screen via a series of pogo pins. And while the keys are not chiclet style, they are relatively large, and offers travel of 1.5 mm, comparable to that of the Samsung Pro 3’s Type Cover.
Display and Audio
You just can’t do better than this 2160×1440 display on a 12-inch screen, not at this price point. Vibrant and vivid, with tremendous depth of color, the Huawei Matebook is ideal for watching videos with the kids or giving on-the-go presentations at a conference.
The speakers are slyly located long the top edge of the display screen and they are tremendously responsive and rich, given their apparent size.back to menu ↑
Ports and Webcam
We’ve gone over the port trade-off the Huawei design team has chosen here–just one USB C port and a headphone jack–and the way the company anticipated and ameliorated it with the addition of the external dock that comes with ports for Ethernet, USB A, HDMI and VGA. Overall it’s a system that works just fine, and allows the machine to retain its future-sleek look and light weight.
The webcam is a front-facing 5MB cam that is perfectly useful for light teleconferencing or Skyping with the family.back to menu ↑
The aforementioned Intel Core m3 to m5 processors featuring speeds from 2.2 GHz to 2.7 GHz are snappy and responsive, great for video, light gaming, word processing or surfing multiple web pages all at once. The standard 4GB of memory is perfect for most users of machines of this class, as is the minimum 128 GB of storage, which runs to 512 GB.back to menu ↑
The on-board graphics render stunning colors and smooth display for light gaming, videos, and presentations of the kind likely to be done on a laptop/hybrid, beyond respectable in this regard.
Huawei MateBook Signature Edition 2 in 1 PC Tablet, 4+128GB / Intel Core m3 (Space Gray)Free shipping
- 2-in-1 PC running Windows 10 Home with a 6th Generation Intel Core m3 processor
- World class security with a ultra-fast fingerprint sensor on the side that lets you unlock with a single touch
- 12" IPS display with 2160x1440 resolution with 160° wide viewing angle and accurate colors for watching your favorite videos and editing photos
- Sleek and lightweight design is less than 1.5 lbs. and 6.9mm thin for a truly on-the-go experience
Testers found that Huawei’s claims of nine hours of battery life may be slightly exaggerated, however even coming slightly below that mark is plenty respectable for a laptop/tablet hybrid of this kind, especially burning as bright as it does with that gorgeous 12-inch display. Again, trade-offs are a real thing.back to menu ↑
Software and Warranty
Runs on Windows 10 and comes with a standard warranty for a machine of its class.back to menu ↑
Sleek design, classy packaging, and a gorgeous display all packed into a lightweight, slim hybrid means that Huawei has hit a home run with its first foray into the world of Windows laptop/tablet hybrids.