Huawei Matebook Review
A Surface Pro Killer?
Posted: July 16th, 2016
At this point, it's safe to say that the increasing popularity of "hybrid" tablets greatly benefits Microsoft and the Windows operating system. It seems like there's a new Windows-based hybrid that brings something new to the table debuting nearly every week. The Huawei MateBook is one such model that's been turning plenty of heads as of late. With any luck, it may just upstage the vaunted Surface as the Windows hybrid to beat.
Layout and Aesthetics
In a nutshell, the MateBook looks sort of like a blown-up version of the Huawei P9. Thanks to its all-aluminum body, this tab is a sturdy customer even though it's a mere 6.9mm thick. Weighing in at 1.41 pounds and measuring 10.97 inches by 7.64 inches, the MateBook isn't radically different from most of its hybrid competitors in terms of dimensions. The minimalist outer shell boasts a single Type C USB port as well as a front-facing 5MP camera.
Horsepower, Storage and Display
MateBook buyers can opt for either an Intel Core m3 or a Core m5 CPU capable of 2.7GHz in Turbo mode. Both processors feature robust on-board Intel HD Graphics. Up to 8GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage are available depending on the specific MateBook configuration in question. Every MateBook features the same gorgeous 12-inch IPS TFT display. Thanks to its 2160x1440 resolution, the MateBook's screen boasts 216ppi and delivers a 160° viewing angle.
OS and Unique Software Features
The MateBook comes with a fairly stock version of the new Windows 10 Signature Edition by default. Fortunately, Huawei decided not to mess with a good thing and haven't tacked on any extraneous bloatware. On the MateBook, Windows 10 performs much as it would on any laptop or PC. Thanks to an integrated fingerprint reader on the side of the tablet, users can login instantly using Windows Hello.
Networking and Peripherals
As expected, the MateBook comes with Wi-Fi 802.11ac MIMO and Bluetooth 4.1 for wireless connectivity. The optional Portfolio keyboard accessory is a leather-wrapped folio with a built-in, dual-angle kickstand. Besides the high-quality keyboard, there's an optional $60 MatePen stylus with 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity available that doubles as a laser pointer. Finally, the MateDock hub featuring USB ports, Ethernet, VGA and HDMI ports is a virtual necessity for maximum work productivity.
Performance in the Field
Thanks to its zippy Intel CPU, the MateBook performs admirably compared to similar tablets from other manufacturers. On the Cinebench test, it scores in the 160-point range. Single and multi-core GeekBench results come in at roughly 1,950 and 4,000, respectively. Unsurprisingly, the MateBook is better at regular office multitasking than it is at gaming. Users can expect roughly 7 hours of life running Microsoft Office programs and basic desktop applications.
Huawei MateBook Pros & Cons
One thing that stands out about the MateBook from the word go is its superior craftsmanship. High-end materials and an attractive design make it look and feel luxurious. It boasts solid performance, a beautiful display and plenty of great peripherals. While the MateBook's Portfolio keyboard isn't the absolute best accessory in the tablet universe, its minor flaws aren't show stoppers. Less than stellar battery life and a moderately high asking price are this Huawei's only real downsides - the battery has a theoretical life of 9 hours, though in the real world you'll get between 4 and 6 depending on how hard you push it.
The Ideal Huawei MateBook Buyer
If you need a tablet that can act as a full-fledged mobile office, the Hauwei MateBook is a good long-term purchase. While the required accessories are a tad pricey, the total MateBook system can handle any office or creative task you throw at it. If you can justify the price tag, the Huawei MateBook could be the perfect hybrid for you regardless of your line of work.
|CPU||Intel m3/5 - 2.7 GHz|
|Display||IPS LCD - 12.0 inch|
|Resolution||2160 x 1440 px - 216 ppi|
|Camera||Front 0.0 / Back 5.0 MP|
|Weight||0.64 kg / 1.41 lbs|
|Battery life||5.0 hours|
Battery life comparison