The Huawei MateBook is Windows 10’s iPad Pro killer: Hands-on

Chris Davies - Feb 21, 2016
0
The Huawei MateBook is Windows 10’s iPad Pro killer: Hands-on

Windows 10 tablets with detachable keyboards are clearly A Thing here at Mobile World Congress this week, with Huawei revealing its MateBook PC. Aiming, so the Chinese company promises, to bring about the age of Business 3.0, the super-sleek 12-inch tablet sets the iPad Pro in its sights, but for those who want full Windows app support.

So, you get a CNC diamond-cut unibody wrapped around a 12-inch, 2160 x 1440 touchscreen. Huawei is talking up its panel prowess, too, with an 85-percent color gamut – the company points out the mere 70-percent NTSC color on the iPad Pro and Surface Pro 4 – and 400 Nits brightness.

huawei-matebook-hands-on-7

That display gets a tiny bezel, in addition to a digital stylus – dubbed the MatePen – for artwork, and the whole thing is just 640g and 6.9mm thick. That’s despite fitting a 33.7 Wh, 4,430 mAh battery inside that, courtesy of optimized circuit and LCD design, and improved audio and video algorithms, Huawei says will keep the MateBook running for a full 10 hours of use.

When you do need to plug in, the charger is more akin to a smartphone charger, just 110g. It’ll handle smartphones, too, being 12V/9V/5V auto-adaptive and having support for both USB Type-C and microUSB.

huawei-matebook-hands-on-3

On the side, there’s a one-touch fingerprint sensor for login, built into the power button. Huawei has done away with the Ctrl+Alt+Del combo, too, and a single finger-press against the scanner powers up and unlocks the MateBook. Multiple fingerprints can be registered, too, and assigned to load different Windows accounts.

Inside, there’s a 6th-en Intel Core m processor, with Huawei offering a choice of dual-core m3, m5, and m7 chips running at up to 3.1 GHz. Cooling is taken car of with an 8-layer conductive structure that relies on passive heat dissipation rather than filling the whole thing full of fans.

huawei-matebook-hands-on-12

If you’ve got a smartphone with a hotspot plan, Huawei has an app for one-click hotspot activation from the MateBook, which we’ve seen Apple do on the MacBook with iPhone control. A smartphone can also be used as wirelessly-connected storage, too.

Audi comes courtesy of dual speakers with Dolby Audio, and there’s dual microphones and a camera on the front. An Active Noise Cancellation Headset is also available, which charges from the MateBook itself.

huawei-matebook-hands-on-1

The MatePen has 2,048 levels of pressure, and uses an elastomer tip. That makes for smoother pen-strokes, or so the claim goes. A three-month trial of Autodesk Sketchbook Pro will be included to try to get you hooked. Huawei has also built in a laser pointer and two presentation clicker controls to move through your PowerPoint. It charges via microUSB, and an hour’s charge lasts for about a month.

As for the keyboard case, that uses ergonomically-curved keycaps which Huawei claims is more comfortable to type on, and offers a full 1.5mm of travel. It’s spill-resistant and has over-current detection.

huawei-matebook-hands-on-5

Unlike the Surface Pro 4, the kickstand only supports two angles, either 67- or 52-degrees.

Huawei will offer two color variants – either a black panel with a gray body, or a
white panel with golden body – and four colors for the keyboard cover: black, brown, orange, and beige. There’ll also be a choice of Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Professional.

huawei-matebook-hands-on-19

NOW READ: Surface Pro 4 Review

As for accessories, the All-in-One MateDock will have a loop for the pen, plus ethernet, Type-C USB, and other ports. The keyboard will be $129, the MatePen $59, and the MateDock $89.

The MateBook will go on sale “in the coming months” Huawei says, priced from $699 for the Core m3 with 4GB of memory and 128GB of flash storage. Doubling that storage to 256GB will take it up to $839, while an 8GB/256GB Core m5 version will be $999, or $1,199 for the 512GB version. Finally, the Core m7 will be $1,399 for the 8GB/256GB, an $1,599 for the 8GB/512GB.


Must Read Bits & Bytes