Huawei‘s rumoured hybrid laptop is finally here and the Matebook is set to shake the market as the brand’s first ever fully-fledged computing device that runs like a Surface, but is lighter than your iPad Pro.
Hybrid tablet devices aren’t something particularly new but the fact that Huawei went ahead to produce the Matebook is what ultimately makes it special; because it represents a shift for the company away from just smartphones into the realm of ultra-mobile devices.
Needless to say Huawei has put a lot of thought into building the Matebook, as its pretty sleek at just 6.9mm thick, lightweight at 640g (the iPad Pro weighs in at 713g) and has pretty good build quality.
As for the device’s specs, we’re getting a 6th gen Intel Core M processor with the option of 4GB/8GB RAM, with storage options starting from 128GB to 512GB. All of this is supported by a large 4430mAh battery that will apparently give you 10 hours of usage per charge. That’s pretty much your work day right there. The screen on the other hand is a 12 inch IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 2160 x 1440.
However, the Core M processor that’s running the show might be the device’s biggest Achilles heel. We’re not fans of the Core M chips and while they do run a lot cooler (and fanless) they trade off performance for the lower temperature and are generally really bad at multitasking.
For a lot of devices, the accessories are barely more than afterthoughts, but this isn’t the case with the Matebook. Launching with the device is the MatePen, which surprisingly is a lot better than most pens you’ll find on the market. Not only is it balanced, it feels like you’re writing on paper as opposed to the feeling of writing on glass and has superb feedback and traction, especially since it supports up to 2048 levels of sensitivity.
It comes with Autodesk Sketchbook that runs free for three months so you’ve essentially got a really powerful art tool at your disposal as well. Unfortunately the MatePen doesn’t come with the device and neither can it be stored magnetically like the one the Surface Pro 4, and has no way to be stored on the Matebook itself at all.
The optional dock that the Matebook has available with even has a USB type-C adaptor and a microUSB adaptor that’s all magnetised for easy storage. The device does come with a keyboard case though, and that already is a pretty big plus in our book.
Processor aside, the pricing for the Matebook is also a bit of an issue. With a basemodel starting at $699 (that’s about RM2,941 for us) its quite expensive for a 12 inch tablet hybrid PC with an Intel M processor. Sure, there’s plenty of extras but with pricing like that, they might find it hard to persuade people to jump on their ship.
Competition is expected to be pretty stiff considering how late Huawei is coming to the laptop/tablet game. The brand does want us to view the Matebook as a productivity option but it might be a bit tough for it to stand up against the likes of the Surface and other similar devices but it might be able to considering it really has a lot going for it.
Stay tuned for more MWC 2016 coverage as it comes.
More Huawei Matebook images: