8 reasons the Huawei MateBook is pretty awesome

Out-Surfacing the Surface Pro

Microsoft's Surface hasn't been a massive success, but 2 in 1 tablet-cum-laptop sales are increasing. Windows isn't the best experience on a tablet, but the bottom line is that we all want a powerful laptop-like experience on a device that we can just chuck in a bag.

You don't often see Apple doing a me-too product, but that's exactly what it did with iPad Pro, even if it is the best iPad yet.

Huawei isn't the first company to try reinventing the Windows tablet, but we can confirm it's made a rather good job of it. Here's why we're already fans.

1. It's not too expensive

The MateBook has an appealing price point of $699 USD/€799 EUR – we're interested to see how much it will be when it comes to the UK. The MateBook release date is just slated as 'the coming months'.

2. We love the design

This feels like a remarkably premium device. It features a strong aluminium unibody and a 640g weight that makes it lighter than both the iPad Pro and the Surface Pro 4.

3. It's a powerful PC

The design may be fanless, but it's one of Intel's latest dual-core Core m-series processors scooting things along. That means things should zip along quite nicely (although it's no Core i7 powerhouse). You can also specify it with up to 8GB of memory and a 512GB SSD.

4. Battery life should be awesome

Thanks to a 33.7Wh high-density battery, there should be plenty of juice with up to 10 hours of battery life. It can charge in two-and-a-half hours and get to 60 percent battery charge in an hour.

5. The keyboard case is rather nice

MateBook keyboard case is made of soft leather, though we're not sure about Huawei's claims of durability – we think it might tatty up quite rapidly. The cliclet keys do feel like they'd be really rather pleasant to type on for a while; they have a 1.5mm travel compared to 1.3mm for the upgraded Type Cover that shipped with the Surface Pro 4. And then there's the MatePen, which is an ultra-sensitive stylus.

6. It's got a great screen

The MateBook has a screen-to-body ratio of 84 percent (the screen size vs the size of the device including the bezel) which Huawei says is better than either that of the Surface Pro or iPad Pro – in other words, the bezel is small! The display itself is 16:9 with a 2,160 x 1,440 WQHD diplay with a 160-degree viewing angle and 85 percent colour gamut.

7. You can unlock it like a phone

Huawei says the MateBook boasts the fastest fingerprint recognition 'in the industry', although we're not sure how it's arrived at that claim. Still, the key thing is that it's fast and you can unlock your laptop just like you would your phone.

8. You can charge with USB-C

Just like the equally fanless MacBook, the MateBook can charge with a USB-C connection, while there's an adapter to Micro-USB included in the box so you can charge legacy devices. As we've seen with the Galaxy S7, some people aren't prepared to let go of Micro-USB yet.

MateBook specifications

  • Size 278.8x194.1x6.9mm
  • Weight 640g
  • Colours: Grey / Golden
  • Display: 12-inch 2160x1440 IPS TFT LC
  • Processor: dual core Intel Core m up to 3.1GHz
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro
  • Memory RAM: 4 GB / 8 GB LPDDR3
  • Storage SSD: 128 GB (HZ-W09) / 256 GB (HZ-W19) / 512 GB SSD (HZ-W29)
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac MIMO 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
  • Sensors: Ambient light sensor, fingerprint, accelerometer, gyroscope, Hall effect sensor

  • Camera: 5 MP, fixed focus
  • Dual digital microphone and dual speakers
  • Ports: Headset jack, USB Type-C
  • Battery: 33.7Wh (4430mAh@7.6V)

  • Power Adapter: 12V/2A USB Type-C power adapter
  • MateBook Case available in: Black / Brown / Orange / Beige
  • In the box: USB Type-C power port Charger, USB Type-C Data Cable, USB Type-C to Micro-USB Cable, Micro-USB to USB-A adaptor

Liked this? Why not check out the rest of our coverage from MWC 2016

Dan Grabham

Dan is a previous Editor for T3.com and covered the latest in computing, home entertainment and mobile tech. He's also the former Deputy Editor of TechRadar and former Editor of Lifehacker UK. Dan has written for numerous computing and lifestyle magazines and has also written a book, too. You'll see him pop up in numerous places, having been quoted in or on The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, ITN News, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4 and Sky News Radio.