Huawei MateBook goes after Surface Pro 4 and iPad Pro

There have been rumors that Huawei might be getting into the high-end mobile computer arena. Now, the Chinese company has proved those rumors true with the release of the its Surface Pro-esque MateBook convertible running Windows 10.

The MateBook is a sleek-looking 12" convertible based on Skylake Core M SoCs. Huawei is targeting the machine at business users, though we'd wager that its design and features will have wider-ranging appeal. The convertible's 6.9-mm-thin aluminum body weighs in at 1.4 lbs (or 640g), making it lighter than both the Surface Pro 4 and iPad Pro.

The 2160×1440 IPS LCD has a 3:2 aspect ratio and a pixel density of 216 PPI. Huawei says the screen's color gamut covers 85% of the NTSC color space, a figure which it claims is superior to the MateBook's direct competitors. That's not all, though. The display is quite bright at 400 nits, and the screen-to-body ratio is an impressive 84%.

The MateBook's innards are powered by Skylake SoCs from Intel's Core m3, Core m5, and Core m7 series. Up to 8GB of LPDDR3 are on tap, while storage is handled by SSDs with up to 512GB of capacity. The convertible's internal design is completely fanless, and Huawei says the 33.7-Wh battery should be good for 9 hours of work.

Huawei made sure that charging the MateBook is less of a chore when compared to your average laptop, too. The machine's battery should only take two and a half hours to fully charge up, and the company says one hour's worth of juice ought to be enough to fill 60% of its capacity. The included charger is quite small and weighs only 3.8 oz, making it easy to pocket.

The MateBook has a range of optional accessories on offer. The keyboard case is made out of PU leather, and includes a touchpad and a kickstand which can be set to 52° and 67° positions. The keyboard is spill-resistant, and the keys themselves have 1.5 mm of travel.

The aptly named MatePen offers 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity and includes a laser pointer and presentation buttons. Last but not least, the MateDock, er, dock includes two USB ports, as well as Ethernet, VGA, and HDMI connectors.

Prices for the MateBook starts at $699 (or 799€) for a model with a Core m3 SoC, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD. Huawei has a total of six models available, up to a Core m7-equipped unit with 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, which carries a price tag of $1,599 (or 1,799€ in Europe). Huawei expects to begin selling the MateBook "in the coming months," in gray and gold finishes.

Comments closed
    • slowriot
    • 4 years ago

    Patiently waiting for an SKU with 16GB RAM and a 1TB SSD. I’d be all over it. I don’t need gobs of CPU or GPU power. I need lots of fast RAM and storage.

    Same goes for an SP4 too. $1700 and only a 256GB SSD? Go home Microsoft….

      • UberGerbil
      • 4 years ago

      That’s far enough ahead of the spec required for the mainstream use case that you’re going to be waiting a while. I mean, I feel you — I built my Sandy Bridge in 2011 with 16GB (and have since upgraded to 32GB) — but that’s still on the high end for [i<]desktop[/i<] machines. Much less laptops. Much less tablets with a fairly crappy attachable keyboard. Most people just don't need that much, especially for the light usage typical of "2 in 1s." There is a niche (you're one, and while I don't know how many people edit video "on the go," that would seem to be another), and as that market-segment gets saturated somebody will eventually fill it, but that's unlikely to happen soon.

    • spugm1r3
    • 4 years ago

    One notable difference, the keyboard appears to only offer one position, flat. That may not be much of an issue to some users, but I generally prefer at least a slight incline to the keys, something the Surface offers.

    One other observation about the keyboard, it looks like the keyboard secures to the back of the tablet, rather than the bottom edge. With the Surface, there is a satisfying click, the alignment is always right, and the keyboard doesn’t move when you type (other than the flex). Some of the pictures seem to suggest the MateBook’s keyboard could bunch up around the base while typing, which would be irritating.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    If Huawei can pull a OnePlus act in this space, I’m in.

    • PixelArmy
    • 4 years ago

    2560×1440 is 16:9 not 3:2.

      • chuckula
      • 4 years ago

      Much prefer 256:144

      • morphine
      • 4 years ago

      It’s actually 2160×1440 and 3:2. Editing snafu, sorry. Thanks for the heads-up.

    • UberGerbil
    • 4 years ago

    Saw a couple of reviews while skimming news — it’s being demo’d at the mobile world congress so it’s getting a lot of coverage. Overall the reviews seemed to be a net positive, praising the size/weight/build quality (and the fingerprint sensor on the edge inside the volume rocker) but with the caveats you expect from a convertible (ie, the keyboard isn’t great). And there’s no place to stow the pen (the pen has a laser pointer instead of an “eraser” at the other tip, but it can be used away from the screen as a remote). Overall it looks like a worthy Surface competitor.

      • cycomiko
      • 4 years ago

      They have a place to store the pen.

      In the dock accessory, as shown above.

      🙂

        • UberGerbil
        • 4 years ago

        How convenient! 😉

    • Hattig
    • 4 years ago

    I’d get this if it was called the HateBook.

    $699 US equals €634.39
    634.39 * 1.19 (German VAT rate, just an example) is €755

    So we have a €44 surcharge to cover the greater consumer rights over here (2 year warranties, etc).

      • DancinJack
      • 4 years ago

      That’s not all that bad, to be honest.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 4 years ago

      You’re ignoring that we do pay sales tax in the US*, it’s just not included in advertised prices, and it’s done by the state governments instead of the national one. Most states have a 7-10% sales tax.

      *there are some places that have no sales tax I think. Alaska because of oil revenue is one.

        • cygnus1
        • 4 years ago

        I didn’t realize it till you got me curious and I googled it. There are 5 states that don’t have a sales tax. Local governments (cities and counties) can charge a sales tax as well. But even the state with the highest combined state and county/local sales tax doesn’t even break 10%. That’s Tennessee at 9.45%. My state has a 6% sales tax, but my county adds another 1.5% to that, to get to an effective 7.5% sales tax. We have no state income tax so it’s pretty low taxes overall here.

        [url<]http://taxfoundation.org/article/state-and-local-sales-tax-rates-2015[/url<] So we have several layers of government here in the US. Federal/national, state, county, municipality(city/town). How many layers of government do Europeans typically deal with?

          • hansmuff
          • 4 years ago

          Similar layers, but the tax system is entirely different. Europeans use VAT, which isn’t applied to the final sales price of a product like a Sales/Use tax is.

          This is a decent explanation:
          [url<]http://www.economywatch.com/business-and-economy/difference-between-value-added-tax-and-sales-tax.html[/url<]

          • tipoo
          • 4 years ago

          I have a 15% sales tax here in Canada, and with the CAD in the pooper it’s a real double whammy right now. Spec out a nice system on PCPartPicker, nice, under 1000 – oh crap forgot to hit the Canadian flag. System now 33% more expensive as a base and 15% sales tax applied. Delete build, cry self to sleep, repeat in 2 months

          • UberGerbil
          • 4 years ago

          Tennessee is not (or is no longer) the highest. Much of King County Washington is at 9.5%, and the part of Seattle within the Transportation Benefit District is at 9.6% — yes, sales tax can very from block to block within a city (it gets [url=http://dor.wa.gov/content/getaformorpublication/formbysubject/forms_sale.aspx<]complicated[/url<]). There may be somewhere with higher rates, too; I just know this from personal experience.

        • f0d
        • 4 years ago

        i only recently (3 months ago) found out that tax is not included in the marked price of items in america (you have to add it afterwards)

        to me that seems like a very weird way to do it

        in australia the price is the price, the marked price includes all the tax you need to pay
        if something has a $60 sticker on it – the price you pay at the cash register is $60

          • toastie
          • 4 years ago

          It isn’t weird because different locations have different total taxes – state, county, munincipal. A national sales ad on TV for example wouldn’t be able to reflect that.

            • UberGerbil
            • 4 years ago

            Indeed. In fact, it’s not unusual for sales taxes rates to very slightly from location to location [i<]within[/i<] a city, due to things like stadium taxing districts or transportation taxing districts. In some cases you can literally walk a few blocks and pay a half a percent more or less tax for the same product or service. This is one of the reasons (the other being cheap land) why all the car dealerships are typically way out on the edge of town, just over a county or municipal border where the sales tax rate is significantly lower. Moreover, sales taxes themselves can get awfully byzantine. I know someone who wrote the code for a restaurant point of sale system, and he said roughly 20% of all the code in the system (including the client server stuff, the UI, everything) -- 20% was just for calculating sales tax because he had to account for all the weird variations written into law around the country. For example: in many places "packaged" food is taxed differently from "prepared" food, so a can of Pepsi would be taxed at a different rate from that same Pepsi poured into a glass, or a loaf of bread intact is taxed differently from the same loaf sliced.

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      Right. And then we’ll get the Lenovo LoveBook™.

    • LauRoman
    • 4 years ago

    Why the eff is it 400$ more expensive in Europe (the most expensive model)? And the cheapest model is 20% more expensive (140$)

      • morphine
      • 4 years ago

      VAT. Manufacturers usually list prices without tax for the US, and with tax for EU.

      $.02: Granted, often there’s also the “just because” factor.

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