Huawei MateBook review and test: powerful hybrid tablet for professionals?

Huawei MateBook review and test: powerful hybrid tablet for professionals?

Casual tablet or laptop for working professionals? Huawei has decided to launch a universal device MateBook, killing two birds with one stone. We tested the convertible notebook is not quite normal. Instead of the traditional testing we used MateBook at IFA. What complicates the comparison with competitors. But, on the other hand, it allows you to practice to evaluate the worth of hype.

At the Computex trade show, we used the MacBook, which made it possible to compare them with Huawei MateBook. Such testing under real conditions has allowed to identify the strengths and weaknesses that are not directly defined in the standard test scenarios.

We have received a configuration slightly different from the retail version. In Europe, the laptop is sold with a processor Core m5-6Y57, in our case, was installed Core m5-6Y54. But the difference is not critical, in Core m5-6Y57 we get a slightly higher level of performance, as well as support for vPro features. It is important for the corporate segment, as consumers is enough and Core m5-6Y54. In Russia, we have found so far only configuration with Core m3-6Y30. Together with the docking keyboard laptop will cost 1.170 euros, MatePen MateDock and will add another 70 and 100 euros. Configuration in Russian is available at 64,990 rubles. MatePen worth 4.990 rubles, MateDock – 6.990 rubles.

We met MateBook in February. The combination of a thin plate with a processor Core m and flat docking keyboard is hardly unique, such products have entered the market from different manufacturers. Mention may be made the same Dell XPS 12 and Samsung Galaxy TabPro S, Microsoft Surface Pro 4 in the initial configuration, the Surface 3, Lenovo Miix 700 and Acer Aspire Switch 12 S. similarities between the two are many, but in practice there are a couple of factors that determine how good device for our scenario.

Huawei MateBook review and test: powerful hybrid tablet for professionals?

If you have to work with a laptop on his knees, when there is no table or other hard surface, a rigid connection between the tablet and the keyboard as well as an arbitrary angle of the display is highly desirable. Unfortunately, due to the concept of MateBook nothing. Huawei sees its first convertible model of Windows as a thin, lightweight companion that will conquer the hearts of the users with its design. With the beauty of the built-in folding stand incompatible or rigid mechanical connection between the keyboard dock and the tablet.

With dimensions of 278,8 x 194,1 x 6,9 mm tablet is much more compact than other models with 12-inch display. Those plates are normally resistant to folding a few millimeters thicker. In addition, the rack is not always successfully fit into the design. There MateBook competes more with Galaxy TabPro S, than XPS 12 or the ThinkPad X1 Tablet, which have more stringent appearance – at first glance it is clear that they are focused on the work.

As in the case of its Android smartphones and tablets, Huawei has opted for Windows convertible models elegant shape. Front and rear we have simple lines, the eye is almost on nothing stops. Behind except that added the company logo. Front display pleases rather thin frame. On the sidewalls also almost nothing, except that the standby button and volume control, as well as built-in fingerprint sensor for Windows Hello, and two ports. Through the use of aluminum MateBook reserves of high quality impression, any defects we found.

Tablet Weight 640 grams lighter than many other models, together with the docking keyboard it comes to the level of 1.2 kg, at its thickest point with a keyboard we have received 17 mm. Both values are at the level of competition, as compared with “pure” laptops we obtain any benefits. Some modern systems Core-m, like Lenovo Yoga 900S, no thicker than 13 mm and weigh about 1 kg, although in the daily operation of the difference is almost not felt. The same applies to the comparison with the XPS 13, which is slightly thinner (15 mm), but slightly heavier (1.3 kg).

Huawei MateBook review and test: powerful hybrid tablet for professionals?

The quality of workmanship and sensations docking keyboard is not inferior to the tablet. Outside soft skin pleasant to touch, and looks good. Inside the plastic is used. Flat-screen keyboard consists of four units, it can be used to protect the screen and a backdrop of the tablet. Is that the right and left ends MateBook are not obstructed. The units can be folded in such a way as to give the tablet the two angles of inclination. Disadvantages of this approach, we have listed above, but there are advantages. The harder is the foundation, the better to keep a convertible tablet. In any case, have to settle for two available angles. Kneeling to work with such a design is not very user-friendly. Yet for such scenarios firm connection of the display and keyboard through the loop fits best. The plate in this case is attached to the docking keyboard and two magnets holding up well. But when typing keyboard flexes, the whole construction totters.

The keyboard, as a whole, we are convinced. Switching point palpable good progress sufficient gain can be comfortable. Present and lighting with three levels of brightness, which will help to gain in a darkened room. The space between the keys is quite narrow, only 1 mm, but Huawei has established large keys (17 x 17 mm).

Touch-pad has a relatively large size of 97 x 61 mm, it is located in the center of that suit, and right-handers and left-handers. The finger glides over the surface of the well, but does not interfere with the right button to improve. In our tests, it does not always fire. Switching point and move buttons are selected well, but here the optical separation between them.

If you want to do without additional MateBook accessories, it is unlikely to be able to use a hybrid laptop to work. For connecting peripherals are only two interfaces: the audio jack and USB port 3.1 Gen 1 Type C. Of course, there is Wi-Fi 802.11ac 2×2 module and Bluetooth 4.1 format to the tablet supplied adapter with Type C to Type A (microUSB). However, since the tablet is charging through Type C socket, the main interface will be able to use not always.

Huawei MateBook review and test: powerful hybrid tablet for professionals?

Salvation may be MateDock. In a small aluminum body concealed two graphic outputs (HDMI and VGA), Ethernet jack (Gigabit), two-port USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A and Type C for connecting MateBook charge. the tablet is connected via a connector Type C, with cable length of only 12.5 cm. Doc can put just beside MateBook on the table, which imposes additional requirements on the width. Without a docking problematic table. Among the shortcomings noted the close location of the USB ports, as well as the lack of a memory card slot. To transfer photos to a computer will have to take a separate card reader, or use the cable from the camera. As a result, we obtain a chain of connections. It would help the second connector Type C on the tablet, for Type A body is still too thin.

It is necessary to say a few words on the web-camera and speakers. The first provides a resolution of 5 megapixels, in bright light quality is only sufficient for video chats. The latter rather quickly observed distortion, mid, and low frequency cut, as one might expect from such a device category

Huawei MateBook | Display, performance, battery life

Display pleasantly pleased. 12-inch panel uses IPS technology, resolution of 2.160 x 1.440 pixels, brightness up to 565 cd / m². The uniformity of illumination is good too – a little less than 91%. So that you can work with the tablet on the street. But if you’re going to MateBook edit photos, you have to make settings manually. Staffing panel has a high color temperature of 9,100 K, it is too cold. With the help of the calibrator can be reduced almost to the level of 6,700 K. The display provides 100% coverage of the sRGB color space, AdobeRGB if we get 71%. Contrast Ratio 1,062: 1, too, is at a fairly good level.

Huawei MateBook review and test: powerful hybrid tablet for professionals?

Display supports only two angle, so the viewing angles should be good enough. In many situations, you will see the display just the top or just below, at least color distortion will not occur. There IPS panel at MateBook shows its best side. As for the deviation from the perpendicular to the right or to the left, the situation is slightly worse.

The touch screen can be seen as a good alternative to touch-pada – of course, if the software is optimized for it. Under Windows, we recommend using the zoom interface, or some of the buttons are too small. If you are interested in additional features, it makes sense to purchase a stylus MatePen. It is quite comfortable in the hand, although the center of gravity is too high. Stylus recognizes 2.000 degrees pressing two buttons make it easy to work. The third button on the back, activate the built-in laser pointer, which can be very useful in handy for presentations. stylus tip removable, it opens access to the port micro-USB for charging MatePen. With the right software, you can write notes pen faster than typing on the keyboard. The more that you can draw diagrams and other graphics. In many cases, these notes easily replace standard paper sheets. It is a pity that there is no tactile feedback, the stylus is too easy to slip on the display.

The exhibitions not only have to type notes in Word and publish them on the site through CMS. You must otsmotret and edit photos, and occasionally mount and process video. Finally, in the background always has several applications to communicate with colleagues, read e-mail, etc. Such a burden can not be called low. Of course, we had a traditional benchmarks and battery life, the laptop can be compared with other models.

The tested version MateBook equipped with 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD, so while running multiple applications, he coped without any problems. In Russia, only available configuration with 4 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD. Switching between the different programs was carried out quickly, open the app, too, almost instantly thanks to the high performance of SSD (513/470 MB / s read and write). With office applications no problems, and the same goes for working with large PDF. But with photo editing laptop copes less well. Even the opening of the 17.9 megapixel photos in JPG format took a lot of time, regardless of the program. And if these photos a couple of dozen, it had to be reserved patience. Although such operations are not so much load on the system.

With photo editing situation in practice a little better. Decreased clearance with 17.9 MP and 0.2 MP performed in a couple of seconds, then the same applies to the reduction of up to 1.1 MP. With editing the situation is similar: the correction of color or other operations took a reasonable time. For photo editing, you can use a laptop, which is not the video. Even when the software is to use all the features of the processor, installation and rendering it took too much time, it is many times greater than the duration of the clip.

However, this disadvantage is typical not only for MateBook. As shown by theoretical tests, the performance is at the level of competitors. In the same test, Cinebench, CPU-intensive operations to process photos and videos, we got quite typical 1.71 and 211 points (Cinebench 11/15). As for the office productivity test PCMark 8, here we got 2.200 points. MateBook some lost ground in the PCMark 7 test, as well as in 3DMark. Last demonstrates that Core m processors for games do not work – even Intel promises otherwise.

Even at shows a few years ago almost always had to look for a place with a socket to work with a laptop. Over the past two or three years the situation has changed, laptops were equipped with more efficient processors, they may already hold the entire working day without recharging. This also applies to the family of Core m quite expensive chips very sparingly consume battery power. Before IFA, we measured a maximum power consumption MateBook be relatively high – 24 watts.

Even under the minimum load and the screen brightness 102 cd / m² tablet lasted only about six hours. When the load was not enough, and 3.5 hours under load PCMark 8 we got about three hours. In principle, the load level of 2-3 hours is quite normal, but for hibernation would like to have a longer battery life. The notebook is equipped with a battery of 32.6 Wh, in our experience, this capacity is enough to give one and a half to two hours longer.

Huawei MateBook review and test: powerful hybrid tablet for professionals?

Perhaps the reason lies in the power consumption of the system as a whole. In MateBook idle consumed not less than 9 W, exceeding the index of the competitors by 50-100%. Core m processor while consuming about 2 watts, which is about four times higher than the usual level. The reason in the tests did not find us. Perhaps the problem will be solved by updating the BIOS or drivers. With frequencies of the situation was normal, no-load the CPU and GPU frequency is reduced to the expected minimum.

In the scenarios of high and maximum load everything was already expected. We obtained about 14 watts at full load, of which 5 watts relates to a processor. At the IFA laptop enough for about half a day on a single charge. In particular, editing photos very quickly, “ate” battery.

For mobile devices relatively important surface temperature. If the bottom of the notebook heats up to 45 ° C or even higher, to work with him on his knees will be uncomfortable. And if the temperature reaches 50 ° C, and it is possible to get burned. In the case of convertible tablets, everything is a little bit better because the hardware filling is moved to the display unit. In any case, MateBook showed their best side. In idle body, on average, was heated to 33 ° C, after continuous current average temperature reached about 38 ° C, at the hottest point, we measured 43 ° C. Aluminum body distributes heat well, and the components of the temperature remains at a fairly low level. For example, the processor under full load not heated above 51 ° C.

But Core m still included throttling, and a very peculiar way. CPU core in about two minutes full load operates at frequencies of all between 400 and 500 MHz GPU and later dumped frequency. In our tests, at least for the GPU reached 250 MHz – the first time in our lab when GPU under a stressful load began to work at the minimum frequency. Throttling due to the fact that the thermal processor package does not exceed 4.5 watts. So far we have not met the representatives of the family of Core m without throttling.

Huawei MateBook | conclusion

If you get tired of walking around with a big bag of exhibitions and conferences, we should think on what you can save. Without cameras and interchangeable lenses can not do, the USB-key rings and accessories are not significant, since the weigh little. It remains a mobile computer, which weight would be advisable to reduce. Why not find a replacement for the old business model? In our case with keyboard MateBook saved about 200 grams, which is not essential for everyday work. As the IFA experience, together with the tablet will have to wear a power supply and MateDock, so as not to sacrifice usability. Therefore, by weight, we get even a disadvantage.

In addition, against MateBook say and other shortcomings. Work with a hybrid tablet without inconvenient solid surface, a memory card slot is not available, the module docking cable is too short, the battery life is below average. On the plus side we put a comfortable keyboard, bright display and a stylus MatePen, which in practice is very helpful.

to replace the classic notebook MateBook Will? Yes and no. In difficult conditions, for example, at the exhibition, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. However, the criticism here is not so much MateBook, as this class of devices in general. It is desirable to a rigid connection between the tablet and the keyboard in his convertible Huawei model no. Furthermore, it is desirable to work on a table or other solid surface, and the hand is always better to have the outlet, for example in an airport or train.


If you do not take into account our experience in the exhibition, and to rely on the usual tests, the conclusion would have been more positive. The body of the tablet strong and compact, it is made to last. fingerprint sensor works reliably integrated into decent hardware; despite the passive cooling, load plate is not overheated. We also liked the bright display with good color rendering and keyboard. It remains to complain about the lack of a folding rack, relatively short battery life, and a small number of interfaces. Adding docking module smooths out some flaws, but it will have to buy separately, which is not so nice. Some roughness to the touch-pad can be attributed to small experience Huawei.

Overall, we would not recommend MateBook, regardless of the configuration. Most of the comments on the version does not. But Huawei pleasantly surprised. In the first version of the hybrid device is made more correctly, the second generation will be at least one USB port is larger. The battery life will also be increased. The price, unfortunately, is not so attractive. In Europe MateBook along with accessories will cost 1,340 euros, which is not cheap, although competitors are offering their products at comparable prices. This applies not only to Samsung Galaxy TabPro S, for which will have to pay about 1,000 euros (90 thousand. Rubles), then add to the price of the stylus and the dock. Even asking for Lenovo Miix 700 without dock 1.100 euros (85 thousand. Rubles). In Russia, the price MateBook less – 64,990 rubles, but have to live with less powerful hardware configuration (Core m3-6Y30, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD). In Europe, such a configuration will cost 870 euros.

Benefits Huawei MateBook:

  • Compact housing
  • Very high quality manufacturing
  • Convincing fingerprint sensor
  • Keyboard with a good set of comfort
  • Bright display
  • low temperature
  • Passive cooling

Disadvantages of Huawei MateBook:

  • Touchpad with disabilities
  • Too little physical interfaces
  • Only two angle of the display
  • CPU throttling
  • Relatively short battery life
  • For the required docking module will have to pay separately

Source: huawei

Huawei MateBook review and test: powerful hybrid tablet for professionals? was last modified: September 15th, 2016 by Tomas Shellby