Huawei MateBook Review Roundup: Is The Sleek 2-In-1 Worth The Buy?
After establishing itself as the third biggest smartphone maker in the world, Chinese company Huawei is now jumping into the 2-in-1 device market with its all-new Huawei MateBook aimed at stealing the crown from Apple's iPad Pro and going head-to-head with Samsung's Galaxy TabPro S.
For the uninitiated, the company unwrapped its Windows 10-running MateBook during this year's Mobile World Congress in February.
Now, early reviews are in from some of the industry's experts. In this post, we will do a review roundup to help you decide if this sleek laptop-tablet hybrid is well worth your penny.
Let's get the ball rolling.
Full Desktop Operating System
Perhaps one of the best-selling points of this device is that it runs Windows 10, making it pretty sweet for those who are seeking a tablet for productivity.
Well, it seems that the device's screen is already regarded as "excellent" by some experts.
SlashGear believes that MateBook's screen is "very good" and that "everything is pleasingly detailed ... bright, with punchy colors," thanks to the 12-inch display's 2,160 x 1,440 resolution.
It is worth mentioning, though, that the screen is not an AMOLED one, but an IPS TFT LCD.
"Unfortunately, outdoor visibility simply isn't as strong as something like the AMOLED on Samsung's Galaxy Tab Pro S, and it suffers from a lot of sun glare," it adds.
It's good that MateBook packs a fingerprint sensor, and CNET says it is "fast." In fact, it says the sensor can log a user into Windows "with a snap."
No Rear Snapper
What is quite disappointing, though, is that it has no back camera. For some people, the rear shooter is still useful, for instance, when the user needs to capture a particular document.
Huawei is claiming that MateBook can last up to 9 hours.
Based on Engadget's test, though, using the variant that runs Core m5 processor and packs 4 GB of RAM, the device only lasted for over 6 hours. The test involved looping an HD video until the device dies.
Time, though, is saying a different thing.
"The MateBook's battery can manage about a full workday without needing a top-up," it says. "The tablet lasted for roughly a day and a half while I used it on and off for basic word processing, Internet browsing and watching Netflix."
However, it also says that the tablet is suited to those who are in the hunt for a tablet "primarily for entertainment and light productivity."
The MateBook's keyboard is called Portfolio Keyboard. And for some experts, it is one of the downsides of the device.
"Huawei's keyboard makes for a terrible kickstand. It can hold the MateBook up in two positions — 67 degrees and 52 degrees — but there's no flexibility outside of that," Engadget says. "And it's not even good at maintaining those angles."
Moreover, CNET says the keyboard's magnets "aren't strong enough to keep the screen in the second position if it gets bumped or jolted."
Ars Technica, in the meantime, thinks that the experience in using the keyboard's trackpad is not so good.
"While the trackpad is quite smooth, many times my taps, clicks and swipes wouldn't register on the screen," it says.
Performance-wise, some early birds are also telling that the device is not doing that well. For instance, SlashGear recounts that the Windows 10 device gets "uncomfortably hot to the touch" on the slate's back upon doing something intensive.
CNET also notes a few periodic pauses when opening apps or when loading web pages.
You'll Have To Pay Extra For Accessories
In order for you to transform the slate into a PC, you need to have the keyboard, stylus and dock. And Huawei charges you extra for these accessories.
While the basic model of the device starts at $699 in the United States, you have to fork out additional $129 for the keyboard case, $89 for the dock and another $59 on the MatePen. As a point of comparison, Samsung is throwing in the keyboard for the TabPro S absolutely free of charge.
It all boils down to this: while Huawei's newest offering features a slew of good things, such as the Windows 10 OS, fast fingerprint scanner and great screen, you might have a somewhat better option in the market today. Though it carries a quite steeper price, it seems that Samsung's Galaxy TabPro S is the experts' better choice.