Wednesday 2 November 2016

Huawei MateBook Review

Huawei MateBook Review

Huawei is the latest rivalry of Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 and Apple's iPad Pro with an attractive new Windows 10 hybrid device.

Huawei is an emerging technology company that you should really start giving some consideration to.

It's actually the world's third largest smartphone maker and has spent the last couple of years turning out some really eye-catching pieces of kit.

After getting solid reviews for its Huawei P9 smartphone, the Chinese company has turned its eye on the hybrid laptop/tablet devices that Microsoft and Apple have been building recently with the likes of the Surface Pro 4 and iPad Pro.

Enter the Huawei MateBook, a 12-inch tablet running Windows 10 that can be attached to an accompanying keyboard cover.

Huawei MateBook Review

The increase in quality of Huawei's kit also means it's not a Chinese gadget you can pick up on the cheap. It's a full-scale alternative to the tablets being peddled by Microsoft and Apple.

The price reflects that - it costs £749 for the MateBook tablet. But, you do get the folio keyboard cover bundled in.

However, if you want to optional extras then you're going to have to dig a bit deeper. The Huawei Pen stylus for note-taking and drawing will set you back £50. There's also a dock you can buy that adds extra ports (more on that later) but costs and extra £80.

Even without the extras, Huawei's MateBook is in the same ballpark as the iPad Pro (£679) or the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (£749).

Huawei MateBook Review

Inside the MateBook is an Intel Core M5 processor tasked with running Windows 10 programs on a tablet that measures an incredible 6.9mm thin. Unlike a full laptop or desktop processor the chip doesn't need a fan to keep it cool, which saves space, but it does take a hit when it comes to power output.

As such, Windows 10 on the MateBook is obviously not as silky smooth as it would be on your latest Dell or HP laptop. You can expect a bit of lag if you're quickly navigating through menus or opening programs - something that will likely exacerbate as time passes.

However, Windows 10 comes into its own as an OS on a device like this - it swaps from tablet mode to desktop mode depending on how you're using the MateBook (with keyboard or without) and gives you access to either full productivity programs or simple apps like Netflix.

There's also a nifty fingerprint scanner built into the power switch, which helps save time signing in.

The keyboard cover is, as I said, essential. But unlike Microsoft's kickstand-toting Surface Pro 4, you need to fold the folio cover to prop up the MateBook, which can be problematic. The keyboard attaches via a magnet and syncs automatically with the tablet - it's also very comfortable to type on.

Huawei MateBook Review

For massively complex computing tasks like playing games or building complex programs, this isn't really the machine to go for. But if you want something that can handle basics like word processing, spreadsheets and browsing the web - as well as being a full tablet for watching iPlayer or Netflix, it's great.

However, if you don't go for the aforementioned £80 dock then you'll be at the mercy of the one USB-C drive that Huawei has added.

It's used for charging and connecting to other devices but having just the one is very limiting - it means you're going to do a lot of wireless and cloud-based working.

That being said, it allows the Chinese company to keep the design slim and the MateBook is a really good-looking device. It's created from aluminium and comes in a choice of a few different colours.

Huawei MateBook Review

Charging the MateBook took me only a couple of hours and, once full, I got around five hours constant use out of it.

That included heavy web browsing and working, as well as playing music and videos from YouTube. The keyboard, which doesn't have its own battery, was attached more or less the whole time via Bluetooth and I also whacked the brightness level on the screen right up.

The MateBook won't outlast a MacBook Air when it comes to battery stamina but it will certainly do enough for the majority of casual users.

Huawei MateBook Review

If you're looking for a new devicve to replace an ageing laptop or tablet then there's no doubt a hybrid like the MateBook is a wise choice.

Buy the Huawei MateBook here



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