Not Quite A Surface Pro Rival


Not too way back, Microsoft had no actual festival when it got here to Windows 2-in-1s. I’m speaking tablets with removable keyboards right here, the place there have been few credible possible choices to the Surface Pro for years.

When the inexpensive Surface Go introduced in 2018, few will have predicted how the shape issue used to be about to take off. Just 4 years later, the likes of Dell, Asus and Lenovo all now make compelling Windows 2-in-1s price bearing in mind.

But it’s every other corporation that’s the focal point of this evaluation, Huawei. The MateBook E is a phenomenal choice on paper, particularly with the tablet and keyboard quilt to be had for lower than maximum opponents. But can it ship a compelling enjoy at this extra reasonably priced worth level? Here’s my complete evaluation.

Design & Build

  • Premium feel and appear
  • Excellent cameras
  • Poor fingerprint sensor, just one port

Excellent {hardware} has lengthy been one in all Huawei’s key strengths, and that’s the reason no other right here. The MateBook E straight away seems and seems like a top class machine, regardless of being rather reasonably priced.

The company has have shyed away from the temptation of an all-glass design, choosing an aluminium end at the rear. It’s best to be had in a single color, Nebula Grey, however the textured end provides a number of additional grip. When the usage of the MateBook E as a standard tablet, I had no factor going case-free. However, it’s extra of a fingerprint magnet than you could be expecting.

The tablet itself weighs 709g, making it heavier than the 12.9in iPad Pro however lighter than the Surface Pro 8. I discovered it relaxed to carry for a couple of mins, however longer classes did require propping it up someplace.

Huawei has saved issues easy at the again of the MateBook E. Aside from the corporate’s brand and a detachable sticky label, the one different characteristic of observe is a small digicam module. Here, you’ll discover a 13Mp rear digicam and separate flash.

Huawei MateBook E review

While I don’t suggest taking quite a lot of pictures with any tablet, stills from the MateBook E had been a pleasing wonder. Many of the pictures I took introduced a tight point of element and colourful colors, although they gained’t rival maximum smartphones. Exposure is its primary weak point, nevertheless it will have to be tremendous for circle of relatives pictures and doubtlessly social media.

Perhaps extra vital are the options constructed into the digicam app, which come with devoted modes for scanning barcodes, paperwork and whiteboards. In those situations, the MateBook E’s rear digicam turns into an impressive instrument.

The digicam module protrudes quite from the again of the tablet, nevertheless it stays secure when used flat on a desk. I do want there used to be a integrated stand at the tablet itself regardless that, as is the case at the Surface Pro 8 and such a lot of opponents.

Flipping the MateBook E over unearths a big 12.6in show, with slender bezels giving it an excellent 90% screen-to-body ratio. The bezels have the similar thickness all over the machine, giving it a phenomenal symmetry. Given you wish to have someplace to carry a tablet, there’s no explanation why for Huawei to cause them to any smaller.

Huawei MateBook E review

It undoubtedly shouldn’t compromise the superb 8Mp front-facing digicam, which delivers a degree of element maximum laptops can’t compete with. Combined with 4 integrated mics, the video calling enjoy is very good, and a key explanation why you could wish to purchase the MateBook E.

However, there isn’t a separate infrared sensor, that means no Windows Hello face unencumber. Instead, you’ll be depending at the fingerprint sensor integrated to the ability button, which I discovered to be very hit-and-miss.

It’s positioned excessive at the left facet of the MateBook E when utilized in panorama mode, which is arguably probably the most herbal place however nonetheless feels awkward. It made maximum sense to make use of my left index finger, even if not anything felt relaxed in portrait mode.

Huawei MateBook E review

Despite putting in place my fingerprint on a few events, I nonetheless couldn’t get the machine to unencumber greater than round part the time. Unfortunately, this intended coming into a pin way more regularly than I’d have sought after. The iPad Air is proof that this can also be a lot more dependable.

Being constructed into the ability button additionally led to problems, particularly because the MateBook E gained’t unencumber with the display screen grew to become off. I needed to firmly press the button for or 5 instances to get it to wake, that means attending to the desktop steadily took 20 seconds.

It’s an actual disgrace as a result of there’s so much to love concerning the MateBook E design. That features a 3.5mm headphone jack, whilst robust magnets permit for simple docking into the keyboard and garage/charging for the M Pencil stylus.

Huawei MateBook E review

However, you’re restricted to a unmarried USB-C port, which you’ll use for charging or information switch. If Huawei truly does need this to be a computer alternative, extra ports are important. An building up to the 215mm thickness might be a profitable trade-off for most of the people.

Accessories

  • Impressive keyboard quilt incorporated in the associated fee
  • Includes integrated stand, however does not really feel in particular sturdy
  • Excellent stylus enjoy, together with magnetic charging

The MateBook E plays properly as a standalone tablet, nevertheless it’s the equipment that flip it into a real productiveness machine. Fortunately, probably the most the most important of those, the keyboard, is bundled with the machine not like the Surface Pro.

Specifically, it’s Huawei’s Smart Magnetic Keyboard, which delivers 3 advantages in a single: a bodily keyboard & trackpad, integrated stand and all-around coverage. Connecting to the MateBook E couldn’t be more effective, simply connect by means of the robust magnets and it’s able to move.

Huawei MateBook E review

The quilt has a equivalent design to Apple’s vintage Smart Cover, the place you bend the fabric into your preferred place. It feels powerful and gives quite a lot of viewing angles, however I’ve doubts about its long-term sturdiness.

However, we will have to needless to say that is necessarily a unfastened accent, and the full-size keyboard greater than makes up for it. The typing enjoy is simply as excellent as you’ll in finding at the Surface Pro Type Covers, providing satisfyingly clicky keys with a tight quantity of trip. The best characteristic lacking this is backlit keys, one thing you’ll in finding at the Pro 8.

Huawei MateBook E review

Huawei has additionally added fast get right of entry to to a couple key options by means of the serve as keys. Alongside the common brightness and quantity controls, you’ll additionally in finding one-click get right of entry to to a Wi-Fi toggle, voice typing, exterior show settings, Huawei’s PC Manager app and locking the machine. Unfortunately, those can’t be customised on your liking.

Below the keyboard, you’ll discover a broad trackpad, however the enjoy feels cramped in comparison to a complete computer model. As such, I’d suggest connecting a Bluetooth mouse for anything else greater than fundamental use.

Nonetheless, the Smart Magnetic Keyboard stays rather mild, including best 440g directly to the entire weight. At 1.15kg, the entire bundle continues to be lighter than maximum laptops.

One accent you’ll want to purchase one at a time is the M-Pencil. Now in its 2nd era, the stylus is designed to paintings seamlessly with the MateBook E and lots of different Huawei touchscreens. It attaches to the end of the machine the usage of robust magnets, the place it’ll routinely pairs and fees unexpectedly.

Huawei MateBook E review

Huawei says a complete fee will final 10 hours. I saved the M-Pencil charging all over trying out bearing in mind how simple it’s, so can’t test that declare, however battery existence shouldn’t be a topic.

The stylus itself helps 4096 ranges of power sensitivity, along a latency of simply 2ms – very similar to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. It does a very good task simulating the enjoy of pen on paper, and not using a noticeable prolong.

I discovered it relaxing to make use of developing handwritten notes, however virtual artists may also admire its versatility. Given the huge show and slender bezels, you’ll be satisfied to listen to the MateBook E has excellent palm rejection.

Screen & Speakers

  • Excellent 12.6in OLED show
  • Still best 60Hz refresh charge
  • Solid quad audio system

The MateBook E boasts a 12.6in, 2560×1600 show. That makes it quite smaller than each the 12.9in iPad Pro and Surface Pro 8 (13in), however neither of the ones units have an OLED display screen. Surprisingly, that makes it the primary Huawei pc to make use of OLED, however you wouldn’t comprehend it.

Huawei MateBook E review

Colours are wealthy and colourful, whilst the default wallpaper is helping exhibit its deep blacks. The benchmarks again this up because the show lined 96% of the Adobe RGB color gamut in trying out with a Spyder X, in addition to 100% sRGB and DCI-P3. There’s no doubting it’s a very good display screen.

The best actual drawback of the MateBook E show is its refresh charge. You’re restricted to simply 60Hz, with many opponents providing 90- or 120Hz. That way it’s additionally no longer adaptive, so can’t drop right down to lengthen battery existence.

Audio is every other power of the MateBook E, with quad stereo audio system generating wealthy sound from all 4 corners of the machine. It’s in particular well-suited to vocals, handing over transparent, crisp audio that you’ll’t lend a hand however be inspired through.

Music is extra of a combined bag, with acoustic songs sounding superb however pop and dance tracks missing bass. It too can sound muddy and lose element at excessive volumes.

However, for normal on a regular basis use, the audio enjoy at the MateBook E gives the whole thing most of the people are in search of.

Specs & Performance

  • Only two configurations to be had in the United Kingdom
  • Top-spec type delivers spectacular efficiency
  • SSD garage helps microSD growth

The MateBook E’s mid-range beginning worth mask the truth it’s the usage of an Intel Core i3-1110G4 processor. Most other folks will want extra energy than that, so I’d suggest stepping as much as the Core i5-1130G7 chip if you’ll.

The type I examined combines it with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, however the 8/128GB configuration could also be enough for some other folks, particularly with microSD card growth.

Even if you must pay considerably extra for it, efficiency all through my time with the top-spec MateBook E used to be superb. It treated duties akin to internet surfing, phrase processing and multitasking comfortably, whilst even some fundamental modifying isn’t out of the query.

It undoubtedly can’t substitute a high-end productiveness device, whilst I wouldn’t suggest it the Iris Xe built-in graphics for anything else greater than mild gaming. But that’s no longer what the MateBook E is designed for. Having this sort of efficiency inside the sort of skinny and light-weight machine stays very spectacular.

The loss of a excessive refresh charge way the person enjoy isn’t as easy and slick as every other tablets, however I didn’t in finding myself lacking it an excessive amount of.

However, the benchmarks do not essentially replicate this forged efficiency.

Software & Apps

  • Windows 11 Home pre-installed
  • Several Huawei-specific equipment and contours

Out of the field, the MateBook E runs Windows 11 Home. That way you don’t have to move during the trouble of upgrading from Windows 10, which will take some time. The person enjoy right here is way the similar as some other Windows 11 touchscreen, with Huawei’s affect restricted to a handful of apps and equipment.

Chief amongst them is a company-specific Control Panel, entire with options to lend a hand the MateBook E paintings seamlessly with different Huawei units. This contains sharing information, connecting to exterior presentations and checking phone notifications.

Via the upgraded ‘Super Device’ capability, you’ll additionally use the MateBook E and M-Pencil to remotely enter on a MateView observe. In the long run, Huawei promotes multi-device collaboration so that you might be able to pair it with, as an example, a MateBook X Pro (2022) in addition to different units concurrently.

Huawei MateBook E review

These are all helpful options, nevertheless it stays simple to make use of Windows 11 with out ever being uncovered to them. Microsoft’s OS now not has a devoted tablet mode, so it nonetheless seems like contact enter is secondary to cursor-based interplay. But fresh updates recommend it’s a concern for Microsoft, so Windows 11 may make much more sense on tablets quickly.

With fashionable internals, the MateBook E is prone to obtain instrument updates all over Windows 11’s lifespan. If it follows Windows 10’s lead with a decade of give a boost to, new variations would possibly proceed to reach till 2031.

Battery Life & Charging

  • 42Wh battery
  • Underwhelming battery existence
  • Decent 65W charging by means of USB-C

As quickly as I noticed the battery capability of the MateBook E, I used to be excited about how lengthy it might final. A 42Wh mobile is undoubtedly at the small length.

Unfortunately, battery existence does turn into the principle weak point of the machine. Even with brightness set to a rather dim 120 nits, it didn’t ruin the six-hour mark in our standard video loop check – I recorded 5 hours 56 mins. While battery saver mode used to be grew to become off right here, you’ll nonetheless fight to make it via a complete operating day.

The precise battery existence you get is dependent upon numerous components, nevertheless it used to be an underwhelming enjoy. Standby time is deficient, too.

Fortunately, issues are nowhere close to as dangerous when it comes to charging speeds. From utterly empty, the 65W adapter within the field reached 19% in quarter-hour and 33% inside part an hour, which is not dangerous.

Price

The MateBook E is considerably inexpensive than maximum opponents, however provided that you go for the most cost effective configuration. combines pairs an Intel Core i3 processor with 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD for £599.99, however most of the people will need one thing extra robust.

Your best choice in the United Kingdom is a Core i5, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD at £999.99. That’s the similar because the entry-level Surface Pro 8, however the important thing distinction this is the Smart Magnetic Keyboard, which is incorporated in the associated fee. It’s a large benefit, particularly if you issue within the additional RAM and garage on be offering.

However, the machine is lately out of inventory at the Huawei web site, and there’s no phrase on a US release. But assuming it turns into to be had once more quickly, it’s an actual contender for our 2-in-1 and tablet charts.

Verdict

The MateBook E is an exhilarating choice to extra established 2-in-1s, with a shocking OLED show and sensible keyboard quilt incorporated in the associated fee. Both carry out properly in numerous situations, regardless of some occasional quirks and frustrations.

Performance is forged, no less than from the Core i5 type I examined. Alongside an excellent keyboard, there’s additionally complete compatibility with an overly succesful stylus and an excellent video calling enjoy.

But battery existence is a large unhappiness right here, with MateBook E constantly suffering to make it via a complete operating day. Decent charging speeds lend a hand melt the blow, nevertheless it way you’ll by no means wish to be a long way from an influence supply.

That’s an actual disgrace, because the machine ticks such a lot of containers for potential patrons. Hopefully, Huawei can iron out the handful of shortcomings within the next-gen MateBook E, because it has a large number of doable.

Specs

Huawei MateBook E (2022): Specs

  • 12.5in 2560×1600 OLED show, 60Hz
  • Intel Core i3-1110G4/i5-1130G7/i7-1160G7 processor
  • Intel UHD/Iris Xe built-in graphics
  • 8/16GB RAM
  • 128/256/512GB SSD
  • Windows 11 Home
  • 13Mp rear digicam
  • 8Mp front-facing digicam
  • Quad audio system
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • 42Wh battery
  • 65w charging
  • 709g (tablet best)



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