Huawei Matebook E Laptop Review

Huawei has done it: its Matebook E is basically an “iPad Pro under Windows”. But this dream is not yet ready to come true.

Although Apple has always made a lot of noise in the laptop market, it has never been a dominant player. It was with the iPad that he managed to create a category that he dominates today. Even more so since the arrival of the iPad Pro, whose performance competes with conventional computers. With its Matebook E, Huawei reckons its always Windows partner is trying to grab some shares of the Cupertino company. But not everything is ready yet.

Features of Huawei Matebook E

screen size 12.6 inches
Screen type OLED
Screen definition 2560 x 1600 pixels
Update speed 60 Hz
Processor Intel Core i5-1130G7 (11th generation)
Graphics card Intel Iris Xe
ram 16 GB LPDDR4X
Storage 512 GB PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD
stik 1 USB-C Thunderbolt 4, 1 combo connector
Dimensions 30.6 x 21.5 x 14.6 cm
Weight 709 grams

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Design and ergonomics: obvious inspiration

Huawei is a manufacturer that has never really hidden where it got its inspiration from: Apple. With the Huawei Matebook E, however, this is not entirely obvious. We are facing a big tablet, but which is still very sober. Its rounded frame is its biggest trademark, otherwise the Huawei Matebook E relies on discretion above all else. However, we really appreciate its textured back, which provides a reassuring grip and does not capture fingerprints, whereupon we find a photosensor in the upper left corner. This tablet expects to stay clean at all times.

Huawei Matebook E Review

If we take it in landscape format, we find the Thunderbolt 4-compatible USB-C port on the right. At the top, the volume keys are located on the left, so they can be easily reached with the left hand. And finally, we have in the left edge the lock button, which also contains a fingerprint reader. The ergonomics of the product are very well thought out. Finally, we have at the bottom edge the small magnetic pins that the Huawei Smart Magnetic Keyboard is connected to.

Huawei Smart magnetic keyboard

It is by attaching the tablet to the latter that we find the laptop format. Note, however, that this is only included in the purchase with the i5 configuration that we are testing: If you want to have your detachable keyboard on the i3 version, you must purchase it separately.

Huawei Matebook E Review

It’s the Smart Magnetic Keyboard that immediately reminds us of the Apple brand. The latter is very stiff, more like a Surface keyboard, and it is also noticeable when typing. All keys require some force to be activated, which will please anyone with a heavy blow, but will leave nimble fingers a bit cautious. However, the touchpad is very wide, which is remarkable for a keyboard in this format.

Its problem is rather to look at the side of ergonomics. In fact, unlike a Surface for example, the keyboard part is not at an angle and remains completely flat. Over long writing sessions, you feel fatigue faster.

Huawei Matebook E Review

It is also thanks to this Smart Magnetic Keyboard that we can use this Huawei Matebook E as a computer. The upper part of the shell folds around itself to create its adjustable foot. Huawei has done well here: it all stays solid even in atypical configurations. It is only in the sensation at the opening that we are somewhat disturbed: it is not a very natural movement at first sight to open this foot from the top and fold it back on itself. So we quickly get used to it.

Display: sublime OLED with perfect calibration

Huawei has not spared the screen portion. Here we have a large 12.6 inch OLED panel in 2560 x 1600 pixel definition, ie a ratio of 16:10. If today it is widely accepted that the 3: 2 format is preferred by professionals, 16:10 remains a safe bet for a tablet that is as much a companion to work as to entertainment. A screen manager lets you choose between native gamut, sRGB gamut and P3 gamut. You can also enable automatic color adjustment based on ambient light and adjust the color temperature as desired.

Huawei Matebook E Review

The tablet covers 100% of the sRGB space and 99.9% of the DCI-P3 color space. In our test, its average Delta E20 is 0.28, which is just fine. If the color temperature raised to 7200K is a little too high, the computer will still be an excellent companion for all digital artists.

Only its maximum brightness, raised to 411 cd / m² in our test, is a disappointment. That said, the Huawei Matebook E has the capacity to reach 600 cd / m² under certain lighting conditions or when playing back certain video content … but it is impossible to recommend it given the machine’s autonomy.

Software: a discrete Huawei overlay

Not surprisingly, of course, Huawei uses Windows 11. However, the manufacturer adds some software to its sauce, which are mostly duplicates. For example, there is another panel with messages dedicated to the computer and its maintenance, or a shortcut panel that does essentially the same thing as the one already integrated into the operating system.

Huawei Matebook E Review

Everything is closely linked to other Huawei products and services and requires you to create an account with the manufacturer. To be honest, it’s hard to find any reason to use them as a priority over anything already built. At least the system has almost no pre-installed bloatware out of those pushed by Windows 11.

Performance: what it takes, nothing more

The Huawei Matebook E we tested here is the highest available configuration today. It incorporates an 11th generation Intel Core i5-1130G7 with 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 512GB of storage memory in PCIe 3.0.

It is clear that the tablet is very liquid to use. However, its performance does not hold up against the latest ultrabooks and transformables that we have seen in 2022. It must be said that Intel’s 12th generation has made tremendous progress in this area, which Matebook E. L does not enjoy here. computer is not lacking, far from it, but it will not please creative people with its raw power. From its memory to its raw power, it just takes what it takes.

Huawei Matebook E Review

It is on the warm-up that we are particularly impressed with the unit. Like Microsoft, Huawei utilizes a small space between the screen and the back to take in fresh air and expel hot air. In our test, even in full stress test, the tablet never exceeds 40 ° C and its fans never make noise. What’s more, its performance always stays at the same point, whether the computer is connected or not. In short, the manufacturer’s idea here is to provide a machine with predictable performance from start to finish, which can be respected for a convertible unit of this kind.

Huawei Matebook E Review

As a small final note, know that the Intel Iris Xe still allows you to play a few small games here and there. Rocket League for example will find 60 FPS stable for a few sessions during a professional trip. However, do not expect to turn it into a gaming PC.

Huawei Matebook E Review

For the rest of the use, however, the Matebook E performs very well. Its speakers are efficient and provide a pleasant clear sound. The main sensor will make you look your best in meetings, and the built-in microphones are very good. The rear camera is correct, even though it is far from the level of smartphones sold for the same price.

Huawei Matebook E Review

Autonomy: the price to pay

This is the hardly acceptable point with this Huawei Matebook E. The tablet is equipped with a 42Wh battery. There was no miracle in finding such a thin and light laptop, and it’s the autonomy that pays off. In office use, the Huawei Matebook E can last up to 6 hours by clenching its teeth slightly and lowering the brightness. On a looped YouTube video playback, the device lasts only 4 hours and 30 minutes.

Huawei Matebook E Review

The Huawei Matebook E uses at least Power Delivery and can therefore be easily charged by any USB-C charger. The included 65W power supply allows it to regain its shape in about 2 hours, with a fast charge of the first few percent that will get you back to 50% battery in about 40 minutes.

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Conclusion

Strengths

  • Sublime OLED screen
  • Sober design
  • Lightweight and ergonomic
  • Does not heat up, does not make noise

Weak points

  • Autonomy really backwards
  • Only decent performance

Huawei Matebook E comes to a market with great competition and well-established giants. Alas, he fails to rise to the rank of his competitors, who strike from all sides. It’s a good tablet, but it’s stopping here. For productivity, you should prefer a Surface Pro. For multimedia, an iPad or Galaxy Tab will be cheaper for the same quality. So where do you place Matebook E, if not in the “hopeful” category; we will wait for the next generations to fill the gaps that hold it back.

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