Wednesday 3 April 2019 7:08 pm

MateBook 13 review: An great value ultrabook that rivals Apple’s MacBook Air


I'm a City A.M. writer covering gadgets, games, film, food and art reviews. You know, all the fun stuff. Drop me an email at steve.hogarty@cityam.com

I'm a City A.M. writer covering gadgets, games, film, food and art reviews. You know, all the fun stuff. Drop me an email at steve.hogarty@cityam.com

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Last year’s Huawei Matebook X Pro marked the Chinese firm’s hard-won graduation from “oh, they do laptops too?” to producing a best-in-class device that comfortably squares up to Apple’s MacBook Pro in performance, build quality and minimalist design aesthetic, while roundly beating it on price. If you wanted your Windows 10 cornflakes served in a Macbook Pro bowl, this was the do-everything laptop you stumped for.

Huawei’s latest laptop, the Matebook 13 isn’t the successor to the Pro but does improve on what came before, with a slightly more compact form factor that consciously mimics the Macbook Air in a few regards and deviates nicely in others.

The cheapest, entry-level configuration comes in at £899 with an Intel i5 processor and 256GB of storage, while the faster model at £1,099 is powered by the beefier i7 chip, and a more capacious 512GB drive.

Those are specs that would set you back a couple of hundred pounds more if you bought the equivalent hardware from the Dell XPS 13 range. Apple’s cheapest Macbook Air meanwhile, with its modest Intel i5 processor and 128GB of SSD storage, starts at £1,199. Huawei is aggressivly undercutting its nearest rivals, but you’d struggle to see where it’s compromised on quality.

Both versions of the Matebook 13 have the same baker’s dozen-sized touchscreen that gives the laptop its name. It looks superb, a 2560×1440 resolution giving the display a crisp 220 pixels per inch. Remarkably the screen can detect up to 10 fingers at once, just in case you ever need to paw at a particularly invigorating Excel spreadsheet with both hands.

The slimline, 14.9mm full metal chassis is lightweight at 1.3kg, but feels robust, like it would leave a dent on a hardwood floor. And improved over the Matebook X Pro is the placement of the webcam – no longer hidden under a pop-up key, where it would point straight up your nose, it’s now on top of the bezel where it belongs. Other hardware features are to be expected. The keyboard travel is enough to remain comfortable over long writing sessions. The fans don’t run above a whisper. And a fingerprint scanner built into the power button offers a speedy and secure way to log in.

The Matebook 13 is an outstanding laptop at an incredibly cheap price, and cements Huawei’s new place at the top of the class.

 

£899, huawei.com

Specifications

DISPLAY

Size: 13 inches
Type: IPS, touchpanel (Support bu some SKU only)
Wright-W19A / Wright-W19B / Wright-W19D / Wright-W19E / Wright-W29A / Wright-W29C / Wright-W29E donot support Touch Panel
Wright-W19C / Wright-W29B / Wright-W29I Support Touch Panel
Resolution: 2160 x 1440, 200 PPI
Viewing Angle: 178 degrees
Colour: 70.8% (NTSC) / 100% (sRGB)
Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
Maximum Brightness: 300 nits (Typ), 240 nits (Min)
Aspect Ratio: 3:2


PROCESSOR

WRT-W19: 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-8265U processor: Baseband: 1.6 GHz; Single core: 3.9 GHz; Dual core: 3.9 GHz; Quad core: 3.7 GHz
WRT-W29: 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8565U processor: Baseband: 1.8 GHz; Single core: 4.6 GHz; Dual core: 4.5 GHz; Quad core: 4.1 GHz
*The number of CPU cores is the maximum value listed in the description. The number of CPU cores for this model is four.
GPU: Wright-W19A: Intel® UHD Graphics 620
Wright-W19B: NVIDIA® GeForce MX150
Wright-W19C: Intel® UHD Graphics 620
Wright-W19D: Intel® UHD Graphics 620
Wright-W19E: NVIDIA® GeForce MX150
Wright-W29A: NVIDIA® GeForce MX150
Wright-W29B: NVIDIA GeForce MX150
Wright-W29C: Intel® UHD Graphics 620
Wright-W29E: NVIDIA® GeForce MX150
Wright-W29I: Intel® UHD Graphics 620

MEMORY

LPDDR3 2133 MHz
RAM:Wright-W19A / Wright-W19B / Wright-W19C /
Wright-W19D / Wright-W19E / Wright-W29A / Wright-W29B / Wright-W29C / Wright-W29E / Wright-W29I: 8 GB

*Due to limitations in CPU processing power, and memory used by the operating system and pre-installed applications, the actual space available to users will be less than the nominal memory capacity. Actual memory space will change along with application updates, user operations, and other related factors.

SSD

Hard Drive Capacity: Wright-W19A: 256 GB SSD
Wright-W19B: 256 GB SSD
Wright-W19C: 256 GB SSD
Wright-W19D: 512 GB SSD
Wright-W19E: 512 GB SSD
Wright-W29A: 256 GB SSD
Wright-W29B: 512 GB SSD
Wright-W29C: 512 GB SSD
Wright-W29E: 512 GB SSD
Wright-W29I: 512 GB SSD
Hard Drive Type / Port Type:
HDD: NA
SSD: PCI-e X4 lane

SENSORS

Gravity Sensor: Supported
Hall Sensor: Supported

CAMERA

Camera: 1 MP front camera
Video Recording / Video Chat: Supported
Camera Indicator: Supported

NAVIGATION/WIRELESS

Built-in Bluetooth: Supported
Bluetooth Standard: Bluetooth 5.0, compatible with Bluetooth 4.1、Bluetooth 3.0 and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Bluetooth Protocol: GATT,A2DP 1.2,AVRCP 1.3,DUN 1.1,DI 1.3,HCRP 1.0, HID 1.1,HOGP 1.0,OPP 1.1,PANU 1.0,SPP 1.2
Wi-Fi: Support
Wi-Fi Standard: IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Wi-Fi Frequency: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
Antenna: 2 x 2 MIMO
Wi-Fi Encryption Mode: WPA / WPA2 / WEP

PORTS

Port: Two-in-one power button and touch fingerprint sensor
Charging Port: Left USB-C port
Data Port: USB-C X 2 (the left port supporting data transfer and charging, the right port supporting data transfer and DisplayPort)
Audio Port: 3.5 mm headset and microphone 2-in-1 jack x 1, support both OMTP and CTIA

BATTERY

Battery Material: Lithium polymer
Battery Capacity: 41.8 Wh (3670 mAh@11.4 V)
Charging Time: It takes 15 minutes to charge the battery level, can normal use 2.5 hours.
*Test requirements: Use standard or optional charger. The device is being charged and is shutdown.
Video Playback Time: Approx. 10 h
*Test requirements: Play a video with the resolution of 1080p under a 50% brightness. The playback time varies by different configurations.
Indicators:Charging indicator (white)
Power indicator (white)

*Typical value. Actual capacity may vary slightly.
This capacity is the nominal battery capacity. The actual battery capacity for each individual product may be slightly above or below the nominal battery capacity.

GRAPHICS CARD

Graphics Card Type: Wright-W19A / Wright-W19C / Wright-W19D / Wright-W29C / Wright-W29I: Supports the integrated graphics card Intel® UHD Graphics 620.
Wright-W19B / Wright-W19E / Wright-W29A / Wright-W29B / Wright-W29E: Supports dual-graphics card; automatic switchover between the integrated graphics card Intel® UHD Graphics 620 and discrete graphics card NVIDIA GeForce MX150 based on the load.
Maximum output resolution of external monitor: 4096 x 2304
Graphics Memory: 2 GB
Graphics Memory Type: GDDR5

AUDIO

Speaker: Speaker x 2
Sound Effects: DOLBY ATMOS® . Not support audio mixing feature.
Built-in Microphone: Microphone x 2

INPUT DEVICE

Keyboard: Backlit keyboard, Chiclet keyboard, Full-size keyboard
Material: plastic
Touchpad: Yes

TEMPERATURE

Charging Temperature: 0 °C to 40 °C (32 °F to 104 °F)
Operating Temperature: 0 °C to 35 °C (32 °F to 95 °F)
Storage Temperature: –10 °C to +45 °C (14 °F to 113 °F)
Operating Humidity: 5% to 95%, Non-condensing

SOFTWARE

Web Browser: Microsoft Edge browser
Input Method: MSIME
Featured Apps: HUAWEI MateBook Manager and factory reset
Third-party Apps: Supports installation and uninstallation of third-party apps. Third-party apps subject to regional customisation.

UPDATE

Local Update: Using USB flash disk
Online Update: Supports updating drivers using HUAWEI MateBook Manager

IN THE BOX

Charger: Name: HUAWEI MateBook charger 65 W
Input: 110 V – 220 V AC, 50 / 60 Hz
Output: 5 V / 2 A, 9 V / 2 A,12 V / 2 A, 15 V / 3 A, 20 V / 3.25 A,
Conversion Cable: Yes (Only support by some SKU)
Docking Station: Yes (Only support by some SKU)

OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES

Charger: Name: HUAWEI MateBook charger 65 W
Input: 110 V – 220 V AC, 50 / 60 Hz
Output: 5 V / 2 A, 9 V / 2 A, 12 V / 2 A, 15 V / 3 A, 20 V / 3.25 A,
Bluetooth Mouse: Name: Huawei Bluetooth mouse
Size: 107.6 mm x 60.9 mm x 29.4 mm
Weight: approx. 58 g mouse and 32 g battery
Colour: Grey
Feature: supports Track-On-Glass (TOG)
Conversion Cable: Name: Huawei USB 3.0 A/M to RJ45 conversion cable
Port: USB-A for connection to HUAWEI MateBook and RJ45
Docking Station: Name: Huawei MateDock 2
Port: USB-C X 1, USB-A 3.0 X 1, VGA X 1, HDMI X1
Backpack: Name: Huawei backpack
Size: 290 mm x 105 mm x 435 mm, 15.6 inches
Weight: 765 g
Colour: Grey
Laptop Sleeve: Size: 340 mm x 238 mm, 14 inches
Weight: 325 g
Colour: Grey

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