Now is the time for the next mobile manufacturer to invest in a PC in the form of a Windows tablet. We first saw the Matebook at Mobile World Congress, where it was Huawei’s biggest news. Perhaps it was a slightly odd occasion to present it, and Huawei only launched new mobiles later in the spring. But Huawei has always done things a little in its own way.
As for the Matebook, however, we are struck by how very similar it is to the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro S. Both have an Intel Core m3 processor under the shell, 128 gigabytes ssd, 4 gigabytes of ram memory and a 12-inch qhd screen (that is, 2 560 x 1440 pixels). There is plenty of performance for common everyday tasks such as the web, media playback and office work, and you can also patiently edit photos, for example.
We might have appreciated more RAM in some situations. There is also a more expensive version of the same plate, with a slightly more powerful processor (Core m5 instead of Core m3), 8 gigabytes of RAM and a larger ssd, but for it you have to pay significantly more and for most people, our tested model probably provides the best value for the money.
Stylish and slim
The Huawei Matebook without a keyboard part is very slim and has a simple but elegant design with rounded edges and a back in matte gold shimmering metal. The Huawei Matebook is a few millimeters thicker than the Galaxy Tab Pro S, but at seven millimeters is still excellently thin. Then we ignore the fact that the Samsung tablet has a protruding photo lens at the back – the Matebook has no rear-facing camera, but is more like a normal laptop in that respect, the webcam in the front is what matters. In return, it is also a few millimeters shorter in length and width, and a few grams lighter.
It is a bit uncertain if the keyboard part is included in all configurations of the Matebook, but in the package we are testing you get the case. It has a well-built small backlit keyboard and a small but well-functioning mouse pad. You connect it to the surface contact plate with a magnetic lock, which is smooth and easy to snap into place. To set up the tablet as a small notebook, you fold part of the case into a triangular support. Unfortunately, it’s not the smoothest solution we’ve seen. You cannot angle the screen as needed and it stands relatively wobbly.
High resolution screen
The screen is an ips panel with excellent sharpness and good viewing angles, but not as optimal contrast and color brightness as the Samsung tablet that has an amoled panel. In return, it has a slightly higher brightness, and can actually be used in daylight with a little good will. Here, however, both are a bit behind the best pure tablets.
With almost identical hardware to Samsung’s tablet, it is the battery and the screen that determine the battery life. Here sits a slightly smaller battery (perhaps a contributing factor to the lower weight). In addition, IPS screens usually draw a little more power, which means that the battery life is a little shorter. With moderate use, it lasts for about nine hours. It can be considered acceptable, but we also experience that it loses charge faster at high screen brightness than most tablets and smaller notebooks.
Usb c for everything
Like Samsung’s tablet, the Huawei Matebook only has two connections, one for headphones and a usb type c connector that is both for chargers and external accessories. We get an adapter for a large USB connector. We’re still hesitant about that solution, a Windows computer very often needs at least one usb connector, and if you have the charger in, you don’t have one free. The keyboard dock doesn’t have an extra port either. If you want a more traditional PC solution, Huawei sells a small dock separately for just over a thousand Swedish kroner. Then you get double usb 3 ports, network, hdmi and vga, as well as the possibility to charge the plate while these are plugged in.
On the upper long side of the plate are two small speaker elements that provide a clean but thin stereo sound with good dispersion. It is suitable for voice reproduction, for example during Skype calls, but is otherwise a bit flimsy. Watching Netflix movies doesn’t immediately give you a cinema feel. It’s a bit sad, because Huawei actually has an Android tablet with great sound.
The Huawei Matebook is a great-looking Windows tablet, the sleekest and sleekest to date, and one that’s actually light and comfortable enough to hold as a handheld tablet too. In terms of performance, it is in the same class as many modern ultrabooks, and the battery life is, if not convincing, at least approved. However, we wonder if it’s a bit too much style at the expense of practical handling. A more stable support and more battery wouldn’t have hurt.
Facts Huawei Matebook HZ-W09
Processor: Intel Core m3-6Y30, 0.9 GHz dual core
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515
Memory: 4 GB ddr3
Storage: 128 GB ssd
Screen: 12 inch ips, 2560×1440 pixels (216 ppt)
Camera: 5 megapixel front
Connections: Usb 3.0 type c, 3.5 mm headset, docking for keyboard
Wireless: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (mimo), bluetooth 4.1
Miscellaneous: Fingerprint reader, adapter usb c to usb a, keyboard/carrying case
Accessories: Stylus, docking station
Operating system: Windows 10 Home
Battery life: 3h 30min (high load), 9h 10min (low load)
Size (flat): 27.9 x 19.4 x 0.7 cm
Weight: 640 g.
Award: SEK 10,000
Cinebench 11.6, cpu: 2.02 points
Cinebench 11.6, graphics: 22.38 fps
Disk, reading: 390 MB/s
Disk, search: 0.1 ms
Approved office performance
High resolution monitor
Thin and light
Pure Windows experience
Bookish to set up for desk work
Somewhat questionable battery life
No rear camera