MWC 2016: Huawei MateBook hands-on

In a move that is bound to make the 2-in-1 tablet/laptop/desktop space more interesting and fun, Huawei showed off their hybrid device at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona recently.

A very stylish device available with a host of accessories that's bound to get more than a look-in from business users, the MateBook is available with a range of internal memory options with reflective pricing to suit, not just business users but also students.

But here is what sets it apart from the ones available right now, the MateBook runs Windows 10. And we all know that when it comes to productivity apps, Windows as an operating system still rules the roost.

We had a play with the tablet at its launch, if you are short of time, just watch our hands-on video of it, but if you prefer a longer read, here goes...

 

Huawei MateBook: Look and feel

Fantastically slim with a unibody metal design, the tablet  screams Huawei. The Chinese manufacturer perfected the art of creating premium devices when they put their stamp on the Google Nexus 6P and then further sealed it with the Huawei Mate S and the Mate 8.

With an impossible 6.9mm thickness, it is the type of device that you will be quite happy to be seen with, whether it is in the board room or at a meeting. The screen is 12-inches with a 2160x1440 resolution and the display is an IPS TFT LCD one. When I looked at some pre-loaded videos on it, the colour reproduction and white balance seemed at par with what you would expect from an expensive hybrid tablet.

I was also pleased to see that despite the size it didnt pack much heft, weighing in at just 640grams.

You can further tell that the tablet has been built for landscape use because the volume toggle sits at the side with the fingerprint sensor nestled between the buttons.

Huawei MateBook: Processor and software

The MateBook packs Intel's latest generation 6th Generation Intel® Core™ m-series processor to handle the most rigorous business demands so depending how much you shell out for yours, the chip can vary from an m3 in the 128GB version to the top-of-the-line m7 one on the 512GB tablet. 

Windows 10 on-board, either Home or Pro is just the ticket that will make this tablet one of the most interesting ones out there and the RAM comes in two flavours: 4GB and 8GB. One of the best features is that Huawei have not messed about when it came to internal storage on the tablet and their basic model comes with 128GB onboard. Even though there is no expandable slot on the tablet itself, there is however, a curious little adapter which connects to the USB c-type charger on the tablet and allows the user to connect HDMI, projector, several USBs to the tablet. 

The tablet ships with a leather-effect keyboard with chiclet style keys which makes an easy job of working on the go, especially because the viewing angle on the tablet when used together with the cover is a lot better than the one we experienced on the iPad Pro.

Huawei MateBook: Pricing and availability

6th Core™ m3

4 GB

128 GB

€799

6th Core™ m3

4 GB

256 GB

€949

6th Core™ m5    

8 GB

256 GB

€1,149

6th Core™ m5

8 GB

512 GB

€1,349

6th Core™ m7

8 GB

256 GB

€1,599

6th Core™ m7    

8 GB

512 GB

€1,799

Huawei MateBook: Early verdict

Although eye-wateringly expensive, especially the 512GB internal memory totting version, the MateBook is a beautifully designed alternative to the Apple iPad Pro with its limited memory options and no expandable storage solutions and Microsoft's Surface Pro. 

The MateBook has an upper hand in the exercise because the addition of fantastic productivity suite courtesy of Windows 10. Continuum on-board means this is a serious contender to be the tablet of choice for business users. With the OS of choice for them at work, in a body that Huawei are known for and a fantastic battery life, Huawei have created a product that could finally tip the scales in their favour.

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