The design of this MateBook E is clearly reminiscent of the Huawei MatePad Pro tablet, which simply has the same 12.6-inch screen. On the back, things are a little different because the computer hosts a single image module when the tablet has a dual module.
This allows you to take 13MP photos, while the 8MP unit on the front allows video conferencing with excellent image quality. In difficult lighting conditions, it’s obviously a bit more complicated, but the display is still good, not too noisy, and much better than most PCs we tested. On the other hand, this webcam does not have the infrared module needed for unlocking with Windows Hello.
Unlike the Microsoft Surface, the MateBook E case does not include a stand in the back, which means you have to use the computer in your hands or hold it on the desk as much as possible. If you can buy the computer on your own, it will also be sold in a package with a keyboard/smart magnetic cover (offered during certain promotions). As with the Surface, it’s hard to imagine everyday use without a keyboard with Windows 11, which is ultimately less practical than tablet operating systems that fit perfectly on touchscreens.
The keyboard’s magnetic system is anyway very practical to put a computer on in the blink of an eye; All that remains is to open the holder to set it in place. The fabric-wrapped hinge didn’t present any issues for the duration of the test, but it’s hard to bet on its durability over time. The keys in any case are reactive, but unfortunately not backlit. This is often the case on entry-level detachable keyboards. As for the touchpad, it does what it’s supposed to, but it’s not great.
The new Huawei M-Pencil stylus is also bundled with the keyboard. With a good number of pressure points and low latency, it offers a very smooth experience in use. It recharges wirelessly by simply placing it on the top edge of the PC – two spare tips provided.
Connection question, it will be necessary to put up with a minimum. With a mini-jack and a single USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port (DisplayPort compatible), Huawei has been satisfied with tablet habits, which clearly limit the uses. So you will have to choose between recharging your computer or connecting a peripheral (or hub) to it. Too bad … On the edges we will find the two volume buttons and an on / off button which is distinguished by the presence of a fingerprint reader.
Another difference compared to the MatePad Pro design, the MateBook E is cooled by active ventilation and airflow flows through the vents on the top edge of the computer. Heating is still held up too: we noticed a point at 38.6 °C on the screen in full heavy processing (with coverage). Noise from the cooling system is quite acceptable. Silent in office automation, however, it goes up to 34.7 dB under CineBench, for example.
Huawei does display a good PC repairability rating on its site, but it would be very difficult to open it yourself to change a part of it. If a problem occurs, it is better to go to the after-sales service of the brand.
Our test model was equipped with an Intel Core i5-1130G7 processor, a microprocessor with four interlocked cores clocked at 1.1 GHz. It is accompanied by 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB SSD, which is very noticeable, and some mobile devices are satisfied with much less storage space. With a thermocouple (TDP) of barely 9 watts, which can go up to 15 watts, or even 30 watts in short processing times, it can nevertheless perform miracles.
The MateBook E performed better than the Surface Go 3, but not as much as the Core i7-equipped Surface 8 Pro. It evolves away from “classic” laptops like Asus’ Zenbook 14 Oled or Huawei’s MateBook 16. If these offerings seem disappointing, we must not forget that this type of PC/tablet is not meant to perform heavy tasks. Thus, the office is quite resilient and we have not noticed any slowdown in this context.
The SSD hit 3.4 GB/s for sequential read and 2.1 GB/s for writing in our test. A satisfactory result, but far from the best M.2.
The 12.6-inch OLED display (2560 x 1600 pixels) of the MateBook E is almost perfect. Note that to take advantage of accurate colorimetry, you must first activate the screen manager’s sRGB mode, which is very difficult to find if you don’t know where to look (it doesn’t appear in Huawei manager or in installed apps).
We observed a delta E 1.6 and an average color temperature of 6550 K, very close to the video standard (6500 K). Oled technology provides infinite panel contrast and near-zero stability. The screen occupancy rate of 87% is also excellent for tablets.
Unfortunately – the touch screen requires – the reflection is very high (48.5%) which misses the five-star step on the screen. Itou, the maximum brightness of 411 cd / m² will not compensate in direct sunlight. However, Huawei announced a brightness of 600 cd / m², but by looking carefully at the annotations at the bottom of the page, it is already set to 400 cd / m² with the ability to go up to 600 cd / m² automatically if strong light occurs. Problem: You can’t do it manually, which seems rather silly, so check the brand data.
With a measure of 709g and dimensions of 18.5 x 28.6cm for the thinnest 8mm, the PC is transported without problems. The keyboard adds 436 grams to the whole, which remains lighter than many computers, while the charger’s mass is very compact with 200 grams.
With its 42W battery coupled with this definition and Intel Core i5 processor, the MateBook E can’t go far in terms of autonomy. Went out after 6 hours and 13 minutes of video playback under Netflix using Chrome browser, brightness set to 200 cd/m² and Bluetooth disabled. It’s on the level of the Surface Go 3, for example, but far below the grade that traditional PCs offer. Unfortunate for a nomadic product, even if a featherweight can be claimed while the fast shipping makes up for a bit.
The versatility of a computer/tablet hybrid format.
The Oled display is almost perfect.
Speakers that sound good.
Slab is subject to reflections.
Very low connection.
Very difficult to disassemble.
How does grading work?
The MateBook E is very interesting for anyone who needs to work under Windows and travel regularly with a light PC. Its 12.6-inch Oled screen is virtually flawless and is ideal for multimedia use, even if it’s prone to reflections. PC performance certainly doesn’t fly high, but it’s still pretty much enough for office automation. The computer offers good value for money if the performance front is not in your eyes.
- My voice
- Mobility / Autonomy