Huawei MateBook E laptop review

Huawei has done it: The Matebook E is essentially an “iPad Pro under Windows”. But this dream is not yet ready to become a reality.

While Apple has always made a lot of noise in the laptop market, it has never been a dominant player. Together with the iPad, he has succeeded in creating a category that he dominates today. Even more since the advent of the iPad Pro, whose performance rivals traditional computers. With the Matebook E, Huawei is relying on its old partner Windows to try to get some shares from the Cupertino company. But everything is not ready yet.

Features of the Huawei Matebook E.

Screen Size 12.6 inches
screen type OLED
Screen definition 2560 x 1600 pixels
refresh rate 60 Hz
Healer Intel Core i5-1130G7 (11th generation)
Graphics Card Intel Iris XE
RAM 16 GB LPDDR4X
storage 512 GB PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD
connectors 1 USB-C Thunderbolt 4, 1 combo socket
Dimensions 30.6 x 21.5 x 14.6 cm
weight 709 grams

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Design and ergonomics: a clear inspiration

Huawei is a manufacturer that has never hidden from where it got its inspiration from: Apple. However, with the Huawei Matebook E, this is not entirely clear. We’re facing a big slab, but it’s still very discreet. Its round frame is its biggest brand, otherwise Huawei Matebook E relies on discretion above all else. However, we highly appreciate its textured back, which provides a reassuring grip and does not catch fingerprints, as we find a photo sensor in the upper left corner. Expect this tablet to stay clean at all times.

Taken 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. Finally, on the left edge we have the lock button which also includes the fingerprint reader. The ergonomics of the product have been well thought out. Finally, on the bottom edge, we have the small magnetic screws that the Huawei Smart Magnetic Keyboard attaches to.

Huawei smart magnetic keyboard

And by connecting the tablet to the latter we find the laptop format. Note, however, that this is only included in the purchase with the i5 configuration we’re testing: if you want a detachable keyboard on the i3 version, you’ll have to buy it separately.

Huawei Matebook E review.

It’s the magnetic smart keyboard that instantly reminds us of the Apple brand. The latter is very rigid, more so than the Surface keyboard, and this is also felt when typing. All switches require quite a bit of force to be activated, which will satisfy anyone who has had a hard hit but will leave somewhat clever fingers on the alert. However, the touchpad is quite spacious, which is tangible for a keyboard of this format.

Its problem is rather to be seen from the side of the ergonomics. In fact, unlike for example the Surface, the keyboard portion is not angled and remains completely flat. During long writing sessions, you get tired more quickly.

Huawei Matebook E review.

Thanks to this smart magnetic keyboard, we can use Huawei Matebook E as a computer. The top of the shell folds over to create its adjustable foot. Huawei has done a good job here: everything remains solid even in atypical configurations. We are somewhat disturbed only by the feeling at the opening: it is not very natural, at first glance, to open this foot from above and fold it back on itself. We get used to it quickly, that presence.

Screen: Gorgeous OLED with perfect calibration

Huawei did not skimp on the screen part. Here we have a large 12.6-inch OLED panel with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels, that is, with a ratio of 16:10. If today it is generally 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 for work as for entertainment. Display Manager allows you to choose between native band, sRGB series, and P3 series. 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 natively. In our tests, the Delta E20 averaged 0.28, which is fine. If the color temperature raised to 7200K is too high, the computer will still be an excellent companion for all digital artists.

Only its maximum brightness, bumped up to 411 cd/m² in our tests, is disappointing. However, Huawei Matebook E has the ability to reach 600 cd / m² in certain lighting conditions or when playing certain video content … but it is impossible to recommend it due to the autonomy of the device.

Software: Huawei Cover Invisible

It is not surprising that Huawei normally uses Windows 11. However, the manufacturer does add some software to its chip that is mostly redundant. There is for example a second panel of notifications dedicated to PC and maintenance, or a shortcut panel that basically does the same thing as the panel already built into the operating system.

Huawei Matebook E review.

Everything is closely related to other Huawei products and services, and will require you to create an account with the manufacturer. To be honest, it’s hard to find any reason to use it as a priority over all that’s already included. At least, the system has almost no pre-installed bloatware than those pushed by Windows 11.

Performance: What It Takes, No More

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

The tablet is clearly very smooth to use. However, its performance doesn’t hold up to the latest ultrabooks and convertibles we’ve seen in 2022. It has to be said that the 12th generation of Intel has made tremendous progress in this area, which the Matebook EL doesn’t take advantage of here. The computer does not lack, far from it, but it will not rejoice its creators with its raw power. From her memory to her raw power, she takes only what it takes.

Huawei Matebook E review.

It’s on heating that we particularly liked the device. Like Microsoft, Huawei makes use of a small gap between the screen and its back to absorb fresh air and expel hot air. In our tests, even on a full voltage test, the temperature of the tablet does not exceed 40 °C and its fans do not make any noise. Moreover, its performance always remains at the same point whether the computer is connected or not. In short, the idea of ​​the manufacturer here is to provide the device with predictable performance from start to finish, which can be respected for a convertible of this type.

Huawei Matebook E review.

As a small final note, know that Intel Iris Xe still allows you to play some small games here and there. You’ll find Rocket League for example a stable 60fps for a few sessions during a pro flight. Don’t expect to turn it into a gaming PC.

Huawei Matebook E review.

As for the rest of the uses, the Matebook E does very well. Its speakers are efficient and provide nice clear sound. The main sensor will make you sound your best in meetings, and the built-in microphones are very good. The rear camera is correct even if it is far from the level of smartphones sold at the same price.

Huawei Matebook E review.

Autonomy: the price to pay

This is the barely acceptable point of the Huawei Matebook E. The tablet is equipped with a 42Wh battery. There has been no miracle in finding a laptop that is thin and lightweight, and it is the autonomy that pays off. In office use, Huawei Matebook E can last up to 6 hours by gritting your teeth slightly and reducing brightness. When playing a repeat YouTube video, the device only lasts 4 hours and 30 minutes.

Huawei Matebook E review.

At least, the Huawei Matebook E uses power delivery and can therefore be easily charged by any USB-C charger. The 65W power supply allows it to get back into shape in about two hours, with a quick charge on the first few percentages that will put you back in battery at 50% in about 40 minutes.

Buy Huawei Matebook E from Amazon

Conclusion

strength point

  • Gorgeous OLED screen
  • discreet design
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Does not heat up and does not make noise

Weak points

  • Really behind the autonomy
  • Just a decent performance

The Huawei Matebook E arrives in a market with huge competition and well-established giants. Unfortunately, he did not manage to live up to the ranks of his rivals who strike from all sides. It’s a good tablet, but it stops here. For productivity, prefer the Surface Pro. For multimedia, an iPad or Galaxy Tab will be cheaper for the same quality. So where would you put the Matebook E, if not in the “Hope” category; We will wait for future generations to fill in the gaps that hold them back.

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