Huawei had a big event at MWC 2022 in Barcelona, where we saw multiple devices introduced. One of them was the Huawei Matebook E – an all-new 2-in-1 laptop with Windows 11. The company wants to prove itself as a premium brand with its own rich ecosystem, and that’s the next type of device it has added to it.
The tablet comes with a snap-on keyboard, and there is support for Huawei M Pencil, all of which we got for review.
The Huawei Matebook E has a 12.6” OLED panel with a 16:10 ratio and a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. The screen-to-body ratio is 90% with tiny bezels, which is not ideal when the tablet is held in hand. It is also cumbersome due to the CPU and GPU and cooling – the weight of 710 grams quickly makes holding the device in one hand hard.
We appreciate the 400 nits brightness (600 nits peak) and the lively colors on the panel itself, and the fact that it looks lovely from every angle. It is also factory calibrated to a dE
The screen might be 10-point touch, but the OS isn’t perfectly adapted for touching so only certain parts work well in tablet mode. There is also a slight lag between the M Pencil input and the reaction of screen, which limits its usability in some apps.
In reality, Huawei never claims this is a graphics designer tablet – this is a device for the work-from-home type of situation, where you might need to sketch up something quickly, like a mark up presentation or an image.
Let’s talk about performance. Huawei launched the Matebook E with 11th gen Intel chipsets – that’s right, the one before the current genration. When asked about this Huwei revealed the company wanted to launch the device immediately on the market and going with the 12th gen Intel would delay it by several months. Perhaps we’ll see a refreshed model down the line if the Matebook E gains enough traction.
Our unit is with an Intel Core i5-1130G7 processor. The CPU has four cores and eight threads with a max frequency of 4.00 GHz, but when not stressed they run at 1.8 GHz. It is a tad less impressive than the Core i7 variant, with Geekbench 5 yielding 1,113 results for a single core and 1,868 for multiple cores.
The performance is uninspiring, and a game such as Civilization V is struggling to run at settings that aren’t Low. There is active cooling, with the vents being on the top side. Still throttling will occur rather quickly if you stress the Matebook E.
We also ran Cinebench R23, which yielded solid single-core, but somewhat poor multi-core results.
Huawei offers the Matebook E with two RAM options – 8GB and 16GB, both times of the LPDDR4x type. SSD storage comes in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. Our 512GB version had impressive sequential read speed of 3500 MB/s and 2300 MB/s write speeds.
The random read speeds were also very solid, while random write could be better, but won’t cause issues for the intended use.
The 42Wh battery charges over PC and you get a 65W charger in the retail box.
Charging from 0 to 100% takes 1.5 hours. Depleting the battery by streaming Netflix took us very respectable 8 hours.
In other test cases, the Huawei Matebook E gave us 2 hours of performance to the max, and about four hours of video watching and light browsing, sketching presentations and preparing notes.
The Matebook E is really lacking when it comes to I/O. There’s a single USB-C is on the right side, while the 3.5mm combo audio jack is on the left and that’s that.
On the upside four speakers are sitting on the sides in a 2×2 formation. There is one 8MP selfie camera for video calls and a 13MP shooter on the back. The latter can’t be used when the magnetic cover is attached, though, unless you bend the top part.
The cover lets you adjust from 110 to 160-degree angle and snaps easily with the magnets on the bottom. The accessory itself weighs 440 grams.
The Huawei Matebook E comes with three magnets on the top for the M Pencil. Once the stylus is connected, the user interface will notify if the pencil is facing the right way so that it can charge wirelessly.
Double tap on the side can take a screenshot or wake the voice assistant, or do whatever Windows Ink is set up to do with a double click. Huawei does provide a transparent tip and a rubbery one for different feel.
The Huawei Matebook E starts from €649, but that’s for the Intel i3 variant with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. Going for the top 16/512GB version will also get you the magnetic keyboard and the M Pencil in the package. It will also push the price to €1,199 for the Core i5 version and €1,399 for the i7 one.
Obviously at those prices it’s certainly not the best performing laptop around by a long distance, so if sheer processing power is what you are after you might as well keep looking.
However, the hybrid device provides unrivaled flexibility for those only looking to do light office work, social media browsing and video watching. The OLED screen and properly light weight body are very hard to find at those prices if you need a device that runs Windows. The excellent build quality doesn’t hurt either.