Just announced, the Huawei MateBook E is the follow-on model to the original Huawei MateBook which we reviewed last year. The new model features a more powerful processor Core i5 option, and more importantly: a completely redesigned keyboard.
Let’s start with the keyboard since it was a friction point last year: the new design is much better: it is simple and works the way one would expect it to. Huawei was quick to realize the shortcoming of the first one, and we did criticize it for a good reason in our review. Huawei listened and redesigned. We are looking forward to taking this second version for a spin in the real world. If you are curious, the stand hinge is adjustable to 160 Degrees now.
Although the concept is similar to the previous model, the industrial has changed, and Huawei has shrunk the display bezels a bit to increase the 12” display to body ratio to ~84%. This is an IPS LCD display with a resolution of 2160×1440 (216 PPI density). It has a view angle of 160 degrees and a maximum brightness of 400 NITs. It has a 1000:1 contrast ratio, and reproduces 85% of the NTSC color gamut, which doesn’t sound too fancy, but OK.
With dimensions of 6.9×278.8×194.1mm and a weight of 640g (no keyboard) to 1100g (with keyboard) it is rather thin and light. If you compare it to the MateBook X, it is clear that they serve a different purpose. This MateBook E is intended to be a tablet-first computer with some productivity capabilities, while the “X” model is a laptop-first computer with no tablet mode capability. They have comparable weight.
The Huawei MateBook E also has a digitizer pen (as a separate purchase), a trait that it shares with its competitor from Samsung. It will be interesting to see how both compare this year. It is nice to see the competition heat up between two giants in this super-thin tablet PC category.
The CPU options for this computer go from a Core m3 (7Y30) to a Core i5 (7Y54) with 4-8GB of RAM and 128/256/512GB SSD. There’s a single USB-C port here, and it is not clear what its full capabilities are, but we expect at least USB 3.1, if not Thunderbolt 3.
With 33.7Wh (~4430 mAh at 7.6V), the battery size is decent relative to the internal volume. We expect competitors to be of a comparable size, although we will see what comes out in the coming months. This year, the MateBook E will come in blue, brown and pink.