Huawei has shown the way: its Matebook E is essentially an “iPad Pro on Windows”. But this dream is not yet ready to become a reality.
While Apple has always attracted a lot of attention in the laptop market, it has never been a dominant player. With the iPad, he managed to create a category that he dominates today. Even more so since the introduction of the iPad Pro, whose performance rivals traditional computers. Huawei is banking on its longtime partner Windows with its Matebook E to try and grab shares in the Cupertino-based company. But not everything is ready yet.
Features of the Huawei Matebook E
|screen size||12.6 inches|
|screen definition||2560×1600 pixels|
|refresh rate||60 Hertz|
|processor||Intel Core i5-1130G7 (11th gen)|
|graphic card||Intel Iris Xe|
|R.A.M.||16 Go to LPDDR4X|
|warehouse||512 Go SSD PCIe 3.0 NVMe|
|connections||1 USB-C Thunderbolt 4, 1 combo jack|
|Dimensions||30.6 x 21.5 x 14.6 cm|
Design and ergonomics: obvious inspiration
Huawei is one manufacturer that has never really hidden where it got its inspiration from: Apple. With the Huawei Matebook E, however, this is not entirely self-evident. We are faced with a large tablet that remains very sober. Its rounded frame is its biggest trademark, otherwise the Huawei Matebook E relies primarily on discretion. However, we really appreciate the textured back panel that offers a reassuring grip and doesn’t catch fingerprints, where we find a photo sensor in the top left corner. This tablet should stay clean at all times.
In landscape format we find the Thunderbolt 4 compatible USB-C port on the right side, the volume buttons are placed on the left at the top so that they can be easily reached with the left hand. And finally, on the left edge we have the lock button, which also includes a fingerprint reader. The ergonomics of the product are very well thought out. Finally, at the bottom, we have the small magnetic pins that the Huawei Smart Magnetic Keyboard connects to.
Huawei Smart Magnetic Keyboard
Attaching the tablet to the latter we find the laptop format. Note, however, that this is only included with purchase on the i5 configuration we tested: if you want your detachable keyboard in the i3 version, you’ll need to purchase it separately.
It’s the Smart Magnetic Keyboard that immediately reminds us of the Apple brand. The latter is very rigid, more than a Surface keyboard, and this is also noticeable when typing. All of the keys require quite a bit of force to activate, which will delight anyone with a strong hit but leave nimble fingers a bit reluctant. However, the touchpad is very wide, which is quite noticeable for a keyboard of this size.
Your problem is more on the ergonomic side. In contrast to a Surface, for example, the keyboard part is actually not slop ing and remains completely flat. Long writing sessions make you feel tired more quickly.
We can also use this Huawei Matebook E as a computer thanks to this Smart Magnetic Keyboard. The top of the shell folds over to form its adjustable foot. Huawei has done well here: the whole thing remains solid even in atypical configurations. The only thing that bothers us a bit is the feeling when opening it: At first glance, it is not a very natural movement to open this foot from above and fold it back on itself. We get used to it quickly.
Screen: Sublime OLED with perfect calibration
Huawei didn’t skimp on the screen part. Here we have a large 12.6-inch OLED panel with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels, i.e. 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 a companion for both work and entertainment. A display manager lets you choose between native color space, sRGB color space and P3 color space. You can also enable automatic color adjustment based on the ambient light and adjust the color temperature as you like.
The tablet natively covers 100% of the sRGB space and 99.9% of the DCI-P3 color space. In our tests, the average Delta E20 is 0.28, which is fine. If the color temperature raised to 7200K is a bit too high, the computer will still be an excellent companion for all digital artists.
Only the maximum brightness, which was raised to 411 cd/m² in our tests, is disappointing. Apart from that, the Huawei Matebook E has the capacity to reach 600 cd/m² in certain lighting conditions or when playing certain video content… but it is not recommended given the autonomy of the device.
Software: a subtle Huawei overlay
Unsurprisingly, Huawei uses Windows 11, of course. However, the manufacturer adds some software to its sauce, which are mostly duplicates. There is, for example, a second notification panel dedicated to the computer and its maintenance, or a shortcut panel that essentially does the same thing as the one already built into the operating system.
Everything is tightly integrated with other Huawei products and services and requires you to create an account with the manufacturer. To be honest, it’s hard to find a reason to prioritize them over anything that’s already built-in. At least the system has almost no pre-installed bloatware other than those pushed by Windows 11.
Performance: what is necessary, nothing more
The Huawei Matebook E tested here is the highest currently available configuration. It packs an 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1130G7 with 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 512GB of storage in PCIe 3.0.
Obviously, the tablet is very smooth to use. However, its performance doesn’t live up to the latest ultrabooks and transformables we’ve seen in 2022. Computers aren’t far behind, but it won’t wow creative people with its raw power. From its memory to its raw power, it just takes what it takes.
We are particularly impressed by the device when it comes to heating. Like Microsoft, Huawei uses a small gap between the screen and its back to take in fresh air and expel hot air. In our tests, the tablet never got hotter than 40°C, even in the full stress test, and its fans never made any noise. In addition, its performance remains the same regardless of whether the computer is connected or not. In short, the manufacturer’s idea here is to provide a machine with predictable performance from start to finish, respectable for a convertible device of this kind.
As a small endnote, know that you can still play a few small games here and there with the Intel Iris Xe. Rocket League, for example, finds 60 FPS stable for a few sessions during a pro trip. Don’t expect to turn it into a gaming PC, though.
For the rest of the use, however, the Matebook E does very well. Its speakers are efficient and offer a pleasantly clear sound. The main sensor lets you look 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.
Autonomy: the price to be paid
That is the hardly acceptable point of this Huawei Matebook E. The tablet is equipped with a 42Wh battery. It was no wonder to find such a thin and light laptop and it’s the autonomy that pays off. In office use, the Huawei Matebook E lasts up to 6 hours with a bit of gnashing of teeth and reduced brightness. With a looped YouTube video playback, the device only lasts 4 hours and 30 minutes.
After all, the Huawei Matebook E uses Power Delivery and can therefore be easily charged from any USB-C charger. The included 65W power adapter allows it to regain its form in around 2 hours, with a quick charge of the first few percent getting you back up to 50% battery in around 40 minutes.
- Sublime OLED screen
- design over
- Lightweight and ergonomic
- Doesn’t heat up, doesn’t make any noise
- autonomy really behind
- Just decent performance
The Huawei Matebook E enters a market with fierce competition and established giants. Unfortunately, he doesn’t manage to climb the ranks of his competitors, who are attacking from all sides. It’s a good tablet, but it stops there. For productivity, prefer a Surface Pro. For multimedia, an iPad or Galaxy Tab is cheaper with the same quality. So where do you classify the Matebook E if not in the “hopeful” category; We will wait for the next generations to fill in the gaps that are holding them back.
This page contains affiliate links to some products that JV have selected for you. Any purchase you make by clicking on one of these links will not cost you more, but the e-merchant will pay us a commission.