reader comments 2 with 2 posters participating Share this story Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Huawei’s newest laptop, the Matebook 13. Valentina Palladino It comes in mystic silver and space-gray colors. Valentina Palladino The keyboard and trackpad area are crammed into its 13-inch frame, similarly to Apple’s MacBook design. Valentina Palladino…
If Huawei’s Matebook X Pro was its answer to Apple’s MacBook Pro, the new Matebook 13 is the company’s answer to the MacBook Air. At CES, Huawei introduced a new series into its laptop line, and its flagship is a 13-inch Ultrabook that borrows just as much from its premium Matebook X Pro as it does from Apple’s revamped thin-and-light notebook.
The Matebook 13 resembles a slightly shrunken version of the Matebook X Pro, with a satin finish on its aluminum alloy body and diamond-cut edges. Since it’s a 13-inch device, there’s less space around the keyboard than there is on the Matebook X Pro, giving the keyboard and trackpad area a similar look to Apple’s MacBook. There’s not a lot of space on the sides of the keys, and the trackpad is a bit narrow, but Huawei did include its combined fingerprint reader and power button at the top-right corner of the keyboard.
The 13-inch, 2160×1440 touchscreen reaches up to 300 nits in brightness, and it has a 3:2 aspect ratio, reducing the amount of scrolling you’ll have to do. Huawei called out the notebook’s 14.9mm thickness, its 88-percent screen-to-body ratio, and how it’s about 6 percent smaller than the new MacBook Air. That difference is negligible to me and will likely be to many others as well. In the short time I had with the Matebook 13, it seemed to be a well-made, thin, and relatively light device, weighing 2.8 pounds.
Unlike the Matebook X Pro, this new notebook doesn’t experiment with the webcam. Instead of the peculiar recessed camera Huawei put in the Matebook X Pro, the manufacturer stuck a standard webcam above the display on the device’s tiny top bezel. There’s no IR camera, so the fingerprint sensor will be your only form of Windows Hello biometric protection.
Huawei will sell two models of the Matebook 13: one with a Core i5 processor, Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage; and one with a Core i7 processor, Nvidia MX150 discrete graphics, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. Huawei’s “Shark Fin 2.0” thermal solution is designed to support the power that comes with both of those configurations. Its fan sits between the CPU and GPU to separate the main heat sources, and it can support 25 percent higher air volume than traditional fans.
We’ll have to fully test the Matebook 13 to see how well Huawei’s claims of power, heat management, and noise reduction hold up. The Matebook X Pro’s biggest downside was its loud fans, so we’re curious to see if Huawei remedied that in this device.
Huawei’s estimated battery life for the Matebook 13 is 10 hours, which is a decent figure if it proves to be true. Like the Matebook X Pro, the Matebook 13 comes with Huawei’s MateDock, which gives users more connectivity options. The laptop has just two USB-C ports, so including the MateDock in the price of the Matebook 13 is quite helpful.
Huawei barely tried to hide its Apple envy when naming the colors that the Matebook 13 comes in: the Core i5 model will be available in mystic silver and cost $999, while the Core i7 model will come in slate gray and cost $1,299. It’s expected to be available in the US in late January.
Listing image by Valentina Palladino