Huawei is jumping into the 2-in-1 market with the 12-inch MateBook, its answer to the Microsoft Surface and the iPad Pro.
With Alcatel also unveiling its own Windows 10 tablet at the Mobile World Congress and Samsung announcing the Galaxy TabPro S 2-in-1 at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, it seems that this is the year non-traditional PC-makers are trying their hand at cracking the Windows 10 tablet market.
Huawei is trying to take the luxe route with the MateBook, by offering an accompanying keyboard case with genuine leather and an aluminium unibody.
At its booth, there were leather- crafting demonstrations, and MateBooks were artistically splayed on the wall next to tableaus like wooden mannequin hands with cufflinks.
The MateBook looks fabulous, with 10mm bezels and diamond- cut chamfered sides. It weighs just 640g, versus the 766g of the Surface Pro 4. Specs-wise, it is up there with the best, with a Core M7 processor, 8GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage.
Navigating it was a fast, seamless and responsive experience.
Overall, it is a great first crack at the 2-in-1 market. However, I could see evidence of a first-gen product.
For instance, while the keyboard case looks elegant with large enough keys and good key travel, I found it a bit more flimsy than the keyboard on the Surface Pro 4.
The MatePen, a stylus-cum-laser pointer with 2,048 levels of pressure, also feels less sturdy than the Apple Pencil and I had to press down quite hard in order for it to produce darker lines.
But these are minor quibbles for an overall great product.
This article was first published on March 2, 2016.
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