Huawei MateBook E review: a PC / tablet with a beautiful Oled screen

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The design of this MateBook E obviously reminds us of Huawei’s MatePad Pro tablet, which simply has the same 12.6-inch screen. On the back it looks a little different as the computer houses a single photo module while the tablet had a dual module.

The rear photo module of the PC.

The rear photo module of the PC.

With it you can take photos in 13 Mpx, while the 8 Mpx module on the front allows video conferencing with excellent image quality. Of course, it’s more complicated in difficult lighting conditions, but playback is still good, not very loud and much better than most of the computers we’ve tested. On the other hand, this webcam does not have an infrared module, which is required to unlock with Windows Hello.



In dark light conditions.


In a very bright room.

Unlike Microsoft’s Surface, the MateBook E’s case doesn’t include a kickstand on the back, meaning you’ll have to hold the computer in your hands or clamp it to a desk as best you can. If you can buy the PC individually, it’s also sold in a pack with a Smart Magnetic keyboard/case (offered during certain promotions). As with the Surface, a keyboard has become an integral part of everyday life with Windows 11, which is ultimately less practical than the tablet operating systems that are perfectly suited for touchscreens.

With the keyboard.

In any case, the keyboard’s magnetic system is very practical for positioning the PC on it in no time at all; All that remains is to unfold the stand to set it in position. The fabric-covered hinge didn’t cause any problems for the duration of our test, but durability is hard to pin down. In any case, the keys are reactive, but unfortunately not backlit. This is often the case with entry-level detachable keyboards. As for the touchpad, it does what it’s supposed to do, but it’s not fantastic.

The magnetic fastening system and the hinge of the stand.

The magnetic fastening system and the hinge of the stand.

The new Huawei M-Pencil is also included with the keyboard. With a good amount of pressure points and low latency, it offers a very smooth user experience. It charges wirelessly by simply placing it on the top edge of the PC – two replacement tips are included.



The pen charges at the edge.


Small round of drawings.

Connectivity question, it will be necessary to put up with the bare minimum. With a mini-jack and a single USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port (DisplayPort-compatible), Huawei has been satisfied with the habits of tablets, which significantly limits the possible uses. So you have to decide whether to charge your PC or connect a peripheral (or hub) to it. Too bad… On the edges we still find two volume buttons and a power button, which has the advantage of having a fingerprint reader.

The volume button, the fingerprint reader and the air vents.

The volume button, the fingerprint reader and the air vents.

Another difference from the MatePad Pro design, the MateBook E is cooled by active ventilation and the airflow escapes through slots located on the top edge of the PC. The warming up is also restrained: we have during full load treatment (with the Home page). The noise development of the cooling system is quite acceptable. Quiet in office automation, but increases to 34.7 dB under CineBench, for example.

The MateBook E doesn't get very hot.

The MateBook E doesn’t get very hot.

Huawei displays a good repairability rating for the PC on its site, but it will be very difficult to open it alone to replace a part. In case of any problem, it is better to contact the brand’s customer service.

Editor's Rating: 2 out of 5

perfomance

Our test model is equipped with an Intel Core i5-1130G7, a small processor with four hyperthreading cores and a clock speed of 1.1 GHz. It’s accompanied by 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, which is quite respectable given that some mobile devices are content with much less storage space. However, with a thermal envelope (TDP) of almost 9 W, which can increase to 15 W or even 30 W with short computing times, it cannot work miracles.

The MateBook E performed better than a Surface Go 3, but not as well as the Core i7-equipped Surface 8 Pro. It moves far away from “classic” laptops like Asus’ Zenbook 14 Oled or Huawei’s MateBook 16. If these performances may seem disappointing, we must not forget that this type of PC / tablet is not destined to carry out heavy tasks. So the office is perfectly fluid and we didn’t notice any slowdown in this regard.

In our test, the SSD achieved 3.4 GB/s in sequential read and 2.1 GB/s in write. A satisfactory result, but far from the best M.2.

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Screen

The MateBook E’s 12.6-inch OLED (2560 x 1600 pixels) screen is near-perfect. Note that in order to take advantage of accurate colorimetry, you must first enable the display manager’s sRGB mode, which can be quite difficult to find unless you know where to look (it doesn’t appear in the Huawei manager or in the installed apps). ).

The location of the display manager.

The location of the display manager.

We note a Delta E of 1.6 and an average color temperature of 6550K, very close to the video standard (6500K). Oled technology offers infinite panel contrast and persistence close to 0. Screen utilization of 87% is also excellent for a tablet.

Unfortunately – touchscreen required – the degree of reflection is very high (48.5%), which falls short of the step of the 5 stars on the screen. This will hardly compensate for the maximum brightness of 411 cd/m² in direct sunlight. However, Huawei advertises a brightness of 600 nits, but if you look closely at the notes at the bottom of the page, it’s actually set at 400 nits, with the possibility of a strong 600 nits in the event of an automatic increase Light. Problem: You can’t do it manually, which seems a bit absurd, so check the brand’s claims.



Editor's Rating: 3 out of 5

Mobility / Autonomy

With its 709 g on the scales and dimensions of 18.5 x 28.6 cm and a thickness of 8 mm, the PC is easy to transport. The keyboard totals 436g, staying lighter than many PCs, while the loading pad is very compact at 200g.

The USB-C charger is compact.

The USB-C charger is compact.

With its 42W battery coupled with such definition and an Intel Core i5, the MateBook E could not go far in terms of autonomy. When playing videos under Netflix with the Chrome browser, brightness set to 200 cd/m² and Bluetooth disabled, it turned off after 6 hours and 13 minutes. It is on the level of a Surface Go 3, for example, but well below the score of conventional PCs. Unfortunate for a nomadic product, even if it’s possible to claim a featherweight while the quick charge compensates a bit.

strong points

  • Versatility of the PC/tablet hybrid format.

  • Almost perfect Oled screen.

  • Fine borders.

  • Webcam quality.

  • Speakers that sound pretty good.

weak points

  • Limited power.

  • Plate prone to reflections.

  • Extremely reduced connectivity.

  • Low autonomy.

  • Very difficult to disassemble.

Conclusion

Global brand

Editor's Rating: 3 out of 5

How does the classification work?

The Huawei MateBook E is very interesting for everyone who needs to work on Windows and regularly travels with a light PC. Its 12.6-inch OLED display is almost flawless and is ideal for multimedia use, even if there are reflections. The performance of the PC certainly doesn’t skyrocket, but remains sufficient for office automation. The calculator offers good value for money if the performance front is not in its sights.

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