The Huawei MateBook E is an affordable 2-in-1 Windows laptop with an OLED display, and it comes with a keyboard and M-Pencil stylus. This is a tempting Surface alternative that offers a lot of mobile productivity and entertainment.
The MateBook E is available in Europe and other countries, but not in the United States. The tablet with a keyboard case is £999.99 (approximately $1,308) and includes the M-Pencil as a free gift.
I tested the model with an 11th Generation Intel Core i5 processor with 16GB RAM and 5128GB of storage. Different models may be available in other regions at different prices, with varying specifications and included accessories. During my time with this impressive device, I used the included magnetic keyboard for mobile productivity and the second generation M-Pencil for note-taking.
- The OLED display is beautiful
- Excellent performance
- M-Pencil stylus works well
- Keyboard and stylus included with many models
- The kickstand built into the keyboard
- Limited ports
- Battery life isn’t amazing
Buy at Huawei.
Using the MateBook E
The Huawei MateBook E looks and feels much like the company’s MatePad Pro, with a slim design and premium feel. There is a very small bezel around the 12.6-inch OLED display. You can use the tablet as a standalone device for light work, note-taking and media consumption, but it really shines when you connect to the keyboard case that is included with all but the base model.
Huawei’s keyboard case includes a stand that props up the device, with a good range. The downside to this method of adding a kickstand is that there is no stand built into the tablet to use without the keyboard. This is similar to the iPad Pro, but Surface Pro users may miss the integrated kickstand. Using the device on a lap is a challenge: The kickstand, located at to the front of the keyboard, sits at the edge of my lap. It is functional but better suited for a flat surface. While using the keyboard on my lap, I did accidentally activate the touchpad when the keyboard flexed. The keyboard keys are flat but offer a good deal of travel and are comfortable for long-term use. The soft-touch finish of the keys and the palm rest delivers a high-end feel.
Huawei’s screen choice pays off for portable productivity. The OLED screen is bright at 600 nits, and it is easy to see in harsh overhead lighting. The 2,560 x 1,600 resolution allows me to use two windows side by side for increased productivity, even in a small package. The OLED screen offers a high contrast ratio and deep blacks, delivering great colors. It has a 100 percent DCI-P3 color gamut and Delta E<1 color accuracy—both excellent if you review work for which color accuracy is essential. There are also modes to change the color temperature to match ambient conditions and a blue light mode to reduce eye fatigue. I love using the display for work and for watching movies.
The screen is responsive and supports multiple touches, but Windows 11 still offers some small touchpoints that are challenging to press with a finger. The M-Pencil included with this review model is suitable for tapping smaller areas and is on a par with the Apple Pencil for taking notes. I took most of my notes in OneNote. The M-Pencil attaches to the top of the tablet with magnets, where it charges. This is a great place to store the pencil while using the tablet or with limited mobility. For travel, you will want to secure it in a larger case or your backpack.
The performance of the MateBook E with the 11th Generation Intel Core i5 processor and 16GB RAM is more than sufficient to handle the needs of a mobile worker. I’ve tested this with multiple windows and tabs, Office 365 apps and Slack. I was easily able to substitute this device into my workflow in place of a MacBook Air, which is most often used for web-based work.
The Huawei Super Device feature offers device connectivity that rivals Apple’s iMessage integration. A compatible Huawei device allows you to use up to three phone apps on the MateBook E display, phone features like texting and video calls from the laptop, and even the phone’s camera for a webcam.
This 2-in-1 device has only one Thunderbolt 4 port. That is enough for basic tasks, but power users may need to invest in an adapter for additional ports to connect to a monitor or peripherals. There is a headphone jack on the opposite side.
I am incredibly impressed with the speakers on the MateBook E. At 50 percent volume, they fill my small office and deliver incredible depth to the music. Live music sounds like it has space, and movies are crisp and clear. You don’t need a Bluetooth speaker with the MateBook E.
The front-facing 8 megapixel camera is tucked into the upper bezel when in landscape mode on the keyboard. It does not support Windows Hello, so if you want to log in with biometrics, you need to use the fingerprint reader on the power button. On the back is a 13 megapixel camera with a flash. The cameras and four-microphone array combine to make this a very capable machine for the video calls that dominate our lives.
Ultimately the battery life isn’t amazing. It clocks in around 4 hours with the screen on full brightness or around 6 hours with brightness at 70 percent. If you want all-day use, you should plan on reducing the screen brightness to a neat half, or you will need to top off the device during the day.
Should You Buy the Huawei MateBook E?
The Huawei MateBook E is a fantastic device at the price. Buyers get a beautiful OLED display that is great for work and for entertainment. The included keyboard and promotion that currently includes a free M-Pencil and Huawei FreeBuds Pro add to the value.
The value is even higher for Huawei users, who can tap into the cross-device functionality on their phone, use the new Huawei Super Office, and mirror to a Huawei display.
While the keyboard is challenging to use on a lap, and the battery life won’t last all day, this is still a great Windows 2-in-1 for many users.
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