Huawei. Don’t pretend like you don’t know who Huawei is. Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., the Chinese multinational networking and telecommunications equipment and services company, is only the largest of its kind, in the ENTIRE world. It has grown into a multi-functional company, with research and development being an incredible chunk of its mission, also manufacturing communication devices for consumers, which, let’s face it, it’s really good at. It is currently the world’s third-best selling mobile phone-maker. Besides the high-end smartphone gig, Huawei is diving into the tablet and PC market quickly. By announcing the MateBook 2-in-1, a tablet-PC device running Windows 10, this marks both the first 2-in-1 and Windows device the company has ever created.
Said to be “the answer to Apple’s iPad Pro, the Retina MacBook, and Microsoft’s Surface Pro line”, from the moment you lay your eyes on the beautiful MateBook, you won’t know whether you’re looking at a tablet trying to be a notebook, or just a tablet. Well, considering the incredibly thin and light design of the MateBook, you know it’s meant to be a 2-in-1. Upon looking closer, you’ll see its single USB-C port and lack of any other connectivity ports means this thing isn’t a full-fledged PC out of the box. You’ll need an accessory for that (comparable to the Galaxy TabPro S). The optional keyboard, pen, and dock are sold separately (Digital Trends).
But don’t get discouraged. It’s a tablet. Well, it’s a tablet 2-in-1. It can do all the things you would want it to do if you needed a functioning notebook, and here’s why. The $699 12-inch device is a mere .27 inches thick, slim as the iPad Pro, and 20 percent slimmer than the Microsoft Surface Pro line. Weighing just 1.4 pounds, it’s thinner than said devices (20 percent thinner than Microsoft’s), and sports a 2160 x 1440 display, which although not as good, puts the MateBook closer to the Surface Pro (2736 x 1824 pixels) than pretty much any other 2-in-1 like it. It also has a fingerprint sensor built into its side. Talking internals, it is powered via Intel’s Core M3 processor, a 33.7Wh battery for 9 hours of use, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage (BGR).
As for the keyboard, you need to buy the thing for $129, and according to multiple reviewers, doesn’t have the best design. The 1.5mm thick device has been designed with zero (seriously, ZERO) space between the keys. Try typing on that without making a mistake, just try. Why, Huawei? Why neglect the important factor that is keyboard space and feel? Anyway, the other accessories include the $59 MatePen- a Wacom-powered stylus fastened with 2048 pressure-point levels, PowerPoint clicker, and laser pointer; and the $89 MateDock, including HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, and USB hubs (Tablet PC Review).
So there you have it. Don’t forget Huawei’s MateBook 2-in-1 also runs Windows 10, which, if you’re paying attention, is interesting since the Chinese firm only made Android-powered tablets until now. Although it could be powered with better Intel hardware, such as the Core i5 or i7 chips, Core M is dedicated to ultra-thin devices and tends to do well for Windows 10. Whether Huawei can market its MateBook anywhere close to the level Microsoft does, as it (Microsoft) “benefits from the company’s brand name and makes use of the firm’s business-to-business sales channels” (says Tim Coulling of Canalys), is a question we will have to wait to see the answer to.
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