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

Construction

The design of this MateBook E obviously reminds us of the tablet MatePad Pro from Huawei, which simply has the same 12.6-inch screen. On the back, things are a bit different as the computer houses a single photo module when the tablet had a dual module.

The rear photo module of the PC.

The rear photo module of the PC.

This allows you to take photos in 13 Mpx, while the 8 Mpx module on the front allows video conferences with excellent image quality. In difficult lighting conditions it’s obviously trickier, but rendering is still good, not too noisy and much better than most computers we tested. On the other hand, this webcam does not have an infrared module that is required to unlock with Windows Hello.



In dark lighting conditions.


In a very bright room.

Unlike Microsoft’s Surface, the MateBook E’s case doesn’t include a kickstand on the back, which means you have to use the computer in your hands or fit it however you can on a desk. If you can buy the PC alone, it’s also sold in a bundle with a Smart Magnetic keyboard/cover (offered during certain promotions). As with the Surface, it’s hard to imagine everyday use without a keyboard with Windows 11, which is ultimately less practical than tablet operating systems that are perfectly suited to touch screens.

with the keyboard

The magnetic system of the keyboard is in any case very practical to position the PC on it in the blink of an eye; It only remains to unfold the support to place it in its place. The fabric-covered hinge presented no issues during our test, but it’s hard to bet on its durability over time. In any case, the keys are reactive, but unfortunately they are 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 fixing system and the hinge of the support.

The magnetic fixing system and the hinge of the support.

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. Recharges wirelessly by simply placing it on the top edge of the PC; Two spare tips are provided.



The pencil is edge loaded.


Little drawing session.

Question of connectivity, we will have to put up with the minimum. With a mini-jack and a single USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port (compatible with DisplayPort), Huawei conformed to the habits of tablets, which clearly limits the uses. So you will have to choose between recharging your PC or connecting a peripheral (or a hub) to it. Too bad… On the edges, we will still find two volume buttons and an on/off button that has the advantage of having a fingerprint reader.

The volume button, the fingerprint reader and the ventilation slots.

The volume button, the fingerprint reader and the ventilation slots.

Another difference compared to the MatePad Pro’s design, the MateBook E is cooled by active ventilation, with airflow escaping through slots located on the top edge of the PC. Heating is also kept contained: we noticed a point at 38.6°C on the screen in full heavy treatment (with the cover). The noise generated by the cooling system is quite acceptable. Silent in office, however it goes up to 34.7 dB under CineBench, for example.

The MateBook E does not get very hot.

The MateBook E does not get very hot.

Huawei shows a good repairability rating for the PC on its site, but it will be very difficult to open it yourself to change a part. In case of problem, it is better to go through the after-sales service of the brand.

Editor Rating: 2 out of 5

performances

Our test model is equipped with an Intel Core i5-1130G7, a small processor with four hyper-threaded cores at 1.1 GHz. It is accompanied by 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD, which is very appreciable, some mobiles are satisfied with much less storage. With a thermal envelope (TDP) of just 9 W, which can go up to 15 W, or even 30 W at short processing times, however, 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 evolves away from “classic” laptops like Asus’ Zenbook 14 Oled or Huawei’s MateBook 16. If these features may seem disappointing, we must not forget that this type of PC / tablet is not designed to perform heavy tasks. Thus, the office is perfectly fluid and we have not observed any slowdown in this context.

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

Editor rating: 4 out of 5

Screen

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

The location of the display manager.

The location of the display manager.

We noted a delta E of 1.6 and an average color temperature of 6550 K, very close to the video standard (6500 K). The Oled technology offers infinite contrast with the panel and a persistence close to 0. The screen occupancy rate of 87% is also excellent for a tablet.

Unfortunately, the touchscreen requires, the reflectance is very high (48.5%), which misses the 5-star pitch on the screen. Itou, the maximum brightness of 411 cd/m² will hardly compensate for direct sunlight. However, Huawei advertises a brightness of 600 cd/m², but looking closely at the annotations at the bottom of the page, it is actually set to 400 cd/m² with the possibility of going up to 600 cd/m² automatically in case of light. strong. Problem: you can’t do it manually, which seems kind of silly, and therefore check the brand claims.



Editor Rating: 3 out of 5

Mobility / Autonomy

With its 709 g on the scale and dimensions of 18.5 x 28.6 cm for a thickness of 8 mm, the PC is easy to transport. The keyboard adds 436g to the total, which is still lighter than many PCs, while the charger block is very compact at 200g.

The USB-C charger is compact.

The USB-C charger is compact.

With its 42 W battery coupled with such a definition and an Intel Core i5, the MateBook E couldn’t go very far in terms of autonomy. It turned off at 6h 13m in video playback under Netflix with Chrome browser, brightness set to 200 cd/m² and Bluetooth disabled. It is at the level of a Surface Go 3, for example, but well below the score shown by conventional PCs. Unfortunate for a nomadic product, even if it allows to claim a featherweight while the fast charge compensates a little.

point strengths

  • Versatility of the hybrid PC/tablet format.

  • Almost perfect Oled screen.

  • Fine edges.

  • Webcam quality.

  • Speakers that sound pretty good.

Weak points

  • Limited performance.

  • Slab prone to reflections.

  • Ultra low connectivity.

  • Low autonomy.

  • Very difficult to disassemble.

conclusion

global brand

Editor Rating: 3 out of 5

How does the rating work?

The Huawei MateBook E is very interesting for anyone who needs to work under Windows and regularly travel with a lightweight PC. Its 12.6-inch Oled screen is almost flawless and is ideal for multimedia use, even if it is subject to reflections. The performance of the PC is certainly not very high, but it is still sufficient for office automation. The computer offers good value for money if performance isn’t in your sights.

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