Huawei MateBook hands-on for the US launch

Huawei MateBook hands-on for the US launch
Smartphones have put into our minds a taste for extremely compact devices that deliver unsurpassed computing power, so it's little surprise that our desire for eminently portable, functional hardware has spilled over into larger form factors. As a result, the market for 2-in-1 hybrid devices, combining the slender build of a tablet with the processing might and convenient keyboard input of a full-fledged laptop, is postivively blowing up right now. Huawei's looking to get in on that action, and this week the company took the first steps in bringing its MWC-announced MateBook 2-in-1 to the US.

Yesterday we shared with you the details of the MateBook's US debut, as pre-orders open ahead of July 11 availability. And while you might know all the technicals of the hardware's release, what's it like to actually go hands-on with the MateBook? We stopped by Huawei's US launch event to find out.

As you've heard, the tablet measures just 6.9mm thick and weighs about 1.4 pounds. While that's seriously light for a 2-in-1 this size, the MateBook still feels really sturdy, with a satisfying amount of heft to it – but not so much to put you off. Keep in mind, though, that figure is for the tablet alone, and you're absolutely going to want to carry this guy around in its portfolio keyboard case, which adds both weight and thickness (to say nothing of price) to the equation.

By contrast, the MatePen active stylus almost feels too light. It's feature-packed, with two buttons, 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, and a red laser pointer on its rear end, and while it's slightly thicker than a typical pen, it doesn't weigh appreciably more.

We also took a look at the MateDock, which plugs into the MateBook's sole USB Type-C port to offer users extra USB ports, display-out, and an Ethernet jack. Huawei provides a handsome leather-looking case for the dock (which also includes storage for a small USB cable and adapter), but between the tablet itself, the keyboard portfolio, the stylus, and now this dock, you're looking at a fair amount of hardware to carry around for the full MateBook experience.

Our brief interaction with the MateBook's software revealed a crisp Windows 10 implementation free from extraneous software – a welcome consequence of the Signature Edition Microsoft's offering.

We'll be spending a lot more time with the MateBook in the days to come; for now, enjoy these hands-on pictures and our video first-look at the tablet's path to its US release.

Related phones

  • Display 12.0" 2160 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera / 5 MP front
  • Processor Intel Core M, Dual-core, 3100 MHz
  • Storage 512 GB
  • Battery 4430 mAh



1. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

What's the pen digitizer tech? Wacom? Synaptics?

5. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1183; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

Probably wacom, I am really interested in the lag of the pen itself, surface pro back in the old days (using wacom) had a lot of lag, the partially fixed it on surface pro 3 not sure about 4 though. iPad pro has done a better job considering lag, same goes for Dell XPS 12, hope this also does a better job than surface pro

9. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Haven't experienced any pen lag on my Surface Pro 2 with Photoshop nor OneNote, except when I push the CPU to it's limit as I multitask crazily...I think you're mistaking parallax for "lag"...

2. Martineverest

Posts: 521; Member since: Oct 27, 2015

state of android is really need to put on her thinking cap....otherwise,windows will take over.

4. NexusPhan

Posts: 632; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

What the hell does Android have to do with this article?

6. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1183; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

He probably was talking about Android tablets. Yup, Android tablets are pretty useless, I still love my note 4 but not my tab pro, Android should either be for smartphones or for cheap notebooks like chromebook. Google Remix OS, they actually optimized Android for keyboard and mouse and it works like wonder, I installed it on my surface pro and I love it

3. PhoneFixer unregistered

Amazing ,beautiful device

7. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1183; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

I will take Dell XPS 12 over this anyway, comes with the best warranty in the industry and tech support, and it actually looks better than this, but a really good first try for huawei, maybe it will get better when huawei design and tech support matures a bit.

8. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1183; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

*any day* not anyway, stupid auto correct

10. Af1rPA

Posts: 712; Member since: Jun 12, 2014

Why did Stephen leave Pocketnow?

11. StephenS

Posts: 18; Member since: May 02, 2016

Because now I get to play with toys like this!

12. Af1rPA

Posts: 712; Member since: Jun 12, 2014

Hi Stephen, big fan.

13. PhoneFixer unregistered

less n less ppl watch pocket now.. nothing last forever..

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.