I’ve said it so many times, I might as well get the refrain tattooed across my neck.
Huawei makes great hardware.
The company has been doing it for years with smartphones, and even a smartwatch, but now it’s primed to enter the world of 2-in-1 tablets. The Matebook is a Windows 10 machine that has as much hardware grace as the iPad, but can it be as useful?
Certainly, with full Windows 10 on board, it will be a machine that can get work done, but with most variations approaching or surpassing $1000 when you include the optional (read: not so optional) accessories, is it worth it?
We’ll attempt to answer those questions in our full review, but for now, it’s time for our hands-on impressions.
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As is customary with 2-in-1 devices, the Huawei Matebook comes with numerous accessories, allowing it to perform to its full potential. Everything you see here (once again, as is customary) is sold separately.
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Unsurprisingly, the Matebook is a gorgeous machine. Huawei has been making great, great hardware for years now and this foray into the wild world of tablets is another beautiful notch in the company's ever-growing belt. The Matebook is entirely aluminum and glass, has a slim profile and a subtle gold finish. It's one of the most striking devices I've seen in person this year.
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The warmth of the gold color changes depending on the lighting, sometimes even appearing close to raw aluminum. It's one of the best uses of the color I've seen, giving the device a definite sense of elegance that also doesn't approach the realm of gaudiness.
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You'll notice there's no rear-facing camera on the Matebook. That may seem like an oversight, but generally a tablet's rear camera is nothing to get excited about, and you look like a goober taking pictures with one in public.
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Similar to the company's flagship phablet, the Matebook has slim chamfered edges. They add a splash of flair to the hardware design, though I would personally like to see them enlarge ever so slightly to give the tablet a touch more character.
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Undoubtedly svelte at just 6.9mm, the Matebook is easy to carry around, even when the keyboard cover is attached. And, yes, it has a headphone jack.
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A nice feature is the side-mounted fingerprint scanner, which is fast and accurate like those found on other Huawei devices. It makes signing in to the Windows 10 machine a breeze. Placement, on the upper right hand side when using the tablet with the keyboard cover, is ideal and the fact that it's nestled between the volume buttons makes it easy to find.
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The keyboard connector is magnetic, making connection a fairly simple process. In my day or so using the Matebook, I've had little trouble getting the tablet and keyboard to attach.
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The Matebook has two, top-firing speakers, one next to the power button (seen here) and one on the opposite side of the tablet. They are quite clear and loud, and I've been rather impressed with them in the early going.