Fan boy 3: Huawei overhauls Air-a-like MateBooks

New kit runs a bit faster, costs less

MWC Huawei's impressive business laptops are now a bit more affordable. The burgeoning PC giant is bringing MateBook X features to a new lower-priced range announced on Sunday at Mobile World Congress.

All that know-how gained trying to emulate Apple's phones is now devoted to emulating Apple's notebooks.

With Huawei's first serious stab at the market last year, the MateBook X Pro, we liked the 3:2 display aspect ratio and restrained aesthetic, typically not something we expect from Asian manufacturers who like to overload you with attention-grabbing features.

The MateBook range is clearly going after a professional market that would be tempted to shop Apple or premium Microsoft, HP or Dell. Staff made explicit comparisons to the Air several times in previews, boasting of their notebooks' lightweight and higher screen-to-body ratio.

However, the MateBook X Pro took eight months to (officially) reach the UK, and Huawei knows it needs to move faster. Sunday brought a revamped MateBook X Pro, a touchscreen version of the MateBook 13 shown off at CES last month, and a MateBook 14.

The latter two boast a 2K multitouch display, again in 3:2 ratio (1,440 x 2,160), and also include the fingerprint-scanner in the power button, which makes for faster resumes. The 1.2mm key travel is very decent and the keyboard is backlit and spill-proof. It's 1.28kg but still includes a sensible range of ports other manufacturers omit, e.g. USB-A and a headphone jack. The 14 includes the pop-up webcam, which is recessed inside a key on the keyboard.

The MateBook not-X also shuns Thunderbolt 3, but adds HDMI alongside USB 3, USB 2 and one USB-Type C.

With the budget model you can opt for Intel (UHD 620) integrated graphics or an Nvidia MX150, should you need it. The 65W portable charger promises 3.2 hours use from a 15 minute blast – and will also power a Huawei rapid-charging smartphone.

The 2019 edition MateBook X Pro gains Thunderbolt 3, and faster Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, CPU and GPU. The latter is now a Nvidia GeForce MX250 with 2GB GDDR5 RAM, up from 1GB.

Our sole concern was heat dissipation: a lot of power is packed into this thin package. A revamped "Shark Fin" fan design is said to give 20 per cent higher thermal efficiency.

Huawei MateBook fingerprint sensor in power button
huawei matebook sharing control panel

Battery life is promising: 14 hours of office work for the MateBook 14, Huawei reckoned.

HP certainly offers a broader, more rounded software package for the professional, but Huawei makes much of interoperability between phone and PC, with a greatly expanded Huawei Share package on the new notebooks.

This includes a universal clipboard, so you can "cut" on the phone and "paste" on the PC (and vice versa), and "OneHop" transfer of documents and media files between phone and PC. You may not think there's much new here, and you'd be right, but it works well. Shake and tap the phone on the laptop and it beams your photos or files across.

Huawei Share will OCR the text on an image and suck it into an app (e.g. OneNote) for you automatically. Or you can shake the phone to record whatever is on the PC display.

Unlike last year's X, models will be available right away. The MateBook 13 will go on sale from today (Monday) from £899.99 for a 256GB/i5, and £1,099.99 512GB/i7 model. The 14 shouldn't be too far behind. The X Pro commands a premium price: £1,499 up. ®

Similar topics

Other stories you might like

  • Yet again, Cream Finance skimmed by crooks: $130m in crypto assets stolen

    Third time's the unlucky charm for loan outfit

    Decentralized finance biz Cream Finance became further decentralized on Wednesday with the theft of $130m worth of crypto assets from its Ethereum lending protocol.

    Cream ( and not reported the loss via Twitter, the third such incident for the loan platform this year.

    "Our Ethereum C.R.E.A.M. v1 lending markets were exploited and liquidity was removed on October 27, 1354 UTC," the Taiwan-based biz said. "The attacker removed a total of ~$130m USD worth of tokens from these markets, using this address. No other markets were impacted."

    Continue reading
  • OpenID-based security features added to GitHub Actions as usage doubles

    Single-use tokens and reusable workflows explained at Universe event

    GitHub Universe GitHub Actions have new security based on OpenID, along with the ability to create reusable workflows, while usage has nearly doubled year on year, according to presentations at the Universe event.

    The Actions service was previewed three years ago at Universe 2018, and made generally available a year later. It was a huge feature, building automation into the GitHub platform for the first time (though rival GitLab already offered DevOps automation).

    It require compute resources, called runners, which can be GitHub-hosted or self-hosted. Actions are commands that execute on runners. Jobs are a sequence of steps that can be Actions or shell commands. Workflows are a set of jobs which can run in parallel or sequentially, with dependencies. For example, that deployment cannot take place unless build and test is successful. Actions make it relatively easy to set up continuous integration or continuous delivery, particularly since they are cloud-hosted and even a free plan offers 2,000 automation minutes per month, and more than that for public repositories.

    Continue reading
  • REvil gang member identified living luxury lifestyle in Russia, says German media

    Die Zeit: He's got a Beemer, a Bitcoin watch and a swimming pool

    German news outlets claim to have identified a member of the infamous REvil ransomware gang – who reportedly lives the life of Riley off his ill-gotten gains.

    The gang member, nicknamed Nikolay K by Die Zeit newspaper and the Bayerische Rundfunk radio station, reportedly owns a €70,000 watch with a Bitcoin address engraved on its face and rents yachts for €1,300 a day whenever he goes on holiday.

    "He seems to prefer T-shirts from Gucci, luxurious BMW sportscars and large sunglasses," reported Die Zeit, which partly identified him through social media videos posted by his wife.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021