BARCELONA, Spain—Huawei, not content with being the third-largest smartphone maker in the world behind Apple and Samsung, is now entering the PC market—and it’s going after Microsoft’s Surface. The MateBook is a Surface-like Windows 10 convertible laptop/tablet complete with stylus, 12-inch 2160×1440 pixel display, and all-metal unibody design with a range of colourful portfolio keyboard cases.
The MateBook starts at $699/€799 (~£620) for a 128GB model with 4GB of RAM and Core m3 processor, while the keyboard case goes for $129/€149. At the high end, a MateBook with 512GB storage, 8GB RAM, and Core m7 chip will set you back $1,599/€1,799 (~£1,400). It’s due to launch in Asia, Europe, and North America “in the coming months.” (We hear it’s sometime in March.)
While the MateBook isn’t overly exciting on the inside—it’s powered by Intel’s low power Core m3, Core m5, and Core m7 processors—it sports an extremely attractive design with chamfered edges, a narrow 10mm bezel, 6.9mm thickness, and a weight of just 640 grams. Noise is kept to a minimum, thanks to an entirely fanless design. It comes with either a black facia and silver body or white facia and gold body along with black, brown, orange, and beige colour options for the portfolio keyboard.
The backlit keyboard case, while not sporting the same highly adjustable kickstand of the Surface Pro, supports working angles of 67 and 54 degrees, along with 1.5mm of key travel. That’s higher than the 1.3mm of Surface Pro 4, Huawei was keen to point out, and it’s also water resistant. There’s a fingerprint reader built into the side of the MateBook, which supports different fingers for different accounts.
Huawei also unveiled the MatePen, a stylus for use with the MateBook that supports an impressive 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity and an elastomer tip. It even doubles up as a presentation clicker and laser pointer for churning through Powerpoint presentations. Unfortunately, like the keyboard case, it’s not included and costs an additional $59/€69. To help creatives along, Autodesk is bundling three months membership to Autodesk Pro.
Other tidbits include a battery life of around 10 hours under standard use thanks to the MateBook’s 33.7Wh battery; a 400-nits bright display that cover 85 percent colour gamut; and the usual array of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and sensors. There’s even a 5MP, fixed-focus camera on the back.
Accompanying the MateBook is the MateDock, a USB Type-C dock that includes a VGA output, USB outputs, and Ethernet that comes wrapped up in a colour-matched case. Those that hate lugging around gear will also appreciate the tiny USB Type-C charger for the MateBook, which comes in at just 110 grams and supports adaptive 12V, 9V, and 5V charging for powering up various other Android devices.
We’ll have some hands-on impressions of the MateBook soon.
This post originated on Ars Technica UK