More than two years ago, a Microsoft Surface Pro X fell into my hands. It was a wonderful device that was impossible to use. It looked great, but it didn’t work well. The reason is the Microsoft SQ1 embedded system-on-a-chip, which is a remake of the Snapdragon 8cx:
The ARM architecture on which the Microsoft SQ1 chip is built differs from the usual x86 desktop one – almost all Windows computers run on it. The ARM architecture, despite the presence of this operating system, made the Surface Pro X a competitor to the iPad. But the Apple tablet smashes this competitor to smithereens: there is no software, the price is high, the charging is strange, the stylus slows down when writing and drawing, and powerful hardware does not take out this very “Windows” at all.
Here you can see that I devoted two paragraphs of the Huawei MateBook E review to a story about another device. And the reason is simple: the Surface Pro X makes an obvious comparison in terms of form factor. And if the Microsoft product outperforms Huawei with its more sophisticated design, then it loses in everything else. But first things first.
Design and equipment
The first thing you should pay attention to is the presence of a keyboard right in the kit. The Surface Pro X had to pay $179 for it. The Huawei keyboard comes in a separate box from the tablet, but they are combined:
You open the box and see a beautiful thin tablet with small frames. This is a 12.6-inch OLED screen with a resolution of 2560 × 1600 pixels (240 dpi density). It occupies 90% of the front panel. The standard brightness is 400 nits, the maximum is 600. I had no problems with displaying the picture.
Huawei reports that the display has excellent color reproduction with a P3 color gamut and a color accuracy of ΔE < 1.
The touch screen supports up to ten simultaneous clicks.
MateBook E is a rather big device: 306 × 215 × 146 mm and weighs 709 grams.
If you place the tablet horizontally, then there are holes on the sides and top on the edges. They look the same, but perform different tasks. On the side there are four speakers, on top there is ventilation for coolers.
Nice moment: the local Type-C is licensed under the Thunderbolt 4 standard, that is, you can connect super-fast external SSDs and high-resolution monitors to it. All this while charging. For example, I was able to connect a brand new Studio Display with a resolution of 5K while shooting a video about it:
If you’re interested, here’s the video:
The tablet can be connected to other displays as well. Here, for example, is the cool Huawei MateView, for the sake of connecting to which I came to the Huawei branded store on Okhotny Ryad:
On the other side is a 3.5mm headphone jack. And this is what music creators lack in modern iPads.
In Russia, only one version is sold in one color – black. The assessment of this fact will be a purely subjective phenomenon. Let me just say that I do not like black gadgets, including because they get dirty easily.
The kit comes with a normal power supply, which is immediately inserted into the outlet. It’s a 65 watt unit and it’s not GaN, so it’s rather big.
The second box contains the keyboard. Its appearance loses to its counterpart from Microsoft, but this is a typical tablet keyboard. It’s made from exactly the same material as the iPad keyboard.
The keyboard is connected using three pins:
The main difference is the stand mechanism. It is made according to not the most obvious logic:
Thanks to the stand, the screen received an angle of inclination from 110 to 160 °. Here is the largest angle:
I guess the designers wanted to make a full cover, but without the holes for the camera.
I really liked the keyboard itself. Typing on it is a pleasure: the keys have a short travel, the distance between them is familiar, the buttons are easy to find even blindly.
The trackpad is plastic, but its material does not slow down the finger. I habitually press the trackpad until it clicks to select objects. The sound and feel of this action is not the most pleasant. However, there is a replacement: instead of clicking, you can simply make light taps with your finger. I’m not very used to this, but I suppose you need to use the device a little longer.
Another major difference from the Surface Pro X and iPad is the processor architecture. Instead of ARM, here is the classic Intel x86. The tablet received an 11th generation Intel Core i5-1130G7 Tiger Lake processor. This is a quad-core processor with eight threads, built on a 10-nm process technology.
The processor shown in 2020 is designed for laptops with a TDP of 15W. The specific Huawei MateBook E uses a version with a base frequency of 1.8 GHz and a maximum of 3.99 GHz.
Only one version is sold in Russia. She received 16 GB of the LPDDR4x type and 512 GB of the built-in NVMe PCIe type. Here are the results of different benchmarks:
I also ran the MateBook E in Cinebench R23:
And found out the speeds of the SSD:
It is clear that the results are far from high. But it’s not a high performance computer either. Still, MateBook E is primarily a tablet that you can take with you on the road and use as a typewriter, for example.
The tablet received four speakers. The layout is similar to the iPad Pro: two around Type-C and two more on the other side.
The sound is very loud, I’ve heard laptops that sound much quieter. The sound quality is normal, but at the maximum the sound is overly compressed. And, frankly, you should not expect outstanding results. The sound is just normal.
I decided to play on the tablet and started installing all the games. And then I was disappointed: XCOM2 was running at a frequency of about one frame per two seconds, and the city-building simulator Cities: Skyline produced much more frames, but was still unplayable even at low graphics settings.
Therefore, I decided to turn to the old Civilization III, but it turned out to be not adapted for Windows 11: the interface is not fully displayed, it is cut off. Compared to this game, XCOM2 is very playable!
The most interesting thing is that none of the games support touch input. If you turn off the keyboard, then even closing the running application will not work. But this is a claim to Windows. Its developers, apparently, do not really understand what touch input is.
And here I launched Civilization VI. It turned out that the game without any brakes works on this tablet even at the original resolution of 2560 × 1600 pixels. However, in this case, the interface comes out too small, so I set it to 1920 × 1200 pixels. But the game has touch controls! True, it will not work to close a frozen game without a keyboard. Oh Windows…
In principle, it is clear that this tablet is not intended for games. In the best case, it will be suitable either for old games, or for something like Civilization VI.
The tablet received a 42 Wh battery. Comes with a 65W power supply. If you turn off the tablet, then charging will take 1.5 hours.
The discharge is this: for two hours of watching videos on YouTube, the tablet sat down by about a quarter. About three hours of playing the sixth “civu” reduced the charge from 76 to 19%. The screen brightness level is 3/4, so as not to strain your eyes from the brightness and not peer into the dark display. In general, to be comfortable.
Actually, the operating time is very similar to what the iPad Pro 11 2020 gives out, which is owned by our editor-in-chief Alexander Pobyvanets. Unless Sasha plays not in Civilization, but in Company of Heroes, which completely drops the iPad in 3 hours.
Huawei MateBook E turned out to be an interesting machine. Yes, this is not a station for games, but it does an excellent job with office tasks.
True, the tablet has another drawback: the price. In Russia, it is sold for 159,990 rubles. For this money you get a tablet, a great keyboard for it, as well as a full-fledged Windows 11, which cannot work 100% with a touch screen.
You can say as much as you like how expensive it is. However, for the sake of interest, I decided to look at how much laptops with the same i5-1130G7 cost – and, to put it mildly, was stunned: according to “Yandex.Market”, Lenovo laptops with such a processor cost from 83 to 350 thousand rubles. Apparently, until now this processor was exclusively used by this particular company. Now it has reached Huawei with its MateBook E.
It turns out that the tablet has become one of the most interesting products on this i5-1130G7. And it perfectly shows the full potential of the processor.
You can also buy various Huawei products at our friends website, and in the official store at the address: Teatralnaya metro station, st. Okhotny Ryad, 2, Fashion Season shopping gallery, 1st floor. Besides, in Telegram channel and in public VK collected up-to-date information about new products and discounts.