Huawei MateBook 13 review
Huawei MateBook 13 review

Huawei did not actually have to improve much upon its own best-in-class Huawei MateBook X Pro, but it went ahead and did it anyway using all the Huawei MateBook 13. The outcome is just another very best in class laptop from Huawei.

You might have read an identical line in the past year's MateBook X Pro review: that the Huawei MateBook 13 provides better performance than many laptops of its own course for less money. And of course all inside an equally magnificent form factor that is almost better looking and atmosphere in relation to a 2018 MacBook Air -- nearly.

It's true that you might be missing a couple of minor niceties here and there to accomplish this kind of competitive cost, but overall, this is definitely the most value-packed flagship laptop that we have ever tested.

Price and availability

Huawei is selling two configurations of this MateBook 13 laptop, an entry-grade version plus a high-end version, but both contain exactly the exact same 13-inch, 2,560 x 1,440 (220 pixels per inch) touchscreen at a 3:2 aspect ratio along with 8GB of LPDDR3 memory and a fingerprint reader inserted to the power button.

The more approachable model comprises an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor with integrated graphics and 256GB of solid-state storage (SSD) for $999 (roughly £785, AU$1,403) to begin. Meanwhile, a $1,299 (roughly £1,020, AU$1,825) models having an Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia MX150 discrete graphics processor inside in addition to a 512GB SSD can be obtained.

Both versions also have a very helpful USB-C dock at the box and a free year of Microsoft Office 365 Personal. This pricing unnaturally undercuts Apple's newest MacBook Air by 100 dollars, and stays quite competitive with other rival Ultrabooks, especially the Dell XPS 13.

Everything comes down to the way the MateBook 13 part configurations compare, chiefly offering the exact same or more energy than option for less. Significantly, neither the XPS 13 nor the MacBook Air offer different graphics. As low-power since the Nvidia MX 150 may be, it provides this laptop a definite competitive edge in video rendering and gaming.

Both versions are available on Amazon and Newegg from the US at the time of writing, together with broader retail accessibility come February. Huawei hasn't yet disclosed precise UK and Australian pricing or global accessibility.

Huawei MateBook 13 review

Design, display and screen

You would not be erroneous to think about this MateBook 13 as a further refinement of Huawei's best-in-class MateBook X Pro of 2018, but the business plans to sell both individually. You see, the MateBook 13 looks almost like the X Pro, just marginally smaller.

This laptop is fitted in precisely the exact same aluminum frame as earlier in your selection of a Space Gray or Mystic Silver color choice. Open the laptop, however, and you will notice one crucial difference: that the webcam has transferred .

While the webcam has been hidden under the computer keyboard in the X Pro, Huawei has completed this MateBook right using a webcam resting over the display. But it is rated for mere 0.9-megapixels in 720p resolution, so it is not likely to make you look excellent online.

Measuring just 0.59 inches (14.9mm) thin and weighing a mere 2.87 lbs (1.3kg), the MateBook 13 is heavier and really -- only with a hair -- thinner compared to the newest MacBook Air. That is mighty impressive to get a laptop which includes a full-fat Intel mobile processor in addition to a dedicated graphics processor.

Huawei MateBook 13 review

Equally as impressive is your computer keyboard and touchpad available here, with lots of crucial travel at 1.2mm and the punchy, strong feedback that we will need to type quickly. Similarly, the Microsoft Precision touchpad can also be a joy to use in addition to broad and spacious, even though it's especially missing a sleek glass coating.

But in the event that you liked the touchscreen display on the X Pro, you will enjoy it all over again to the MateBook 13. Though a touch smaller today in a right 13 inches on the diagonal, the screen still sets a 1440p image at 100% of the sRGB colour gamut -- and its own signature digitizer is as snappy as ever.

Couple that with a 1,000:1 contrast ratio and up to 300 nits of brightness, and you've got the makings of a once-again excellent display. On the other hand, the 3:2 aspect ratio allows for more information to match the screen , however that means thicker bars below and above your full-screen videos.

Even though this is basically the exact same layout as the past year's flagship Huawei laptop, we can not help but appreciate the refinements that the business has made to this layout at virtually every level.


The Huawei MateBook 13 resembles the typical pragmatic upgrade to the predecessor both on paper and in training. But, Huawei was able to eke out more graphical power from the identical processor this season using improved thermals and 25% quicker fans inside, letting the graphics chip to utilize 25 watts of their laptop's overall power draw -- many laptops equipped with the Nvidia MX150 run a 15W, lower-spec version of the chip. These fans also keep the laptop amazingly cool under load in comparison to equally thin and light versions.

So not only is this laptop much better in graphics and reasonably better than its predecessor at general computing, it's that much better compared to key competitors that haven't made similar motions. All of the time, this can be a laptop that'll tear through general usage and will be prepared to bat on harder tasks, also.

So as to not belabor the point with a lot of numbers, let us look at a single simple benchmarks to show the MateBook 13's guide over key competitions: Geekbench 4. This processor simulation benchmark checks for virtually every use case.

The MateBook 13 scored over 17,000 points at the multi-core evaluation, which can be only 500 points greater than the preceding version and 400 points greater than the Dell XPS 13. The 2018 MacBook Air did not come in 10,000 points of their MateBook 13's score. What's this?

It is likely Huawei's thermal function that is to thank for its benefits over the preceding Huawei and Dell models, thinking about that the Dell and Huawei MateBook 13 were analyzed on the exact same processor. A processor with more headroom will do better to some point, after all.

On the other hand, the huge discrepancy between Huawei and Apple's laptops is since the latter uses a fanless, Y-series Intel processor with a lesser frequency and two fewer processing cores. After all Apple's compromises, the MateBook 13 ends up skinnier anyhow -- go figure.

Now, while the Huawei MateBook 13 contains discrete graphics -- which are, more powerful in comparison to last year's flagship version -- do not expect to do a whole lot more than casual light mainstream gaming on this device. Shadow of the Tomb Raider would not run on the laptop, and Total War: Warhammer 2 could not get beyond 30 frames per second on average in the bottom settings.

Nevertheless, for the strange Hearthstone session involving the demonstration slide decks you are working on, that laptop is going to do just fine.

Huawei MateBook 13 review

Battery life

In terms of longevity, Huawei promises around 9.6 hours of neighborhood 1080p video playback in the MateBook 13, and that is the sole figure it provides. Fortunately for Huawei, our 1080p video playback evaluation reported that an impressively close 8 hours and 18 minutes, narrowly outlasting a Dell XPS 13 using a 4K display.

Obviously, that the MacBook Air stays battery king in a whopping 10 hours and 30 minutes of playback period, but that is still impressive to get a 2019 flagship laptop. The MateBook 13 has enough juice to continue on many trips without needing to control, and that is what matters.

Nevertheless, we have listed a PCMark 8 battery test amount that is well below Huawei's promise and well below the average for a laptop of the course. This might be due to a range of variables, namely a large decrease in battery capacity in contrast to this MateBook X Pro up against graphics running at a greater frequency than that version and rivals.

Finally, we are convinced from the MateBook 13's capacity to endure for many hours on a fee in either situation. Throw in USB-C quickly charging which may provide you 2.5 hours of usage in 15 minutes, and you are taking a look at an excellent laptop for individuals constantly traveling.

Huawei MateBook 13 review

Software and features

Huawei is normally minimalistic in regards to the quantity of bloatware on its own machinery, and also the MateBook 13 is not any different. This laptop includes one extra app: Huawei PC Manager. This app scans your computer's hardware to any problems or potential driver upgrades which Windows 10 has really missed. You may then install those upgrades with a single button press.

Beyond applications, the sole hardware attribute to talk of is your fingerprint reader. Integrated to the laptop's power switch, this is a remarkably quick and convenient process of biometric login through Windows Hello. You won't wait for more than another after powering on your laptop until you are taking a look at your own Windows 10 desktop computer -- that is quickly.

Huawei MateBook 13 review

General assessment

The Huawei MateBook 13 carries on the torch the MateBook X Pro conducted as the very value-packed flagship laptop around. In other words, you are getting more power and flexibility from inside a laptop that is equally as appealing as -- if not more than -- the contest.

Sure, the shortage of Thunderbolt 3 may be sensed by a few more professional users searching for the fastest possible data transfers, and we can do with more RAM capacity. If these 2 detractions are deal-breakers for you, then look elsewhere. Otherwise, think about the sheer quantity of computer you are getting over most rival versions for the identical cost.

Huawei has obviously watched the laptop space in the sidelines for decades, swooping in using precisely the sort of sensibility we have been on the lookout for out of a luxury laptop. In other words, the Huawei MateBook 13 does exactly what each other flagship laptop can do -- and more -- often for much less money than many. For this, the Huawei MateBook 13 is our Best in Class laptop.