The Huawei MateBook E is an affordable 2-in-1 Windows laptop with an OLED display and comes with a keyboard and an M-Pencil stylus. This is an enticing Surface alternative that offers plenty of mobile productivity and entertainment.
The MateBook E is available in Europe and other countries, but not in the United States. The tablet with keyboard case costs £999.99 (about $1,308) and includes the M-Pencil as a free gift.
I tested the model with an 11th generation Intel Core i5 processor with 16 GB of RAM and 5128 GB of storage. Other models may be available in other regions at different prices with different specifications and included accessories. During my time with this impressive device, I’ve used the included magnetic keyboard for mobile productivity and the second-generation M-Pencil for note-taking.
- The OLED display is beautiful
- Excellent performance
- The M-Pencil pen works well
- Keyboard and stylus are included with many models
- The kickstand integrated into the keyboard
- Limited Ports
- The battery life is not amazing
Buy from Huawei.
With the MateBook E
The Huawei MateBook E looks and feels similar to the company’s MatePad Pro, with a sleek design and premium feel. There is a very small bezel around the 12.6-inch OLED display. You can use the tablet as a standalone device for light work, note-taking, and media consumption, but it really shines when you pair it with the keyboard case that comes with all but the base model.
Huawei’s keyboard case includes a stand that supports the device with a good reach. The disadvantage of this method of adding a stand is that there is no stand built into the tablet that can be used without the keyboard. This is similar to the iPad Pro, but Surface Pro users may miss the built-in kickstand. Using the device on the lap is challenging: the stand, which sits in front of the keyboard, sits on the edge of my lap. It’s functional but better suited to a flat surface. While using the keyboard on my lap, I accidentally activated the touchpad as the keyboard flexed. The keyboard’s keys are flat but offer plenty of travel and are comfortable for long-term use. The soft-touch finish of the keys and palm rest gives a premium feel.
Huawei screen choice pays off for mobile productivity. The OLED screen is bright at 600 nits and easy to see under bright overhead lights. The 2,560 x 1,600 resolution allows me to use two windows side by side for increased productivity, even in a small package. The OLED screen offers high contrast ratio and deep blacks, delivering great colors. It has a 100% DCI-P3 color space and Delta E<1 color accuracy – both excellent when reviewing work where color accuracy is essential. There are also modes to adjust the color temperature to ambient conditions and a blue light mode to reduce eye fatigue. I like to use the display for work and watching movies.
The screen is responsive and supports multiple touches, but Windows 11 still offers some small touch points that are difficult to press with a finger. The M-Pencil included with this test model is suitable for typing on smaller surfaces and is on a par with the Apple Pencil for taking notes. I took most of my notes in OneNote. The M-Pencil attaches to the top of the tablet with magnets, where it charges. This is a great place to keep the pencil while using the tablet or when mobility is limited. For travel, consider securing it in a larger bag or your backpack.
The performance of the MateBook E with the 11th generation Intel Core i5 processor and 16 GB RAM is more than sufficient to meet the needs of a mobile worker. I’ve tested this with multiple windows and tabs, Office 365 apps, and Slack. I was able to easily fit this device into my workflow in place of a MacBook Air, which is most commonly used for web-based work.
The Huawei Super Device feature offers device connectivity that rivals Apple’s iMessage integration. With a compatible Huawei device, you can use up to three phone apps on the MateBook E-Display, phone features like texting and video calls from the laptop, and even the phone’s camera for a webcam.
This 2-in-1 device has only one Thunderbolt 4 port. That’s enough for basic tasks, but power users may need to invest in an adapter for additional ports to connect a monitor or peripherals. On the opposite side is a headphone jack.
I’m incredibly impressed with the speakers on the MateBook E. They fill my small office at 50 percent volume and add incredible depth to the music. Live music sounds like it has space, and movies are crisp and clear. With the MateBook E, you don’t need a Bluetooth speaker.
The front-facing 8-megapixel camera is hidden on the keyboard in the top frame in landscape mode. Windows Hello is not supported. So if you want to log in with biometrics, you have to use the fingerprint reader on the power button. On the back is a 13-megapixel camera with a flash. The cameras and four-microphone array make this a very capable device for the video calls that dominate our lives.
Ultimately, the battery life isn’t amazing. It lasts about 4 hours at full screen brightness, or about 6 hours at 70 percent brightness. If you want to use it all day, you should reduce the screen brightness to half or charge the device during the day.
Should you buy the Huawei MateBook E?
The Huawei MateBook E is a fantastic device for the price. Buyers get a beautiful OLED display that’s great for both work and entertainment. The included keyboard and the promotion, which currently includes a free M-Pencil and Huawei FreeBuds Pro, add to the value.
The value is even higher for Huawei users who can use the cross-device functionality on their phone, use the new Huawei Super Office and mirror to a Huawei display.
While the keyboard is difficult to use on the lap and the battery life doesn’t last all day, this is still a great Windows 2-in-1 for many users.
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