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Huawei MateBook 13 (2019) review: Power in a compact form factor

Picture: TechnikNews
(Post picture: © 2019 TechnikNews)

The Huawei MateBook 13 (2019) is the successor to the Huawei MateBook X, which is a pretty powerful ultrabook. The question arises whether the model for 2019 can build on this. My test should show that.

Unboxing and initial setup

In the packaging of the MateBook 13, next to the device itself, the first thing you will find is a USB-C power supply. This has a maximum output of 20 volts at 3,25 amps. The corresponding cable has a USB-C connector on both sides and is also quite long, which was often very positive during my test phase. Second, a MateDock is included in the packaging, which adds a USB-A port, a VGA port and an HDMI socket to the notebook. Last but not least, we also find a quick start guide.

The scope of delivery is pretty manageable (picture: TechnikNews)

Because the MateBook 13 for 2019 is running Windows 10, initial setup is very easy. After you have determined which language you speak and where you live, you enter the Microsoft account. In addition, a dialog for setting up the fingerprint sensor appears, which is located in the power button of the device. The notebook is ready for use after about 20 minutes.

Design and workmanship

Yes, I'll admit it: the MateBook 13 looks very similar to Apple's MacBooks, especially the 12-inch model. Especially when both ultrabooks open, it is almost impossible to tell the two devices apart at first glance. But that's not to say that I don't like the design - on the contrary. The minimalist look even appeals to me a lot. In addition, the entire case feels very high quality. Nothing creaks or wobbles here. Space gray is the only color that Huawei has for the 13th MateBook in its range, but that didn't bother me at all.

The MateBook 13 is also very portable. It is 286 millimeters long, 211 millimeters wide and 14,9 millimeters high. The weight is around 1,25 kilograms. I think it's obvious that there isn't much space left for connections. Huawei installed a USB-C and a headphone port on the left. There is another USB-C port on the right. It should be said here that charging is only possible via the left port, while data can be transferred via both.

The speakers with Dolby Atmos are not immediately visible, because they are located on the underside of the MateBook 13. Surprisingly, they didn't convince me a bit, as they start to clink at low volume.

Display

The display of the Huawei MateBook 13 (2019) is 13 inches and has a resolution of 2160 × 1440 pixels. It supports touch input, which makes it quite reflective. But that only makes half as much, since the brightness can be increased very far. For the aspect ratio, Huawei decided on 3: 2, which means that the work surface is a little larger in height.

It is also noticeable here: The similarity to the MacBook is definitely there (picture: TechnikNews)

Overall I was very happy with the screen. It is sharp enough proproduces true-to-life colors and is pleasantly bright for working. However, I don't think the 13 Series MateBook has a touchscreen as there is no stylus support and Windows isn't really designed for touch navigation - more on that later.

Above the display there is also a sensor for the automatic regulation of the display brightness. Usually works as it should, even if I noticed every now and then that the ambient light sensor was unsure how exactly it should now regulate the brightness.

Keyboard and trackpad

The keyboard of the MateBook 13 itself really impressed me. The keys are exactly the right size and travel, which means that I was able to type my texts very quickly and comfortably. However, I noticed that in the dark the backlight goes out after a short time without writing, which is more annoying than you might think at first.

The trackpad couldn't really pull me under its spell. Apart from the fact that it is quite small, I often get “stuck” on the touchpad, especially with drag-and-drop movements. That means that I could not run my finger smoothly over the mousepad in these situations. Fortunately, gestures and inputs were always correctly recognized and implemented - thanks to the Precision drivers.

Picture: TechnikNews

In return, I liked the fingerprint sensor in the power button all the more. The finger is read as soon as the button is pressed, so that the login takes place immediately after successfully booting up. And otherwise the sensor recognizes my finger without waiting a second.

Picture: TechnikNews

Huawei Share, whose contact area is next to the trackpad, didn't want to hit me at all. Even looking at several instructions on the Internet didn't help.

Performance

In my test device, the eighth generation Core i7-8565U from Intel works with eight gigabytes of RAM and an SSD with a capacity of 512 gigabytes. The whole package is accompanied by an Nvidia MX150. Alternatively, there is another version with a Core i5-8265U, which is also the eighth generation of the IntelProbelongs to cessors. Huawei also offers a variant with a 256 gigabyte SSD.

performance-Proproblems should not get in the way of everyday life. It only takes a few seconds from booting up to being able to use the ultrabook. Browsing the Internet, doing office work and composing e-mails is of course not a problem either. Even playing around with Photoshop and Lightroom does not push the device to its limits. Gaming was also possible to a certain extent - albeit with full use of the fans.

A few more words about the battery life, with which I was quite satisfied. Nine hours of work was never one Proproblem, but when gaming it was over much faster. With the power pack mentioned at the beginning, the device is fully charged again within two hours.

Software

Windows 13 version 2019 runs on the Huawei MateBook 10 (1803). Not 1809. That's a shame when you consider that the next big generation of the Microsoft operating system will soon come.

I had the same thing with this Ultrabook Problem as with that 2 Laptop Surface: Windows 10, rather many third-party apps, is / are not really designed for touchscreens. I particularly notice this in Google Chrome. If I tap around here with my finger, the cursor suddenly disappears. In my opinion, that shouldn't happen, especially when you keep in mind that convertibles and laptops with touchscreens have been around since Windows 8.

Prices and availability

Where can you buy the MateBook 13 (2019) now? The ultrabook is available from The Amazon, at MediaMarkt and at Saturn. The MSRP for the entry-level model is 899 euros, while the MSRP for the more expensive model is 1.099 euros.

Huawei MateBook 13 (2019): Conclusion

As I wrote in the title of this review, the Huawei MateBook 13 offers power in a very compact form factor. You can easily put the MateBook 13 in your pocket and edit emails, edit photos and without Probleme source code for any Prowrite grams. And even if gaming works with the device, I would rather use the Razer Blade Stealth for these matters, which was explicitly designed for this. However, there are two things Huawei can still improve on the next generation: the size of the trackpad and the battery life.

Thank you for providing the Huawei MateBook 13 (2019).

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David Haydl

David lives in Graz and has been there for around half a decade TechnikNews, also editor-in-chief for some time. He regularly provides the site with news, test reports and the like TechnikNews Weekly, which was his idea to launch. He likes to spend his free time outdoors, listening to a lot of music (and clearly too loud) and some podcasts on all kinds of topics, and also likes to go running. He enjoys the time that remains with his charming girlfriend or in front of the TV.

David has already written 1137 articles and left 106 comments.

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