Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: CES 2019: The Big Trends for Business

CES 2019: Huawei challenges Apple's MacBook Pro with the ultra-slim touchscreen MateBook 13

Huawei makes some fantastic smartphones, but they are not readily available in the US. However, it has equally compelling laptops and the new 2019 MateBook 13 offers elegant hardware at reasonable prices.

In the past, people often purchased Apple laptops, such as the MacBook 13, for the elegant fit and finish while then dual booting or running Windows on those MacBooks the majority of the time. Windows hardware has improved significantly over the past couple of years and those looking for a solid laptop with a touchscreen may want to look at Huawei's latest offering.

Last year I spent some time with the Huawei MateBook X Pro, see our full review, and if had been looking for a new laptop then it would certainly have been a contender. This year's new MateBook 13 improves upon the MateBook X Pro with the latest Intel Whiskey Lake processor, NVIDIA GeForce MX150 option, new cooling system, and blue light filters like we see on Huawei smartphones.

The MateBook 13 features Huawei's stunning fit and finish with an aluminum body with smooth curved chamfers and a finish that is designed to withstand abrasions. It continues with a focus on a full-screen experience with an 88 percent screen-to-body ratio and bezels of just 4.4 mm in width.

Specifications of the Huawei MateBook 13 include:

  • Display: 13 inch 2160x1440 3:2 touchscreen
  • Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core i5 or i7 options
  • GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620 or NVIDIA GeForce MX 150
  • RAM: 8GB LPDDR3
  • Hard drive: 256GB/512GB SSD options
  • Wireless: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0
  • Ports: Two USB-C, 3.5mm headset jack, and microphone port
  • Battery: 41.7 Wh (rated for 9.1 (i5) or 8.6 (i7) hours of typical workload, longer for watching videos
  • Dimensions: 11.26 x 8.31 x 0.59 inches and 2.82 pounds (i5) or 2.87 pounds (i7)
  • matebook-13-space-gray-mystic-silver.jpg

    Image: Huawei

    Smartphones added the ability to apply a blue light filter at certain times of the day and some new screen protectors are also designed to filter out harmful light. The MateBook 13 has Eye Comfort Mode that can filter up to 30 percent of the blue light that strains your eyes over time.

    The keyboard is spill-resistant and has 1.2 millimeter travel. Like its smartphones, the MateBook 13 includes a fingerprint sensor in the power button. The information is saved on the notebook and not in the cloud, so that improved security is provided.

    Huawei's new Shark Fin Design 2.0 cooling system is implemented in the MateBook 13 to increase airflow by approximately 25 percent over conventional laptop fans.

    The Space Gray i5 model will be available for $999 and the Mystic Silver i7 model for $1,299. Buyers can pick up the Huawei MateBook 13 starting on 29 January at Amazon and Newegg with additional retailers carrying the new notebook in February.