Another day, another ho-hum Microsoft Surface clone? Not necessarily. Huawei's take on the detachable 2-in-1 is an especially sleek and elegant one, combining an iPad-like unibody design with a build that's lighter and thinner than Microsoft's quintessential Surface Pro 4. US shoppers can pick up a Huawei MateBook starting July 11.
Huawei had already broken down pricing of the Windows 10-running device at its Mobile World Congress reveal, but today the company confirmed exactly how all models and accessories will break down when they arrive in a few weeks:
- Intel Core m3 (4 GB RAM/128 GB storage) - US$699
- Intel Core m5 (4 GB/128 GB) - $849
- Intel Core m5 (8 GB/256 GB) - $999
- Intel Core m5 (8 GB/512 GB) - $1,199
- MateBook keyboard - $129
- MatePen - $59
- MateDock - $89
Those prices don't look bad next to the Surface Pro 4. While Huawei doesn't offer the more powerful Core i5/7 variants that Microsoft does, the entry-level MateBook matches the processor, storage and RAM of the entry-level SP4 ... for $200 cheaper. The Surface does include its pen in the box, but even when tagging on the extra $59, that's still an eye-opening advantage for the MateBook.
The MateBook does only have one USB-C port – and since that port is also used for charging, that setup could be too limiting for power users. It does include a couple of adapters in the box, though, and the optional dock lets you charge while connecting two USB 3.0, ethernet, HDMI and VGA accessories.
In our MWC hands-on, we found the incredibly light and thin Huawei MateBook to be a device worth paying attention to, continuing the company's design reputation from the Huawei Watch and Nexus 6P and P9 smartphones. The Chinese company wants to make inroads in the US, and releasing stunning devices like this – a 2-in-1 that, at least in some ways, beats Microsoft at its own game – isn't a bad way to build some momentum.
The Huawei MateBook will be available to pre-order today on the Microsoft Store. Stay tuned for our full review.
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