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Huawei MateBook 13 review

The Huawei MateBook 13 is a bit of a jack of all trades, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Huawei Matebook 13 review
(Image: © Huawei)

Our Verdict

The Huawei MateBook 13 is the ideal laptop for the modern worker. It’s pricey, but well worth it when you consider the performance, features, and styling that you receive, along with the long-lasting battery and the secure fingerprint sensor.

For

  • Fingerprint sensor for quickly logging in
  • Precise touch screen
  • Long-lasting battery

Against

  • Low memory
  • A little on the expensive side

Huawei has always made some of the best laptops, and the Huawei MateBook 13 is no exception to this. It’s missing a few features that may be a deal-breaker to some, but overall it’s a solid jack-of-all trades device. If you want to use it for work, then you’ll breeze through your tasks with no difficulty running any programs. Alternatively, if you’re just here to surf the internet and have fun then this laptop is perfect for you too.

The price may be off-putting however. While anyone will tell you that a good laptop is worth $999, the MateBook 13’s price might be a bit steep for someone looking for a laptop that simply gets the job done. That said, there is still value in the Huawei MateBook 13, as it has a number of advanced features such as an interactive touchscreen, ultra-high fidelity graphics, and a long-lasting battery.

Tech Specs

CPU:  8th Gen Intel Core i5 or i7
Memory: 8GB DDR3
Storage: 512GB SSD
Display: 13-inch 2160 x 1440 touch screen
Graphics:  Intel® UHD Graphics 620 or NVIDIA® GeForce MX150
Ports:
2 x USB-C 3.1, Audio out.
Dimensions:
11.26" x 8.31" x 0.5"
Weight: Starting at 2.87 lbs
Operating System:  
Windows 10

Huawei MateBook 13 review: Design  

  • Available in Mystic Silver and Space Gray
  • Aluminium frame makes it lightweight, but sturdy

The Huawei MateBook 13 only comes in two colors, but don’t let that stop you from admiring its simple, ultra-modern design. Its light colors make it easier to know when to clean, and the blank aluminum frame makes it simple to decorate the back of - if you’re that inclined to add your own personal touch to it.

The MateBook 13 is smaller than the MateBook X Pro and weighs a little less, measuring at 11.3 x 8.3 x 0.59-inches and weighing 45.12 ounces. It’s only a minimal difference, but it makes the MateBook 13 a great choice for those who are on the move but still need that all-essential laptop that doesn’t weigh too much.

The Huawei MateBook 13 also has an excellent display, thanks to the screen-to-body ratio. Instead of having a screen that cuts off slightly at the bottom, often to make room for webcams at the bottom of your screen, the MateBook 13 makes room for you to see absolutely everything on screen with no compromise. Speaking of webcams, this webcam is positioned right on top of the laptop screen. If you’re someone who uses video calls on Skype or Google Hangouts, you’ll love this. The only downside is that the quality of the video’s resolution is capped at 720p, meaning you won’t look as good online as if you used a separate high-end webcam.

Huawei MateBook 13

(Image credit: Huawei)

There’s also the one-touch power button located on the keyboard. It doesn’t just power up your laptop, but works as a finger-sensor that will have you logged in and working faster than ever, while keeping your laptop locked and secure.

Huawei MateBook 13 review: Battery

  • Comes with a pocket charger that can charge laptop and your phone
  • Lasts up to 7 hours of non-stop use

Longevity is such an important factor in a laptop, but thankfully the Huawei MateBook 13 has battery life in spades. It may not last as long as other devices like a Macbook Air and MateBook Pro X, but a consistent seven hours is incredible if you’re working away and without a charger. That time frame, however, is dependent on how many programs you’re running at the time.

But even if you do find yourself running low while working, the pocket charger that comes with this device is phenomenal. It can quick-charge your laptop, giving you over 2 hours of extra battery life with just a 15 minute charge. You’re even able to charge your phone thanks to the multi-functional connectors, making it an efficient charger to have on your person.

If you do need a laptop with a more substantial battery life, we'd recommend the MacBook Pro 2019 or Dell XPS 13.

Huawei MateBook 13 review: Performance 

  • Intel Core i7 8565U processor is 40% faster than predecessors
  • Integrated and discreet graphics

With a powerful Intel Core i7 8565U processor that makes it 40% faster than previous iterations, the Huawei Matebook 13 delivers fantastic performance abilities that make using this laptop feel like a breeze. You don’t have to worry about the laptop overheating either, even when doing the most arduous tasks, thanks to the dual fans installed. These fans move 25% faster, improve airflow to keep the MateBook 13 nice and cool, and ultimately, makes running games and/or multiple programs feel smooth.

Huawei MateBook 13

(Image credit: Newegg)

It also helps that there is an Nvidia GeForce MX 150 under the hood, which means that the Huawei Matebook 13 can handle video editing, image processing, and even gaming. But don’t get us wrong, while the MateBook 13 can handle some hard-hitting programs, it is far from being a gaming laptop. It may be a jack-of-all trades sort of device, but it won’t run the big, triple-A games at high specs. 

Our colleagues over at TechRadar found that it struggled to get past 30 frames per second on Total War: Warhammer 2 and it wouldn’t even run Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Light gaming is fine, but for serious gamers we’d recommend something like the Alienware m-15

Huawei MateBook 13 review: Price and value 

  • The average price for the Huawei MateBook 13 is $999
  • No Thunderbolt 3 port makes transferring files difficult

With an average price of $999, the Huawei MateBook 13 may not be the best for those who are on a tight budget. While it does have a lot of incredible features and is highly efficient, if you’re only looking for a laptop for surfing the internet and social purposes then we’d advise getting something that’s less pricey.

Alternatively, if you don’t mind the price at all, the positive is that you’re going to end up with some very luxurious, modern hardware that provides you with some amazing features. Its 2160 x 1440 resolution screen has an anti-fingerprint coating, making you be able to use the touch screen without leaving fingerprints. It also has a sensor that allows you to log in securely. 

Huawei MateBook 13

(Image credit: Huawei)

On the memory front, the Huawei MateBook 13 comes with either a 256GB or 512GB SSD, which isn’t anything to sniff at. If you’re a person who values space and works with tough video-editing programs, this device is perfect for making sure that you have enough space and drive to give 110% to every project you work at.

There is a downside with transferring files, with a lack of a Thunderbolt 3 port and the memory being relatively low at only 8GB, but these issues are relatively minor drawbacks in the grand scheme of things..

Should you buy the Huawei MateBook 13?

In today’s world, where remote work is becoming increasingly prominent, a good laptop is an absolute must-have. The Huawei MateBook 13's blend of performance and affordability make it a great choice as an all-rounder - something that can handle whatever life throws at you. Just don’t buy this device thinking it’ll be good for high-end gaming or extensive video editing and storage.