Huawei is refreshing its laptop lineup with several new models featuring Intel and AMD processors set to go on sale in China this month.
The company’s latest Huawei MateBook X is a 13 inch notebook with a 3000 x 2000 pixel touchscreen display, an Intel Comet Lake processor, and a new pressure-sensitive touchpad. The company has also introduced new MateBook 13 and MateBook 14 laptops powered by AMD Ryzen 4000 series “Renoir” processors. And Huawei’s new MateBook B series laptops are thin and light notebooks designed for business.
Given the impact of US trade restrictions on Huawei’s phone business, it’s unclear if or when these new laptops will be available outside of China though… or how long the company will even be able to keep making laptops.
Fortunately for folks who do manage to get their hands on one, PCs are a bit different from phones, in that you’ll probably continue to receive Windows software updates indefinitely… and even if that were to change, you’d probably be able to install a GNU/Linux distribution to extend the laptop’s life.
Here are some key details for Huawei’s 2020 laptop lineup.
Weighing just about 2.2 pounds and measuring just over a half inch thick, this laptop has a magnesium alloy chassis and the notebook features a 3:2 aspect ratio display surrounded by slim bezels on all sides for a 90-percent screen-to-body ratio.
The screen is an LTPS display that packs 278 pixels per inch and supports up to 400-nits of brightness and 100-percent sRGB color gamut.
Huawei will offer Intel Core i5-10210U or Core i7-10510U processor options and the laptop supports up to 16GB of LPDDR3 memory, and up to 512GB PCie NVMe solid state storage.
Like earlier MateBook X laptops, the new model has a webcam that’s hidden in the Fn key area of the keyboard. Press the camera button and the webcam pops open. Press it again and the camera hides — the good news is there’s no need for a camera shutter, while the bad news is that you’re likely to end up shooting video at unflattering angles.
Other features include quad speakers, NFC, a 42 Wh battery, and two USB-C ports (but no Type-A ports).
Wireless capabilities include WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0.
The new pressure-sensitive touchpad is similar to the Force Touch trackpads Apple uses on its laptops… except that MacBooks run an operating system designed for pressure-sensitive touchpad input. The MateBook X will ship with Windows, so I’m not really sure how useful this feature will be.
Prices in China range from around $1150 to $1450 depending on the configuration, and the MateBook X (2020) should be available in that country starting August 24th.
Both of these new laptops are available with a choice of AMD Ryzen 5 4600H or Ryzen 7 4800H processors and both feature 2160 x 1440 pixel IPS displays with support for up to 300 nits of brightness and 100-percent sRGB color gamut.
While these laptops pack a little more horsepower than the MateBook X, they’re a bit thicker, heavier, and lack some of that notebook’s speakers. They’re also much cheaper, with prices starting as low as $665.
Available with up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of PCIe NVMe storage, these laptops feature stereo speakers, multi-touch trackpads (without pressure sensitivity), USB-C and USB-A ports, and support for WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0.
The Matebook 13 is powered by a 42 Wh battery and the notebook measures 0.6 inches (14.9mm) thick and weighs about 2.9 pounds.
The MateBook 14 has a higher capacity 56 Wh battery and weighs a bout 3.3 pounds. It’s also a tiny bit thicker, at 15.9mm.
Huawei MateBook D
These new business laptops come in three varieties:
- MateBook B5-420 – 3.4 pound, 14 inch notebook with 2K display, Intel Comet Lake, NVIDIA MX350 graphics, and a 56Wh battery
- MateBook B3-410 – 3 pound, 14 inch laptop with Intel Comet Lake processor, integrated graphics, a 180-degree hinge, and a 42 Wh battery
- MateBook B3-510 – 15.6 inch version that weighs 3.4 pound and has a 56Wh battery