Huawei’s MateBook 13 Looks Like a Real MacBook Air Killer

The Huawei MateBook 13 is a compact subnotebook with a 13-inch screen. The Chinese manufacturer keeps the familiar design for the 2020 model, and only updates the processors. Huawei Matebook 13 is equipped with the Intel Core i5-10210U (Comet Lake), 8 GB RAM, and a 512 GB NVMe SSD. You can also get the MateBook 13 with an AMD processor (Ryzen 5 3500U).

The display is always a glossy 2K-IPS screen with the 3:2 aspect ratio. The MateBook 13 is the only device in Huawei’s current line-up where the camera is located at the usual spot in the upper bezel and not integrated into the keyboard as a hidden module. Huawei MateBook 13 has 3:2 panel with 2160×1440 pixels still has a very reflective surface. The subjective picture impression of the IPS panel is very good: Rich colors, decent contrast ratio, and high brightness.

However, you can also see a slight color cast towards green/blue, especially if you are you used to working with calibrated screens. The viewing-angle stability of the IPS panel is good; you can only notice a brighter image from very wide angles and there should not be any limitations during your regular use. The glossy screen is a problem outdoors. The panel is very bright at more than 400 nits, but you always have issues with reflections in bright environments.

Huawei equips the current MateBook 13 with a Comet Lake processor (10th gen), which is still manufactured in the old 14nm process. This also means the Core i5-10210U in our review unit is not much different from the old Core i7-8565U of the predecessor. Please see our tech section for more technical information on the processor. 

Modern Intel CPUs can reach very high Turbo clocks (in this case up to 3.9 GHz for all four cores), but the performance utilization depends on the cooling solution and the TDP configuration of the manufacturer, respectively. We can actually see the maximum clock of 3.9 GHz under load for a short time, but this results in a power consumption of 42 Watts. The consumption quickly drops to 25 W and then quickly levels off at 15 W and 4x 2.4 GHz. The result is that the CPU performance is very similar to the 

previous model, which is actually slightly ahead in terms of single-core performance. The performance is not reduced on battery power.

The MateBook 13 performs well within the comparison group and is also ahead of the Dell XPS 13 and the Acer Swift 3, which are equipped with an Ice Lake Core i5 (10nm). The 512 GB NVMe SSD (M.2-2280) from WDC is attached via PCIe-x4 interface and manages very high transfer rates in our tests. So far so good, but similar to the MateBook X Pro, we do not like the partition of the hard drive out of the box.

You can only use 42 GB on the system drive (C) after the initial launch. This can be quickly filled if you do not pay attention when you download files or install applications. The remaining capacity (381 GB) is available on the data drive (D).