Huawei’s Surface… sorry, Mate Book debuts at MWC 2016

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Huawei have come up with an answer to Microsoft’s Surface hybrid devices and they’re showing it off at Mobile World Congress. Seems like they cribbed a bit of the name from Apple in the process, though, as the new, oversized and powerful slate is known as the Mate Book. Yeah, that’s going to cause some confusion among the Apple-loving hard-of-hearing.

MatebookWhich might not be too horrifying. Huawei’s Mate Book is extremely similar to Microsoft’s Surface 3, being a Windows 10 hybrid consisting of a tablet screen and an optional extra keyboard. The Mate Book is constructed primarily from aluminium (and glass, don’t forget the glass) and weighs in at just 640 grams.

That’s not much at all for a 12-inch display and a fairly respectable amount of computing power. As respectable as can be crammed into a 6.9mm thick profile, anyway. The screen is also an attractive factor. Huawei have sprung for a 2,160 x 1,440 IPS TFT panel.

The Mate Book runs one of Intel’s Core M processors, with 4GB and 8GB RAM options and a whole selection of solid-state hardware from 128GB to 512GB. It’s not the most powerful setup ever but at least there’s no useless 64GB option. Otherwise, expect a lot of laptop-like hardware, such as speakers, a 5MP camera (Skype, for the use of), WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1, a headphone port and then USB-C, which covers your charge port and a peripheral connector. Oh, and a 4,430mAh battery.

Huawei’s Mate Book starts at around R13,500 (€799), with more expensive models rattling your wallet to the tune of R30,500 – for a Core M processor, 8GB of RAM and 512GB of solid-state storage. You’ll wind up shelling extra for the keyboard (R2,550), MatePen (R1,200), and MateDock (R1,700) to boot.

And, like the Surface, you might have a tough time finding it in the South African market come launch day — it’s scheduled for release in Asia, Europe and the US in the next few months. No mention of Africa in there… dammit. We would like to see some ultraportable Huawei hybrid computing at Stuff Towers. Hint, hint, Huawei.

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