Head-To-Head: Huawei MateBook Vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Battle Of The 2-In-1s

With an array of products including Apple's iPad Pro, Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 and other devices, the convertible PC market is becoming increasingly hot.

Huawei at Mobile World Congress threw its hat into the ring with its first-ever 12-inch convertible tablet, the Windows 10-powered MateBook. Shenzhen, China-based Huawei, which recently also released the Nexus 6P smartphone, touted the MateBook as "the new style of business."

Similarly to other convertible tablets, Huawei's MateBook transforms seamlessly from a tablet to a functional laptop with the addition of a keyboard cover. How does Huawei's new 2-in-1 stack up to other devices on the market, particularly Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft's Surface Pro 4? Following is a head-to-head comparison between the two convertible tablets.

Also, be sure to check out more of the CRN Test Center's side-by-side comparisons of the latest smartphones, tablets, and 2-in-1s.

The Exterior Build And Design

On the outside, the MateBook and Surface Pro 4 have a similar design -- both feature a curved-edged tablet that can be transformed to a laptop with the addition of a keyboard.

Huawei's MateBook has a 12-inch display, slightly smaller than the Surface Pro 4's 12.3-inch display. The tablet is lighter too, at 1.41 pounds, compared with the Surface Pro's 1.69-pound weight (1.73 pounds for the Skylake i5 and i7 models).

In terms of screen resolution, the MateBook has a 2,160-by-1,440-pixel resolution on an IPS display -- that's 216-pixel density, compared with the Surface Pro 4's sharper 2,736-by-1,824-pixel resolution (267-pixel density) on its PixelSense display screen.

Storage And Memory

In terms of storage, Huawei's MateBook has 128-GB, 256-GB and 512-GB SSD options, while the Surface Pro 4 comes with more varieties, including a 128-GB, 256-GB, 512-GB or 1-TB SSD model options.

Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 also offers more varieties with memory, with options of 4 GB, 8 GB or 16 GB RAM, while the MateBook offers only models with 4 GB and 8 GB RAM.

Both the MateBook and Surface Pro 4 run on Windows 10 Pro, which is the Windows operating system targeted for professionals in the workplace, indicating that both devices tout productivity functions.

Performance And Processors

One area where the Surface Pro 4 and MateBook differ the most is in their processors and performance capabilities.

While both 2-in-1s contain sixth-generation Intel processors, the MateBook packs options for the Intel Core m3, m5 and m7 processors, clocked at up to 3.1 GHz, while the Surface Pro 4 houses the top-of-the-line Core i-series processors. Intel's Core m processors are not as powerful, but do not require a fan to cool the processor down, meaning that Huawei's design can be thinner and lighter.

The Surface Pro 4 does also pack a model with an m3 processor, but has upgradeable models with the i5 or i7 processors.

Keyboard And Stylus

Huawei pleased consumers with its new keyboard and stylus -- its cover contains a full-sized keyboard that resembles Microsoft's, along with a bigger track pad. Meanwhile, Huawei also showed off a new stylus, the Mate Pen, which can be used as a laser pointer for PowerPoint presentations.

However, Huawei's keyboard and stylus must be purchased separately -- the keyboard is $129, while the Mate Pen is $59. Huawei's MateDock costs $89.

Meanwhile, the Surface Pro 4's hybrid comes out of box with the Surface Pen, but its keyboard needs to be purchased separately for $129.99. Its Type Cover with Fingerprint ID can also be purchased separately for $159.99, and the Surface Dock can also be purchased separately for $199.99.

Battery And Ports

According to Microsoft, the Surface Pro 4 has enough juice to last about nine hours of video playback, tested on an Intel Core i5, 256-GB device with 8 GB of RAM. Huawei's 4,430 mAh battery powers its device up to 10 hours, according to the company.

On the port front, the MateBook also has a USB Type-C dock that incudes Ethernet, USB outputs and a VGA output. The Surface Pro 4 does not have a USB Type-C cord, instead opting for a full-size USB 3.0 ports, a microSD card reader, and Mini DisplayPort.


The Surface Pro 4 definitely wins on the camera front by having a rear-facing camera, while the MateBook lacks one.

Microsoft's 2-in-1 contains an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and 5-megapixel front-facing camera with 1080p HD video capabilities, while the MateBook contains only one 5-megapixel front-facing camera. Neither detachable has a camera with a flash.

Pricing And Availability

Because of the difference in the levels of performance between the Surface Pro 4 and MateBook, the price tag of the two 2-in-1s will be a big factor for consumers.

The MateBook, which will be available in the coming months, is less expensive across the board, as expected for its lower-end specs. The MateBook will cost around $700 for the entry-level model with 4 GB of RAM and a 128-GB SSD. However, users will also need to buy the keyboard for $130, as well as a stylus for $60 and dock for $90 if they prefer.

The MateBook's price maxes out at its high-end model with 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage, costing $1,600 without the keyboard.

Meanwhile, the Surface Pro 4, currently available, has a starting price of $800 for its model with 16 GB of storage (configurable with up to 1 TB of storage). The device's stylus is included, but to get the keyboard users will have to shell out an extra $130.