The man is sitting at the end of the table dressed in a well-fitted gray suit, highly polished shoes, and a pink shirt, with matching pink handkerchief in his upper left-hand pocket. He’s here to discuss Huawei’s brand new lineup of notebook products in a pre-conference group interview in Berlin.
The man is Wan Biao, President of Mobile Broadband and Home Product of Huawei. He looks fierce and breathes heavily.
Biao asks if anyone has any questions to get things started. Nobody does. I decide to ask something lighthearted about how things are at Huawei right now, just an ice-breaker. His response comes back moments later through his stone-faced translator:
“Are you referring to Huawei Group or Huawei Consumer Business Group?”
It appears the question is going to be taken very seriously. We’re probably here to talk very seriously about the new notebook family.
“In developing our MateBook series, we have a few core ideas,” says Biao. “We want to develop very beautiful products, we don’t want this to be just an industrial product, we want it to be a fashionable product.”
Biao adds: “Considering that businessmen usually travel a lot, [we] want this product to be light, thin [and] at the same time very beautiful.”
The gold MateBook X in Biao’s hand looks immaculate, but Huawei didn’t want beauty to compromise the hardware. Biao assures that it can still deliver in power.
“You may worry about performance, but it carries a seventh generation Intel processor,” he said, of the notebook. Huawei is able to house the high-performance chip inside a 12.5 mm-thick laptop thanks to its “unique heat dissipation technology,” which means the notebook can operate without a fan.
Biao reels off a number of other impressive details about the laptop, including that it’s the “smallest 13-inch notebook,” (though I believe this actually refers to its thin bezels, not the device body), it’s the first of its kind to use the Dolby Atmos Sound System, and it’s quiet, thanks to the aforementioned fanless design.
The MateBook X is trendy. Perhaps elegant. It’s notebook for those who don’t want to be seen outside with a noisy, mid-tier Acer device with large bezels and a matte black finish — and can afford to do something about it. I am not in Huawei’s target market.
The MateBook X is launching for €1399 up to €1699 in Europe, though US price details are yet to be announced. You can look forward to it from summer 2017 in both regions.