The Chinese manufacturer has introduced another impressive notebook at a very impressive price. Apart from the huge Huawei logo on the lid, MateBook 13 (2020) is very reminiscent of the Apple MacBook Air of the same year. It is extremely thin, very light, and has an unpopular feature, that is shared with the latter – you’ll see what we’re talking about later.
In contrast to the Apple machine, this notebook has a potent 15W processor – either from Intel (Comet Lake-U), or AMD (Ryzen 3000U). Believe it or not, some models will be available with dedicated graphics in the form of GeForce MX250. That’s incredible. Ultimately, students will be extremely happy with the machine… Well, at least on paper.
Its also worth noting that the display tall 3:2 aspect ratio, which makes browsing the Web, writing documents, and program codes a lot easier.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/huawei-matebook-13-2020/
Huawei MateBook 13 (2020) - Specs
All Huawei MateBook 13 (2020) configurationsSee all Huawei MateBook 13 (2020) review – the MacBook Air clone that’s actually better configurations
What’s in the box?
Inside the beautiful White box, we found a 65W power brick, paired with a USB Type-C cable and some paper manuals. Thankfully, our unit shipped with a USB Type-C dongle, which outputs a bunch of display signals, and provides a USB Type-A expansion.
Design and construction
There is no doubt, that this is one stunning little machine. It is entirely made out of aluminum alloy, which is why it’s cool to the touch. In terms of weight, the device stops the scales at 1.31 kg, while the height of the profile is 14.9mm. Moreover, its tall aspect ratio makes it a lot less wide, when compared to other 13-inch notebooks. We also have to say that the structural integrity of the device is outstanding.
While its lid cannot be opened with a single hand, we’re happy to see thin bezels all around the display with what seems to be one of the few Huawei notebooks that have its camera located at the orthodox location – above the display. By the way, the screen is covered by a glass sheet, which makes it extra resistant to flex.
After you open the lid, you will see the keyboard, which spans from side to side with almost no empty space. Generally, it is a good unit with backlight, clicky feedback, and large keycaps. Interestingly, despite its shallow key travel, we found it really comfortable to type, and getting used to it was a breeze. Here, the Power button is located in the top-right side of the base, and it embodies a fingerprint scanner – a quite fast one, to say the least.
Of course, beneath the keyboard, you can see the touchpad. Contrary to the screen aspect ratio, it is wide and the tracking is better than most of the laptops in this price range. However, there is a bit of dead space between clicking and registering an input, which is petty.
In contrast to the MacBook Air, this notebook’s speakers are placed on the bottom of the device, hence they fire downwards. As far as the ventilation goes, there is a reasonably sized grill for air intake on the bottom, while the hot air escapes from around the hinge cover.
Well, we were a bit disappointed by the port selection. All-in-all, there are two USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 1) ports and an audio jack. On the bright side, the dongle that comes inside the box offers you expansion to one USB Type-A port, one USB Type-C port, a VGA port, as well as an HDMI connector.
Disassembly, upgrade options, and maintenance
Okay, Huawei, we haven’t played this game with you before, but there is a first time for everything, right? Like HP loves to do, there are four hidden Phillips-head screws, in addition to the 6 Torx screws. In order to find them, grab your plastic pry tool and remove all four rubber feet. After you undo all of the screws, just pry the panel away.
If we have to be honest, we are very pleasantly surprised by Huawei’s approach to cooling so far. This notebook features two pretty thick heat pipes, as well as two fans, blowing all of the heat away.
Sadly, but unsurprisingly, you won’t be able to upgrade your memory. All you can do is pick the largest 16GB version upon purchase. On the other side, you have one M.2 PCIe x4 slot.
Since there is not much space left inside, Huawei only managed to put a 41.7Wh battery.
Huawei MateBook 13 (2020) is equipped with a Full HD+ IPS panel, Chi Mei P130ZFA-BA1 (CMN8201) (IVO8544). Its diagonal is 13-inch (33cm), and the resolution – 2160 х 1440p. Additionally, the screen ratio is 3:2, the pixel density – 200 ppi, their pitch – 0.127 х 0.127 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 43 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).
Viewing angles are comfortable. We offer images at different angles to evaluate the quality.
The maximum measured brightness is 424 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 410 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 9%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 6550K – almost matching the 6500K temperature for sRGB.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 42% Brightness (White level = 142 cd/m2, Black level = 0.14 cd/m2).
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is good – 1020:1.
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.
Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.
Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.
The yellow dotted line shows Huawei MateBook 13 (2020)’s color gamut coverage.
Its display covers 93% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.
Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.
We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.
Below you can compare the scores of Huawei MateBook 13 (2020) with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).
The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.
The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale, and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.
Response time (Gaming capabilities)
We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.
We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 24 ms.
Health impact – PWM / Blue Light
PWM (Screen flickering)
Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.
Huawei MateBook 13 (2020)’s display doesn’t flicker at any brightness level (we detected PWM with a frequency of 60 kHz occasionally at low brightness levels). This makes it comfortable for long periods of use.
Blue light emissions
Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.
Huawei MateBook 13 (2020)’s IPS panel has a Full HD+ resolution, comfortable viewing angles, good contrast ratio, and relatively high color coverage (93% of sRGB). Also, its backlight doesn’t flicker and our Gaming and Web design profile makes the colors accurate enough so that the laptop can be used for professional color-sensitive work.
Buy our profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Huawei MateBook 13 (2020) configurations with 13″ Chi Mei P130ZFA-BA1 (CMN8201) (FHD+, 2160 × 1440) IPS panel.
*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]
Read more about the profiles HERE.
In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.
Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.
Design and Gaming
This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.
THealth-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.
Huawei MateBook 13 (2020)’s speakers produce a relatively loud sound with decent quality, but practically no punch. On the bright side, the low, mid, and high tones are clear of deviations.
All of the drivers and utilities for this notebook can be downloaded from here: https://consumer.huawei.com/en/support/product/?tag=mate-book&u=u
Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. This notebook’s 41.7Wh battery delivers 7 hours and a half of Web browsing and 6 minutes less during video playback.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.
Our unit is equipped with an AMD processor. It is the Ryzen 5 3500U, and as far as we know, this is the only AMD CPU option yet. On the other side, you can pick a MateBook 13 (2020) with two Intel processors – the Core i5-10210U, or the Core i7-10510U.
Results are from the Cinebench 15 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)
Respectively, the integrated graphics cards would be the Radeon RX Vega 8 and the Intel UHD Graphics. However, some Intel-equipped models, come with a dedicated GeForce MX250 GPU.
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)
|CS:GO||HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)||HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings)||HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||55 fps||41 fps||31 fps|
|DOTA 2||HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)||HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings)||HD 1080p, High (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||82 fps||56 fps||30 fps|
Temperatures and comfort
Max CPU load
In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.
Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.
|AMD Ryzen 5 3500U (15W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|Huawei MateBook 13 (2020)||3.13 GHz (B+49%) @ 60°C||3.00 GHz (B+43%) @ 65°C||2.67 GHz (B+27%) @ 67°C|
|Huawei MateBook D 15 (2020)||3.14 GHz (B+50%) @ 64°C||3.00 GHz (B+43%) @ 71°C||3.05 GHz (B+45%) @ 77°C|
|Lenovo V155 (15)||3.18 GHz (B+51%) @ 63°C||2.92 GHz (B+39%) @ 71°C||2.73 GHz (B+30%) @ 74°C|
|Lenovo IdeaPad S540 (14″)||3.24 GHz (B+54%) @ 60°C||3.08 GHz (B+47%) @ 66°C||2.95 GHz (B+40%) @ 72°C|
|ASUS ZenBook 14 UM431||2.95 GHz (B+40%) @ 65°C||2.92 GHz (B+39%) @ 68°C||2.24 GHz (B+7%) @ 56°C|
Even though it has a very thin package, MateBook 13 (2020) happens to be efficient-enough when it comes to cooling. It has no problem maintaining relatively high frequencies and rather low temperatures under extreme load.
Comfort during full load
In these conditions, the laptop tends to get a bit on the loud side. Nevertheless, it still remains cool-enough on the outside, plus, the fan is almost inaudible during low load scenarios.
Quite obviously, the MateBook 13 (2020) is targeted towards users that would like to get the MacBook Air (2020), but lack the budget, or are set down by the performance of the product. Interestingly, the Chinese manufacturer has definitely made great steps to make a decent device, providing a 3:2 display with a relatively high resolution, powerful hardware, and decent battery life, in a package, that is marginally smaller than the MacBook Air.
At first, we were a bit worried about the cooling properties of the notebook, but taking a peek inside revealed a two-heat pipe setup with dual fans, blowing the heat away from the device. This happened to be just what it needed, as the Ryzen 5 3500U never got above 70C in our extreme workload test.
Sure, there are a couple of setbacks. One of them is regarding the quality of the touchpad, as it has an ever so slight dead zone before it registers your click. Also, the device comes with only two USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 1) ports. Sure, Huawei was kind enough to include a dongle that outputs Type-A, another Type-C, HDMI, and VGA signal, but you have to know that there is a slight hit on comfort, while using a dongle, nonetheless.
Huawei MateBook 13 (2020)’s IPS panel (Chi Mei P130ZFA-BA1 (CMN8201)) has a Full HD+ resolution, comfortable viewing angles, good contrast ratio, and relatively high color coverage (93% of sRGB). Also, its backlight doesn’t flicker and our Gaming and Web design profile makes the colors accurate enough so that the laptop can be used for professional color-sensitive work.
Not only it is good for work, but it can last around 7 hours and a half during Web browsing and video playback. It is not a lot, but the 41.7Wh battery couldn’t provide more. By the way, the build quality of the notebook is fantastic. It is entirely made out of aluminum, and its display is covered by a glass sheet.
So, if you want to be able to upgrade your memory or you need faster transfer speeds, this is probably not the best notebook for you. However, you just can’t ignore the fact that this budget machine has premium properties all over itself.
- Doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjustment (Chi Mei P130ZFA-BA1)
- Covers 93% of the sRGB gamut (Chi Mei P130ZFA-BA1)
- Stylish design and good build quality
- Supports up to 64GB of DDR4 memory
- Decent build quality
- High maximum brightness (408 nits) and great color accuracy with our Gaming and Web design profile (Chi Mei P130ZFA-BA1)
- Fingerprint reader
- Very limited I/O (despite the dongle in the box)
- Memory is soldered to the motherboard
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/huawei-matebook-13-2020/