Huawei MateStation X hands-on review: All aboard for productivity
Embattled Chinese giant plays it smart with an all-in-one expansion of its booming PC business
Huawei’s smartphone business may be somewhat struggling, but its PC division has been going from strength to strength over the last few years. Although it can’t have Android on its smartphones, Huawei can thankfully still licence Windows and hardware from the likes of Intel and AMD, and its PC sales increased by 36% across Western Europe in 2021.
For 2022, the company is adding to its PC portfolio with a new all-in-one desktop, the MateStation X. This completes the firm’s home office suite of devices, which includes laptops, tablets and monitors, by adding a central home computer for its device ecosystem - and a remarkably impressive one, to boot.
Huawei MateStation X hands-on review: Design
The MateStation X is easily identifiable as a Huawei machine and not just because the logo is stamped on the back. The 28.8in display comes with ultra slim bezels, similar to its monitors and even its newest laptops. In fact, if you’ve seen the company’s MateView display, you’ll find the MateStation X oddly familiar, as the design is all but identical, bar a slightly wider stand.
The back panel is free of ports, as part of the MateStation’s clean and minimalist design. It does have ports - they’re just hidden on the side of the stand to keep everything neat and tidy. What’s more, the display is connected to the stand by a hinge that’s so effortless, we were able to adjust it with a little finger. Sadly, however, that’s just limited to tilt adjustment; there doesn’t appear to be any way to adjust the height.
The whole machine weighs just 9kg, which is a tiny bit heavier than a 27in iMac, and it comes with a wireless keyboard and mouse. In fact, with its clean lines and aluminium-finished exterior, it’s more than a little reminiscent of Apple’s desktop, which is no bad thing, and both are beautifully crafted machines.
Huawei MateStation X hands-on review: Display
The display accounts for the majority of the MateStation X’s appealing design; it has a 92% screen-to-body ratio, 60Hz refresh rate and a 3,840 x 2,560 4K+ resolution. It’s also capable of 98% coverage of the DCI-P3 colour gamut and a maximum brightness of 500cd/m2, according to Huawei.
It did appear to be very sharp and bright during the hands-on session, however, its peak brightness might never be actually needed as the display is laced with anti-reflection technology. This is five layers of nanoscale glass that filters external light so that it doesn’t affect the screen and, as our images show, there is not a single screen glare to be seen.
As with many of Huawei’s laptops, this is also a ten-point touch screen display. This is by no means new for a desktop, but we’ve never been overly convinced of its usefulness for anything other than occasionally closing dialog boxes. This is especially true given the comparative lack of adjustability, which means it can’t be used as an art easel in the same way as Microsoft’s superlative Surface Studio 2.
Huawei MateStation X hands-on review: Specs and hardware
As we said earlier, the MateStation is a new venture for Huawei, and it’s opted to bring AMD along for the ride, rather than Intel. The decision was supposedly prompted by AMD’s capacity for 7nm chip production, so the MateStation has AMD Ryzen 5 5600H and Ryzen 7 5800H chips, matched with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.
On paper that should result in high performance, though the lack of a discrete GPU means that it’s not exactly going to be a powerhouse for creative tasks, and we won’t really know about its capabilities until we get a unit in for a test. Likewise, the machine is fitted with silent cooling technology, but given how noisy our hands-on session was, we can’t say just how effective this is.
Huawei MateStation X hands-on review: Features
There’s more to discuss, for now, when it comes to features, with the MateStation supporting Wi-Fi 6, a 720p webcam, fingerprint reader in the keyboard’s power button and five woofer speakers that have been co-engineered with Devialet. There’s also two USB Type-A ports, two Type-C ports and a 3.5 mm headphone jack.
However, the MateStation is also a key component for Huawei’s new Super Device drag and drop screen sharing technology. This is a simple Bluetooth feature where users can easily link a MateBook laptop or MatePad tablet with the MateStation, either to increase screen space or to seamlessly share files and data across the devices. The UI resembles a solar system, where the main machine (the MateStation) is the central planet with other available devices in its orbit. You need to drag and collide the planets into each other to connect - it’s both useful and visually cool.
Huawei MateStation X hands-on review: Early verdict
Huawei’s MateStation X is priced at €1,899 but there is no release date as yet. We’re told this is because the Chinese giant is still figuring things out with the marketing, but it means we also don’t have an exact price or availability for the UK. However, this could well be a machine that’s worth waiting for; our experience with the MateStation was largely positive, and it certainly does look very pretty.
If you’re a heavy Huawei user and have any of its laptops or tablets, then this could be a great addition to your home office, particularly with its Super Device features. In such a short space of time, the Chinese giant has made great strides in the PC game, and the MateStation X is by far the most exciting development in its portfolio.
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