Huawei MateBook 13 Review: A High Performance Ultrabook With Caveats

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Huawei MateBook 13: Peek Under The Hood

As notebooks shrink in size, their interiors become more and more interesting. There is no such thing as a standard layout. Engineers instead must design the internal layout from scratch to make the best use of minimal space. Throwing in a discrete GPU like the GeForce MX150 into such a small machine adds additional complexity.

huawei matebook 13 bottom

Let's start off with the bottom panel. There is a sizeable intake grill near the hinge and airflow is exhausted out the back. The two smaller grills are for the notebook's downward facing stereo speakers. The MateBook 13 has four small rubberized feet. We also see six T5 Torx screws which should grant us access to the interior...

huawei matebook 13 screw under foot

...Or so we thought. It turns out Huawei put four Phillips screws beneath the rubberized feet as well. This adds unnecessary obscurity to maintenance and upgrades. Users may find they need to then re-glue the feet in place to avoid losing them in the future.

huawei matebook 13 interior view

At any rate, we are now inside the MateBook 13. There were a couple retention clips in place, but nothing too difficult to work past with a spudger. The most obvious thing to note here is that it contains a smaller battery than many competing notebooks in its class.

huawei matebook 13 nvme drive

The battery confirms the rated capacity of 41.7 Wh -- or 3660 mAh at 11.4V. To the left of the battery is the system's M.2 NVMe solid state drive and a look at one of the stereo speakers.

huawei matebook 13 gpu heatsink

The upper left corner holds another vacant M.2 slot for potential upgrades. A copper heatpipe leads from the well-shrouded CPU. Its location here keeps it close to the M.2 headers to reduce storage latency. We also assume the soldered DIMMs accompany the processor under this shroud. Unfortunately, memory upgrades are off the table.

huawei matebook 13 cpu heatsink

The GeForce MX150 is located on the opposite side of the cooling fans and just above the Intel 9560 Wireless-AC card. Huawei notes that staggering the CPU and GPU on either side of the cooling fans helps separate the heat generated from each for better efficiency.

Overall, it does not appear Huawei has snuck in any black magic solutions to defeat physics, so let's explore how the MateBook 13 actually performs...

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