Huawei MateBook 13 Review: A High Performance Ultrabook With Caveats

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Huawei MateBook 13: Graphics and Gaming Tests

UL’s well-known 3DMark benchmark suite features tests that target different types of computing devices. We opted for the Cloud Gate and Sky Diver tests since they are light-duty 3D graphics and gaming benchmarks that are well-suited to thin and light laptops. We also have plenty of comparison data for these benchmarks. Sky Diver is a bit more strenuous, but still well within the limits of our test group.

3DMark Benchmarks
3D Benchmarking

huawei matebook 13 bench 3dmark cloud gate

Cloud Gate reveals strong light-duty gaming performance for our pint-sized powerhouse. The MateBook 13 even surpasses the Zbook 2's Quadro M620, which beat it in the Cinebench OpenGL test.

huawei matebook 13 bench 3dmark sky diver

Sky Diver ramps up the graphical intensity slightly, and the MateBook 13 falls in right behind the Acer Swift 3. Sky Diver is more GPU bound than Cloud Gate is for our test systems, so the Swift 3's larger size and accompanying thermals fair better as a result.

GRID Autosport Benchmarks
Real-World Benchmarking

GRID Autosport is a cross-platform racing simulation developed by Codemasters. After the luke-warm reception of GRID 2, due to its less than realistic racing model, the Codemasters team set out to improve GRID Autosport's handling and environment rendering to make it feel like more of a true racing simulator. The game is based on Codemasters' EGO engine that has an amped-up physics and damage system that adds to the immersion and realism. Codemasters also tuned its graphics engine to perform well over a wide variety of mainstream systems, so it makes for a good watermark in a medium-duty graphics workload. It also happens to be billed as "optimized for integrated Intel HD Graphics", which is something you don't see everyday.

huawei matebook 13 bench grid autosport

The MateBook 13's results here are interesting. The GRID Autosport benchmark has a fairly lengthy duration without a break. This stresses the thermals more than 3DMark's tests. While Cinebench and Geekbench both suggested a promising performance under load, neither stressed the CPU and GPU together. In this light, the larger Swift 3 and MateBook X Pro machines are better able to keep their cool over the long haul, which results in less thermal throttling, and hence higher overall performance. In effect, while the MateBook 13 is certainly capable of gaming, we do not recommend it for more intensive sessions.

For our final tests, let's examine battery life, acoustics, and thermals...

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