back to article Fan boy 3: Huawei overhauls Air-a-like MateBooks

Huawei's impressive business laptops are now a bit more affordable. The burgeoning PC giant is bringing MateBook X features to a new lower-priced range announced on Sunday at Mobile World Congress. All that know-how gained trying to emulate Apple's phones is now devoted to emulating Apple's notebooks. With Huawei's first …

  1. andy 103
    Stop

    Stop, just stop

    The Apple-copying tactics of Huawei are almost cringeworthy.

    Telling someone you own a "MateBook" is a bit like saying you're wearing a Ralgex on your wrist. Except you didn't even pay fuck all for it, they almost got the same kind of cash out of you Apple want.

    I like to imagine someone at Huawei sees the irony of their name looking like "who are we" but of course they'll have been too busy trying to copy someone to notice.

    Bollocks to this.

    1. N2

      Re: Stop, just stop

      Indeed,

      might as well just buy the MacBook if that floats your boat, looking at the price.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stop, just stop

      Was thinking much the same myself as I read the article.

      "MateBook"? "X"? "Pro"?

      That sort of soundalike name and cheesily arbitrary mixing and matching of terms Apple use smacks more of bootleg Chinese game consoles like the "PolyStation III" (an NES clone tarted up to resemble a PlayStation) and other similarly low-rent crap.

      This might work when you're trying to exploit people's ignorance or lack of experience to mislead them into buying some borderline legal tat at a market stall, but we're talking about a computer selling for over $1000 here (i.e. one with both the aspirations and price you'd expect from a genuine attempt to compete with Apple).

      Yes, we get that it's obvious a MacBook Air wannabe, but at this level, you maintain the pretence that it's a worthwhile computer in its own right. Naming it like this just makes it look very cheap and tacky and (ironically) reduces its perceived value.

      Although it's been obvious in recent years that Chinese companies are starting to improve their marketing to match the movement upmarket of their products, missteps like this show that Huawei's marketing department- or at least part of it- hasn't entirely shaken off the mentality of the "bottom-of-the-market knockoff" years.

      (Then again, it's also possible that this product is as much aimed at the Chinese market. I'm aware that their perceptions of value don't necessarily tally with those of us in the West. It's also possible they're aiming it at the well-off tier of Chinese nouveau riche who'd previously have bought a MacBook, but might be dissuaded from doing so by their government's increasing social pressure towards buying home-grown brands and against previously-desirable foreign ones like Apple).

      1. HolySchmoley

        Re: Stop, just stop

        Apple... Beatles...

        Just saying.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Stop, just stop

          Exactly, I don't see how Huawei can be accused of copying the Beatles and their record label by developing a laptop. We all know Apple is the company created by the Beatles.

    3. spold

      Re: Stop, just stop

      Interestingly I interviewed one of their VPs and their stated goal was to be "better than Apple" rather than cloning or cheaper - I think they are striving for this (for a current example the Mate X phone). I'm not going into the more controversial "how they get there" so don't downvote me on that!

      BTW incidental useless fact for the day - a favoured translation of the name (locally) is "Chinese achievement" - but Hua also translates as "flowery beauty" - which is where the flower logo comes from.

      1. Wyrdness

        Re: Stop, just stop

        ' Hua also translates as "flowery beauty" '

        Or alternatively...

        Fatty Owls

        Watery Fowls

        Flowery Twats

        Farty Towels

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Stop, just stop

          Hua in this case means "China". And the name in Chinese is beautiful enough that all but the parochial shouldn't care how it sounds in English.

    4. Captain Scarlet
      Mushroom

      Re: Stop, just stop

      Hangon, to me that looks more like a HP EliteBook 830 G3 (Which I admit itself is just a copy of Apple's design and equally annoying to me, instead of being simple to maintain (Even the god aweful Elitebook 9470m which likes to kill itself) it now requires every bloody screw to be taken off the bottom, it also feels more like an air fix kit than a laptop as well).

      I just contradicted myself, well blast it.

    5. teknopaul Silver badge

      Re: Stop, just stop

      Book is a pretty standard suffix for a keyb + monitor clamshell.

      E.g. Ultrabooks etc.

      Laptop was always a silly name.

    6. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Stop, just stop

      The Apple-copying tactics of Huawei are almost cringeworthy.

      What is cringe-worthy is Apple doesn't seem to mind Huawei copying not just the looks but the name.

      If this was some company outside China, Apple's lawyer would be all over them like a rash. Unfortunately, Apple is very selective/sensitive about suing anyone from China.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Stop, just stop

        It's a laptop with a non-16:9 screen and discrete GPU. Good! Finally*, thank goodness! If the rest of it is good too, then why the hell do you care that it looks like a MacBook?

        An aluminium laptop is going to look like an aluminium laptop. It's not the only suitable material but it is a good one.

        *Other than the pricey Surface offerings, this combo has been rare.

  2. Gil Grissum

    Who really needs the latest Macbook Pro, when you can buy re-conditioned, save money, and still have the real thing and not a copy cat from a company that's in the cross hairs of the US Gov for being a Chinese Manufacturer?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >cross hairs of the US Gov for being a Chinese Manufacturer?

      Where are Macbooks and iPhones made ?

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

        No-one ever accused the US Government of being consistent.

        Thats why a Chinese owned manufacturer is being nobbled but US companies who outsource to more shadowy Chinese manufacturers are not nobbled in-spite of the case that it would be far easier to infiltrate a 3rd party supplier than a 1st party one.

        It's nothing to do with espionage and everything to do with geo-political game playing.

  3. Timmy B

    Support and servicing

    I wonder how good and accessible these will be in the UK. If it's anything like the debacle I had trying to get a Huawei phone fixed then not very good at all. Phone crashed during a firmware update and bricked. Sent to hauwei for repair only to be returned as it was water damaged which wasn't true. They attached a picture of the water damage indicator. Checked the phone and the one on my phone wasn't triggered. So they totally lied and sent a made up picture.

    1. BigSLitleP

      Re: Support and servicing

      Or they got your phone mixed up with someone else's, which is more likely.

      1. Timmy B

        Re: Support and servicing

        Still very shoddy.

  4. jelabarre59

    Repair

    So if they're copying Apple, will they be just as crap to repair an a MacBook? I can just hear Louis Rossman bitching about them already.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is the point ?!?

    If you only buy a MacBook because it's Apple hardware you need your head examined IMHO. You buy the device because it runs MacOS, with all the benefits as well as disadvantages, and with its proper power and heat management to deal with the size (note: blowing out the dust occasionally is not a bad idea).

    Years ago I had one of the Sony VAIOs which tried to be "as small as Apple" and the damn thing melted the bottom grid through which air exited - it was my no means a LAPtop, and this was a top of the line machine. The only time I have ever seen air heated up quicker was at a friendly radio amateur's house whose TV transmission endstage only needed 20cm of forced air heatsink to convert air from room temperature to "get the sausages out, now" (and which proceeded to melt the TV aerial he hooked it up to as a test, I still don't know how it survived the impedance mismatch that that must have produced but it sure was impressive).

    Anyway, if you run Windows there are nicer/cheaper devices out there which give themselves some room to get rid of the heat. I don't think the Apple form factor is that good that I'd want it for a Windows machine. On MacOS you don't have much of an option :).

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: What is the point ?!?

      Most Windows laptops have 16:9 screens. This doesn't, which is a step in the right direction. Reviews of last year's Matebook range were very positive, so what's a nicer, cheaper option?

    2. Charles Calthrop

      Re: What is the point ?!?

      I have bought macs to only run windows on, because the build quality and trackpad was fantastically better than anything else

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What is the point ?!?

        I have bought macs to only run windows on

        Wow. That's like buying a Porsche and exclusively using it in first gear.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Patriots Run This Hardware

    https://www.elektor.de/pi-top-v2-laptop-kit-for-raspberry-pi

    Yeah, not fast enough for the Google JSware. Turn that off. Security hole anyway.

    Fast enough to write your papers and perform spreadsheet calculations with libreoffice.

    Not beholden to Comminet nor Dollarnet !

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Patriots Run This Hardware

      And uses a raspberry pi for its processing, which is fine, but essentially makes you pay twice as much for a laptop that you have to put together than a comparable machine would be. With the goal of a cheap, underpowered laptop running a lightweight Linux, why not find one of the cheap windows laptops with Linux drivers (quite a few have that figured out already). You'll have the same screen and keyboard, multiple ports, a more powerful processor (although only slightly), more memory, and builtin storage. I like the pi, but this pseudolaptop built around it does it a disservice.

    2. bpfh
      Linux

      Re: Patriots Run This Hardware

      Welsh patriots?

      (Penguin icon as there is not one with a sheep)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does it include free backups to XiCloud?

    Does it come with free backups to XiCloud with geo-replication to NSA Cloud?

  8. armster

    Lenovo anyone

    I still like Lenovo for the Laptops. Whenever I look they always have the best price/performance ratio in almost any category of laptop. Here I would compare to the Yoga 730. 2 real Thunderbolt 40GB ports, too. And 33% cheaper in a very similar form factor. Only issue is screen ratio: 1980x1024.

    1. rmason

      Re: Lenovo anyone

      Our sales types go through the hinges of yogas like they're made of paper.

      The earlier models we had seems to last about 18 months before some of the soldered on bits break, the later models seem to be a bit better,

      I'm all up for ordering a a couple of these, and see how they get on with them. They're a decent percentage cheaper for the i7 models.

  9. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Linux

    People say it seems to run Linux well too.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      I wonder if it would run OSX, via the usual slightly-less-than-legit methods... now wouldn’t that be interesting, if it turned out to be a better MacBook than the MacBook...?

  10. wolfetone Silver badge

    If this laptop had a keyboard like the old ThinkPad's used to have - none of this chiclet bollocks that's infested everything - more people would buy it for that then the fact it looks like a MacBook.

  11. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

    Well, I might give it a closer look

    A compact machine with good resolution screen, nVidia graphics (if basic, but at least I can run CUDA stuff), and a non 16:9 aspect ratio screen ticks a lot of boxes. If it runs Linux, so much the better

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Well, I might give it a closer look

      Just be aware that only the Pro version supports Thunderbolt 3, so the junior version isn't suitable for connecting to external GPUs ;)

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