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Huawei reveals MateBook X Pro laptop and MediaPad M5 tablets

Chinese computing brand Huawei has unveiled a new high-end laptop and three new tablets. The Huawei MateBook X Pro laptop is something of a MacBook competitor. It has a 13.9-inch 3K display, which you can also use as a touchscreen.

Meanwhile, Huawei’s three new tablets are the 8.4-inch and 10.8-inch MediaPad M5, plus a 10.8-inch MediaPad M5 Pro. The latter is a potential rival to the iPad Pro and Microsoft Surface Pro ranges of top-end tablets. While we haven’t yet had the chance to test Huawei’s new models, we’ve run through their key specs and claims to see how they stack up against the best laptops and tablets on the market.

Be sure to watch our hands-on video of the new Huawei MateBook X Pro and MediaPad tablets:

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Laptop reviews[1] – find the best laptop for your budget.

Huawei MateBook X Pro laptop

This is a super-slim laptop designed to compete with a MacBook in the looks department. The bezel around the screen is so narrow that there’s no room for a webcam at the top of the display. Huawei has had to be a little creative to still include a webcam, tucking it underneath the keyboard.

There’s a physical button with a camera icon on it between the F6 and F7 keys – pressing this makes the webcam pop out. To make it go into hiding again, you simply press down on the button once more. You can buy the MateBook X Pro with either an i5 or i7 Intel Core processor.

UK pricing isn’t yet confirmed, but the i5 version with 256GB of storage costs EUR1,499, while the i7 one with 512GB costs EUR1,899. We expect to see the MateBook Pro available to buy sometime in March 2018.

Huawei MediaPad M5 tablet

There are two different sizes of the MediaPad M5: 8.4 inches and 10.8 inches (pictured above). Each tablet runs with a 2K resolution, which should make for a sharp screen.

You have two colours to choose from for the case: grey or champagne-gold. The M5 tablets are powered by a Kirin 960 Series processor, which Huawei says will let you speed through apps and web browsing with ease. The 10.8-inch version has a larger 7,500mAh battery to the 8.4-inch version’s 5,100mAh offering – but that doesn’t automatically mean its real-world battery life is better, as it has to power a larger screen.

The 10.8-inch MediaPad M5 also has a desktop view, giving you a taskbar and easier access to your files. This means the larger option might be a better choice if you like to use your tablet to get on with work on the go. There are a few different pricing options, although UK prices haven’t yet been confirmed.

The least you’ll be able to spend on the 8.4-inch version is EUR349, and EUR399 for the 10.8-inch one, giving you 32GB of storage. They’re wi-fi only, with no 4G option available. If you spend EUR499 on the 8.4-inch version or EUR549 on the 10.8-inch one, you get 128GB plus 4G web-browsing.

We expect the MediaPad M5 to be available to buy in spring. See more Best Buy tablets[2] reviewed by Which?.

Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro tablet

This tablet aims to compete with the iPad Pro and Microsoft Surface Pro tablets. It comes with an ‘M-Pen’, a stylus with which you can write directly on the screen.

The 10.8-inch display recognises a whopping 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity – a light touch will give you a thin line, while a heavier touch thickens it. You might appreciate this for quickly jotting a note, or for sketching if you’re artistically inclined. Like the other new M5 tablets, it’s powered by the Kirin 960 processor.

There’s a 13Mp rear camera, as well as an 8Mp lens on the front for video calls. The M5 Pro undercuts the iPad and Surface Pro models on price (although UK prices aren’t yet confirmed). The cheapest version of the MediaPad M5 Pro is EUR499 – this gives you 64GB of storage, and you’ll need to be connected to wi-fi for internet use.

Spend EUR599, and you get 128GB of space and you can browse the web on the superfast 4G network – handy if you like to use your tablet on your commute.

Does Huawei make good laptops and tablets?

Huawei’s laptops and tablets certainly have a lot of competition, including from brands such as Apple, Lenovo and Samsung. It’s a newer brand for the UK market (it’s pronounced ‘wha-way’, incidentally). While we’ve not previously tested any Huawei laptops, the Chinese manufacturer has put out some impressive tablets so far.

The devices have not been universally outstanding, but our tests have uncovered Best Buy tablets from Huawei. To earn our Best Buy recommendation, laptops and tablets have to be really simple to use, speedy, and have good battery life and clear displays. Laptops and tablets are typically not cheap.

The last thing you’ll want to do is spend a lot of money, only to feel bitterly disappointed.

To avoid making a decision you’ll regret, take a look at our Best Buy laptops[3] and Best Buy tablets[4] before spending a penny of your hard-earned cash.


  1. ^ Laptop reviews (
  2. ^ Best Buy tablets (
  3. ^ Best Buy laptops (
  4. ^ Best Buy tablets (

New laptops from Dell, Lenovo, HP and more unveiled

Among the headlines about new TVs[1] and smart robots[2], CES 2018 has also seen some fresh laptops introduced by the big brands. Dell, HP, Asus, Lenovo and Acer all brought new computing products to the Las Vegas tech show, bringing various boasts about more power, sleeker designs and better specs. Laptop reviews[3] – see the latest tested models, including all our Best Buys.

Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

We’ve tested the Dell XPS 15 laptop[4] that was introduced last year, but in 2018 Dell will introduce a 2-in-1 tablet-laptop hybrid version.

Similar to the already-released XPS 13 2-in-1[5], this 15-inch convertible is a very powerful machine, with the latest Intel 8th-generation processor combined with an AMD Radeon GPU with dedicated Ram. It’s quite slim, at 16mm in depth, and it has a keyboard set-up that uses innovative magnetic technology to give a very thin profile. The ‘infinity edge’ display has 4K resolution and you can use a pen accessory to write notes or interact with programs.

The Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 will launch in the spring. We don’t have UK pricing yet, but it will apparently cost £1,300 (GBP960) in the US. Also at CES, Dell announced that it will introduce another colour variation for the new Dell XPS 13[6] that launched in the UK just after New Year.

Alongside the existing silver and black option, Dell will also offer a version with a rose gold shell and ‘alpine white’ interior. Finally, the computer giant has unveiled a new Dell Mobile Connect platform for its newer laptops that enables you to make calls, send instant messages and use apps on your computer. You just download the Dell Mobile Connect app to your iPhone or Android phone and then enjoy mobile features on your PC (apps only work with Android devices).

Lenovo Miix 630

Lenovo also had a big presence at CES 2018 and took the opportunity to introduce a new Mirage VR headset (with Google Daydream), a Lenovo Smart View speaker to compete with the Echo Show and two new ‘mod’ accessories for the Moto Z.

But it also introduced a new hybrid device that merges mobile and PC computing power. The Lenovo Miix 630 is similar to the Lenovo Miix 720[7] introduced in 2017, but is aimed at more casual users who want a tablet with a bit more computing grunt for editing documents or using basic programs. Just like the 720, the Miix 630 has a tablet that snaps into a case with a built-in keyboard.

The Miix 630 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and can be connected via wi-fi or a 4G Sim card. It runs Windows 10 S[8], which is essentially a stripped down, simpler but also more limited version of Windows 10. Think of it a bit like a smartphone operating system with an app store featuring approved apps and programs.

If buyers decide they don’t like Windows 10 S, they’re able to switch to Windows 10 with a 180-day free trial of the software. Lenovo claims that the Miix 630 will give 20 hours of battery life based on casual use, but we won’t know for sure if that is true until we test it. The Miix 630 will launch in the second quarter of 2018 (April, May or June) and cost £799 (GBP590) in the US.

You get the keyboard cover and a stylus included in the price.

HP Spectre x360 (15-inch)

Dubbed ‘the world’s most powerful convertible PC’, the HP Spectre x360 (15-inch) is aimed at serious laptop users and creatives. It’s the latest version of the X360[9] that has an Intel 8th-gen quad-core processor. This can be paired with either Radeon RX Vega M graphics, or Nvidia GeForce MX 150.

In either configuration, you’ll be able to edit and view even 4K graphics. The 15.6-inch touchscreen display has 4K resolution and is protected from scratches by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 4. You can write and draw on the screen with HP’s Tilt Pen stylus.

The battery is claimed to give 13.5 hours of use, and HP’s fast-charge technology supposedly charges to 50% in just 30 minutes. As a convertible, you can use it as a standard laptop or a tablet, or flip it around into stand mode. The HP Spectre x360 (15-inch) with Intel 8th-gen processor will launch in the spring.

Pricing is yet to be announced, but as the previous-generation model cost around GBP1,500, don’t expect it to be cheap.

Acer Swift 7

CES is all about ‘world firsts’ and Acer is keen get in on the action. The Swift 7 is claimed to be the world’s thinnest laptop, at 8.98mm in depth. That’s just a bit thicker than an iPhone 8 but a millimetre thinner than the 2017 version of the Swift 7.

Despite its slim frame, Acer has fitted in two USB-C ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack in the new Swift 7 (model code SF714-51). It’s a slim and sleek-looking laptop, decked out in all-black aluminium that feels nice to touch and use. The 14-inch touchscreen has tiny bezels around it to ensure the overall size is kept as compact as possible.

Thanks to the integrated antenna, you can connect to the internet via 4G LTE as well as wi-fi. Alongside being the thinnest laptop at CES, it’s also one of the most expensive. We don’t have UK pricing yet, but it will start at £1,699 (GBP1,599) when it launches in the US in April.

Asus Zenbook 13

Leading Asus’s 2018 laptop line-up is the latest iteration of the Zenbook 13, under the model name the UX331.

Just like previous Zenbook 13s, it’s pitched to compete with Apple Macbooks, giving you premium specs and a sleek design. The UX331 is very thin, weighing only 985g, and has an impressive all-metal body. The Zenbook 13 is powered by an Intel 8th-gen core i7 processor with 16GB of Ram.

It comes with a 1TB SSD and audio by Harman Kardon, and battery life is claimed at 15 hours. We don’t have UK pricing yet but, inevitably, you’ll be able to buy it in rose gold colour. In addition to the new Zenbook 13, Asus introduced the Zenbook Flip 14 (UX461) at CES 2018.

This 14-inch laptop is super-thin at 13.9mm in depth, and has an Intel 8th-gen i7 quad-core CPU with a GeForce MX150 graphics card.

It’s due to go on sale in March 2018 starting at £899 (GBP664) in the US.


  1. ^ new TVs (
  2. ^ smart robots (
  3. ^ Laptop reviews (
  4. ^ Dell XPS 15 laptop (
  5. ^ XPS 13 2-in-1 (
  6. ^ Dell XPS 13 (
  7. ^ Lenovo Miix 720 (
  8. ^ Windows 10 S (
  9. ^ X360 (

Amazon Alexa app coming to Windows PCs

Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant is coming to Windows PCs. You’ll be able to schedule calendar events and run web searches with your voice, but what does this mean for Microsoft’s own Cortana voice assistant? A selection of big-name PC brands will adopt the Amazon Alexa app this year.

Computers from Acer, Asus, Lenovo and HP are set to feature the digital helper. Keep scrolling for a closer look at what Alexa has to offer, and find out what the future holds for Microsoft Cortana. Best Buy laptops[1] – budget buys and premium alternatives

Alexa vs Cortana?

Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system already comes with the Cortana voice assistant built in.

It lets you speak commands to your PC, or initiate web searches through the Microsoft Edge browser and Bing search tool. The partnership between Microsoft and Amazon means you’ll be able to open up Alexa on Windows by saying ‘Hey Cortana, open Alexa’. In theory, introducing Alexa to the Windows 10 environment presents an element of competition – consumers could opt to use Amazon’s service over Microsoft’s own.

We’re interested to see how the two voice assistants will partner up later this year. Based on performance to date, we feel that Alexa is the superior service, and we welcome the chance to have an element of choice. If, say, you run an Amazon Fire tablet or Amazon Echo speaker, it means you won’t have to switch from speaking to Alexa on these devices to speaking to Cortana on your PC.

It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Microsoft could abandon Cortana entirely. The voice assistant is hardly ubiquitous, with Windows Phone failing to take off and Microsoft yet to make a dent in the smart-speaker space that Amazon is rapidly coming to dominate.

Data-sharing implications

There are still several unanswered questions surrounding the move, though. We’d like to know how personal data will be shared between the two voice assistants, and whether or not the pre-installed Alexa app will be removable.

We’ll keep our eyes open as more information comes in. Not everyone is a fan of voice-assistant technology, of course. There’s no way – at present – to switch off Cortana completely, although you can limit its interactions and control its privacy settings.

Learn more about how to control Cortana in Windows 10[2]

‘Hey Alexa, what’s new?’

There’s no shortage of voice-enabled gadgets on the market, and things aren’t slowing down. This spring will see a wave of Windows 10 PCs go on sale featuring a pre-installed Alexa app. On these new PCs, Alexa will live alongside Microsoft’s own digital assistant, Cortana.

Admittedly, Cortana isn’t as powerful as its rival, which is capable of controlling other smart devices. Even so, it can still generate weather reports, set reminders, offer directions and generate news headlines. Many Windows PCs going on sale this year will make use of Intel’s Smart Sound processor, which is designed to manage voice commands and high-fidelity audio for clearer feedback.

Older Windows 10 PCs may lack this latest tech, but will likely still be able to run the Amazon Alexa app for Windows once it’s available in the Windows Store.

Which computers will support Alexa?

Acer notebooks

Acer has confirmed that Alexa will be making its way on to the company’s products ‘from Q1 2018’. The list of supported models will include the Acer Aspire 5 (right), Aspire 7, Spin 3, Spin 5, Swift 3 and Swift 5. Acer Aspire all-in-one PCs will also be supported.

Alexa will first become available in the US, with wider support ‘expected mid-2018’. See how Acer laptops fare in our rigorous lab tests by visiting our Acer laptop reviews page[3]. The new HP Pavilion Wave

This year’s Pavilion Wave is set to drop in spring, starting at £549.99 (around GBP400), and will come with Amazon Alexa pre-installed. This updated model doesn’t look too dissimilar from the Amazon Echo hub, with a blue light bar at the top of the tower flashing to indicate when the PC is listening to your commands.

HP says the standing design of the Wave means that it can ‘hear voice commands from any angle’, which could prove handy if you want to bark orders at Alexa from a distance. Owners will be able to control their music, set alarms, and manage other smart home devices when the desktop PC lands later this year.

Last year we reviewed the original Pavilion Wave, which features a sixth-generation i3 processor, 8GB of Ram and a 1TB hard drive. To see if this unique-looking desktop deserves a spot in your home office, head over to our full HP Pavilion Wave review.[4] Asus laptops

Asus also has plans for Alexa, confirming this week that selected ZenBook models and VivoBook laptops will support the tech. We’ll know more about the company’s new range of laptops in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for updates.

Windows PCs in our lab tests

If you’re planning on buying a new PC this year, make sure you enlist the help of our expert reviews and land yourself a Best Buy. We test laptops[5], all-in-one PCs[6] and desktop PCs[7] throughout the year, paying close attention to power, speed and ease of use.

Buyers on a budget looking for a portable device should see our guide on the top 5 cheap laptops for under GBP500[8].

If it’s a desktop you’re after, our advice on how to buy the best desktop PC[9] should come in handy.


  1. ^ Best Buy laptops (
  2. ^ how to control Cortana in Windows 10 (
  3. ^ Acer laptop reviews page (
  4. ^ HP Pavilion Wave review. (
  5. ^ laptops (
  6. ^ all-in-one PCs (
  7. ^ desktop PCs (
  8. ^ top 5 cheap laptops for under GBP500 (
  9. ^ how to buy the best desktop PC (

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