BARCELONA: HUAWEI HAS kicked off the 2018 bunfight that is MWC with some surprise announcements (OK, so they've been leaked like crazy, but hey) that have nothing to do with phones.
Instead, the Chinese tech giant has revealed an upgraded version of its ‘mobile notebook' the MateBook and a new range of Mediapad tablets.
The launch has seen a change in focus, with any attempt to launch a phone scuppered by the Samsung Galaxy S9, scheduled for later on today.
Instead, the Huawei MateBook X Pro offers an upgraded version of the company's Surface Book rival, while the MediaPad M5 places a range somewhere between basic Android tablet and convertible.
The MateBook X Pro is another 14in ultrabook device like its predecessor, which didn't come to the UK, but adds a 3k near-bezel-less touchscreen, i7u Intel processor 8th-Gen, 16GB of DDR5, 512GB SSD and most impressively, a recessed camera, hidden in the keyboard, to address security concerns and improve video conferencing.
Quad speakers with Dolby Atmos coupled with four far-field microphones and, perhaps most impressively of all, a 2GB Nvidia GeForce graphics chip make it a multimedia machine, as well as a business tool.
And if it sounds like "nearly a games machine", there's a Thunderbolt 3 port to add an eGPU.
The Huawei MateBook X, which we're told will launch in the UK later this year, will be available from €1,499.
The Huawei MediaPad M5 range is a continuation of the companies Android tablet collection and comes in two sizes and two and a half models.
The MediaPad M5 8.4 and M5 10.8 both offer 2560x1600 IPS screens, Kirin 960 chips, Android 8.0 Oreo running EMUI 8.0 and 4GB RAM.
There are 32GB, 64GB and 128GB editions, all boasting an SD slot for up to 256GB extra support and as well as WiFi and Bluetooth, all models have a SIM slot for 4G.
All offer USB-C fast charging, but no headphone slot - for that you'll need the bundled adapter. Dual cameras come in the form of an 8.4MP selfie camera and a 13MP rear camera.
The MediaPad M5 10.8 Pro is identical to the 10.8, but comes bundled with the new H-Pen, which won't be sold separately. Specs are identical otherwise - but you have to decide up front if you want pen support or not, as you can't add it later.
It's a bit of a weird one, which we assume will be explained in the pricing, which we'll be adding shortly. Pogo connected keyboards are available separately to turn the 10.8 version into convertible machines.
Huawei's MediaPad tablets will be available from €349 and €399, respectively, while the LTE models will be €50 more expensive. The Pro edition will be available from €499.
We'll be publishing our hands-on first impressions of the Huawei MediaPad range later today, too. µ
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