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Huawei MateBook 16S blends power, portability and premium looks

12th-Gen Intel power in an 18mm thick chassis

Huawei MateBook 16S hot stuff on orange background

Are you one of the millions that learned the joys of hybrid working over the last year or so? Huawei reckons a laptop with a bigger screen will make for a smoother transition, upping your productivity without chaining you to a desktop monitor. The Huawei MateBook 16S is the firm’s new flagship model, swapping AMD power for 12th-gen Intel CPUs and gaining some slick new cross-device features for anyone already deep into the firm’s ecosystem.

With a 90% screen-to-body ratio, the MateBook 16S’ 16in LCD touchscreen has slimmed-down bezels and a 3:2 layout that more comfortably fits two documents side-by-side than a 16:9 panel. It’s got a better-than-Full-HD 2520×1680 resolution, 300 nit peak brightness and 1500:1 contrast ratio, with Huawei promising 100% coverage of the sRGB colour gamut.

The 2MP, 1080p webcam now sits at the top of the screen, rather than being built into the keyboard (which was a recipe for double-chins). It gains an Apple Center Stage-like FollowCam mode, which tracks your face and keeps it locked in the centre of the screen during video calls. An 88° field of view should help you frame more than one person at once for collaborative working.

Huawei is also going big on cross-device collabs this year, with the ability to automatically discover and pair any own-brand earphones, mice, keyboards, speakers and printers in close proximity to the laptop. Huawei phone owners will be able to mirror their handset onto the laptop screen and share files between the two devices, and Huawei tablets can now double as drawing pads or second screens.

The laptop itself is a svelte 17.8mm thick and weighs in at 1.99kg, which neatly undercuts the latest 16in Apple MacBook Pro. As big-screen models go, this should be among the more transportable.

Naturally for a flagship model construction is all-metal, with a ceramic sandblasting process used to give the whole thing a textured surface. There’s a sizeable glass touchpad, with stereo speakers sat on either side of the keyboard tray.

A selection of 12th-gen Intel CPUs provides plenty of power, with a monstrous Core i9-12900H sitting top of the pile. It packs 14 cores, 20 threads and a 5GHz turbo frequency, and is cooled by a custom dual fan cooling system that uses a mix of heatpipes and copper alloy heatsinks. It should bring enough grunt to demolish any desktop task, and handle more demanding jobs too.

Each machine is equipped with 16GB of DDR5 memory, and either 512GB or 1TB of NVMe SSD storage. Intel also supplies the GPU, with Iris Xe graphics able to speed up image and video editing, and even manage a bit of gaming at sensible detail settings and resolutions.

There’s an 84Wh battery keeping the lights on, with a 90W USB-C power brick as standard and faster 135W adaptor for the top-spec model. This is capable of juicing the laptop to 50% in about half an hour.

There’s no connectivity compromise in the name of portability, with two USB-C ports (one that doubles as a Thunderbolt 4 port), two USB 3 ports, a 3.5mm combo port and an HDMI output. It’ll also handle two external 4K monitors at once. Huawei’s familiar power button/fingerprint sensor combo also makes a return for quick logins.

The Huawei MateBook 16S is set to land in the UK from the 13th of July onwards. Prices will start from £1299 for the Core i7 version, with the Core i9 variant set to follow in August for £1499, and will be available from all the usual online retailers. Anyone buying from the Huawei web store before August can also scoop up a free MateView GT 27 monitor, while stocks last.