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Christmas Gift Guide

This is the Huawei Matebook, a 12-inch tablet running Windows 10. But that's only part of the story...

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The Matebook is just 0.27 inches (6.9mm) thick -- as thin as an iPad. That's impressive for a Windows computer.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

All by itself it's a fairly boring silver (or gold) slate, but it does have a few claims to fame -- like this lightning-fast fingerprint sensor to sign into Windows easily. It's one of the fastest we've ever tested.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

And around top, there are a pair of surprisingly awesome stereo speakers that I don't mind listening to tunes on. That's rare for any tablet computer.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Thinness comes at a price, and one of them is ports. The Matebook's only ports are this USB-C one, for both data and charging, and a 3.5 mm audio jack near the top.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

If you're willing to pay more than the $899 base price, the Matebook becomes far more useful. Here it is with the $129 keyboard folio and the $59 stylus pen. (UK and Australian prices are yet to be announced, but the base price converts to around £680 or AU$1,225.)

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

In other words, it's very much like the Apple iPad Pro...

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...but it's a little bit smaller than the 12.9-inch iPad Pro...

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...and significantly bigger than the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Huawei decks out all its accessories in black or brown leather. What's that accessory at right, the one that looks like a sunglasses case?

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

It's got a white cable sticking out of it...

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Aha! It's the $89 docking station for this tablet. One USB-C cable goes into the tablet, and you can plug in power, two USB devices, an Ethernet cable for wired internet, and a monitor into the HDMI or VGA jacks around back (not pictured).

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

If you open up the leather flaps, you'll find storage for the Matebook's included, ridiculous, two-part USB-A dongle that'll let you connect a flash drive or mouse.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The keyboard cover is a little stiff, but surprisingly easy to type on.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

It's got an excellent smooth texture to the touchpad, too. My fingers just glide across.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The keys don't have much depth, but there's some. Also, the keyboard is backlit.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The optional stylus has a frickin' laser pointer built right in. It charges with a Micro-USB cable underneath the cap.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The stylus comes with a little magnetic leather loop to stick it to a specific spot on the keyboard folio.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Sadly, it's better at holding onto the pen than it is at holding onto the folio. Good luck not losing it.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Speaking of things falling off, the tri-fold folio stand for the tablet has two positions. This one's fairly strong...

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

...but the second viewing angle is weak. It's easy to accidentally bump it and make the whole tablet assembly fall apart.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

And remember, the Matebook doesn't come with either the stylus or the keyboard out of the box. If we had to pick, we'd definitely pick the keyboard -- using it with the stylus alone is awkward.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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