What’s so special about an external monitor? Isn’t it just something you need for a desktop computer or reluctantly buy to complement a laptop? Most of the time, yes, external monitors can reside on the boring side of the gadget spectrum. Here, Huawei’s 4K-plus 28-inch MateView makes the category a bit more exciting, both with its visual design and host of integrated features. It wouldn’t take much imagination for it to be turned into an all-in-one computer. In fact, its sleek and straight-lined design makes it not too far off from looking like a new iMac from Apple.
The MateView has Bluetooth, NFC and Wi-Fi connectivity along with a speaker and USB-A ports, a 3.5 mm jack, a USB-C, an HDMI and a MiniDP for I/O. It even has a Smart Bar for switching between those inputs through touch controls. It’s an impressive piece of hardware, even before turning it on. While the monitor is not yet available in the U.S., we went hands-on for a first look.
The Look of Huawei’s 4K-Plus MateView
The MateView measures 28.2 inches diagonally. Beyond the display are straight lines and a minimal aluminum aesthetic. General display thickness isn’t much of a concern anymore as all screens have naturally shrunk their depth. Even for the nondiscerning, however, the screen is noticeably thin. It’s held up by a squared-off stand that integrates all the connectivity without much fanfare.
The stand deserves its moment, as it’s one of this monitor’s highlights. The height can be raised or lowered by pushing up on the bottom or down on the frame. It’s a pleasant experience to adjust its height and is effortless in practice. The angle can also be changed by pushing or pulling on the screen’s thin bezel. And finally, the base is a firm foundation. I didn’t notice any unwanted movement in the form of rocking or swaying.
When the monitor is turned on, the IPS display, with a resolution of 3840 x 2560 and 500 nits of brightness, is easy on the eyes. For casual work and school use, the screen is plenty sufficient—very nice looking in fact. It should be able to cover most people’s needs. The colors matched those on the MacBook Air M1 close enough to be used next to each other without being distracting.
The thing that does take a little getting used to is the monitor’s 3:2 aspect ratio. Instead of being wider, it’s taller. Unlike a TV displaying widescreen video content, the thought here is that it’s more important to have vertical real estate for the most common use: a web browser. In reality, large monitors are already wide enough at the close distances we sit in front of computer screens so adding vertical, instead of horizontal, space makes sense. Over time, the taller aspect ratio began to feel more natural.
The Smart Bar is interesting for changing inputs and manipulating the monitor’s settings in theory, but in practice it was a little annoying. It works a little better than the arrow buttons of the past, but just barely.
The two 5-watt speakers in the stand can get loud to be useful for video calls, but they don’t sound good. Their hollow and trebly tone is what you would expect from tiny speakers shoved into a small area. They are nice if you absolutely don’t want external speakers cluttering your desk, or just don’t have room for any other ones.
The monitor can use a single USB-C cable to display content and charge a laptop. The MateView is an ideal docking solution for people constantly leaving their desks and moving around the house. Of course, this isn’t a unique feature to the MateView, but that doesn’t make it any less useful here.
If you do have a supported Huawei phone or MateBook computer you can take advantage of the wireless projection technology. Otherwise, you’ll need to use one of the three different ports to display your content.
MateView does offer an eye comfort mode in the settings to adjust the color temperature. Much like Apple’s Night Shift or other options out there, Huawei’s attempt at less eye strain worked fine. It will merely be a personal preference.
Where Is the Huawei MateView Available?
Currently, Huawei lists China, Japan, Germany, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar as the countries that can purchase the MateView. Huawei’s German site lists the monitor price as 699 euros (around $820). Of course, if the monitor does launch in North America soon, the price could vary. Would this be a compelling monitor for somewhere around $800? Absolutely. The combination of modern ports and connectivity, a color-accurate display and a brilliantly designed stand makes the 4K-plus MateView 28-inch monitor a solid product.
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