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HUAWEI reportedly getting into the laptop business

Several new reports out of China suggest that HUAWEI could soon have its own laptop, though the operating system (or systems) of choice seem to be a point of debate.

Published onJanuary 18, 2016


It wasn’t that long ago that few people outside of Asia knew the name HUAWEI, let alone how to pronounce it. Thanks to the release of the Nexus 6P and a number of fairly successful recent products including the P8, Mate S, and Mate 8, HUAWEI has come a long way in a short span of time. With 2016 just getting its start, things don’t appear to be slowing down for the company either.

At CES, HUAWEI’s sub-brand HONOR made its US debut, and HUAWEI globally launched its Mate 8 flagship (though not in the US). What’s next for the company? A series of reports coming out of China suggests that HUAWEI is getting ready to jump into the PC market. As is often the case with emerging rumors, there are a number of somewhat conflicting reports. Some suggest the device will be a dual-booting Windows/Android product, others suggest it’s a Chromebook. It’s hard to say what the truth is, but we have some strong doubts about the Windows/Android dual-boot claims.

Over the years a number of players, including Samsung, have attempted to introduce dual-booting computers but ultimately nothing has surfaced from these endeavors, likely due to Google and Microsoft’s opposition of the effort. Of course it’s possible HUAWEI somehow found a way to compromise with these companies in order to make dual-booting happen, but we will be surprised if that proves true.

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The more likely scenario is that some of the Chinese sources got the facts mixed up and that the HUAWEI laptop will run either Windows or Android, and not both. Of course, even the idea of an Android laptop sounds a bit strange. One source, YICAI, mentions HUAWEI talking about the idea of Chromebooks and Windows machines. Since we used Google Translate to better understand the source, it’s hard to make out exactly what they are saying, but it gives us another piece to this puzzle.

Putting it all together, our best guess is that HUAWEI will offer a laptop computer that comes in both Chromebook and Windows flavors, though not as a dual-boot solution. This wouldn’t be the first laptop to come in both Windows and Chrome OS variants either, as Lenovo Thinkpad 13 debuted at CES 2016 with such options. It’s also possible there could even be an Android-based model running a customized version of EMUI (Huawei’s Android iteration), though we find that a little less likely.

While there are many unknowns at the moment, at least one source gives us a name for HUAWEI’s future PC endeavors: MateBook. Again, that’s just a rumored name, but one that we wouldn’t be shocked to see HUAWEI use. The only other thing we are fairly certain on is that the device will use an Intel processor, as Intel is mentioned by several different sources.

What do you think, would you like to see HUAWEI get involved in the PC space, whether it is Windows, Android, Chromebook, or some kind of hybrid? Do you think the company can find success in an area that it has never before ventured into? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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