Early every year the tech industry and press descends upon Barcelona for Mobile World Congress. This year's iteration of the world's largest mobile-focused tech show was dominated by expectations of the Galaxy S9, which in past years drowned out other announcements, so it seemed like most other manufacturers dialed back their expectations for the show. It made for a quiet MWC, but there were still some quality new announcements that stood out.
These are our favorites, our top picks, our Best of MWC 2018 Awards!
Huawei MateBoook X Pro: Best of MWC 2018, Best Design, Most Innovative
While the Galaxy S9 was busy cleaning up and clearing out the smartphone category, Huawei came in and unexpectedly knocked things out of the park for laptops with the beautiful, powerful, and innovative Huawei MateBook X Pro. This 14-inch laptop that trimmed away bezels not just on the top and sides of the screen, but also the bottom, packs the latest Intel processors, a decent NVIDIA MX150 GPU, incredible Harman Kardon speakers, and more. Lopping off all the bezels did come with one question, though: where to put the webcam? Huawei's solution was to stick it on a pop-up key slipped between F6 and F7 — it's a it more of a nosecam than other options, but still a clever solution nonetheless.
Hands-on: Huawei MateBook X Pro ditches every bezel
Lenovo Yoga 730 15-inch: Best of MWC 2018
Lenovo's convertible Yoga 700 series has always had a bit of a dual personality thing going, with the 15-inch version packing substantially more capability than the 13-inch, though at the expense of weight and thickness. The new Yoga 730 15-inch is no different, bringing a 15.6-inch 4K touchscreen, the latest Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, and an option to upgrade to a quite powerful NVIDIA GTX 1050 graphics card. You want a big-screened convertible laptop packing big power? The 15-inch Lenovo Yoga 730 is a great option.
Lenovo Flex 14: Best of MWC 2018
While we're typically enamored with the high-end portables that check all of the specs boxes, there's a place for quality entry-range laptops. Lenovo's updated Flex 14 (or, as it's known outside the USA, Yoga 530) is one such laptop. At the starting price of $599.99 you won't be wowed by the processor, RAM, or SSD storage, but if you really want you can configure it with power powerful specs (though then you should probably consider a different model). What the Flex 14 offers is value — you're getting a solid convertible laptop from a company that makes some of the best in the business, and you're not paying a lot for it.
HP EliteBook 800: Best of MWC 2018
Whoever said business laptops have to be boring black slabs apparently didn't tell HP. Their new EliteBook 800 series of laptops is bucking the design trend of computers made for the corporate space, offering a silver aluminum body, flowing lines, and all the power you could ask for. It also packs a bunch of business-centric features, like a sliding camera cover, a full selection of ports (including HP's Dock Connector alongside Thunderbolt 3 and a fold-down Ethernet port), and HP's slick actived-at-the-touch-of-a-button display privacy filter.
Lenovo Yoga 730 13-inch: Best of MWC 2018
The 15-inch Yoga 700-series wasn't the only one to get an update — the more compact 13-inch convertible also received an overhaul in the form of the Yoga 730. It carries over a lot of the great design from last year, though with some refinement over the 720. Also on tap are improved specs, including a beautiful 4K IPS LCD panel, Intel's 8th Gen Core i5 and i7 processors, and Intel HD 620 Graphics, all in a slim 14.1-mm, 2.46-pound package that starts at $879.99.
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Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.