REVIEW: Huawei MateBook X Pro
Huawei is more well known for its smartphones and other accessories in Ireland, but they are slowly foraying into the laptop industry and are beginning to release their new devices into the Irish market. Cue the release of the Huawei MateBook X Pro, its most expensive laptop this year with a lightweight design, a 10th generation Intel Core i7 chip, and a 56Whr battery capacity with fast charging support. Here’s our full review.
Huawei MateBook X Pro 2020 specs:
- 13.9-inch 2:3 touch display, 3000 x 2000 px
100% sRGB gamut coverage, 260 PPI, 450 nits
- Intel Core i7-10510U
NVIDIA MX 250 GPU
- 16GB RAM LPDDR3 2133 RAM
- 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD storage
- 1MP Webcam
- Quad digital microphones, Quad Speakers
- Fingerprint scanner
- Dual-band WiFi 802.11 AC, 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0
- 1 x USB-C, 1 x Thunderbolt 3 (shared with charging), 1 x USB3.0 Type A
- 3.5mm audio jack
- Huawei Share support
- Windows 10
- 56Whr battery
65W charging support
- Color: Space Gray
Design & Build Quality
Honestly, this laptop just screams quality all throughout. This Matebook represents Huawei’s vision of a lightweight and thin, yet powerful, laptop while keeping the core features intact with its all-aluminum chassis. On the left side, we see the 3.5mm audio jack and two USB Type-C ports, with one supporting Thunderbolt and simultaneously acts as the charging port. The lone USB-A port is art the right, which supports USB 3.0 speeds.
Opening the lid isn’t hard as it can be done with one hand easily. Inside are the IPS display, the keyboard, four speakers (two under one grille on both sides of the keyboard) and the trackpad. The keyboard offers a chiclet-style design with full sizes, save for the function keys that were cramped to provide space for the camera that’s placed at the upper-middle port, just between F6 and F7. The trackpad is graciously placed at the bottom.
I like how the backlit keyboard and the trackpad are all beveled under the surface to provide a sense of boundaries. The trackpad feels great to drag your fingers along. It also supports multitouch, so it’s easier to scroll using the trackpad alone when you don’t feel like using the touch display.
Then there’s the camera. A press to that sole camera button reveals the 1-megapixel camera, and it’s a genius move to provide a sense of privacy by hiding it when not in use. I’ve seen a lot of people cover their laptop cameras with tapes and I thought this was an innovative way of providing that sense of privacy. The camera does a great job, though you’d probably look into it a lot more since it captures you from further down rather than on face level which may be unflattering at times.
The power button is also nicely chiseled and embellished with a chrome accent around, which helps especially in dim situations. The button also doubles as a fingerprint scanner, which is very useful for one-touch unlocking through Windows Hello.
When folded, the device is quite thin enough to be placed inside an envelope and carried around like a folder with many inserted papers inside. This design reminds me of Apple’s MacBook AIr, but in a good way since it has more ports and features.
The star of the show is the MateBook X Pro’s screen. The near bezel-less 14″ display, which is a touch-enabled screen with a 3K resolution at 3000 x 2000 makes Images and text shown really pop, and it offers a near-accurate saturation, which makes this laptop a good choice for creatives who rely on proper colour reproduction to do photo editing or proofing. It’s an IPS screen, so viewing angles are impressive as well. The brightness is just enough to be used outdoors while the dimmest offers comfortable lighting for nighttime use.
The highly-reflective display, though, suffers from intense glare coming from outdoor surroundings, so it’s recommended to work under areas with ample shade. Another is the actual aspect ratio, which is at 3:2. While it’s great for productivity-focused activities like document writing or multi-window multitasking, consuming content such as 16:9 videos with persistent horizontal letterboxes isn’t ideal but this is a trend we’re seeing right across the laptop industry so we can’t really blame Huawei for following suit.
The laptop’s speakers are very well placed beside the keyboard and offer upward-firing sound, and average at 77dB which is good enough for quiet medium-sized rooms. Unsurprisingly, given its svelte dimensions, the overall sound quality is pretty average with weaker mids and highs, and not much oomph for bass. It’s not really a multimedia laptop, so you’d probably stick to your favorite audio gear through Bluetooth or its 3.5mm audio jack.
This laptop features a 10th-gen Intel Core i7 chip, an NVIDIA MX250 GPU, and a whopping 16GB of RAM for daily activities. It runs on Windows 10, and we’re happy to have 512GB of internal storage space onboard. We’re just surprised with the partition — 80GB for the OS and the rest of the storage for the second drive.
Some of the default apps you’ll see here includes Huawei’s own PC Manager, where it automatically detects driver updates and pairs up with a Huawei phone for exclusive features such as Huawei Share (file drop), laptop recording from your phone, or Multi-Screen Collaboration, a way to control your phone’s screen from your laptop. Being able to interact with my P30 Pro on the MateBook X as if its screen was part of the laptop screen is very intuitive and handy when want to grab media and files from the device for use on the laptop’s larger screen.
We also had no problems using it for our daily activities such as multitasking, playing casual games but we don’t recommend pushing the laptop too much when it comes to performance.
Partially due to its metal build and rather restricted airflow where the holes are placed at the gap between the display and the keyboard, the laptop began to kick out a fair amount of heat when testing out more graphically intensive games like playing Forza Horizon 4 on Xbox Game Pass for PC. The heat is mostly felt at the upper-middle-part of the keyboard.
Connectivity-wise, the laptop is great with all the features you’d expect from a €1,599 laptop. WiFi and Bluetooth are really good, while wireless options are also good. The fingerprint scanner at the power button is just as responsive and recognized as what you’d get with the brand’s own phones.
Considering that it’s a thin device, I did not expect the laptop to last as long as it did. I was able to use the laptop for all sorts of Internet-related things for more than 6 hours and 40 minutes.
Recharging the laptop with its dedicated 65-watt charger took only an hour and 45 minutes from 0% to 100%. That may be a good thing unless you like to work while charging, to which the laptop heats up as mentioned above.
Huawei’s most expensive laptop available right now, the MateBook X Pro 2020, has a lot to offer for its €1,599 price tag. There’s a near-accurate display, a premium, portable and lightweight design, and decent battery life with an extremely handy fast charging feature. There’s also the added security with a built-in fingerprint scanner, and the privacy that the pop-up webcam brings.
When it comes to media consumption, the speakers could certainly be improved but we’d imagine you’d be hooking up a pair of headphones or earbuds to watch content anyway. Intensive AAA gaming also is only passable but we had no issue with less graphically intense games.
The Huawei MateBook Pro X is available from Harvey Norman for an introductory price of €1,599.