Huawei MateBook X Pro Review

Huawei MateBook X Pro Review

Huawei’s Matebook X Pro can also remind you of the way every other Chinese vendor, OnePlus, captured a chunk of the telephone marketplace with flagship specifications at a cheap charge. Besides the oddball pop-up webcam and a short delivery of the high-stop Core i7 version, the 14-inch Matebook X Pro thin-and-mild offers several compelling motives to shop for it: a tremendous show, an awesome keyboard, splendid audio, and even a protected USB-C dock. It’s tough to trust that Huawei even protected a discrete GeForce MX150 GPU inside the faster, Core i7-powered model.

But Huawei also reduces a corner or. Power limits restriction its performance, and each its Thunderbolt port and discrete GPU are reduce-down versions. Battery life is middling. It’s also hard to find: A Core i5 version may be determined on Amazon for the notable fee of $1,199. You’ll want to music down the Core i7 version that we examined, which we observed at B&H Photo for $1,499, but at Amazon for near $1,900.

Display and sound

The Matebook X Pro is sturdily made. I by no means felt the computer flex or give even as sporting it around or typing. We had been supplied a Space Gray unit for evaluation, though a Mystic Silver choice is likewise to be had. Huawei gave the surfaces of the pc a sandblasted matte look, although the rounded, polished edges gleam.

[ Further reading: Our picks for best PC laptops ]
The aluminium production measures 14.6mm at its thickest, slightly accommodating the USB-A ports close to its rear hinge. Between the almost bezel-less (simply four.4mm!) show and the oversize trackpad, there’s no longer much wasted space.

Basic specs

  • Processor: Intel Core 1.6-GHz i5-8250U;1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U (Kaby Lake-R) (Core i7 as tested)
  • Memory: 8GB-16GB 2,133MHz LPDDR3 (16GB as tested)
  • Display: 13.9-inch IPS technology (3,000×2000)
  • Graphics: Intel UHD 620 (Integrated) + Nvidia GeForce MX150 w/2GB GDDR5 (MX150 not included on Core i5 model)
  • Storage: 256GB-512GB PCIe-NVMe SSD (512GB as tested)
  • Camera: Front: 1MP
  • Wireless: 802.11ac (2 x 2) & Bluetooth 4.1
  • Ports: One USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C (power delivery, data transfer); one USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 (Thunderbolt, power delivery, data transfer); one USB 3.0 Type-A; headphone jack. MateDock 2 includes USB-A port, USB-C port, VGA and HDMI
  • Battery: 57.4Wh
  • Operating system: Windows 10 Home
  • Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.54 x 0.57 inches (14.6mm)
  • Weight: 2.9 pounds, 3.34 pounds (with charger), 3.48 pounds with charger and hub (as measured)
  • Price: $1,199 (Core i5); $1,499 (Core i7)

 

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Two models are to be had, both of which use Intel’s 8th-technology elements: the Core i5/8GB reminiscence/256GB SSD version, which lacks a discrete GPU; and the Core i7 model, with 16GB of memory/512GB SSD and the Nvidia MX150. It’s clean early customers snapped up the remarkable value the excessive-stop Matebook X Pro offered, as they have been difficult to locate online. That may inspire buyers to show to the more prosaic Core i5 model until they can seek out the Matebook X Pro Core i7 version.

Though the Huawei Matebook X Pro weighs in at the heavy side—barely much less than the older MacBook Pro, however heavier than the Dell XPS 13—the tapered edge gives it an extra svelte feel.

Open up the Matebook X Pro’s lid, and things stand out: the 3:2 display, which almost swallows the complete lid, and the big touchpad. Protected with the aid of a coating of Corning’s Gorilla Glass is the three,000×2,000 IPS era show, boasting what Huawei calls a hundred% sRGB color gamut and 1500:1 contrast ratio. Maybe our overview unit turned into overpowered: Huawei says the display generates 450 nits of brightness, but we measured 525 nits, greater than enough to simply paintings inside Word beneath the glare of a noontime California solar. (The bright light washed out the shade from YouTube videos, although they have been legible.)

What all of it boils right down to is this: Subjectively speaking, the Matebook X Pro’s show is as true as the Microsoft Surface Book 2’s, commonly my move-to notebook for content creation. It’s that excellent.

The Huawei Matebook X Pro’s audio booms from speakers hooked up under the keyboard, although the overall fine was tinny, as predicted. To restore that, you’ll want to enable the integrated Dolby Atmos app, which fully transforms the sound first-rate to a number of the very fine I’ve heard from a laptop. The energy is enough to vibrate the chassis barely.

Typing experience and webcam

Though the Matebook X Pro’s backlit keys are a bit stiffer and shallower than I’d choose, the typing revel in becoming fine. The extensive keys offer a spacious landing pad to your fingers, and the resistance allows cushion your fingers. As I generally do, I wrote this overview the usage of the Matebook X Pro’s keyboard, and I’d thankfully do so once more.

You’ll additionally just like the Huawei Matebook X Pro’s amazing fingerprint reader, which is incorporated with the strength button. Fingerprint readers have the benefit of typically being fast and accurate, and the Matebook X Pro’s Windows Hello-well matched reader follows suit. About the most effective drawback is the dearth of a visual indicator reminding you to log in along with your finger, even though muscle reminiscence needs to kick in fast.

The Matebook X Pro’s keyboard has its quirks, though. For one thing, the laptop seems to vent warmness thru the small speaker grilles on each side of the keyboard, in addition to through the chassis itself. That can warm up the palm relaxation a chunk. The backlight controls toggle thru “high,” “low,” and “off” settings. There’s also a dedicated key for the Huawei PC Manager software program, which usually replaces the Windows Settings menu.

Clearly, the oddest thing approximately the Huawei Matebook X Pro, but, is the small, popup, front-dealing with a camera that emerges from the pinnacle row of characteristic keys. (There is not any rear digicam.) It’s best 1MP in resolution, however, its real purpose is to protect your privateness. The spring-loaded digicam will pop out of its hidey-hollow best with physical touch. It’s useful even if you don’t pop it out—launching the Camera app and picture with the digital camera hidden results in an image of a black display. Note, too, that the mic will record audio regardless of the digicam hidden, and you may never notice due to the fact the microphone’s indicator mild is hidden from view together with the digital camera.

When deployed, the camera’s barriers end up clean. Its angle isn’t always adjustable. I’m a tall individual (6’2″), and it cut off 1/2 of my face if I sat generally. If I typed, my hands’ proximity to the camera exaggerated their length to B-movie proportions. I enlisted a shorter individual (five’2″) to strive the digicam, and the digicam framed them perfectly nicely. You might also discover that the upward-facing angle isn’t flattering for most of the people. Vanity, thy call isn’t the Matebook X Pro.

I/O ports and the MateDock 2

The MateBook X Pro’s connectivity is extraordinarily right. On its left aspect sits a pair of USB-C ports, one with the excessive-speed Thunderbolt interface (USB 3.1 Gen 2), the alternative with just a conventional USB three.1 Gen 1. On the right side, the Matebook X Pro squeezes in a single USB-A port, neatly compromising between antique and new peripherals. And it receives higher.

As Huawei has performed with a number of its different products—considerably the 2016 Matebook tablet—it’s also covered a dedicated USB hub, the MateDock 2, to accommodate legacy hardware. The hub includes a USB-A port, an HDMI interface, and even VGA—together with a USB-C passthrough that allows you to rate the pocketbook or hook up with a display. Though the Huawei Matebook X Pro isn’t cheap, the addition of a hub is a considerate gesture that beginners to USB-C will appreciate.

Apps and software program

The Matebook X Pro’s complete call is formally the Huawei Matebook X Pro Signature Edition, co-opting the “signature” title from Microsoft. Microsoft sells “Signature Edition” variations of 1/3-birthday party notebooks through it’s online stores, purging them of all of the unnecessary crapware that PC makers from time to time load them up with. Only Huawei’s omnibus PC Manager app appears at the Matebook X Pro. But there’s also some of the superfluous apps, including variations of Candy Crush, and the Hidden City hidden snapshots recreation.

Unfortunately, there’s little to propose permitting the PC Manager software, which performs 3 key functions: checking to see if the hardware components are running effectively and retaining drivers updated; serving as a hub to hook up with a Huawei phone; and serving as a the front cease to Huawei’s online aid and accessory purchasing—the ultimate of which, exceptionally, turned into in German.

Huawei would love you to join a Huawei ID to carry out features like wirelessly tethering your smartphone as a hotspot, though there’s not anything stopping you from one by one turning on your telephone as a hotspot, and then connecting through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to it.

The handiest different Huawei utility is the Display Manager, which you can get admission to by means of right-clicking the laptop. Essentially, Display Manager controls the dimensions of text and icons in addition to the shade temperature; it’s here that you could provoke an “eye comfort mode” that reduces the blue mild the display emits, which could impede your capability to sleep.

Performance

As a premium ultraportable, we compared the Huawei Matebook X Pro to several others in its elegance, among them two Dells (the XPS 13 and the New XPS 13) as well as the HP Spectre 13. Though the Matebook X Pro looks somewhat just like the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, we haven’t yet reviewed that version. You may keep in mind that we additionally compared the specifications to the Microsoft Surface Book. The Book is a bit chunkier than the Matebook X Pro, because it seems, so we excluded it from our direct comparisons.

But the Matebook X Pro additionally seems better on paper than within the real global, due to three technical boundaries which you have to recognize approximately.

First, we determined that the Matebook X Pro is a concern to strength restriction throttling. This approach the PC’s CPU will chorus from the usage of its burst (overclocked) mode while all of its cores are being confused, decreasing its overall performance ability.
Second, the GeForce MX150 GPU used inside it’s far a special down-clocked model, which saves some strength at the cost of a few performances.

Finally—and this is a special case that won’t affect many clients—its Thunderbolt port uses handiest 1/2 the lanes that it could, so as to restrict its utility if used with an external GPU or screen.
Given the Matebook’s price and specifications, we would assume it to fare well in our standard domestic and workplace benchmarks, as evidenced with the aid of the PCMark suite of assessments. And that’s proper: The aggregate of the processor, 8GB of reminiscence, and a rapid SSD means that it eats up normal office tasks such as word processing. Still, driving an excessive-resolution display limited its overall performance rather.

For home and innovative use, we used the corresponding tests within the PCMark suite as nicely. While the Home takes a look at and Creative test overlap in net browsing and mild gaming, the Creative check adds a few photographs and video manipulation on the pinnacle of it. Again, the better-resolution show and ability power throttling decrease the Matebook X Pro’s rating a piece.

Maxon’s Cinebench is the maximum popular score among all we use, measuring how properly the notebook renders a complex photograph in real time. It’s an amazing way to assess “bursty” obligations which include picture manipulation, which taxes the processor and GPU in comparable methods. Here, the Matebook X Pro plays pretty properly.
Likewise, the HandBrake open-supply benchmark is a prolonged pressure check, measuring how the pc will hold up beneath the load. Here, we use the open-source device to convert a complete-duration movie right into a format that may be used by an Android pill, along with for an aircraft flight.

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