In 2017, Huawei announced the release of its first commercially available laptops. As such, the MateBook series was launched. The series introduced an alternative option for prospective buyers looking for business laptops. The biggest feature was its integration to the Huawei ecosystem, which has been expanded with the most recent release, the Huawei MateBook X Pro laptop.
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The MateBook range delivers on performance and quality that the brand is synonymous with. However, while its smartphone range continues to struggle as a result of its Google Suite limitations to its Android build, its laptop range has fared quite well. Although it hasn’t quite picked up the slack of the gains lost, it goes a long way toward restoring the trust of buyers. Irrespective of the brand’s marketing issues, what does the Huawei MateBook X Pro laptop bring to the table over its competitors?
Build and Design
The Huawei MateBook X Pro features a similar design to its predecessors. It has a distinctly Huawei laptop aesthetic, which has become the standard over the past five years. This means it has a predominantly squared approach, with a slightly rounded bevel so it’s not sharp around the edges.
In terms of its measurements, it features a 310x221x15.6mm chassis. Additionally, it weighs just under 1.3KG, which is fairly lightweight as well. It has a space grey colour with an aluminium finish across the lid. Speaking of the lid, it is easier to open than the previous units. Before, users needed two hands to open it, as it was quite solidly locked down. This time around, the hinge is much lighter and can be opened with just your finger.
Another noticeable change on the MateBook X Pro is its oversized trackpad. Compared to the more conventional units, it feels as if it’s double the size, taking up half of the real estate below the keyboard.
The webcam has also seen a slight adjustment. While offering a pop-up approach before, it now presents a more standard finish, sitting above the edge of the screen in the middle of the bezel. It may have offered a bit more privacy on the whole in the previous iteration but is simpler to operate for users.
A nifty addition to the laptop is the fingerprint reader built into the power button. The unit does offer facial unlock using Windows Hello but it isn’t always ideal to use, especially when operating in poor light. The fingerprint sensor then comes in handy to unlock without having to press the power button. That’s, of course, if you don’t mind typing in your pin at every unlock screen.
Ports and Connectivity
One thing to note about the latest generation of Huawei MateBook laptops is its switch to next-generation ports. That being said, the MateBook X Pro has completely dropped the USB Type-A ports. Instead, it’s now an exclusively Type-C device.
This is both a good and bad move. For starters, drawing a line in the sand to only support new devices is a bold move. It indicates its intention to offer the latest and best options in terms of its hardware, which is what we like to see. However, for the many users still using Type-A portable drives or peripherals, it may be a bit of a frustration needing to upgrade both their laptops and devices at the same time. However, it will inevitably be a required – it’s just that the MateBook X Pro makes that requirement immediate. Huawei does have some sympathy for users, though, offering an adapter within the contents of the packaging.
In total, the laptop has four USB ports. This includes x2 Thunderbolt 4 ports, which double up as charging ports, when required, as well as an additional x2 standard Type-C ports, which also support DisplayPort use. Additionally, there’s also a 3.5mm auxiliary port for your headphones or audio device.
In terms of wireless connectivity, the laptop offers WiFi 6E, as well as Bluetooth 5.2 options.
Although not a port, the laptop also sports an audio system with six stereo speakers and a quad-array microphone with noise cancellation for best results.
Screen and Display
We already know that Huawei has a great offering when it comes to the screens on their smartphone range. For its previous laptops, as well, the range sported some great visuals on its LCD screens. However, the new Huawei MateBook X Pro has amped this up just a tad. That, despite its diminutive 14.2” screen.
The screen is a FullView display with a 3.1K resolution, measured at 3,120×2,080px resolution. It’s larger than 1080p and 2K resolution but not up to the 4K standards. Further to this, the screen utilises an IPS panel, which has a rating of 264 DPI along with a 90Hz refresh rate and 500 nits brightness. While these don’t quite scream “next-generation” it does get the job done and the specifications alone are above average.
There are, however, two aspects of the screen that really make it stand out. That’s the multi-touch screen, which comes with Corning Gorilla Glass protection, as well as a 100% DCI-P3 colour certification. This makes all the difference, especially when you’re a designer or creator needing to get the most out of colour reproduction.
While it may have the 10-point touch panel, it’s not quite a convertible unit. This means you can’t switch to tablet mode as we’ve seen on a few other laptops.
Overall, in terms of both the specifications and the real-world results, the MateBook X Pro delivers great visuals. Yes, it’s a bit short of the leading flagship laptops on the market but with its portability and frame, it wasn’t designed to challenge the top end.
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When it comes to specifications, the Huawei MateBook X Pro was always going to feature the latest-generation hardware. To start off, it has an Intel Core i7-1260P CPU. This is coupled with an Intel Iris Xe GPU for all your graphical needs. You won’t be playing the latest AAA titles but being a business laptop, I wouldn’t have thought it would be expected.
Further to this, it features 16GB LPDDR5, which can be upgraded to 1TB in total. It also has a 1TB NVMe PCIe 4 SSD, which provides that extra performance when you’re busy completing tasks.
It has a 720P Webcam, which is just about average. Being a high-end laptop, however, one would’ve expected at least a 1080p camera for professional use. That being said, it does have an IR hybrid camera, which makes it easier to detect your face in darker conditions. This is supported by Windows 11 Home OS.
Lastly, it has a 60Wh battery, which is the standard across the industry. Typically, only gaming laptops offer higher-capacity batteries starting at 90Wh.
Performance and Battery
Considering, off the bat, that the Intel Core i7-1260P CPU is listed as the second fastest processor in this range of mobile processors, you’re almost guaranteed quality performance when completing everyday tasks. And it does just that, with ease as well.
The configuration of the CPU on the Huawei MateBook X Pro is that it wasn’t designed for continuous high-load operations. Essentially, this means that it will run a few quick tasks with ease but when under load for extended periods, it will reduce the overall output. This is done to save on battery life and prevent it from overheating – most likely due to its size.
As with the above-mentioned, the battery also follows a similar pattern for load, which is aimed at reducing usage during this time. However, there is only so much that can be done from this perspective. In addition to this, the brightness of the screen also draws slightly more power on average over normal laptops. The overall performance of the battery is left wanting somewhat. As a result, the battery life under the standard video test and browser tests averaged around the seven-hour mark. Compared to other units in this bracket, it’s down between three and six hours on the top-end units. Under load, it’s even more down on performance, delivering around 90-120 minutes.
To make up for this, however, Huawei’s fast-charging technology will have you up and running again in no time. It has a total 0-100% charge time of about 80 minutes, with 35 minutes required for around 50% charge. This adds to the portability element of the laptop being able to pick up and go within a 30-minute timeframe is an excellent addition.
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Is it Worth Buying the Huawei MateBook X Pro Laptop?
The Huawei MateBook X Pro is a solid laptop. It looks great and has the performances to match. It has a great screen while also offering great integration with your smartphone, especially if you’re using a Huawei unit. It’s very compact with its 14.2” screen and less than 1.3KG weight. Its diminutive size also adds to the portability of the laptop, making it a great option for those always on the go. However, if there is one lacking aspect, it’s the less-than-ideal battery life. Thankfully, with its Type-C charging support, it can be powered even from your portable charger.
If there is one hurdle to get over it’s the price. At R35,999, it isn’t the most affordable laptop around. That being said, with the above-mentioned attributes and performances, it isn’t considered a ridiculous price. The biggest challenge, however, is that there are gaming laptops in a similarly priced bracket which adds that extra dimension to its feature list, it makes you consider what the best option really is. Huawei South Africa does offer some extras for prospective buyers, offering a 23.8” monitor, backpack and mouse as part of the bundle price.
Huawei MateBook X Pro
- Great visuals from the screen
- Well-rounded performance
- Portable and lightweight chassis
- Offers fast-charging and Type-C charging support
- Average battery life
- USB Type-A removed (adapter included)
- 720p Webcam
Ease of Learning
Ease of Use
Value for Money