Huawei is now also Apple’s MacBook Pro competition and attracts with many features that will probably never make it into an Apple laptop.
Anyone who enters the PC market today must be crazy. The boom years are long gone, today PC and laptop manufacturers can be happy if they could sell the same amount as last year.
However, the Chinese group Huawei dared still in the snake pit last year and has been offering their own laptops for several months with the MateBook series.
The big five are HP, Lenovo, Dell, Acer, and Apple – could not be reached in the first year.
Nevertheless, high hopes are placed in the fiercely competitive market. Together with smartphones, tablets, and wearables, the laptops should ensure that Huawei’s consumer division triples its sales within a few years.
For this to succeed, they have taken a prominent role model: Apple. Already the name MateBook reveals that one wants to make the competitor.
That the other manufacturers have tried before Huawei – including Microsoft – does not seem to bother the Chinese.
With the Huawei MateBook X Pro, you bring now the most powerful laptop of the manufacturer on the market in our review.
With a large trackpad, brisk hardware, almost frameless display and a fold-out webcam you entice frustrated macOS-Umsteiger. Let’s start with specifications of HUAWEI MateBook X Pro.
Huawei MateBook X Pro: Specifications
|Display:||13.9 inches with 3000 x 2000 pixels|
|CPU:||Intel Core i5-8250U Quad Core 1.6GHz, up to 3.4GHz|
|GPU:||NVIDIA Geforce MX150 DDR5 2GB|
|Internal memory:||256GB of SSD|
|Cameras:||1.0 MP front camera|
|Connectivity:||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, and Bluetooth 4.1|
|Battery:||7565mAh (57 Wh)|
|Connections:||USB Type-C x2, HDMI port, 3.5mm audio and USB 3.0|
|Dimensions:||304.0 x 217.7 x 14.6 mm|
Huawei MateBook X Pro: Design and Appearance
The Huawei MateBook X Pro in the analisis has not just been named after Apple’s MacBook series.
The design of the Ultrabook is strikingly similar to that of the MacBook Pro – even the dimensions are almost identical.
The MateBook X Pro is almost five millimeters wider due to the larger screen, but also 40 grams lighter.
In addition, Huawei has housed significantly more screen in the small space: instead of 13 inches measures the LTPS panel of the Huawei MateBook X Pro has 13.9 inches diagonally.
When processing, you do not have to hide from Apple. The housing is made of aluminum, the transitions between the housing and the cover at the bottom are almost seamless.
The laptop’s hinge is easy to open with one finger, but also offers enough resistance for touchscreen operation. The screen hardly rocks.
The opening angle is limited to just 120 degrees – lying flat or even turning around, as with Lenovo’s Yoga equipment, is not possible here.
The display lid features a relatively subtle Huawei logo, which is also in silver. Apart from that Huawei holds back with branding amazingly – but also lacks the space.
Only on the narrow screen frame can be read in a subtle font “Huawei”. From a “frameless” screen cannot speak with the MateBook, but with just under five millimeters you are close.
Similarly narrow is the frame around the InfinityEdge display of the Dell XPS 13.
According to Huawei, the “FullView” screen of the Huawei MateBook X Pro occupies 91 percent of the panel – a record that has never been matched by any other laptop. But you also fall back on a trick.
Because the webcam, which is mostly installed in the screen frame, was hidden in the keyboard.
It can now be found as an inconspicuous key between the function keys F6 and F7.
If you press this, a small one-megapixel camera works out.
Dell already used a similar trick with the XPS 13, but the webcam remained installed in the screen frame.
It was simply placed below instead of above the screen. Huawei’s webcam trick is clever and often aroused the following reaction, especially among friends: “Why do not all manufacturers do that?”
Huawei MateBook X Pro: Display
Huawei MateBook X Pro has 13.9-inch “FullView” screen benefits above all from the design of the laptop, as the almost frameless design immediately attracts attention.
In direct comparison with the competition, the LTPS-LC panel scores above all with high brightness, so that the screen content remains easy to read even outdoors – despite the highly reflective Gorilla Glass.
Here, only the automatic adjustment of the brightness caused by Windows 10 for trouble, so you had to correct this usually manually.
The viewing angle dependency poses no problems, even viewed from the side of the screen content remains clear and read without gross color distortions.
The screen is set to a resolution of 3000 by 2000 pixels (260 ppi). The unusual aspect ratio of 3: 2 makes it possible to use two windows conveniently next to each other.
During the test phase in Microsoft Word, I often used it to keep documents with notes open at the same time.
Color rendering and contrast also make a good impression, according to Huawei covers the sRGB color space completely.
Huawei MateBook X Pro: Hardware and Performance
Currently, the MateBook X Pro is only offered in one configuration on the Austrian market. This relies on an Intel Core i5-8250U, 8 GB of RAM, a dedicated graphics card (Nvidia Geforce MX 150) and 256 GB of SSD internal memory.
According to Huawei, it is currently unclear whether the better-equipped variant with more memory (16 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD) and i7 CPU will also be launched in Austria.
- 3DMark (Time Spy, v1.1): 907 points
- PCMark 10: 3363 points
- CrystalDiskMark (v6.0.0, sequential read / write): 2839.1 / 728 MB / s
- CineBench R15 (OpenGL / CPU): 84.77 fps / 573 CB
The Intel Core i5-8250U equipment is also more than enough, even for occasional gambling.
“Age of Empires: Definitive Edition” ran at a resolution of 2560 by 1600 pixels and high details in an acceptable frame rate of around 25 fps, at higher zoom levels, the frame rate increased to up to 50 fps.
However, larger adversaries and the farthest zoom level caused this value to drop to a stuttering 12 fps.
Much better hit the laptop, where you reach a resolution of 3000 times 2000 pixels and medium details around 40 fps. With lower resolutions, liquid 60 fps could be achieved without problems. Nevertheless, one should not expect a gaming machine.
That fails even on the disturbing fan noise. Unlike the MateBook X, the Pro version uses active ventilation.
Although the power-saving U-version of the Core i5 has a relatively low power loss, the dedicated graphics card ensures sufficient heat that occasionally starts the built-in fan.
In everyday life, this hardly happens, in demanding applications, such as games, however, already.
The fan is not particularly loud but produced a particularly high-frequency whistling in the test device, which could be with headphones only.
Unfortunately, this was not limited to video games, even with other, supposedly simple activities, the fan was suddenly active.
This was especially noticeable shortly after commissioning when Windows 10 downloaded and installed numerous updates in the background.
During this process, the fan ran almost continuously at the highest level, although the temperature of the CPU and GPU was at a safe level.
Huawei MateBook X Pro: Keyboard and Touchpad
Speaking of a keyboard of Huawei MateBook X Pro in our test has not been oriented to Apple.
Although the stroke is similarly low and the keys rather narrow, leaves the keyboard a much better impression, the pressure point is pleasantly soft.
Rather, it’s reminiscent of the MacBook Pro generation before the controversial “Butterfly” buttons – which, with good reason, continues to be sold by Apple.
Despite the relatively narrow dimensions (usually 17 times 17 millimeters), the rigidly installed keys can be operated well and quickly, so that typing as fast as on a desktop keyboard is possible.
The backlight offers two levels of brightness that are easy to see even in daylight.
The touchpad of MateBook X Pro which is more than generous with twelve times 7.8 centimeters, is one of the better representatives of Windows laptops.
Nevertheless, the precision of the MacBook Pro touchpad is not enough. However, this is less due to the touchpad than to Windows, which does not recognize gestures by far as reliably as macOS.
In addition, one must expend relatively more force when clicking than with the MacBook Pro.
Luckily, you do not rely on the touchpad as often as MacBooks because the MateBook X Pro in our analisis also has a touchscreen.
This recognizes the inputs precisely and reliably. The fingerprint sensor, which should ensure that switching on and logging in can be completed in one step, is just as successful.
The recognition of the fingerprint always succeeded without any problems, but occasionally the laptop did not want to be turned on the first time the button was pressed.
Huawei MateBook X Pro: Heat and Noise
Also, several firmware updates of Huawei MateBook X Pro which were delivered during the test period brought little improvement.
Basically, the slight fan noise would not be a problem, but in quiet environments, such as libraries, you can quickly become a troublemaker.
Since the heat pipes are located directly under the keyboard, the heat concentrates on this area.
Especially in gaming, the heat is noticeable, after only 15 minutes the temperature reaches a noticeable level. You can hardly burn your hands, but you might start to sweat a bit.
At least the area for the palm of your hand remains comparatively cool and thus offers at least a short-term retreat.
Also, the bottom heats up comparatively not so strong, but you should make sure that the back remains free so that the fan can transport the warm air outside.
Fortunately, Huawei does not glue the case completely. The bottom plate of the housing is relatively easy to remove, it must be removed only eight Torx screws.
The RAM cannot be replaced unfortunately, only the SSD can be replaced by another model in M.2 format. At least the fan is easily accessible, so it can be easily removed from dirt.
Huawei MateBook X Pro: Connectors
Also pleasing is the fact that the MateBook X Pro trumps for a connection. In addition to the two USB-C interfaces (once each Thunderbolt 3 and USB type C Gen 1) and the 3.5-mm jack connector is also a USB 3.0 interface type A on the housing.
This saves at least frugal users the purchase of a USB-C adapter (which unfortunately was not included in the scope of delivery of the test device).
Huawei sells its official “MateDock 2” (one each HDMI, VGA, USB A and USB-C port) for around 60 euros.
On both sides, two loudspeakers are installed. These made a good impression in the test and convinced with a high volume and simulated surround sound thanks to Dolby Atmos certification.
For occasional playback of movies or music, the speakers are more than adequate. Even with video conferencing, the speakers made a good impression and could score with clear language.
Huawei MateBook X Pro: Battery
The Huawei MateBook X Pro in the test is equipped with a 57 Wh or 7565mAh battery and therefore at a similar level as the MacBook Pro 13 without Touch Bar (54.5 Wh).
Even at runtime, you do not have to hide from the US competitors. It tested about ten hours with recommended brightness, active Wi-Fi, and open Chrome browser with multiple tabs, but it should be possible to do a lot more with light-weight applications such as Microsoft Word.
Thanks to the USB-PD, the laptop can also be charged on the go, assuming a correspondingly powerful power bank.
However, this takes much longer than with the included 65-watt power supply. Here a full charge took about two hours.
Huawei MateBook X Pro: Conclusions and Reviews
Cross-starters like to pass slips. But Huawei has managed the rare feat of already landing in the top spot with its first laptop generation – even ahead of its big rival Apple.
While many compromises have to be made with the MacBook Pro models, the MateBook X Pro in our review offers more than enough performance for all sorts of tasks, including gaming.
Only the background noise clouded the overall picture a bit, but it seems that faulty firmware is the cause, because the temperatures never came close to a questionable area.
The frameless design, compact dimensions and some features such as a touch screen, retractable webcam, and USB-A port make the MateBook X Pro an attractive and affordable MacBook alternative.
If you are looking for an alternative to the MacBook Pro for less than $1800 and you can live without macOS, you get an attractive option.
Huawei MateBook X Pro: Price and Where to buy cheaper?
Price is a big factor when choosing a laptop. So here it is worth paying attention to the purchase of a laptop in China with free shipping. Below we can offer several options with a good price for Huawei MateBook X Pro.
You can buy already now MateBook X Pro at the good price for only $1669.99, but it’s worth paying attention to this price with a discount of 18% OFF, and it ends tomorrow.