The Huawei MateBook X Pro was unveiled just last week, and it just got made available for purchase today. Huawei has been kind enough to send us a review unit early, so we’ve decided to put it to the test for your decision making. Boasting the new 10th generation Intel Core processors and Huawei’s in-house features, here’s our review of the Huawei MateBook X Pro.
Specifications – Huawei MateBook X Pro
|Specs||Huawei MateBook X Pro|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-10510U|
|GPU||Nvidia GeForce MX250|
|Storage||1TB PCIe SSD|
|Display||13.9-inch IPS Panel|
3:2 Aspect Ratio
3000 x 2000 Resolution
|Audio||4 x Digital Microphone|
4 x Harman Kardon-tuned Speakers
65W fast charging
Dual-band Wi-Fi 5
Fingerprint Power Button
|Ports||1 x USB 3.0 Type-A|
1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
1 x USB Type-C
To be honest, the Huawei MateBook X Pro looks and feels a lot like the older MacBook Air without the Touch Bar, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Huawei managed to make it an entirely different device by adding subtle hardware and software changes here and there to make it unique.
We got the space gray version of the MateBook X Pro, so it looked even more like the MacBook Air. Fortunately, there is an Emerald Green version, and we’d prefer that colourway because that’s a colour rarely seen on a laptop, and it gives it a more mysterious luxurious look. Really makes you stand out more.
On the outside, you get your Huawei logo etched on the middle of the surface. Round the bottom, there are no cut-outs for ventilation, except for this large strip near the hinge area. This is the only spot where air is drawn in from the top and bottom of the laptop. Apart from that, there are also four circular rubber feet to slightly elevate the laptop to promote better airflow and cooling, as well as to keep it from sliding around on the table.
Opening up the laptop, there’s a small cutout on the bottom half, making it easier to open your laptop with one finger/thumb. Most brands can’t get it right sometimes, but I’m glad Huawei managed to balance the laptop nicely so that it can be opened single-fingerly.
First thing you’ll notice is that everything is big, in a good way. Despite the machine being so small, Huawei packed a large screen, keyboard, and trackpad nicely into a compact body. Once you turn on the laptop, and have everything setup, you’re ready to experience the display.
I was fully captivated with how good the MateBook X Pro’s display looked, for a good hour, I totally forgot it had a touch screen. I only found out when I wanted to wipe something off the screen, and i noticed the folder moved.
This 13.9-inch 3K IPS display adopts the Huawei Ultra FullView display technology, giving it a 91% screen-to-body ratio. And that’s really helpful because it gives you more screen real estate despite being in a smaller chassis.
The trade-off here would be the touch screen, because the display only has a standard 60Hz refresh rate. Personally, I would have forego the novelty of a touch panel and opted for a higher refresh rate screen – at least a 120Hz. That would’ve made the MateBook X Pro a lot more affordable, and pleasing to work with. That being said, because it has the multi-screen collaboration feature, it makes sense that the continuity of being able to use your smartphone on the laptop itself should exist through the inclusion of a touch panel.
Regardless, I must say that visuals look impeccable on the MateBook X Pro’s display. No matter what you’re doing on the screen, details are sharp and the colours are vivid. They really pop, especially when you’re watching content like anime in full HD or playing games. I also appreciate that the display can get really bright. According to Huawei, the display has a max brightness of 450 nits, and that’s helpful in bright scenarios so you won’t have to squint your eyes to see what’s on the screen. When night falls, there’s also the Eye Comfort mode technology from Huawei smartphones to help protect your eyes.
If I had to describe my usage experience with the Huawei MateBook X Pro in one word, it would be the word “smooth”. Everything I do on this laptop just feels so smooth. From opening up the laptop with one finger, pressing the power button and logging in with the fingerprint sensor, to touching the screen to open up the apps I use, and navigating on the large trackpad. The entire experience is just made even better with the sandblasted finish on its metal chassis.
The fingerprint sensor is incredibly fast, I think- No, it’s definitely faster than the fingerprint sensor on my old Huawei Mate 20 Pro. Right from turning on the laptop, the sensor already picks up your fingerprint and immediately logs you in.
As for the trackpad, it feels smooth with the glass top. It has a lot of surface area for me to play around with, especially with the 3 and 4-finger gestures. But a bigger surface does mean palm detection, and during our time of testing, it didn’t perform too well. But no matter, as a software update can easily remedy the issue.
As the webcam is something I seldom use, I didn’t mind it being embedded within the keyboard itself. The pop-up mechanism is pretty smart and a way better privacy measure than sticking tape over your webcam. And because it is within the keyboard, the display then has space to expand all the way to the top, eliminating the bezels. However, if you do use it, you might show a larger chin because of the fixed angle it’s positioned in.
Using the Huawei MateBook X Pro as my daily laptop, I realised that the more I used it, the more I didn’t want to return it. It’s 1.33KG light and super portable to bring around the house, since I’m working from home.
A Windows laptop is pretty standard because Windows’ features are universal across all devices, so there isn’t much to say about it. But, Huawei was managed to fuse their DNA into the MateBook X Pro with a piece of software called the “PC Manager”. With this software, you can easily:
- Check the status of your PC, and fix them
- Do a hardware check to make sure everything’s running proper
- Search for updated drivers
- Access the user manual and FAQ, complete with serial number registration
The PC Manager’s notification center is also built right into the taskbar for easier access. That way, you can easily check your PC status, notifications, documents you’ve transferred, and your shared clipboard history. Why is it shared? Because it shares the same clipboard from the laptop and your smartphone. This allows you to access any text you’ve copied from your smartphone, and easily paste them into your laptop.
Just like Huawei’s smartphones, the laptop also comes with a built-in screen recorder feature. This lets you record everything you’re doing on your screen, and not just record gaming sessions. In the notification center, there are also shortcut buttons to:
- Screen Recorder
- Phone Connection
Speaking of phone connection, with NFC built in, the PC also supports Huawei Share. This allows me to connect my Mate 20 Pro just by tapping the back of my phone on the Huawei Share label that’s right below the arrow keys. This unlocks even more features like rapid file sharing with OneHop, and multi-screen collaboration.
Just by selecting the images or files I want, tapping the back of my phone laptop immediately sends all the files over in quick succession. If I’m sending a document over, I can even continue where I left off. Not only that, the multi-screen collaboration feature lets me use my smartphone on the laptop itself, literally, via a picture-in-picture (PIP) style. All sounds will also be played through the laptop’s speaker instead.
The features mentioned above all work really well, and feels very cohesive. Never have I felt that it was lagging, or had a dropped connection. I’m really impressed Huawei could pull off such a feature to improve upon Window’s standard set of features.
Moving on to the keyboard, I type a lot. As a tech journalist, I can’t live without typing. And I will say, the keyboard on the MateBook X Pro does need some getting used to. Because it has such large keycaps, the key travel distance also increased a little. The layout of the keys also shifted more towards to the right, and that makes me more prone to click on the comma key when I intend to hit fullstop.
The keys do have a slight tactile feel to it, with a nice little click. I have big hands so it’s easy for me to reach all the keys, but for anyone who has a smaller hand, you might need to move your entire hand and not just your fingers. Also, the keyboard is spill-resistant, but I didn’t dare to try it out due to tech-anxiety issues.
I tried out the keyboard with an online keyboard typing test. You can see from the image below that typing on the MateBook X Pro’s keyboard gets better after a while. I’m no typing expert, but for the last test, I decided to not look at the keyboard and just focus on the screen while I typed. That didn’t turn out quite as well as I hoped as I missed quite a few words. I’m sure over time with even more typing, you’ll eventually get a feel for the keyboard and can type more accurately.
I’m pretty happy with the number of ports that Huawei included in the MateBook X Pro. There are two USB Type-C ports, one of which supports 65W fast charging, and a USB Type-A port – just in case you need to connect to any older USB devices that still use a Type-A port.
Bundled with the laptop is the MateDock 2, which further extends your laptop’s connectivity to house external displays, and even more devices while charging it. There’s an additional:
- HDMI port
- VGA port
- USB Type-A port
- USB Type-C port
The Huawei MateBook X Pro has the 10th generation Intel Core i7-10510 CPU, paired with 16GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU that has 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM.
For performance testing, we ran some tests for the laptop using the below software:
- PCMark 10 – Extended
- Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers
PCMark 10 will test everyday tasks like opening up apps and softwares, rendering video, surfing websites, photo editing, and more. This also helps when conducting a battery test.
CrystalDiskMark tests the speed of the SSD in the Huawei MateBook X Pro. The SSD in the laptop is made by Samsung, and it’s a 1TB PCIe NVMe model. Transfer speeds are really fast, and I have no complains whatsoever when moving my game backups and video files.
The test only shows 858GB because Huawei partitioned it into two disks. One for the operating system, and one for the file storage. We’re not sure why Huawei did it, because it’s an SSD anyways. But, you can always merge them back yourself if you want with the Windows Disk Management tool.
And for gaming, we used the benchmark tool from FF16’s Shadowbringer game. Overall, the Nvidia GeForce MX250 performed well and could even handle Dota 2 and PUBG well above 80 frames per second.
For the MateBook X Pro’s battery test, I used PCMark 10’s extended test to do an indication of how the battery would perform. I started the test at 89% and the test ended at 69% after 35 minutes.
In day to day use, casual web surfing and article writing, with some image editing, the battery could last me a day and a half. From 9AM in the morning, the battery only died out the next day at 1.34PM.
In a separate test, I did a continuous web surfing test from 100% until the battery drained, it lasted for a whole 12 hours and 40 minutes. That is just 20 minutes shy of a 13-hour battery life, and I’d say that’s pretty impressive.
In the box, you also get a 65W Quick Charger that lets you juice up your MateBook X Pro in no time via USB Type-C charging. It took about an hour to get it from 0% to 80%, while a full charge clocked in at an hour and 24 minutes. Besides that, the charger also supports quick charging on multiple Huawei smartphones. One charger and one USB Type-C cable to charge them all.
The speakers on the Huawei MateBook X Pro might just be the best speakers I’ve ever heard on a laptop. The music that comes out of these four Harman Kardon-tuned speakers just sound so eargasmic. It’s really loud, yet it doesn’t distort at all, even at 100%.
Because there’s two speakers facing me, and another two that is downward facing, the audio gets bounced back up and it creates this surround sound effect. You can hear every little detail, every little instrument that’s being played in the background. When it comes to bass drops, it is so clean. And the best part is, despite the audio being so loud, the laptop chassis suffers very little rattling. The speakers sound great for both acoustic (light) and electronic (heavy) music.
For the Huawei MateBook X Pro‘s asking price of RM7,999, it certainly is a tough price to process. But if you consider the set of features and freebies you’re getting, it’s quite worth it. You’re not just getting yet another Windows laptop, you’re getting one that is infused with Huawei DNA. And this is even more apparent if you’re already knees deep within the Huawei ecosystem.
The free gifts include the latest Huawei Sound X bluetooth speaker (worth RM1,299), a Huawei Band 4 for fitness tracking, a Huawei backpack to carry your laptop around, and a Bluetooth mouse for even more comfortable work sessions.
For existing Huawei users, I would recommend getting the MateBook X Pro to complete your overall Huawei experience. But for those who don’t have a Huawei smartphone and need a productivity machine that will last, the MateBook X Pro should definitely be in your list of options to choose from.
The Huawei MateBook X Pro is currently available for purchase from Huawei’s official online store, and it comes with these free gifts:
- HUAWEI Bluetooth Mouse Swift
- HUAWEI Backpack
- HUAWEI Sound X
- HUAWEI Band 4
- Baskin Robbins Double Junior scoop with sundae voucher