The Matebook X Pro is, in many ways, a Windows laptop similar to the Apple MacBook Pro with an excellent trim-bezel screen, high power on tap, adequate ports (including full-size USB) and a great-looking finish.
It has been struggling for Huawei in European markets since phones such as the Mate 30 Pro and P40 Pro were not released with Google services. However, this has no direct impact on the Windows laptop business – even though Microsoft removed Huawei’s laptop range from its store in 2019 – the arrival of the 10th generation Intel Intel Eye Internals with the third-generation Matebook X Pro.
There are certainly some Apple-like codes to see on the MacBook X Pro – no wonder the MacBook Pro has a name, design and clear target – but in many respects, it’s better than Apple’s current Pro effort, thanks to the minimal bezel, touchscreen control and discrete graphics in this size body.
They all combine a nice Windows laptop instead of one, even if the design hasn’t been developed since its inception. The thing is, you may struggle to find one to buy. If you can pick one up, here are the good, the bad, and the extraordinary you can expect.
- Tiny screen bezel makes for a striking display.
- Good battery life for a laptop of this spec.
- Full-size USB and USB-C feature.
- Great typing experience.
- Screen a little glossy and therefore reflective.
- Camera placement under the F7 key doesn’t make for pretty viewing.
- The battery can crumple when asking a little extra.
Matebook X Pro Design
If you’ve seen the Matebook X Pro, you’ve seen it all. The original was released in 2018 and since then the design hasn’t changed a bit in two iterations.
That’s why other manufacturers do it (yes, Apple), so it seems like Huawei is taking inspiration from the most famous.
The Matebook X Pro is well designed. We have little to change except to build a pop-up camera on the F7 key.
It is so short that it takes your best dual chin approach and pushes it to a whole new level. It needs to be implemented – for the sake of extra bezel, the idea is to hide the camera off the screen – but it doesn’t work.
Whatever else works, there are some subtleties that the Matebook X uses better than its competitors, such as the lid for easy opening that doesn’t require too much tension.
At 14.6mm thick at its width, the Matebook X Pro is the perfect size to squeeze in most pieces, even without being a total chunky. This means that there are two USB-C ports along with a full-size USB slot (one of which is Thunderbolt 3-speed compatible; both can be used to charge laptops – our device comes with a plug, though it is the UK only.
- Dimensions: 14.6 mm at thickness; Weight: 1.3 kg
- Finish: Metal unibody design in ‘Space Gray’
- 2x USB-C, 1x USB-A, 1x 3.5mm Jack
- Fingerprint ready power button
The most impressive thing about the Matebook X Pro is its screen. This is a minimalist panel – hence the name “Fullview”, whether you like the marketing talk or not – leaving the screen for dominance of 91 percent of the total footprint.
The side bezel is just 4.4mm – which you’ll still find on the Dell XPS 13 (which is 4.6mm in your 2020 guise). If Dell is playing catch-up, it shows that Huawei is a few years ahead of the game.
Having such a trim bezel when you touch it – it’s big at the top and very important at the bottom – means there’s no place to hide the camera. We know why this is hidden from view under the F7 key, but we are still waiting for the day when a back screen solution is possible without affecting the design of the bezel.
Technically speaking, the Matebook X Pro’s screen is bright and clear with the best of them. As you will find in Microsoft Surface Book 2, most pixels are crammed here.
Huawei’s brightness at 450 nits is not far from Lenovo’s Dolby Vision ThinkPad X1 laptop. But the X-Pro’s distinctive auto-brightness adjustment, at least, is more prominent than the often glossy surface, which is supposed to be darker than it looks.
We hope that the surface covering becomes a little less reflective in this updated model, but this is not so. It’s not affordable – most laptops look like this – but when you’re looking for perfection, it’s one of those little twins that can be made.
Although we have largely avoided using touchscreens to stop adding smear marks to the screen, that option still exists and windows can touch well without having to work for certain tasks.
- 13.9-inch FullView Notebook Display, 3K Resolution (3000 x 2000).
- 178 ° viewing angle, 450-night illumination, 1500: 1 contrast ratio.
- 91% screen-footprint ratio; Only 4.4mm side bezel.
- 10-point touchscreen control.
Performance and battery life
Huawei’s power target is clear: the 10th-gen Intel Core i processor (i5 and i7 options are available) and 16GB of RAM under the hood, plus the Nvidia GeForce MX250 graphics card (all except the very entry of the line-up).
The Metbook X Pro performs very well. When Photoshop is installed, we have no problem editing our Staples MacBook Air as fast as we can.
The X Pro is quiet in operation, which we don’t always expect from the i7 machine. No need to worry about extra fan noise or whistle. And we have not encountered examples of overheating.
One area we are concerned about when the Metbook X Pro will fall is in the battery life segment. But this is not a specific problem – depending on the machine you are using.
With screen brightness set to 75 percent, volume to 50 percent, and performance “better” (not “better”), we can stream 1440p YouTube clips in just 10 hours. This is an even better inning than a single Test in a two-year model from 2018.
However, there are ups and downs in the 10th gen Intel Core i7 processor, which is great for you to call it power, but do so and the battery life may be weakened.
Let’s face it, this is typical – but if you want to do more intense work on a trip, a few hours of work may not be enough.
Although we’re working from our at-home office for this review, there’s nowhere to go with the Metbook Pro X Unplugged, and the combination of Slack, Word, Excel, Mail, Photoshop.
USB fast charging is also available for fast charge theoretically, but since the cable provided for review unit is the EU plug socket, we need a UK-based review to find an alternative stand-in review.
As for sound quality, some other clever things are going on behind the scenes: double suspension (two for a triple, two for the lower end), motherboard and chassis to separate the quad-speaker setup.
The cleaner is placed on the sound system. Separating from left to right is fine, but we found treble speakers a little more than “Fiji” in their delivery, so the sound isn’t what you hear. But it’s a thin laptop, so we shouldn’t be surprised.
Keyboard and Trackpad
- Full-size backlit keyboard.
- Hidden Camera (F7 Key).
- ‘Spill-Proof’ Design.
- Giant Trackpad.
The full-size keyboard of the MacBook X Pro feels fingerprinted, with enough clock without the keys, and no need to travel too much.
There is no business of this “butterfly hinge” – Apple has finally settled on its 2020 MacBook – which means the keys will run smoothly.
Unlike some competitors, the tinted backlight looks smart, without much leakage. But this is the end of the spill-proof – you need to protect yourself from any drink knock-up disaster – which adds another chord to Huawei’s bow.
The trackpad, as you can see from our pictures, is huge. It is topped with a smooth finish, making it easy to slip fingers on. Most of the pad acts as a left click; In the lower right corner, the equivalent of right-clicking is enough to prevent accidental presses. It looks great in use.
With an excellent screen, power and ports, a huge finish, and specific battery life, the Matebook X Pro Pro is an all-round success.
In many ways, it is a Windows laptop similar to the Apple MacBook Pro. And let’s face it: this laptop wants to look like this. In some areas, thanks to touchscreen controls and a better keyboard, this is undoubtedly better.