If you seen me around you most likely know I’m a bit of a Surface head. Rocking with the brand since the Pro 3 was unveiled some years back. Besides Huawei making some exceptional smartphones in various categories such as the Mate Pro and Honor series they have also put their hands into the laptop section. A few years back they had the MateBook which on the lines of the Surface with its detachable appendixes which while pleasant could have used some work.
It was around MWC that I got first hands on what they were calling the MateBook X Pro. Right off the bat I was fascinated with its look and feel but mostly its display even though some will call it a MacBook clone without hesitation. For a greater part of the summer I been using the MateBook X Pro and I will let you know if it’s the next laptop to pickup.
When you see the MateBook X Pro its build quality does resemble that of a MacBook. It is built completely out of aluminum which has a clean smooth touch to it. Using it for various months even taking in and out of my bag it still looks like the first day I powered it on. On the top is the Huawei logo while the bottom has four rubber bumpers to keep the laptop sturdy and not grind up against any surface. Air vents are available on each side to keep the Matebook X Pro cool and I never really experienced any overheating even while grinding on it for various hours.
Huawei took great deal in details and placement with quad speakers tuned with Dolby Atmos on the left and right so you get a superb sound presence without it being obstructed by your palms or even your lap or table. Keyboard is backlit and chiclet style being responsive to the touch. While the keyboard is backlit it wont stay on if you stop typing on it. I actually typed this whole review on the MateBook X Pro. Hiding in the keyboard is the MateBook’s 1MP webcam. It’s great for privacy concerns and if you never plan to use it. When pressed its angled and the quality is passable. If you need to do webcam conferences go pick up a webcam or grab your smartphone.
Under the keyboard is the trackpad which is made out of glass and handles precision and multi finger swipe gestures with ease. Coming across even a decent trackpad is hard to come by and Huawei got it rocking with this one. One last thing to touch on(literally) is the fingerprint scanner combined with the power button. While I have relieved on facial recognition a great deal with the Surface series of devices a fingerprint scanner is just as good and at times more efficient. MateBook powers on in less than 10 seconds every time which is a plus.
Huawei managed to get a great deal of hardware in this thin frame as it has a Intel® UHD Graphics 620 inside, 8GB RAM 256GB SSD, and a 8th Gen i5 processor. If you decide to go for the higher model you will get a 8th Gen i7, NVIDIA GeForce® MX150 with 2 GB and GDDR5 and doubling the RAM and storage capacities to 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. Hiding inside also is a 57.4Wh battery which I have been able to squeeze a lot of juice and time out of depending on my needs.
To keep it at less than an inch wide(0.57in) and under 3lb(2.93), Huawei has kept the ports on each side to a minimum. On one end you are getting a USB A port for pulling in your traditional accessories while the other side has two Type C ports(One being Thunderbolt 3.0) which will allow for quick data transfers and charging the MateBook. There is a headphone jack for those that need to plug in as well. There is also a MateDock 2 available if you need access to HDMI, VGA, and more USB ports.
Where Huawei really hits the mark and is most eye catching is its elegant 13.9” 3K(3000×2000) display. Thanks to the fact they throw the webcam under the keyboard they are able to utilize the 91% screen to body ratio. Colors are accurate, detailed and the display puts out 450nits to give you extreme brightness. Also let’s not forget it is touchscreen so you can do everything from scrolling articles to clicking on that next bit of 4K content you desire which actually doesn’t pickup much fingerprints. It is in part to the display being coated with Corning Gorilla Glass.
Out the box, the Matebook X Pro is running Windows 10 Home(formerly Signature Edition) which has no bloatware, no popups to sign up for this or that or expiring security renewal messages. Using the MateBook over the past few months I have seen it run pretty steady. Not much hiccups in terms of performance and its boot up has been impressive from my touch of the power button. Battery life is estimated to be 12-15 hours depending on your usage and I will say it holds up to that. Also varies on how high you have the brightness on the display of course. I haven’t found myself running to the outlet much on it thankfully and that’s a huge plus using a ultrabook.
Every so often you get to see a laptop and say wow and Huawei has achieved that with the MateBook X Pro. They chiseled a gorgeous piece of machinery here. Near edge to edge 3K display is unseen and especially on its close to 14” frame. It’s great for viewing content or getting some work done. Its lightweight and is qualified to give you impressive battery life pushing around 15 hours on a good day. Webcam isn’t all that great and is hidden and can stay there. For what it’s worth you expect this laptop to be hefty on the price tag but for what you are getting its in a nice ballpark figure. The Core i5 version runs for $1,199 while the Core i7 will cost you $300 more at $1,499. Funny thing is depending where you look either model is usually out of stock as they flip in and out of inventory. MateBook X Pro is at the top of the Ultrabook pile and its for good reason.
If the price tag is a bit up there for you but you like the look and feel take a gander at Huawei’s MateBook D which has similar specs and designs but at a lower cost.