Test Huawei Matebook X Pro: an Uncompromising Touchscreen Ultrabook

Introduced at MWC 2018, the Huawei Matebook X Pro is now available in France. This 13.9″ ultrabook fits right in between the Dell XPS and Microsoft’s Surface Book… for a fraction of the price. A masterly test drive for the Chinese manufacturer determined to make 2018 its year of success.

The market for ultraportable computers is saturated. Almost all manufacturers have their solution to satisfy users who are looking for performance and autonomy in a product as thin as it is light. Huawei rolls its hump quietly with its MateBook range.

The MateBook X released last year already showed clear progress in terms of finishes and performance. So when the Chinese manufacturer unveiled its MateBook X Pro in February, it created a surprise.

Freshly arrived in France we were able to get our hands on the Huawei MateBook X Profor a few days. And, with all due respect to the nitpicking, we have nothing but praise to offer.

Design and finishes

Strongly inspired by Apple’s MacBook (which the name of the device doesn’t suggest at all…), the MateBook X Pro is an all-aluminum ultrabook clad in 30.4 cm wide by 21.7 cm long. A small size, therefore, that only displays 1.33 kg on the scale. Very contained dimensions that allow it to be no thicker than 14.6 mm on its largest side.

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With just the brand logo on the back of the screen, the MateBook X Pro is an instantly recognizable, high-quality notebook that’s as pleasing to the eye as it is to the touch.

Once the hood is open, it’s the screen that steals the show from everything else. The 13.9 IPS slab occupies 91% of the surface area of frame, a record. A busy rate made possible by a clever trick from Huawei: hide the webcam under one of the keys of the keyboard. By clicking on the corresponding button, the retractable camera appears, which will logically provide a slightly less flattering angle of view than usual.

We advise you to have perfect nasal hygiene before your next teleconference.

MateBook X Pro - Webcam

MateBook X Pro - Webcam

The angle of the webcam is not very flattering.

The computer is equipped with a particularly quiet and finger-friendly chiclet keyboard. The stroke is ideal, and makes it easy to line up hours of word processing without getting tired. On either side of the keyboard are the Dolby Atmos speakers, which – we’ll come back to this later – produce a very convincing spatialized sound.

In the upper right-hand corner of the tray is the button for switching on the unit, which also serves as a fingerprint sensor for unlocking it.

MateBook X Pro - keyboard

Finally, the MateBook X Pro includes a trackpad , 12 cm wide by 8 cm high. It is also pleasant to use, although the clicks are a little too noisy for our taste.

A point on connectivity: the MateBook X Pro has a 3.5 jack port on its left edge, and two USB-C Thunderbolt ports, one of which is reserved for the computer’s load. On the right side, you will find with pleasure a USB 3 Type-A port, particularly useful to avoid having to carry around adapters all the time (Apple cuckoo clock).

MateBook X Pro - connectivity

Under the bonnet, the beautiful mechanics

The MateBook X Pro doesn’t just shine outside. The technical specifications of the Huawei ultrabook perfectly matches its ambitions as a computer dedicated to Office Automation Better yet, it even allows you to play a few video games without having to make too many technical sacrifices.

  • Intel Core i5-8550U, or I7-8250U processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card with 2GB GDDR5 and Intel UHD Graphics 620 chipset
  • 8 GB or 16 GB LPDDR3 RAM running at 2133 MHz
  • 256 GB SSD

For this test, the i5/8GB version was provided to us by Huawei.

The screen: its best argument

We’ve written it before, and we’ll say it again: the MateBook X Pro’s best argument is undoubtedly its screen. Displaying 3000 x 2000 pixels in a 3:2ratio, it is one of the most pleasant we have tested. Better yet, he has the luxury of being tactile.

MateBook X Pro - Screen

In practice, this feature is impractical. Since the computer is not a hybrid, it cannot be used as a tablet. This can be useful, if necessary, when you need to show something on your computer to a colleague, and thus move around with your laptop in your arms.

Thanks to its 1500:1 contrast ratio, legibility is exemplary and long work sessions are carried out without any eye strain. From a colorimetric point of view the observation is the same and the colors always seem right – without ever over-saturating or, on the contrary, appearing too dull. As you can see, no adjustment is necessary: Here Huawei delivers a turnkey screen of excellent workmanship.

Performance: a truly versatile ultrabook

We know: the MateBook X Pro is primarily intended for office use. And in this game, it is very difficult to exhaust. The computer turns on in 12 seconds (including login), and is ultra-reactive for the slightest interaction. Opening a web browser multiple tabs and running multiple programs like Spotify, Word and Discord will cause absolutely no problems, neither heating up nor running.

On this point, on the other hand, Huawei keeps its promises. On its site, the manufacturer indicates an autonomy of 12 hours of video playback. In normal use, i.e. office use, we were able to measure an autonomy of about 11 hours, which is not so far from the count.

To arrive at this conclusion, we simply used the MateBook X Pro just as one uses a personal computer In other words with Firefox (on average 6 tabs), Word and occasionally Spotify in the background. At lunchtime, Netflix breaks with an episode of about 50 minutes, then rebroadcast in the afternoon for office use.

Note that for simple note-taking (in college for example), it should be possible to push the device’s lifespan even higher by turning off Wi-Fi.

But, as we wrote above, while the MateBook X Pro is primarily intended for office use, it is also versatile. After all, he doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card for nothing, the bugger. So we installed Overwatch (far from being the most greedy game of the moment) in order to check if it was comfortable to play.

The answer is undeniably yes, and even beyond our expectations. By opting for the native resolution of 3000 x 2000 and leaving the graphics on Medium, we were able to play several games with an average frame rate of between 50 and 65 frames per second. By lowering the resolution to 2048 x 1152 and pushing the graphics to High, the game runs at around 40 fps. It is therefore quite possible to play video games if one is willing to concede some graphic degradations.

MateBook X Pro - Overwatch

Overwatch is easy to play in medium quality

Nevertheless, it goes without saying that, by design, the heat produced in this way will have a hard time dissipating. After 3 games, the computer became quite noisy, and Speedfan indicated that the temperature of the GPU had risen to 66°C. It’s not much when you have a well-ventilated tower and a fan-clad graphics card, but more problematic on a unibody laptop like the MateBook X Pro. So, consume in moderation.

Finally, the sound part of the device is provided by two Dolby Atmos speakers that offer a quite convincing spatialized rendering, offering a sound quality similar to what Apple offers on its latest MacBook Pro

MateBook X Pro: Clubic’s verdict

Unquestionably good, the Huawei Matebook X Pro is an example of balance. Visually very pleasing, the device is surprisingly large (91%) and the quality of the screen is astonishing. With a good autonomy of about 10 hours depending on the uses that are made of it, it ticks all the boxes of the bingo reserved for ultrabooks competition.

And because it makes no compromises, the MateBook X Pro will even let you play a few Video games as long as you think about how long your sessions will last. The dedicated graphics card allows you to play Overwatch with ease in medium quality, but will quickly raise the mercury on your computer.

All in all, Huawei has created an excellent device that is hard to see the flaws in. Come on, let’s mention a few: the screen is touch-sensitive, but the device is unusable in tablet mode; the trackpad clicks are a bit noisy; the position of the webcam offers an unattractive viewing angle. Not sure that these few details cool down the most convinced that this is an exceptional device. Which he is.

The Matebook X Pro is available in its i5-8250U version from 1499€ and with an i7-8550U and 512GB of storage space from 1999€.

MateBook X Pro

+ Screen

+ Finishes

+ Sound

+ Versatile

– Tactile, gadget

– Viewing angle of the webcam

More than ever, the laptop is becoming the computer tool of our homes, putting the good old fixed tower to rest and allowing for a more versatile use. There are many categories and features, but the editors will guide you in finding the right computer for your use and budget.

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