When Huawei entered the PC market last year with the Huawei MateBook, it was easy to think that Huawei only wanted to extend its tablet efforts into the Windows platform, but the MateBook X (and the MateBook D) clearly show that Huawei intends to push its reach much further. The MateBook X is a 13” clamshell laptop that weighs only 2.31 Lbs (!).
When you consider that a MacBook Air weighs 2.96 Lbs and that most competing 13” laptops hover around 2.5-2.8 Lbs, this is a significant difference. The LG Gram 13” is probably the only laptop in that category to weigh 2.1 Lbs, but this it uses different materials and makes tradeoffs on how rigid the frame is. This laptop’s dimensions are 12.5 x 286 ×211mm.
Additionally, the Huawei MateBook X can be powered by an Intel Core i5 (7200U), which is common for thin and lights, but also by a Core i7 (7500U), a very popular CPU option, even for 15.6” laptops. The memory can go from 4GB to 8GB of RAM, and the SSD storage varies from 256GB to 512GB.
The industrial design is amazingly thin. With a thickness of 12.5mm, it is thinner than the Macbook’s thickest point (13.1mm). However, it has two USB-C connectors, one on either side. One can be used for data and charge (the laptop), while the other is for data connectivity and is the recommended port for the MateBook 2 Dock (optional). The detailed specifications for the USB-C ports were not available at launch time, so we will see if they are USB 3.0, 3.1 or Thunderbolt 3. Laptop designs with a single port have been criticized by many users for being annoying – having two is a great improvement.
The Huawei Mate X has a Power Button with an integrated fingerprint reader. This is inspired by the Huawei phones since PCs typically have those two functions separated. That is also because Boot or Wake-up are not “instantaneous” on Windows.
At 1 Megapixel, the front camera is decent for video chat, but we do not expect it to outperform phones, although that would be a nice surprise. The computer has two speakers and two microphones. The two speakers provide stereo sound, while the multi-microphones probably enable some form of noise cancellation during voice chat.
Interestingly enough, Huawei seems to be the first PC OEM to include Dolby Atmos Sound System, which provides some 3D audio rendering for laptops. The demo was pretty convincing, and we are curious to see when/where content will be available.
The 41.4 Wh li-po battery capacity is a bit smaller than other 13” competitors (50Wh-60Wh), but it is not surprising given how small this computer is. This is a tradeoff worth considering if the combination of weight, size, and design is right for your usage. Also, if you go to meeting for a few hours at a time, it is probably good enough.
Huawei’s industrial design prowess does not stop there: this laptop is also fanless. That is very impressive given that it runs a powerful Intel processor. Typically, fanless designs are built around an Intel Core-M platform, which is much slower. We will see how it performs under stress when we get a retail unit in hand.
Last, but certainly no least, the 13” IPS LCD display has a resolution of 2160×1440 (200 PPI) and is protected by a layer of Gorilla Glass. It has a maximum brightness of 350 NITs and can reproduce 100% of the rRGB color gamut (1000: contrast ratio). The HUAWEI MateBook X is available in three colors: Prestige Gold, Space Gray and Rose Gold.