The Huawei Matebook X Pro is extremely well balanced and perfectly embodies the idea of laptop mobility

Highs

  • Beautiful design and build quality
  • Discrete GPU option with an ultra-slim chassis
  • Very bright and colorful 3:2 3000x2000 display

Lows

  • Odd webcam location

Rating and Price

  • Rating: 10/10

Launched at Mobile World Congress 2018 (read our Matebook X Pro MWC coverage), it became available in the USA on May 21. Designed to provide its owner with top productivity and multimedia capabilities, this laptop is mostly a consumer product that can also serve a slice of the business market. Let’s see if it is as hot as Huawei pitches it when we put it to the test…

Configuration as tested

Our test unit is the Matebook X Pro with the Intel Core i7-8550, 16GB, 512GB SSD (~$1499 street price). The graphics processor is the NVIDIA GeForce MX150, and the operating system is Windows 10 Pro. This is the fastest configuration available. The color of this unit is “Space Gray,” but there is also a “Mystic Silver” version.

Configuration options

The Matebook X Pro comes with two main CPU+GPU configurations. The most powerful is our test unit described above.

If you don’t need that much computing capabilities, the Core i5 8250U, 8GB, 256GB SSD and Intel’s UHD Graphics 620 is the other option (~$1199.99, street price). We will comment on these in the performance section.

Industrial design

With 304 x 217 x 14.6 mm dimensions and a weight of 1330g (2.93 lbs.), the Matebook X Pro is a thin & light laptop. In its category, its size is very compact even within this category, and its weight is quite common, in this category of computers.

The chassis is mainly made of Aluminum. Aluminum is often liked for the robust and metallic feel it provides. The metal can be hard to work with, but its price is less than Magnesium or Carbon composites, that is why it is an excellent choice for classy, high-volume products. Aluminum is relatively easy to scratch, especially when exposed raw, without any protective layer.

We find it to be a beautiful laptop that can easily compete with the Macbook Pro, but more importantly, there are many unbiased ways to show how excellent the design work is. The chassis has a lot of slightly rounded surface that provide a softness when you hold it. The flat surfaces as carved and polished with high-precision and that contributes to the “Premium look” of this computer.

"A BEAUTIFUL LAPTOP THAT CAN EASILY COMPETE WITH THE MACBOOK PRO"

Details such as the front speaker grills made of tiny holes in the aluminum block, or how accurately the Power button is integrated, show that great care and thoughts have been poured into the design and manufacturing process.

We’ll come back to it later, but the small charger is yet another design detail that makes a noticeable difference in everyday life. Van Gogh was right when he said “great things are done by a series of small things brought together”.

Durability

The aluminum unibody design makes the Huawei Matebook X Pro very rigid, and it doesn’t bend or feel flimsy – on the contrary. If I was to drop it, I would mainly worry about the two upper corners of the screen, because the 5 mm bezel is so thin, and so is the display back cover.

The Matebook X Pro has not received a U.S Military MIL-STD-810G rating. You can open the link to see all the details, but this standard is a series of test used to make sure military gears can survive some shocks and vibrations. Most computers don’t have this certification, but some do, including ultrathins.

This laptop chassis is closed, and the user should not try opening it. Only certified technicians should attempt to do so.

Keyboard and trackpad

The trackpad and keyboard are used every time, all the time, so input is an essential thing to consider when selecting a laptop.

This keyboard has keys that are 277.2 mm² (~0.43 sq in), which is considered to be very large, but the spacing between keys is a little smaller than competitors to keep the overall keyboard width within a standard form-factor. The key-travel is 1.2 mm, and that is slightly shorter than others (1.8 mm is often the maximum), but well within the norm for laptops, since 1.3 mm is very common.

The keys are flat and seem to have an anti-grease treatment. Certain laptops have slightly curved keys (towards the bottom), while others stick to a classic flat design. The key size, key layout, and key shapes are crucial factors in making the keyboard more or less comfortable. Most of it is a matter of personal preferences, so it is important to try, if possible at all.

This key are alsobacklit with a monochrome light (only 1 level of brightness), which is very handy at night, in bed (you should not) or in the plane. The back light is turning itself off on a regular basis to save battery life, which is a good thing, but I’d love it if we could force it to stay on, or if it just stayed on when connected to power.

The Matebook X Pro keyboard is spill-proof, so it can withstand a mug of water or coffee being spilled onto it by accident. This can be a lifesaver, especially for frequent travelers who do not always enjoy a comfortable work area.

The trackpad surface material is Glass, which is usually found in high-end laptop trackpads that emphasize comfort over durability (plastic won’t crack). Glass feels extremely smooth and allows extensive use of the trackpad without the fingertips being negatively affected.

With a surface of ~13.21 Square-inches, the trackpad is enormous. When compared to the competition, this size is 25%-30% larger than many competitors we looked at.

Like any other touch-interface, the size of the trackpad in relation to the gestures matters. On laptops, most people use scroll and pinch & zoom motions. More advanced usage requires up to four fingers, and circular gestures tend to be more comfortable with a larger surface. Check the Windows 10 gestures

Ports

  • 1x 3.5mm audio
  • 1x USB Type C, 3.1 Gen1
  • 1x USB Type C, Thunderbolt 3
  • 1x USB Type A, 3.0

The port selection on this computer is very decent and is comfortable enough – if you don’t regularly need Ethernet (RJ45) or a non-USB-C video connection (projectors, VGA/DVI/HDMI monitor).

Obviously, you could use an adaptor for any of these, but the first complaint that dongle users have is that sooner or later, they will forget or lose it. With Thunderbolt 3 (TB3) support, you may also consider buying a TB3 dock with a bunch of ports, including power, so you only connect ONE cable to the computer.

Speakers

Designed to be a very strong multimedia computer, the Huawei Matebook X Pro comes with four speakers. Two are located on either sides of the keyboard behind the classy speaker grills for maximum sound power. Two more are located on the front-sides also behind grills.

"NOTHING SHORT OF ASTONISHING. MATEBOOK X PRO IS BY FAR THE BEST SOUND EXPERIENCE WE HAD ON A LAPTOP"

Additionally, the laptop uses Dolby Atmos sound rendering technology, which helps make the sound clearer and specializes it in ways that no other sound tech can. Atmos “renders” sound waves a bit like video games render 3D graphics from polygonal objects and textures. It does not merely try to replay sound recorded in various locations, but uses whatever hardware is available to recreate the sound as closely as possible to the original.

As a result, we found the audio performance of this computer to be nothing short of astonishing. Matebook X Pro is by far the best sound experience we had on a laptop.

Overall product rating: 10/10

Filed in Computers >Reviews. Read more about Huawei, Huawei Reviews, Laptop Reviews and Laptops.

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