“The new Matebook X Pro is largely similar to its predecessor, but comes with powerful internals”
While the Chinese giant Huawei has been present in the laptop market for quite some time, it was just last year at a pre-MWC event when the company unveiled the MateBook X Pro (first impressions) and the whole world sat up and took notice. Not only did the device boasted powerful hardware, but did something very interesting to achieve high screen-to-body ratio… offering a web camera hidden underneath one of the keys of the keyboard. And a year later, the Chinese giant has introduced its successor in the form of the (wait for it) MateBook X Pro, which comes with refreshed internals. Considering my new-found interest in finding the best and compact Windows notebook, I was quite excited to check out the latest offering from Huawei, and here’s how I’ll sum up my impressions.
From the outside, the new Huawei MateBook X Pro isn’t much different from the original model. Available in two colour options of silver and grey, the device features a unibody construction with a sandblasted finish that offers a smooth texture. The laptop is also quite slim at 14.6mm at its thickest point, and tips the scales at just 1.33kg.
Flip the laptop open, and you’ll find that the MateBook X Pro lives up to expectations. Just like its predecessor, the machine has extremely thin bezels, resulting in an impressive screen-to-body ratio – 91 percent, to be exact. Similar to its progenitor, the new notebook ships with a 13.9-inch display, though in terms of compactness, it comes across as a 13-inch or a 12-inch model.
Speaking of the display, Huawei has taken Microsoft’s approach by offering a 3:2 aspect ratio, which ensures that one can exploit the widescreen of the MateBook X Pro well. With a resolution of 3,000 x 2,000 pixels, the LTPS panel offers sharp text and thanks to 100 percent sRGB support, the colour reproduction is vibrant too. Did I tell you that the display is touch-enabled? And with 10-point multi-touch support, you can use different gestures to interact with the device.
As far as the keyboard and trackpad are concerned, once again, you’ll find similarities between the new MateBook X Pro and the original variant. In fact, the webcam continues to be placed underneath the middle key on the top row, and it can be activated by a single press of the respective key. That said, expect more of nostrils shots with this placement of the camera, unless you keep the laptop slightly away. In terms of the typing experience, the keys offer a decent amount of travel and have tactile feedback when pressed. The trackpad is also sufficiently large and is quite responsive too.
For I/O, the rig offers two USB Type-C ports (one of them is for charging) with Thunderbolt 3 support, and a 3.5mm audio socket towards the left, while a lone Type-A port sits on the right. The other connectivity options include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Then there’s Huawei Share 3.0 OneHop, which ensures seamless communication between the MateBook X Pro and Android smartphones. Along with letting you transfer images and videos, the app can also let you send the screen recording of the laptop. The pairing is instant (thanks to NFC) and it’s quite fast too. With the fingerprint-cum-power button, you can also unlock the machine in a jiffy – though I wasn’t able to test it out.
Till now, it’s clear that the new MateBook X Pro isn’t much different from its previous iteration. But hardware-wise, it’s definitely more powerful. You get Intel’s 8th-gen Core i5 8265U or i7 8565U CPU, which is paired with NVIDIA’s newest GeForce MX250 GPU. Couple that with either an 8GB or 16GB GDDR5 RAM, the laptop seems capable enough of handling even intensive workloads like photo or video editing. While we’ll be putting those abilities to test once we get more time to spend with the device, during our brief session, Huawei’s device delivered smooth usage. The brand has also worked on the thermal efficiency, as it has introduced a Shark Fin fans design with larger fins to offer higher air output, and ensure that the system maintains its cool. For storage, you can choose a configuration with up to 1TB SSD.
Similar to its predecessor, Huawei’s new MateBook X Pro comes with Dolby Atmos support which ensures that the quad-speaker array delivers a loud and clear audio output. Fuelling the device is a 57Whr battery that claims last a full day.
The Huawei MateBook X Pro price is set at €1,599 (approx. Rs 1,29,000) for the base model and goes all the way up to €1,999 (roughly Rs 1,61,000). While the notebook might seem pricey, there’s little doubt that it comes across as an ideal option for those who are looking for a stylish ultraportable with powerful specs. Now, if only the brand launches it in India…
Disclosure: this writer attended the launch event on Huawei India’s invitation