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Huawei MateBook X Pro (2019) Practical overview



Huawei is a company typically connected to cell phones. With the MateBook X Pro, this changed, which made some noise in an otherwise crowded PC market. Webcam hidden on the keyboard, the laptop was something we have never seen before. But Huawei is not finished yet.

The MateBook X Pro will be available in 2019 with new Intel Whiskey Lake processors inside, a familiar 3: 2 aspect ratio, and world-class unibody design. In addition to a brand new, never before seen MX250 graphics card, the MateBook X Pro now has what it takes to be the better version of itself. We spent some time in front of the Mobile World Congress with the device to see all the innovations of the Huawei flagship PC.

Same, spacious, bright display for the Web

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6: 9 is the standard aspect ratio of laptops, but that has changed in recent years. The MacBook Pro has a 16:10 aspect ratio and the Surface Book 2 uses 3: 2 for even more screen space. The MateBook X Pro picks up the trend.

Although not new compared to its predecessor, we really enjoyed it with the MateBook X Pro. Opening multiple instances of Microsoft Edge on the MateBook X Pro provided a complete view of the Web. Combined with a 13.9-inch display with a resolution of 3,000 × 2,000, the text on web pages was complete, clean and crisp and extended to the bottom of the screen.

The brightness is amazing and can reach up to 450 nits, according to Huawei. We did not even have to lower it to below 20 percent during our browsing time. It's the same panel as last year, and that's a great thing, since his screen was one of his strengths. For example, it had an impressively high 1.240: 1 contrast ratio and even came close to the MacBook Pro, a leader in the field.

Huawei also gives a screen-to-body ratio of 91 percent, which means that the irises are incredibly thin. When you open a web browser and some of the popular Windows 10 apps, the ad looks larger than its size. Accurate measurements are not available, but visually it matches the results that Dell has performed on the XPS 13.

Just swipe down from the top of the screen with three fingers to capture your screen.

The screen also supports touch, which has not yet been included in the MacBook Pro range. It is held by the hinge and does not wobble too much when scrolling. This year's model even includes a little small feature to take screenshots. Just swipe down from the top of the screen with three fingers to capture, edit, and record what appears on your screen. We tried the feature several times and she picked up our gestures every time without delay.

This all comes in contact with Huawei Share 3.0, which makes your Android phone best friends with the laptop. Although we could not try our practical unit, we saw a demo in action. It seemed like a seamless experience, but we were told that the feature only works with Huawei phones. Once you tap the MateBook X Pro, photos are transferred between the MateBook and the phone. When you shake the phone, tap and record the screen of the notebook. There is also the clipboard. It works with NFC and seems to be the synergies of MacOS and iOS that you can achieve with the MacBook or iPhone. This feature will not apply to models sold in the US.

Huawei MateBook X Pro 2019 Compared with

Slim Unibody Design

Inspired by the Apple MacBook series, the MateBook X Pro offers a premium unibody design. It is available in two colors, in both Space Gray and Mystic Silver. Huawei did not opt ​​for a third gold color, but the options here are both nice. The "Space Gray" color agrees with the Apple range, just like the MateBook 13, but it's a bit darker than the MacBooks. The overall material also feels cool and very supple when we bend our hand. Huawei has even changed the branding on the lid, so now the name of the company and not a logo is displayed.

  Huawei MateBook X Pro 2019 Review
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Where the MateBook X Pro is Parts The MacBook Pro is equipped with the keyboard and touchpad. Compared to the MateBook 13, the keycaps protrude more out of the chassis, with a nice slick on the top that makes typing on the speed easier. We opened Microsoft sticky notes to test this, and the 1.2 mm spacing between the keys meant that very few typos would occur. Our fingers can be moved quickly with every push of a button without making the flooring hard.

Inspired by the MacBook, the Matebook X Pro has a premium unibody design.

The trackpad offers a similar experience and is richly spacious. It is much larger than what you get from other Windows laptops and measures about the size of the MacBook's touchpad. The clicks also provide solid feedback. Worth mentioning is also the integrated fingerprint reader above the keyboard in the power button, which enables a fast and seamless log in with Windows Hello.

Fortunately, Huawei did not have to compromise on the ports, despite its slim unibody design. The MateBook X Pro has two USB-C ports and a USB-A 2.0 port. There's even support for Thunderbolt 3, so you can connect a 4K monitor and an external GPU. It's also nice to see that USB-A is included as it means you do not have to completely embrace the dongle lifestyle.

Welcome a new graphics card

Another big claim from Huawei with the MateBook X Pro is the performance difference when switching to Whiskey Lake Processors. We've seen this happen on a number of notebooks, including the Dell XPS 13, which has a Geekbench 4 rating of around 8 percent more than the latest Intel chipset. If this continues, the MateBook X Pro would probably be slightly faster than last year's model with the Intel Core i7-8550U chipset.

While more testing is required, we expect some positive results from the newer Intel Core i7-8565U CPU. In our practical time, we taxed our sample unit with 20 tabs in Microsoft Edge, and it has been enforced without delay. YouTube and other media-intensive websites were also loaded quickly.

  Huawei MateBook X Pro 2019 Review
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

But Huawei has a trick on the ball. The company surprised and built the GPU with 2 GB VRAM on the Nvidia MX250. This is a change from last year's MX150. We have not seen this new GPU on another laptop yet and could not test it in one game during our practical time. According to Huawei, it is "3.5 times better" than integrated graphics cards and about 5 to 10 percent faster than the MX150.

However, the MX150 is known for delivering a modest performance in games. When we tried it on the MateBook 13, in Fortnite we got into the 60 frames per second. Any improvements are welcomed and help to consider the MateBook X Pro as an alternative to gaming laptops with more robust graphics cards such as the GTX 1050.

In addition to the conversion to Whiskey Lake Huawei also provides the connectivity options on board the MateBook X Pro. Huawei has a top speed of 1,733 MB / s with Wi-Fi compared to the MacBook Pro's 867 MB / s. It was hard for us to judge this in our practical time, but it is promising in a world where we are always connected to the Internet.

Weak webcam

Finally, we can not talk about the MateBook X Pro without addressing the webcam. It is the same as in the last generation, which still lives under a key in the function line. The way it pops out is certainly novel and a help for privacy, but compared to the webcams of most laptops, it is not necessarily of high quality. The camera angle is flattering and offers a clumsy look on the fingers as you type. It's even worse than the nose cam that used to be on the old XPS 13 laptops.

Huawei did not share prices for the MateBook X Pro, but did announce a May release for the US version of the laptop. Last year's version is offered in the Microsoft Store for $ 1,200. We expect the 2019 model to be available at a similar price.


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