I had a feeling right from unboxing the Huawei MateBook X Pro that is was going to be a little special. The more I poked and prodded, the more boxes I ticked – and then some.
I write a review serially – start with the outside and work in. The outside – what makes a first impression (and don’t call me shallow Hal) was a matte Mystic Silver polished
The MateBook X Pro does not have the same visceral appeal of the scantily leather-clad HP Spectre, nor the absolute sexy spun finish of an ASUS ZenBook, nor a cool coffee colour of a Lenovo Yoga – it was just subtle, classy. And for MacBook
Opening the notebook reveals a huge 13.9-inch screen in a body that would normally house a 12” screen. There are almost no screen bezels accounting for a 91% S-T-B-R. And there was something else that just clicked – it has a 3:2 screen ratio (like a Microsoft Surface Pro/Laptop), not the typical 16:9 on
We will dig deeper in the review but let me tell you that I was surprised and delighted at every turn. As a spoiler the MateBook X Pro starts at $1899 for the base i5 version and $2599 for the i7.
Review: Huawei MateBook X Pro
Review unit as tested
- 13.9-inch, 3:2 ratio, 3000×2000, 260ppi, 91% S-T-B-R, 100% sRGB, 1500:1, 450 nits LTPS screen
- Intel i5-8250U 1.6/3.4Ghz four core (option i7-8500U)
- 8GB RAM (option 16GB) LPDDR3 2,133MHz
- Intel UHD Graphics 620 and NVIDIA GeForce MX150 with 2 GB GDDR5 (the latter may be an option on some SKUs)
- 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD (option 512GB)
- Thunderbolt 3 port (20Gbps), USB-C (5Gbps PD 2.0), USB-A 3.0 (5Gbps 5V/2A) and 3.5mm audio
- 57.4Wh battery and 65W USB-C PD 2.0 charger 20V/3.25A, 15V/3A, 12V/2A, 9V/2A, 5V/2A
- 304 x 217 x 14.9mm x 1.32kg (barely larger than an A4 page)
It is a clamshell laptop format opening to about 150°.
It is a standard Windows setup where you can disable 100% of Windows snooping and use a local off-line account (instead of a Microsoft account) if you value privacy.
Then brave the potential gigabytes of Windows 10 updates. Next use Huawei PC manager (quite good) to update all the hardware drivers and finally NVIDIA GeForce Experience to update the Graphics card.
Then select your CPU performance requirement (under Battery Management). By default, it is set at 88% maximum and you may want to leave it there. But we wanted 100% for our tests. Unfortunately, nothing we could do gave us full use, so I guess 88% is the maximum Thermal Design Power for this chassis.
This screen is amazing
It uses an LTPS (Low-Temperature PolySilicon) LCD screen that provides higher pixel density, better colour gamut, higher refresh rates and lower power use than IPS screens. Its picture quality is closer to AMOLED although that has the edge via an infinite contrast ratio. LTPS also allows the MateBook X Pro to have small bezels.
The screen is a delight. Beautiful colour (100% sRGB), semi-gloss (not too reflective) and OK in direct sunlight. It is from Tianma, one of the iPhone XR LTPS screen suppliers. It uses 10-point On-Cell Touch under the Gorilla Glass to reduce the thickness. As far as we know no other manufacturers use this screen although the Microsoft Surface Laptop has a 13.5″, 2256 × 1504, 3:2 ratio. Huawei has nailed it.
3:2 is best for productivity displaying an A4 sheet (portrait) or two A4 sheets (landscape scaled). When viewing 16:9 video content there is a slightly larger bar top and bottom.
Our tests confirm that 450nits and 1500:1 contrast is conservative, and it is far brighter than the Surface Laptop (350nits). We could not detect any perceptible backlight bleed. Delta E shows very accurate colours. G-t-G times were over 40ms – a little slow for gamers but otherwise fine for video content.