Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

The Intel AC-8275 tops out at 866Mbps at one metre from our D-Link AC5300 reference router. At six metres it is 650Mbps – overall very acceptable speeds. It is a dual-band, 2×2 antenna, MU-MIMO card.

Embedded Bluetooth is 4.2. It supports the SBC codec and Dolby Atmos for headphones.

While the Intel chip is among the most common in use, some notebooks now use the later Intel AC-9260/9560 that supports HT160Mhz and Bluetooth 5.

Keyboard/trackpad/fingerprint reader

It is a spill-proof, chicklet style, keyboard with two levels of brightness. Throw is 1.2mm and actuation force is 60g. I would have liked a bit more throw and less actuation – it feels a little firm. Still, in typing tests it achieved 80% of my usual speed to no complaints there.

The oversized 120 x 78mm Microsoft Precision trackpad is excellent – glass smooth and perfect. It is large enough to use multi-finger gestures.

MateBook X Pro
Well spaced keys in a standard layout

The Goodix fingerprint reader is the power button. It was very fast and supports 360° finger rotation so accurate finger placement is a thing of the past.

Webcam/mics

Due to the small screen bezels the webcam is located on a popup key between F6-F7. It is a .9MP unit capable of 1280x720p stills or 720p video. However, the pop-up nature emphasises double chins – I don’t need that. It also acts as a privacy switch. Still it is is a good compromise – I would rather have the narrow bezels any time.

MateBook X Pro
Obviously she does not have a double chin!

There are four far-field mics under the front lip (of the keyboard deck) that can pick up voice to 4 metres away although the Realtek chip only supports stereo mix recording. I suspect their real use is in noise cancelling for video conferences.

Speakers

The MateBook X Pro has four speakers. Two x top-firing adjacent to the keyboard sides and two x side-firing vented underneath towards the front.

The Realtek ALC256 sound chip supports Dolby Atmos content (if you have it – otherwise it is 2.0) over the speakers or headphone (BT or corded). This has pre-sets for Movie, Music, Games, Voice and custom. In effect, this means you can adjust sounds from 240Hz (mid-bass) to 14kHz (mid treble) by +/- 12dB. In reality it is hard to change a small speakers ‘tone’ that much.

MateBook X Pro

Try as we may the speakers did not reproduce Dolby Atmos content well – there was not sufficient spatial separation to justify the Atmos sound stage.

But our Sony WH-1000MX3 refernce Bluetooth headphones were fine with Atmos content and otherwise deliver up to 7.1 simulated sound.

Our sound tests show bass creeping in a 125Hz to 400Hz (good bass starts about 40-60Hz), mids from 400Hz to 2kHz were flat (good) and highs from 2-12.5kHz flat (good) dropping off then to almost no upper treble. This is more of a Bright Vocal signature suited for clear voice. It is not the best for movie sound but then few ultralights offer the ideal warm and sweet signature – use headphones.

We achieved 75dB at 100% volume but there was slight distortion – backing off about 10% fixed that.

Subjectively I would say it is one of the better sounding ultra-lights, but Dolby Atmos is really for headphones or soundbars that support it.