In the midst of the US sanctions against Huawei, the manufacturer has launched its Matebook X Pro, which visually differs only slightly from the first model from 2018. While Huawei is not allowed to use Google’s apps and services on the smartphone side, the situation is different with Windows, Microsoft’s operating system and office applications are still supported without any problems. The computer is also powered by Intel’s current generation of chips, accompanied by Nvidia’s MX250 graphics unit.
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With the third generation of the Matebook X Pro, Huawei not only relies on the latest equipment but also extends the notebook with effective software functions that other manufacturers do not offer in this rang. The manufacturer uses its smartphones, which are an essential part of its own hardware strategy despite the difficult situation.
HUAWEI MateBook X Pro 2020 Unboxing & First Look
The Ideal Mobile share the HUAWEI MateBook X Pro 2020 unboxing experience in this video.
Huawei Matebook X Pro with a Bright Touch Display
The actual display makes up 91 percent of the total area of the screen.
Huawei’s Matebook X Pro is the spearhead of the three model variants of the Matebook series. The device is roughly as compact as a Macbook Pro with a 13.3-inch screen, but the case has a larger touch display with a diagonal of 13.9 inches, which gives Huawei a display-to-body ratio of 91%. Like its predecessors, it weighs 1.33kg, the housing is made entirely of aluminum, which not only makes it appear elegant, but also makes it stable. Even if you hold it on a device corner, nothing flexes.
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There are hardly any major visual differences to the predecessors from previous years – why change a successful concept? However, the manufacturer offers its top model in addition to gray in a chic, subtly green color, which brings a little variety to the notebook world. In terms of workmanship, there is nothing to complain about with our test device: everything sits as it should, the gap dimensions are tiny so that it looks as if it were cast in one piece. With a device in this price range, however, nothing else can be expected.
Not only the new color of the Matebook X Pro catches the eye, but the display is also a feast for the eyes: the 13.9-inch touchscreen has a resolution of 3000 x 2000 pixels and delivers rich colors and strong contrasts. It can also become very bright, for example, to allow work outside in the sunshine. With its 3: 2 aspect ratio, the Matebook is ideal for working with documents.
If you don’t want to operate the notebook exclusively with a keyboard, trackpad, or mouse, you have the option of doing it directly via the touchscreen. The screen recognizes ten fingers at the same time; to close a window or change its size, one is sufficient.
The Keyboard and Trackpad of the Huawei Matebook X Pro Are Convincing
The keyboard and the trackpad underneath convince all along the line. The chiclet keyboard with two-level backlighting and black keys with white letter printing has a fairly short drop. This gives the keyboard a direct typing experience. In addition, the individual keys are sufficiently large and have a perfect distance from each other, so that it is pleasant to write.
The glass trackpad of the Huawei notebook is just as good. It works excellently and is generously sized compared to the competition’s touchpads. As with the previous models, the fingers glide smoothly over the surface and the cursor reacts precisely. In addition, all Windows 10 gestures can be carried out correctly using the trackpad.
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The webcam for video telephony with HD resolution is hidden in the keyboard between the function keys F6 and F7. Huawei has been using this trick since its first generation of the Matebook X and continues to leave a conflicting impression. On the one hand, it offers a high degree of security because the camera can be mechanically deactivated like Lenovo’s Thinkshutter.
Problem with the camera position
The viewing angle is quite suboptimal since participants in the video conferences see you from a frog’s perspective and get a look into your nostrils. If you use the notebook to hold notes during the video call, your knuckles can be seen as “dancing worms”.
We want the camera to be in a better position for the next generation of the Matebook X Pro. The image quality of the webcam could also be better, but Huawei is not alone in the hallway, other manufacturers should also install better sensors because video calls via zoom, Google Meet or Microsoft Teams are likely to become even more commonplace in the future.
Incidentally, the US computer manufacturer Dell had used a similar camera position for its compact XPS notebooks. In 2019, the manufacturer had a look and developed a correspondingly compact sensor to be able to maintain the narrow display frame. What is still missing in the solution is a hardware lock to turn the camera off.
Huawei’s Matebook X Pro Does Not Support Biometric Authentication
Due to the lack of a camera, Huawei’s Matebook X Pro does not support biometric authentication by your face, instead a fingerprint sensor is installed in the power button, which unlocks the device the second you turn on the notebook. The whole thing works extremely well.
Huawei Matebook X Pro (2020): Features, Performance and Runtime
Depending on the version, Huawei uses Intel’s Comet Lake U-Core i5 and Core i7 (10510U) chips of the tenth generation, which feature dedicated MX250 graphics, 2GBs of GDDR5 memory and 16GBs of RAM get supported. With SSD-PCe storage you can choose between 512GBS and 1TB. Our test device was equipped with top equipment with i7 and 16 gigabytes of RAM.
In terms of performance, the combination delivers a good picture in everyday use: Chrome or Edge with 20 open tabs was no problem, just as little as image editing or other tasks. The system ran absolutely smoothly. The fan became active when it was used a little more, but it blew very quietly.
Ports and Accessories
The built-in Samsung SSD is not a bottleneck either. In the test, it delivered just under 3,500 megabits per second for sequential reading and just over 3,000 megabits per second for writing. These are very decent values.
As with its predecessor, the new Matebook X Pro has a USB Type a port (USB 3.0) on the right. On the left side of the case there are two USB-C ports (USB 3.1) for charging, data transfer and as a display port. One of the two also offers Thunderbolt 3, which enables data transfer rates of up to 40 gigabytes per second.
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There are also WLAN ac standards (2.4 and 5 gigahertz, 2 × 2 MIMO) and Bluetooth 5 on board as well as four speakers with Dolby Atmos support. They deliver a good picture in terms of sound. The compact USB dock included in the scope of delivery, which extends the device by a USB-A, a USB-C, HDMI and VGA port, should be rated positively.
Huawei Matebook X Pro (2020): Battery Life
In terms of battery life, the Matebook X Pro with its 56-watt-hour battery should run up to 14 hours, according to Huawei. But this works at maximum if you turn down the display and work on a low flame. In normal everyday operation with the usual office applications and Slack and Chrome as well as possibly a second display, the notebook screams for an outlet after just seven to eight hours.
Software: Windows 10 with a Pinch of Huawei
Huawei’s Matebook X Pro and other Matebook models have NFC and can be paired with a Huawei or Honor smartphone in no time. A small window appears on the notebook that shows the smartphone’s home screen.
By connecting the devices, you can not only control the smartphone via trackpad or display but also seamlessly move documents, photos, and more between the devices, which was a child’s play in the test. Some of the functions require the new user interface EMUI 10.1, which is preinstalled on the Huawei P40 Pro (test), among other things.
Another practical feature is the new screenshot function, which works similarly to a smartphone: You pull three fingers into the screen from above, then you select the appropriate area, an app window or the entire screen. The screenshot is finished. If there is text in the screenshot, it is also recognized and displayed in the preview next to the screenshot.
Huawei’s third-generation Matebook X Pro is still one of the smartest notebooks on the market – not only that, it is extremely compact and excellently manufactured. The large display with its slim edges is bright and delivers crisp colors. The keyboard and trackpad input devices are also of high quality, which can easily keep up with Microsoft’s Surface devices.