Huawei MateBook X Pro

€1,499 (around £1,300)

Tech Advisor - - Contents -

Huawei’s new MateBook X Pro builds on its pre­de­ces­sor – which was the firm’s first-ever lap­top – with up­grades ga­lore in­clud­ing a touch­screen, bet­ter per­for­mance and a lower price.

It’s called the X Pro rather than the X2 be­cause the firm is pitch­ing it against MacBook Pro and hop­ing that the lower price (and Win­dows) will tempt buy­ers away from Ap­ple’s of­fer­ing.

Price

At the time of writ­ing Huawei hasn’t yet an­nounced when it will go on sale, or any UK pric­ing. The of­fi­cial

line is that it will be launched in Q2, which means it should be out by the end of May.

Suf­fice to say that there are three main mod­els: two with a Core i5 and one with a Core i7. They’re also bet­ter spec­i­fied than the equiv­a­lent MacBook Pro: €1,499: i5/8GB/256GB €1,699: i5/8GB/512GB €1,899: i7/16GB/512GB

De­sign

This is un­de­ni­ably a great-look­ing lap­top. It also feels re­as­sur­ingly well built and is light to carry around, pos­si­bly diminu­tive enough to fit into the tablet pocket of your backpack too.

Com­par­isons with the MacBook Pro are in­evitable as Huawei has taken much in­spi­ra­tion from Ap­ple in the MateBook X Pro’s de­sign. Flip it over and you’d be hard pushed to tell which is which: even the screws are in the same po­si­tions.

If you’re fa­mil­iar with the old MateBook X – a lap­top that wasn’t widely avail­able to buy in the UK – you prob­a­bly will no­tice the screen has grown and the bezels shrunk.

In a chas­sis that’s ba­si­cally the same size, Huawei has man­aged to fit a 13.9in panel and in­creased the res­o­lu­tion to 3,000x2,000 pix­els. It has also added a touch layer so you can use all 10 dig­its on it si­mul­ta­ne­ously. A sheet of Go­rilla Glass cov­ers the en­tire dis­play, run­ning right to the edges of the lid.

How­ever, the hinge de­sign hasn’t changed so the screen stops at around 130 de­grees – it doesn’t fold flat

against the desk or even un­der­neath the key­board for a tablet mode. That’s not re­ally a prob­lem as such as this isn’t meant to be a con­vert­ible or hy­brid.

Build qual­ity is top-notch and there’s the same all­metal uni­body de­sign with di­a­mond-cut edges and a sand­blasted satin fin­ish. Huawei’s flower logo is now on the lid along­side the com­pany’s name and it cer­tainly looks good even if it’ll be un­fa­mil­iar to many who see it. You can open the screen with one fin­ger and the base re­mains on the desk: the hinge’s stiff­ness is per­fect.

In a bid to trump the MacBook Pro, the new MateBook is frac­tion­ally thin­ner (by 0.3mm) and lighter (by 400g) than its rival.

The track­pad is big­ger than be­fore and the back­lit key­board is now spill-proof. As there’s no room for a we­b­cam above the screen, Huawei has clev­erly hid­den it in the key­board. Just press it and up it pops, ready for ac­tion (see op­po­site). When you don’t need it, it’s hid­den out of sight: handy for se­cu­rity, too.

Its po­si­tion is far from ideal, though. As with other lap­tops that place the we­b­cam be­low the screen, the view­ing an­gle is less than flat­ter­ing. In the MateBook X Pro’s case, the cam­era points at your chest rather than your face if you sit in a nor­mal work­ing po­si­tion. So you’ll have to move back fur­ther than nor­mal if you want your face to be in the shot on video calls.

Four mics are present and al­low far-field use. That means you can stand the other side of the room and talk to your au­di­ence, or ask Cor­tana for as­sis­tance.

As with its pre­de­ces­sor, the power but­ton has a built-in fin­ger­print sen­sor, which is com­pat­i­ble with Win­dows Hello.

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