Huawei Matebook X Pro

How does Huawei’s pre­mium ul­tra­book com­pare now that it’s fi­nally avail­able Down Un­der.

APC Australia - - Contents - Joel Burgess

In many ways the MateBook X Pro is a pas­tiche of great ideas pi­o­neered by other ul­tra­book man­u­fac­tur­ers. Ini­tially it looks a lot like a Mac­book Air with its slim rounded chas­sis, rub­ber dome feet and cut­away edge tabs for ven­ti­la­tion. It’s also bor­rowed el­e­ments form the Mac­book Pro’s style guide in­clud­ing key­board-sur­round speaker grills, a gen­er­ous 16 x 9 style track­pad and a sim­ple black and white key-colour­ing scheme. It’s even taken in­spi­ra­tion from Mi­crosoft us­ing the Sur­face’s 3:2 as­pect ra­tio, with the MateBook X Pro’s 13.9-inch 3000x2000 touch­screen dis­play.

In this in­stance it re­ally does seem like Huawei has taken the best bits from ex­ist­ing lap­top de­sign and stitched them all to­gether. There’s also enough cus­tom Huawei tech in the de­vice to make it feel unique. Most notable is Huawei’s re­moval of the cam­era from the top of the screen to a popup key on the cen­tre of the key­board. This gave Huawei the free­dom to shrink the bezels to a size never seen be­fore, giv­ing the de­vice the high­est over­all screen-to­body ra­tio of an ul­tra­book at 91%.

The MateBook X Pro can be con­fig­ured with ei­ther an In­tel Core i5-8250U or a Core i7-8550U. The en­try-level model is paired with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD to land at $1,899, while the i7 ver­sion bumps up the RAM to 16GB, has a big­ger 512GB SSD and throws in a ded­i­cated Nvidia MX150 GPU for an RRP of $2,599. Huawei is sell­ing the new de­vices through the Mi­crosoft Store in Aus­tralia, putting them right next to the Sur­face Lap­top 2s, which cost $100 and $600 more for the same-specced i5 and i7 mod­els, re­spec­tively.

While the Core i5 con­fig­u­ra­tion will be more than enough grunt for any­one look­ing to just use Word, Ex­cel and web browsers, the Core i7’s ded­i­cated Nvidia MX 150 will add the ca­pac­ity for ba­sic graph­i­cal ren­der­ing and even some light gam­ing. You’ll strug­gle with any in­ten­sive games, but ti­tles like Rocket League and Over­watch run at 50% higher frame rates than you get with the i7’s in­te­grated GPU. The Core i7-8550U model we tested is a pretty stan­dard lap­top chip for pre­mium ul­tra­books, and it per­formed as ex­pected in both raw Cinebench R15 CPU bench­marks and HWBot’s x265 me­dia en­cod­ing tests. This trans­lated into above av­er­age PCMark 8 Home ac­cel­er­ated scores that were about 5% bet­ter than a sim­i­larly specced Dell XPS 13, a Len­ovo Yoga 920 and a Razer Blade Stealth.

The over­all de­sign of the Space Grey model is some­what tainted by a cheap look­ing pow­dered metal chas­sis with re­flec­tive bev­el­ling. The MateBook X Pro can also run re­ally hot if you’re herd­ing a bunch of Chrome tabs, but when you con­sider it’s got a 56Wh bat­tery that lasts 7 hours and 17 min­utes dur­ing 1080p video play­back, and a fast Gen 3 PCIe SSD, the draw­backs are far out­weighed by the ben­e­fits on of­fer.


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