Huawei MateBook X Pro (2020) review: An excellent ultraportable, with a couple of flaws Review

Huawei may possibly be very best known as a smartphone maker and seller of networking gear, but it also would make laptops, and we’ve appeared at several in the past. Previously this 12 months I reviewed the fifteen.six-inch MateBook D fifteen (2020), and now we have the thirteen.9-inch MateBook X Professional (2020), an update to the 2018 design. It’s a quality laptop computer that marries top quality style and top-conclusion specifications, which include a decision of two 10th-generation Intel Main processors. A Main i5 design will price you £1,399.ninety nine (inc. VAT £1,166.sixty six ex. VAT), though a Main i7 variant sells for £1699.ninety nine (inc. VAT £1,416.sixty six ex. VAT). The MateBook X Professional (2020) is on sale in Europe and the Asia Pacific area, but is not formally accessible in the US.

Huawei’s industrial style is commonly exemplary, and there is a pleasing minimalism on watch here. The House Gray chassis of my evaluate sample would glimpse fine in the workplace, and there are two other chassis colors (neither accessible in the United kingdom at the time of crafting): the brighter Mystic Silver would sit effectively in the workplace, though Emerald Eco-friendly might change heads.

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The 2020 MateBook X Professional operates on 10th-generation Intel Main i5 and i7 processors, with 16GB or RAM and 512GB or 1TB of SSD storage. The i5 design works by using built-in graphics, though the i7 variant has a discrete Nvidia GPU.


Images: Huawei

The MateBook X Pro’s all-metal chassis would make this a sound gadget. My usual take a look at of bowing the lid section in my arms met with some success, but I would surely have faith in the establish ample to go devoid of a protective sleeve when carrying the laptop computer. On the other hand, a sleeve would offer you defense from scratches.

Incredibly slim bezels — Huawei talks of a ‘borderless experience’ — established the thirteen.9-inch screen in a chassis that’s just 304mm large and 217mm tall. It’s impressively slim as well — 14.6mm at the again, tapering to a narrower entrance edge. The excess weight is 1.33kg, which is heavier than some ultraportables, but correctly manageable. An noticeable comparison is the Dell XPS thirteen 2020, which weighs in at 1.2kg, albeit with a a little bit more compact (thirteen.four inch) screen.

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There are two USB-C ports on the left aspect, and a USB three. port as well as a three.5mm headphone jack on the correct aspect.


Impression: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

Huawei provides a fairly negligible established of on-board ports and connectors. There is a one USB-three. port on the correct edge, though the left edge houses a three.5mm headset jack and two USB-C ports with guidance for information, charging and DisplayPort. 1 of these USB-C ports is made use of for charging. 

Huawei supplied its Mate Dock 2 with my evaluate unit. This connects through USB-C and provides HDMI, VGA, USB-C and USB three. ports. It’s a disgrace Huawei won’t supply this as standard, even though prospective buyers at the time of crafting do get a absolutely free MediaPad T5 with the laptop computer.

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There is no home on the slim top bezel for a webcam so, just as in the 2018 MateBook X Professional, the digital camera sits below a pop-up important in between Fn6 and Fn7. The exact same digital camera arrangement was made use of in the MateBook D15 (2020) I reviewed in February.

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The pop-up keyboard-embedded webcam is intelligent, but the digital camera angle is unfortunate for video calls.


Impression: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The digital camera posture produces the most awkward viewing angle for video calls that I have occur throughout: I truly don’t want to have video calls with such an up-the-nose angle. And as video calls are now pretty a lot a mainstay of working life for a lot of of us, it is a a lot additional considerable downside than it was again in February. 

Huawei works by using a vertical strip a tiny above a centimetre large on every single aspect of the keyboard for the speaker grilles. Whilst there are four speakers — two treble, two bass — the seem top quality is not excellent. It’s a little bit on the tinny aspect, and though a great deal of quantity is accessible, there is no authentic profit in cranking it up for movie listening or small business presentations. Voice top quality is apparent, nevertheless.

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The MateBook X Pro’s keyboard is effectively designed, with a responsive but peaceful action, and the substantial touchpad is similarly outstanding.


Impression: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

In spite of the vertical speaker grilles, the backlit keyboard is substantial and its keys are effectively spaced. There is a wonderful bouncy action, but pretty tiny sounds. The Fn keys are relatively substantial as well, though the left and correct cursor keys are total-sized and the up/down kinds half top. It’s a neat and tidy arrangement that’s ideal for speedy contact-typists. The touchpad is a delight to use: it is pretty substantial, and feels excellent below the fingers.  

The power button, sitting down very pleased in the top correct corner of the keyboard, incorporates a fingerprint sensor for safe login. This is probably pretty handy as there is no Home windows Hi facial recognition here.

The thirteen.9-inch screen is, with 1 exception, exceptional. The three,000-by-2,000 pixel LTPS panel provides amazing-top quality graphics, and the slim bezels aid a (claimed) screen-to-human body ratio of 91{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f}. Looking at video is a deal with, even though there is some letterboxing thanks to the three:2 element ratio. Viewing angles are great, and the screen is contact responsive.

My 1 grumble is with the light sensor which automatically adjusts brightness. It just won’t take brightness high ample, so that every time I moved location I experienced to do a manual adjustment — not the very least to counteract the reflectivity that distracted from each work and leisure works by using. Most likely that’s an try by Huawei to conserve battery life, but it would make the sensor somewhat redundant. Brightness can be manually cranked up to 450 nits, which is ample for out of doors viewing in a lot of circumstances.

SEE: Home windows ten Commence menu hacks (TechRepublic Quality)

Huawei may possibly have missed a trick by not building the MateBook X Professional 2020 a 360-degree convertible, as orientations like tent method usually let total edge to be taken of high-top quality screens for media playback.

Consumers of some current Huawei smartphones will be in a position to take edge of Huawei Share, which lets documents to be exchanged in between equipment making use of the MateBook X Pro’s NFC connectivity.

There are two variations of the MateBook X Professional (2020) accessible at the time of crafting. The £1,699.ninety nine (inc. VAT) unit comes with a 10th-generation Main i7-10510U processor, discrete Nvidia GeForce MX250 graphics, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. This is the unit I was despatched to evaluate. The entry-amount £1,399.ninety nine (inc. VAT) design has a 10th-generation Main i5-10210U processor, built-in Intel UHD Graphics, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.

High-resolution screens can shorten battery life, but Huawei quotations up to thirteen hours of regional video playback for the MateBook X Professional (2020). If your workload is just about anything like mine you may possibly effectively get a day’s use out of the 56Whr battery. Standard working times of crafting into internet apps, searching the internet and streaming some video and music noticed the battery fall from total to all over sixty six{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f} in three.5 hours with the screen established on its default brightness. In daily use I would established it a couple of notches better, with a concomitant reduction in battery life, but would nonetheless be expecting to get by a day’s work in between rates.

Conclusions

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Impression: Huawei

For the most aspect, Huawei’s MateBook X Professional (2020) is a high-top quality laptop computer. But this would make its failings all the additional notable, and two that truly irk are the webcam positioning (a lot additional of an issue right now than it was at the beginning of the 12 months) and the below-accomplishing light sensor for the screen. We identified the quad-speaker audio subsystem a little bit disappointing, as well.   

These downsides are a disgrace, because in all other respects this is a pretty outstanding gadget. Let us hope Huawei finds a correct for these difficulties ahead of making the subsequent version of its flagship ultraportable.

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