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

Huawei may well be ideal known as a smartphone maker and seller of networking gear,

Huawei may well be ideal known as a smartphone maker and seller of networking gear, but it also would make laptops, and we have seemed at various in the earlier. Previously this year I reviewed the fifteen.six-inch MateBook D fifteen (2020), and now we have the thirteen.nine-inch MateBook X Pro (2020), an update to the 2018 product. It is really a high quality laptop that marries high quality design and style and prime-close specifications, such as a selection of two tenth-era Intel Main processors. A Main i5 product will charge you £1,399.ninety nine (inc. VAT £1,166.sixty six ex. VAT), while a Main i7 variant sells for £1699.ninety nine (inc. VAT £1,416.sixty six ex. VAT). The MateBook X Pro (2020) is on sale in Europe and the Asia Pacific location, but is not formally out there in the US.

Huawei’s industrial design and style is typically exemplary, and you can find a satisfying minimalism on look at in this article. The Room Grey chassis of my critique sample would seem good in the office environment, and there are two other chassis colors (neither out there in the Uk at the time of creating): the brighter Mystic Silver would sit properly in the office environment, while Emerald Green could possibly transform heads.


The 2020 MateBook X Pro operates on tenth-era Intel Main i5 and i7 processors, with 16GB or RAM and 512GB or 1TB of SSD storage. The i5 product uses integrated graphics, while the i7 variant has a discrete Nvidia GPU.

Pictures: Huawei

The MateBook X Pro’s all-metallic chassis would make this a good unit. My usual test of bowing the lid segment in my fingers met with some accomplishment, but I’d certainly trust the construct adequate to go without having a protective sleeve when carrying the laptop. On the other hand, a sleeve would supply safety from scratches.

Extremely slender bezels — Huawei talks of a ‘borderless experience’ — set the thirteen.nine-inch display screen in a chassis which is just 304mm broad and 217mm tall. It is really impressively skinny way too — 14.6mm at the back again, tapering to a narrower front edge. The pounds is 1.33kg, which is heavier than some ultraportables, but completely workable. An noticeable comparison is the Dell XPS thirteen 2020, which weighs in at 1.2kg, albeit with a a little bit more compact (thirteen.4 inch) display screen.


There are two USB-C ports on the still left facet, and a USB 3. port furthermore a 3.5mm headphone jack on the suitable facet.

Impression: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

Huawei gives a fairly nominal set of on-board ports and connectors. There is certainly a solitary USB-3. port on the suitable edge, while the still left edge properties a 3.5mm headset jack and two USB-C ports with assistance for details, charging and DisplayPort. One of these USB-C ports is utilized for charging. 

Huawei presented its Mate Dock 2 with my critique unit. This connects via USB-C and gives HDMI, VGA, USB-C and USB 3. ports. It is really a disgrace Huawei will not provide this as conventional, although purchasers at the time of creating do get a free of charge MediaPad T5 with the laptop.

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There is certainly no place on the slender prime bezel for a webcam so, just as in the 2018 MateBook X Pro, the camera sits under a pop-up vital amongst Fn6 and Fn7. The similar camera arrangement was utilized in the MateBook D15 (2020) I reviewed in February.


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

Impression: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The camera situation results in the most awkward viewing angle for video clip phone calls that I have occur throughout: I definitely you should not want to have video clip phone calls with these types of an up-the-nose angle. And as video clip phone calls are now very a lot a mainstay of doing the job everyday living for a lot of of us, it’s a a lot a lot more significant downside than it was back again in February. 

Huawei uses a vertical strip a very little around a centimetre broad on just about every facet of the keyboard for the speaker grilles. Even though there are four speakers — two treble, two bass — the audio high quality just isn’t wonderful. It is really a little bit on the tinny facet, and while lots of volume is out there, you can find no real profit in cranking it up for film listening or organization displays. Voice high quality is obvious, while.


The MateBook X Pro’s keyboard is properly intended, with a responsive but peaceful action, and the massive touchpad is equally remarkable.

Impression: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

Even with the vertical speaker grilles, the backlit keyboard is massive and its keys are properly spaced. There is certainly a pleasant bouncy action, but very very little sounds. The Fn keys are relatively massive way too, while the still left and suitable cursor keys are comprehensive-sized and the up/down ones 50 percent top. It is really a neat and tidy arrangement which is great for rapid contact-typists. The touchpad is a delight to use: it’s very massive, and feels wonderful under the fingers.  

The power button, sitting happy in the prime suitable corner of the keyboard, incorporates a fingerprint sensor for protected login. This is probably very handy as you can find no Windows Hello facial recognition in this article.

The thirteen.nine-inch display screen is, with just one exception, fantastic. The 3,000-by-2,000 pixel LTPS panel provides breathtaking-high quality graphics, and the slender bezels facilitate a (claimed) display screen-to-body ratio of ninety one%. Looking at video clip is a handle, although there is some letterboxing thanks to the 3:2 facet ratio. Viewing angles are fantastic, and the display screen is contact responsive.

My just one grumble is with the light sensor which mechanically adjusts brightness. It just will not get brightness significant adequate, so that every single time I moved spot I had to do a guide adjustment — not least to counteract the reflectivity that distracted from both operate and leisure uses. Probably which is an attempt by Huawei to preserve battery everyday living, but it would make the sensor somewhat redundant. Brightness can be manually cranked up to 450 nits, which is adequate for outdoor viewing in a lot of cases.

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Huawei may well have missed a trick by not building the MateBook X Pro 2020 a 360-degree convertible, as orientations like tent mode often enable comprehensive edge to be taken of significant-high quality screens for media playback.

End users of some latest Huawei smartphones will be ready to get edge of Huawei Share, which enables data files to be exchanged amongst units making use of the MateBook X Pro’s NFC connectivity.

There are two versions of the MateBook X Pro (2020) out there at the time of creating. The £1,699.ninety nine (inc. VAT) unit comes with a tenth-era Main i7-10510U processor, discrete Nvidia GeForce MX250 graphics, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. This is the unit I was despatched to critique. The entry-level £1,399.ninety nine (inc. VAT) product has a tenth-era Main i5-10210U processor, integrated Intel UHD Graphics, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.

Large-resolution screens can shorten battery everyday living, but Huawei prices up to thirteen hrs of nearby video clip playback for the MateBook X Pro (2020). If your workload is nearly anything like mine you may well properly get a day’s usage out of the 56Whr battery. Typical doing the job days of creating into website apps, searching the website and streaming some video clip and audio noticed the battery fall from comprehensive to close to sixty six% in 3.five hrs with the display screen set on its default brightness. In daily use I would set it a couple of notches higher, with a concomitant reduction in battery everyday living, but would still expect to get through a day’s operate amongst expenses.



Impression: Huawei

For the most portion, Huawei’s MateBook X Pro (2020) is a significant-high quality laptop. But this would make its failings all the a lot more noteworthy, and two that definitely irk are the webcam positioning (a lot a lot more of an challenge these days than it was at the commencing of the year) and the under-executing light sensor for the display screen. We discovered the quad-speaker audio subsystem a little bit disappointing, way too.   

These downsides are a disgrace, simply because in all other respects this is a very remarkable unit. Let us hope Huawei finds a take care of for these problems prior to producing the up coming model of its flagship ultraportable.

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