Huawei might be having a tough time with its smartphones right now, but there’s certainly nothing wrong with their laptops. The new MateBook X Pro has just launched in the UK and this new laptop is packed with enough features to have even the most avid MacBook owners sitting up and taking notice.
Some might even find themselves a little baffled that this laptop hasn’t shipped straight from the Apple design studio in Cupertino, with the MateBook X Pro boasting a ludicrously similar style to the popular MacBook Pro.
That said, Huawei has improved on the design seen on the most recent 13-inch MacBook Pro from Apple, by thinning down the bezels around the screen and including a few more port choices – without sacrificing thinness of the design. It’s clear where Huawei got its inspiration from, but its nice to see the company adding its own twist to the formula.
And while it’s possible to tease Huawei for its Apple-esque design (and brand name), the Chinese firm can’t be faulted for the way the MateBook X performs.
We’ve been putting this laptop through its paces and there’s bucket loads to love – in fact, we’d go as far as to say we’re quite smitten with it.
Firstly, it looks great and its appearance will certainly turn a few heads when you pull it from your bag to make that next PowerPoint presentation. At 1.3Kg it’s also pretty light and it certainly won’t weigh you down when we all get out of lockdown and back to work.
As mentioned above, Huawei has helpfully included two USB-C and a standard USB-A port, which means you shouldn’t ever face the nightmare of not having the right dongle when someone hands you a bunch of files on a flash-drive.
The Chinese firm also includes a multi-use USB-C dongle in the box, which adds a load more ports – something that Apple should consider in the future as owners of their expensive new MacBooks currently have to splash out on a handful to pricey accessories to make their laptops complete.
For your daily emails and essays, the MateBook X Pro has a lovely keyboard, which offers a great typing experience with plenty of travel in the keys and a satisfying tap as you bash out your thoughts.
If the display is up there on your list of vital features then you won’t be disappointed as the MateBook X Pro arrives with a simply stunning 13.9-inch FullView touchscreen display that pushes right to the very edge of case. With a 91 percent screen-to-body ratio – you get more room for your content without the overall size of the machine becoming too cumbersome.
With Apple not including an edge-to-edge screen on its new 13-inch Pro, it really makes you realise what fans of those popular laptops are missing out on as the MateBook X really does look spectacularly good.
Along with looking great, the MateBook is also very capable when it comes to sheer performance. The model we tested gets the blisteringly fast 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, which means there’s oodles of power for your daily digital tasks.
These latest brains should also mean this laptop is fully future-proofed for the next few years of Window 10 updates.
Other nice additions include a fast fingerprint scanner for secure access to your PC and there’s some reasonably loud speakers which should help if you want to watch a movie at the end of your day’s work.
Although it’s not up to Apple’s Force Touch standards we’ve also been relatively impressed by the trackpad. It still has its quirks such as randomly clicking on things when you don’t want it to and you can’t tap at the top of the pad but this isn’t anything unusual on Windows laptops which remain well behind Apple when it comes to this technology.
Luckily, if you get fed up with the pad there’s the option to tap on the display with this laptop featuring a very good 10-point touch screen.
So it’s all very positive for the MateBook X Pro but we do have some niggles.
Firstly the screen is very shiny which does give it a premium appearance but is a nightmare for reflections especially when heading outside.
Because that display is also bezel-free there’s nowhere to put the web camera which means Huawei has been forced to pop it somewhere else. Their way of beating this issues is to hide it under the F5 function key on the keyboard which is a nice idea until you try and use it with your colleges getting a less than flattering shot of the inside of your nose – not the best look for your next Zoom call.
Battery life is also a little erratic at times and we certainly wouldn’t head out for the day without packing your charger.
Finally, there’s the price as the i7 model costs a rather hefty £1,699. That’s almost the same as the higher-specced MacBook Pro 13-inch and there’s no question that Apple’s laptop offers a more premium and robust finish.
Huawei MateBook X Pro review: Final Verdict
If you’ve never considered a Hauwei laptop before, prepare to mightily surprised. The Chinese tech firm might be famed for their flagship smartphones, but they’re now making first-class PCs.
The Huawei MateBook X Pro looks great, features a sublime screen, and has enough power to breeze through the most memory-hungry tasks.
You’ll also find a tactile full-sized keyboard, which is a joy to use as well as plenty of bonus extras like booming speakers, plenty of ports and a fast fingerprint scanner. There are a few niggles, including that ridiculously reflective screen, weird web camera, and slightly plastic feel.
At £1,699 it’s not cheap – not ideal in this highly competitive market. Unlike Apple, which is the only manufacturer capable of building macOS laptops, Huawei doesn’t have that luxury at all.
This is simply another Windows 10 machine and the competition is tough in this crowded space with the likes of Dell, HP, Lenovo and even Microsoft all vying for your attention.
All in all, Huawei has made a solid laptop that has plenty going for it and is definitely worth a look when gadget stores finally reopen after lockdown. While there are some niggles, these might be more forgivable if you stumble across a hefty discount on the MateBook X Pro in the coming months.
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