Huawei surprised everyone last year when it launched a laptop. Nobody expected it then, and Huawei pulled a similar stunt again yesterday when it announced another new laptop. And just like the MateBook X last year, nobody was prepared for just how impressive the new MateBook X Pro is.
The MateBook X takes inspiration from the 12-inch MacBook, and similarly the MateBook X Pro takes large design cues from another Apple laptop, the MacBook Pro. In fact, if it wasn’t for the Huawei logo, it might just pass off as a MacBook Pro – even the Mystic Silver and Space Grey colours are a dead ringer. The lid even fully opens with just one finger.
Thankfully, Huawei went beyond being inspired and got innovative with the MateBook X Pro. It packs a stunning 3:2 13.9-inch FullView display, with an incredible 91% screen-to-body ratio that’s arguably the highest so far on any laptop. The 100% sRGB coverage, 3000 x 2000 resolution, and 178% viewing angles just means this is an incredible-looking laptop all around.
If that’s not enough, Huawei did some clever engineering for the webcam, too. The Chinese company removed the webcam from the top half of the laptop, enabling the stunning FullView display, and placed it under a dedicated key between the F6 and F7 keys. It pops up with a simple press of the key, and locks back in place with another press. It is ingeniously simple, practical, and secure – one of those moments where you just go “huh, why didn’t anybody think of that before?”.
And then there’s the keyboard. Again it’s similar to the butterfly switches on the MacBook Pro, and it is surprisingly pretty great to type on. The keys aren’t “pillowy” or mushy when typed, and while the key travel is basically non-existent, the keystrokes are firm with a reassuring tactile feel that lets you breeze through typing on the keys. Honestly, few laptop keyboards are better.
While the 12-inch MateBook X focused on being as thin as possible, the MateBook X Pro looks to be a productivity focused machine. That’s not to say it isn’t thin or light – it’s 14.6mm thin and weighs 1.33kg – especially when you consider it packs a discrete (albeit) low-end GPU inside. The Nvidia GeForce MX150 should be useful in most light editing or gaming tasks, and complements the rest of the premium Ultrabook-level hardware.
Given that this is a 13.9-inch display fitted into a 13-inch chassis, it is surprising that Huawei even manages to fit four Dolby Atmos speakers onto the MateBook X Pro. Two speakers lie on the left and right sides of the keyboard, while another two fire downwards on either side of the laptop. Heat dissipation is similar to the MacBook Pro and Dell XPS 13, where hot air is channeled out beneath the display.
If there is one downside, it is the touchpad. It is generously large, but it doesn’t quite track as accurately as it should. There’s a tiny bit of lag between the input from my finger to what appears on screen.
First impressions generally carry a lot of weight when it comes to laptop, and Huawei’s two laptops it’s ever made just catches everyone off guard at how impressive they are. The MateBook X Pro is most definitely more than just some MacBook clone, and the innovative feats of engineering here cannot be ignored. Unfortunately, the MateBook laptops have very limited releases around the world, and Malaysia is not in the list.
That’s quite a pity, because both the MateBook X and the MateBook X Pro are two of the most impressive laptops I’ve come across. There aren’t many great premium Ultrabooks in the market – Dell’s XPS 13 and HP’s Spectre 13 come to mind – but from my brief time with the MateBook X Pro, it certainly ticked a lot of the right boxes to be right up there among the best Ultrabooks around.