Huawei MateBook X Pro (i5-8250U, 8 GB) in review: The 3K ultrabook with a fold-out camera
Almost two years ago, Huawei launched its first MateBook as a thin ultrabook. With the second generation, one thing would be clear at the latest: Huawei also wants to be represented in the laptop market in the future. A good reason, the Chinese with the MateBook X Pro auf die Proto ask.
There are really many notebooks on the market. Apple manufactures the probably thinnest and most practical models here. This year I was presented with the new MateBook X Pro attention to the Ultrabooks from Huawei. Now I was able to find a test device with the cheapest equipment with an i5-8250U Prozessor from Intel with 8 GB RAM and have it out for youprobeers.
Jump to section
- 1 First things first: it's in the box
- 2 Processing and housing
- 3 Borderless on the front: display
- 4 Equipment
- 5 Workflow
- 6 An ultrabook with a graphics card - also suitable for games?
- 7 Conclusion - copied the apple?
- 8 Models and prices
First things first: it's in the box
If you open the small box, the MateBook X Pro the ultrabook itself comes straight to the fore. Underneath there are small boxes with a power supply and cable, and there is also the Huawei MateDock, which serves as an extension for the few connections. But more on that later. Otherwise there is nothing more than a few pieces of paper - with a quick start guide and a guarantee certificate.
Processing and housing
When you first pick up the MateBook X Pro the light weight is immediately noticeable. At 1,33 kg, it's fairly light compared to the competition (Apple MacBook Air (2018): 1,25 kg). Otherwise, it's also fairly thin and practical at 14,6 x 304 x 217 mm. In addition to the hard facts, the ultrabook from Huawei is very well made and makes a high-quality impression from front to back. The aluminum case has no sharp edges or other bumps. The display doesn't wobble either and is relatively stable - it's almost impossible to open it with one hand.
Borderless on the front: display
The almost borderless 13,9-inch display of the Huawei MateBook X Pro in 3:2 format has a resolution of 3.000 x 2.000 pixels. The display of content is quite colorful and high-contrast - the pre-installed Windows 10 Home can also be operated via the touchscreen on the display. Due to the touchscreen, however, the display is not anti-glare.
This aspect is particularly noticeable in the sun - here is the MateBook X Pro not really suitable for working, although the display brightness on the whole really convinced me. There is also the option of automatic brightness, which was always wrong and always too dark. Basically, the display always reacted very accurately during the test and also likes to collect fingerprints.
Unfortunately, due to its 3: 2 format together with the 3K resolution, this display has some disadvantages, especially when connecting to a screen or projector. Due to the lack of support with these formats, the icons often enlarge and it is no longer possible to work properly on the external screen due to the distorted resolution. If you set the resolution back, the display on the MateBook itself no longer fits. Annoying.
My test device has an i5-8250U Proprocessor from Intel, along with 8 GB of RAM. There is also the MX150 graphics unit with 2 GB DDR5 from Nvidia on board. To store my personal data, I had a fast 256 GB NVMe SSD available on my test device. On delivery, this is partitioned as standard with C: (for Windows) and D: (data). For just under 200 euros more, you get an i1649-7U, 8550 GB RAM and 16 GB SSD for an RRP of 512 euros. So if you use Photoshop regularly or want to cut videos on your laptop on the go, you should definitely invest in these 200 euros more because of the larger RAM. On top of that there is WLAN 802.11a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.2.
Externally, the MateBook X Pro equipped with two USB-C ports (one of them Thunderbolt 3.0) and one USB-A 3.0 ("normal" USB) port. In addition to the USB-C port on the left side, there is also a small status LED to display the charging status in addition to a 3,5mm jack plug. There are 4 speakers on the underside, which are jointly awarded Dolby Atmos. Little bass, but rich and clear tones. The microphone was comparatively quiet, but the conversation partner could clearly hear it.
A little word about the expandability of the MateBook: Unfortunately, the RAM is firmly soldered on - a shame. The built-in M2 SSD can, however, simply be pulled out and expanded as required.
Since the MateBook X Pro even up to the IFA 2018 in Berlin, I had enough time to test the keyboard extensively - in addition, you have to write quite a lot of articles at the IFA on the way. I also noticed a few other points during the test - which are simply relevant for the workflow with a notebook.
Good typing on the keyboard
The pressure point of the keyboard is very pleasant and is also quite quiet. However, dust tends to collect under the individual keys, but it can be removed relatively easily. For most people, the camera on a notebook (e.g. for meetings etc.) is simply part of the workflow, especially in the business area. The others usually stick them off. The latter is not necessary, although the MateBook X Pro even has a webcam due to the narrow display bezel.
The webcam with privacy
The webcam has been integrated into the keyboard, which can be opened by clicking on the key. If you are used to the front camera of Huawei smartphones, the camera of the MateBook X Pro disappointed - so was the case with me. Unfortunately, the image quality with a resolution of 1 MP leaves a lot to be desired - for example, the face looks retouched by the camera and is generally quite dark. Unfortunately, the viewing angle isn't really optimal due to the installation in the keyboard. If you sit directly in front of the ultrabook, you are usually only visible up to your neck. Alternatively, you have to move back a little - only then you are completely visible, but then you can no longer type on the notebook. To protect privacy, however, the idea with the camera is not bad, in practice it is rather – realistically – useless.
Sign in with a fingerprint sensor
A cool extra is the existing fingerprint sensor of the MateBook X Pro. This doubles as an on/off switch, considering how handy that can be. If you click the button to start Windows, you will be taken directly to the login screen with the correct finger instead of the password proregistered without any problems. In general, the fingerprint sensor worked as well as ever during the test, sometimes a maximum of two more attempts were necessary. However, logging in via the webcam with Windows Hello is not possible.
Long battery life for long days
The crucial point when choosing a notebook – especially when you are on the go – is the battery life. The MateBook surprised me very positively here. A full day at IFA with a few breaks in writing without a single charge was none at all Proproblem In my runtime test, the MateBook X Pro 9 hours on WiFi prowithout problems. The ultrabook was fully recharged in just under two hours using the assigned USB-C quick charger.
An ultrabook with a graphics card - also suitable for games?
With the MateBook X Pro Huawei uses a GeForce MX150 graphics card from Nvidia. Despite this, the ultrabook is simply not suitable for playing demanding games. In 3DMark 11, my test device achieved a score of around 3500 points. When clicking on Fortnite the laptop got quite warm and the fan turned up to full speed, which occasionally starts to squeak under load. So it can be said: despite the graphics card, nothing to gamble on, but Photoshop and Adobe Premiere run proflawless. It is precisely for these activities that the advantages of a graphics card are obvious.
Conclusion - copied the apple?
The MateBook X Pro looks really modern due to its borderless display and at the same time is quite similar to Apple's MacBooks. In concrete terms, the second generation of ultrabooks from Huawei is particularly convincing in terms of battery life, performance and equipment. While the MateBook X Pro is quite practical and thin, you miss all the connections at the same time. Unfortunately, there is no SD card slot and no possibility to use it with a SIM card. With the included Matedock 2 that was it ProHowever, the problem was quickly solved, but this could also include an SD slot in the third version.
The camera is realistically unusable due to the strange viewing angle, but offers more privacy than other notebooks. Unfortunately, the display cannot be folded back more than 180 degrees and the 3K resolution in connection with the unusual 3:2 format leads to display together with projectors and external screensprotrouble. With the high-contrast and colorful display, together with the touchscreen, this disadvantage is forgiven over time.
Extras like the fingerprint sensor definitely make sense in a notebook, and you don't want to be without the decent speakers either. The integrated graphics card is also quite helpful for video editing or image processing.
In conclusion, it can be said that the 2nd generation of the MateBook from Huawei is definitely worth a look, but there are still a few points that could be improved in the next version. If you're looking for a compact, thin, and durable device with a fast SSD, but don't necessarily need things like a decent webcam, you should check out the Huawei MateBook X Pro definitely take a closer look.
Models and prices
The MateBook X Pro is currently on the market in three different models. There is a choice at Prozessor an i5-8250U with 8 GB RAM or the i7-8550U with 16 GB RAM. If you opt for a 512 GB SSD instead of a 256 GB SSD, you only have the i7-8550U with 16 GB RAM to choose from. the cheapest option is currently on Amazon at a price of 1444 euros and the most expensive version available at a price of 1649 euros.