Other manufacturers such as Sony and Samsung have long since stopped making laptops, but Huawei reckons there’s still money to be made – especially on premium models.
Last year it launched the MateBook X which received universal praise. The only snag was the price, which was steep in the UK and considerably more than if you bought it in China.
With the MateBook X Pro, Huawei thinks it has a winner on its hands. Partly that’s down to upgrades such as a touchscreen and the latest Intel processor, but also with a lower price that’s designed to undercut the MacBook.
When is the MateBook X Pro release date?
If all goes to plan, you should be able to get your hands on one in the UK and Western Europe in March. The official line is a Q2 launch in China, Gemany, Spain, Italy, Nordics, US and Saudi Arabia.
How much does the MateBook X Pro cost?
There are two models – you can find their main specs below – and they’ll be cheaper than the equivalent MacBook when they launch.
Three SKUs with MX150 graphics have been announced, with prices (in Euros so far) as follows:
- i5/8GB/256GB: 1499€
- i5/8GB/512GB: 1699€
- i7/16GB/512GB: 1899€
You have a choice of two finishes: Space Grey and Mystic Silver.
How is the MateBook X Pro different from the original?
There are lots of upgrades. First is that there’s now a 13.9in screen rather than 13in. The bezels have been shrunk down to 4.4mm, giving a 91 percent screen-to-frame ratio. That’s enough for Huawei to give it the ‘FullView Display’ moniker.
Resolution has increased to 3000x2000 pixels, which is a density of 260ppi. At full brightness it outputs 450cm/m² and has a contrast ratio of 1500:1. Huawei says this LTPS panel covers 100 percent of the SRGB gamut and has 178° horizontal viewing angles.
It’s also a touchscreen, unlike the original MateBook X’s screen, and is covered by Gorilla Glass.
The trackpad has been upsized as well and is – according to Huawei – the largest you’ll find on a 14in laptop. Again, cues have been taken from the MacBook here.
Existing owners will probably notice the extra USB-C port on the left-hand side. One is for charging and data transfer, while the other supports Thunderbolt 3 and can be used to hook up external graphics cards up to a GTX 1080.
On the right, in place of the USB-C port on the old model is a USB-A port. This is welcome as there are still plenty of USB-A devices, not least of which are all the USB flash drives you’ve probably got.
The keyboard is backlit, spill-proof and has a nifty pop-up webcam that’s hidden in the top row of keys. And just above the keyboard is the dual-function fingerprint scanner / power button.
Huawei says the laptop will turn on and display the Windows login screen in just 7.6 seconds, and even faster if it’s in hibernation rather than a cold start.
Audio-wise there are now separate tweeters so you get four speakers in total and Dolby Atmos tuning.
What are the MateBook X Pro specifications?
Getting to the stuff inside, there are two models available. The cheaper version has a Core i5-8250U, 8GB of RAM and uses the chip’s integrated UHD 620 graphics.
The flagship has a Core i7-8550U, 16GB of RAM and a separate Nvidia MX150 GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 RAM, so will offer decent gaming performance too.
Both models have an NVMe SSD, with the more expensive one getting 512GB of storage.
No battery life figures were quoted, but there’s a 57.4Wh battery and ‘power saving algorithms’ which make the X Pro 15 percent more power efficient than its predecessor.
The bundled USB-C charger can give you six hours of use from a 30 minute charge and can also be used to charge your phone, tablet, smartwatch and other USB gadgets so it’s the only one you need to take on your travels.
|Screen||13.9in 3000x2000 LTPS touchscreen, 260ppi|
|CPU / GPU||SKU1: Intel Core i5-8250U + Intel UHD Graphics 620|
|CPU / GPU||SKU2: Intel Core i7-8500U + Nvidia MX150 (2GB RAM)|
|Storage||256/512GB SSD (NVMe)|
|Web cam||1Mp pop-up|
|Audio||Quad speakers with Dolby Atmos, quad far-field microphones|
|Wi-Fi||802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4/5GHz 2x2 MIMO|