Huawei MateBook X Professional (2019) overview: A laptop computer with only a few flaws
The Huawei MateBook X Professional was one in all my favorite laptops of 2018. With its unimaginable show, slim, well-made chassis, first rate efficiency and battery life, it was a pocket book with only a few flaws.
In actual fact, I used the unique for a whole yr. It was the primary Home windows laptop computer I’d been in a position to comfortably depend on after years of completely engaged on a MacBook Professional and there have been only a few occasions that I felt the urge to return to the Apple fold. Solely lately has the MateBook begun to irk me, because the Backspace key developed a hairline crack and I started to expertise the odd crash right here and there.
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Huawei MateBook X Professional (2019): What it’s worthwhile to know
Maybe Huawei is aware of its flagship laptop computer isn’t fairly excellent; that’s the implication, anyway, whenever you decide up this yr’s replace for the primary time. Apart from a change to the brand on the lid (from a emblem to an enormous “HUAWEI” stencilled in plain textual content), the laptop computer seems similar. It is very a lot an iterative replace.
The important thing variations are contained inside this yr’s MateBook X Professional: there’s a brand new vary of eighth-generation Intel Core processors, extra RAM, additional storage and a brand new Nvidia MX250 graphics chip as effectively.
Huawei MateBook X Professional (2019): Worth and competitors
UK costs haven’t but been confirmed for the Huawei MateBook X Professional, however we do know there will probably be two base fashions, costing €1,599 for the Core i5 and €1,999 for the Core i7 variants. The mannequin I used to be despatched for testing is fitted with a Core i7, which comes with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB NVMe SSD.
The MateBook’s primary competitors on the Home windows aspect of issues comes from the superlative Dell XPS 13. Costs for the marginally smaller 13in Dell start at €1,599 with the equal specification to the Core i5 MateBook X Professional and rise to €2,199 for the Core i7. I’ve priced in euros utilizing Dell’s Eire web site to make comparisons simpler.
Additionally value contemplating are final yr’s MateBook X Professional, which is on the market now for as little as £1,250 from Amazon, and the brand new MateBook 14. This “non-pro” MateBook isn’t fairly as svelte because the MateBook X Professional. It has a decrease decision 2,160 x 1,440 show and “solely” a 256GB SSD, however the Core i7 mannequin is €500 cheaper than the Core i7 MateBook X Professional and represents higher worth for cash.
On the MacBook aspect, it isn’t doable to specify one thing instantly comparable since Apple makes use of barely totally different (extra highly effective) CPUs, however the closest comparable specs work out significantly costlier. You’ll be shelling out €2,099 (£1,749) for the Eighth-gen quad-core Intel Core i5 mannequin (8GB RAM, 256GB SSD); and a frankly stupefying €Three,449 (£2,799) for the Core i7 13in MacBook Professional with 1TB of storage.
Huawei MateBook X Professional (2019) overview: Design and options
Anybody accustomed to the MateBook X Professional from final yr will probably be completely at house the second they clap eyes on this yr’s mannequin. That’s as a result of, other than the brand on the lid, there’s not a hair’s distinction between the 2 laptops. And that’s very a lot factor – that is one engaging machine, particularly within the moodier matte “area gray” color.
It has the identical barely-there bezels surrounding the 13.9in, Three:2 aspect-ratio touchscreen, together with similar Dolby Atmos-powered audio system flanking the keyboard to the best and the left, with additional audio system pumping out sound through vents on the best and left edges beneath the chassis.
Regardless of its doppelgänger seems, the 2019 X Professional does really feel – virtually intangibly – extra solidly put-together than final yr’s mannequin. The chassis is ever-so-slightly extra inflexible and the keys on the keyboard really feel extra softly damped. It’s a subtly extra luxurious system.
Better of all, it stays simply as surprisingly sensible. Whereas most different Ultrabooks are plumping for USB Sort-C connectors alone, Huawei’s machine provides a full-size USB Sort-A port into the combo. This sits on the best edge and enhances a pair of USB Sort-C ports and three.5mm jack, which each sit on the left edge. One is USB Three.1 and the opposite is Thunderbolt Three-compatible, however each are usable for video output and charging interchangeably.
One other function inherited from the unique mannequin is the round energy button, which sits simply above the keyboard on the right-hand aspect and doubles as a Home windows Hiya-compatible fingerprint reader. Whereas I want face unlock on a laptop computer, this works virtually as effectively. I’m much less eager on the 720p webcam, although. Though its positioning is neat – it’s beneath a key on the highest row of the keyboard (press it and it pops up) – the standard stays poor and the up-your-nose angle-of-view is fairly unflattering.
The opposite primary distinction between the 2018 and 2019 MateBook X Professional is the Huawei Share sticker that resides slightly below the cursor cluster in the best. It’s not significantly good to take a look at however don’t be tempted to peel it off because it’s an NFC tag and permits one of many laptop computer’s new options: Huawei Share OneHop.
Faucet your Huawei telephone on the sticker and the thought is that you just’ll have the ability to switch images, movies and paperwork in a snap.
Huawei MateBook X Professional (2019) overview: Keyboard and touchpad
As with 2018’s MateBook X Professional, the 2019 model has a brilliantly usable keyboard. Its sq., Scrabble-tile keys are well-spaced and have quantity of journey, there’s a pleasant, optimistic, well-damped end to every keystroke and even the format is sweet and clear. Solely the marginally fiddly up/down cursor keys present any trigger for concern. Belief me on this one, although: having used the earlier mannequin for a while, this can be a foible that’s very straightforward to get used to over time.
Likewise, the touchpad on this laptop computer is an absolute triumph. It won’t have the technological benefits of, say, Apple’s Pressure Contact touchpad but it surely’s giant and delicate and its mechanical click on isn’t heavy or over-sensitive. It’s nice for all-day mousing of any form, from spreadsheet legwork to photograph and video-editing.
Huawei MateBook X Professional (2019) overview: Show
The largest distinction between the MateBook X and its cheaper sibling, the MateBook 14, is the display screen. On the X Professional, you’re getting an IPS show with an almost-square Three:2 facet ratio and a decision of three,000 x 2,000 pixels. It’s a fully wonderful factor to behold: vibrant and crisp with deep, inky blacks, nice distinction and great colors It’s searingly brilliant, too, peaking at 531cd/m².
It handed our technical assessments with flying colors. Not solely does the MateBook X Professional’s display screen cowl virtually all the sRGB color gamut out of the field (95.9%), however color accuracy on this color area is just about flawless, with a Delta E of under one throughout all the color patches we measured, for a median rating of zero.54. On this check, the decrease the quantity, the higher and a rating this low is sort of remarkable.
I do have one niggle with it, nevertheless. Out of the field, the MateBook X Professional employs dynamic distinction, altering brightness (even with auto brightness disabled) relying on the display screen content material. With lots of brilliant and white colors on display screen, peak brightness is boosted; when there’s a lot of darkish content material, the laptop computer drops the brightness by as a lot as half.
This may profit battery life and it additionally prevents darkish scenes taking over a washed-out look, but it surely may also be distracting whenever you’re watching video, because the show brightens and darkens subtly from scene to scene. It could possibly additionally make the display screen very dim in some circumstances, which might be nice in case you may flip the setting off.
Huawei MateBook X Professional (2019) overview: Efficiency
Efficiency can also be a blended bag. On paper, it seems nice. The mannequin I’ve examined has an eight-generation quad-core Core i7-8565U CPU accompanied by the most recent cellular Nvidia GPU – the GeForce MX250. There’s additionally a 1TB Samsung SSD and 16GB of RAM.
By itself phrases, this ends in a quick feeling laptop computer that boots up shortly, launches apps in a short time and copes with just about something you fancy throwing at it besides, maybe, 4K video modifying and rendering in Adobe Premiere.
After operating just a few benchmarks, nevertheless, it shortly turned clear to me that one thing barely odd was occurring.
Our in-house media and multitasking benchmarks reveals that the Huawei MateBook X Professional, even with an up to date CPU, performs at across the similar degree because the outdated X Professional and lags behind the MateBook 14, which has the identical configuration as the brand new X Professional. There’s the same development within the Geekbench four CPU check, with this yr’s X Professional barely outperforming the unique with multitasking.
The one clue to this distinction I may discover was once I fired up the Intel Energy Gadget monitor, which revealed the TDP package deal restrict for the Core i7 contained in the X Professional had been set to 18W versus 25W for the MateBook 14. Interrogating final yr’s MateBook X Professional in the identical approach reveals a TDP restrict of 15W.
Gaming efficiency isn’t all that significantly better, both, with the Huawei MateBook X Professional lagging behind the MateBook 14 as soon as once more.
The one space the place the brand new machine considerably outperforms its predecessor is battery life. Right here, the development is reversed, with the most recent MateBook X Professional outperforming the unique by an hour for steady video playback. Once more, the MateBook 14 places in a greater efficiency right here.
MateBook X Professional (2019) overview: Verdict
It’s clear from all of this that this yr’s MateBook X Professional isn’t an enormous enchancment over final yr’s mannequin. It feels a bit higher made and the specs have been given a small bump however the efficiency enhancements are marginal and lag noticeably behind the cheaper however chunkier MateBook 14.
That’s to not say you shouldn’t look to purchase one, nevertheless. The MateBook X Professional (2019) is a stupendously good laptop computer in each approach conceivable. The display screen is great and the battery life is superb. It’s sensible, fast, very slim and lightweight contemplating the display screen dimension, and it’s nice to kind on.
However, then, the identical feedback apply simply as effectively to its predecessor, which you’ll at the moment purchase for a way more affordable £1,349 on Amazon, albeit with half the RAM and storage.
In brief, then, the 2019 MateBook Professional is a good machine but it surely isn’t your best option for many customers proper now. It is likely to be value shopping for when the value falls in just a few months – maybe there will probably be Prime Day or Black Friday offers in November – however proper now, final yr’s MateBook X Professional stays the super-light laptop computer to purchase.