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Huawei Matebook X review – late-2020 (fanless Intel Core, 3:2 display)

Huawei Matebook X evaluate – late-2020 (fanless Intel Core, Three:2 show)

Through the years, I’ve vastly appreciated these ultrabooks that might run silently with each day use, with video streaming and text-editing and even searching. Only a few can, although, and most that may are literally fanless and passively-cooled implementations.

Nevertheless, passively cooling present mid-range ultrabook platforms in compact designs is much more sophisticated than it sounds, and that’s why the overwhelming majority of obtainable fanless laptops ran on lower-performance , with a lesser or higher toll on the on a regular basis expertise, and restricted talents in sustained hundreds.

With that in thoughts, right here enter the Matebook X 2020. Earlier this 12 months Huawei introduced their up to date late-2020 MateBook X sequence, a passively cooled 13-inch ultrabook constructed on an Intel Core U platform. A 10th gen Comet Lake platform, so not the most recent accessible at this level, besides, it sounded promising for a casual-use premium ultrabook, particularly for the reason that MateBook X additionally features a Three:2 3K touchscreen, good inputs, uncompromised construct high quality and weighs solely about 1 kilo.

Intrigued, I requested Huawei for a evaluate loaner as a way to expertise for myself this holy grail that no person pulled off prior to now: a correct fanless Core U Home windows laptop computer. Nevertheless, given my previous expertise with this kind of merchandise, I used to be skeptical concerning the efficiency and battery life, much more for the reason that needed to run a 3K panel from only a 42Wh battery.

After utilizing this MateBook X for the final weeks, it proved I used to be proper to be skeptical, as you’ll discover out from the evaluate down under, however on the similar time it additionally proved that the MateBook X is quite distinctive within the present Home windows-based ultrabook market, and an possibility a few of you may contemplate shopping for. Simply ensure you perceive the compromises.

Specs as reviewed

Huawei MateBook X late-2020 mannequin
Display 13 inch, 3000 x 2000 px, Three:2 facet ratio, IPS, contact, shiny, JDI RWLPM130M364C panel
Processor Intel Comet Lake Core i5-10210U, 4C/8T
Video Intel UHD
Reminiscence 16 GB LPDDR3x 2133 MHz dual-channel (soldered)
Storage 512 GB M.2 NVMe SSD (Samsung PM981 MZVLB512HBJQ-00000)
Connectivity Wi-fi 6 Gig+ (Intel AX201) 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.zero
Ports 2x USB-C gen2 (with knowledge, DP, and charging), mic/headphone, HDMI/USB-A/VGA with included adapter
Battery 42 Wh, 100W USB-C charger
Dimension 284 mm or 11.18” (w) x 207 mm or eight.15” (d) x 13.6 mm or zero.53” (h)
Weight 2.2 lbs (1 kg)+ .44 lbs (.2 kg) charger and cables, EU model
Extras backlit keyboard, HD webcam, quad backside audio system, finger sensor within the energy button

As of proper now, Huawei solely provide this MateBook X sequence on this single configuration.

Design and first look

This may effectively be one of many nicest ultrabooks of this era. It’s completely crafted out of steel, with a sturdy unibody building, however with this kind of pleasant softer coating and blunted interior edges, so not as aggressive as on the MacBooks.

The lighter colour scheme additionally does a greater job at hiding smudges and fingerprints, and I’d reckon shouldn’t scratch that simply both. Our pattern is a number of months outdated, and doesn’t present any put on indicators in any way, even though it has been examined by different reviewers earlier than it received to me, so was not pampered as I’d anticipate your individual system could be.

That apart, this MateBook X is skinny and light-weight and extremely transportable, weighing lower than a kilo and measuring about half of an inch in thickness. It’s nor the thinnest or the lightest ultrabooks on the market, however it’s general a well-balanced transportable bundle, particularly contemplating that it accommodates a Three:2 touchscreen. Huawei made certain to shink the bezels throughout it, however that meant the digicam continues to be inconveniently carried out right into a key, and I’d have gladly accepted a thicker brow with a properly-placed digicam as an alternative.

For what’s value, right here’s the MateBook X subsequent to the Apple MacBook Professional 13 and a mid-tier 13-inch ultrabook, the Asus ZenBook UX325.

I do have some small gripes with this laptop computer. Amongst them, there’s the display’s restricted again angle, which solely goes again to about 140 levels, and a full 180 show would have been vastly appreciated on this sort of an ultrabook that may not be used on the desk that always, however quite on the go, in cramped areas, or whereas mendacity on the couch. And even when positioned on the desk, the small and slippery rubber toes on the underside present little or no grip.

These apart, although, there’s nothing else to complain about. I just like the form-factor, the general construct high quality, and the way this feels with each day use. I additionally respect the complete keyboard and spacious glass clickpad, plus the separate energy button with none pesky lights in it, however which doubles down as a finger-sensor.

As for the IO, effectively, there are solely two USB-C ports on this laptop computer and a Three.5 mm headphone jack, so that you’ll must depend on adapters. Huawei consists of one by default, which gives entry to USB-A, HDMI, VGA, and one other USB-C port. Not one of the USB-C ports help Thunderbolt right here, however all help knowledge, charging, and video, so you possibly can comfortably plug within the charger or an exterior monitor on both facet, in response to your wants.

Keyboard and trackpad

The inputs on this factor are spectacular and quite a bit higher than I anticipated on this kind of a skinny and compact laptop computer.

Huawei went with an uncompromised full-size keyboard format, and though we’re short-stroke keys with restricted journey, the suggestions is constant and clicky when you get used to it. I can see myself typing on this laptop computer every single day simply positive.

The nitpicker in me will point out that this can be a bit noisy, particularly the larger keys similar to House, Backspace and Enter keys. I don’t assume it can trigger any complaints on the library or in silent environments, however it might have been a little bit extra damped.

That apart, the illumination system is pretty dim even on the highest setting, however I do respect that little mild bleeds out from underneath the keycaps, the general brightness uniformity, and that Huawei carried out bodily CapsLock and NumLock indicators. Sadly, they nonetheless didn’t do something concerning the illumination timing off rapidly, in about 15 seconds, and the truth that you possibly can’t reactivate it by swiping your fingers over the clickpad, however solely by hitting a key. no-no on this value vary.

Talking of the clickpad, this MateBook X will get a big glass floor with Precision drivers, which bodily depresses for normal clicks. A couple of articles talked about some type of force-touch know-how, like on MacBooks, however this appears to be extra of a regular clickpad that responds in a short time to bodily clicks throughout the whole floor. It additionally handles swipes, faucets, and gestures simply positive, so I can hardly complain about something right here.

Effectively, aside from one factor. You most likely seen that the form is quite odd, because the clickpad stretches all the best way right down to the entrance lip. That may get annoying if, like me, you usually use the laptop computer whereas mendacity down on the couch or in mattress, and resting the laptop computer in your thighs. On this case, the clickpad may often register some unintentional clicks. It hardly occurs, however nonetheless one thing you must remember for those who’re utilizing your laptop computer on this specific means.

As for biometrics, there’s no IR digicam on this MateBook X, however you do get a positive finger-sensor built-in into the ability buttons, which works effectively with Good day, with solely sporadic miss-reads.

Display

As talked about already, this late-2020 MateBook X will get a Three:2 touchscreen with a 3K IPS panel. That’s a stable selection for on a regular basis use and productiveness, due to that taller form-factor and the general good high quality of the panel itself.

It’s not practically on par with what Huawei gives on their X Professional, however it’s completely positive for each day use, with stable distinction and viewing angles, as much as 400-nits of brightness and positive colours, at round 70% AdobeRGB.

Right here’s what we received in our checks, with a X-Ceremony i1 Show Professional sensor:

  • Panel HardwareID: JDI RWLPM130M364C;
  • Protection: 94.5% sRGB, 65.eight% AdobeRGB, 68.zero% DCI P3;
  • Measured gamma: 2.31;
  • Max brightness in the midst of the display: 397.40 cd/m2 on energy;
  • Min brightness in the midst of the display: 9.57 cd/m2 on energy;
  • Distinction at max brightness: 1579:1;
  • White level: 6300 Okay;
  • Black on max brightness: zero.25 cd/m2;
  • PWM: No (to be additional examined).

Flickering shouldn’t be a problem right here, and neither is light-bleeding across the edges, though that’s a random fast with fashionable laptops and one thing you must rigorously search for in your unit. If current, mild bleeding could be much more seen on this kind of Three:2 display when watching motion pictures, because the format leaves black bars on the highest and backside of the video. Fortunately, that wasn’t a problem on our unit.

Lastly, I also needs to point out that the display got here pretty effectively calibrated out of the field, with solely minor Gamma and White Level unbalances. As soon as calibrated, we ended up with an evenly-lit panel and truthful color-uniformity, once more, completely positive for each day use.

, efficiency, and improve choices

Our check model is the usual configuration accessible for the 2020 Huawei MateBook X, with the Intel Comet Lake Core i5-10210U processor, 16 GB of LPDDR3x 2133 MHz reminiscence, a really quick 512 GB Samsung SSD, and the Intel UHD graphics chip embedded inside the Intel processor.

We’re additionally operating our checks on the software program accessible as of late-December 2020 (BIOS 1.04, PC Supervisor 11.zero.Three.88).

So, Huawei went with older-gen on this laptop computer, a Comet Lake mid-tier processor and slower LPDDR3x reminiscence, however didn’t skimp on the storage high quality, opting for a quick Samsung PM981 drive. The storage ought to be upgradable (not less than I feel so), however getting inside this laptop computer shouldn’t be a easy job, with screws hidden behind every of the rubber toes (with a guaranty sticker on certainly one of them, not less than on this market). Plus, as soon as inside, there’s no accessible SSD, however merely that huge thermal plate over the whole motherboard which I didn’t take out on this unit.

All these may be a deal-breaker for a few of you, however hear me out earlier than deciding.

If you happen to’re searching for a quick compact ultrabook, that is undoubtedly not the one to go along with from the start. Not solely does it run on older and fewer succesful by right this moment’s requirements, however it additionally throttles the with sustained hundreds as a way to passively cool it. In consequence, this MateBook X is barely OK for informal on a regular basis use, for video streaming, text-editing, searching, and the likes, however restricted multitasking. The truth is, operating 10+ tabs in Edge and some different apps within the background appear to choke this off faster than I used to be anticipating, so you must actually not anticipate a lot when it comes to efficiency for those who resolve on this MateBook X. Or when it comes to battery life with multitasking, for what it’s value, as we’ll focus on in a later part.

Lengthy story quick, it’s extraordinarily vital to know and settle for this truth earlier than shifting ahead. This MateBook X is alright for informal light-use, however for those who’re searching for a severe multitasker or a transportable laptop that may deal with sustained hundreds, look elsewhere, this passively cooled mannequin shouldn’t be for you.

With that in thoughts, we’ve appeared on the system’s efficiency as a way to higher clarify what occurs if you do resolve to run extra demanding hundreds. With the Cinebench R15 loop check, the i5 processor kicks in exhausting at virtually 30W, however just for a number of seconds, after which drops at 15W and decrease for the reminding of the check. That’s just for the primary run, although, because the sustained TDP additional drops and stabilizes at round 7W after a few runs, with CPU temperatures of round 60C.

The scores drop inline with the TDP, stabilizing at a little bit over 300 factors, which is quite a bit lower than you may get on different laptops on their most quiet energy profiles. I’ve added a number of fashions under, for comparability, alongside the Cinebench and Prime95 logs which present how the CPU stabilizes at 7W.

Certain, none of these different laptops are fanless and fully quiet, however at roughly 30 dB noise ranges, you possibly can hardly hear these followers in a standard setting anyway, with a big enhance in CPU efficiency that additionally interprets in these laptops feeling snappier with each day multitasking. Moreover, when you require the ability to run extra demanding hundreds, you possibly can go for the increased-power profiles whereas sacrificing the noise ranges, making these choices way more versatile with all the pieces that you simply may throw at them.

For what’s value, we additionally ran (or not less than tried to run) some video games on this MateBook X. Identical to within the Cinebench loop-test, the laptop computer kicks in pretty strongly at round 15W of energy, CPU Clocks of round Four GHz, and GPU clocks of round 1 GHz. That solely lasts for about 30 seconds although, because the system rapidly and regularly throttles afterwards, stabilizing at round 7W of mixed energy after about 10 minutes of gaming, with CPU speeds of solely .eight GHz, GPU clocks of round .6 GHz, and temperatures of round 60 levels Celsius.

Meaning gaming shouldn’t be an possibility on this laptop computer, very like any of the opposite sustained hundreds beforehand examined.

Lastly listed below are some benchmark outcomes. We ran the whole suite of checks and benchmarks on the usual Greatest Efficiency profile in Home windows. Right here’s what we received.

  • 3DMark 13 – Hearth Strike: 778 (Graphics – 864, CPU – 4848, Mixed – 259);
  • 3DMark 13 – Evening Raid: 3394 (Graphics – 3554, CPU – 2705);
  • 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 304 (Graphics – 266, CPU – 1596);
  • AIDA64 Reminiscence check: Write: 31994 MB/s, Learn: 31141 MB/s, Latency: 76.2 ns;
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Medium: 795;
  • PassMark10: Ranking: 2341 (CPU mark: 3337, 3D Graphics Mark: -, Disk Mark: 27072);
  • PCMark 10: 3216 (Necessities – 8228 , Productiveness – 5451 , Digital Content material Creation – 2013);
  • GeekBench Four.Four.2 64-bit: Single-Core: 4831, Multi-core: 13388;
  • GeekBench 5.zero.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 973, Multi-core: 2006;
  • CineBench R15 (finest run): CPU 495 cb, CPU Single Core 157 cb;
  • CineBench R20 (finest run): CPU 583 cb, CPU Single Core 355 cb;
  • CineBench R23 (finest run): CPU 1655 cb, CPU Single Core 651 cb;
  • x265 HD Benchmark 64-bit: 124.74 s.

As anticipated, these aren’t a lot, and don’t overlook we’re best-run ends in some instances, and the real-life sustained scores would drop a good bit decrease.

Noise, Warmth, Connectivity, audio system, and others

The MateBook X is passively cooled, so it doesn’t get a spinning fan or any seen intakes/output air grills, simply an inner thermal plate over the CPU.

This method takes a toll over the efficiency, as defined within the earlier part, as a way to hold the thermals at bay. The laptop computer does run fully silent with each day use, with none noticeable coil successful or digital noises, in addition to merely heat. Moreover, it stays fully silent with extra demanding hundreds, whereas the exterior temperatures soar to 40s, that are nonetheless positive for this class. Particulars under.

*Day by day Use – streaming Netflix in EDGE for 30 minutes, Higher Battery Mode
*Gaming  – Higher Efficiency mode – taking part in NFS: Most Wished for 30 minutes

For connectivity, there’s WiFi 6 Gig+ and Bluetooth 5 by an Intel module on this laptop computer. It carried out effectively with our setup and the sign and efficiency remained robust at 30-feet, with obstacles in between.

Audio is dealt with by a set of 4 audio system that fireside by grills positioned on the underside, on the laterals. These get comparatively loud, at about 77-80 dB at head-level in our checks, and the audio high quality is healthier than I anticipated, with good mids and first rate lows for this class. The laptop computer comes with the Nahimic audio-control software program preinstalled and pre-set on the Music profile.

I may also point out that I’ve seen some slight vibrations pushed into the deck at most volumes, so that you may wish to modify the audio system to underneath 70% with each day use, to do away with them.

As for the digicam, it’s HD and positioned on the keyboard degree, between the F6 and F7 keys, very like with the opposite latest Huawei laptops. In consequence, it’s nonetheless one of many worst digicam experiences within the phase, a real nose-cam that may barely even suit you within the body with out forcing you to slouch over the keyboard. The standard isn’t a lot both, and the mics are positioned on the laptop computer’s entrance lip, just below the clickpad, to allow them to be muffled simply if not cautious about it.

Battery life

There’s solely a 42 Wh battery inside this MateBook X, considerably anticipated on an ultrabook of this dimension, however nonetheless smaller than what the competitors gives nowadays. The facility-limited Intel implementation runs considerably effectively, however the 3K display takes its toll, so general this laptop computer received’t final for very lengthy on a cost.

Right here’s what we received when it comes to battery life, with the display’s brightness set at round 120 nits (~60 brightness).

  • eight W (~5 h of use) – textual content enhancing in Google Drive, Higher Battery Mode, display at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 7.5 W (~5-6 h of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Edge, Higher Battery Mode, display at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 7 W (~6 h of use) – Netflix fullscreen in Edge, Higher Battery Mode, display at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 12 W (~Three-Four h of use) – searching in Edge, Higher Efficiency Mode, display at 60%, Wi-Fi ON.

Huawei pairs the laptop computer with a compact and light-weight 100W charger that plugs-in through USB-C, quite overkill for this sort of a laptop computer. It’s a single-piece design with a compact brick and an extended and thick cable USB-C, which may be indifferent from the brick. A full cost takes about 1.5 hours, with quick-charging that ensures about 2-Three hours of each day use in about 30 minutes.

Worth and availability

This late-2020 model of Huawei MateBook X is barely accessible in restricted areas on the time of this text, principally in Europe.

It’s costly, although, listed at 1500 EUR in Germany or France, or over right here in Romania.

We’ll replace once we know extra, and within the meantime, comply with this hyperlink for up to date costs and configurations in your area.

Ultimate ideas

On a fast look, the Huawei MateBook X is a wonderful transportable ultrabook, and much more spectacular as soon as you’re taking it out of the field. The craftsmanship and construct high quality, the light-weight and compact form-factor, the good-quality Three:2 touchscreen, the uncompromised inputs, or the positive audio for this dimension, all push this laptop computer above a lot of its friends. However regardless of all these, that is solely a distinct segment product meant for a good phase of potential patrons, for 3 most important causes: efficiency, battery life, and value.

First off, as a way to correctly passively cool this laptop computer, Huawei needed to restrict the efficiency of the Intel chip. In consequence, that is alright for informal on a regular basis use and restricted multitasking, but it doesn’t really feel as snappy or as responsive as different fashionable laptops even with these kinds of sunshine actions. On high of that, it chokes with heavier multitasking and demanding hundreds.

Then, this solely realistically goes for about Three-Four hours of each day use on a cost, and about 5-6 of video, as a result of smaller battery inside and the power-hungry show. This won’t suffice for many of you.

Lastly, the MateBook X is dear. At 1500 EUR on the time of this submit, that is pricier than most different mid and even top-tier ultrabooks with comparable specs, however improved efficiency and longer battery life.

Certain, you’re paying a premium for the beautiful craftsmanship and that 3K Three:2 display, however are these value this sort of cash, contemplating the sacrifices in efficiency or battery life? Ultimately, going with this MateBook X is completely as much as you, based mostly on how a lot you worth a fanless laptop computer with a superb show and premium building.

From the place I’m standing, this MateBook X is a tough promote, even though I’ve at all times wished a fanless ultrabook for my travels and regardless of it checking most of the proper bins, maybe greater than another fanless ultrabook launched earlier than. I principally blame the Intel platform that Huawei went with, it’s simply not adequate to easily drive a 3K display on the diminished energy required by the passive thermal design. There’s a purpose no person correctly pulled off a passive Intel U laptop computer prior to now, and sadly, this MateBook X doesn’t pull it off both.

Now, for those who should have a fanless ultrabook, maybe a type of new M1 MacBook Airs may higher suit your wants, they’re quicker, cheaper, and longer-lasting. Nevertheless, if Home windows can also be a should, effectively, robust luck, this MateBook X is your finest guess proper now, regardless of its shortcomings. Hopefully, although, that can change with future ARM Home windows laptops in some unspecified time in the future. Till then, I’d be proud of not less than this MateBook X getting cheaper over the next months.

Disclaimer: Our content material is reader-supported. If you happen to purchase by a number of the hyperlinks on our website, we might earn an affiliate fee. Study extra.

Andrei Girbea, Editor-in-Chief of Ultrabookreview.com. I have been masking cell computer systems for the reason that 2000s and you will principally discover opinions and thorough guides written by me right here on the location.

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