HUAWEI MateBook X Pro (2020) review: one damn fine laptop!

We were already quite impressed with the HUAWEI MateBook X Pro in 2018 and 2019, thinking there was little to nothing the company can do about a product which is already checking all the major boxes regardless of how long or short your list is. These models were beautifully designed and crafted, with exceptional performance and battery life.

But, staying true to its tradition, HUAWEI updated the MateBook X Pro line-up at this year’s cancelled MWC 2020, introducing the new family of MateBook X Pro 2020 models. While, at a first glance, nothing changed on the outside – which is a good thing, considering how gorgeous this laptop is – there are several changes under the hood which make the MateBook X Pro 2020 (we’ll refer to it without the year in its name moving forward) very, very hard to resist if you’re looking for a flagship, premium ultraportable laptop.

We’ve been using the MateBook X Pro for a little over two weeks for work and entertainment. This is actually the second review we’re fully writing on this machine (the P40 Pro was the first one), and this is our complete MateBook X Pro review.

MateBook X Pro

Hardware

Those familiar with previous generation MateBook X Pro models will already be accustomed to the design, but for those who pick this laptop up for the first time, it will be a pleasant surprise. Available in Emerald Green, Space Gray (this unit), and Mystic Silver, this is one fine precision machined piece of equipment that weighs only 1.3 kg. At its thickest point, it only measures 14.6mm, and the first thing you notice about it is the simplicity of the design, and the attention to detail.

Made out of aluminum alloy, you’ll also notice the accented chamfered edges, which act as a contrasting highlight around the sides, the trackpad, and the power button. Said power button retains the fingerprint scanner, and the precision keyboard is flanked to the sides by the four speakers (2 x 2) underneath the finely drilled grill. There are also a total of four microphones around the machine.

The display is a 14-inch (13.9) LTPS panel which is one of the best that we’ve seen on a laptop. With 1500:1 contrast ratio and 100% sRGB color gamut, the images reproduced are gorgeous.

MateBook X Pro

Said display has a 3:2 aspect ratio with a resolution of 3000 x 2000 pixels and a density of 260PPI, with 178 degree viewing angles. Protected by Gorilla Glass and coated against fingerprints, the panel is also touch-enabled with 10-point multi-touch sensitive capabilities.

Removing all the hardware around the display allowed HUAWEI to reduce the bezels insanely and achieve a whopping 91 percent screen-to-body ratio which is a real pleasure to look at. Sure, the 3:2 aspect ratio is uncommon for modern laptops, but it makes the MateBook X Pro stand out from the rest by simply looking better with that all-display real estate.

At the heart of the MateBook X Pro sits the 10th Generation Intel Core i5-10210U, or Intel Core i7-10510U processor. The former is clocked at 1.6GHz with 4 cores, and Turbo up to 4.2GHz. The latter, which is also powering our unit, runs at 1.8GHz on the 4 cores, with Turbo up to 4.9 GHz.

Our unit is also helped by 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM clocked at 2133MHz, 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD storage, and is equipped with a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX250 that kicks in when the integrated Intel UHD Graphics need more horsepower to cope.

The battery is rated at 56Wh and the charger supplied is able to deliver 65W of charging for quickly topping up the juice pack.

Other hardware components include Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, two USB-C ports, one full size USB-A port (which sets it aside from its main competitor, the MacBook Pro), a 3.5 mm headset and microphone port, as well as a 1MP selfie camera that concealed in the top key row between the F6 and F7 keys. You have to press down on it to pop up, which is a design that brings both pros (privacy, convenience, the ability to reduce bezels) and cons (a camera angle you’ll have to cope with).

MateBook X Pro

Software

Luckily the U.S. ban didn’t affect HUAWEI’s laptop business like it did with its smartphone segment. If phones lost Google support and are shipping with AOSP versions of Android, laptops ship with full-fledged Windows 10 from Microsoft, and they do that with little to no bloatware. We won’t go into details of the Windows 10 operating system, as that’s a review by itself, but we’ll look at some specifics the MateBook X Pro is offering out of the box.

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