Huawei MateBook X Pro (2022) review: it’s a beauty
BARCELONA (Pocket-lint) – Over the past few years, Huawei has been building out its range of high-end Windows laptops. Things have really accelerated over the past 12 months. With the decline in interest in its smartphones, it has been working hard to expand its ecosystem of other devices.
At MWC 2022 in Barcelona, Huawei showed off two new Windows-powered machines. One of them is the high-end MateBook X Pro, refreshed for 2022 with a new design, new trackpad and new display.
Design, keyboard and trackpad
- 310 x 221 x 15.5 mm – weight 1.38 kg
- 4 USB-C ports
- Color space gray
- Redesigned trackpad with new gestures
- 1.3mm key travel
It’s safe to say that one of Huawei’s biggest priorities for the MateBook X Pro was to make it as slim and sleek as possible. The laptop is incredibly thin, measuring around 5.5mm at its thinnest point. This is made possible by a tapered wedge-shaped design, with the thickest point still being a relatively thin 15.5mm.
The case is made of anodized aluminum, which covers the entire body of the machine and gives it a luxurious and high-end look. In person, it really is a beautiful thing to look at and touch. It’s available in Space Grey, but we’ve also seen a version of the machine in a stunning soft green color.
Like the rest of the machine, the bezels around the screen are also very thin, meaning the screen completely dominates this area of the laptop. It’s truly immersive (but more on that later).
Being a laptop for that sleek minimalist look, the MateBook X Pro doesn’t have a ton of port options. Instead, Huawei has equipped it with four USB Type-C ports, each capable of accepting charging.
Another addition is the fingerprint sensor built into the laptop’s body – above the keyboard – which doubles as the power button. The keyboard itself is also designed to be a pleasure to type on, with 1.3mm key travel.
We got a quick swipe at it, and it certainly looked like we wouldn’t take long to get up to speed, and one with keys that require very little force to press. It also has a massive redesigned touchpad, which pushes all the way to the front edge of the laptop.
It’s not the design that makes the trackpad different this year, it’s the functionality. Huawei has added handy gesture controls, like the ability to swipe up and down left or right to adjust volume and brightness. It also has a Huawei phone feature: double tap to take a screenshot.
- 14.2″ LTPS display – 3:2 ratio
- 3120 x 2080 resolution – 90Hz/60Hz refresh rate
- 1 billion colors – 500 nits
- 10 point multitouch
- Windows 11 Home
It’s safe to say that Huawei’s latest laptop display isn’t a conventional form factor. But that’s a good thing. It’s a 14.2-inch screen with a 3:2 ratio, which means it’s big, but also useful for a lot of things beyond watching videos. This makes you feel like you have a bit more space for things between toolbars and for split-screen multitasking with two side-by-side windows.
Being an unconventional aspect ratio also means unconventional resolution. At 3120 x 2080 and 264 pixels per inch, it sits somewhere between Quad HD and 4K resolution.
From first impressions, it looks like a truly fantastic panel. It’s vibrant and rich in color, and doesn’t seem overly saturated. Like many high-end smartphone displays, it supports over a billion colors for a color-rich appearance as well as refresh rates of up to 90Hz.
It has a glossy finish, which means it does appear to be a bit reflective, but we’ll need more time to figure out if that’s an issue or not. What is interesting is that it also supports multi-touch up to 10 points. This literally means you can touch the screen with all ten fingers and your thumbs if you really want to.
From a software perspective, it runs Windows 11 Home, but is also one of the first devices to support Huawei’s so-called Super Device effort.
This enables seamless collaboration with other Huawei devices, such as monitors, headphones, smartphones and tablets. The idea being that you can just drag and drop on the relevant chart and start controlling that device. Additionally, Huawei is opening up mobile app support via App Gallery on these latest Windows machines, giving you more apps to play with.
Performance and specifications
- 11th generation Core i7 processor
- Integrated Intel X Iris graphics card
- 16GB LPDDR4X RAM – 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
- 60Whr battery – 90W USB-C charging
With just a brief hands-on, we obviously can’t say what the laptop looks like for day-to-day use, but there should be enough power here to keep most people happy. With the 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor at the helm, plus 16GB of RAM and 1TB of speedy NVMe storage, it should play the role just fine.
It’s not a game for gamers or high-end video and animation makers – that’s evident by the lack of a dedicated GPU – but for most tasks it should be great. And it should also run relatively quietly. Huawei has improved the internal cooling system with much more efficient shark fin fans and a larger vapor chamber than the previous MateBook X Pro.
Plus, it doesn’t require a massive external power supply to recharge quickly. It uses a 90W SuperCharge adapter – also compatible with Huawei’s smartphones – and can quickly recharge the internal 60Wh battery.
Media and Connectivity
- 720p webcam (in frame)
- 6 speakers
- 4 microphones
To complement the MateBook X Pro (2022) experience, a few improvements have also been made to audio and communication. For example, Huawei put the webcam back where it should be: in the top bezel of the screen, not in a pop-up button on the keyboard. Despite that, it’s still only 720p resolution, which seems low these days.
These new keyboards from Logitech feature our favorite emojis and we love them!
If you’ve used a whole bunch of emojis, you might want to think about picking up one of these keyboards.
However, from an audio point of view. It shouldn’t disappoint at all. There are four microphones dotted around the body, designed to help get rid of ambient noise when you’re on a video or voice call.
Plus, when you want to use it to listen to music or watch movies, you get rich, bass-heavy sound delivered by a new 6-speaker system that includes woofers for those low notes.
There’s no denying that the latest MateBook X Pro is an expensive number. With a price not too far from 2000€ in Europe, it is definitely an investment.
If what you’re looking for in a laptop is a professional machine with all the classic ports you’d expect to find in a designer’s dream machine, the MateBook X Pro isn’t for you. But if you just want a high-end laptop that does just about anything and looks fantastic (and you don’t mind paying for luxury), the latest high-end MateBook might just be it. the one you need.
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Written by Cam Bunton.