Huawei is putting more focus on laptops these days and now – we have the brand new Huawei MateBook X Pro. This is Huawei’s premium laptop and with it, comes with a heavy price to match. Yet this isn’t the company’s first time in releasing a premium laptop too. So how does the Huawei MateBook X Pro 2020 compete against the competition?
For RM7,999, here are all the things that you need to know about the Huawei MateBook X Pro 2020.
I have to admit, the box design is rather beautiful. It’s clean and simple. Digging out all of the contents, we have a few of the basic things:
- The Huawei MateBook X Pro 2020 itself
- USB-C to USB-C cable
- 65W USB-C charger
- USB-C hub
Metal body design
Looking at the Huawei MateBook X Pro 2020, it’s made out of metal and the entire laptop body is really solid. The entire bottom plate is made out of metal, too.
Huawei also took the time to chamfer the edges so that it will not bite into the user’s palm while typing or just holding the laptop. Not that big of a deal, but something worth highlighting nonetheless.
As for the ports, the Huawei MateBook X Pro 2020 comes with a decent selection of ports. We have:
- 3.5mm audio jack
- Double USB-C ports
- Either one can be used for charging
Huawei’s included USB-C dongle also has a few more ports:
- USB 3.0 Type-A
Still, not the best solution since we have to plug in another dongle for video output – but the Huawei MateBook X Pro 2020 is too thin to include an HDMI port. While it’s not ideal, the MateBook X Pro 2020 does support Thunderbolt 3.
I do wish that Huawei would have another USB-C port on the right side so I can charge the laptop by plugging into either side.
Before we open up the laptop lid, I’m sure some of you already realized the laptop’s squarish shape. Just like the previous MateBook X Pro, it’s using a display with a 3:2 aspect ratio.
Gorgeous 3:2 display
After reviewing so many laptops, this is the first one that has a 3:2 aspect ratio. It’s nearly square – and it’s great to do work using this aspect ratio display, too. We’re very used to the now-conventional 16:9 aspect ratio which allows two windows to snap side by side, and maybe even multi-task. Using this MateBook X Pro 2020 forces me to focus on only one window – one task at a time.
There are pros and cons in using a display of this aspect ratio – but it boils down to personal preference.
Still, the MateBook X Pro 2020 does have a beautiful, bright 13.9-inch display with 3000×2000 pixels in resolution. It has magnificent brightness, colors, and white balance. Watching videos on this display is absolutely stunning – but we’ll have to bear with the black bars. Personally, watching 16:9 videos on the MateBook X Pro 2020 is fine, but 21:9 movies on the MateBook X Pro 2020 is not something that I like.
As a bonus, the display on the MateBook X Pro 2020 is also touch-sensitive.
In terms of the keyboard layout, it is very similar to the Huawei MateBook D 15 that we’ve reviewed quite some time ago. It still has the popup “chest cam” which is situated between the F6 and F7 keys.
One thing I do like is that Huawei moved the power button outside of the keyboard area, and also integrated a fingerprint scanner into it. That’s where it should be placed since I always use the delete key on the keyboard.
The keyboard’s typing feel is pretty weird. There is a relatively long key travel but from what I can feel, the keys sink a little too deep into the chassis for my personal preference. Nothing particularly major, since this entire review is also typed on the MateBook X Pro 2020.
Huawei also tweaked how the function key works. For example, with the function layer turn off, we press F11 to take a screenshot. Now, holding the Fn key before pressing the F11 key will trigger F11 (on Chrome, it’s toggling fullscreen mode) instead. It’s difficult to explain, but this is extremely useful for those who use keyboard shortcuts.
A decent trackpad
It’s a big trackpad, and my fingers can glide on it really smoothly. It is also using Windows Precision Touchpad drivers, so all the Windows 10 gestures work without any issues. This is a decent trackpad overall, but there are palm rejection issues like many other Windows laptops out there.
It’s a decent trackpad.
The biggest upgrade that the Huawei MateBook X Pro 2020 got is in terms of its hardware. It now features the latest 10th Gen Intel Core processor, among other upgrades:
- 13.9-inch IPS LCD screen
- 3000×2000 pixels in resolution
- Intel Core i7-10510U
- NVIDIA GeForce MX250 with 2GB VRAM
- 16GB DDR3 RAM (soldered)
- 1TB PCIe Gen. 3 x4 NVMe SSD
- 56Wh battery
This laptop, with the latest Intel Core i7-10510U, can pump out these scores in benchmarks.
In terms of gaming, the overall performance isn’t that bad. Most of the gaming performance is dependent on the MX250 anyway – and like many other laptops, Overwatch at its lowest graphical settings is playable.
My biggest issue with the Huawei MateBook X Pro 2020 is not its performance – but in terms of the temperature and its cooling solution.
It’s hot? ?
Okay, so I understand Huawei is trying to make the MateBook X Pro 2020 in a way that its fan is dead quiet. I have never heard the fan once while working – and that’s fantastic. Yet the CPU temperature is sitting at about 51°C.
But when we start to do something that requires more power – maybe edit a simple video on Adobe Premiere Pro – the temperature shoots up and thermal throttles.
Why is this happening? To answer that question, we took apart the Huawei MateBook X Pro 2020 to find out. What we found was this.
There’s only a single fan inside the laptop with heat pipes running across both the CPU and GPU together, covered by a metal shield. Essentially, what Huawei has created is an air channel whereby air comes in from one side, passes through the components, and exits through the other side. However, it’s just not powerful enough to wick the heat away under heavier load.
What about upgradability?
I honestly doubt anyone will want to even upgrade this laptop, though. It already comes packed with a massive 1TB NVMe SSD and the 16GB DDR3 RAM is soldered. If you do want to change the SSD, it’s quite an adventure. And also potentially void your warranty because there’s a blank sticker on the SSD screw.
Like we mentioned earlier, there’s a large metal shield covering most of the motherboard. I’m not sure about the purpose of this metal shield, but we’ll have to remove the entire cooling system to swap the SSD. We can confirm that the SSD is upgradable because its screw peeked out from the metal shield.
Surprisingly, with its relatively small 56Wh battery, the MateBook X Pro can last about 6 hours on my workload. My workload consists of lots of Chrome web-browsing alongside Spotify, and some YouTube videos.
Perhaps Intel has yet again improved the power efficiency on its processors, considering that this laptop does have a screen that’s higher than the standard 1080p resolution.
It takes about 2 hours to charge from 15% to 100% in about 2 hours while idling. Pretty average charge time here.
Should you buy the Huawei MateBook X Pro (2020)?
The Huawei MateBook X Pro (2020) has its own merits. It comes with a good-sounding speaker, good specs on paper, and overall solid build quality. Compared to other premium ultrathin laptops, the only thing that’s special to me personally is the fact that it uses a screen with a 3:2 aspect ratio when we have a sea of 16:9 or 16:10 laptops.
Moreover, the specs are only good on paper, but the cooling system can’t cope with the hardware while working with demanding tasks.
For the price of RM7,999, it’s very difficult for me to recommend this laptop. And since we have the XPS 13 9300 with us, stay tuned for that review before making your purchase.