(Pocket-lint) - The Huawei MateBook X Pro was one of our favourite notebooks of 2018. With the general feeling that premium notebook manufacturers are declining, Huawei has stepped into the thin, light and powerful, space to shake things up.
Looking to dethrone the MacBook Pro, it takes a 13-inch model, offers you discrete graphics, the latest hardware and a touchscreen, gently smirks at Apple and chalks up a cheeky win.
- 304 x 217 x 14.6mm, 1.33kg
- Space Grey, Mystic Silver
- Fingerprint power button
- Pop up camera
Updated in a 2019 version, the Huawei MateBook X Pro looks just like the model it replaces. We can't complain about that too much. It's a great finish, with attention to things like the edges and rear hinge which are a credit to Huawei's growing manufacturing nouse, so this is an incremental update to keep the X Pro at the top of its game.
In the world of fiercely competitive technology companies, of course when you compare the MateBook X Pro to the MacBook Pro, you'll find it thinner and lighter - more like the MacBook Air - and that takes some doing.
Cooling is a big part of this equation and Huawei has put a lot of effort into ensuring that there's adequate airflow through the base of this machine when the going gets tough.
Huawei gives you a pair of USB Type-C connections - one a full Thunderbolt 3 - the other C port dedicated to charging. It's a shame they aren't both 'bolt 3 just to make everything foolproof.
There's also a USB A on the other side of the frame, leaving a legacy connection in place. Huawei have even had the good sense to leave you with a 3.5mm socket for convenience - something it doesn't do on all its phones.
The chiclet keyboard - backlit, spillproof - remains as it was previously, offering a lovely action. It's very typable, if you will. Nestled in the centre is the MateBook X Pro's novelty point, the pop-up webcam. When you don't want it, you can tuck it away so no one can spy on you, as you can on the new MateBook 14 too.
There's also the fingerprint-enabled power button and that big trackpad to help keep you productive.
Hardware and performance
- Intel Core i7 8565U / Intel Core i5 8265U
- Intel UHD Graphics 620 / Nvidia GeForce MX250
- 8/16GB RAM / 256/512GB SSD
- 2x USB Type-C, USB A, Thunderbolt 3, 3.5mm headphone jack
The Huawei MateBook X Pro gets an update to the 8th-gen Intel Core i7 8560U (there's also the option of the Intel Core i5 8265U), with 8GB or 16GB RAM and partnered with either the standard Intel UHD Graphics 620 or Nvidia's GeForce MX250 CPU. This is a compact notebook with plenty of power, looking to rival the likes of Microsoft's Surface Book 2.
Thanks to the Thunderbolt 3 port, you can also connect an external GPU, so serious graphical power, giving the MateBook X Pro additional skills for gaming or heavy video processing for example.
From the time we've spend with the new MateBook X Pro, it would be impossible to really test the performance, but having used the previous version, we have high hopes.
Our first impressions also suggest that the display continues to be great. It offers touch support, is bright, vibrant and offers plenty of colour volume. We're also huge fans of the slimmer bezel - that's the trend on phones and there's no good reason why laptops should be hanging on to those broad borders.
While Huawei promises you'll get a decent day of use from the battery, this is another aspect we've been unable to test. We will, of course, take a closer look when we get the chance to fully review this new laptop.
The MateBook X Pro for 2019 very much looks like the return of the king. This was a great laptop in its former guise and with a few power tweaks, Huawei has made sure that the hardware hasn't expired.
There's no word on pricing or availability, but we'll update as soon as we have it.