Huawei MateBook X Pro (2020) test: small refresh, great pleasure

. This is Huawei’s credo with its new range of PCs. To achieve this, the Chinese giant is adopting a strategy that has been successful in the smartphones : attack with aggressive prices. The MateBook X Pro (2020) perfectly illustrates this desire to establish itself in an ultra-competitive market.

Available from 1299.99 euros, its best-equipped version costs 1799.99 euros when competing models blithely exceed 2000 euros. How does Huawei do it? It takes most of the strengths of the previous model (design, screen, battery for example) and updates its machine with the latest components. The MateBook X Pro (2020) packs the latest processors from Intel (10th generation i5 and i7) and an improved graphics card.

Decidedly aggressive, Huawei is offering a Bluetooth Mouse (value 40 €) for the purchase of a MateBook X Pro with Intel Core i5 and a WiFi Q2 Pro, its WiFi repeater (one base and two relays) worth 229 , 99 euros for the purchase of a MateBook X Pro with Intel Core i7.

Design and screen

Never change a winning team. With its very first MateBook X Pro, Huawei was already demonstrating all its design know-how. In 2020, the Chinese giant uses the same recipe and changes absolutely nothing compared to the 2019 model, itself barely modified compared to the first version dating from 2018. You follow? Can we blame Huawei for it? Not so much the previous versions were successful.

This MateBook X Pro (2020) is still distinguished by its compact size (only 14.6 mm thick), its light weight (1.33 kg) and its ultra-premium appearance. The designers continue to bet on a brushed aluminum of the most beautiful effect. If our test model wears a Space Gray (dark gray) dress that we know well, Huawei offers its machine in two other more attractive colors: Mystic Silver (very light silver) and Emerald Green (our favorite). Unfortunately French consumers will only be able to afford the Space Gray version, the other two colors not being available in our regions. Asked about this, Huawei France told me that the Emerald Green color could land in the coming months if public demand is strong. You know what you have left to do.

While Dell remains the undisputed master of screen integration (its 2020 XPS 13 has a screen-to-size ratio of 91.5%), Huawei commands respect with 91% coverage. Thus, despite a panel of almost 14 inches, the MateBook X Pro (2020) retains a format close to a 13 inches. Well done !

This search for compactness forces designers to redouble their ingenuity. If Dell succeeds in integrating its webcam on the upper part of the screen, Huawei continues to hide it under a keyboard key. This provision has the advantage of strengthening the protection of privacy. However, the viewing angle from the bottom of the screen is not the most flattering. Video conferencing enthusiasts will certainly tick.

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For the rest, the MateBook X Pro retains the same connections than its predecessor. On the program, a 3.5 mm jack and two USB-C (only one of which can recharge the monster) on the left border and a USB-A on the opposite. The power button conceals a very efficient fingerprint reader. Too little for a professional? Never mind, Huawei generously provides a USB-C adapter in the box integrating another USB-A, a USB-C, an HDMI and a VGA (essential on some overhead projectors for presentations).

Keyboard and trackpad

The keyboard and trackpad are like the rest of the design. The first is composed of large comfortable keys with a short stroke allowing you to chain keystrokes for hours (I know what I’m talking about). Only downside: it marks the fingerprints a lot and I often had the feeling of having greasy fingers (but this was not the case, I do not eat fat).

The trackpad, it retains the same format (120 x 75 mm approximately) as on the previous model. Always so comfortable, it supports multi-touch to navigate in Windows 10. The contrary would have been surprising.

Screen: it’s beautiful!

Still in a process of continuity, the MateBook X Pro (2020) inherits the same screen technology as its predecessors. So we find a 13.9-inch IPS LCD touchscreen with 3K definition (3000 x 2000 pixels) to say the least original. This is partly explained by choosing a 3: 2 format just as daring (also adopted by Microsoft on its Surface Book 3) which, thanks to its verticality, has the advantage of displaying more information on the screen.

On the other hand, it is absolutely not designed for multimedia, films and series being broadcast in 16: 9 or 21: 9. You will therefore have to do with the big black bands surrounding the image, but you can console yourself with the four speakers broadcasting a particularly immersive 360 ​​° sound.

Despite everything, the panel flatters the retina and is undoubtedly among the best calibrated on the market. In a few figures: 100% coverage of the sRGB spectrum, maximum brightness at 500 cd / m2 and a contrast ratio of around 1,500: 1. I won’t mince my words the screen of the MateBook X Pro (2020) is a little marvel.

Performances

Like most of the latest premium ultrabooks, MateBook X Pro (2020) features 10th generation Intel chip, here a Core i7-10510U (four cores clocked at 1.8 GHz; 4.9 Ghz in Turbo boost mode). A more affordable version (1299.99 euros) has an Intel Core i5-10210U processor (quad-core at 1.6 GHz; Turbo boost up to 4.2 GHz.

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Our test model therefore has the most powerful configuration. In addition to the Intel Core i7 processor, it embeds 16GB LPDDR3 RAM and 1TB Samsung SSD (NVMe PCIe SSD). The other version has 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage. Even if it means settling for a technical update, I would still have liked Huawei to integrate WiFi 6 which will become more democratic in the years to come. The manufacturer explained to me that the engineers had to make choices to contain the costs (and therefore the final price) and that WiFi 6 was not a top priority.

Designed as a working machine, the MateBook X Pro fulfills its purpose perfectly. Very fast, it will obviously be suitable for office use, but not only. Its NVIDIA MX250 graphics card also allows creators to run all the programs of the Adobe suite (Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator). If photographers will also be able to retouch their photos on the go (Lightroom in particular responds to the finger and the eye), videographers will have to be content with edits in 1080p at the risk of overheating the beast.

On the other hand, players will have to go their way, the MateBook X Pro tending to heat up quickly. If some AAA licenses run with an average graphics configuration (at 60 fps maximum), under the hood it’s Saturday night fever. So much so that I preferred to stop my gaming sessions prematurely, the keyboard becoming almost boiling. Worse, the heat takes several minutes to dissipate. So be careful, the MateBook X Pro (2020) is a work tool, incidentally a good multimedia support, but nothing else.

Windows 10 with Huawei sauce

Although he embarks Windows 10 (Huawei has obtained an exemption to continue working with Microsoft) the MateBook X Pro embeds this little extra soul that makes its use incomparable. This treasure can be summed up in two words: Huawei Share. As with the MatePad Pro, this feature helps create convergence between PCs and smartphones (under EMUI 10) of the brand, a bit likeApple.

By bringing the mobile closer to the small sticker positioned to the right of the trackpad, an automatic pairing takes place and an interface opens on the PC. You can then make the two terminals communicate with each other, exchange files with a simple drag and drop and even control your smartphone (send SMS, answer calls) directly from the PC (screenshot in a separate window). Magical.

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Autonomy

The MateBook X Pro (2020) retains the same battery as its predecessor (7,565 mAh, 56 Wh). The manufacturer promises up to 11 hours of web browsing, 13 hours of video playback and 15 hours of productivity. He rightly points out that

As far as I’m concerned, I mostly used the MateBook X Pro (2020) as a work tool. My uses were therefore mainly focused on web browsing, word processing, some collaborative software (Trello for example), a little photo editing (light) and some videos YouTube. On average, I was able to do 8 to 9 hours of work or the equivalent of a typical day. Without breaking an endurance record, the MateBook X Pro ranks at the top of the basket.

Huawei seems to have mastered the art of fast charging above all. Like his smartphones, his ultrabook gains life points in record time thanks to its 65 W USB-C charger. Allow a little less than an hour to go from 0 to 50% and about 2h15 for a full recharge. I still note a small downside: a single USB-C (stamped with a seal in the form of a battery) can accommodate the charger. If your mains socket is to the right of the machine, you may need to adjust the positioning of the cable so as not to be disturbed.

My opinion

In itself, this 2020 edition of the MateBook X Pro changes little compared to the previous model. We find the same design, the same screen, the same battery, in short, an almost identical machine. Huawei therefore contented itself with integrating more powerful components: 10th generation Intel Core i5 or i7, more RAM, new SSD and new graphics card. Not enough to revolutionize the genre, but more than enough to find a place in the sun on an ultrabook market where prices tend to soar. Because, in addition to its still attractive design, it is the techno-price ratio of this MateBook X Pro (2020) that makes all the difference. For 1299.99 euros, no competitor can boast of offering such a complete laptop. If in addition you have a smartphone from the manufacturer under EMUI 10, you will enjoy an incomparable experience.

Huawei MateBook X Pro (2020)

1299.99

Autonomy and recharging

9.0 / 10

Price-quality ratio

9.0 / 10

WE love

  • Elegant design
  • Magnificent screen
  • Good performance
  • Good battery life and fast recharging
  • Huawei features

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