Huawei MateBook X (2020) Review: Can it replace your MacBook?

0
506

The Huawei MateBook series has been around for quite some time. While it has not shown much of a design change, it has constantly been upgraded for better performance. With the MateBook X, you find yourself an ultra-book that is equipped to do a whole lot. Plus, it gives you some incredible battery backup. There are a number of other Huawei-centric features available with it as well. But does that all warrant the notebook’s Dh5,499 price tag?

Design and build quality

One of the biggest features that makes the MateBook X stand out is its design. The compact nature makes it 13.6mm thick and just 1kg. Both of these features make the machine something that you can easily carry with you with. It is not intended to be in one place and Huawei has done a good job of conveying that.

As far as the build quality is concerned, it is premium. The body is made up of a magnesium aluminium alloy and there is no problem on that front. Moreover, Huawei gives you two options for the colour of the machine. One is the Forest Green we have whereas there is also another available in Silver Frost.

Port selection

Given the slim and sleek form factor of the machine, it is natural that it does not come with a variety of ports. You find two Type-C USB ports on either side with the left also housing a 3.5mm headphone jack. Both the Type-C ports can be used for charging, DisplayPort and data transfer. Huawei also bundles a dongle with the packaging, which includes other ports such as a a VGA port, HDMI port and a Type-A USB port. We wish Huawei also included an SD-card reader or Ethernet access here however for these, you will need to rely on another dongle.

Display and multimedia

For most of your interaction, you will rely on the 13-inch 3:2 panel clocking a 3K resolution. It comes with 100 per-cent sRGB colour coverage and a 400nit typical brightness. This is good enough for combined usage both indoors and outdoors. Moreover, you also find touch support on the display of the MateBook X. However, here, we wish it supported a full 360-degree hinge. This way, touch interaction becomes a bit more natural.

As for general usage, the 3:2 nature of the display comes in handy for multitasking between two applications. This is something that is extremely handy to boost productivity however for multimedia, content does not fill up all of the screen. You get black bars on the top and bottom of the screen which may take away from an otherwise gorgeous experience. Tying this up with additional hardware, you find 4 stereo speakers here which are more than enough for movies, videos and music.

Keyboard and track-pad

Using the laptop with its keyboard is great. It has a chic-let style feel with support for back-lighting. Although this is nowhere near a mechanical keyboard experience, keys feel tactile and well laid out. The track-pad on the other hand feels mushy for our liking although it does support a good array of gestures.

To keep your covered for security, the MateBook X comes with a fingerprint scanner built into its power button. This is handy and placed in a natural position for when you operate the device. As for the camera, there is one built into the keyboard which pops out when the button is pressed. While this is a great solution keeping in mind the security of the user, the angle nor its 720p quality is not the most flattering.

User experience

In this particular section, the Huawei’s prowess when it comes to support for multi-screen collaboration shines through. But before discussing that in detail, we must mention the notebook’s specifications. You find up to 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD coupled with an Intel Core i5 10th Generation processor. For the software side, there is full Windows 10 support.

The hardware and software both give you enough power for document editing, general multitasking and graphic work. The latter will not be the smoothest especially if you plan to render high resolution video but the notebook can scrape through. Just expect some high chassis temperatures, which were also common for us during regular use or on an Among Us gaming session.

Getting back to multi-screen collaboration, it works with a Huawei flagship smartphone like the P40 Pro. With this, you can transfer files or copy-paste data in an instant. The whole experience is a great extension and works for gaming too, where you can use your Huawei smartphone as a controller. However, with this only being limited to Huawei smartphones, it becomes an exclusive to its ecosystem. This is great for anyone already invested however it would have been even better if a similar feature was supported with other smartphones as well.

Battery life

On the MateBook X, you find a 42Wh battery which takes about 2 hours to fully charge. Once charged, you get some incredibly reliable performance. For light spurts of work, the machine is fantastic with you barely have to remember to charge it. Even when you do find the need to charge, it is nice that the charging accessories for the machine as so portable. Of course though, with such strong battery backup, you also have to pay a premium for the machine.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that the Huawei MateBook X is a stellar choice for a notebook. It has some capable hardware packaged inside a well design body too. If you absolutely need to push the machine, there is some room for it and as far as software features go, you get to benefit from Huawei’s multi-screen collaboration. Moreover, the best part about the machine is its battery life, rivalling that of an Apple MacBook. So if you are looking for a well-rounded machine, paying the premium Dh5,499 may be worth it.