The Chinese brand Huawei is not well known for its laptops. Its telecommunication infrastructure maybe, but it is popularly known for smartphones and a bit in the tablets market. Be that as it may, the company launched the Huawei MateBook X Pro at the MWC 2018 event in Barcelona, as a successor of its maiden laptop released in 2017.
One thing that shouts out loud about both the laptops, is their uncanny resemblance to Apple’s MacBooks. Even the names, MateBook and MacBook do have some closeness in pronunciation.
The MateBook X Pro is larger and more powerful notebook than its predecessor. It also features a better display and impressive audio quality. However, it does feature a rather bizarre webcam; instead of being placed at the top-center part of the screen. The webcam is placed right on the keyboard and it works by you pushing down a spring-loaded middle button at the function keys row. One push down and a 1MP webcam pops up, another push-down and the web came hides away.
The reasoning behind the unconventional webcam design by Huawei is to combat online spying. The webcam has become a leeway for would-be attackers who hack the camera and start recording your activities without your knowledge. To stop the webcam spying, users have resorted to using a dark-tape to cover over the lenses. Other OEMs like HP and Lenovo has integrated opaque shutters over the webcams
The logic behind putting an opaque material in front of the webcam lenses is that should your computer get hacked, the hacker will only see darkness. However, there is a chance that they may still be able to hear what you are doing, even if they cannot see what you are doing.
On the webcam front, the MateBook X Pro offers a refreshing approach to solving the problem of being hacked using the camera. However, the top-center design for webcam offers superior conferencing ability. Any other location, including the keyboard and on-screen webcam, make for an awkward video conferencing experience.
MateBook X Pro Specs and Features
The position of the webcam on the MateBook X Pro enables it to have a skinnier bezel compared to its predecessor. Though, some would argue that is not a good enough tradeoff. As for the feel of the machine, it feels sturdy and premium just like its predecessor; a good combination of lightweight and sleek profile.
The laptop runs on the 8th Generation Intel Core i5 (or i7) CPUs. It comes with an optional NVIDIA MX150 graphics card; making it the thinnest laptop to sport such a beefy graphics chips; that is according to Huawei.
The X Pro gives you 14 inches of display, an inch bigger than its predecessor. The display has a 3000×2000 screen resolution but maintains the same pixel density as its predecessor. For a richer audio experience, the computer comes with Dolby Atmos 2.0 for that immersive surround sound during your video watching or gaming sessions. It has four speakers, and the Dolby technology gives a rich audio experience even when you are sited behind the computer.
The X Pro also comes with a quad-mic array – two more than its predecessor – for a clear voice quality during your video or audio calls. It also has a big touchpad sited on the keyboard to enable you to navigate your mouse more conveniently.
Huawei further says they were able to squeeze more battery life into the X Pro. The company says this laptop can last 12 hours on a single recharge; that is two hours longer than its predecessor. As for peripherals connectivity, the X Pro comes with two USB-C ports and one USB Type A sockets with USB 3.0 speeds.
One of the USB-C ports is compatible with Thunderbolt 3, and they – like all USB-C ports – all support charging and data transfer. If the position of the webcam is not a deal breaker for you, then you should consider getting yourself this laptop.
During its conference at MWC 2018, Huawei announced that the base model of the Huawei MateBook X Pro packing Intel Core i5 CPU, 256GB RAM, and MX150 discrete graphics, will cost about €1,499.