Huawei took advantage of the IFA show to present its new high-end laptop, the MateBook X Pro 2022. On the program, a top finish, good ideas, but also some annoying flaws…
The MateBook X Pro laptop range from Huawei looks a bit like the Windows counterpart of Apple’s famous MacBook Air. Polished finishes, a very elegant design, premium technical services… and a price to match. Enjoying the living room IFA 2022 from Berlin, the Chinese therefore presented the 2022 version of its MateBook X Pro. The machine is no exception to tradition with a very solid technical sheet but also small welcome innovations that will make life easier for users. However, the Chinese did not go all the way with the concept. We were able to tour the owner.
MateBook X Pro: very high-end design and finishes
There is no doubt on this side: the MateBook X Pro 2022 has nothing to envy to the designers of the Apple brand. This PC with a 14.2-inch screen has quite reasonable dimensions, with a thickness of only 1.56 cm for 31 cm long and 22.1 cm wide. But it is above all its weight that surprises: 1.26 kg. It is thus very light and easy to transport. To lighten its PC, Huawei has turned to magnesium alloys. In addition to controlled weight, the chassis coating benefits from a micro-arc oxidation treatment. An electrochemical technique that gives it almost the same properties as ceramics in terms of wear resistance and a very soft touch. Be careful however, this innovative coating is only reserved for the Premium versions of the MateBook X Pro, the most expensive.
MateBook X Pro: an innovative touchpad
One of the most important elements on a laptop PC and yet showing little change from manufacturers, the MateBook X Pro trackpad has some great ideas. It has areas giving access to shortcuts. We can thus raise or lower the sound with a simple slide of the finger, vary the brightness of the screen or even close an active window by pressing in the upper corner. Well seen ! The top of touchpad can, for its part, be used to navigate between the tabs of the Web browser displayed on the screen or scroll through the slides of a PowerPoint presentation. Even more surprising, you can take a screenshot by tapping twice with the knuckles on the touch surface. A process that is found on many smartphones by applying two small taps on the back of the device. Another innovation, again inspired by smartphones: haptic feedback, with vibrations that confirm that actions have been taken into account. A handy function to know if you are using one of the shortcuts (sometimes without realizing it). In total, the Huawei Free Touch – that’s its name – knows how to interpret eight combinations of taps and slides to manage shortcuts.
MateBook X Pro: a solid but perfectible technical sheet
At premium PC, high-end components. And in this field the MateBook X Pro is pretty well off. It is powered by a processor Intel Core i7-1260P (a 12 chipe generation, Alder Lake) clocked at 3.4 GHz (4.7 GHz in turbo mode). No AMD version is planned for the moment, which is a real shame. But nothing is lost – it may be trade agreements… – because Huawei offers AMD chips on other PCs. To support the processor, Huawei has integrated 16 GB of fast RAM, in DDR5, the latest generation Ram which offers impressive speeds. Not bad but don’t expect more. The Ram modules are soldered on the motherboard and it will not be possible to add any. Really regrettable for a high-end PC, supposed to last a long time and which we would have liked to evolve over time. On the storage side, the MateBook X Pro relies on a SSD Generous 1TB NVMe type.
We also appreciate the presence of a webcam placed at the top of the screen, and not hidden under a key on the keyboard, as on previous models – which gave strange and unfavorable viewing angles, with a direct view of the nostrils…. It benefits from practical functions for tracking gaze and movements so that the user remains centered in the image as well as management of background changes. For image quality, however, you will have to settle for HD definition (720p) only. It’s a bit tight, especially at this price level, where we would expect a Full HD camera… Let’s hope that Huawei will quickly correct this in a future version.
On the other hand, on the audio side, Huawei was strong. The MateBook X Pro has six speakers and four microphones that block out ambient sounds to focus on the user’s voice. Perfect for video conferences. Finally, for the display, the MateBook X Pro is once again very well off. It has a 14.2-inch LTPS technology panel with a definition of 3120 x 2080 pixels (3.1 K) operating at up to 90 Hz: a very comfortable frequency for working or browsing the Web, even if the found higher on PCs and gamer monitors. Huawei indicates that it has applied an anti-reflective treatment to its touch screen – and therefore shiny – which reduces reflections by 60%. There remains the autonomy for which the MateBook X Pro relies on a 60 Wh battery. Huawei indicates that its laptop can hold 7.1 hours of Full HD video playback, which is no feat since, not to mention the MacBook M1 and M2 which are particularly efficient in terms of power consumption – and therefore autonomy –, there are many laptops and ultraportables exceeding 12 hours of video playback. Note that the MateBook X Pro 2022 is supplied with a 90 W charger (compared to 65 W for the previous model).
MateBook X Pro: price and release date
The ambitions of this MateBook X Pro are quite high… and its price reflects this. The entrance ticket is thus fixed at 2199 €. A price that places it directly in front of the recent MacBook Air M2 from Apple in its 16 GB – 1 TB version, a model that benefits from a much higher power of attraction – Apple obliges… –, from a much better autonomy and, above all, a much more efficient chip than the Core i7-1260P. However, we can hope that this elitist price will drop quickly, Huawei carrying out numerous promotions throughout the year on its products. The MateBook X Pro will be available in France from September 16, in specialized physical stores and on merchant sites. And for the most impatient, pre-orders have already started on Huawei’s website.