Huawei MateBook X Pro 2021
It’s blue, but actually, it’s not blue… it’s Emerald Green and that’s how the finish is supposed to look.
Quite how Huawei’s colour stylists work to come up with its product finish details is tough to guess, but case finish notwithstanding, this a high-end product so if it came in pink you could expect its product details to list salmon, coral, fuschia or some other paint-shop fanciness.
When we say high-end, we mean that the Huawei MateBook X Pro 2021 with Intel 11th Gen I7 comes in at RRP: £1599.99 at the time of writing. You get 16GB RAM, 1TB of storage and if you don’t like Misty Blue (sorry, Emerald Green) then you can have Huawei’s take on Space Grey, which is in fact gray, in a kind of space age ‘hull of a spacecraft’ kind of way.
We borrowed one of these devices for a week and Huawei delivered it under Covid-19 complaint restrictions safely. Given that the latest Huawei smartwatch has a 20-second handwash feature, you would hope for nothing less.
Look & feel
In terms of overall look and feel, the very slim keyboards on the Huawei MateBook range can take a little getting used to if you’ve been using anything more ‘clacky’ and heavy, but it’s a light touch that quickly feels quite appealing.
Huawei has of course added its fingerprint recognition for login on the power button here and – given that with similar sometimes flaky functionality on older Lenovo models over the last decade – it works really well, almost every time. When needed it will prompt you to move your finger slightly, that’s all.
Overall, this is a company known for its mobile devices making a laptop, so that should be roughly the same grade as a pop performing trying their hand at Hollywood movies. Apart from the downside of the up-the-nose webcam experience created by Huawei putting the laptop camera in between the F6 and F7 button (which it had to in order to gain screen real estate), the product is no bad actor, it’s touchscreen sensitivity delivers that of a good smartphone, but pretty much in the size of a full laptop.
The Huawei MateBook X Pro has what the company likes to call a ‘FullView Display’ (there’s very little border) with 3K high-definition picture quality. Its 11th Gen Intel Core processors have a new cooling system, which does seem to work well if you use it on your lap.
As per other models, the Huawei Free Touch touchpad is a great tool… you can swipe around, pinch & zoom and scroll all from the touchpad, which is a real why didn’t they think of it before moment and makes working remotely easier for sure. There are dual edge microphones and quad-speakers with an upgraded split-frequency set-up, but you won’t be using this machine to host a party without connecting an external speaker.
Huawei’s five use case strategy
Wang Yinfeng, president of PC and tablet product line at Huawei Consumer Business Group (CBG) explains that Huawei is continuing to work on its all-scenario strategy, which encompasses five use case scenarios: smart home, smart travel, smart office, fitness and health and entertainment.
“The ultra-slim metal body was manufactured through CNC technology and finely polished through high precision surfacing processes, making for a seamless and comfortable feel in the hand. Measuring 14.6mm thick and weighing as little as 1.33kg, the Huawei MateBook X Pro has a high-precision multi-point touch screen and three-finger swipe screenshot gesture also make for a smother, mobile-like experience,” notes Yinfeng and team, in reviewer’s guide.
The battery life is good but not record-breaking, it offers just over 10 hours. The battery and Huawei’s power management system offers ‘reverse charging’ when switched off, meaning you can plug your smartphone into it and get a power boost when you’re on the road.
There are two USB-C ports that enable two-way data transfer, charging and connection with external devices… and the power cable is yet again USB-C, meaning you only need one power pack for your phone and your laptop.
According to Huawei, the multi-screen collaboration feature on Huawei Share allows users to split their phone with their MateBook X Pro, enabling them to operate up to three mobile apps at the same time on the notebook. This means the notebook can be used to multi-task more efficiently by bringing multiple devices together onto one screen.
So in summary, there are a lot of advanced features here and users might do well to look through the complete lists of functionalities on offer to assess whether the higher-end price tag accurately reflects their higher-end needs. The almost-no-border screen and the screen sensitivity mark this out as an appealing product, if only the company had created a 360-degree swivel screen to produce a tablet-style feel, but that would detract from tablet sales is probably the thinking.
More information is here.