Huawei used 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 bugs…
Huawei’s MateBook X Pro laptop series looks a bit like the Windows counterpart to Apple’s famous MacBook Air. Polished finish, a very elegant design, first-class technical services … and a price to match. Therefore, taking advantage of the IFA 2022 exhibition in Berlin, the Chinese presented the 2022 version of their 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 advanced design and finish
There is no doubt on this side: the MateBook X Pro 2022 has nothing to envy to 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 by 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 though, 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 of a laptop and yet showing little change from manufacturers, the MateBook X Pro trackpad has some great ideas. It has areas that allow access to shortcuts. We can thus raise or lower the sound with a simple finger slide, vary the brightness of the screen or even close an active window by pressing in the top corner. Well spotted! The top of the touchpad can be used to navigate between web browser tabs displayed on the screen or scroll through slides in a PowerPoint presentation. Even more surprising, you can take a screenshot by tapping twice with your knuckles on the touchpad. A process found on many smartphones by applying two small presses 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 feature to know if you are using one of the shortcuts (sometimes without realizing it). In total, Huawei Free Touch – that’s its name – knows how to interpret eight combinations of presses and slides to manage shortcuts.
MateBook X Pro: a solid but perfect technical sheet
On premium PC, advanced components. And in this field, the MateBook X Pro is quite well placed. It is powered by an Intel Core i7-1260P processor (a 12 chipe generation, Alder Lake) clocked at 3.4 GHz (4.7 GHz in turbo mode). There is no AMD version planned at the moment, which is a real shame. But nothing is lost – it could be trade deals… – because Huawei offers AMD chips in other PCs. To support the processor, Huawei has integrated 16 GB of fast RAM, in DDR5, the latest generation of Ram, which offers impressive speeds. Not bad, but don’t expect more. The RAM modules are soldered to the motherboard and it will not be possible to add any A real shame for a high-end PC that was supposed to last a long time and that we would have liked to have developed over time. On the storage side, the MateBook X Pro relies on a generous 1 TB NVMe type SSD.
We also appreciate the presence of a webcam located 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 eye and motion tracking features to keep the user centered in the image as well as control of background changes. For picture quality, however, you have to settle for only HD definition (720p). It’s a bit tight, especially at this price point where we would expect a Full HD camera… Let’s hope Huawei will quickly fix this in a future version.
On the other hand, Huawei was strong on the sound side. 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 conferencing. Finally, when it comes to the screen, the MateBook X Pro is once again very well placed. 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 surfing the web, although it is found higher on PCs and gaming monitors. Huawei states that it has applied an anti-reflective treatment to its touchscreen – and therefore shiny – which reduces reflections by 60%. There is still the autonomy that the MateBook X Pro relies on a 60 Wh battery. Huawei states that its laptop can last 7.1 hours of full HD video playback, which is no mean feat because, 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 that exceed 12 hours of video playback. Note that the MateBook X Pro 2022 comes with a 90W charger (compared to 65W for the previous model).
MateBook X Pro: price and release date
The ambitions for this MateBook X Pro are pretty high… and the 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 attractiveness – 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, as Huawei has conducted several promotions throughout the year on its products. The MateBook X Pro will be available in France from September 16, in specialized brick-and-mortar stores and on reseller sites. And for the most impatient, pre-orders have already started on Huawei’s website.