Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 review: Huawei’s most elegant ultraportable

Construction

We can only praise the efforts of Huawei for the care he has given his computer. We have nothing to complain about the quality of the finishes or this blue that changes from the classic metallic gray. The matte finish of magnesium ultimately retains relatively few fingerprints, unlike many dark PCs. The ultra-thin bezels are still present on the screen, which is also very noticeable, bringing its coverage to 91%; one of the best on the market.

The finishes are nice.

The finishes are nice.

© The Digital

An original touchpad

The keys on the keyboard are slightly raised and typing is comfortable. The background lighting is otherwise adjustable in 3 levels, but it is above all the “Free Touch” touchpad, which benefits from many new functions. Huawei has actually assigned a whole lot of functions to it: if you slide a finger on its left edge, you can increase the brightness, on the right to increase the volume and on the top to browse a video. The haptic feedback that simulates a gear when the finger performs these movements is quite impressive – these classic functions remain available on the F1 to F6 keys of the keyboard. Tapping twice with a knuckle otherwise allows you to take a screenshot, which is very handy; and doing it with two knuckles starts the video recording of the screen. Finally, pressing in the upper left corner minimizes the active window; do the same to the right, it closes. At the end of the day, some of these shortcuts are interesting (such as screen recording or window management), even if they are not essential. Above all, it will be necessary to get used to using them rather than going through the keyboard or mouse cursor.

The touchpad is nice and has many functions.

The touchpad is nice and has many functions.

© The Digital

The power button is equipped with a fingerprint sensor, and the webcam also offers quick unlocking via Windows Hello. It is no longer located by the keyboard – finally! — but it only films in 720p, which is really disappointing for a high-end laptop, especially since Huawei promotes video conferencing with the presence of 4 microphones and new speakers. The image is noisy, even in good lighting conditions, and even more so in the shadows.

The edges are very thin and the webcam has returned to the top of the screen.

The edges are very thin and the webcam has returned to the top of the screen.

On the connector side, there are two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports on the left side and 2 USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports on the right side. This of course allows you to connect many peripherals, but only in USB-C. Fortunately, the manufacturer provides a USB-A adapter, but we preferred the MateDock included in the 2021, which notably offered an HDMI port. The wireless connection is provided by Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2.

The connection consists only of USB-C ports.

The connection consists only of USB-C ports.

© The Digital

To access the components you need to remove 8 screws, but Huawei has not made it easy: 6 are Torx screws and 2 are Phillips screws hidden under the rubber feet firmly glued under the chassis. It is not so easy to disassemble the frame. Once this is done, the M.2 SSD or battery can be replaced if necessary, soldering the RAM on.

The SSD and battery are replaceable, but not the RAM.

The SSD and battery are replaceable, but not the RAM.

© The Digital

Despite its finesse, the PC does not heat up very much. We thus noted a temperature peak of 41°C in the middle of the keyboard. For noise, the ventilation never starts in office automation, but demanding software makes it reach 34 dB, which is audible, but quite contained.

Editor's rating: 4 out of 5

Performance

The Intel Core i7-1165G7 with the limited TDP that equipped the MateBook X Pro from 2021 gives way here to a Core i7-1260P equipped with 12 cores (4 performance cores and 8 efficient cores) clocked at a maximum of 4.7 GHz in turbo mode. Its thermal envelope increases to 28 W and it is now accompanied by 16 GB DDR5 RAM, but still 1 TB SSD.

This Core i7-1260P performed very well in our synthetic and application tests. With a CPU rating of 124, it was found to be faster than most other PCs tested and equipped with a processor equivalent to a Core i7-1280P or a MacBook Pro M2. It easily outperforms the MacBook Air M2 and Ryzen 7 6800U from the Zenbook S13 Oledd’Asus and can handle any demanding task.

Note that here we have activated the Performance mode thanks to the combination “Fn + P”. On the brand’s other PCs, we hadn’t previously seen much of a difference once this mode was enabled, but this time the gain is noticeable in certain applications, giving a total of around 14% more performance! However, this mode only works when the PC is connected to the mains; remember that AMD and Intel processors are much less efficient anyway when a PC is running on battery power; only Apple does well in this area. Unless you want to limit the noise from the ventilation, we see no reason to disable this feature.

For gaming, you will have to limit yourself to less greedy or old titles, since the computer does not have a dedicated graphics card, and the integrated Intel Iris Xe is not very efficient in this area. Finally, the SSD delivers decent speeds (3.4 GB/s read and 2.6 GB/s write), but it’s still far from the best models (twice as fast).

Editor's rating: 4 out of 5

Screen

Huawei has not skimped on its 14.2-inch touchscreen, which now displays high definition (3120 x 2080 px), refresh at 90 Hz and a 3:2 format, which allows a greater working height. The default display setting is fine, but if you want higher color reproduction, select the hidden sRGB profile in the display manager by right-clicking on the desktop.

The panel’s properties are therefore excellent with high maximum brightness (561 cd/m²) and exemplary color accuracy. The average color temperature is thus measured at 6600 K and delta E at 1.8. The major defect on the touchscreens has been corrected by Huawei here thanks to an effective anti-glare treatment. Its reflectance is thus only 28.6%, therefore very good, but still higher than for matte tiles. The screen only sins with its contrast ratio of 1350:1, which remains average but far from Oled panels. Its latency of 23 ms is also high, although it will have no impact on office automation.



Editor's rating: 3 out of 5

Mobility / Autonomy

Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 is light (1.2 kg) and thin (15 mm), easy to transport. The 90W block charger is relatively compact and weighs only 237g. It therefore allows you to charge the laptop quickly via its USB-C cable.

The 90 W block charger is quite compact.

The 90 W block charger is quite compact.

© The Digital

And this charger will likely be used quite often. In fact, during our autonomy test (video playback on Netflix, brightness of 200 cd/m², headphones connected, volume at 50% and Bluetooth off), the Huawei laptop lasted only 6 hours and 32 minutes. This is probably due to the battery of only 60 Wh and the high definition of the screen, which also runs with a refresh rate of 90 Hz. Still, the result is disappointing, especially for a high-end model. It therefore ranks far behind its most efficient competitors, which exceed 10 hours of autonomy, not to mention the MacBook Air and Pro M1 and M2 (more than 13 hours).

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