Huawei MateBook X Pro (2019) review

Regardless of what you think of the company’s recent political controversies, one thing is for sure: The folks at Huawei make some incredible products. From smartphones to laptops, the company has made a name for itself. Just consider the P30 smartphone, which has a camera so staggeringly good, it defies belief.

The MateBook X Pro is the perfect example of the company’s achievement. Originally launched in 2018, this MacBook Pro competitor showed the company wasn’t afraid to take risks. With an updated MX250 graphics card and new gesture support, the laptop’s 2019 update doesn’t reinvent the wheel. Everything we liked about the 2018 model is back, proving just how solid the original design holds up.
The problem? A price bump over last year’s mode. While Huawei hasn’t confirmed U.S. pricing, the Euro price of our tricked-out review unit converts to about $2,250. Are the upgrades worth the extra scratch?
A touch of class, a hint of elegance
The MateBook X Pro is a beautiful laptop. The dark grey color scheme is minimal without being too boring. The chassis is thin and light without sacrificing port selection or build quality, and even the elements on the keyboard deck feel precise and thought out.
It’s not only about looks. If you’re familiar with the aluminum build quality of the MacBook Pro, you can expect the same rigidity here. Across the board, the MateBook X Pro feels like a highly-refined product, which is an accomplishment for a company as new to laptops as Huawei.
That is, except for the webcam key, located right in between F6 and F7. In 2018, the placement of the webcam beneath this key was cute. In 2019, it feels a bit more like a misstep. With the XPS 13 moving to a smaller webcam placed above the screen and the Asus ZenBook S13 using a slight bump to fit in, Huawei’s solution seems the least elegant. Yes, the bezels are razor-thin, but they come to the detriment of the webcam placement. As we’ve always said with these nose-cam situations, it won’t matter for people who rarely use a webcam. For frequent video callers, it’s a dealbreaker.
The bezels are razor-thin, but they come to the detriment of the webcam placement.
The island-style touchpad is large, outlined by chamfered edges. The extra size over laptops like the XPS 13 or Surface Laptop 2 means you have plenty of space for tracking and multi-touch gestures. The glass surface feels incredibly smooth and responsive, a significant improvement over the MateBook 13. Thanks to the Windows Precision drivers, two-finger scroll and three-finger swipes all respond quickly. It ranks among the very best touchpads you’ll find on a Windows 10 laptop.
The fingerprint reader is built into the power button, which is right where we like it. Using Windows Hello, it reads fingerprints accurately and makes signing into Windows 10 fast effortless.

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