Huawei unveils MateBook X Pro


Huawei is a company you don't traditionally associate with computers, but the company's Matebook range has served as road opener in this regard.

The competition to remove as much bezel from laptop displays is narrowing - the new Huawei MateBook X Pro stretches the screen to edges. It weighs a little under three pounds (1.33kg).

You have color choices of champagne gold and space grey, and both look as premium and attractive as the slates they're attached to. At full brightness it outputs 450cm/m² and has a contrast ratio of 1500:1. There's also a lower-end model, with a Core i5-8250U, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, although there's no discrete graphics chip in this one. The camera is a unique design that is active only when popped up, which helps with privacy obviously, but also is a different solution to the lack real estate in its thin display bezels that can't support a web cam. Huawei has also built the webcam onto the keyboard of the MateBook X Pro.

Announced at Mobile World Congress, the X Pro is seriously accomplished piece of design. Within minutes, I was typing away with no reduction in speed or efficiency compared to my 15-inch Macbook Pro. These are using Dolby Atmos tech to get the most out of them, and in my brief time with the laptop they sounded good.

"Now there's no possibility that someone is spying on you or hacking you with the camera itself", he said.

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The keyboard is backlit, spill-proof and has a nifty pop-up webcam that's hidden in the top row of keys.

Alas, the feature will probably go ignored if you already own an Amazon Echo, or any other smart speaker. Other than the traditional place atop the display, there's no other comfortable place to put a camera on a laptop, so this isn't overly surprising.

The MateBook Pro isn't all that Huawei has rolled out today as there are also several tablet variations being announced. The company has tied up with Harman Kardon for the audio experience.

We'll be getting a MateBook X Pro in for review very shortly so keep your eyes out for that.

We'll be able to come to a final conclusion once we've had a chance to run the MateBook X Pro through our tests, but based on what we've seen so far, it looks like a mis-step for the Chinese manufacturer; it's just too expensive for a company without an existing pedigree in laptop construction. The battery is of 57.4Wh capacity. Huawei says it is still working with Microsoft to optimize the battery life, so the actual battery performance could turn out even better. Both charge over USB-C and have 2.5D curved glass to improve durability. The smaller 8-inch variant is going to cost you a hundred less.