Another Huawei great, but still not perfect

Even with its phone business struggling due to legal restrictions, Huawei’s laptops have kept trucking along, and the 2022 iteration of the Huawei MateBook X Pro is another great laptop from the company. It’s fast, it has a beautiful display, and it’s solidly built. It feels like a premium laptop, and it’s great to use, for the most part.

I have a few issues with it, starting with the fact that the webcam still isn’t amazing (though at least it’s properly placed this time). I also don’t like the placement of the microphones, as it’s very easy to cause distractions if I want to use the laptop while I’m on a call.

I’d say this is probably the best Huawei laptop I’ve used, though I still wish some things were different. It’s far from flawless, but it deserves some attention.

Huawei also sent me a MateView SE monitor, which I tested alongside the MateBook X Pro. I don’t think it warrants its own review, but I can say it’s a solid basic monitor, with pretty good color coverage and some interesting features like an eBook mode for long periods of reading. It’s definitely worth checking out for home and office use.

    Huawei MateBook X Pro (2022)

    The Huawei MateBook X Pro is a premium laptop with high-end performance and a beautiful, sharp display.

    Huawei MateView SE (asjustable stand)

    The Huawei MateView SE is a fairly basic monitor, but it still delivers a solid experience with its 24-inch Full HD panel.

Navigate this review:

Huawei MateBook X Pro: Price and availability

  • The Huawei MateBook X Pro is available now, but you can’t get it in the US
  • It costs £1,799 in the UK, including an Intel Core i7 and 16GB of RAM

The Huawei MateBook X Pro was first announced during the summer, and if you’re in the UK, you can buy it right now, though only from Huawei’s website. It will likely be available on Amazon as well as other retailers at some point.

The only configuration Huawei is selling right now costs £1,799 in the UK or €2,199 in Germany, but it also includes a free Huawei MateView (the standard model, not the SE mentioned in this review), which makes that cost more reasonable.

Huawei MateBook X Pro: Specs

CPU Intel Core i7-1260P (12 cores, 16 threads, up to 4.7GHz, 18MB cache)
Graphics Intel Iris Xe graphics (96 EUs, up to 1.4GHz)
Display 14.2-inch FullView display, 3.1K (3120 x 2080) IPS, 264 DPI, 90Hz refresh rate, up to 500 nits, 100% DCI-P3, Delta E<1, 10-point multi-touch
Corning Gorilla Glass
Dimensions 310 x 221 x 15.6 mm (12.2 x 8.7 x 0.61 in)
1.26 kg (2.78 lbs)
Memory 16GB LPDDR5 (soldered)
Storage 1TB NVMe PCIe 4 SSD
Battery 60Wh battery
  • 2 x Thunderbolt 4 (40Gbos)
  • 2 x USB Type-C (with Power Delivery and DisplayPort)
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
Audio Six stereo speakers
Quad array microphone with noise cancelling
Huawei Sound
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6E, 802.11ax 2×2
Bluetooth 5.2
Camera HD 720p RGB and IR hybrid camera, E-privacy shutter
Color Space Grey
Material Aluminum
OS Windows 11 Home
Price £1,799 (including Huawei MateView monitor)

Design: The build quality feels premium

  • The all-aluminum build of the Huawei MateBook X Pro feels as solid as a premium product should
  • It only has USB Type-C ports, two of which support Thunderbolt 4

If there’s one thing I’ve never had any complaints with Huawei’s laptops, it’s the build quality. Every laptop I’ve reviewed feels super solid, and this is no exception. it has an all-aluminum chassis that has a reassuring heft to it, and it feels solid as can be. Being made of aluminum means it’s not the lightest laptop around, but 2.77lbs is far from heavy. As far as aluminum laptops go, it’s one of the lightest you’ll find.

Angled rear view of the Huawei MateBook X Pro on a wooden table

One thing I do wish Huawei would change is the color of this laptop. This year’s edition comes in Ink Blue and White colorways, but my review unit is still the classic Space Grey, which I really don’t like. It’s not bad, but almost every Huawei/Honor laptop I’ve reviewed comes in this color, and it’s just kind of boring. I think it doesn’t help that the keyboard is just black and not color-matched to the chassis, that would have made it feel a bit more premium to me. Huawei did do some nice things here, though – I like the shiny trim around the edges of the lid and the base, giving this otherwise plain chassis a bit of flair.

Something else that’s interesting is the touchpad, which I’ll talk about more later on. For now, I’ll say that I like how it looks. The touchpad extends all the way to the edge of the laptop, even around the notch at the bottom, so it looks pretty unique in that sense.

Top-down view of the keyboard and touchpad on the Huawei MateBook X Pro

The Huawei MateBook X Pro is fairly thin, measuring 15.6mm, but I’m still somewhat disappointed with the selection of ports here. On the left side of the laptop, there are two Thunderbolt 4 ports, along with a headphone jack.

Side view of the Huawei mateBook X Pro with the lid closed, showing two THunderbolt 4 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack

On the right, two USB Type-C ports (not Thunderbolt) round out the total selection of ports.

Left side view of the Huawei MateBook X Pro with the lid closed, showing two USB Type-C ports

USB Type-C is the future, and indeed, it would be great if every peripheral used it. But many don’t, so if you have a mouse, keyboard, or external monitor, there’s a very good chance you’re going to need adapters. Some people are okay with this because they already have a Thunderbolt dock, but I always find it disappointing when a laptop requires me to buy an extra peripheral for what should be relatively basic functionality. And while 15.6mm is definitely thin, there are thinner laptops out there with more ports. But because Huawei made the edges significantly thinner than the rest of the chassis, there actually isn’t much room for anything else. I would have taken a slightly flatter chassis for USB Type-A and HDMI support, personally.

Display and sound: A beautiful 3.1K screen

  • The Huawei MateBook X Pro has a super-sharp 3.1K IPS display with a 3:2 aspect ratio
  • It covers 100% of DCI-P3 and it gets very bright if you need it to

The Huawei MateBook X Pro comes with a 14.2-inch display, and it has a 3:2 aspect ratio, which is already a great start. I’ve tried a few laptops with a 16:10 aspect ratio, but 3:2 is more of a rarity, and it’s always great to see. Taller screens make multi-tasking that much easier if you want to read a webpage or document without scrolling as much, so it’s great for work. I wouldn’t say it’s a huge difference from 16:10, but I’ll always appreciate a taller screen.

Close-up view of the display on the HUawei MateBook X Pro

It’s super sharp, too, at 3120 x 2080 resolution, and it has a 90Hz refresh rate, though it’s set to 60Hz by default. 90Hz displays actually reduce battery life a lot, though, so you may want to stick with 60Hz when you’re on battery power.

You also get touch support, something else I always love to see on a laptop, even if it’s not a convertible. There are many cases where I instinctively want to reach out and touch the screen, and it’s disappointing when I can’t, so I’m glad that’s not the case here.

Huawei touts 100% coverage of DCI-P3 with this display, as well as a Delta E < 1 rating for color accuracy, and indeed, this is a great screen. From just using it, it looks absolutely fantastic, with vibrant colors and great contrast. My tests show that it covers 98% of DCI-P3, 100% of sRGB, and 89% of Adobe RGB, which is great for content creators and creative professionals.

Color gamut test results for the Huawei MateBook X Pro's display. The graphs show 100% coverage of sRGB, 89% of Adobe RGB, 98% of DCI-P3, and 87% of NTSC.

I also measured the brightness and contrast levels, and the MateBook X Pro also excels here. Even though Huawei touts up to 500 nits of brightness, I actually got up to 580, which is fantastic for any laptop, and it reaches a maximum contrast of 1,300:1 – also a great result for an IPS panel.

Table shwing the brightness, contrast, and white point levels for the Huawei MateBook X Pro's display

For sound, Huawei packed a six-speaker setup in the MateBook X Pro, and while I’m far from an audiophile, I can say that it gets very loud, and there’s no discernible distortion to my ears. It sounds fantastic, whether that’s for music and voice calls, which is something Huawei emphasizes for this laptop with what it calls “Huawei Smart Conference”. There are various features to enhance your voice as well as filters and effects for the webcam.

Unfortunately, other parts of this experience make calls less than ideal. There are four microphones placed along the front of the laptop, just below the touchpad and wrist rest. If you can’t see where this is going, this is also where your hands go, which means if you’re trying to use the computer while on a call, you’re going to make some noise directly into the microphone, and it won’t be a great experience for the person on the other side.

One criticism I’ve always had with all the Huawei laptops I’ve reviewed is the webcam placement, since it’s typically been under the keyboard. Thankfully this time, Huawei put the camera above the display, which is long overdue. However, this is still a 720p webcam, and image quality is not fantastic. Like most 720p cameras, it’s serviceable, but it’s very grainy and far from sharp. That might be because the laptop also supports Windows Hello facial recognition, which kind of makes up for the image quality to me. Widows Hello works really well here, and it’s very convenient to have.

Second screen: The Huawei MateView SE is a great basic monitor

  • The Huawei MateView SE comes in Full HD resolution and has a 75Hz refresh rate
  • It covers 90% of DCI-P3, so it’s still great for creative work

Along with the MateBook X Pro, Huawei also sent me the MateView SE, a relatively basic monitor meant for office work. This is a 24-inch (23.8-inch, technically) monitor, and it comes in Full HD resolution, which is about what you’d expect for something at this price. It also has a 75Hz maximum refresh rate, which is nice if you want things to look a little bit smoother. It’s not really meant to match the MateBook X Pro, it just happened to be announced around the same time.

Front view of the Huawei MateView SE in landscape mode

Still, this is a nice screen. Next to my own personal monitor, it looks brighter and more vibrant, yet it feels like it’s a little easier on the eyes. Huawei claims 90% coverage of DCI-P3 with this monitor, and that seems to hold true based on my tests. It also covers 81% of Adobe RGB and 80% of NTSC, so it’s a great panel all around, even if it’s not as great as the MateBook X Pro.

Color gamut test results for the Huawei MateView SE. The graphs show 100% coverage of sRGB, 81% of Adobe RGB, 90% of P3, and 80% of NTSC.

For brightness, Huawei only claims 250 nits, which isn’t exceptional, though not entirely unexpected for a cheaper monitor. In my testing, it did reach 274 nits, so it’s a little better than advertised.

Table showing the brightness, contrast, and white point levels for the Huawei MateView SE

There are also a few temperature profiles available, including Warm, Standard, Neutral, and Cool, though you can set your custom profile. I found Standard to be the best (and that’s what I tested above), as it was actually a bit more “neutral” than the Neutral profile, which leans more towards a cooler white point, around 7300K.

Of course, the monitor includes a few color profiles, like sRGB, HDR mode, and game mode, but I always left it in P3 mode for the best color coverage. The most notable is eBook mode, which is meant for reading for longer periods.  In this mode, the display turns black and white, and the blu light levels are reduced significantly so as to reduce eye fatigue while reading.

Front view of the Huawei MateView SE in portrait mode with e Book mode enabled. An e-book is shown on the screen.

You can find monitors with USB hubs around this price.

This model of the MateView SE also includes an adjustable stand, so you can adjust the height and tilt angles, as well as pivot the screen to use it vertically, which goes great with the eBook color profile if you want to read on a large screen. There’s no swivel support, which is unfortunate, but the monitor is easy enough to adjust and the slim profile of the base means it shouldn’t be much of a bother for your desk space.

For inputs, you get one HDMI port and one DisplayPort port, though only the HDMI cable comes in the box. This port setup isn’t terrible, but at this price, you can start finding some monitors that also have USB hubs, or at least built-in speakers, which you also don’t get here. Most of those monitors probably won’t have color coverage on the same level, though, so it depends on your priorities.

Keyboard and touchpad: Typing is great, but I don’t love this touchpad

  • The keyboard has 1.5mm of travel and it’s fairly comfortable
  • Huawei Free Touch adds some really cool features to the touchpad, but there are problems

Back to the laptop itself, it’s time to talk about the keyboard, which is frankly fine. I have typically not been very picky with keyboards, and I’d say this one is pretty good. The keys have a whole 1.5mm of travel, which is very good for a laptop, and they feel comfortable to type on. I don’t really have any problems with it at all, though I don’t think I’d put it on the same level as something like a Lenovo laptop or the Dynabook Portégé X40L-K I recently reviewed. Those have fantastic keyboards, and this one is great too, but not quite as amazing.

Close-up view of the keyboard, speaker grill, and power button on the Huawei MateBook X Pro

There isn’t anything too noteworthy about this keyboard, except that Huawei seems to have used the space where the webcam used to be hidden to add a new key that launches the Windows voice typing feature. It might be a useful feature for some, though it kind of comes across as a rushed decision just to make use of that space. The power button still has a fingerprint sensor built-in, even with facial recognition already available, so you can choose whatever method you prefer.

Below the keyboard is the touchpad, which is simultaneously super cool and somewhat disappointing. Huawei has been touting some unique touchpad features for a while, like knocking on the touchpad to take a screenshot. In the MateBook X Pro, there are a total of eight gestures you can perform with the touchpad, including minimizing or closing the active window by clicking the top corners of the touchpad. My favorite is that you can slide a single finger on the right edge of the touchpad to adjust the volume, or on the left edge to adjust the display brightness. That’s not exactly new, but Huawei has added tactile feedback to this mechanism, so you feel each degree of adjustment. You don’t even have to press hard on it, it just starts clicking when it recognizes the gesture. I can’t overstate how much I love this tactility.

Close-up view of the touchpad on the Huawei MateBook X Pro

I wish that would extend to the basic functionality of the touchpad, though. Clicking this touchpad doesn’t feel great, especially if you’re trying to click and drag and you move your finger up near the middle of the touchpad. More than once I’ve found myself unsure if I had lifted my finger off the touchpad enough, and I’ve accidentally dragged things or selected more than I should. If you just click the bottom of the touchpad, it feels fine, but while it can still click near the middle, the tactility isn’t there, so it sometimes gets in the flow of my work.

Performance: It’s fast, but battery life is still an issue for Intel’s P series

  • An Intel Core i7-1260P and 16GB of RAM give you plenty of performance for daily work
  • Battery life still isn’t great with Intel P-series processors

Turning to performance, the Huawei MateBook X Pro comes powered by an Intel Core i7-1260P, part of Intel’s P-series with a 28W default TDP. With 12 cores and 16 threads, this is a very powerful CPU for a relatively lightweight laptop like this one, and it’s backed by 16GB of RAM. In my usage, mostly consisting of working in WordPress while browsing the web with multiple tabs open, I’ve never run into any performance hurdles. I also do some light image editing, and that too, is handled without much of a problem. The laptop also doesn’t tend to get overly loud, though the fans can spin up a lot occasionally.

Looking at benchmarks, the scores are about what you might expect from this processor. It’s on par with other laptops I’ve reviewed with Intel P-series processors, and in some tests, it even beats the Dynabook Portégé X40L-K, which has a Core i7-1270P. If you want maximum performance, you’re going to want to enable performance mode in Huawei PC Manager. In some cases, it seems like it actually performs worse, but for the most part, it’s faster this way. That’s what these benchmarks are based on.

Huawei MateBook X Pro
Core i7-1260P
Dynabok Portégé X40L-K
Core i7-1270P
HP Spectre x360 13.5
Core i7-1255U
PCMark 10 5,653 4,878 5,533
3DMark: Time Spy 1,967 1,939 1,553
Geekbench 5 (single / multi) 1,761 / 9,865 1,742 / 9,195 1,682 / 7,534
Cinebench R23 (single / multi) 1,543 / 9,348 1,707 / 8,319 1,684 / 6,287
CrossMark (overall / productivity / creativity / responsiveness) 1,791 / 1,666 / 1989 / 1,624 1,504 / 1,407 / 1,774 / 1,119 1,593 / 1,509 / 1,781 / 1,340

Intel P-series processors still have issues with thermal throttiling and battery life.

While thermal throttling isn’t the worst on this laptop, these results highlight one of the problems with the Intel Core P-series processors. They have a higher TDP and the potential to be much faster, but companies are putting them in laptops that used to have 15W processors, and it just doesn’t make sense in that context. This is pretty much the same chassis that had a U-series processor earlier this year, and now it has a CPU that’s generating a lot more heat and needs more cooling. While it is faster than the HP Spectre x360 13.5, which still has U-series processors, the difference isn’t that big in a lot of these tests.

The second downside to these processors is battery life. To test the battery life of this laptop, I did two things. First, for a more standardized test, I let a 20-hour YouTube video play (at 720p, fullscreen) with the brightness and volume set to 50%. It lasted roughly 6 hours and 40 minutes, which isn’t terrible. Then, for real-life usage, I just used it for work as I normally would, with brightness set to 50%, 60Hz refresh rate, and the Windows power setting set to Balanced, and with battery saver kicking in at 20% battery life. In general, battery life was hovering around 4 hours and 40 minutes. The worst I got was just over three hours, but this was a clear outlier, and for the most part, I was at least very close to four hours. One time, I got up to 5 hours.

Angled view of the Huawei MateBook X Pro with the lid open at roughly 60 degrees

Frankly, that’s not as bad as I expected. Considering other laptops I’ve reviewed with P-series processors and the fact that this has an incredibly sharp display, I was expecting a lot worse, so this was a pleasant surprise. Still, it’s far from amazing battery life, and if you plan to take your laptop with you somewhere, you’re going to want an outlet nearby.

The Huawei ecosystem and software

  • You can connect your Huawei phone or tablet to the MateBook X Pro
  • Huawei also packs features like Huawei Smart Conference and Free Touch

One of the big selling points of Huawei laptops is how they integrate with the Huawei ecosystem, and that’s also the case here. There’s nothing new here, but it’s worth reiterating if you’re not familiar with it. One of the things you can do is connect your phone to your laptop, which lets you mirror your phone’s screen and even open multiple apps from your phone at the same time. You can also easily transfer files from your phone to your PC.

Screenshot of Huawei PC Manager showing the different modes in which a tablet can be connected to the laptop. These modes are Mirror, Extend, and Collaborate.

With a Huawei tablet, you can actually use it as a second screen for your laptop, so it’s a great feature to have if you want to have two screens on the go. You can also use your computer mouse and keyboard to interact with your tablet, and move files between devices more easily. Again, this isn’t new, and since I don’t personally use a Huawei phone or tablet, I don’t find it that useful.

Oddly enough, I can’t seem to enable Huawei Mobile App Engine, which iss supposed to let you run Android apps on Windows, even without Windows 11 or using the Windows Subsystem for Android. There’s no mention of it in the Huawei PC Manager app, so maybe this laptop isn’t supported yet.

Huawei bundles in other software with the laptop, though. First, there’s Huawei Sound and Huawei Camera, which collectively are part of what Huawei also refers to as “Smart Conference”. Huawei Sound offers a few different settings to enhance voice recognition during video calls, so you can be heard more clearly in specific scenarios. You can also tune the audio from your speakers, though these features aren’t all that different from what you’d get with a standard audio driver.

Screenshot of the Huawei Camera software on the Huawei MateBook X Pro

Huawei Camera is a bit more interesting, since it can apply virtual backgrounds to your webcam, add beauty filters, and more. It doesn’t make up for the lackluster webcam we have here, but it’s potentially nice to have, and something many other laptops have started doing due to the broad transition to remote work.

Finally, Huawei Free Touch lets you customize the gestures you can use with this unique touchpad. As I’ve mentioned above, there are eight gestures available, and they help you make the most of a touchpad by giving you quick shortcuts to certain features. These are actually very useful, though it depends on your willingness to get used to them. I already mentioned scrolling on the edges to adjust the volume or brightness, but you can knock on the touchpad with your knuckles to take screenshots or record the screen, press the top corners of the touchpad to close or minimize a window, and more.

Who should buy the Huawei MateBook X Pro?

All in all, I think the Huawei MateBook X Pro has a lot to offer, and while it is a bit pricy, it’s not overly expensive for what you get. Again, the £1,799 price tag includes a fairly expensive monitor in the package, so this isn’t as expensive as it initially appears. For what you pay, you get a phenomenal display, great sound, premium build quality, and a good typing experience. You can’t ask for a lot more. Except, maybe, for it to be available in the United States.

You should buy the Huawei MateBook X Pro if:

  • You work as a creative professional and want a color-accurate display
  • Consume a lot of media, such as movies, music, or web videos
  • You value premium design and build quality
  • You spend a lot of time typing

You shouldn’t buy the Huawei MateBook X Pro if:

  • You live in the United States
  • Long battery life is essential for your use case
  • You want to make a lot of calls with the built-in webcam and microphone
  • You have a lot of peripherals that require legacy ports and don’t want an adapter

My biggest issues with the Huawei MateBook X Pro have to do with the built-in webcam and microphone setup, plus the lack of legacy ports is unfortunate. I also didn’t love some aspects of the touchpad, but you might be able to get used to how it works.

As for the Huawei MateView SE, I’d say this is a nice monitor for the price. I find the lack of speakers a bit unfortunate because I would also like to hook up my Nintendo Switch to it, but if you’re only using a laptop, it probably already has better speakers than any monitor in this price range. The reasons to get this are the nice color coverage, pivot support, and the eBook mode, which might come in handy if you spend a lot of time reading.

    Huawei MateBook X Pro (2022)

    The Huawei MateBook X Pro is a premium laptop with high-end performance and a beautiful, sharp display.

    Huawei MateView SE (asjustable stand)

    The Huawei MateView SE is a fairly basic monitor, but it still delivers a solid experience with its 24-inch Full HD panel.

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