Huawei may have just made a Windows laptop that’s as desirable as Apple’s MacBook.
It always used to be that Windows laptops lagged behind Apple in industrial design; while Apple made desirable, instantly recognisable unibody laptops, manufacturers of Windows laptops made ugly grey devices recognisable only for being non-descript. That script started to change with Dell’s XPS line which married quality design with quality internals .. but the journey was not complete.
Huawei’s MateBook X Pro could just put the Chinese manufacturer at the top of the Windows notebook market.
The MateBook X Pro – if measured by the metrics applied to smartphones, which Huawei is perhaps better known for – is a stunner, with a huge 91% screen-to-body ratio on the display, meaning that you get a 13.9-inch display packed into a 12-inch notebook form factor.
The bezels are so thin, in fact, that there’s no room on the display for a camera. To get around this, Huawei have embedded it in the keyboard, and it pops up on demand for video conferencing and other camera uses, and disappears into the keyboard when it’s no longer needed. It’s a remarkably simple mechanism, and it works so well that it makes me wonder why no one else thought of it.
Probably the only criticism is that – like the Dell XPS range – the camera is at a rather low angle, meaning that you’ll be videoconferencing up your nose rather than straight-on, but you can work around this.
The other stand-out features are the high resolution (3000 x 2000 pixels, a 3:2 aspect ratio that’s perfect for work on the go), with a touch-display. The MateBook X Pro is just 4.9mm thin at the front, very light (just 1.33 kg), and carries both USB C ports and a USB A port.
With a spill-proof keyboard, a separate graphics processor (for faster performance than mere integrated graphics), four speakers and a suggested 14-hour battery life, this strikes me as one of the best Windows notebooks around.
There is one other criticism, I guess, and that’s the lack of any confirmed availability for Australia. I desperately want to get my hands on a MateBook X Pro, and though Autumn 2018 was mentioned for Asia Pacific, there’s no specific reference to Australia in that.
A real shame, because I’d love to review one of these for our readers — I don’t often recommend a laptop, but after some hands-on time at the launch event and at Huawei’s booth at MWC 2018, the Matebook X Pro may be the best Windows notebook I’ve used.