Huawei MateBook X Professional 2021 Evaluation: Refined, Glossy Work Machine


I nonetheless bear in mind when Huawei introduced its first-ever laptop computer in 2017, and was blown away by how glossy the factor seemed in comparison with, nicely, anything available on the market on the time. Its display supported contact controls, pumped out 2K decision, and was wrapped in tiny (for laptop computer) bezels.

The issue with placing out one thing so aesthetically forward of its time is that there won’t be a lot room to enhance, and that’s the case with the MateBook X Professional 2021: from a distance, it appears similar to the unique groundbreaking 2017 laptop computer, and virtually precisely the identical because the 2019 and 2020 fashions. Different laptops, most notably Apple’s, in the meantime, have continued to chip away at bezel sizes, to the purpose that enormous hole in superior design Huawei had in 2017 has turn into a lot smaller.

However I suppose that’s okay—the world of laptops will not be just like the ever-transforming world of smartphones; laptops are inclined to play it secure with {hardware} design, it’s inside updates that matter. And on this entrance, Huawei is doing every little thing different PC makers are doing after which some.

For these unfamiliar with Huawei laptops, right here’s a rundown of the {hardware}: the MateBook X Professional 2021 contains a 13.9-inch 3:2 LCD touchscreen with 3,000 x 2,000 decision. The aluminum chassis has a matte shiny end, and keyboard keys are evenly spaced, with over 1mm of key journey, which is sweet.

There’s an influence button that doubles as a fingerprint reader, and it’s the quickest one in a laptop computer: you press the button as soon as (even when the machine is totally off) and it boots as much as the homescreen able to go with out the necessity to scan your digits once more.

I’ve had points with Huawei’s trackpads prior to now, in that I discovered them too finnicky and jumpy in comparison with the MacBook’s glorious trackpad. I’m blissful to report this latest Huawei laptop computer has an improved trackpad—it’s extra exact, offers extra friction in opposition to my finger as I’m scrolling ( factor) and has the very best haptic suggestions I’ve skilled but, due to eight piezoelectric sensors evenly spaced beneath the trackpad. This implies there are eight factors that present haptic vibration suggestions if I’m clicking.

The trackpad additionally has an NFC sensor to hook up with Huawei smartphones—I’ll get to this within the subsequent part.

The hinge is sturdy and development is premium—about on par with each laptop computer from a giant identify model. When closed, its 14.6mm thickness and a couple of.9lbs weight make it one of many extra compact laptops nonetheless. When it comes to ports, you get two USB-Cs and a single USB-A. Each Sort-C ports can prime up the 56Wh battery.

As a result of the bezels across the show are so skinny, the laptop computer has roughly the identical dimensions as a 13-inch MacBook Professional regardless of having virtually an additional inch of display. However these skinny bezels additionally don’t go away room for a webcam; as a substitute that digicam is hidden as a part of the keyboard—between the F5 and F6 keys—and pops up with a contact.

This webcam design has been a function of Huawei laptops since 2018, and it’s divisive. For individuals who not often do video calls (like me), or people who find themselves paranoid about their webcams being hacked by malware, the truth that the digicam is blocked by default is nice. However many different reviewers complain that the situation of the webcam will not be optimum—because it movies the person at an unflattering upward-pointing angle.

Video high quality from the 720p webcam is simply okay, but it surely picks up surprisingly crisp audio due to its twin forward-facing mics situated on the a part of the chassis that faces the person.

Internals

The MateBook X Professional 2021 options the same old spec bump PCs get year-to-year: it runs on an 11th-gen Intel i7-1165G7 with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD PCIe storage. Efficiency-wise the machine behaves like different laptops with this chip, which means it’s greater than highly effective for productiveness duties, can deal with mild gaming and even some video enhancing, however those that are hardcore avid gamers or skilled video editors will discover it missing. However then once more, these individuals wouldn’t be shopping for a skinny 13-ish inch laptop computer for these duties, anyway. The MateBook X Professional 2021 is designed for transportable work for college students and dealing professionals (who aren’t graphic designers or video editors) and it greater than lives as much as that half.

Huawei has constructed an efficient thermal twin fan system—which Huawei dubs “sharkfin” that retains the machine cool, and I can vouch for its efficiency: I watched a four-hour film (the “Snyder Reduce,” whose odd boxy side ratio is ideal on the three:2 MateBook X Professional display) with the display on most brightness whereas additionally having a number of ongoing conversations in Slack and WhatsApp Internet and doing the occasional Twitter browsing on Chrome, and the machine not often received sizzling.

Battery life is nice, too, that very same four-hour film/web/chatting marathon solely drained about 30% of juice from the battery. For different productiveness duties like my typical workday of writing articles and sending emails, the machine can simply final an eight-hour day. The included 65W charging brick additionally tops up the machine from zero to 100 in just below two hours.

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If you happen to care about benchmarks, the MateBook X Professional 2021 scored round 1,400 in single-core and 4,100 multi-core in GeekBench 5. These numbers are on par with different PCs on this worth/spec vary, however in fact, Apple’s M1 MacBooks beats it.

Software program

The Matebook X Professional runs Home windows 10. It has every little thing a typical Home windows machine provides, besides Huawei provides some helpful options to its laptops: Huawei Share. This makes use of the aforementioned NFC pad to attach a Huawei smartphone, and as soon as synced, the person can load a mirrored model of their cellphone display on the laptop computer display. I discover this very helpful (after I’m utilizing a Huawei cellphone, that’s) because it permits me to reply phone-specific chat apps on the PC without having to seize the cellphone. After I wish to be distracted, I also can surf Instagram, which appears far nicer on the Android app than on the desktop home windows model.

Huawei additionally features a PC supervisor that permits a extra simplified view of the machine’s reminiscence utilization, battery statistics, and which applications are working. These new additions carry helpful touches to Home windows with out taking something away, so it’s an general win.

Priced at €1,399 in Europe (round $1,600) and across the equal of $1,400 in Asia, the Huawei MateBook X Professional 2021 is a top quality premium transportable laptop computer for the working skilled. Those that are utilizing Huawei smartphones will discover much more to love, however even for non-Huawei cellphone customers, this machine will get the job achieved—supplied you don’t must do plenty of video calls.

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