Huawei‘s original MateBook x Pro was among the very best Windows laptops money could buy – and it was reasonably priced to boot. Today, a month after introducing entry-level MateBook 13, the company is refreshing its premium laptop with more competitive specifications.
While the original MateBook X Pro is still a powerful performer – one of the relatively few 13-inch laptops with a dedicated GPU – it was a bit odd that the ‘budget’ MateBook 13 offered faster specs. The new MateBook X Pro bring things up to date with a few important changes over last year’s model.
Huawei is now using an 8th-gen Whiskey Lake processor and an Nvidia MX250 clocked at a higher speed, both of which should provide mild performance boosts. The company has also updated the Thunderbolt 3 port with support for the full 40gbps transmission of the spec (last year’s model was half that), which mainly improves support for external graphics cards. The laptop is now configurable with up to 1 TB of storage and the battery is now rated for 10 hours of web browsing. Lastly, there’s now an NFC chip under the keyboard, whose main function is to pair with Huawei devices to allow for easy file transfer via an updated Huawei Share app.
I had the chance to briefly go hands-on with the laptop. Considering the chassis is nearly identical to last year’s model there isn’t much new to report there. It still has a camera hidden under the keyboard, it still has a two USB-C, one USB-A, and one HDMI port, it still has a 13.9-inch 3000 x 2000 display, and it’s still a classy-looking laptop clad in a dark blue aluminum. Just about the only big external change is that the Huawei branding doesn’t feature the flower logo anymore. You can read my review of the original model for more.
Huawei is also announcing the MateBook 14, which is kind of like a slightly less premium version of the MateBook X Pro. I do mean slightly; it’s a bit heavier, and the touchpad appears to be plastic rather than glass, but otherwise still feels well made and pretty comparable to other premium laptops. Spec-wise, the 14-inch panel has a lower 2160 x 1440 resolution and the USB-C port doesn’t have Thunderbolt 3, but it has the same processor and GPU as its more premium sibling.
The MateBook X Pro and MateBook 14 will arrive in international markets first and in the US sometime in the spring. The MateBook X Pro starts at 1,599 euro, while the MateBook 14 starts at 1,199. Pricing for the US market will be announced at a later date. The original X Pro started at $1,200 stateside, so hopefully Huawei doesn’t jack up the prices too much.
Published February 24, 2019 — 18:13 UTC