NFC technology is mainly used for contactless payments, but why has Huawei added it in its new MateBook X Pro (2019)? We deciphered this and other innovations of the Huawei laptop in our review.
For the owners of the first MateBook X Pro, the second generation of the Huawei laptop will not wake them up too many passions. There are no compelling reasons to decide to buy the MateBook X Pro 2019.
For the rest, it’s worth taking into account if you need to buy a new laptop. It is even better than its predecessor and includes improvements in its internal components. In addition, the inclusion of NFC technology could be a very useful and practical decision.
Huawei is best known for its range of smartphones, such as the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. However, the Chinese company also manufactures good laptops capable of rivaling even the Dell XPS 13 or the Apple MacBook
After its announcement at the last Mobile World Congress, we were able to test first hand the Huawei MateBook X Pro, one of the three models that the brand presented this February at the mobile telephony fair held in Barcelona.
The MateBook range of Huawei has models for all types of needs. In its attempt to turn it into the best ultralight laptop on the market, the X Pro is usually the best performance.
There are not many differences in the design between the latest model of MateBook X Pro and previous generations, but we must highlight the interesting decision of Huawei to include NFC technology in it .
Price and availability
As we are told from Huawei, the MateBook X Pro 2019 will be available in stores from next April. Prices are already known in euros and represents an important increase compared to the cost of last year’s model .
The company has confirmed that it will start at € 1,599 for the model with Core i5, 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage. It will go up to € 1,999 for the model with Core i7, 16 GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage.
Design and manufacturing
We are not too surprised to see that the design of the new MateBook X Pro has not changed compared to previous models, and in fact we might even prefer it that way, since the appearance of his successor we liked a lot.
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Thus, the MateBook X Pro 2019 still has a virtually bezelless screen that occupies 91% of the laptop’s body. In addition, only weighs 1.33 kg – making it a good choice among ultralight laptops – and has a thickness of 14.6 mm.
As we saw in the previous model, Huawei chooses not to put the webcam on the bezel that surrounds the screen, but you must press the corresponding key to make it appear whenever you need to use it.
It can be a good solution for those who give more importance to the design and the fact that they can have the entire screen. However, in our own experience, good angles are not obtained during videoconferences.
In any case, we do not have much to object to as regards the appearance of this laptop, which has a sandy finish and sharp angles. We also positively highlight the fact that the finger scanner is included in the power button and a large trackpad .
The range of colors available is the same as with the previous model. Thus, it can be purchased in Mystic Silver (silver) and Space Gray (dark gray). At first glance, then, it is very difficult to differentiate between the 2018 model and the 2019 model.
If you could compare them inside, you might notice the improvements in the cooling system of the new X Pro, which Huawei says is 20% more efficient. That’s thanks to the new intelligent modes of passive and active cooling.
Keyboard and trackpad
Again, as we saw in the 2018 model, the keyboard has good dimensions, is resistant to possible spills and has two backlight options. In general, it offers a good typing experience, although you should get used to it.
The keyboard is surrounded by metal details that make it attractive and sophisticated. The upper row of keys allows you to quickly access a series of functions and the webcam is hidden in one of them.
A small counter is the size of the arrows above and below, which are much smaller than usual for reasons of space. This means that, when typing, you can press other keys, such as space or ‘Enter’, by mistake.
As for the trackpad , it is wide and has a smooth surface that will make the experience of use much more pleasant. It responds well to touch and you can also use several gestures to interact with Windows.
Among the specifications that have been kept of the 2018 model are the LTPS screen of 13.9 inches with an aspect ratio of 3: 2 and a resolution of 3000 x 2000. In addition, it is still a touch screen.
Maybe you think that it is an IPS screen, but the truth is that it is an LTPS, that is, an LCD panel that uses silicone. This means that you can get higher resolutions and lower temperatures at a lower price.
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In general, our experience with the screen has been positive, especially for all the details it offers. The colors, the contrast and the viewing angles are also what you would expect from a high-end laptop. The only one is the reflecting glass.
Performance and performance
Without changes on the outside of the laptop, it is clear that Huawei had to include some news in its internal part. Thus, the new MateBook X Pro introduces new hardware in the field of processors, graphics cards, RAM and much more.
Huawei has included two new processors: Intel Core 8th generation i5-8265U and i7-8565U. The first is accompanied by the integrated graphics card Intel UHD Graphics 620, while the second comes with discrete graphics card Nvidia MX250 and 2 GB of GDDR5 RAM.
The Chinese company says that the laptop is 10% faster than its predecessor and 40% faster than the 7th generation chip. It also promises that the performance of the discrete card is three and a half times faster.
As we saw in the model of 2018, the laptop can be purchased with an 8 GB RAM or 16 GB RAM, which corresponds to 128 GB and 512 GB of storage space respectively.
The model that we have tested has been the laptop with Core i7, 16 RAM, 1TB storage, MX 250 graphics and touch screen. The performance is excellent: it starts in just 5-7 seconds and is able to quickly scan your fingerprint.
In the benchmarking tests , we have seen an improvement in performance above 10% that ensures Huawei. Geekbench 4 shows an improvement of 25%, while PCMark 10 shows an improvement of 30%.
If we compare the Huawei MateBook X Pro with its rivals, we see that the element that makes the difference is the GPU MX250, which allows the user to perform more demanding tasks such as video editing or playing video games.
Another significant improvement is the cooling system. The previous model warmed up a bit just surfing the web but the 2019 update has a 20% more efficient fans that improve the experience, but it’s not perfect either.
With a 57.4 Wh battery, Huawei promises up to 13 hours of video playback. Unlike what happens in most cases, our benchmarking results indicate even higher performance.
The battery of the MateBook X Pro (2019) lasted 14 hours and 9 minutes. It is an excellent result that exceeds the autonomy of many models of rival companies and also adds four hours to the battery life of last year’s model.
Of course, keep in mind that everything will depend on your use of the laptop. Thus, at maximum performance, the battery lasted between four and five hours doing basic tasks and being at 30% battery. If you use the saving mode, the battery will obviously last longer.
Even if you think that the battery runs out quickly when performing demanding tasks, you’ll be lucky to be able to recharge it quickly with the USB Charger Type-C 65 W. The battery went from 0% to 39% in just half an hour.
In conclusion, the MateBook X Pro 2019 is an excellent laptop in terms of battery life if we consider that it has a quad-core processor, which can usually expect good performance and short duration.
Connectivity and audio
In its 2019 model, Huawei has included Bluetooth 5.0, twice as fast and with four times more range. In addition, the Thunderbolt 3 port has also been improved and now offers twice the speed at 40 Gbps.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this laptop is that it continues to use technology not considered the latest generation, something we celebrate. So, we applaud that it continues to include a Type-A USB port, which is still very useful but hard to find in current laptops.
The new MateBook X Pro has four microphones and four speakers with Dolby Atmos. The audio quality is extremely good and surely the best of any notebook we have ever tried.
There are still some physical limitations, so low tones are non-existent. Even so, the experience is so good that it seems as if the laptop is connected to Bluetooth speakers and not using their own.
We recommend using the speakers at a volume of 50 to 70%. You can use the Dolby software to easily change the mode and use the equalizer to configure the sound experience that suits you best.
Under normal circumstances, we would not include a section devoted to software when analyzing a laptop, since Windows is Windows. But the truth is that Huawei has added some interesting features that are worth noting.
To start, Huawei’s PC Manager software allows you to perform certain functions such as trimming a screen, recording your screen or using tools such as the calculator or the notebook. You can also manage the connection with your smartphone .
The great novelty is the Huawei Share 3.0 system. The laptop includes a hook with the NFC logo ( Near-field communication ) with which you can establish a Wi-Fi connection to connect your laptop and your smartphone or tablet Huawei or Honor with EMUI 9.1.
You can use this near-field communication technology to easily transfer photos and videos from your mobile or tablet to the X Pro, or simply create a common clipboard. You can also shake your phone to record the screen of your laptop.
We loved the 2018 model but, with Huawei MateBook X Pro this year, Huawei has managed to improve it. Those who already have the one from last year may not need to bet on the new one, but it is without a doubt one of the best laptops of 2019 .
We can overlook that Huawei has opted for the same design thanks to the great improvements it presents, especially in terms of the performance of the processor and the graphics card, as well as the autonomy of its battery.
The X Pro (2019) offers a great screen, better than average sound quality, a USB A port, a finger scanner, very useful Windows 10 software additions and much more. It is, without doubt, a high-end laptop.
List of specifications
- Operating system: Windows 10
- Processor: Intel Core 8th generation i5-8265U | 8th generation Intel Core i7-8565U
- Graphics card: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | Nvidia GeForce MX 250 with 2 GB of GDDR5
- RAM memory: 8 GB | 16 GB
- Storage: 256 GB | 512 GB
- Display: 13.9 inch LTPS (3000 x 2000, 260 ppi)
- Connectivity: Wifi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, Bluetooth 5.0, microUSB port, finger sensor, 3.5 mm jack , Thunderbolt 3, USB Type-C, USB Type-A
- Battery: 57.4 Wh
- Dimensions: 304 x 217 x 14.6 mm
- Weight: 1.33 kg