Since 2018, when the first MateBook X Pro was launched, Huawei has been set like clockwork. The brand comes out with a new iteration of its luxury PC after every spring. Each vintage brings its share of improvements, conferring year after year a certain fame in the vine of this high-end PC. In fact, the 2020 vintage had already made a good impression on us. What about 2021?
Huawei MateBook X Pro 2021 best price Base price: €1,499
First of all, I’d like to get rid of a common idea. Often, the MateBook X Pro is presented as a “MacBook killer”, a competitor to Apple’s MacBook ready to capture a large part of its clientele. I think this is far-fetched. User behavior regarding PCs is different from that regarding smartphones. Switching from Android to iOS (or the other way around) is easier than switching from macOS to Windows.
No anthropological study has been done to say this, but from experience I’m firmly convinced that even if you present the best PC in the world to a MacBook enthusiast, you’ll have very little chance of making them switch. It’s all about OS and habits. This is obviously not a general truth, just a point of view. Of course, Huawei is inspired by the MacBook’s codes, but I wouldn’t go hunting on its land.
But then, who can this MateBook X Pro 2021 version be the “killer” of? Its older versions, of course, and the Windows-based competitors. The real enemies have been found. We can now move on to testing the Huawei Mate X Pro. For this, here is the configuration of our copy:
- Intel Core i7 11th generation
- 16 GB of RAM
- 1TB of storage
- 1799 €
Note that a version with an Intel Core i5 chip, 16GB of RAM and 572GB of storage is also available for €1499
In the finesse, literally and figuratively
You don’t change a winning (design) team. We might as well say it, this 2021 vintage is an aesthetic copy of the 2020 and 2019 versions. And so much the better, as the presence is one of the strong points of this MateBook family. Closed, it looks good with the Huawei logo and its grey aluminium chassis, both elegant and robust. Open, it reveals The keyboard layout is ideal, the trackpad area is well controlled, and the bevelled edges give the machine a brilliant look.
The keyboard layout is ideal, the trackpad surface is well controlled, while the bevelled edges of the machine offer a brilliant appearance. The speakers are discreetly integrated on either side of the keyboard, while the power button, which also doubles as a fingerprint reader, majestically overlooks the whole. It also knows how to show its finesse when it comes to measurements.
It’s inspired by the compactness of the 2020 version. Its dimensions? 217 x 304 x 14.6 mm, balanced to perfection. Its weight ? 1,3 kg, transportable at will. Especially since its charger is barely larger than that of a smartphone.
In terms of connectivity, no change. On the right, a USB 3.0 port and on the left two USB-C ports, as well as the 3.5 mm jack. Is that all? Rest assured Huawei still provides its hub, the MateDock2, just to add to the list a USB-A port, another for USB-C, as well as an HDMI port and a last VGA.
In the East, what’s new?
After this first lap, we check that the manufacturer did not make a mistake and send us a model from last year. But it’s not. So, we decide to turn it on in order to appreciate its main evolution, its hardware configuration. And it must be said that it is rather muscular: last generation Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor at 2.8 GHz, 16 GB of RAM, 1 TB storage, Intel Iris Xe Graphics card, Bluetooth 5.1 and Wifi 6 card.
It’s hard to beat that when it comes to high-end ultra-book PCs. Only a handful of competitors can look it in the eye without blushing, including the Dell XPS 13, the Acer Swift 5 and the Asus ZenBook Duo 14 (2021).
<img src=”https://www.presse-citron.net/app/uploads/2021/08/HuaweiMateBookXPro-2021.jpeg 1400w, https://www.presse-citron.net/app/uploads/2021/08/HuaweiMateBookXPro-2021-505×336.jpeg 505w, https://www.presse-citron.net/app/uploads/2021/08/HuaweiMateBookXPro-2021-1024×682.jpeg 1024w, https://www.presse-citron.net/app/uploads/2021/08/HuaweiMateBookXPro-2021-50×33.jpeg 50w” alt=”HuaweiMateBookXPro-2021- screen” width=”1400″ height=”932″ />
In use, it’s almost flawless. Whether it’s for office work, multimedia consumption, 4K video or photo editing, it swallows everything without flinching. For video games, it stalls. If you want to feel the leather on Fifa 21 via Stadia, in cloud-gaming, no problem. However, don’t expect to run the latest Resident Evil Village on it. Nothing shocking, at the same time, it does not have the ambition to be a “gaming” PC and is therefore not designed as such.
Another appreciable change is that the cooling system has been upgraded with a pair of 30mm diameter fans with more and thinner blades than on the previous version, 73 versus 40 and 0.15mm versus 0.25mm.
The machine remains as silent as a carp when it is used a little and remains unaffected even when it is used a lot. When fully loaded, the processor only emits a slight background noise that will not wake up the dead. At the level of its temperature, the same pattern, it is more often ice than boiler.
Indecent on the positioning of its webcam
On the Huawei MateBook Pro X, there is this famous retractable webcam… A divisive positioning that we address again this year. True to its policy, Huawei integrates it on a key of the keyboard. On the photo below, it is visible below the key with a camera as a symbol, between the volume keys.
Why the Chinese firm chooses to place it so? Privacy issue. A retractable lens makes it easier to know when your camera is activated and makes any malicious intrusion impossible. Of course, the most suspicious among us already use webcam covers or this good old piece of tape for some time, without this being a problem.
Huawei has another argument for positioning its webcam in the keyboard: the overall thickness of its computer. The MateBook Pro X is 4.4mm thick. If the camera was embedded in the display, the brand would have had to add between 2 and 3 mm more for the system.
That said, this detail of the webcam’s placement bothers me. In the age of telecommuting, freelancing and more meetingsIn video, the use of such a tool is no longer just occasional. And with its low-angle view, the MateBook X Pro’s camera doesn’t really show us off.
It might sound like fudging, but when you’re meeting with a prospect or a client, these are the details that work against you, since you can’t talk face to face with the person you’re talking to. Indeed, if we focus on the camera, our angle of vision does not allow us to look at the screen completely.
The only viable solution is to invest in an external webcam, but that’s not really the point when you’re spending so much money on an ultrabook.
An impressive screen
The screen of the Huawei MateBook Pro X is certainly the most impressive of all ultrabook PCs in this price range. We were already impressed in 2020, and we’re still impressed this year. The 2021 vintage returns with a 13.9-inch 3K LCD touchscreen, 3000 x 2000 resolution and 260 dpi. The panel’s occupancy rate is close to 92%, still in a 3:2 ratio, so you can make the most of the PC’s size.
The colorimetry is fair, the colors are vivid, without being saturated, while the contrast ratio is impressive, especially for a screen that is not OLED. The only remark is that the panel shines a little depending on the viewing angle, especially when used outdoors. Fortunately, we can easily compensate for this defect thanks to a good maximum brightness (up to 578 cd/m2). What will be done obviously, at the expense of the battery…
Autonomy, that’s where the problem lies
Last year, the MateBook X Pro convinced us without impressing us. It lived up to its status. This year, it’s much more mixed. With the Huawei MateBook Pro X fully loaded, we started the day around 9:30am with mainly office work, web browsing and Spotify background music.
From 12:45 on, we took a union break. Back to work around 2:15pm, office work again, a two-hour video meeting, a short hour of photo editing and surprise, it’s barely 6:30pm, the PC is coughing with its 6% battery. It will have held up valiantly for 7h30, without having pushed it to its limits. And yet the luminosity was only “80%”.
<img src=”https://www.presse-citron.net/app/uploads/2021/08/MateBookXPro-ecran.jpeg 1400w, https://www.presse-citron.net/app/uploads/2021/08/MateBookXPro-ecran-505×336.jpeg 505w, https://www.presse-citron.net/app/uploads/2021/08/MateBookXPro-ecran-1024×682.jpeg 1024w, https://www.presse-citron.net/app/uploads/2021/08/MateBookXPro-ecran-50×33.jpeg 50w” altwidth=”1400″ height=”932″ /> The manufacturer makes up for it with a 65W block.
The manufacturer makes up for it a little in terms of load thanks to a 65W block. In about 1h35, it is fully charged. So don’t forget to plug it in during your lunch break if you want to keep up with a long day’s work, or for a relaxing evening with an hour or two of video streaming.
Our opinion on the MateBook X Pro (2021)
The MateBook X Pro tests are one and the same… As usual, Huawei offers a timid evolution for its 2021 vintage. The main novelty here is under the hood with an upgrade of its hardware configuration.
The result is a quiet, high-performance PC that heats up very little. In my opinion, for office and leisure use, it will meet all your expectations. For photo or video editing, if it is done occasionally, it will give you full satisfaction. However, if you’re a graphic designer or videographer, don’t bother. Especially since the autonomy is down compared to last year, it goes from satisfactory to more than average.
So yes, the design is still there and the screen still stands out. Yes, it’s easy to carry around, even with its charger. Yes, the ergonomics of the keyboard and trackpad are neat. However, Huawei comes out with the same recipe every year.
A successful recipe, but which may eventually bore the fans of the Chinese firm. Especially at this price … So if you have the model of 2020 for example, no reason to break your PEL on this model. On the other hand, if you’re simply looking for a beautiful and powerful ultrabook PC with an impeccable screen, go for it.
Huawei MateBook Pro 2021
Design and finish
Battery life and charging
- Beautiful design
- Powerful screen
- Fast charging
- Quiet and does not heat up
- Added Wi-Fi 6
We like less
- Loss of autonomy compared to 2020
- The position of the webcam
- A techno-price ratio not optimal