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Huawei MateBook X Review: beyond the appearance there is much substance

Let’s talk about Huawei and the association with the rich range of products by the Asian smartphone is immediate. This brand has been able to develop in recent years a position in the smartphone market that has come to settle Samsung and Apple, both globally as specifically in the Asia Pacific Region.

Aluminum enclosure and more than adequate hardware

This was the result of a development work of its products that was definitely focused on technological features, but it could not ignore that is aesthetical. Very often a smartphone is purchased more for their design and for the technical characteristics, especially when it concerns top models which by their nature are already extremely rich in functionality in this Huawei has operated carefully tending to distance itself from the traditional logic You see smartphone products cost of Asian companies, powerful but aesthetically unappealing.

In the entrance in the market of portable PC, Huawei adopted in many ways the same strategy deployed with mobile devices: the technical content of high standard but the appearance is striking and surprising. The practical example is MateBook X, on which Huawei’s ultra-thin notebook PC can be given many definitions, but we tend to believe that there is this common denominator: it is a product aesthetically beautiful.

It ‘hard to find in MateBook X produced a direct analogy with the Apple MacBook solutions: Clamshell design for both, with very thin aluminum chassis and profile. The similarities end there though: MateBook X is a Windows 10 PC, who depends on the combination of aesthetic care, premium materials and major hardware equipment to provide the user with a valid computing platform both for professional uses such as entertainment personnel.

At the center of this product by a screen 13 inches diagonally, with a ratio of 3: 2 between the sides and frames so thin as to lead to an overall size that is typical of a 12-inch notebook. The result is, therefore, that of a lightweight notebook, which appears to be smaller than it is, but that does not skimp in terms of personal productivity.

Huawei MateBook X Review

On the Heart of Huawei MateBook X is the Intel Core i5-7200U processor, seventh generation model that combines dual-core architecture and technology HyperThreading at high clock frequencies even with low fuel consumption. The choice made by the technique is very interesting: the cooling is completely passive, obtained by exploiting the heat dissipation of the aluminum chassis: during use so you can not perceive the operation and the temperature is maintained at appropriate values always as we shall see in the page next, even if with a certain impact in terms of clock frequency and performance when it uses the system to 100% for a long time.

The remaining components are standard for a proposal of this kind: we get storage with the ubiquitous SSD with PCI Express interface, 8 Gbytes of system memory and a 41,4Wh capacity battery. These elements combine to offer an ever-ready response to operations and operating autonomy away from the outlet that is not from the absolute record but which guarantees long hours of productivity or personal entertainment.

Huawei MateBook X Review

The construction of Matebook X, as we noted above, is centered on the 13-inch screen with a pixel resolution 2160×1440; very thin frames make it stand out markedly, giving the impression of having to deal with a smaller product, and even more gracefully than it already is.

Huawei MateBook X Review

The base is almost entirely used for the keyboard, the island type with full-sized keys with which it is easier to type at a considerable speed immediately. The answer is precise and feedback of a good standard: do not miss the adjustable backlight on 3 levels. The touchpad has medium to large size, not getting to those of the MacBook, but in any case ensuring a prompt response and a good interaction with the gesture. The power button is placed at the top right to the bottom of the screen: integrates an internal fingerprint sensor, thanks to which can unlock access to the operating system by exploiting the Windows Hello technology built into Windows 10.

Huawei MateBook X Review

The aluminum structure characterizes MateBook X in its entirety; also the bottom, removable by acting on some screws so as to show the internal components, is of this material and the whole provides a feeling of notable overall robustness. Two Type-C USB ports, one on each side, allow to connect external devices and the power supply of the notebook; the only other connector is a headphone jack.

Huawei MateBook X Review

Once removed the bottom panel you have access to the internal components, including the battery dominates that occupies a good part of the little interior space available. We note the passive dissipation structure formed by two heat-pipes placed in contact with the Intel Core i5 processor, branching in order to carry the heat away from the CPU, and at the same time exploiting as far as possible the entire chassis for its dissipation.

Huawei MateBook X Review

With the two I/O Type-C MateBook X USB ports it is very poor in terms of external connections; For this reason, Huawei provides supplied a small hub that provides, occupying one of the USB ports available, HDMI and VGA connections for an external display, a conventional Type-A USB port, and a Type-C. Sadly lacking in this hub a memory card reader, an accessory that we would have appreciated. The power supply has a compact size, similar to what is supplied with a tablet, and is connected to the notebook through a USB cable Type-C.

Passive cooling: a limit or a strength?

One of the most interesting technical features of Huawei MateBook X is being based on the completely passive cooling system, so as not to generate noise during operation. All this has been made possible by the use of an internal system to heat pipes that indirectly exploits the aluminum chassis so as to ensure a higher heat dissipation surface.

Modern processors operate with the maximum operating temperatures that can not be overcome: when the actual data, as a function of the workload, tend to approach to the maximum clock it frequency is automatically reduced so as to be able to cope with the thermal dissipation and in this way ensure the proper functioning of the system. Reducing the clock frequency has obviously a practical fallout: performance degrades to an extent proportional to how consistent will have been the cutting of the clock frequency.

For this reason, the Core i5 7200U processor tends to initially operate at a high clock frequency when placed at full load but then decrease as a function of increase of the operating temperature with the instantaneous load of work.

Huawei MateBook X Review

The CPU-Z utility reports the main technical features of the Intel Core i5-7200U processor-based architecture on of the Kaby Lake; We remember how this proposal is characterized by a TDP of 15 Watt, which is maintained by the processor in the moment in which the temperature remains within the threshold values, but that is dynamically reduced when the workload ports the CPU to operate at temperatures too high.

Huawei MateBook X Review
CPU clock analysis in stress test

The decline in the CPU’s clock frequency, with a consequent decrease of the speed performance, it is well evident in the stress test with the utility Prime 95 that we have conducted. The CPU part with a peak at 3.100 MHz clocks, then move except after a few seconds at 2,300 MHz and 1,500 MHz progressively decline until after about 10 minutes at full load operation. Under these conditions, the processor operates in fact in a stable manner in this clock frequency, while maintaining a balance between temperature and clock frequency that is ideal as a function of heat dissipation ensured by the notebook.

Huawei MateBook X Review
Analysis of Temperature in Stress Test

The temperature of the CPU follows a specular dynamic, rising abruptly in the first seconds of testing before falling to about 65 ° at the moment when the CPU clock frequency drops to 2,300 MHz. Following the data slowly continues to fall, ranking just below 60 ° without departing from this threshold.

Huawei MateBook X Review
CPU clock consumed in stress test

The consumption of the processor utility reported Core Temp shows that in the initial stages of the clock frequency of 3.100 MHz Turbo implies a very high instantaneous consumption for the processor. During the execution of the test data, it falls in a specular way at clock frequency and temperature, positioning around 5 Watts and stabilized at this datum.

In spite of the passive cooling, and then, the CPU temperature never reaches critical values during the use at full load: the merit of this is related to the variation of the CPU clock frequency, which is reduced to an appreciable extent so as to maintain the consumption within a predetermined threshold. Even the chassis accordingly does not reach high temperatures: We have detected those surface on the keyboard and on the bottom of the notebook recording a peak of 41 ° after 30 minutes at full load stress test, a value that does not limit in any way the use practicality of notebook also holding it on your lap.

Huawei MateBook X Review

Huawei MateBook X Review

The passive cooling with a consequent reduction in the CPU’s clock frequency leads to a slight impact on the overall speed performance of Huawei Matebook X with respect to that obtained with the same processor with the Samsung Galaxy Book model 12. The difference is contained in the complex but it is from noted that the price that must be paid in order to ensure a completely silent operation.

Huawei MateBook X Review

Very small differences for the multicore Geekbench test, which in general confirms the brilliant behavior of Huawei notebook in pure calculation tests. Also, in this case, the proposal of Samsung Galaxy Book 12 registers, with the same processor, a slight margin of advantage precisely in virtue of the different cooling system: the active layer makes it possible to use the CPU to a higher clock frequency for a long time.

Huawei MateBook X Review

The integrated GPU in the Intel Core i5-7200U processor provides sufficient power to test in processing 3D graphics, but you can not expect anything comparable to a dedicated GPU. Huawei Matebook X, but this applies to all the smaller notebooks that focus on high portability, can then be used to not particularly complex 3D applications: this is an ideal notebook to be productive on the move as you always have, but You can not take the place of a solution for the dedicated gaming.

Huawei MateBook X Review

The productivity test with PCMark 8 confirms what has been shown just above: Huawei MateBook X is a valid notebook personal productivity operations, with a behavior that is the mirror image of similar proposals for size and choice of processor.

Huawei MateBook X Review

To close a look at the storage solution, an SSD 256 Gbytes of capacity which is connected with PCI Express interface as evidenced by the reading speed that exceeds 1,200 Mbytes per second. More content of the write data, equal to 364 Mbytes per second: this is a slightly lower result than other notebooks also with SATA interface but that overall is valid by virtue of the characteristics of this product.

Huawei MateBook X Review
Autonomy of Battery – Browsing WEB

We measured the operating time with the battery serving us our traditional measurement suite. The first, related to web browsing, has resulted in a matter of seven hours and 30 minutes: this is a good result overall, in line with that of another small notebook on the market.

Huawei MateBook X Review
Autonomy of battery – video on Netflix

The figure does not change in the reproduction of video streams with Netflix: in this case 7½ hours of battery life, a figure slightly lower than the other thin notebooks as not as compact as Huawei MateBook X.

Huawei MateBook X Review
Autonomy of Battery – PCMark 8

The autonomy is significantly reduced in personal productivity test with PCMark 8, because of the much higher workload than the generated web browsing and video playback. We are a little less than 4 hours of total range, a value even in this case in line with that of the thinnest notebook proposals analyzed previously in these pages.

Display: 13-inch with very thin frames

Huawei MateBook X uses a very interesting display: in fact, we find an LCD panel with IPS technology, covered by a Gorilla Glass glossy finish, with a native resolution of 2160×1440 pixels. The most observant will recognize immediately that this resolution is not in the format of 16:9, by now extremely widespread among portable systems, but it is in 3:2 format. This is an aspect ratio that lately is taking place between the portable systems, especially those of small size since it represents an ideal compromise between the aforementioned 16:9 and the 4: 3 (not really suitable to the portability of a system). The display has a very thin frame and incorporates, at the top of the webcam.

Huawei MateBook X Review

The analysis of the gamut shows a very good behavior for this panel, which covers 98% to the sRGB color space and therefore offering a good color saturation. The precision of the three primaries cannot be said to be perfect, but we remain however of very respectable levels. The white is slightly shifted toward the cyan, but without affecting the behavior of the panel.

Huawei MateBook X Review

Huawei MateBook X Review

The Gamma curve that we detected instrumentally for the display of this ultraportable is just lower than the reference curve 2.2 and abuts on the 2.1 value. Reproduction of lowlights, highlights, and mid-tones is still correct and pleasant. In an ideal situation, all the samples of the grayscale should have a color temperature of 6500K (considered the color temperature of the white “neutral”) or, in the concrete, at least on the same level instrumentally detected the color temperature of the white point (RGB input 100). We see that the surveys conducted on Huawei MateBook-X display show a very low variation, but only from 20% up: in the first part of the gray scale of the measured value deviates significantly from the average behavior of the panel.


Huawei MateBook X is provided with a display capable of reaching a maximum luminance of 380 candles per square meter, a value that makes it possible to use the system in a variety of ambient lighting situations. Black has returned good depth, and the resulting contrast ratio was found to be an average of about 650:1, a rather good as one can expect from an IPS panel.

The uniformity of a panel is an interesting parameter which can provide some indication of the quality of its construction and assembly. This, however, an aspect which depends on many variables which often cannot be controlled and which does not depend exclusively on the goodness of the technological solutions adopted. In other words, as regards the uniformity of each individual specimen is a story in itself. It should also be considered that uniformity of the white/gray and uniformity of the black are two aspects that are in no way related to each other: the same physical characteristics and assembly can have completely different effects on the two parameters.

Huawei MateBook X Review

Brightness 100%

The uniformity of brightness was measured by placing the probe in nine different areas of the screen and changing the brightness of the panel at 50%, 67%, 83% and 100% intensity. In all four cases, the areas with the greatest intensity are the lower central and the upper right corner. We also observe that increasing the brightness we have no variations whatsoever in the behavior of the panel.

The value of Delta E is the distance between two points in the Lab color space and gives a good indication to see how a color reproduced on the screen is true to the color defined by the source. It ‘good to keep in mind, in this regard, that a value of Delta E between 0 and 1 represents a deviation practically not perceptible to the naked eye and for some particular colors the human eye is not capable of perceiving changes in Delta E up to 3.

Huawei MateBook X Review

The results on the color fidelity tell good behavior of the panel. When these changes are able to keep within a maximum Delta E 2; in only three cases we have values that go even up to Delta E 6. Find the absolute accuracy might not like this panel, which still proves absolutely suitable for professional applications where perfection is not an indispensable element.

In summary: a nice Ultrabook

Huawei Matebook X is now available at a retail with Intel Core i5-7200U CPU, 8GB of system memory and 256GB of SSD, between €1,299.00($1535) and €1,399.00($1653), depending on the deals available online. It is an important figure in absolute, aligned with that of ultra-thin notebooks with technical features similar to those implemented by Huawei.

The comparison with Apple MacBook solutions, by virtue of aesthetic similarity, is quite natural: in this case, the price is much more content because Apple requires € 1669.00($1970) for a model with Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of system memory and 256GB of storage via SSD. Huawei MateBook X with an Apple MacBook system that is beyond the similarities in terms of design is the choice of the operating system to use driving towards an Apple proposal or contact one of the notebooks with the Windows 10 operating system present on the market. In a very similar way to what happens in the world of smartphones between Android and iOS is the choice of the operating system that precedes that of the device that will be purchased,

Huawei MateBook X Review

Huawei MateBook X impresses undoubtedly with very nice design in an elegant product, which manages to be compact and easy to transport but at the same time practical to use every day. The very low-thickness enabled the integration of two USB Type-C ports on either side, as we have seen in many other models recently introduced in the market trading. The bundled presence of a Type-C USB hub facilitates the connection of other devices as well as an extra screen, but there is no memory card reader so that must be purchased separately.

The passive cooling system works very well: we were afraid that the case could reach very high temperatures, preventing work with the notebook on your lap, but it is not. The clock frequency is adjusted downward to maintain the temperature within acceptable values. Something is lost in terms of performance, especially when the processing time is extended over a long time, but the operation remains completely silent.

The hardware chosen in general, provides more than adequate performance for both personal and productivity activities such as entertainment; this is not the notebook to be used as a reference in the rendering or editing of video streams, but usually MateBook X defends itself in every sphere, standing out of use when you want to have a stylish business tool, compact and always ready to use.

Also Read: Huawei announced EnVizion 360, a camera to take 360 pictures from Mobile

This ultra-thin notebook, but we can also talk about Ultrabook as the product is gradually coming out of the scene, reveals a valid workmate for those looking for a product with good power, able to work far from the outlet for a long time and that stands for aesthetics cured and refined materials. So much appearance, then, that covers as much substance.

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