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Huawei MateBook X Pro 2021 review: Still an elegant ultraportable, but issues remain Review

Huawei’s difficulties in the smartphone business have obtained a ton of focus, creating it straightforward to forget about the company’s laptops. Very last 12 months I observed the MateBook X Pro (2020) very interesting irrespective of a couple of niggly annoyances. The MateBook X Pro 2021 is expensive at £1,599.99, but the 11th technology Intel Main i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 1TB SSD may be more than enough to justify that. But what else does this classy 13.nine-inch laptop computer have in retailer? 

There is just one particular MateBook X Pro 2021 design, and it can be intended to be a far more than qualified all-rounder, from the chassis layout to the inside elements. And there truly is a ton of goodness here. 


The 2021 MateBook X Pro runs on an 11th-technology Main i7 processor with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. Its 13.nine-inch exhibit is bright (450 nits) and sharp (3000 x 2000 pixels).

Photos: Huawei

The MateBook X Pro 2021 is readily available in two colours, and I was slightly upset to be despatched the Place Grey model to overview. It appears to be sleek more than enough in a MacBook Pro form of way, the chassis is difficult, and the long divot slice into the centre of the base portion helps make it straightforward to elevate the lid one particular-handed. But the alternate colour, Emerald Eco-friendly, would have designed a modify on the overview bench, and I suspect it would be anything of an eye-catcher out in the genuine environment. 

Whilst the key colour is matte, there are bright, shiny silver bezels all around the foundation and lid which insert a minor panache. On the underside, 4 reasonably perfectly sized round ft help to anchor the MateBook X Pro 2021 to a desk or table. 

The MateBook X Pro 2021 residences a 13.nine-inch display screen in a chassis that is deceptively compact and gratifyingly light-weight, even though it can be value noting that not a millimetre or a gram have been shaved off very last year’s proportions of 304mm huge by 217mm tall by fourteen.6mm thick and 1.33kg. Equally, the speaker grilles flanking the keyboard and the round power button in the prime right corner of the keyboard, which incorporates a fingerprint sensor, are also unchanged. 

The display screen is yet another space that is seen minor modify. It truly is the very same 3,000-by-2,000, touch-responsive LTPS panel as in advance of, with small bezels resulting in a 91% display screen-to-entire body ratio. The 3:2 facet ratio truly will come into its have when you might be working on documents and large spreadsheets, even though you can hope some letterboxing when watching video. The ambient light-weight sensor that I observed irritating very last time spherical would seem to be set, altering display screen brightness perfectly. Viewing angles are good, and for these that do a ton of display screen capturing, the potential to sweep a few fingers down the display screen to choose a screenshot may verify beneficial.  

Top rated ZDNET Opinions

A good exhibit like this deserves good speakers. There are 4 here, throwing sound out from the sides of the keyboard. Utmost volume just isn’t all that higher, but there is no distortion when it can be maxed out. Continue to, bass tones are not as sturdy as they must be, which is a minor disappointing. 

If you use a Huawei mobile phone (some styles), you can choose gain of Huawei Share to develop a relationship among the handset and the MateBook X Pro. Make a url and the phone’s display screen can be seen on the laptop computer, from the place it can be managed. You can share information among the two gadgets as perfectly. 


As in the 2020 design, the webcam is embedded in the keyboard, popping up ready for use when you push the digital camera important. This placement helps make for an unflattering digital camera angle on video phone calls.

Impression: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The small prime display screen bezel means that, just as with very last year’s design, there is no place for the webcam in its common locale. So the MateBook X Pro 2021 reprises the arrangement used in its predecessor, housing it in the centre of the Fn important row: push down on the important marked with a digital camera icon, and the webcam pops up ready to use. Despite the fact that this means there is no have to have for a privacy protect, the viewing angle is terrible: no-one particular wishes or deserves the up-the-nose view it presents. Owning used numerous several hours in the very last 12 months on video phone calls for get the job done, household and entertaining I can say that an external webcam would be a need to-have for me if this ended up my day-to-day laptop computer.  


The keyboard, flanked by speaker grilles, provides an great typing system.

Impression: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The keyboard is very satisfying to use. Springy, perfectly-spaced keys behave as if they want to be tapped, and there is almost no aural feedback, creating this an best laptop computer for working in quiet areas. All the keys are large, with the arrow and Fn keys benefitting as perfectly as the QWERTY array. I observed it straightforward to achieve my comprehensive touch typing pace, and there is a two-phase backlight for working in low light-weight conditions. The touchpad is great and you can effortlessly sweep the cursor across the display screen in one particular solitary motion. I experienced no difficulties with gestures, and the complete navigation encounter was smooth and issues-totally free. 

The MateBook X Pro 2021 runs on Windows ten Household and will come in just one particular specification, driven by an 11th generation Intel Main i7-1165G7 processor with integrated Iris X graphics, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. It truly is terrific to see these a large amount of money of storage delivered by default. 

You will find only a small range of on-board ports: two USB-C, one particular USB 3.2 and a 3.5mm audio jack. The USB-C ports don’t checklist Thunderbolt support in the on-line specifications, even though it can be mentioned that they support two 4K monitors at 60Hz and can manage information throughput up to 40Gbps, which is bang on for Thunderbolt 3. 

Huawei rates the MateBook X Pro 2021’s 56Wh battery as good for ten several hours of community video playback, whilst very last year’s design was quoted at 13 several hours with the very same battery potential. In my battery rundown exam, which will involve a blend of doc creation, video and new music streaming, the MateBook X Pro 2021 battery went from comprehensive to 56% in a few several hours (~7h battery everyday living), compared to sixty six% very last 12 months (~9h battery everyday living). A day’s get the job done was achievable with the 2020 MateBook X Pro, but I am not so sure about that with this year’s design. 



Impression: Huawei

Huawei’s MateBook X Pro 2021 appears to be very equivalent to its predecessor, with the 11th-technology Main i7 CPU staying the most important up grade. In some means that is flawlessly suitable: make top quality, display screen and keyboard ended up all terrific in very last year’s design, and stay so. 

Nonetheless, the speakers even now go away anything to be preferred, which is far more recognizable when the display screen is so good. This is not the most important failing, though: battery everyday living would seem to have acquired even worse considering that very last 12 months, and that keyboard-embedded webcam truly requirements a rethink. Lack of bezel area does develop an problem here, but the unflattering digital camera angle is no extended suitable (if it at any time was) in this era of prevalent video interaction. 

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