Specifications of the Huawei Matebook X Pro (2022):
operating system: windows 11
CPU: Intel Core i7 1260P
Graphics: Intel IrisXe
RAM: 16GB LPDDR5
Screen: 14.2 inches, 3120 x 2080, 10-point touch
Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD
Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 4, 2x USB-C
Size: 310mm x 221mm x 15.6mm
Slim and light. Powerful. Cheap. Choose two. The Huawei MateBook X Pro (2022) is not a cheap laptop, but it ticks the other two boxes admirably.
Note that there was an earlier version of the 2022 X Pro with an 11th generation CPU that never made it to the UK. This is not that: it has a newer 12th generation CPU. Having the latest tech inside is matched by a sleek and modern external look, the only ports are USB-C (two Thunderbolt 4, two single USB), there’s a high-res touchscreen, and the battery lasts for ages. It seems like a safe bet for our list of the best laptops for Photoshop. (opens in a new tab)and it may well be one of the best Windows laptops we’ve seen (opens in a new tab).
As described in our guide on how we test (opens in a new tab) our laptops, we made sure the MateBook X Pro was updated to the latest version of Windows 11, then ran benchmarks while it was fresh. We used the laptop as our daily driver for a few days, putting it through a lot of multi-tab web browsing, image editing, word processing, and whatever else we needed to do. It spent much of its time connected to an external 4K monitor and with a wireless keyboard and mouse connected via a USB-C adapter, but it also saw portable use as a media player.
Huawei MateBook X Pro review: Design and display
Laptops used to be black, then they became shades of gray or silver. This one is blue, ‘Ink Blue’, and we like it. The case is compact, slim and not too cold to the touch. The screen is taller than we’re used to, taking on the 4:3 aspect ratio of an old TV before the 16:9 widescreen revolution swept everything away. Maybe we should start calling this ‘big screen’? It’s a touchscreen and has an unusual not-quite-4K resolution of 3120 x 2080, for a pixel density of 264ppi, the same as many iPads and more than the 224ppi of a Retina MacBook Air. It’s also pretty bright, rated at 550 nit in a world where many laptops only manage 300.
Two surprisingly good speakers sit on either side of the keyboard, and the trackpad is central and large, sliding out from the bottom edge of the chassis like an infinity pool for your fingers. On top of that is the excellent display, it’s so nice to look at it’s almost a shame to use an external monitor, with its thin bezels, 90Hz max refresh rate, 10-bit color capabilities and 178° viewing angle thanks to its LTPS-TFT technology. The color gamut reference is P3, a good choice for video work and a reasonable all-rounder as it contains all sRGB and a lot of Adobe RGB as well.
Huawei MateBook X Pro review: Features
The MateBook X Pro doesn’t have unusual features like a pasta maker accessory or quantum computing capabilities, but what it does have is well-organized. The screen is an obvious place to start, the ten-point touch sensitivity makes you wish you could flip it over and use it as a two-in-one. Sadly, it doesn’t even go to bed, but the screen is still useful for closing windows or switching between apps with one finger. More useful is the touchpad, which is pressure-sensitive and supports gestures like dragging the edge to alter the volume or double-tapping to take a screenshot.
The webcam is in the right place at the top of the screen, unlike old Matebooks that hid it under a smart pop-up key in the function row so it could film your nose, and it supports Windows Hello for facial recognition logins. It’s only 720p though, which is a bit disappointing in 2022. The USB-C ports are discreetly located on the sides and are joined by a headphone jack; you’ll need an adapter to plug in anything else, including HDMI/Displayport cables or legacy USB-A devices. You can charge the laptop through any of the ports (except the headphone port), and aside from the silver Huawei logo on the lid, there’s nothing else to break the smooth lines of the chassis.
The keyboard is a full-size chiclet model with 1.5mm key travel and a power switch on the top right that doubles as a fingerprint reader. It’s necessarily limited by the side speakers and case size, but we found it to be decent for typing, with no sticky keys, and the amount of travel is adequate.
Speaking of speakers, there are six of them somehow crammed into the laptop, along with four microphones. It’s a great setup for video calls and performs acceptably in Netflix sessions, though you’ll still want a good pair of Bluetooth cans for the best experience when you’re on a train.
Huawei MateBook X Pro review: Performance
Multicore CPU: 6149
Simple core: 1510
Geek Bench 5
Multicore CPU: 6460
Simple core: 1658
It’s a fast machine, and the benchmark results bear that out, as it’s right where you’d expect to find an i7 laptop chip. It’s still outclassed by the four-year-old 16-core AMD workstation we keep under the desk to act as a heater in the winter, but we can’t take that machine to the coffee shop. Having plenty of RAM helps, and here it’s arranged in a quad-channel arrangement that should push it even further, though despite being DDR5 it appears to be running at just 2400MHz. Still, this doesn’t exactly slow down, as we found that opening apps and documents is an agile process.
At the center is Intel’s new 12th Gen (Alder Lake) i7 Evo platform, shaking up the status quo of having multiple hot processor cores chewing up multiple software threads by housing performance (P) and efficiency cores (AND). The P cores, of which there are four, can handle heavy workloads, while the E cores, eight of them, run background processes and do lighter work but use much less power. Those 12 cores can process 16 threads simultaneously, since the P cores are hyperthreads but the E cores are not.
The MateBook X Pro doesn’t come with a dedicated graphics chip, but the GPU built into the CPU is quite reasonable, giving Photoshop and Lightroom an extra boost. There’s also built-in AI acceleration hardware, powering the next generation of neural network-based image resizing and noise reduction applications, while Intel’s Quick Sync core simplifies video transcoding. It wasn’t really intended for gamers, but I’ll certainly play less demanding titles, Stardew Valley or Return to Monkey Island, well.
Huawei MateBook X Pro review: Price
With an RRP of £1799 in the UK, the Matebook X Pro’s main drawback is its price. For the same amount of money, you can get a 13-inch MacBook Pro M2 with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. From Lenovo you can get a 13-inch Yoga Slim with a 12th-gen i7, 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD for £999 (opens in a new tab). From Dell, you can get an Inspiron 16, with a 16-inch display, 12th-gen CPU, 8GB RAM and 512GB storage, for £862 (opens in a new tab). Stick with Dell and spec an XPS 13 with specs that closely match the MateBook X Pro, and you’ll get £1,379.
The MateBook X Pro is a really nice laptop, and Windows 11 is turning out to be a great operating system after a shaky start, but this is a competitive sector of the market. Things like its 3.1K touchscreen display and the extra storage capacity provided by the 1TB SSD certainly help it stand out, but with easy access to external monitors and fast USB storage, are these really the USPs they seem?
Should you buy the Huawei MateBook X Pro?
You should definitely think about it. If you’re looking for something that can cut through creative work and content creation, then the MateBook X Pro stands out against the MacBook Pro and Dell XPS as an industry giant. Its price could be an issue, but considering what you’re getting and how easy the laptop is to live with, we suspect many will decide between this and a MacBook, and side with Huawei.