To say that the Huawei MateBook X Pro 2021 is a work of art is almost an understatement. From its narrow bezels on a 13.9 “3: 2, 3K, 450nits / 1500: 1 contrast LTPS display to its beveled edge, Space Gray, CNC aluminum body with four speakers, it’s a fan’s delight. eyes and use.
And that’s a good thing because Huawei is sticking to the MateBook X Pro formula that tempted me so much in 2019 and 2020 – it’s a near-perfect laptop.
Huawei MateBook X Pro 2021 with 11e Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 / 16 GB / 1 TB
|Price||About $ 2800|
|Of||Huawei Authorized Experience stores in Sydney|
|guarantee||12 month ACL if purchased from Huawei Australia and authorized resellers|
|Society||Huawei (pronounced Wah-Wei) is a Chinese multinational technology company headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. It designs, develops and sells telecommunications equipment and consumer electronics.|
|Following||Cybershack Huawei news and reviews|
Huawei and the list of American entities
Huawei may have participated in the wars against 5G in the United States and Australia, but this device is not one of them. This is a Windows 10 Pro (upgradable to Windows 11), Intel i7-1165G7 based primarily on an Intel benchmark design.
But due to some restrictions, it can’t call it an Intel Evo (which it does) or claim Thunderbolt 4 (ditto).
Huawei has a PC Manager application that can automatically update the device. It collects personal information if you allow it. It’s no worse than many brands that want a direct relationship with their users.
While it deserves to make heaps of sales, the lack of physical outlets and Sydney-centric support will likely limit its appeal.
This is a further evolution of the 2019 and 2020 MateBook X Pro, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Because Huawei got it right the first time, the annual update focused on CPU, RAM, and storage.
The key factor to remember here is a 3: 2 aspect ratio, a really nice bright display that’s great for productivity. If you shop around, compare it with Dell XPS 13, Asus ZenBook 13, and Lenovo 82FG. All great laptops, but it’s class leader in a few areas.
Display – bright and precise
This is a 13.9 “3: 2, 3K, 3000 x 2000, 260 ppi, 450 nits / 1500: 1 display, 16.7m colors, 10-point touch, 100% sRGB, 60Hz IPS display The cover opens 150 ° It has a slight gloss on the screen, but it is not very reflective.
This is a Tianma TLX1388 model which differs from the Japan Display Inc model used in the 2019 and 2020 models. Nonetheless, it performs quite well with good uniform colors and brightness.
The test largely confirms the specifications, but it was a bit down on the range
- 95% sRGB (and no adjustment available)
- 67% DCI-P3 films
- 67% AdobeRGB
- Contrast 1520: 1
- Nits – 460 to 502
- 38ms GtG (slow for gamers)
- Pulse width modulation – none
- No stylus support
Processor – throttled
- Intel I7-1165G7 2.8 / 4.7Ghz 10nm 12-28W TPD. Geekbench 5 single / multi-core 1489/4206.
- Intel Iris Xe 96EU Open CL 17690 Vulkan 17941. It will play most 1920 x 1080 games at 18 fps in low to standard quality. It supports four screens.
- The RAM is 16 GB LDDDR4X dual channel 1066Mhz (dual channel soldered)
- The SSD is Samsung PM981a 1TB M2.2280 PCIe 3.0 × 4 NVMe (user upgrade). 3391.74 / 3014.57MB / s Sequential Read / Write – fast and over 2000MB / s for larger files.
- Dual fan cooling (from a single fan is 2020). The noise is between 25 (at idle) and 38 dB (100% load). The temperature under the device reaches 43 ° – hot.
On mains at 100% load, you can hear a slight whine from the fans, but it keeps the CPU temperature around 65 °. On battery, it immediately goes to 80% under charge and the battery life is reduced to approximately 2 hours on the screen.
It looks like Huawei has lowered the overall acceleration threshold compared to other i7-1165G7 devices for thermal management. It is not for 100% charge for extended periods.
Comms – great
- Wi-Fi 6 Intel AX201, VHT 160, 2400Mbps with good solid signal strength of 5Ghz at 10m from the router
- Codec BT 5.1 SBC
- 2 x Thunderbolt 4, 40 Gbit / s (TB4) to the rear USB-C 4.0 (20 Gbit / s) and 3.1 / 2 (5/10 Gbit / s)
- 1 x USB-A 3.2 5V / 1A
- 1 x 3.5mm 4-pole earphone / microphone
We tested with the Plugable Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C Dual Display Dock with 60W host load, but any Intel Titan Ridge based docking station will work. It supports 2 4K @ 60Hz monitors and multiple USB-A and C ports. This still leaves a TB4 port and you can connect another pluggable docking station or USB-C docking station.
Windows 10 Professional
Huawei says it can upgrade to Windows 11, but it is not showing the upgrade message yet. We have run the Windows 11 PC health check, and it is compatible with the hardware.
It supports Windows Hello (Goodix) fingerprint on the power button but not infrared face detection.
Battery – better than a day’s office
It has 56Wh Desay AP16L5J battery. Huawei claims (at 150 nits) 11 hours of web, 10 hours of video and 11 hours of office work. Fast charging gives 4 hours of use in 30 minutes.
The charger is PD 2.0 9V / 2A / 18W, 12V / 2A / 24W, 12V / 3A / 36W, 20V / 3.25A / 65W. It uses 60-65W at around 35% for fast charging and then gradually decreases the wattages to avoid thermal problems. Aside from the initial fast charge, it averaged 40-50W.
- PC Mark Office uses 150 nits: failed
- PC Mark Office uses 350 nits: failed
- Video loop, 150 nits, airplane mode: 8 hours 12 minutes
- 100% Charging Screen On: <3 hours
- 0-100% charge: 2 hours (with 65W PD charger)
Our best estimate is 10 hours for typical use.
The two-pin charger supplied with the exam unit is not RCM C-Tick certified, so it is illegal to use it in Australia. Make sure you have the correct AU certified charger. As the laptop is a DC device, it does not require certification.
Keyboard / trackpad – needs some work
It is backlit, automatic on / off (one level). Unlike the 2020 model with 1.2mm of travel and 60g activation, this one is closer to <1mm and 30g - it's no fun to hit it. Designers need to pay more attention to projection, actuation, haptic and auditory feedback as this is the key to getting information into the PC.
The Fasttouch trackpad measures 12 x 78mm, and it’s smooth and precise. But the lighter touch can mean unintentional clicks. You can adjust this in the app.
Camera / microphone – obsolete
This is the same 720p @ 30fps pop-up camera between F6-7. The video is quite “loud”. Great for privacy but murder on the double chin, aka nose cam. Excellent idea but imperfect execution.
There are two far-field (5m) front-deck mics with noise reduction – up from four (4m) in 2020.
Sound – OK but messy
This is a 2.0 stereo system using four speakers and a single cutoff to handle bass / midrange in one pair and treble in the other. It has a maximum volume of 80dB (good) and good left / right separation.
But the sound is, for lack of a better word, rough. We use a white noise generator to find the native sound signature. There’s a good read here on what that means.
There is no bass, midrange (<100Hz) and very little bass (<200Hz). It means no "punch". The sound starts at 200Hz (low-mid) but is not controlled with peaks and resistances well enough at 10kHz, then drops to 20kHz.
In short, it lacks meaningful and definable “character” – somewhere between a Mid to Bright Vocal sound signature to clear dialogue.
The messy character extends to wired and BT headphones.
The 2019 version had Dolby Audio and sounded great. The 2020 version lost that due to the US entity list, and it has an average signature (although you can load a DynamicIQ app to boost the bass).
As far as we can judge, 2021 uses a standard Realtek (Intel) SST audio system with an overlay of the Nahimic Senary driver and app. This has presets for music, movies, communications, and games, and frankly, we don’t like it.
It cannot increase the native signature but induces false psychoacoustic surround sound. Note that this is currently not compatible with Windows 11. Huawei had better just use the Intel Realtek drivers.
304 x 217 x 14.6 mm x 1.33 g plus magazine. It has a metallic sandblasted “tactile” finish and diamond cut edges – very well done.
You can replace the SSD – it’s easy. The NHWHB4593R1ECW22A56WHB4 battery can be found on merchant sites around $ 100.
Cybershack’s point of view – Huawei MateBook X Pro 2021 desirable, albeit a bit flawed
The Huawei MateBook X Pro 2021 is a very “Applesque” space gray design that appeals to its core market. I’ve coveted one since the 2019 original – call me Shallow Hal.
So on the hardware side, this is a great Windows 10 Pro ultralight laptop with Thunderbolt 4 (sorry, I can’t call it that).
This is a Windows device, so we won’t compare it with Apple MacBook M1 and macOS.
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 with a faster 16/512 GB i7-1185G7 is the closest competitor at around $ 2,000. However, Thunderbolt ports are missing. The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 i7-1185G7 16/512 GB costs $ 2,649 plus a keyboard. It has two Thunderbolt 4 ports.
Then it has to compete with other Intel Evo brand laptops starting at $ 2000.
If Huawei had significant rack and storage space for retailers, it would do well purely on the look side.
Huawei MateBook X Pro 2021
About $ 2800
- Sleek and well done
- 3: 2 3K screen aspect ratio is perfect for productivity
- Correct battery life of 10 hours
- 2 x Thunderbolt ports (don’t call them that)
- Keyboard range is too low and actuation too light
- Processor speeds are approximately 20% slower than comparable i7-1165G7 makes / models
- The webcam is long overdue for an upgrade
- No bass and messy, uncontrolled sound signature.