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

Huawei’s issues in the smartphone company have acquired a ton of interest, producing it simple to ignore the company’s laptops. Last year I located the MateBook X Professional (2020) very appealing regardless of a couple of niggly annoyances. The MateBook X Professional 2021 is highly-priced at £1,599.99, but the 11th generation Intel Main i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 1TB SSD may be ample to justify that. But what else does this classy thirteen.nine-inch laptop have in retailer? 

There is just a person MateBook X Professional 2021 design, and it’s meant to be a additional than proficient all-rounder, from the chassis design to the interior parts. And there really is a ton of goodness here. 


The 2021 MateBook X Professional runs on an 11th-generation Main i7 processor with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. Its thirteen.nine-inch show is shiny (450 nits) and sharp (3000 x 2000 pixels).

Visuals: Huawei

The MateBook X Professional 2021 is accessible in two colours, and I was somewhat disappointed to be despatched the Area Gray model to review. It appears modern ample in a MacBook Professional sort of way, the chassis is difficult, and the lengthy divot slice into the centre of the bottom portion makes it simple to elevate the lid a person-handed. But the choice colour, Emerald Eco-friendly, would have produced a alter on the review bench, and I suspect it would be something of an eye-catcher out in the real planet. 

Although the main colour is matte, there are shiny, shiny silver bezels all over the foundation and lid which increase a minor panache. On the underside, four reasonably perfectly sized round toes aid to anchor the MateBook X Professional 2021 to a desk or table. 

The MateBook X Professional 2021 homes a thirteen.nine-inch display in a chassis that’s deceptively smaller and gratifyingly lightweight, whilst it’s well worth noting that not a millimetre or a gram have been shaved off past year’s proportions of 304mm wide by 217mm tall by fourteen.6mm thick and 1.33kg. Likewise, the speaker grilles flanking the keyboard and the round energy button in the leading appropriate corner of the keyboard, which incorporates a fingerprint sensor, are also unchanged. 

The display is an additional area that’s found minor alter. It truly is the exact same 3,000-by-two,000, touch-responsive LTPS panel as before, with small bezels ensuing in a ninety one% display-to-human body ratio. The 3:two element ratio really comes into its own when you’re doing work on files and massive spreadsheets, whilst you can anticipate some letterboxing when seeing video clip. The ambient mild sensor that I located irritating past time round would seem to be fixed, modifying display brightness perfectly. Viewing angles are good, and for individuals that do a ton of display capturing, the ability to sweep three fingers down the display to acquire a screenshot may demonstrate handy.  

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A good show like this warrants good speakers. There are four here, throwing sound out from the sides of the keyboard. Maximum quantity is just not all that substantial, but you will find no distortion when it’s maxed out. Still, bass tones are not as strong as they really should be, which is a minor disappointing. 

If you use a Huawei cellular phone (some versions), you can acquire benefit of Huawei Share to produce a connection involving the handset and the MateBook X Professional. Make a backlink and the phone’s display can be found on the laptop, from exactly where it can be controlled. You can share files involving the two devices as perfectly. 


As in the 2020 design, the webcam is embedded in the keyboard, popping up all set for use when you push the digital camera critical. This placement makes for an unflattering digital camera angle on video clip phone calls.

Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The very small leading display bezel suggests that, just as with past year’s design, you will find no place for the webcam in its standard location. So the MateBook X Professional 2021 reprises the arrangement used in its predecessor, housing it in the centre of the Fn critical row: push down on the critical marked with a digital camera icon, and the webcam pops up all set to use. While this suggests you will find no will need for a privacy deal with, the viewing angle is horrible: no-a person would like or warrants the up-the-nose view it provides. Acquiring put in lots of several hours in the past year on video clip phone calls for work, family members and exciting I can say that an external webcam would be a have to-have for me if this ended up my each day laptop.  


The keyboard, flanked by speaker grilles, delivers an outstanding typing system.

Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The keyboard is really worthwhile to use. Springy, perfectly-spaced keys behave as if they want to be tapped, and you will find nearly no aural feed-back, producing this an great laptop for doing work in peaceful spaces. All the keys are massive, with the arrow and Fn keys benefitting as perfectly as the QWERTY array. I located it simple to accomplish my whole touch typing pace, and you will find a two-stage backlight for doing work in reduced mild ailments. The touchpad is tremendous and you can quickly sweep the cursor throughout the display in a person solitary motion. I had no issues with gestures, and the full navigation working experience was clean and difficulties-free of charge. 

The MateBook X Professional 2021 runs on Home windows 10 Household and comes in just a person specification, driven by an 11th generation Intel Main i7-1165G7 processor with built-in Iris X graphics, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. It truly is fantastic to see these kinds of a massive total of storage supplied by default. 

There is only a small variety of on-board ports: two USB-C, a person USB 3.two and a 3.5mm audio jack. The USB-C ports really don’t record Thunderbolt help in the on the internet requirements, whilst it’s mentioned that they help two 4K displays at 60Hz and can manage facts throughput up to 40Gbps, which is bang on for Thunderbolt 3. 

Huawei charges the MateBook X Professional 2021’s 56Wh battery as good for 10 several hours of regional video clip playback, while past year’s design was quoted at thirteen several hours with the exact same battery capability. In my battery rundown exam, which will involve a mix of doc generation, video clip and music streaming, the MateBook X Professional 2021 battery went from whole to 56% in three several hours (~7h battery life), in comparison to 66% past year (~9h battery life). A day’s work was achievable with the 2020 MateBook X Professional, but I’m not so guaranteed about that with this year’s design. 



Graphic: Huawei

Huawei’s MateBook X Professional 2021 appears really comparable to its predecessor, with the 11th-generation Main i7 CPU staying the primary up grade. In some strategies that’s completely satisfactory: create high quality, display and keyboard ended up all fantastic in past year’s design, and continue being so. 

Nevertheless, the speakers even now depart something to be preferred, which is additional noticeable when the display is so good. This is not the primary failing, even though: battery life would seem to have got worse since past year, and that keyboard-embedded webcam really needs a rethink. Absence of bezel area does produce an issue here, but the unflattering digital camera angle is no for a longer time satisfactory (if it at any time was) in this era of common video clip conversation. 

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