More and more users perceive Huawei as a manufacturer of quality smartphones, the company is among the top three in terms of global sales and is becoming more recognizable to the average consumer. To achieve similar results it took more than one year. And what about the notebook market? We remember that at one time they produced both Samsung and LG, but they did not achieve outstanding results. Huawei also decided to try their hand. If in 2016 they limited themselves to the release of a tablet with a Matebook keyboard, in 2017 they introduced both the new Matebook E, and several classic laptops (Matebook X, D, B200). Let’s evaluate the chances of success of such undertakings on the example of the flagship Matebook X.
Huawei likes to pack its flagships beautifully and the Matebook X is no exception. The laptop is supplied in a white box, together with the power supply, type-C cable, adapter and documentation. On the one hand, there is a standard minimum-sufficient set to which a case can be added, on the other hand, for some companies, even an adapter is not a required accessory.
The complete MateDock 2 is equipped with one more Type port -C, VGA and HDMI video outputs, and USB 3.0 Type-A.
The Huawei Matebook X can be called an ultraportable fashion notebook. It has a metal case that weighs just over a kilogram and measures less than A4 paper when the screen diagonal is 13 inches. The thickness is only 12.5 mm, a passive cooling system is used.
It sounds tempting. When talking about these models, the first thing that comes to mind is the 12-inch MacBook. Moreover, many people try to copy the design of Apple and Matebook X notebooks, it seems, has common features, but in general it can not be called a copy – at the level of perception of design, such associations simply do not appear.
The case looks quite simple and laconic – matte metal, a logo on the lid, a simple form, a keypad painted in the main color. But due to the minimal dimensions and thin screen frames the device got some kind of charm.
At the same time the manufacturer did not go to different tricks. The webcam is located above the display, the base of the case is thin, so there was only space for two USB Type-C and a headphone jack – this is not the most successful solution, but everywhere.
It seems that everything is done in the mind, there is even a special one groove under the touchpad for more convenient opening of the cover, which in most cases can be done with one hand – the stiffness of the hinge is chosen successfully.
The total model is available in three colors: gray, gold and pink, but in Ukraine, only Matebook X gray colors, at least at first.
Summing up the subtotal, we can say that from the point of view of external performance the laptop turned out to be very calm and qualitative. However, remembering the case of Huawei smartphones, you understand that there is nothing surprising in this.
Ergonomics: keyboard, touchpad and scanner
The ease of use of the Matebook X is at a good level. First, the laptop seems too small, light, thin, but in use you realize that the difference with other 13-14 inch models is not so great.
The keyboard has normal dimensions, the touchpad is average, and the screen with a 3: 2 aspect ratio comparable in height to the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro, so that it contains enough information, it is quite convenient to work with.
Now a little more detail about each of the elements. The keyboard is represented by island-type keys with a fairly short stroke – it is smaller than the abstract modern laptop, which requires minimal addiction. There is a backlight with two levels of brightness.
The function keys have a reduced height, but are quite convenient to use, but the block of arrows is not the most comfortable – “up” and “down” are small and assembled together, which makes them unsuitable for navigation . We did not have any other comments. It’s nice that the modifier Fn, Capslock and F7 (mute) are equipped with separate indicators.
The touchpad has average dimensions. It is convenient for navigation, it perfectly fulfills multi-touch gestures of Windows 10, but in our sample simple pressures were not always processed from the first time – sometimes you had to explicitly “tap” to select a particular file or place the cursor in the right place.
How Normally, such nuances can be easily corrected with the help of updates or just changing habits, but a hard enough click of the built-in keys will not help. In this case, the global touchpad can not be called bad – it is comparable with other laptops and I worked for Matebook X for more than one day without wanting to connect a mouse.
Separately I want to note the fingerprint scanner. It is combined with a mechanical power button and is located above the main key block.
The scanner itself can be called simply the best solution among the Windows-devices that we tested recently – its speed and accuracy of operation should be compared with smartphones, and not with notebooks.
The Matebook X is equipped with an IPS display with a diagonal of 13 inches at a resolution of 2160 by 1440 pixels (Chi Mei CMN8201). The matrix is covered with a protective glass Corning Gorilla Glass (glossy). Aspect ratio of the display is 3: 2, not 16: 9, like most Windows-based laptops or 16:10 in a MacBook. This allows you to comfortably use the device for surfing or working with documents, but when viewing the video from below and from above, black bars appear.
Also note the screen resolution, which forms an image with a density of 200 ppi points – it’s high, both for laptops , index. In general, six months ago I tried to avoid laptops with higher resolution screens than Full HD, but it seems that Microsoft worked on rendering old applications and now the menu items in them do not look very small, it’s more comfortable to use devices with such displays.
viewpoints of color reproduction screen Matebook X deserves high praise. The brightness of the screen varies from 5.5 to 349 cd / m², the measured contrast is 1 to 1300, the color coverage exceeds the space sRGB. For most of the parameters, we were fully in line with the manufacturer’s promises, and the measured contrast was even higher.
Of course, you can criticize not the most linear gamma curve, but in fact the screen in front of us is an excellent display. The image is smooth, the colors are saturated, the viewing angles are maximum. There is no air gap between the glass and the matrix, so the glossy screen does not shine very much. Once again, praise the company for the breadth of color coverage – most laptops with IPS matrices display fewer shades.
Most ultrabooks continue to receive an active cooling system, and the number of solutions with passive CO can be counted on the fingers. Matebook X is one of them. The laptop can be equipped with Intel Core i5-7200U or i7-7500U processors – a solution of the last generation is used, because at the time of announcement new Intel chips have not been announced yet. The drives are SSD 256 or 512 GB, the amount of LPDDR3 memory is 4 or 8 GB.
Looking at the last parameters I want to say “not enough,” especially with an eye for the device’s image and the fact that X occupies the highest position in the company’s lineup . Probably, the manufacturer knows better what devices it will be in demand.
Matebook X of gray color, with the Ukrainian keyboard in the following configurations will be delivered to Ukraine:
- Intel Core i5-7200U, 4 GB DDR4, 256GB SSD
- Intel Core i5-7200U, 8GB DDR4, 256GB SSD
- Intel Core i7-7200U, 8GB DDR4, 512GB SSD
It seems to me that it’s worth to look on the average or top configuration – the younger one will quickly feel the lack of RAM, and 8 GB of memory does not look like a huge volume at the end of 2017. Probably, it’s not worth mentioning that the memory is soldered on the motherboard and only the drive will be replaced.
We tested the version on the 7th generation Core i5, with 8 GB of DDR3 and 256 GB of SSD. In general, the performance of the Matebook X did not raise any claims. SSD is fast, everything works quite stably and is comparable to other ultrabooks. Simply put, it’s a comfortable device for solving typical problems, especially if they consist of browsing, working with documents, simple photo processing and communication in instant messengers.
Another issue is heating. Intel Core i5-7200U is made according to the process technology of 14 nm, the claimed thermopacket is 15 W. The figure is not too large, and for cooling four heat pipes are used, which dissipate heat through the bottom. They do an excellent job of their work – even with a constant load, when both cores operate at a frequency of 3 GHz, there is no overheating or throttling.
The processor warms up to 77 degrees. The bottom becomes noticeably warm, it’s easy to feel the heating of the sub-area, although the Matebook X does not get hot in this mode. During normal operation, the upper part is almost not heated, and the bottom cover is just warm. Now it seems even pleasant – you can slightly warm your feet if you work with a laptop on your lap, but in the summer with a little heating you just have to accept it. But the laptop works absolutely quietly.
Matebook X cost a small amount of proprietary software. The main application is Matebook Manager. The program allows you to update the driver, get a little more information about power consumption, create a backup and so on.
There is also a Dolby application for adjusting the sound of the built-in speakers and a utility that allows you to adjust the color temperature of the display and turn on the eye protection mode.
Sound  Built-in speakers with Dolby Atmos branding are just above the keyboard – the sound is always directed at the user and does not depend on what surface the laptop is on, which positively affects its quality
Taking into account the thickness of the laptop, the dynamics can be called qualitative – they are played cleanly, in most cases even half the volume level is enough to watch the video and background music, and even a hint of volumetric sound appears even when the volume is increased.
The built-in battery has a power of 41.4 Wh (5449 mAh, 7.6 V). The manufacturer does not name the specific operating time of the model, but specifies that, depending on the mode of use, it may differ. In our case, with a screen brightness of about 100 cd / m², the device worked in the “office” benchmark PC Mark 8 for 5 hours and 20 minutes – given the display resolution and battery capacity, this is a good result.
In a typical office usage mode average screen brightness, we received about 8 hours of operation on one battery charge. You can also note the brand-name power supply for 40 watts. It is made in telephone format and equipped with a thin removable Type-C-Type-C cable 1.7 m long
A compact solution is obtained that can always be carried with you, used not only with a laptop, but also for charging smartphones with Type-C in fast mode.
The only controversial issue is that only the connector on the left side is for charging. When connecting the PSU to the right connector, a corresponding warning is displayed. Charging is also possible via an adapter with additional connectors.
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