We can only salute Huawei’s efforts for its care for its computer. We have nothing to complain about the quality of the finishes or this blue that has changed from the classic metallic gray. Magnesium’s matte finish ultimately holds relatively few fingerprints, unlike many dark PCs. There are still very thin borders on the screen, which is quite noticeable and increases the fill rate to 91%; one of the best on the market.
An original touchpad
The keys on the keyboard are slightly raised and typing is pleasant. The backlight can be adjusted in 3 levels otherwise, but above all it is the “Free Touch” touchpad that benefits from many new features. Huawei has indeed assigned a bunch of features to it: it lets you swipe on its left edge, increase the brightness, increase the volume on the right, and browse a video at the top. The haptic feedback simulating a gear wheel as the finger performs these movements is quite impressive – these classic functions remain available on the keyboard’s F1 to F6 keys. Double-tapping with a knuckle produces an otherwise very practical screenshot; and doing this with two knuckles starts video recording of the screen. Finally, pressing the upper left corner minimizes the active window; doing the same on the right will turn it off. In the end, some of these shortcuts (like screen capture or window management) are interesting even if they aren’t very important. First of all, it will be necessary to get used to using them instead of going through the keyboard or mouse pointer.
The on/off button is equipped with a fingerprint sensor and the webcam also offers fast unlocking via Windows Hello. It’s no longer on the keyboard – finally! —, but only shoots movies in 720p; this is really disappointing for a high-end laptop, especially as Huawei promotes video conferencing with the presence of 4 microphones and new speakers. The image is noisy in good lighting conditions and even in the shade.
On the connector side, there are two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports on the left and 2 USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports on the right. This of course allows you to connect many peripherals, but only in USB-C. Fortunately, the manufacturer provides a USB-A adapter, but we opted for the 2021 MateDock, which specifically offers an HDMI port. Wireless connectivity is provided via Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2.
You have to remove 8 screws to access the components, but Huawei didn’t make it easy: 6 are Torx screws and 2 are Phillips screws hidden under rubber feet that are firmly glued to the bottom of the case. Then disassembling the frame is not so easy. Once this is done, the M.2 SSD or battery can be replaced if necessary by soldering the RAM.
Despite its thinness, the PC does not get too hot. So we recorded a temperature peak of 41°C in the center of the keyboard. For noise, ventilation in office automation never starts, but demanding software allows it to reach 34 dB, which is audible but highly controlled.
The limited TDP Intel Core i7-1165G7 that equips the 2021 MateBook X Pro is here switching to the 12-core (4 performance cores and 8 efficient cores) Core i7-1260P running at a maximum of 4.7GHz in turbo mode. Its thermal envelope goes up to 28 W and is now accompanied by 16GB of DDR5 RAM, but still a 1TB SSD.
This Core i7-1260P did very well in our synthetic and application tests. With a CPU rating of 124, it was found to be faster than most other computers tested and equipped with a Core i7-1280P or MacBook Pro M2 equivalent processor. The Zenbook S13 easily outstrips Oledd’Asus’ MacBook Air M2 and Ryzen 7 6800U and can tackle any challenge.
Note that here we have activated the Performance mode thanks to the “Fn + P” combination. On other PCs of the brand we have not seen a big difference before when this mode is enabled, but this time the gain is noticeable in certain applications, offering around 14% more performance overall! However, this mode only works when the computer is plugged into the mains; keep in mind that AMD and Intel processors are already much less efficient when a computer is running on battery power; Only Apple is successful in this field. If you don’t want to limit the noise produced by the ventilation, we see no reason to disable this function.
You’ll have to limit yourself to less greedy or older games to play because the PC doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card and the integrated Intel Iris Xe isn’t very effective in this area. Finally, the SSD offers decent speeds (3.4GB/s read and 2.6GB/s write), but far from the best models (twice as fast).
Huawei hasn’t overlooked its 14.2-inch touchscreen, which now displays high-resolution (3120 x 2080 pixels), refresh at 90 Hz, and 3:2 format that provides a higher working height. The default monitor setting is fine, but if you want higher color accuracy you need to right click on the desktop and select the hidden sRGB profile in the display manager.
The characteristics of the panel are therefore excellent, with a high maximum brightness (561 cd/m²) and exemplary color accuracy. So the average color temperature is measured at 6600 K and delta E 1.8. The major flaw of touch screens has been fixed here by Huawei thanks to an effective anti-reflective treatment. Its reflectance is therefore only 28.6% so it is very good, but still higher than matte tiles. The screen remains average with a contrast ratio of only 1350:1, but far from Oled panels. Although it has no effect on office automation, its persistence of 23 ms is also high.
Mobility / Autonomy
Light (1.2 kg) and thin (15 mm), the Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 is easy to carry. The 90W block charger is relatively compact and weighs only 237g. Therefore, it allows you to quickly charge the laptop with a USB-C cable.
And this charger is likely to be used quite often. Indeed, during our test of autonomy (video playback on Netflix, brightness at 200 cd / m², headphones plugged in, volume 50% and Bluetooth turned off), Huawei’s laptop lasted only 6 hours and 32 minutes. This is probably due to the 60 Wh battery only, and the high resolution of the screen, which also runs at a 90 Hz refresh rate. Still, the result is disappointing, especially for a high-end model. So, not to mention the MacBook Air and Pro M1 and M2 (more than 13 hours), it lags far behind its most efficient competitors, exceeding 10 hours of autonomy.