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

Huawei’s difficulties in the smartphone business have gained a whole lot of notice, making it quick to overlook the firm’s laptops. Previous 12 months I uncovered the MateBook X Professional (2020) very attractive in spite of a couple of niggly annoyances. The MateBook X Professional 2021 is expensive at £1,599.ninety nine, but the eleventh technology Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 1TB SSD could be enough to justify that. But what else does this sophisticated thirteen.nine-inch notebook have in shop? 

There is just one MateBook X Professional 2021 design, and it truly is meant to be a a lot more than proficient all-rounder, from the chassis structure to the internal elements. And there really is a whole lot of goodness here. 


The 2021 MateBook X Professional runs on an eleventh-technology Core i7 processor with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. Its thirteen.nine-inch display is vivid (450 nits) and sharp (3000 x 2000 pixels).

Images: Huawei

The MateBook X Professional 2021 is out there in two colors, and I was marginally disappointed to be sent the House Gray variation to critique. It appears modern enough in a MacBook Professional type of way, the chassis is tricky, and the extended divot reduce into the centre of the bottom section helps make it quick to carry the lid one-handed. But the different color, Emerald Environmentally friendly, would have created a alter on the critique bench, and I suspect it would be some thing of an eye-catcher out in the genuine environment. 

While the major color is matte, there are vivid, shiny silver bezels all-around the base and lid which increase a small panache. On the underside, 4 reasonably perfectly sized circular toes support to anchor the MateBook X Professional 2021 to a desk or desk. 

The MateBook X Professional 2021 homes a thirteen.nine-inch monitor in a chassis that is deceptively tiny and gratifyingly lightweight, though it truly is worth noting that not a millimetre or a gram have been shaved off very last year’s dimensions of 304mm huge by 217mm tall by fourteen.6mm thick and one.33kg. In the same way, the speaker grilles flanking the keyboard and the circular electric power button in the prime suitable corner of the keyboard, which incorporates a fingerprint sensor, are also unchanged. 

The monitor is yet another spot that is seen small alter. It can be the exact three,000-by-2,000, contact-responsive LTPS panel as ahead of, with minimum bezels resulting in a ninety one% monitor-to-body ratio. The three:2 factor ratio really will come into its personal when you might be performing on documents and substantial spreadsheets, though you can expect some letterboxing when observing online video. The ambient gentle sensor that I uncovered annoying very last time spherical appears to be fixed, adjusting monitor brightness perfectly. Viewing angles are fantastic, and for these that do a whole lot of monitor capturing, the means to sweep a few fingers down the monitor to consider a screenshot could show valuable.  

Major ZDNET Assessments

A fantastic display like this deserves fantastic speakers. There are 4 here, throwing audio out from the sides of the keyboard. Most volume isn’t all that substantial, but there is no distortion when it truly is maxed out. Still, bass tones are not as sturdy as they ought to be, which is a small disappointing. 

If you use a Huawei telephone (some products), you can consider gain of Huawei Share to generate a relationship in between the handset and the MateBook X Professional. Make a website link and the phone’s monitor can be seen on the notebook, from wherever it can be managed. You can share documents in between the two units as perfectly. 


As in the 2020 design, the webcam is embedded in the keyboard, popping up completely ready for use when you press the digicam vital. This placement helps make for an unflattering digicam angle on online video calls.

Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The tiny prime monitor bezel usually means that, just as with very last year’s design, there is no space for the webcam in its traditional site. So the MateBook X Professional 2021 reprises the arrangement used in its predecessor, housing it in the centre of the Fn vital row: press down on the vital marked with a digicam icon, and the webcam pops up completely ready to use. Though this usually means there is no want for a privacy go over, the viewing angle is awful: no-one wants or deserves the up-the-nose see it presents. Having spent several hours in the very last 12 months on online video calls for work, family members and enjoyable I can say that an external webcam would be a ought to-have for me if this had been my every day notebook.  


The keyboard, flanked by speaker grilles, provides an great typing system.

Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The keyboard is extremely rewarding to use. Springy, perfectly-spaced keys behave as if they want to be tapped, and there is almost no aural opinions, making this an ideal notebook for performing in peaceful spaces. All the keys are substantial, with the arrow and Fn keys benefitting as perfectly as the QWERTY array. I uncovered it quick to achieve my full contact typing velocity, and there is a two-stage backlight for performing in minimal gentle circumstances. The touchpad is great and you can quickly sweep the cursor across the monitor in one one motion. I had no difficulties with gestures, and the complete navigation working experience was clean and hassle-free of charge. 

The MateBook X Professional 2021 runs on Windows 10 Property and will come in just one specification, driven by an eleventh generation Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor with integrated Iris X graphics, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. It can be good to see these types of a substantial total of storage provided by default. 

There’s only a minimum collection of on-board ports: two USB-C, one USB three.2 and a three.5mm audio jack. The USB-C ports do not list Thunderbolt guidance in the on the net requirements, though it truly is said that they guidance two 4K screens at 60Hz and can take care of information throughput up to 40Gbps, which is bang on for Thunderbolt three. 

Huawei prices the MateBook X Professional 2021’s 56Wh battery as fantastic for 10 hours of area online video playback, whilst very last year’s design was quoted at thirteen hours with the exact battery capability. In my battery rundown exam, which includes a mix of doc generation, online video and songs streaming, the MateBook X Professional 2021 battery went from full to fifty six% in a few hours (~7h battery lifestyle), as opposed to sixty six% very last 12 months (~9h battery lifestyle). A day’s work was achievable with the 2020 MateBook X Professional, but I am not so sure about that with this year’s design. 



Picture: Huawei

Huawei’s MateBook X Professional 2021 appears extremely identical to its predecessor, with the eleventh-technology Core i7 CPU remaining the main update. In some ways that is beautifully satisfactory: develop good quality, monitor and keyboard had been all good in very last year’s design, and continue being so. 

On the other hand, the speakers continue to go away some thing to be preferred, which is a lot more obvious when the monitor is so fantastic. This is not the main failing, although: battery lifestyle appears to have obtained worse given that very last 12 months, and that keyboard-embedded webcam really requires a rethink. Lack of bezel area does generate an concern here, but the unflattering digicam angle is no lengthier satisfactory (if it at any time was) in this period of common online video communication. 

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