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Huawei MateBook X Pro 2020 review (hands on)

The refreshed Huawei MateBook X Pro gets new features and a new green color.

Huawei MateBook X Pro review
(Image: © Tom's Guide)

For

  • 10th gen Intel Core CPU
  • Well priced compared to rivals
  • Great integration with other Huawei devices
  • Fantastic bright and colorful 3:2 display

Against

  • Likely no US availability
  • Other Android phones locked out of integration
  • Pop-up webcam within keyboard instead of display bezel

It’s unfortunate that the US government is continuing to have what we’ll politely call a disagreement with Huawei. Because Huawei’s premium laptop, the Huawei MateBook X Pro, is one of the best laptops around, to the point of being considered a genuine MacBook Pro rival by many.

Huawei MateBook X Pro price and release date

The new MateBook X Pro has a starting price of 1499 euros ($1,621/£1,256) for a model with an i5 processor, 16GB RAM and 512GB storage, with a mid-range version sharing the same specs but with an Nvidia MX250 graphics chip costing 1699 euros ($1,838/£1,423) and the top-end model with an i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, a 1TB SSD and the MX250 GPU costing 1999 euros ($2,162/£1,674). This is at least $400 more than the cheapest 13-inch MacBook Pro, but the most expensive MateBook is over $600 less than than the 16-inch model. Plus, the MateBook’s newer CPU and Windows 10 OS will no doubt attract some people over the older processors and MacOS on the MacBooks.

Huawei MateBook X Pro review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Huawei MateBook X Pro design

The latest MateBook X Pro will be familiar to those of you who are already acquainted with this luxury Huawei machine, but there are still a few new surprises to discover in the third edition of the laptop.

Once again, Huawei has bucked convention with its 3,000 x 2,000-pixel 14-inch touch-screen display, that’s also one of the most colorful and bright displays you’ll find on a laptop. The keyboard is pretty much unchanged too, with its strange pop-up nosecam hiding in the middle of the F-keys on the top row. It also stands out with its premium-feeling keys and trackpad.

Performance fans will be glad to hear that Huawei’s offering a 10th generation Intel Core i7 in the new MateBook X Pro (the 10510u to be precise). The first and second iterations of the Huawei MateBook X Pro used 8th Gen chips, so an upgrade is very welcome.

You’ve still got the same combination of USB-C (one of which is a Thunderbolt 3 port for charging the laptop) and USB-A ports around the sides, meaning you can attach the vast majority of USB accessories you might own. The power button is still hiding a fingerprint sensor too, which Huawei claims will let you open up a MateBook and get back to work in about 7 seconds.

Also new is the Emerald Green color option, joining the existing Space Gray and Mystic Silver options. This color comes from the Mate 30 Pro smartphone, and is part of Huawei’s efforts to unify the Mate-titled products as the top-tier choice for every device line. They didn’t have a green MateBook on hand to show off at our pre-briefing, but the images I’ve seen make it look like a simultaneously visually interesting and classy hue for the laptop.

Huawei MateBook X Pro review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Huawei MateBook X Pro software

One of the new software features that Huawei’s particularly proud of is the EMUI Desktop app. If you’re using a Huawei phone (or several Honor devices) that run the latest version of Huawei’s mobile OS, then you can get your phone’s display to appear on the Huawei MateBook Pro X’s display. This will allow you to navigate through your phone’s apps with a mouse, type out text messages with your keyboard, and easily move files between the two devices. It’s unfortunate that you can’t do this with any Android phone, but it still looks to be supremely useful if you’re already integrated into Huawei’s ecosystem.

Huawei MateBook X Pro 2020 review: early verdict

The change list isn’t long for the Huawei MateBook X Pro’s 2020 refurbishment. And because of the government’s ban on Huawei, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to buy one in the United States any time soon. All the same, it’s a welcome batch of changes to a great laptop, and one you may want to consider if you’re on the lookout for a different kind of premium notebook.