Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 Review – Beautiful Refined Elegance
Among Huawei’s stable of laptops, the MateBook X Pro series is intended to be the exemplification of portability and performance by incorporating their latest innovations in engineering and the best hardware in the market. We managed to get our hands on a MateBook X Pro 2022 review sample and put it through its paces over the past few weeks.
MateBook X Pro 2022 Review – Build and Design
Compared to its chunkier siblings the MateBook D 16 that is intended for a mainstream audience and the MateBook 16s that are for executives, the MateBook X Pro 2022 is built for the corporate elite and is enviably svelte as it’s slimmer and lighter than anything else in their current laptop line-up at just 15.6mm thin and weighing just 1.26kg. It’s also the priciest out of the entire line-up at a princely RM9,999 at launch.
These exceptional weight savings are on account of an ultralight chassis made of magnesium aluminium alloy which is both tough and light. Compared to its predecessor from last year, the MateBook X Pro 2022 has a slightly larger 14.2-inch touch display with a higher 90Hz refresh rate, an additional USB-C port, an upgraded 6-speaker setup and, of course, 12th Gen Intel Core P-series processors.
In terms of build quality and design, the MateBook X Pro 2022 is easily among the best in the market with a matte Space Grey finish for Malaysia that resists fingerprints wonderfully while offering a bit of tactility to prevent slipping. The top lid is otherwise unadorned save for the Huawei logo and proved to be quite sturdy save for a slight bit of give in the centre non-load bearing portion of the panel.
The underside has a series of rubber feet to prevent it from slipping along with two slits for part of the six-speaker sound setup as well as a set of torx screws both around and under the rubber feet. In terms of I/O, the MateBook X Pro 2022 is almost solely composed of USB-C ports and you can charge it off all of them.
Its right side features two USB-C ports that support data, charging and DisplayPort support. A USB-A port or a dedicated HDMI port would have been a welcome addition but it’s not a major deal breaker as they also toss in a USB-C-to-A dongle as a back-up measure.
The left side hosts two Thunderbolt 4 ports that feature faster data transfer rates along with charging and DisplayPort. Quaintly emplaced in the left side alongside the two Thunderbolt 4 ports is a 3.5mm audio combo jack.
Flipping the lid open is a two-handed task as the hinges are a bit stiff though they are quite sturdy with a 120-degree flex. The display itself is larger than its immediate predecessor with a 14.2-inch 3.1K LTPS touchscreen with 3,120 x 2,080 pixels resolution, a squarish 3:2 aspect ratio and 92.5% screen-to-body ratio on account of the thin bezels. Combined, these specifications make the display ideal for its intended role as a portable paperwork cruncher with enough screen height to comfortably read documents and webpages.
On paper, our MateBook 14 Pro 2022 review sample’s display is rated for a 100% sRGB along with compliance with the DCI-P3 colour gamut though an exact figure wasn’t available at the time of writing along with a Delta E < 1 which ensures excellent colour accuracy. Mounted up top of the display is a 720P webcam that also has Windows Hello authentication. The display also has a swift 90Hz refresh rate though it can be manually dialled down to 60Hz to save on juice by pressing the FN and R keys together.
You also get a full sized haptic touchpad and a white-backlit keyboard framed by a pair of upward firing speakers that are part of a massive six-speaker setup.
Overall build quality is among the best in the industry and you get what you’re paying for here with a truly premium design that is easily Huawei’s best out of their current laptop line-up for 2022. Out of the box, Huawei also throws in a fast 90W USB-C charger and its associated cable, a USB-C-to-A dongle and a quick start guide plus a warranty guide.
Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 review – Keyboard and touchpad
For ultraportables, the quality of the keyboard and touchpad can make or break the whole user experience. Fortunately, Huawei spared no effort in tricking the MateBook X Pro 2022 with the best it has to offer. The compact white-backlit island style keyboard is flanked by a pair of speakers with an additional set of downward firing drivers for a total of three drivers per side, a power button that doubles as a fingerprint reader in the corner and an exceptionally sophisticated haptic feedback touchpad.
Rather than simply slapping on a plain old slab of glass, the MateBook X Pro 2022’s FreeTouch touchpad has tiny motors beneath it to offer haptic feedback and supports additional gestures that make using it an intuitive experience indeed. The touchpad maximises the potential amount of space available and literally stretches all the way to the bottom of the keyboard frame.
That’s not all as the haptic commands allow you to eschew several of the more common keyboard commands. Moving your finger up and down the left side of the touchpad allows you to dial the screen brightness while doing so on the right side lets you control volume. Stroking the top portion lets you jog through a timeline for video or music content.
Knocking the touchpad twice with a single knuckle takes a screenshot while a screen recording can be done with two knuckles. What makes this experience amazing is the haptic feedback that gives you a tactile clicking sensation that shows your command is accepted. As far as traditional Windows laptop touchpads go, this is the equivalent of a Rolls Royce in quality and design.
Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 Review – Specifications and Benchmarks
Our Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 review sample features a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1260P processor which features 4 performance cores, 8 efficiency cores and 16 threads. Unlike the i7-12700H processor used in the MateBook 16s, the i71260P used in the MateBook X Pro 2020 emphasises power efficiency and consumes less juice with a maximum of 28W TDP and has a slightly lower 2.1GHz base frequency which is ideal for the slim, productivity oriented nature of the laptop. It also has Intel Evo certification which certifies that it adheres to Intel’s strict requirements on performance especially in regards to start-up times and specifications.
The i7-1260P is paired with 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM that has been soldered in, Iris Xe graphics and a 1TB NVMe SSD partitioned into a 250GB primary boot drive with the OS and a secondary 750GB drive for storage. Here’s how it stacks up on paper:
|Display||14.2-inch LTPS touchscreen, 3,120 x 2,080 pixels, 100% sRGB, 3:2 aspect ratio, 92.5% screen-to-body ratio, 1500:1 contrast ratio, 264ppi, 90Hz refresh rate|
|Processor||12th Gen Intel Core i7-1260P|
|OS||Windows 11 Home|
|Graphics||Intel Iris Xe|
|Memory||16GB LPDDR5 RAM/ 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD|
|Battery||60Wh lithium-polymer w/ 90W USB-C fast charging|
|Size/Weight||310 x 221 x 15.6mm / 1.26kg|
In keeping with Huawei’s other MateBook laptops, our MateBook X Pro 2022 review sample has their PC Manager firmware installed that helps to keep drivers updated and also offers the option of a Balance and Performance power mode.
The Performance power mode only works if manually selected by pressing the FN and P keys while ensuring that the laptop is plugged in. Assuming all the conditions are met, it dials up the fan speed and CPU performance to its maximum rated settings which relegates this setting purely for use in an office..
When subjected to synthetic benchmarks in Performance mode, our MateBook X Pro 2022 review unit yielded the following:
|3D Mark Time Spy||505|
|3D Mark Time Spy Extreme||241|
|3D Mark Fire Strike||1,452|
|3D Mark Fire Strike Extreme||715|
|3D Mark Fire Strike Ultra||372|
|3D Mark Night Raid||6,209|
|GeekBench 5 Single core||1,669|
|GeekBench 5 Multi core||8,579|
|GeekBench 5 OpenCL||4,747|
|GeekBench 5 Vulkan||5,171|
|Cinebench R23 Multi Core||7,510|
|Cinebench R23 Single Core||1,638 4.58 x MP ratio|
|PCMark 10 Extended||3,081|
|PCMark 8 Battery Life (Creative)||3 hours 14 minutes|
Even in Performance mode, the MateBook X Pro 2022’s i7-1260P processor has somewhat underwhelming performance on paper compared to the higher performance 12th Gen H-series CPU used in the MateBook 16s. The laptop has a dedicated set of cooling fans on its underside and to its credit, it managed to keep things relatively cool with minimal fan noise even under heavy workloads.
Within its mission profile of productivity and general computing – emails, paperwork, spreadsheets and the odd movie or two – it performed wonderfully. Swapping between open browser tabs was fast and fluid and it’s sufficiently powerful enough to handle photo editing tasks though video editing would be a stretch.
The 14.2-inch LTPS touchscreen is a highlight here with punchy colours and crisp details onscreen while also being particularly responsive to touch input.
Added to this is its impressive 6-driver upwards and downwards -firing speaker setup that has a volume, detail and bass that belie the slim dimensions of the laptop. This is easily one of the most comprehensive and best speaker setups mounted in an ultraportable short of the larger arrays seen in much heavier gaming laptops.
Where the MateBook X Pro 2022 comes into its own though is its haptic touch pad. It takes a bit of getting used to but its shortcut gestures become indispensable over time.
Perhaps the biggest quibble here is its underwhelming battery life. In our PCMark 8 Battery Life test in Creative mode which tests a fairly intensive workload, it yielded a modest 3 hours and 14 minutes of endurance on its 60Wh battery though you can likely eke a bit more by reducing the screen brightness and refresh rate to 60Hz, dialling down the performance to balanced mode and sticking to paperwork.
At best, it was able to stretch things out to five plus hours of work before needing a recharge, making it ideally suited for short sprints between the office and an offsite work meeting with ready access to charging.
Should you buy the Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022?
While it has modest battery life, the Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 has a potent combination of powerful hardware, generous storage, a large and colour accurate touchscreen, fantastic speakers and a superb keyboard and touchpad, all of which is crammed into a chassis slimmer than a fashion magazine.
As it stands, this is among the lightest and most powerful ultraportable laptops that you can buy in Malaysia.
Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 review sample courtesy of Huawei Malaysia. To purchase and for more details, please visit https://consumer.huawei.com/my/laptops/matebook-x-pro-2022-12th-gen-core/
Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022
Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022
The Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 is the ultraportable equivalent of a Rolls Royce, blending superb hardware in an exquisitely engineered ultraslim chassis. If money is no object, this is one of the lightest, most powerful ultraportables that money can buy.
Superb build quality
Wonderfully light and slim
Innovative haptic touchpad
Not enough port variety,
Middling battery life