Huawei’s difficulties in the smartphone business have gained a ton of focus, generating it uncomplicated to overlook the firm’s laptops. Last calendar year I located the MateBook X Professional (2020) very eye-catching irrespective of a few of niggly annoyances. The MateBook X Professional 2021 is costly at £1,599.ninety nine, but the eleventh generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 1TB SSD may possibly be plenty of to justify that. But what else does this elegant 13.9-inch laptop have in retail store? 

There is just one particular MateBook X Professional 2021 design, and it is really intended to be a a lot more than qualified all-rounder, from the chassis layout to the inner elements. And there definitely is a ton of goodness listed here. 


The 2021 MateBook X Professional runs on an eleventh-generation Core i7 processor with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. Its 13.9-inch exhibit is vivid (450 nits) and sharp (3000 x 2000 pixels).

Pictures: Huawei

The MateBook X Professional 2021 is offered in two colors, and I was a little disappointed to be despatched the House Grey edition to review. It seems to be sleek plenty of in a MacBook Professional kind of way, the chassis is tricky, and the lengthy divot reduce into the centre of the bottom section would make it uncomplicated to lift the lid one particular-handed. But the alternate colour, Emerald Eco-friendly, would have designed a improve on the review bench, and I suspect it would be anything of an eye-catcher out in the true world. 

While the major colour is matte, there are vivid, shiny silver bezels about the base and lid which add a small panache. On the underside, four moderately perfectly sized circular feet aid to anchor the MateBook X Professional 2021 to a desk or desk. 

The MateBook X Professional 2021 residences a 13.9-inch monitor in a chassis that is deceptively small and gratifyingly lightweight, whilst it is really truly worth noting that not a millimetre or a gram have been shaved off last year’s dimensions of 304mm vast by 217mm tall by fourteen.6mm thick and one.33kg. Equally, the speaker grilles flanking the keyboard and the circular electricity button in the top rated suitable corner of the keyboard, which incorporates a fingerprint sensor, are also unchanged. 

The monitor is an additional area that is witnessed small improve. It’s the identical 3,000-by-2,000, touch-responsive LTPS panel as prior to, with nominal bezels resulting in a ninety one{36a394957233d72e39ae9c6059652940c987f134ee85c6741bc5f1e7246491e6} monitor-to-human body ratio. The 3:2 element ratio definitely arrives into its have when you might be doing work on documents and substantial spreadsheets, whilst you can hope some letterboxing when looking at video. The ambient mild sensor that I located annoying last time round looks to be preset, altering monitor brightness perfectly. Viewing angles are good, and for people that do a ton of monitor capturing, the skill to sweep three fingers down the monitor to just take a screenshot may possibly establish helpful.  

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A good exhibit like this warrants good speakers. There are four listed here, throwing sound out from the sides of the keyboard. Maximum quantity isn’t all that high, but you will find no distortion when it is really maxed out. Even now, bass tones are not as strong as they need to be, which is a small disappointing. 

If you use a Huawei cellular phone (some designs), you can just take gain of Huawei Share to create a link involving the handset and the MateBook X Professional. Make a link and the phone’s monitor can be witnessed on the laptop, from where it can be managed. You can share documents involving the two units as perfectly. 


As in the 2020 design, the webcam is embedded in the keyboard, popping up all set for use when you press the camera crucial. This placement would make for an unflattering camera angle on video phone calls.

Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The small top rated monitor bezel indicates that, just as with last year’s design, you will find no space for the webcam in its traditional locale. So the MateBook X Professional 2021 reprises the arrangement applied in its predecessor, housing it in the centre of the Fn crucial row: press down on the crucial marked with a camera icon, and the webcam pops up all set to use. Though this indicates you will find no want for a privacy protect, the viewing angle is terrible: no-one particular desires or warrants the up-the-nose perspective it presents. Obtaining spent quite a few several hours in the last calendar year on video phone calls for function, household and pleasurable I can say that an external webcam would be a should-have for me if this had been my each day laptop.  


The keyboard, flanked by speaker grilles, provides an excellent typing platform.

Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The keyboard is extremely satisfying to use. Springy, perfectly-spaced keys behave as if they want to be tapped, and you will find virtually no aural responses, generating this an suitable laptop for doing work in tranquil spaces. All the keys are substantial, with the arrow and Fn keys benefitting as perfectly as the QWERTY array. I located it uncomplicated to attain my complete touch typing pace, and you will find a two-phase backlight for doing work in reduced mild circumstances. The touchpad is monumental and you can simply sweep the cursor throughout the monitor in one particular single motion. I experienced no problems with gestures, and the whole navigation encounter was clean and trouble-cost-free. 

The MateBook X Professional 2021 runs on Home windows ten House and arrives in just one particular specification, run by an eleventh generation Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor with integrated Iris X graphics, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. It’s excellent to see these types of a substantial amount of money of storage supplied by default. 

You will find only a nominal choice of on-board ports: two USB-C, one particular USB 3.2 and a 3.5mm audio jack. The USB-C ports will not listing Thunderbolt support in the on-line specifications, whilst it is really mentioned that they support two 4K screens at 60Hz and can cope with data throughput up to 40Gbps, which is bang on for Thunderbolt 3. 

Huawei prices the MateBook X Professional 2021’s 56Wh battery as good for ten several hours of area video playback, whereas last year’s design was quoted at 13 several hours with the identical battery ability. In my battery rundown test, which entails a blend of doc development, video and audio streaming, the MateBook X Professional 2021 battery went from complete to 56{36a394957233d72e39ae9c6059652940c987f134ee85c6741bc5f1e7246491e6} in three several hours (~7h battery lifestyle), compared to sixty six{36a394957233d72e39ae9c6059652940c987f134ee85c6741bc5f1e7246491e6} last calendar year (~9h battery lifestyle). A day’s function was achievable with the 2020 MateBook X Professional, but I’m not so confident about that with this year’s design. 



Graphic: Huawei

Huawei’s MateBook X Professional 2021 seems to be extremely similar to its predecessor, with the eleventh-generation Core i7 CPU getting the primary enhance. In some ways that is perfectly suitable: build good quality, monitor and keyboard had been all excellent in last year’s design, and continue to be so. 

Having said that, the speakers however go away anything to be ideal, which is a lot more visible when the monitor is so good. This is not the primary failing, although: battery lifestyle looks to have received even worse given that last calendar year, and that keyboard-embedded webcam definitely wants a rethink. Absence of bezel area does create an concern listed here, but the unflattering camera angle is no longer suitable (if it ever was) in this era of widespread video interaction. 

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