Review

Huawei MakeBook X Pro Review

Flawed Perfection

If you are like me, you are a sucker for a thin and light laptop. The MacBook Air started a revolution in what was possible in mobile computing. It allowed people to do real work while still presenting a svelte and light, yet still functional, laptop. Years later, Huawei, a company until now known primarily for phones, is making a major playin the laptop space, and they have succeeded on almost every count.

The MakeBook X Pro is a stunning piece of technology. While Huawei in North America may not be known for high-end laptops, they have knocked it out of the park with this offering. The thin profile with power to spare puts it head to head against some of the best laptops on the market. Moreover, the MakeBook X Pro stands head and shoulders above most Windows laptops, making a strong statement wherever you may pull it out, from the boardroom to the coffee shop.

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Huawei MakeBook X Pro – Review Photo by CGMagazine

The laptop has a premium feel throughout its construction. The aluminum body oozes quality, with the fantastic touchpad, battery life, and raw horsepower adding to the already splendid offering. Thedays of big and bulky Windows laptops are slowly going away with splendid bofferings from Dell, Razer, HP, and Microsoft, yet even with the strongcompetition in the PC space Huawei have crafted a laptop that stands out—andone I was truly sad to send back once the review period was up.

It helps that I was testing the top model of the MakeBook X Pro range. The thin laptop boasted a Nvidia GeForce MX150 with2GB Video Ram, a 512GB SSD drive, a quad-core Intel i7, and 16GB RAM. It was a positive beast when it came to most tasks. I frequently used it to render video, play games, and other basic media work. While I would still jump over to my desktop for anything overly intensive, the power and performance of the MakeBook X Pro was staggering for such a thin and light device.

Not to just follow the crowd and copy what Apple is doing with their latest laptops, Huawei managed to include a full size USB-A point along with the dual USB-C Thunderbolt 3.0 ports. If that were not enough, they also included a USB-C dongle in the box to allow an HDMI output, making it ideal for that second monitor.

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Huawei MakeBook X Pro – Review Photo by CGMagazine

Not that it is needed for everyday use, the monitor on the MakeBook X Pro is stunning. The 3,000 x 2,000 multi-touch panel makes media viewing and production a dream. Colours are vibrant while detail feels crisp and clear. The near edge to edge feel of the monitor is also a marvel, with almost no bezels, and only around 5mm on the edges of the screen.

It is this near edge to edge screen the first and main issue with the MakeBook X Pro is found. To make room for this screen, the webcam had to go. Unlike most modern laptops (Dell XPS 13 excluded) the web camera is not located at the top of the screen, it is in fact located on the keyboard and can be accessed by pressing down on the special pop-up camera button. While I do not use web-cams all that often when I did have to jump on a Skype call, the upward angle camera was far from flattering. While it does work in a pinch, it was far from ideal.

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Huawei MakeBook X Pro – Review Photo by CGMagazine

Even with a strange camera pop-up button on the keyboard, the typing experience on the MakeBook X Pro is fantastic. Over the 2-3 weeks I used the laptop I did most of my writing, video, and editing work on it. While it is a small laptop, the space between the keys managed to make for a comfortable and easy to use typing experience. There was almost no learning curve jumping from my home desktop to the MakeBook X Pro. The keys had enough key travel to make every keystroke feel satisfying, and the traditional layout made for an easy two-handed typing experience.

The only thing I liked better than the keyboard was the touchpad. The spacious trackpad allowed for ample space to do work related tasks without needing to resort to pulling out the portable gaming mouse. The glass touchpad allows for all Windows gestures, and the overall feel could be considered “MacBook” like.

In fact, the overall feel of the MakeBook X Pro can be compared very favourably to the Apple MacBook Pro range of devices. It is a device that, much like Apple’s range of laptops, has a feeling of quality throughout. Even the design borrows heavily from the MacBook playbook, with the all-metal build and sleek overall look.

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Huawei MakeBook X Pro – Review Photo by CGMagazine

Thankfully, the MakeBook X Pro manages to stand out from being a knock-off with styling that sets it apart. The ability to play some of today’s more modern games is also a bonus. Testing games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Overwatch, Quake Champions, Wolfenstein, and The Witcher3, I managed decent framerates as long as I was okay with turning down the resolution or texture settings. The Nvidia GeForce MX150 makes for a decent dedicated video option, pushing the Intel i7 to the limit in some of today’s most exciting games. If you really want to push this laptop, you can even make use of the Thunderbolt3.0 ports and add on an external GPU, although that will set you back another $400-$800 depending on model and video card choice.

Honestly, when it comes down to it, the Huawei Make Book X Pro has a lot to like, with only a few nitpicks. The build quality is fantastic, and the power under the hood is astounding. Throughout my time with the laptop I found it to be great to use, and if it weren’t for the web-camera issue it would be one of our only 10/10 laptops. Sadly, with that issue, and it being a business-focused machine, it does hurt the overall usability of the overall package. If you don’t need or don’t care about the webcam on offer, the MakeBook X Pro is one of the best laptops you can buy in2018, I just hope Huawei fixes the web camera issue with their next outing.

8
The Huawei MakeBook X Pro is one of the best windows laptops on the market, save for one tedious flaw.
Huawei P10 Review - A Solid Android Experience 23

MakeBook X Pro

Manufacturer: Huawei
Type: Laptop
MSRP: $1200 USD

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