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New MateBook X Pro vs. MacBook Pro: Why Huawei Can Win

The original Huawei MateBook X Pro was such a great laptop that it had Apple devotees turning their heads, and its 2019 update looks to be even better. On top of the solid battery life, a decent set of ports and a great display, the new MateBook X Pro offers discrete graphics at all price points.

Contrast that with the MacBook Pro, which has an older CPU, a keyboard that's hard to like and no discrete graphics, and you see that Apple's got an uphill battle on its hands. Here's why the 2019 MateBook X Pro looks like a MacBook Pro clone worth considering:

2019 MateBook X Pro vs 13-inch MacBook Pro: Specs

MateBook X Pro (2019)13-inch MacBook Pro
Price 1,599 Euro (around $1,809 U.S.)$1,799
CPU8th-Generation Core i5 (Whiskey Lake) or Core i78th-Generation Kaby Lake R Core i5 or Core i7
RAM8GB or 16GB8GB to 16GB
SSD256GB or 512GB256GB to 2TB
Display (Pixels)13.9 inches (3000 x 2000)13.3-inch (2560 x 1600)
GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 620 / Nvidia GeForce MX 250 with 2GB MemoryIntel Iris Plus Graphics 655
Ports1x Thunderbolt 3, 1x USB-C, 1x USB 3.0, Headphone jack, Fingerprint sensor4x Thunderbolt 3, Headphone jack, Touch Bar (with Touch ID)
Battery Life12:00 (claimed) 9:55 (2018 model)8:31 (tested)
Size11.96 x 8.54 x 0.57 inches11.97 x 8.36 x 0.59 inches
Weight2.93 lbs.3.02 pounds (MacBook Pro 13)

Design

In a battle between the ultraportable innovator and imitator, we've got a much closer fight than we expected to find.

On pure aesthetics, the MacBook Pro's sleeker lines and unibody look get the nod, as the MateBook X Pro's got that shiny beveled edge that feels a step out of date.

The MateBook X Pro is less than 0.2 inches wider than the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Huawei's managed to pack a much larger display into the chassis. This is owed in part to the MateBook's thinner bezels, as Huawei's tucking its webcam into the keyboard, an ingenious move that shows how to innovate.

Winner: MacBook Pro

Buy on Best Buy

Ports

While I wish the MacBook Pro had a boxy USB Type-A port — the MateBook X Pro doesn't require I buy a USB Type-C hub — its quartet of Thunderbolt 3 ports is hard to argue with. If, say, both of the MateBook X Pro's USB-C ports were Thunderbolt 3 (only one is), then Huawei would have a better chance here.

Simply put, the MacBook Pro has a higher potential with its set of super-fast ports, which support 4K monitors, faster transfer rates and more.

Also, both machines feature fingerprint readers in their power buttons, with the MacBook Pro rocking a Touch ID sensor that can be used for Apple Pay.

Winner: Tie

Display

The MateBook X Pro's 13.9-inch, 3000 x 2000-pixel panel is sharper and larger than the MacBook Pro's 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel screen, though Apple does offer a 15-inch version. Huawei rates this screen for 450 nits of brightness, which is pretty similar to the 439-nit rating we found from the MacBook Pro.

The original MateBook X Pro's 124-percent sRGB color gamut rating is pretty close to the MacBook Pro's 119 percent mark, and we look forward to seeing if it holds up upon testing. And while the MacBook Pro offers True Tone color correction, that hasn't been a game-changer in our tests.

Winner: MateBook X Pro

Performance

We look forward to getting the new MateBook X Pro in to test, because it looks ready to eclipse the MacBook Pro. First of all, it's rocking Intel's latest 8th Gen processors, with Whiskey Lake chips that will likely offer 10 percent performance gains over the Intel Kaby Lake chips in the MacBook Pro. Both the MateBook X Pro and MacBook Pro start at Core i5 and offer Core i7 as an option. We'd love to see Huawei offer a Core i9 configuration, which you get with the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

MORE: Laptops with the Best Overall Performance

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is limited to its integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 cards, without the option to get a discrete GPU without upgrading to the 15-inch MacBook Pro, which starts at $2,399. The MateBook X Pro beats it in this regard, including the new Nvidia GeForce MX 250 (with 2GB memory) GPU in every model, and not just the Core i7 model, which it used to.

Winner: MateBook X Pro

Battery Life

If the new MateBook X Pro's battery life is similar to its predecessors, Huawei should be getting a win here. On the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which times how long it takes to drain a laptop browsing the web at 150 nits, over Wi-Fi, the MateBook X Pro made it 9 hours and 55 minutes, beating the MacBook Pro's 8:43 by slightly over an hour.

We look forward to running the new MateBook X Pro on our test, and updating this story once we've confirmed its endurance.

Winner: MateBook X Pro

Value

Huawei used to own this category, as the original MateBook X Pro started at $1,199, a whopping $600 less than the $1799 entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. Things have changed, though, and it looks like you'll need to save a little more for the new MateBook X Pro.

Huawei announced the 2019 MateBook X Pro at 1,599 Euro, which converts to around $1,809 U.S. That’s $10 more than the $1,799 MacBook Pro. While the MateBook X Pro includes discrete graphics at that price and the MacBook Pro does not, that's not enough to crown a winner here.

Winner: Tie

MateBook X Pro (2019)13-inch MacBook Pro (2018)
Design (20)1820
Ports (10)77
Display (20)1917
Performance (20)1916
Battery Life (20)1916
Value (10)88
Overall (100)9085

So, at this early stage, it looks like Huawei has a MacBook Pro killer on its hands. The new MateBook X Pro's score has an asterisk, though, as it’s likely to change after we've put the laptop through the rigors of testing.  Can it truly live up to its hype? We'll find out. 

Wondering what Apple may change this year? Check out our rumor report for possible changes coming to the MacBook Pro in 2019.

Credit: Laptop Mag

Henry is a senior writer at Laptop Mag, covering security, Apple and operating systems. Prior to joining Laptop Mag — where he's the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, and wondering why Apple decided to ditch its MagSafe power adapters.