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Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 review: The XPS killer

This may just be the best Ultrabook you can buy right now

Huawei MateBook X Pro (2022)
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Future)

Laptop Mag Verdict

The Huawei MateBook X Pro is one of the best Ultrabooks you can buy today — providing convenience that the Dell XPS 13 Plus omits and standing up to the M2 MacBook Air with a gorgeous display, 12th Gen Intel power, fantastic touchpad and keyboard, and a seriously sleek design.

Pros

  • +

    Bright and vivid display

  • +

    Surprisingly great speakers

  • +

    Spacious and innovative touchpad

  • +

    Powerful 12th Gen Intel performance

  • +

    Drop dead gorgeous design

Cons

  • -

    Webcam = potato

  • -

    Below average battery life

  • -

    Expensive at £1,799

When it comes to picking a great ultraportable laptop, there are two clear options: The M2 MacBook Air or the king of the best Ultrabooks, the Dell XPS 13. Sure, there are other great laptops in this category, like the Acer Swift 5 and HP Envy 13, but Dell always comes out on top.

That is until now, as the Huawei MateBook X Pro throws its hat into the ring and hurls some serious haymakers after years of iterative developments — becoming one of my favorite laptops in a long time.

With impressive 12th Gen Intel performance, a sleek, well-thought-out design, and peak ergonomics for working on the go, the MateBook X Pro has undergone a dramatic overhaul since the 2021 model and is now one of the best laptops you can get. 

Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 price and availability

Unfortunately, there is one sizeable obstacle standing in your way. The latest Huawei MateBook X Pro is available right now for £1,799 (opens in new tab) / €1,899, with no direct availability (or support) in the U.S. There are no two ways about it — this is an expensive laptop.

That price puts it just £50 behind a similarly specced M2 MacBook Air (opens in new tab), while being £320 more expensive than a Dell XPS 13 (opens in new tab) with the same internals. That cost is going to be difficult for many to afford, but if you can, I think it is money well spent.

Plus, if you buy it from Huawei, you can pick up a 24-inch MateView display for free, which is a stellar addition to your work-from-home setup.

Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 design

Huawei MateBook X Pro (2022)

(Image credit: Future)

Let’s start with what matters for an Ultrabook: this is a sleek, refined, gorgeous-looking (and feeling) system.

From every angle, the Huawei MateBook X Pro is unmistakably premium, from the slender curvature and perfect balance of the internal weight distribution to the CNC-milled magnesium alloy frame adorned with a fabulous soft touch coating that doesn’t show scuffs (looking at you, MacBook Air). Plus, the huge touchpad extends to the very edge of the laptop’s deck.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this Ink Blue finish is my favorite implementation of my favorite color. Not too bright to look like a primary color and not too dark as to be basically black. This is a stunner, albeit one that is a bit of a fingerprint magnet, so get ready to clean that surface a lot.

Huawei MateBook X Pro (2022)

(Image credit: Future)

Of course, for any Ultrabook to succeed, it needs to be small and lightweight, which Huawei absolutely nails at a svelte 12.2 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches and a featherweight 2.9 pounds. Granted, it is slightly bigger and heavier than the M2 MacBook Air (12 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches, 2.7 pounds) and the Dell XPS 13 (11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches, 2.8 pounds), but these small differences are barely noticeable. 

Looking past the numbers, you’re getting a seriously sleek, durable system that is a cinch to carry around and a real eye-catcher to bring out during a meeting.

Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 ports

Huawei MateBook X Pro (2022)

(Image credit: Future)

Like most ultraportables, the port selection is limited, but you get more than you’d expect: four USB-C ports (two on the left edge have Thunderbolt 4 support) and a 3.5mm headphone jack alongside.

That does increase its versatility, but I would have loved to see more ports like a USB-A port and SD card slot (if you’re in need of extra connectivity, the best docking stations will do the trick).

Huawei MateBook X Pro (2022)

(Image credit: Future)

Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 display

We don’t have lab testing results for the display, but one thing I can confidently say in my hands-on experience is the MateBook X Pro’s display is, like, really really ridiculously good looking.

Details are super crisp on this 14.2-inch display with a 3120 x 2080-pixel resolution, a 90Hz refresh rate, a 3:2 aspect ratio (great for seeing more content while working), and a 92.5% screen-to-body ratio. Plus, for direct contact with your work, the ten-point multitouch in here is latency free and moves swiftly with every interaction.

Huawei claims a 500-nit maximum brightness, which translates in real-world use to a screen that can get real bright, real fast (thanks to the touchpad control, but more on that later). Even with the increased reflections of this glossy glass screen, I can clearly see everything I’m working on in challenging brightly lit situations.

Huawei MateBook X Pro (2022)

(Image credit: Future)

And let’s talk color, because with an LTPS panel (an LCD technology), I anticipated decent color reproduction with a relatively lacking contrast ratio. However, while I’m sure there will be a noticeable difference in the numbers, to the average human eyes, you’d struggle to tell the difference between this and an OLED display.

Shows like the impressive Obi-Wan Kenobi sport fantastic color and really show off the contrast ratio in its darkest moments, while dealing with accurate tones in creative applications such as Photoshop is a joy that you will rarely see on screens of this size.

Oh, and with TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light and Flicker Free certification, you can work on this minibeast late into the night with confidence that your eyes are being looked after. All in all, this display is one of the best parts of this excellent formula for an Ultrabook.

Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 keyboard and touchpad

Huawei MateBook X Pro (2022)

(Image credit: Future)

This is a love story between your fingers and the MateBook X Pro, as your digits fit perfectly onto the ergonomically sound, nicely-sized keyboard and you effortlessly zip around Windows with that massive touchpad.

Let’s start with the chiclet keyboard. Every scissor switch provides 1.5mm of travel with a soft landing design (basically a cushion that braces the impact of every key press). And while the up and down arrow keys are sandwiched and the enter key is half-height, letter and number keys are generously large and typing is an all-round joy.

I tested this using the 10FastFingers.com typing assessment and I hit my fastest score of 87 words per minute. For context, I normally hit 83-85 wpm on a laptop keyboard, which emphasizes how ergonomically sound this board is. Plus, backlighting is customizable and uniform across the board without a single blip of extra brightness.

Huawei MateBook X Pro (2022)

(Image credit: Future)

This comes paired with a massive touchpad – measuring in at 4.8 x 3.4 inches, which is bigger than the MacBook Air (4.8 x 3.2 inches) and the Dell XPS 13 (4.4 x 2.5 inches). It is a solid state construction and the haptic motor mimicking clicks gives you a crisp, tactile response to your inputs, and its strength can be customized in the settings.

But this isn’t just a story of a larger size, Huawei is doing something special with it. When my fingers first glided across the top, left, and right edges of the touchpad and felt (and heard) a discernibly grinding clicking sound, I immediately felt terrified that I had broken the touchpad.

The reality, however, is a whole lot more useful, as these edges can be used to control different key settings on the laptop. Move your finger up and down the left edge to control brightness, the right to manipulate the volume, and across the top to scrub back and forth through videos.

There are some other gesture-based controls too, such as knocking the touchpad twice to take a screenshot, and I’d totally understand if you looked at this and thought it was a gimmick. But trust me when I say that in use, it’s anything but. In fact, it’s impressively useful to the point that it has changed the way I work with laptops, and leaves me disappointed when going to other systems that lack this kind of control.

Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 audio

Huawei MateBook X Pro (2022)

(Image credit: Future)

I’ll just say it. These are the best speakers I’ve ever heard on an Ultrabook of this size. You’ll find the six-speaker setup allows for better separation of different level tones, providing an impressive level of detail to the highs and an unprecedented amount of warmth to the mids and lows.

They even handled the intensity of The Ghost Inside’s album “Returners,” which offered a brightness to the all-out assault of furious vocals and chugging guitars with zero distortion, while managing to give a worthy bass punch to the thunderous percussion.

Oh, and for times when you want to listen to stuff in public, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack. That’s something I didn’t think I’d need to give praise to Huawei for, but with popular laptops like the Dell XPS 13 starting to ditch the audio jack, it seems to be a point worth celebrating.

Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 performance

Under the hood, Huawei has cranked up the performance of the MateBook X Pro with a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1260P CPU (with four Performance-cores and eight Efficienct-cores to maintain peak performance at up to just 30W), 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and a 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD. 

I threw so much stuff at this machine — Two Point Campus running in the background as I edited a massive RAW picture on Photoshop, played multiple 1080p YouTube videos, streamed on Twitch with OBS and ran a benchmark. Even under such pressure, touch responsiveness didn’t lag and the system kept running smoothly. 

Huawei MateBook X Pro (2022)

(Image credit: Future)

When put through our testing, the CPU hit a Geekbench 5.4 multi-core score of 11,142, which shockingly decimates the M2 MacBook Air (8,919) and the newer Dell XPS 13 Plus (10,621), while breezing past the premium laptop average (5,956). I would compare it to the standard XPS 13, but with its 11th Gen Intel, it never stood a chance (for those who are curious, it scored 5,365).

In Handbrake app benchmark testing, we saw the MateBook X Pro convert a 4K video to 1080p in 8 minutes and 33 seconds — slightly slower than the Macbook Air (7:52) and XPS 13 Plus (8:17), but well ahead of the category average (13:27). 

And finally, if you are dabbling with high-capacity files, the M.2 SSD has a blistering sequential speed of 1,960 MBps, which absolutely annihilated the industry average (825 MBps) but does drop behind the MacBook Air’s ludicrous 2,800 MBps.

Huawei MateBook X Pro graphics

Let me be clear. The Huawei MateBook X Pro is not designed for gaming, but still, it’s not as bad as you’d fear from integrated Iris Xe graphics.

When we put this through its 3DMark paces, we saw it handle Fire Strike with a score of 4,617, which is well short of the 9,020 average and falls just shy of the XPS 13 Plus (4,944). In reality for gaming, this translated to Two Point Campus running at a steady 70 frames per second (fps)with graphics settings turned to medium, and Forza Horizon 5 hitting 50-60 fps at low.

Outside of gaming, the graphical capabilities mean you are able to handily edit high-resolution photos and edit multiple streams of 4K video without any dramatic slowdown. Would we have preferred something faster like a dedicated GPU? Sure, but that would have compromised the whole idea of this Ultrabook being ultraportable.

Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 battery life

Huawei MateBook X Pro (2022)

(Image credit: Future)

This is certainly one of the weaker points of the MateBook X Pro, but it’s not as bad as you’d think. The battery size has gone up from 56Wh to 60Wh, which should theoretically make things better. But since we haven’t put this through the scientific rigmarole of our Battery Informant testing, I’ll just give you a diary of my day and when the X Pro died.

My day involves multiple Chrome tabs, Spotify and Slack running constantly, the occasional use of Photoshop, and some casual gaming on my lunch break (Uno is my current addiction). Starting at 9 a.m., I reached 1 p.m. before needing to charge. If you’re economical with power over those long periods away from plug sockets, I’m sure you could go longer, but this isn’t going to last for your whole working day.

Nothing has quite hit my daily driver yet in terms of stamina, which is the M1 MacBook Pro, but the MateBook has a party trick that is able to soften the battery blow. The 90W charger in the box is able to give you another 3 hours of longevity after just a 15-minute charge, which has been a serious life saver in the moments where I’ve got carried away working in a cafe.

Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 webcam

Let’s not waste too much time here. The 720p webcam in the Huawei MateBook X Pro is a potato. At least it's not hidden under a function key this time, though

Huawei MateBook X Pro (2022)

(Image credit: Future)

Of course, there is a convenience factor here with Windows Hello support, which uses facial recognition to rapidly log you into the system via the IR camera. But for Zoom meetings and taking pictures, this snapper leaves a lot to be desired.

Even in a well-lit space such as my spare room, the pictures look as if they’ve been shot on that camera you snap via your PS2’s EyeToy (shout-out to anyone who played the window cleaning game). Photos are fuzzy and lacking enough detail to be good for anything other than the occasional video conference.

Need better picture quality built in? I’d look towards the M2 MacBook Air, but you will always need to pick up an external webcam for the best possible capture.

Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 heat

Huawei MateBook X Pro (2022)

(Image credit: Future)

We don’t have lab numbers to give you an exact temperature of different areas across the MateBook X Pro, but in my own experience, Huawei certainly knows how to keep its cool. Not a single part felt hot to the touch and, even more impressively, fans were whisper quiet at even high stress moments of multitasking.

The Shark Fin Fan cooling system utilizes three air intakes: two on the sides and one round back, with no exhausts directly on the bottom, which means you can easily use this on your lap and not feel any overbearing temperatures. 

Pair this with the VC heat dissipation modules and a smart temperature control that monitors the internals in real time, and you’ve got yourself a very efficient machine that won’t blow its top.

Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 software and warranty

Huawei packs only one vital piece of software in the MateBook X Pro 2022 and it’s aptly called PC Manager. This lets you update any missing drivers on your PC or run checkups to ensure your hardware components are healthy. Surprisingly, there’s no Windows 10 bloatware installed on this device.

Since this product isn’t available in the U.S. yet, the warranty hasn’t been stated, but Huawei PC devices typically come with one-year limited warranties in the States.

Bottom line

Huawei MateBook X Pro (2022)

(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to ultraportables, there were two options: the Dell XPS 13 or the M2 MacBook Air. Now, there is a third in the Huawei MateBook X Pro, which may just beat out the both. Yes, it’s that good.

Sure, the battery life is a little lacking and the 720p webcam is pretty poor, but it overwhelmingly nails the essentials of an ultra-productive ultraportable with 12th Gen Intel power, a stunning touchscreen display, an ergonomic keyboard, a brilliantly spacious trackpad, and better speakers than you could ever imagine in a laptop this small — all enclosed in sleek, sexy chassis.

One thing is for sure, it’s getting very cramped atop the mountain of the best Ultrabooks.

Jason England
Staff Writer

Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.