Following Huawei’s attempts to directly challenge the dominant smartphone players Samsung and Apple, now the Chinese technology firm is going after laptops with the MateBook X Pro, attempting to out-“Pro” the MacBook Pro.
The new thin and light laptop follows on from Huawei’s MateBook X from 2017, released in 2017 and looks strikingly familiar to Apple’s top-of-the-line notebook, with an aluminium body that’s available in silver or “space grey” – just like the MacBook Pro – a chiclet keyboard and large trackpad.
But it is the 14in 3K LTPS screen that Huawei hopes to sell the MateBook X Pro, which the company says, manages to fit into the body of a more traditional 12in laptop.
“The MateBook X Pro has the world’s first full-view screen in a notebook, featuring a massive 91% screen to body ratio, which is down to the amount of engineering work we’ve done to reduce the bezels around the display,” said Peter Gauden, senior product marketing manager for Huawei. “With a 178-degree viewing angle range, if you’re working on confidential documents on a plane or train you’re going to have to invest in a privacy screen because everyone is going to be able to see what you’re working on – it’s that good.”
The MateBook X Pro comes with the latest Intel 8th generation quad-core i7 U series processor, up to 16GB of RAM and an Nvidia MX150 discrete graphics processor with 2GB of memory. It also supports Thunderbolt 3, has two USB-C ports, a USB-A port and headphones socket, squeezed into a wedge shape that tapers from 16.6mm to 4.9mm, weighing 1.33kg.
The power button doubles as a fingerprint scanner, which Huawei says will start and securely log into Windows from cold in under eight seconds. The laptop also has four speakers – two treble speakers at the back and two bass speakers at the front – supporting Dolby’s Atmos sound system.
The spill-proof chiclet keyboard resembles that fitted on Apple’s MacBook Pro, but has a trick up its sleeve: a recessed camera that hides under a key in the centre of the top function row.
Gauden said: “It’s hidden away so you can be completely comfortable with your privacy concerns over cameras – just pop it up when you want to use it.”
Huawei rates the battery life of the MateBook X Pro at 12 hours of video playback. The company is going to sell the machine with a new compact 65W USB-C charger, which is about the same size as smartphone fast chargers, describing it as “intelligent enough to charge anything safely”.
Huawei also announced three new MediaPad M5 Android tablets. One with an 8.4in screen and two larger 10.8in versions including a “Pro” model that ships with a stylus. All three have 2K resolution LCD screens, Harman Kardon speakers and at least 10 hours of battery for video playback.
All three tablets will also run Huawei’s EMUI 8, which is based on Android 8 Oreo, with the two larger models capable of attaching to a keyboard case and presenting a desktop-like Android experience for productivity.
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