In the laptop world, Dell’s XPS 13 gets a lot of credit for having a great design, excellent battery life and that nifty Infinity Edge display that started the trend of slimmer bezels on laptops. But what most people don’t know is that the laptop with the thinnest bezels in the world isn’t a Dell, it’s now a Huawei.
While Huawei has been making solid phones for years, the company only started making laptops in 2017, the most notable of which was the MateBook X. But at Mobile World Congress 2018, Huawei thought it could do even better, so here comes the MateBook X Pro.
That screens looks seriously good.Photo: Sam Rutherford (Gizmodo)
When you look at it, the thing that jumps out immediately are its bezels. Measuring just over 4mm on every side, these super slim bezels result in a crazy screen-to-body ratio of 91-per cent. For reference, the newest Dell XPS 13 only has a screen-to-body ratio of 80.7-per cent, while over in smartphone land, Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is only slightly better at 84.2-per cent.
But more importantly, check out below the display. Unlike nearly every other flagship ultraportable, the MateBook X Pro doesn’t have a chin – that big ugly bottom bezel where things like the webcam goes. That means Huawei was able to pack a 36cm display into a body that’s much closer in size to a traditional 13-inch machine.
How cool is that?Graphic: Sam Rutherford (Gizmodo)
Then, things get even more interesting when you think about what kind of impact the X Pro’s essentially non-existent bezels have. Where does its webcam go? This is the part I like the most in a really geeky James Bond kind of way. Instead of putting the webcam somewhere around the outside of the display, Huawei hid it under a button on the keyboard that fucking pops out when you press it. And even though the webcam suffers a bit from having to look up at your chin (it is still better than what you get from the XPS 13), this setup is super slick.
From the top, you wouldn’t even know that button with the camera on it is hiding a webcam.
And for people paranoid about the government or hackers spying on them using their laptop’s webcam, Huawei’s pop-up implementaion also comes with the added benefit that when it’s recessed into the keyboard, both the camera and mic can’t hear or see a thing. Hurrah, for no more unwanted peeping.
But the good stuff doesn’t stop there, because the MateBook X Pro’s standard 3:2 touchscreen also sports a lovely 3000 x 2000 resolution, so everything looks super sharp, and it has a claimed impressive brightness of 450 nits. Also scroll back up and check out those colours, because short of an OLED display, the MateBook X Pro has one of the most colourful and vibrant screens I’ve seen in a while.
And it charges via UCB-C. That’s one less brick to carry around.Photo: Sam Rutherford (Gizmodo)
Inside, the X Pro has got some serious specs too, thanks to your choice of 8th-Gen Intel Core i5 or i7 CPUs, up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage, and an optional Nvidia MX 150 GPU. Even the X Pro’s connectivity has gotten an upgrade, featuring two USB-C ports that can both handle charging (while one also features Thunderbolt 3 support), and a regular USB Type-A port for people still hanging onto older peripherals.
Huawei says the power button/fingerprint reader can take the X Pro from powered down to where you were last in under 8 seconds.Photo: Sam Rutherford (Gizmodo)
For the US buyers, Huawei is going the extra mile by tossing in a free docking hub, in case you need even more ports, a free year of Office 365, and opting for a Microsoft Signature installation of Windows 10. That means absolutely no bloatware or extra BS. In fact, the system is so clean, there isn’t a single Huawei app or icon found anywhere in the OS.
And as on the previous Matebook X, the X Pro features a fingerprint sensor built-in to the power button, and Dolby Atmos speakers that are even louder now too.
Photo: Sam Rutherford (Gizmodo)
There’s no word yet on price or a release date. However during my time trying out the MateBook X Pro, Huawei’s head of mobile computing Ankit Jhaveri said the system’s price would be “disruptive.” While I find it hard to imagine that this thing will be anything approaching cheap, I’m hoping he’s right, cause the X Pro seems like a laptop that’s clever in all the right ways.