Huawei - MateBook X

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by Queen6, Jul 8, 2017.

  1. Queen6, Jul 8, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017

    Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #1
    Some background my notebook's are employed professionally in an engineering/business roles, rotating them out every 24 months. As my 2015 12" Retina MacBook (rMB) has just hit the 2 year, here's my ramblings and comparisons with my new Huawei MateBook X.

    Very clearly Huawei has put a great deal of thought and effort into the MateBook X, even including the unboxing experience. As you open the lid off the box the notebook is raised up for easy access, nice touch. Charger & detachable power cable and MateDock2 ( USB C to USB A, HDMI, VGA & USB C ) included in the box, which makes for a lot of sense with a USB C only notebook, as currently USB C is far from mass adoption.

    I opted for the i5, 8Gb, 256SSD as it's enough for my needs. MateBook X being passively cooled, with full 15W i5/i7 CPU's as opposed to the rMB's 5W Core M CPU's. Performance is brisk out the box, equally the base MateBook X does get noticeably hotter than my Retina MacBook under heavy load. No obvious signs of throttling under sustained loads, admittedly not looking to deliberately max the CPU rather more normal to heavy use. i7 has benefit with it's 4Mb of L3 cache versus the i5 with 3Mb, extra few hundred Hz of clock frequent not so much. Also mindful that the MateBook X is passively cooled, as seen before bigger numbers don't always equate to better performance, especially if outside of the thermal envelope.

    Build quality is excellent, right up there with the best of them. More impressive is this is one of Huawei's first notebook's. Arguably the best Ultrabook currently on the market, in the hand the MateBook X feels reassuringly sold, literally as if it's a solid block. Similar to Apple's portables the display opens with ease one had. Keyboard, simply magnitudes better in comparison to my 2015 Retina MacBook with reasonable travel for such a thin system, 1.2mm versus the rMB's 0.5mm .

    Fingerprint reader works flawlessly with "Windows Hello" OS has zero bloatware installed, with only Huawei's MateBook Manager included. Audio is impressive for such a small notebook, might even just be better than the rMB which is an achievement. The 13" 3:2 Display is fabulous, not technically quite as good the rMB's, equally still excellent in this class, with the extra vertical work space being very welcome for productivity, as is the additional inch of workspace. Huawei also went to the effort of using Gorilla Glass 3, which stands-out as the MateBook X is non Touch.

    I did also consider the ZenBook 3, however it came across to me as rather an rMB clone that has more negatives than positives in comparison to the rMB. Huawei have in many respects thrown down the gauntlet with the MateBook X.

    Negatives; display is on the glossy side, USB C ports are not equal, with both offering USB data, however only one is capable of charging, the other offers video out. That said still a vast improvement on the notebook/tablet 2 in 1's offering only a single USB C port. rMB has been a great ultraportable, however for my needs now exceeded by Huawei's MateBook X

    n.b. My MateBook X was purchased in PR China, with Chinese only Windows 10 Home edition. I subsequently upgraded to Windows 10 Pro, reset the entire OS, now running UK english with all Huawei specific drivers & App in place.

    So why not simply replace the 2015 rMP with the new 2017 rMB; I feel that Apple really not progressing sensibly these days. Loosing that killer design & well engineered edge, example; the rMB's KB key's touch the display resulting in after two years of use globally the display now being permanently marked. The MateBook X has a decent amount more travel and the keyboard is designed so that it's physically impossible for the keys to touch the display.

    T.B.C.


    Very fair review

    Q-6
     
  2. raqball macrumors 6502a

    raqball

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    #2
    Nice write up.. The more I see and hear about it, the more I like.. This would be a killer alternative to the 12" rMB...

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
     
  3. Queen6 thread starter macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #3
    Likely i'll keep rambling on :) More I use the MateBook X more I like it, really like the 2 in 1 features of my Surface Book, equally the MateBook X is fast becoming my favourite notebook; it's just so portable, yet nowhere near as constrained as the rMB.

    Second USnB C port, full i5-u CPU, decent KB & 3:2 display simply make for such a better solution :) This is Huawei`s first attempt :cool: very impressed, not perfect mind, give Huawei a couple of generations, as they listen to their customers...

    No doubts in my mind that Huawei is looking to take on both Apple and Microsoft head on...

    Q-6
     
  4. Queen6 thread starter macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #4
    Worth a watch, especially around 2:12

    This is how all notebooks should be made as accidents can and do happen...

    More i'm using the MateBook X the more I'm enjoying it, really a pleasure to use. Similar to the Surface Book with it's key caps being the same colour as the chassis in certain lighting conditions neither the KB backlight being on or off helps. Still remain most impressed by the notebooks performance, for a passively cooled system it fly's

    Unless you don't care for Windows 10 there's very little not like about the MB-X, few tweaks will be literally the perfect Ultrabook.

    Q-6
     
  5. raqball macrumors 6502a

    raqball

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    #5
    Nice that it comes with a dongle in the box.. Apple cheaps out and can't even put a single USB C to Lightning in the box so people can connect their iPhones...
     
  6. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

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    #6
    Out of curiosity, how much does a MateBook X run in the US?
     
  7. raqball, Jul 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
  8. Queen6 thread starter macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #8
    Don't really want to rag on Apple overly as it just tends to end up with threads derails or closed. I do agree Apple is just cheap these days, nickel & diming it's customers at every opportunity. I'll leave it at that...

    Q-6
    --- Post Merged, Jul 13, 2017 ---
    Similar to many the prices are unified, just the addition of local taxes

    Q-6
     
  9. raqball macrumors 6502a

    raqball

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    #9
    The price of the MateBook X is pretty reasonable, all things considered..

    MateBook X (i5 / 8 / 256) = $1100
    Apple MacBook (m3 / 8 / 256) = $1300

    For $200 less you get a much better processor and the dongle included. I don't know what those dongles cost but that might be a $30-$50 add on as well..

    The X looks really nice.. The only minor bummer is it comes with Home instead of Pro..
     
  10. Queen6, Jul 13, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017

    Queen6 thread starter macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #10
    For many W10 will be fine, personally I upgraded to W10 Pro as I will use the notebook for work purpose. Another big draw for the MateBook X is it's 13" 3"2 display in such a small chassis.

    Q-6
     
  11. raqball macrumors 6502a

    raqball

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    #11
    Yeah I love the 3:2 ratio and think it's best suited for laptops used for work or web related stuff.. I remember when Google got laughed at when they went with that ration on the OG Pixel.
     
  12. Queen6 thread starter macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #12
    For smaller notebooks 3:2 is by far the best aspect ratio, if looking to get things done.

    Q-6
     
  13. Silvestru Hosszu macrumors member

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    #13
    Hi,
    I also own a 12'' MacBook and I`m really tempted by something with 13'' screen but very portable. The 3:2 screen is a big plus, at least for me (I`m a amateur photographer also).
    I`m a professional user also (lawyer) using MS Office extensively. Regrettably I didn't find a store where I live to try out this machine in person.
    Please tell me about how does it compare with 12 MacBook mainly regarding portability and battery life.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  14. Queen6, Jul 23, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017

    Queen6 thread starter macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #14
    Owing both 2015 rMB and Huawei MB-X; Just returned home from a trip to Malaysia with both notebooks, portability is pretty much equal, with the MB-X having a marginally bigger footprint. Battery life the Mac will likely deliver the longest runtimes, equally the MB-X does not disappoint with far more positives. The 13" display is fabulous, being a huge draw for productivity (heavy engineering).

    MB-X Battery life is in the region of 7-8 hours, over all I find the MB-X to be a vast improvement over my 2015 rMB. Frankly better in all respects, bottom line I find the MB-X to be the better notebook, nor is pricing a consideration for me. Huawei have really "nailed it" for a first Gen, first attempt at the clamshell notebook formula. To me Apple continues to disappoint, hence no longer a professional user of their hardware...

    In use the MB-X is the stronger and faster system by a wide margin. The rMB you are always aware of the limitations of the Core M CPU, the MB-X runs and feels like a regular i5U ultraportable with the ability to flex it's muscles without too much drama...

    Open to questions

    Q-6

     
  15. Silvestru Hosszu macrumors member

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    #15
    Very interesting.
    I am very tempted to pick one up. Time to find a good offer in Europe ..
     
  16. Silvestru Hosszu macrumors member

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    #16
    Sorry to bother you queen6 but when I was close to pull the trigger I found this review:

    https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/24/16007692/huawei-matebook-x-laptop-review

    To be honest it really scared me because the faults listed there are deal breaker for me and the verge did decent reviews in the past.

    I would really like to know your opinion about the reviewers findings.

    Thx in advance.
     
  17. raqball macrumors 6502a

    raqball

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    #17
    I'll let @Queen6 answer since he has the machine but a quick read of the review makes me shake my head.

    The reviewer lists these as negatives:
    • Dysfunctional touchpad
    • Evanescent battery life
    • Can’t take it anywhere without dongles
    Other than those he praised the machine so his final rating is really odd, to me at least.

    The touchpad could be an outdated driver, bad config or he just has a defective machine. My bet, since it's a precision touchpad, is the driver may be the issue.

    Battery life will vary from person to person and I have to wonder how long he used it before concluding. That's the problem with reviews like this. The reviewer never has the machine long enough to troubleshoot and they don't bother to try and fix issues that may be causing the problem.

    Dongles? Well it is a rMB competitor so you'll need the same dongles with those as well...

    My .02
     
  18. Silvestru Hosszu macrumors member

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    #18
    I don't care about dongles really. Having a MacBook means that I excepted the dongles.
    But battery life and the trackpad are totally different story.
    I only care about this review because I read some reviews by Vlad Savov about product I did own and the guy was spot on.
    I really hope that he got a lemon because I want badly this laptop and I want it to work as queen described it.
     
  19. Queen6 thread starter macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #19
    OK; Touchpad is excellent on my MateBook X, potentially bettering my Surface Book, being highly responsive and accurate, yet to use mouse which speaks volumes. I did bump up the cursor speed from the default 5 to 8, nothing more. multitouch and gestures work perfectly.

    Battery life is always going to be dependant on usage 7-8 hours is to me a fair judgment. Dongles, it's an ultraportable and USB C is still in it's infancy at least Huawei include in the box and it the majority of connections, unlike Apple's money grabbing approach.

    Same don't get the final score, MB-X is magnitudes better than my 2015 rMB and a fast favourite despite the lack of Touch & Pen support...

    Q-6

     
  20. Silvestru Hosszu macrumors member

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    #20
    Thanks a lot. I will pull the trigger. If I don't like I can send it back ...
     
  21. Queen6 thread starter macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #21
    Exactly if the MB-X doesn't work for you, it can always be returned. Personally very impresed, will be good to see another's perspective be it either positive or negative on the forum.

    Q-6
     
  22. Jg75 macrumors newbie

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    #22
    Thank you for this tip. I think 13" is the perfect size for a notebook, the 12" rMB is simply too small to type comfortably on, both because of the size and the questionable keyboard. Unfortunately, I would like macOS.
     
  23. Queen6 thread starter macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #23
    The 13" 3:2 display is noticeable and a standout feature of the notebook. Keyboard is literally magnitudes better than my 12" Retina MacBook and the new MacBook Pro. Apple of recent have simply lost their minds with the new keyboards being plain and simple garbage, nor do they appear to be overly reliable. Given up as Apple is solely about lifestyle products now, and from a professional point of view very much loosing respect...

    Q-6
     
  24. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

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    #24
    Great review and that looks like a lovely computer. This is the type of competition that is going to force Apple to innovate more when they eventually realize how many other good alternatives are on the market.

    I really hope we start selling them soon at the computer place I work at part time.
     
  25. Queen6, Jul 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017

    Queen6 thread starter macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #25
    Exactly Apple has sat on it's laurels far too long. What I always loved about Apple as that it was it always took it's own path, sadly these days Apple has just become another money grabber. If Apple doesn't respond to such challenges I have little doubt the likes of Huawei will overtake Apple in a matter of a couple of years; being innovative, stylish, offering superb quality, most importantly listening to it's customers without pandering to them...

    Q-6
    --- Post Merged, Jul 30, 2017 ---
    Not tried to run OS X or Linux on the MB-X as not 100% sure exactly how Huawei deals with the passive cooling solution, equally W10 is getting better with every iteration. For me W10 is now far less problematic than OS X (rMB totally locked up this afternoon and crashed again) I do prefer the simpler approach of OS X, equally I don't appreciate Apple's direction of late with the desktop OS, pandering to IOS and the Starbucks crowd, not the professional audience...

    Given only 15% of Mac users are now classified as Professional users by Apple itself, I'm not really surprised with the direction, equally very disappointed. Now no longer a professional user of Apple's products as a direct result. Had someone said to me I would switch to Windows even five years ago I would have simply laughed, let alone Windows on Microsoft's own hardware, a sad refection of the Mac in 2017...

    Q-6
     

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