Premium In Every Way, Shape & Form

Huawei launched some truly compelling laptops over the years, and it’s not easy to constantly improve upon that formula. Well, the company managed to do it again. The Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 is the best-feeling laptop I’ve ever used, it simply screams premium, as you’ll see in this review. Huawei opted to use magnesium to make this laptop, and it just feels… stunning. We’ll talk more about that in the design section, though, of course.

The design in general is excellent, but that’s not the only thing that makes this laptop great. Huawei didn’t really miss in the screen department either, and the same goes for the battery and the keyboard. It’s an all-around great product, which is to be expected at this price, but still… it managed to surprise me. That being said, let’s see what this laptop has to offer, and if it’s the right choice for you.

The Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 both looks and feels ultra premium

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I already kind of spoiled the design section of this review in the intro. The design is what stood out to me the most here. To the touch, this laptop feels like metal, but with a paper texture. That’s the first thing that came to mind when I pulled it out of the box, and it still holds true to this day. It feels like touching paper, but also metal at the same time. I have to say I love the feeling, but I’ve also noticed some smudges early on, which I managed to remove. Still, those smudges probably wouldn’t be there if the matt texture wasn’t on it, as it wasn’t the case in previous laptops from the company. That’s not much of a problem for me, though, because as I said, I managed to clean it, and I’d much rather have this texture and material than the extremely slipper, polished aluminum.

It is quite light, and compact overall

Don’t get me wrong, this texture is not overly grippy or anything, but it’s grippier than what you’d usually get. The Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 also has a lot of curves on it. It’s curvier than its predecessors, and I love that look. It seems considerably slimmer because of it, even though it’s not really, at least at its thickest point. It is, however, quite thin, quite compact, and quite light as well. The device weighs 1.38kg, in case you’re wondering, which is not bad at all for a 14-inch laptop, quite the contrary. It is one of the lightest laptops I’ve ever reviewed in this category.

The situation with ports is… a bit odd

Now, when it comes to ports, some of you may be disappointed. This laptop does have five ports on it, but four of them are USB Type-C ports. You’re not getting a single USB-A port here. You also won’t find an HDMI port, an SD card reader, or anything of the sort. There are two Type-C ports on the right, two on the left, and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the left as well. That’s it. Granted, you can use those Type-C ports for a lot of things, depending on your workflow. Some of you may opt for a dongle, or to get some extra cables. As I said, it all depends on your workflow. I, personally, only need Type-C ports, as that’s how my gear is organized, so this was not a problem for me whatsoever.

This laptop has a huge solid-state touchpad

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What about the touchpad? Well, it’s excellent, though, to some of you, it may be a weird experience at first. The touchpad is huge, and it leaps over the edge of this laptop. Huawei calls it the ‘Free Touch’ touchpad, and it’s actually a solid-state touchpad. What does that mean? Well, it doesn’t exactly move, you’re getting the feedback in form of vibrations. That’s why it may be a bit odd of an experience when you let go of it, and it doesn’t exactly raise back into position. It may take you some time to get used to that. After around two weeks, I did get used to it to a certain degree, but it’s still a bit odd. I’m getting there, though. Accidental presses did occur from time to time, but then I realized I can lower the sensitivity of it. You can do that via the Huawei Control Panel, simply put it to ‘Low’ setting, and you’ll get a much more “normal” feeling and avoid accidental presses.

There are a ton of touchpad gestures that you can take advantage of

You can increase or decrease the sensitivity of the touchpad, along with some other options in the settings. It will never feel the same as a regular touchpad, though, for better or worse. There are also all kinds of gestures available here, and even knuckle gestures. You can, for example, knock twice on the touchpad to take a screenshot, with your knuckle. This actually works really well, as it did on Huawei phones. All in all, I loved my experience with this touchpad, and it’s really well-positioned. I often have to disable touchpads when typing, as I accidentally trigger actions with them. That was not really a big problem here, I did move the cursor by accident, but that’s about it. In fact, the vast majority of this review has been typed up on this laptop. Speaking of which, let’s talk about the keyboard.

The keyboard is excellent, and even had good key travel

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The keyboard is another aspect of the MateBook X Pro that Huawei did well. The keys have a 1.5mm of travel, and a “soft landing design”. That basically means that they’re not too loud, and that’s true. I thoroughly enjoyed typing on this keyboard.

One thing to note, is that the arrow keys are now squished together, due to the size of the keyboard. There is no numpad on the sides, or anything of the sort. Huawei did have to squeeze in the speakers on the sides, to make them up-facing, which is why it had to squish the arrow keys. I don’t mind this at all, as we are getting a great set of speakers, and they’re not bottom-facing. A somewhat odd arrow keys setup is a small price to pay, in my humble opinion, and I did get used to it rather fast. The left and right arrow keys are still quite large, while the up and bottom ones are placed in between them.

You can open this laptop with one hand, easy

I’m sure there are those of you who are wondering if you can open the Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 with one hand. The answer is, yes, you can. The bottom part will not start raising up or anything of the sort, and that’s another sign of a job well done. That’s my pet peeve as well, in a way. The build quality here is outstanding as is Huawei’s attention to detail, I have no complaints, really.

The display on the Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 is outstanding

Spoiler alert, the display on the Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 is outstanding. This is one of the best displays I’ve ever seen on a laptop, in fact, and that’s saying a lot. Huawei opted for a 14.2-inch 3120 x 2080 LTPS panel (3:2 aspect ratio). We’re looking at a 264 PPI here, and this panel offers a 90Hz refresh rate. It gets up to 500 nits of brightness, which is not bad for a laptop at all, it gets quite bright, actually. Unless you’re working in direct sunlight, you’ll be good to go. The P3 color gamut is a part of the package, and the display can project 1.07 billion colors. It has a 1500:1 contrast ratio, and excellent viewing angles (up to 178 degrees). On top of all that, this is a touch-sensitive display.

It is truly immersive, and extremely sharp

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On top of everything I’ve mentioned, do note that you’re getting a 92.5-percent screen-to-body ratio here. That means that you’ll also get a truly immersive experience, as the bezels around the display are really thin. All of that sounds great on paper, but is the display any good in use? Oh yes, very much so. It’s extremely sharp, which is easily noticeable, and thanks to its brightness, I didn’t really have nearly as many issues with glaring, as I did with some other panels. It is also touch sensitive to a normal degree, you can use it as a touchscreen, but I didn’t really do that all that often. The colors are vivid, and it is quite color-accurate.

I did disable automatic brightness, though

No major complaints on my end, this panel is excellent. There is only one thing I’d like to flag, and that is automatic brightness. I noticed quite a lot of change in that department while working, which can be quite annoying. The weather was not the best, so that could be the reason, as the sun did come and go constantly. In any case, I ended up disabling automatic contrast adjustment, and just used the manual triggers on the keyboard. I do that on every laptop, though, so… there you go.

The 12th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU keeps everything running smoothly

The Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 comes in two versions, one with the Core i5-1240P, and the other with the Core i7-1260P CPU. We have the second one here, the more powerful and expensive one. It comes with 4 performance cores, 8 efficiency cores, and 16 threads. In comparison to last year’s model, this is quite an improvement. In fact, if you benchmark it, you’ll get around 50% better performance in multi-core performance. The single-core performance improvement is more modest, but it’s still there.

That’s not something you’ll notice under normal load, not at all. Both last year’s and this year’s MateBook X Pro laptops are overkill for the vast majority of tasks. These are quite powerful SoCs, and even though these laptops are not made for gaming, they can handle a lot of other things, and non-demanding games as well. This variant comes with L3 cache – 18MP, which is also an improvement over 12MP cache in last year’s model. You’re also getting the Intel Iris Xe G7 GPU here.

This laptop is not made for gaming, though

This combo can handle image editing, to a normal degree, while gaming is not preferred, of course. The GPU comes to light when it comes to gaming, and this one is definitely not made for it. You’re also getting plenty of RAM here, our model includes 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM. So, technically, it’s mobile RAM, but still, it’s plenty for this thing. What’s weird, though, is that the phone I’m currently using, the ZenFone 9, has 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM. We’ve come to that point apparently, it dawned on me while I was typing this review.

It never got too hot, not even when it was under heavier load

Another thing to note is that the laptop never got too hot. Not even under heavy load was I able to feel excessive heat or anything of the sort, nor did the laptop slow down in the process. The device includes the so-called Shark Fin Fan system, and it does a good job. It also has a smart temperature control system, and some other goodies to cool down the CPU. All in all, the performance has been excellent, and Windows 11 also behaved. You’re also getting the Huawei PC app, which is great at giving you some extra tools, and allowing you to choose between Balanced and Performance modes.

The battery life is good, and 90W charging is also included

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The Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 includes a 60Wh battery on the inside. Its predecessor had a 56Wh battery, in case you were wondering. This tablet also offers faster charging than last year’s model. This model came with a 90W charger, but the Core i5 version comes with a 65W charger. So that’s another advantage of getting the higher-end model. You can charge the device by using any of the four Type-C ports. I didn’t really measure how long it takes to charge it, but it didn’t take that long at all. I usually charge it while I’m working in an office, so that it’s good to go later on.

You battery life may vary

Now, in regards to the battery life. This model offers slightly less battery life than the previous one, despite the fact it has a bigger battery. The previous one had a less powerful SoC, and a dimmer display, which is why. I was able to get around 5 and a half to 6 hours of use, sometimes a bit more, on a single charge. My brightness was manually set to around 40-50-percent, as I used it mostly indoors. I noticed that lowering the brightness can noticeably improve battery life. Do note that I also disabled automatic color adjustments, along with automatic brightness. If I left that on, it’s possible the battery life would be better. Also, I did not play any games on it. I used it for typing articles, browsing the web, streaming music, image editing, and so on. I did not edit videos nor play games, other than one day when I was testing both.

The camera is more than good for video calls

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What about the camera? Well, it’s actually quite good… for a laptop camera. It is an HD+ unit, and it does the job very well for video calls. Huawei does offer some virtual backgrounds for you to use with it as well, and it works really well. I don’t really have high expectations for cameras on laptops, and this one is actually really good in the grand scheme of things.

Both fingerprint & face scanning solutions work great

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With the Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022, you’re actually getting two different biometric security options. You’re getting a fingerprint scanner above the keyboard, in the top-left corner, and infrared face scanning. Sensors for the latter sit above the display, in the bezel itself. Both options are truly excellent. They’re accurate, fast, and you simply don’t think about either when you’re using the laptop. Face scanning is more seamless, I’d say, as you don’t really have to press a button to log in. Considering that we’re talking about a second’s worth of work to put your finger on the power key, it really doesn’t make any difference. The point is, you have two great options, both of which work flawlessly, it’s up to you.

The sound output is sublime

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Huawei managed to stuff 6 speakers inside the Huawei Matebook X Pro 2022. They are not only loud, but they also sound very rich. In fact, I’d go right out and say it, these are the best-sounding speakers I’ve ever used on a laptop. The mids are very crisp, and the sound in general is very rich and sharp. You can simply leave everything as it is and enjoy yourself. If you do need more control, though, the company includes the so-called Huawei Sound program. It offers three different settings to choose from: Smart Optimization, Ultra-bass, and Sound Turbo. The Smart Optimization setting will balance sound details and bass, the Ultra-bass doesn’t need any further explanation, and the Sound Turbo basically aims to replicate spacial audio. It’s up to you, but the sound these speakers can provide is sublime. You’ll also get great voice pickup thanks to the included microphones.

The Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 is really expensive, but…

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The bottom line is… the Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022 is a truly excellent laptop. It is extremely pricey, though, a lot more expensive than its predecessor. So, from that point of view, it may be best for you to get last year’s model, as you’ll save a ton of cash (depending on the variant). However, if you’re looking to get the latest and greatest, we really don’t have any major complaints about this laptop. Huawei did an amazing job with the MateBook X Pro 2022. It pulled all the stops and created a great-looking, and great-feeling laptop that can handle a lot. The sound output is sublime, the screen is truly excellent, and the keyboard is a joy to type on. Even the touchpad is excellent. If you have the cash, and you want the best, get the Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022, it’s certainly one of the best offerings in this price range.

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