As one should expect from the next best version of anything, the MateBook X Pro for 2019 is more powerful than the last. However, it’s only marginally stronger than last year, meaning those hoping to upgrade should probably hold off.
It’s likewise for newcomers: the performance profile between both old and new versions of the MateBook X Pro is similar enough that you likely wouldn’t notice the difference. Again, this is why you should just search for last year’s model either still in-box or refurbished at the time of writing.
You’ll get largely an identical experience out of last year’s MateBook X Pro to the one you see here – the improvements in performance are nigh imperceptible.
Here’s how the Huawei MateBook X Pro (2019) performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
3DMark Sky Diver: 8,975; Fire Strike: 2,709; Time Spy: 962
Cinebench CPU: 474 points; Graphics: 85 fps
GeekBench 4: 5,240 (single-core); 17,152 (multi-core)
PCMark 8 (Home Test): 3,188 points
PCMark 8 Battery Life: 3 hours and 57 minutes
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 10 hours and 8 minutes
To put these absolutely marginal gains in perspective, the MateBook X Pro of 2019 delivers less than a 5% better result in 3DMark Sky Diver than the previous model. This is with what is supposed to be the next level of Nvidia MX graphics: the MX250.
The story doesn’t get any rosier when it comes to straight computing tasks, either. This brand new MateBook X Pro produces a PCMark 8 score that’s just 8.95% better than the previous model.
These single-digit percentage performance gains are not worth the price of upgrading much less choosing to buy this version of the MateBook X Pro over the cheaper previous model. This is especially considering that these benchmark figures are the only remotely tangible changes to the laptop.
When it comes to longevity, we’ve found the MateBook X Pro to be largely consistent with the previous model. While the laptop achieved a 2-hour-and-15-minute shorter lasting time in the PCMark 8 battery test than last year’s version, it managed an even better time in our own video playback test.
The laptop’s battery capacity remains unchanged year over year, so we chalk this up to the (slightly) more powerful Nvidia graphics heavily weighing the machine down a bit more than before in PCMark 8, which is graphics intensive. Inversely, the – again, slightly – upgraded Intel processor looks to sip a little less power over time than the previous, judging by these local video playback numbers, where only the processor is used.
Software and features
One thing we’ve loved about Huawei laptops from the start is the complete lack of software pre-installed by third parties. You won’t find any annoying free trials for antivirus apps here. Instead, the laptop contains a single app not already pre-loaded into Windows 10: Huawei PC Manager.
This app scans your computer’s hardware for any issues or possible driver updates that Windows 10 has missed. You can then install those updates – or resolve those problems – with one button press.
New this year to the PC Manager app is the “My Phone” feature, or Huawei Share, which allows for connectivity and file sharing with select Huawei and Honor (Huawei’s sub brand) smartphones running the latest 9.0 or 9.1 version of its EMUI operating system. While we see Huawei’s play at developing an ecosystem, since Huawei phones generally aren’t available in the US, we wish the company would open up these features to all Android phones.
The only true MateBook X Pro hardware feature to mention is the fingerprint reader integrated into the laptop’s power button. This is an extremely fast and convenient method of biometric login via Windows Hello. Just as with Huawei’s previous implementations of the technology, logging into the MateBook X Pro via fingerprint is accurate and quick.
All told, the new Huawei MateBook X Pro is a fine laptop that manages to outperform its predecessor … but not nearly enough to make it worth the upgrade much less the outright purchase for newcomers. To get 95% of the performance from this model in exactly the same frame with identical features, you could save hundreds opting for the 2018 model wherever it’s available.
Even the new MateBook 13 will deliver largely the same level of performance for far less cash – albeit with a smaller display. This is a real shame, especially considering last year’s MateBook X Pro was so much more affordable for similar hardware inside.
In short, if you’re interested in the Huawei MateBook X Pro since it was our Best in Class laptop of 2018 and now there’s a new model, save yourself gobs of cash and simply find the previous version. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying a kingly sum for a laptop that effectively cost less just last year.