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  • Liling Tan

Huawei MateBook X Pro Review: Paying More For Less Performance?

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

What I have today, is a really, really weird laptop. This is the MateBook X Pro, and you’re paying almost twice the price, compared to the more affordable MateBook 13 which I reviewed previously. 

Now, price isn’t the main issue. There are some of you out there who’s willing to spend that cash, and fair enough.

But the issue here is that you’re paying almost twice more, but also getting half the performance. Let’s talk about it.

So first up, the specs. Just looking at the spec sheet alone, this would actually look really really promising.

It’s got an Intel Core i7-10510U, Nvidia GeForce MX250, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB NVMe SSD.

Just from specs, you would assume that this laptop is slightly more powerful than the MateBook 13, which has almost the exact same specs, except that it’s running the Intel Core i5-10210U instead.

But wow, if you thought the same as me when I first got my hands on it, you couldn’t be more wrong than that.

Let’s jump straight into Cinebench R20. As you can see from the scores, it is simply appalling. Almost half the performance in both Single Core and Multi-Core, in comparison to that of the MateBook 13, which by the way, if I must say it again, has the lower end Intel Core i5. And yes, I did run the test multiple times, and this was the average of 7 runs.

Moving on, let’s look at DaVinci Resolve. Running our standard render tests, you can see that the results are far worse compared to the MateBook 13, or say a Razer Blade 13 Stealth. 

Render times for both 1080p and 4K took about 50% longer to complete on average, in comparison. 

Now I can go on and do more tests, but honestly, this laptop, despite the specs on paper, is severely underperforming. Now, to be frank, it wasn’t something that I expected at all. It just doesn’t make sense.

So I delved a little deeper.

First up, I checked the temperatures, and to my surprise, it wasn’t bad at all. In both tests, the chip hovered around 73 degrees celsius when under load. I was actually expecting high 80s, so mid-70s actually caught me off guard. But when you take a look at the clock speeds, it paints a different picture.

The only reason why the temperatures were rather low, was because under sustained loads, the Intel Core i7-10510U, which has a base clock of 2.3GHz, was only clocking in at 1.4GHz. 

Yeap, you heard that right. Just about 1.4GHz. Far lower than its base clock, and nowhere near its boost clock of 4.9GHz.

So clock speed was one factor, but the TDP limit of the chip was another factor. Despite having a standard TDP configuration of 15 watts, when under sustained load, it was capped to just 8 watts, which is almost half of 15.

The last factor which I felt contributed to the underwhelming performance, was the thermal solution and fan profile. 

Yes, though temperatures were well within check, it was at the huge cost of performance. But I also did notice that the fans weren’t really running at full tilt, no matter what I threw at it, or how heavy the load was. The default fan profile is certainly off balance. 

Now of course.

You can probably “fix the problem” if you download third-party software, adjust the fan curve, undervolt it, unlock parameters, and so on and so forth.

But I’m not going to do that. And even if you go ahead and do so, you might not necessarily be able to improve things, or perhaps you might ultimately find that the physical thermal solution is just not up to spec in the first place, and that’s why Huawei did all these software trickery. 

In any case, however, I simply cannot recommend this laptop at all. It’s kind of a shame because it does have a clean design, a pretty awesome display, good keyboard and trackpad and was actually quite pleasant to use. 

But the truth is, the performance just isn’t there, especially not for what you’re paying. For this amount of cash, you’re better off buying a Razer Blade Stealth, or go AMD with the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7, or save half your cash, and get the MateBook 13 which will still perform better than this. 

I’m actually curious how this even passed the quality checks at Huawei, considering they have the MateBook 13.

In any case, I cannot recommend this. Not at all.

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