If you ask us, Huawei's MateBook X Pro is among the very best ultrabooks on the market right now. On that topic, our Danish site also gave the laptop a nice review, praising the robust design, the beautiful screen, the fantastic keyboard and the lightweight feel of the ultrabook. It was clear to us that Huawei focused on the aesthetics to give people who would typically rush to the store to grab the latest MacBook Pro the incentive to check out their own creation. The problem with the MateBook X Pro was, however, that the laptop wasn't substantially cheaper than its Apple counterpart and so the MateBook 13 was born.
At first glance, the MateBook 13 resembles the X Pro, which is somewhat a shame while at the same time appealing to the eye. It has the same grey finish on the aluminium chassis and the same fancy keyboard with its huge trackpad but, in more ways than one, the MateBook 13 is a product that can coexist with its big brother X Pro as it's the more accessible and cheaper model, and the cheaper price tag doesn't mean a big sacrifice in terms of quality either.
The MateBook 13 is made completely out of aluminium and is a mere one and a half inches thick. Now, this is is slightly thicker than an X Pro, but not noticeably so during transportation or daily use. Weighing in at just 1.3 kilograms, the MateBook 13 definitely resides in ultrabook country. Although there are small holes for ventilation at the bottom of the chassis and two USB-C ports as well as one jack input, there's virtually nothing that breaks the otherwise clean and uniform look, and as a result, The MateBook13, like its big brother, is absolutely beautiful to look at.
Worthy of a mention as well is the fact that Huawei's laptops have a screen ratio of 3:2, giving the user more screen space to work with, all without widening the size of the chassis. Besides that, Huawei has used the remaining space to make sure they can fit the out-of-this-world keyboard on there, which is backlit with a fantastic, responsive trackpad as well as the well-functioning fingerprint reader in the power switch. From a physical perspective, the MateBook 13 is among the nicest laptops on the market, and although its design is heavily inspired by Apple's MacBooks, there's no doubt that Huawei has constructed a piece of hardware with plenty of personality.
As for the inside of the MateBook 13, the slightly more expensive model offers an 8th generation i7 processor (one of the first to use the Whiskey Lake chipset), 8GB RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD hard drive, and a Nvidia GeForce MX150. Doesn't sound too shabby, does it? With that being said, the MateBook 13 has plenty of goodies under the hood and the machine can easily be used for simpler picture and video editing as well as light gaming. Should you need to push the laptop to its max, Huawei has introduced a new cooling system called Shark Fin 2.0 with the new hardware, which allows the fan to run up to 8000rpm, improving the air intake by 25%. In practice, however, the heat isn't a problem, and like the X Pro, the MateBook 13 manages to maintain a good cooling temperature with minimal noise levels for every-day usage. This is something we've seen other ultrabook manufacturers struggle with - we're looking at you, Asus.
The praise doesn't stop here, either. Keeping in mind that many Windows-based ultrabooks struggle with battery life, a field in which Apple still stands tall, Huawei has managed to squeeze a 42Wh battery into the MateBook 13. During our test period, we got at least 10 hours of work done without plugging the laptop into a power source, a lot longer than what we've got with several of its competitors.
As previously stated, however, the screen is the focus here, and although Huawei's turned the resolution down to 2160x1440, the larger aspect ratio and sharp colours are a pure joy to behold, with everything from multimedia editing to office work. While on the topic of the laptop's screen, the MateBook 13 sports a 300 NITS brightness as well as a 100% colour coverage, and it's a true delight to experience. Huawei, however, has some tough competition in this area from other manufacturers who have also opted for the 3:2 aspect ratio such as Microsoft with the Surface Laptop 2, but when eyeing a model with 16GB RAM, an i7 processor and integrated UHD graphics, as well as a 512GB SSD it will, much like its competitors, reach close to a £2,500 price tag, which the MateBook 13 doesn't.
Huawei already has, as previously mentioned, a premium laptop on the market in the form of the X Pro, meaning they have chosen to market this offering in a different way. When it comes down to it, the MateBook 13 offers a 512GB NVMe SSD, an i7 Whiskey Lake CPU as well as the MX150 for under £1200. As you know, that price tag is close to half of the one sported by the comparable Surface Laptop 2 and it's a chunk of change cheaper than a comparable MacBook Air, with the latter having but an i5 processor and integrated UHD graphics - the MateBook 13 is simply a slam dunk.
Loving the MateBook 13 isn't a hard task, and once you consider the price of the X Pro, you get a lot of ultrabook for the money with its little brother.