Huawei MateBook X Pro is barely bigger than its display

Huawei has taken the a path opposite to Apple's when it comes to consumer gear. Rather than being a personal computer company that began selling phones, Huawei is a telecoms company that also sells laptops—pretty fancy ones, too. Huawei is showing off its latest creation, the MateBook X Pro, at Mobile World Congress 2018 (which starts today in actually-sort-of-rainy Barcelona). This 14" ultrabook sports a 91% display-to-chassis ratio and discrete graphics in a body just 0.57" (15 mm) thick.

That 91% number would be impressive even in a smartphone, but it's a first in a laptop as far as we can tell. The 13.9" display uses LTPS panel technology and has a 3000×2000 display resolution. Huawei says the MateBook X Pro's monitor is capable of reproducing the full sRGB color space at a maximum brightness of 450 cd/m² and a contrast ratio of 1500:1. Its Gorilla Glass surface supports 10-point multi-touch. To our knowledge, this is the first implementation of LTPS display tech on a laptop, and we're interested to see how it holds up to the competition.

Powering that shiny screen is your choice of a Kaby Lake-R Intel Core i5 or Core i7 CPU, optionally mated to Nvidia's GeForce MX150 graphics chip. We've seen that combination of KBL-R processors and the MX150 many times before, and it's quite capable for a machine this size. Depending on the model, you'll get either 8 or 16 GB of LPDDR3 memory. NVMe-connected SSDs are standard for storage, with either 256 GB or 512 GB of capacity. All the hardware is powered by a beefy 57-WHr battery that Huawei says can run the machine for 12 solid hours of video playback.

For external connectivity on the MateBook X Pro, there's a pair of USB Type-C ports—one of which supports Thunderbolt 3 connections. There's also a USB 3.0 Type-A port, a welcome addition to a machine this size. A headset jack rounds out the peripheral ports. The front of the machine has a pop-up 1-MP webcam hidden under a function key, and there's a fingerprint sensor on the power button. Huawei says the keyboard is spill-proof, too.

Huawei says there will be three configurations on offer. The model with a Core i5 CPU, 8 GB of RAM, and a 256 GB SSD will run you €1499 ($1537 without VAT).  That same machine with a 512 GB SSD will cost you €1699 ($1743), and the top-tier machine with a Core i7, 16 GB of RAM, and the big SSD will be €1899 ($1947). If this looks like the laptop you're after, you will apparently be able to pick one up this spring.

Comments closed
    • euricog
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]To our knowledge, this is the first implementation of LTPS display tech on a laptop, and we're interested to see how it holds up to the competition.[/quote<] From what I [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-temperature_polycrystalline_silicon<]read[/url<], it looks like it's just a cheaper method to build high-resolution panels, with some significant drawbacks: [quote<]The evolution to LTPS-TFTs can have many benefits such as higher device resolution, lower synthesis temperature, and reduced price of essential substrates.[/quote<] [quote<]However, LTPS-TFTs also have several drawbacks. For example, the area of TFTs in traditional a-Si devices is large, resulting in a small aperture ratio (the amount of area which is not blocked by the opaque TFT and thus admits light). The incompatibility of different aperture ratios prevents LTPS-based complex circuits and drivers from being integrated into a-Si material. Additionally, the quality of LTPS decreases over time due to an increase in temperature upon turning on the transistor, which degrades the film by breaking the Si-H bonds in the material. This would cause the device to suffer from drain breakdown and current leakage, most notably in small and thin transistors, which dissipate heat poorly.[/quote<] Side note: If the XPS 13 has a "nostrils vision" cam due to its low position on the screen, I'm very curious to see what perspective this on-keyboard cam will provide...

      • briskly
      • 2 years ago

      You normally don’t advertise the backplane material, not that this has stopped companies from putting IGZO in the marketing materials for monitors. It’ll probably be some IPS-related design.
      LTPS has traditionally been the most expensive TFT design. The higher electron mobility of LTPS compared to a-SI would also make it more energy efficient.

      The inhomogeneous crystal growth may lead to lead to pixel uniformity issues. There are difficulties about scaling LTPS to larger sheets (like the wafers that CPUs and GPUs are cut from).

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      Pretty much Nostril Cam: Extreme Edition

    • RdVi
    • 2 years ago

    This looks close to perfection.

    Taller than 16:9 screen? Check
    At least one USB A Port? Check
    Basic discreet graphics? Check

    Now I just hope they haven’t copied Apples super low travel keys…

      • One Sick Puppy
      • 2 years ago

      I do miss the USB A port on my MacBook, but overall I think it’s a great computer. Albeit severely overpriced.

      • mtruchado
      • 2 years ago

      Meltdown? Check
      Spectre? Check

        • chuckula
        • 2 years ago

        Yes, but this article isn’t about the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 that won’t launch until later this year and is affected by both Meltdown and Spectre.

          • Shobai
          • 2 years ago

          Then why mention it, you big silly goose? That’s a fault to lay at ARM’s feet, and it pales into vast insignificance in comparison to Intel’s faults.

          Mumble Mumble usual crowd Mumble Mumble shill Mumble Mumble multiple accounts for down voting – did I miss anything?

    • briskly
    • 2 years ago

    It has the same resolution as the Surface Book, but the Huawei’s display is bigger. Who makes the panel, and will there be other laptops using it?

    I still have a distaste for 16:9 displays, so this stokes my interest a little.

    • Shobai
    • 2 years ago

    Nobody buy these, because [url=https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/13/chinas-hauwei-top-us-intelligence-chiefs-caution-americans-away.html<]the US[/url<] is worried about someone else having access to your telecommunications networks and spying on you, or something.

      • Shobai
      • 2 years ago

      Oh, whoops!

      “/s”

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    It’s amazing how all these ridiculously thin, light, narrow-bezel displays manage to somehow still have room for useful things like a USB-A connector, or can charge and connect things simultaneously without the need for cumbersome dongles.

    • Kretschmer
    • 2 years ago

    This looks really cool, assuming that there is enough cooling to run that MX150 at full speed. This would be a nifty little esports/productivity laptop, but you’re paying a LOT for the form factor.

    • cynan
    • 2 years ago

    The MX150 is great and all for compact graphics when allowed to breath. But I’m a bit wary of the potential throttle fest that would ensue every time this chip is pushed in a chassis of these svelte dimensions. Even the ASUS u430 apparently has a an issue with this (and I don’t think the newly announced 13″ model will fare better).

    • invinciblegod
    • 2 years ago

    Too bad it doesn’t have a 360 hinge, I really use that when I lie on my bed with it on my chest to get the screen closer.

      • DancinJack
      • 2 years ago

      Just buy a Spectre x360. Cheaper and just as good. Maybe even better build quality.

    • chuckula
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]MateBook X Pro[/quote<] No Way Huawei! -- Apple's trademark enforcement squad

      • DrCR
      • 2 years ago

      Maybe. But it could end up like the Starbucks vs Charbucks.
      [url<]http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-2nd-circuit/1649664.html[/url<]

    • meerkt
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]a pop-up 1-MP webcam hidden under a function key[/quote<] That's ridiculous. I'm surprised there's still a USB-A port instead of shaving another 1-2mm off the case thickness.

      • Voldenuit
      • 2 years ago

      On the bright side, this means that malware can’t silently turn on your webcam. Or it can, but if you don’t have it popped up, all it’ll see is darkness.

      • helix
      • 2 years ago

      A positive surprise, it must be said.

      But the nostrilcam is not gonna see much use. Same problem as Dell XPS:
      [url<]https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/11/review-dells-kaby-lake-xps-13-isnt-quite-good-enough-to-keep-its-crown/[/url<]

      • Kretschmer
      • 2 years ago

      Are webcams really a make-or-break feature for most users? With Skype working on smartphones, it seems to be a lower-priority feature.

    • DPete27
    • 2 years ago

    !! This looks sweeee…..[quote<]LPDDR3 memoryp[/quote<]...wait what? Why?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      When the RAM is soldered on and non-upgradeable, it doesn’t really matter. LPDDR3-2133 tends to have lower latencies (measured in actual time, not just cycles) than DDR4-2400. And according to the ARK entry for the i7-8550U, DDR4-2400 is the max speed supported:

      [url<]https://ark.intel.com/products/122589/Intel-Core-i7-8550U-Processor-8M-Cache-up-to-4_00-GHz[/url<] So I think people will actually get slightly better performance (and potential slight power savings) out of the low-power DDR3 option.

        • DPete27
        • 2 years ago

        I’m seeing most/all DDR4-2400 as 1.2V on newegg, but DDR3L-2133 is 1.35V.

        What I didn’t realize was the latency, CAS 17 for DDR4-2400 vs CAS 11 for the couple DDR3L-2133 kits available. Looks like the DDR3L (Kingston HyperX Impact) is a premium product, not sure what more OEM-tier stuff runs though.

          • bhtooefr
          • 2 years ago

          This is LPDDR3, not DDR3L. LPDDR3 is usually 1.2 V.

            • DPete27
            • 2 years ago

            ah. Couldn’t find a single “LPDDR3” on newegg, so I figured they were the same thing.

            • bhtooefr
            • 2 years ago

            LPDDR3 is always soldered, which is why.

      • DancinJack
      • 2 years ago

      That’s….what it is on most, if not all, 8th gen Intel machines. This is the third or fourth comment about LPDDR3 laptops I have seen recently. Kinda surprised I keep seeing them.

      Like Funk said above, you’re not really sacrificing that much. Plus, you’re getting a fair bit better power consumption over other options.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      This seems like it’s news to someone with every new laptop, but Intel doesn’t support LPDDR4, DDR4 draws significantly more power than even LPDDR3 particularly in idle (and LPDDR3 is based on DDR4), so it’s either LPDDR3 or shorter battery life for DDR4. On an ultrabook, the choice is clear, most people don’t need 32GB on a ULV.

        • DancinJack
        • 2 years ago

        ^This.

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