Unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Huawei’s newest laptop reminded me of the MacBook Pro. From the sleek aluminum design to the “space grey” or “mystic silver” color options, it seems to have borrowed a lot of Apple’s aesthetics. But the MateBook X Pro has plenty of unique features.
The 13.9” display is surrounded by incredibly thin bezels -- Huawei says the screen-to-body ratio is 91%. The MacBook Pro’s bezels aren’t bad, but when I put it next to the MateBook, the Mac looked jarring and out-of-date.
One of the reasons the MacBook’s bezels are thicker is because of the camera on top of the screen. Huawei moved the camera to get the screen to go (almost) all the way to the edge.
So where did it go? Huawei decided to put it in the keyboard -- specifically, a button marked with a camera icon right in the middle of the function key row. Press the button down, and the key springs up and out -- revealing the camera underneath.
It’s a clever idea, but it doesn’t quite work because the angle of the camera is fixed. With laptops that have cameras above the screen, you can adjust the angle by moving the lid either closer or further away from you. But that’s not possible here.
When I put the MateBook X Pro on my lap, the camera points at my chin -- a rather unflattering angle. The only way to get around it is to use a desk, but that also depends on how tall you are. It worked for me, but I’m just over five feet tall!
The camera’s position may not be ideal, but it’s hard to be upset with a screen that big. The massive display also doubles as a touchscreen, with sturdy Gorilla Glass protecting it. And the entire package weighs under three pounds.
The camera gets all the attention -- for better and for worse -- but the MateBook X Pro is a beautiful machine with solid specs.