Huawei is a large Chinese company best known for its smartphones in the U.S., but that's not all. The company is trying to penetrate the local PC market. The removable MateBook tablet follows Microsoft's Surface Pro and MateBook X, which compete with Apple's 12-inch MacBook (which is now being discontinued).
The company's recent effort is the Huawei MateBook X Pro, a larger notebook designed primarily for the MacBook Pro 13, although the company has expanded its range somewhat with its latest offering.
But looking for the MacBook is a lot. The MacBook Pro from Apple is a great machine with excellent build quality, great support and of course it is what you choose if MacOS is your platform. Today's model has the same understated elegance as ever and confirms Apple's reputation for excellence.
Which of these premium notebooks is worth your hard earned money? We compared the Huawei MateBook X Pro to the MacBook Pro 13 to find out.
Windows vs. MacOS
Before you even dive into the physical comparisons, we have to point out a stark difference between these two laptops: the operating system. Apple's MacBook Pro is of course based on MacOS, while Huawei's MateBook X Pro comes with Windows 10.
While we already have a separate article comparing these two platforms, laptop buyers should consider this before reading on. Both support apps and standard desktop programs. However, MacOS is tuned to specific hardware configurations and is synced with Apple's iOS devices. Windows must support an infinite number of configurations and synchronize with Android devices.
Still, for some laptop buyers, the differences between these two platforms can be day and night, regardless of the outer shell and the underlying hardware.
Huawei MateBook X Pro
MacBook Pro 13
|Dimensions||11.97 × 8.54 × 0.57 (inch)||11.97 × 8.36 × 0.61 (inch)|
|Weight||Starting at £ 2.93||3.1 pounds|
|processor||Up to the 10th generation Intel i7||10th generation Intel Core i7|
|R.A.M.||Up to 16 GB||Up to 32 GB|
|display||13.9 inch (LTPS)||13.3 inch (IPS)|
|resolution||3,000 x 2,000 or 260 PPI||2.560 x 1.600 or 227 PPI|
|camp||Up to 1 TB PCIe SSD||Up to 4 TB PCIe SSD|
|Touch||Touch display||Touch bar|
|Ports||1x USB-A 3.1
1x Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)
1x 3.5 mm combo audio connector
|2x or 4x Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)
1x 3.5 mm combo audio connector
|Webcam||720p HD||720p FaceTime HD|
|operating system||Windows 10||Mac OS|
|battery||57.4 watt-hours||58.2 watt-hours or 58 watt-hours|
|review||3.5 out of 5 stars||3 out of 5 stars|
Apple last updated the basic design of its MacBook Pro series at the end of 2016, building on a largely unchanged aluminum housing with the usual Apple elegance and conservative aesthetics – but with smaller bezels and thus a more modern look. This is how the MacBook Pro still looks good in a coffee shop or conference room, and you will enjoy the typical fit and finish of Apple, as well as the solid build quality.
We find that the MateBook X Pro is reminiscent of the MacBook Pro, but not a direct copy. It is an all-metal design with a silver color scheme with black buttons and speaker grilles, which are very similar to those of the Apple notebook.
But strangely, we found the MateBook X Pro even more attractive, although it is so similar, and although it does not have the same solidity, it is still a well-built notebook. The MateBook X Pro's bezels are even smaller and more modern, and the overall design seems more functional to us.
The notebooks are roughly the same size and weight, although Huawei manages to pack a larger display.
Winner: a tie. These two notebooks are evenly matched to each other, even if they are not clones from each other.
Dan Baker / Digital Trends
Both the MacBook Pro 13 and the MateBook X Pro are based on Intel's 10th generation core CPUs, which are quad-core chips that offer you a lot of multitasking while reducing performance in everyday tasks.
However, Huawei has an advantage over Apple thanks to the discrete GPU of the MateBook, an Nvidia GeForce MX250 for beginners, which nevertheless promises significantly faster graphics performance than the onboard graphics in the MacBook Pro.
When storing, both notebooks use very fast PCIe NVMe solid state drives (SSDs), which offer excellent performance when reading and writing information. Benchmarks show that you won't notice a slowdown in either notebook when working with large files and demanding database applications.
However, the MacBook offers up to 4 TB of storage space. The MateBook only reaches 1 TB.
Winner: a tie. In terms of performance, both notebooks are very close together. Huawei is at the forefront when it comes to graphics, while Apple brings back some points with its expanded storage options.
Keyboard, mouse and pen
The MacBook Pro 13's Magic Keyboard design is back, replacing the despicable butterfly keyboard. The newer keyboard uses the proven scissor key design, which offers better travel and less noise. As an additional plus, newer models are backlit for a better typing experience.
All MacBook Pro 13 models now have Apple's Touch Bar. This adds a task-specific touch input function and a Touch ID fingerprint scanner for logging in and confirming purchases without a password.
The MacBook Pro's touchpad is among the largest you can find on notebooks today and is probably the most responsive touchpad available.
The keyboard of the MateBook X Pro is much more similar to that of the old-school MacBook Pro, offers a lot of key travel and a pleasant feeling, although we found the bottoming action to be somewhat vague. However, if you are in the camp "I hate this feeling of typing on wood" regarding Apple's latest keyboard, you may find the Huawei version more appropriate.
Huawei also offers the option of embedding the webcam in the keyboard and hiding from prying eyes. However, this leads to a state-of-the-art video conference perspective, which is not particularly pretty.
The MateBook's touchpad is also very good, with a surface almost as large as that of the MacBook, and with strong support for Microsoft Precision touchpads and Windows 10 gestures.
Finally, a fingerprint reader that is conveniently embedded in the power switch offers password-free Windows 10 Hello login support.
Winner: MateBook X Pro. It wins this round because it brings back fond memories of how great MacBook keyboards used to be. The MacBook Pro has a better webcam and a better touchpad. However, we prefer the keyboard of the MateBook X Pro.
Bill Roberson / Digital Trends
Apple's latest MacBook Pros don't even pretend to support older peripherals without having to buy and connect a dongle. The MacBook Pro 13 only offers USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 support, two or four of which are available, depending on the model. Then there's a 3.5mm combo audio connector for the common 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth radios.
The MateBook X Pro is a little more connected and has a single USB-A 3.1 port for older devices, a USB-C 3.1 port and a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 3 support. Add a 3.5mm headset jack, WiFi, and Bluetooth, and that's your connectivity configuration.
Winner: MateBook X Pro. We like the fact that we can connect a USB-A device to the MateBook X Pro without a dongle. We also think it's good that there is at least one Thunderbolt 3 port. However, if you have many Thunderbolt devices, the MacBook may serve you better.
In short, Apple's MacBook Pro has one of the best displays. It is a 13.3-inch panel with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 (227 PPI), which is also bright, offers a wide range of colors with outstanding accuracy and has a strong contrast. Although it is not a 4K display, it is very sharp and an excellent control panel for image editing programs.
Huawei took an interesting direction with the MateBook X Pro and installed a 3,000 x 2,000 display that has the same productivity-friendly 3: 2 aspect ratio as Microsoft's Surface line. In fact, it has the same resolution as the 13.5-inch version of Surface Book 2, but is slightly larger at 13.9-inches. It is just as incredibly bright as the display of the MacBook Pro 13 and offers an even better contrast. However, it doesn't match the color gamut or accuracy of the MacBook.
It is difficult to name a winner in this category. If you're editing photos for a living, you'll appreciate the great colors of the MacBook Pro 13. However, if you're doing productivity work, you should be convinced of the higher resolution and 3: 2 aspect of the MateBook X Pro.
Winner: MateBook X Pro. We thank Huawei for providing a high quality display that will ultimately be more useful to more people.
Portability and battery life
The MacBook Pro 13 and the MateBook X Pro are almost the same size. Despite the larger display of the MateBook X Pro, the two are separated by a fraction of an inch and a few ounces. That makes them both easy to throw in a backpack.
Apple has slightly increased battery life in its 2019 updates for the MacBook Pro 13 from 49.2 and 54 watt hours to 58.2 and 58 watt hours. That gave us five hours and three minutes of surfing the Internet and ten hours and 24 minutes of video playback in tests. That means the MacBook Pro 13's battery life is good, but not as dominant as it used to be.
The MateBook X Pro has a similar battery capacity of 57.4 watt hours. We don't run the same tests on MacOS as we do on Windows. Therefore, the different results above in this article are somewhat misleading. The only common test in which a local video is looped benefits the MateBook X Pro only slightly, while the Huawei competes quite well in comparison to other Windows notebooks.
Winner: a tie. Both notebooks last almost an entire working day.
Availability and price
Apple updated the MacBook Pro 13 in July 2019 to provide the Touch Bar for all models. The entry-level version starts at $ 1,299 and comes with a quad-core 1.4 GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB RAM and a 256 GB SSD. The prices for the maximum capacity model, which offers you a Core i7 processor, 32 GB RAM and a 4 TB SSD, range up to $ 3,599.
The U.S. prices for the MateBook X Pro are currently difficult to determine, since Microsoft appears to be the only official outlet where the Huawei notebook is listed, and even then only two models are for sale and both are out of stock. The entry-level model costs $ 1,199 and comes with an Intel Core i5-8250U processor, 8 GB RAM, and a 256 GB SSD. The second option, at $ 1,499, has an Intel Core i7-8550U processor, 16 GB of RAM, and a 512 GB SSD.
Winner: MateBook X Pro. The pricing gives it a small edge over the MacBook Pro 13, as its entry-level model is $ 100 cheaper but offers twice as much storage space. However, availability seems to be very limited at the moment, so you may have difficulty getting one.
The Huawei MateBook X Pro offers more performance and better input options
Riley Young / Digital Trends
Apple's introduction of 10th generation Intel chips in its MacBook Pro 13 has helped make it much more competitive with Windows laptops, including the Huawei MateBook X Pro. However, Huawei's offer in a number of key areas is still beating.
The MateBook offers a better keyboard, is more productive, and lasts as long on a single charge. Outside of their operating systems, there isn't much space between these two notebooks, but overall Huawei wins.