back to article Huawei MateBook Pro X: PC makers look out, the phone guys are here

I have one very important thing to tell you about Huawei's laptop – and it's so important, everything else about it seems like a bonus. About a decade ago, the 4:3 ratio display rapidly began to disappear from laptops, as manufacturers became obsessed about making our PCs fit for TVs and movies. "You like widescreen movies, so …

  1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    How much?

    1. djstardust Silver badge

      The price goes up and down but approx. £1200 for the i5 and £1500 for the i7 with dedicated graphics.

      Almost bought one last week but had second thoughts due to budget and being so close to xmas etc.

      Lenovo are the direct competition with the Yoga 930 but their screens are utterly terrible and dull. This ticks all the boxes perfectly.

      Also shows just how much our fruity friends are ripping people off though.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Linux

        if it ships with Win-10-nic pre-installed, I won't want it.

        Does it come with Linux?

        (I assume it's not an apple clone)

        1. Waseem Alkurdi

          The Linux ones are identical to their Windows counterparts.

          Just nuke Windows off it.

          And yep, it is an Apple clone.

        2. Wayland Bronze badge

          It should not matter to a Linux user what OS it comes with since you will be putting your own flavor on it. It's a PC so will run anything. I'd want to know if it's storage is plugged in or soldered.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            It matters because if it comes with Windows, you're paying licensing fees for a product you won't even use.

        3. password1234567890

          Funny how wanting support for linux is viewed so negatively. My Dell XPS 13 is verynice, but now I see this I'd buy it in a minute if I could install ubuntu/fedora/whatever on it. One fecking USB A port, that's all I miss on the Dell. Although I'd be just as happy if logitech would sell a fecking USB-C wireless dongle.

    2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Angel

      RE: Aladdin

      Amazon sells it for £1200, unless you add a bigger SSD. Argos also sells it. Want a different region? Here's the link: https://consumer.huawei.com/en/laptops/matebook-x-pro/

      1. Steve Crook

        Re: RE: Aladdin

        Only Amazon have the i7, 16GB, 512 version and currently want a whopping £1800+. The Microsoft store in the US also stock it for $1500.

        At £1800 it doesn't come even close to an XPS 13.

        I'll wait.

    3. David Shaw

      mate pro x pricing is silly in Italy

      the basic model i5 256GB SSD is €1499

      the top model i7 512GB SSD is just 53 euros more, from a usual large box shifter

  2. Piro

    Having the incorrect aspect ratio in the very title of the article is sure to trigger people like me. Happy now?

    Seriously though, this looks nice.

    A reasonable port selection combined with a very nice screen, and even discrete graphics.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, I'm still confused, I get the impression that it's a 3000×2000 resolution on a 4:3 screen ratio.

      1. Wyrdness

        You only have to go to the specs page on the Huawei website to see:

        DISPLAY

        Resolution: 3000 x 2000, 260 PPI

        Aspect ratio: 3:2

        So no, it's not 4:3

        1. paulf Silver badge
          WTF?

          Yet from the article sub-heading: "A compact, grown-up 4:3 machine"

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            WTF?

            that assumes the pixel ratio is 1:1 - so is it 4x3 dimensions, but 3:2 pixels?

            1. MarkElmes

              No this is definately a 3:2 screen - not 4:3. Same resolution as the SurfaceBook. (I'd rather the SurfaceBook - I love my one)

  3. PhilipN Silver badge

    Not surprised

    Good article. FWIW since it is tangential I took delivery of the Mate 20 Pro phone a week ago and I am mightily impressed, not just with the phone but in the sense that Huawei are making some very smart, coherent and thoughtful decisions to push themselves up the sales charts in both phones and PC’s.

    Bound to be in fact already is political pushback against Huawei but if this gives the PC industry a much-needed boot up the arse it is a Good Thing.

    P.S. 32.5 cm tall? You mean y.... Oh the bag is 32.5 cm. Phew!

    1. shedied

      Re: Not surprised

      Now that I've seen the prices... could you show me the bag?

    2. The Original Steve

      Re: Not surprised

      Same here - brought the Mate20 Pro at the weekend and my word it's impressive. Other than the hefty price tag it's hands down the best phone I've ever used. Now I've ditched the stock launcher (using Microsoft Launcher - it's actually really rather good) the rest of their flavour of Android seems more than acceptable to me.

      If the PC's are the same quality, I'm very much interested.

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    I rather like it, but for one detail

    It's a niggle, but for me it is important : the keyboard lacks a dedicated numeric keypad. I am very used to that, and not having one is a miss for me.

    Still, I'm sure I've seen USB numpads, so all is not lost. I might look into that more closely when the time comes to replace my current workhorse.

    1. soulrideruk Bronze badge

      Re: I rather like it, but for one detail

      I don't think I've seen a dedicated numeric keypad on a laptop for years?

      Can you point me in the direction of where I would be able to find such a device?

      1. John 110

        Re: I rather like it, but for one detail

        Acer aspire?

      2. rmason Silver badge

        Re: I rather like it, but for one detail

        Most of the full sized lenovos have numpads still.

        For eg all the E570 units we have here.

      3. analyzer
        Happy

        Re: I rather like it, but for one detail

        Numeric keyboards are abundant at this UK address novatech which do cheap to eye bogglingly expensive laptops all with numeric keypads.

        No please don't thank me, you may not be a Brit :-)

      4. tony72

        Re: I rather like it, but for one detail

        The current Dell Precisions have a full size numeric keypad, unlike the previous generation.

      5. Crypto Monad

        Re: I rather like it, but for one detail

        You could always plug in an IPv6 Buddy

        1. TG2.2

          Re: I rather like it, but for one detail

          The IPv6 Buddy is not a proper number pad either ... no + - or x keys .. for math functions.

          And like several others.. the lack of a dedicated number pad on laptop keyboard means this is a no for me.. I deal with IP addresses all day ... I have never been as fast on the top row numbers, as I have been with number pad.

          1. Crypto Monad

            Re: I rather like it, but for one detail

            The IPv6 Buddy suggestion was tongue-in-cheek - but if you google "usb numeric keypad", you'll find a ton of standard-layout ones, many for under a tenner - and bluetooth options too.

      6. muhfugen

        Re: I rather like it, but for one detail

        HP EliteBooks

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I rather like it, but for one detail

        Fujitsu's U series at least the larger ones come with a dedicated. Num pad section.

      8. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I rather like it, but for one detail

        Can you point me in the direction of where I would be able to find such a device?

        http://lmgtfy.com/?q=dedicated+numeric+keypad+on+a+laptop

        1. ArrZarr Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: I rather like it, but for one detail

          Any device in the 17" Screen range will definitely have a numeric keypad due to the extra real estate necessitated by matching the larger screen.

          What you've got to watch out for more is the keyboard layout (ANSI vs ISO). The different enter key will drive you wild if you make a mistake.

      9. AndrueC Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: I rather like it, but for one detail

        The HP Probook I bought a couple of months ago has one. It also has a 'clicky' mouse pad instead of touch only and a 17.3" screen. Nice bit of kit in fact.

      10. src

        Re: I rather like it, but for one detail

        My VAIO S15 has great keyboard including a keypad. This is also where a widescreen monitor makes sense. If you have a wide keyboard then a widescreen monitor becomes a more sensible choice.

      11. rototype

        Re: I rather like it, but for one detail

        Dell 5590

      12. eionmac

        Re: I rather like it, but for one detail

        Dell Latitude E6530 has dedicated keypad. I have it in use for many years.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: I rather like it, but for one detail

      The form factor is too small for a num pad. You would need a 15" version, or the keyboard would be so small and squashed, that it would be all but unusable.

  5. K Silver badge

    This thing looks slick.. give me, give me, give me

    I'll admit, I'm a turn-coat, I brought my first MBP last year (refurb), as I was sick of the stagnant laptop market - But I think I'll be turning-coat once more in the new year for one of these :D

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This thing looks slick.. give me, give me, give me

      I'm more thinking of this one as an extra to my MBP which I use for the really secure stuff. The problem is that some customers continue to use Windows, and that means I need a separate machine to stay up to date - this may just fit the bill.

      What would turn this from a "maybe" in "ok, f*ck the budget and get it now" proposition would be the news that Huawei was intelligent enough to also actively support Linux on these machines. Heck, I'd probably get a few - customers like us to pre-configure stuff and if I wander in with such a machine in a Windows place they'll probably order one on the spot.

      As a matter of fact, I may already know one customer who'd buy two as they're having problems with their Fujitsu machines (one is a tablet/keyboard thing whose hardware never quite worked properly)..

  6. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Happy

    I must say I like that display and spec. I frequently process BIG images of astronomical objects, many of which have a more-or-less 1:1 aspect ratio. 3:2 is fine, an 3000x2000 rather better than my current FHD screen. Sorely tempted, I must say.

  7. Tom7

    Cons

    It tops out at 8GB RAM. Yes, you can fit more - because when I buy a new laptop, the first thing I like to do is throw away the RAM it came with (because the chance of there being a free slot is PRECISELY zero) and spluring another £150 on it.

    13.9" is a little on the small side for my not-as-sharp-as-they-were eyes.

    But oh my, it's pretty.

    1. oiseau Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Cons

      Hello:

      But oh my, it's pretty.

      Indeed it is, kudos for the 4:3 ratio.

      But that's not why I'd purchase one. (and why the constant comparison to Apple stuff?)

      What about the battery, not much mention of it in the article save that it lasts roughly 10 hours.

      Is it user replaceable? Or do I have to throw the thing away when it goes south or fails out of warranty?

      Cheers,

      O.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Cons

        > (and why the constant comparison to Apple stuff?)

        - individual models of MacBook are commonly seen in the wild, so most readers will find a comparison to a MacBook more useful than to an Alienware XYZ 3000.

        - MacBooks have never had 16:9 screens, unlike the majority of laptops until recently (MS's Surface range is 3:2, and some Lenovos iirc)

        - the industrial design of the Huawei is similar to a MacBook

        - a fellow commentard here has expressed interest in this machine, his current machine us a MacBook

        1. Jerome

          Re: Cons

          "- MacBooks have never had 16:9 screens"

          ...except for the MacBook Air 11", which had a very 16:9 1366x768 display.

      2. AndrueC Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Cons

        I'd buy for a genuine 4:3 ratio because my ageing eyes require me to run with desktops zoomed in (currently 125% at work, 150% at home). At work that means sometimes having to scroll web sites to use them at home on the 17.3" laptop I'm forever having to scroll web pages. What makes it seem worse is that so many web sites today love to waste horizontal space with stupidly wide margins.

        I can only hope that as today's web designers age and presbyopia hits them that they will push harder for design to take zooming into consideration. I'm also hoping someone will address the problem with mobile phones but I fear the only solution there is direct visual cortical stimulation :-/

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Cons

      The website says 8 GB / 16 GB LPDDR3 2133 MHz*. So 16 GB is possible but I guess it's not user-configurable.

      As you grow older you will need to adjust the resolution and, for desktop use, use an external monitor.

  8. tentimes

    I don't like the aspect ration

    No good for games or movies :(

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: I don't like the aspect ration

      Can't you just ration your media consumption?

    2. soulrideruk Bronze badge

      Re: I don't like the aspect ration

      If your primary use for a laptop is watching videos, may I suggest a TV and DVD player/Streaming box combo? Much cheaper than the laptop, and is actually designed for watching movies.

      Then you can use the laptop for the real computing tasks it is desinged for.

      1. Patrician

        Re: I don't like the aspect ration

        "....... a TV and DVD player/Streaming box combo....."

        Can't be carried around on trips and used to watch films/TV in hotels.

        1. soulrideruk Bronze badge

          Re: I don't like the aspect ration

          May I introduce you to the concept of the portable DVD player???

          Comes with screen built-in - https://www.argos.co.uk/product/8625229

          Not sure if pink Disney princess theme is your thing, but plenty of others to choose from if you don't like the colour scheme...

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. MrMerrymaker

          Re: I don't like the aspect ration

          I take my chromecast to hotels, usually works in the hdmi port, and stream from my phone!

        3. PM from Hell

          Re: I don't like the aspect ration

          use a google chromecast in hotels, most hotel tv's have an hdmi port these days so if the tv itself doesn't have netflix I'll stream to the chromecast from my tablet or phone.

    3. tsf

      Re: I don't like the aspect ration

      The aspect ratio is exactly why this laptop is a breath of fresh air, if you want 16:9 pretty much every other laptop out there caters for you.

      Thankfully there seems to be a light at the end of the long dark, narrow, tunnel that has been the 16:9 obsession for years, it has stopped me upgrading for lack of choice, sticking with my ancient Lenovo T410.

      You want 16:9 knock yourself out, you want to use a laptop for work, this and the more expensive Microsoft offerings are your only options in the non Mac space. Hallelujah, maybe the IT world is returning to it's senses.

  9. Milton Silver badge

    Aspect ratio common sense

    Thank goodness for some aspect ratio common sense! Although the tech industry likes to blather on about how "innovative" it is, the truth is it spends almost all its time following like sheep. The pursuit of what is fashionable is epidemic. Sometimes it is possible to believe that "What's fashionable?" is equivalent to "What are the stupid people all doing now?"

    A hi-res 3:2 screen sounds excellent for serious work and let's face it, if you're looking for a latop with a lot of TV/movies/YouTube in mind, you wouldn't buy this anyway. One of the bigger widescreen tablets capable of doing all the entertainment stuff would give you about the same overall width (not diagonal) anyway, and cost a fraction of the laptop's price (unless you're paying the Idiot Tax).

    As well as signs that actual thinking is occurring in laptop world, we have encouraging murmurs from the East that the obsessive, lemming-like adherence to of the Apple phone form factor is finally being broken, as flip-phones return*¹. Plus, thank the heavens, not everyone has decided to copy the inane Hideous Notch of Cretinism. There may be hope ...

    *¹ Where is my Westworld laptabphoneputer?!*²

    *² And does it come with a free Sarafyan ...?

  10. Luke Worm
    Linux

    Beautiful machine! Does it run Linux?

    1. Laughing Gravy

      First thing I looked for and yes it does so on my shopping list

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Beautiful machine! Does it run Linux?

      You mean does it come with 'Linux as an option (low odds on that one)

      Or can it run 'Linux if you install it yourself

      (depends what distro you intend to use, and if there are any odd hardware component choices by Huawei)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Does it run Linux?

      ... or, "If I install Linux, will there be drivers in the kernel for all the various hardware subsystems?"

      In my experience, the wifi hardware is usually the most annoying.

      1. DanceMan

        Re: the wifi hardware in Linux

        In my recent experience installing Win 7 and Linux Mint in older Thinkpads, Windows is the OS that has a problem with wifi hardware. Not a problem in linux, several problems in Windows. There were issues years or a decade ago, but none for me recently in linux.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: the wifi hardware in older vs newer laptops.

          Running linux (IME) can be tricky if you have new hardware (the context of the article), since the driver may be too new to have a robust open source driver, and/or the driver there is isn't yet in the standard kernel; on the other hand old drivers take a long time to be removed.

          But it doesn't surprise me that Windows has the opposite problem, and doesn't bother to retain support for the 50 bazillion types of old hardware that might (or more probably might not) ever be encountered when installing. But as a business, they - and the hardware manufacturer - make sure that machines shipped with windows have all the drivers, even for the newest and most exotic hardware.

          1. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

            Re: the wifi hardware in older vs newer laptops.

            The wifi driver is not in the kernel that ships in the 18.04 LTS images (inc Mint 19) but it is in the live update line. This means that you need to install and then perform updates using a wired connection (USB dongle). Once the kernel is fully updated the wifi works.

            There is also an issue with the 4 speaker system, only 2 work straight off but one user claims a fix. The camera works fine, the fingerprint reader doesn't.

          2. Wayland Bronze badge

            Re: the wifi hardware in older vs newer laptops.

            If Haewei build Android phones then they've probably considered Android and Linux on this. They would not want to be boxed in by Microsoft.

    4. Wayland Bronze badge
      Thumb Up

      It's a PC of course it runs Linux.

  11. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

    Woohoo! And bum.

    The former as this is another nail in the coffin of the 16:9 fixation in the tech industry. The latter because the RAM is soldered on the main board. Battery appears to be replaceable though.

    If it were whiskey lake (which has some hardware spectre & meltdown mitigations) I think I'd be opening my wallet for this despite the RAM. I just might anyway. Time to read up on getting Mint on it.

    1. Laughing Gravy

      Re: Woohoo! And bum.

      Runs Ubuntu so Mint shouldn't be a problem

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Papa can you hear me?

    Is this not slurping our data and sending it back home to the Chinese gov?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Papa can you hear me?

      The CPU is made in Israel and we all know they are a front for the milk marketing board !

      1. Random Handle

        Re: Papa can you hear me?

        >we all know they are a front for the milk marketing board !

        Watch out there's a Humphrey about

      2. Waseem Alkurdi

        Re: Papa can you hear me?

        The CPU is made in Israel

        The colony of Kiryat Gat in particular, on the rubble of the Palestinian village of Iraq al-Manshiyya.

        Not only that, it also seems to have vPro/AMT. Enough has been said about that already.

        1. Wayland Bronze badge

          Re: Papa can you hear me? The CPU is made in Israel

          The Israeli's maybe murdering racist lying tyrannical bastards who think they are God's gift to the world but they do know how to make a good CPU so i'll give them a pass.

  13. Buzzword

    8GB of RAM seems to be the UK limit

    The 16GB variant is hard to find. (There's one on Amazon from a third-party seller, but it's very expensive and appears to have a US keyboard, so probably a grey import.) Alas, 8GB of RAM precludes any serious work.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 8GB of RAM seems to be the UK limit

      Unless you're doing video editing, or lots of VM's 8gb is fine for most work.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 8GB of RAM seems to be the UK limit

      Another argument for sticking Linux on it then :)

    3. Stork Bronze badge

      Re: 8GB of RAM seems to be the UK limit

      Could you please stop that BS about 8GB precluding any serious work? Perhaps _your_ work; my wife and I are using Macs with 8GB, running a business which is the main income for us and 4 employees. That is serious enough to me. /rant

      Sounds like a machine worth checking if we change to Linux.

  14. MiguelC Silver badge

    Please select your country / region to buy HUAWEI MateBook X Pro

    Europe

    Austria

    Denmark

    Finland

    Norway

    Poland

    Sweden

    Hmm... It seems some countries are missing from that list.....

    1. Waseem Alkurdi

      Re: Please select your country / region to buy HUAWEI MateBook X Pro

      Brexit already? xD

  15. DougS Silver badge

    What's the point of 3:2

    When the screen is still so tiny? Based on the dimensions, the keyboard would only be suitable for someone with small hands like Trump.

    Why not give us something as wide as a 16:9 14" laptop but make the screen taller to get to 3:2. Then you get something like 16", and it is wide enough for normal sized keys!

    1. Waseem Alkurdi

      Re: What's the point of 3:2

      like Trump

      Are you sure he knows how to use one?

    2. juice Bronze badge

      Re: What's the point of 3:2

      Eh? It's a 13.9" screen; in what world is that considered small? Looking at the specs, the dimensions are pretty much identical to the Macbook Pro, and the keyboard looks to be roughly the same dimensions/layout, too.

      And having just scribbled on the back of a fag packet, if you crop it down to 16:9, the diagonal on a 13.9" 3:2 screen is roughly 13.7 inches. So you're 'losing' barely a third of an inch as compared to an equivalent 14" 16:9 display.

      There's a few situations where 0.3" allegedly makes a significant difference, but the display on a laptop seems unlikely to be one of them ;)

  16. Julian Bradfield

    No mouse buttons, it seems - is there at least a virtual middle mouse button?

    1. John 62

      just tap!

      single finger tap for primary mouse button action (aka left-click), two finger tap for secondary mouse button action (aka right-click). Apple allows three finger tap as well, but I've never used it. If you're stuck I'm assuming Windows provides for keyboard-click combos, like holding down CTRL or ALT and clicking to simulate a middle-mouse-button click.

      See another of my comments for the wonderful-ness of tap-n-drag with drag lock.

      When I discovered tap-to-click on my ancient Compaq Pentium 100 laptop I wondered why a trackpad was ever designed with buttons.

  17. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    Too slim

    Yes, it looks shiny, but for a business laptop make it thicker and at the very least stick in a network port. Make the battery swapable, preferably hot swapable.

    Stick in HDMI or display port.

    Two USB-C is 'good'? Not on this planet it isn't. Why has the world moved from the days of yore where you'd use a PCMCIA NIC with a huge RJ45/coax connector to network your laptop, through sensible days of built in ports, back to a dongle for absolutely everything.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Never mind the quality

        "It's since we all became obsessed with width "

        Never mind the quality, feel the width!

        (I suspect a fair few commentards will be old enough to get the reference)

    2. Stork Bronze badge

      Re: Too slim

      Most of my work is done in browsers, spreadsheet and email. I only use rj45 when we have problems with the property's network. Ports sound ok for my use. But as I travel and at times have to do some work waiting for planes or kids, low weight and volume is appreciated.

      Linus had an MacBook Air, right?

    3. Cavehomme_ Bronze badge

      Re: Too slim

      Missing an SD card slot too.

      All in all, still not good enough. Sigh.

  18. Gonzo wizard

    So close

    1. Linux support?

    2. 32Gb RAM?

    1. Wayland Bronze badge

      Re: So close

      Linux support? Surely Linux users support ourselves.

      RAM and storage should be removable. I dunno if it is.

      USB 3 would be good.

  19. Chz
    Stop

    Port Pedantry

    " It includes two USB-C ports, one of which supports Thunderbolt, but still remembers to include a legacy USB 3.0 port."

    USB 3.0 is a deprecated standard. There is USB 3.1(Gen 1 - previously known as USB 3.0) and USB3.1(Gen 2). I'd let that slide, except that is not what you meant. Even I think it's being too pedantic to bitch about 3.0 vs 3.1 Gen 1 because everyone knows what you mean. I'm pointing it out because I'm already posting about the bigger mistake in the picture here.

    It has a USB-A port, as well as its two USB-C ports. USB 1, 2, 3, 3.1 are not physical port standards. It is perfectly possible (see most phones) to have a USB-C port that only provides the USB 2.0 protocol over it. No excuse for a publication like The Reg to get that incorrect. And naughty on Huawei, who should know better, for also calling it a USB 3.0 port.

    1. Waseem Alkurdi

      Re: Port Pedantry

      USB-C

      USB Type-C.

      It is perfectly possible (see most phones) to have a USB-C port that only provides the USB 2.0 protocol over it.

      But the most notorious IMO is OnePlus.

      Supposedly an enthusiast's phone brand and USB 2.0?!

  20. Not previously required

    Same price as Dell?

    On Amazon (only for price comparison purposes) seems same price as for equivalent Dell XPS 13 touch version. Dell is 100g lighter. There are multiple options for both so comparison is a bit hit and miss.

    My deliberately non-touchscreen Dell XPS 13 claims a battery life of 22hrs and is probably near that for simple browsing and word processing. It dual boots Windows and Linux. It has a fingerprint plus power button that allows one touch entry, but only in Windows. It's pure USB C, done properly I think. USB-A adaptor in pack.

    As far as I know, Dell kit does not phone home. Not in Linux anyway.

    So not clear what the excitement is yet?

  21. Dave K Silver badge

    There's a lot to like, but I have two main concerns with it.

    Firstly, although the aspect ratio of the screen is lovely, touch screen = glossy. It's a pity that a none-touch matte version isn't available for people like me that hate glossy screens and have no interest in finger prints all over the LCD.

    The other concern I have is with the trackpad. It's HUGE! I already have issues with my wife's Samsung laptop where it's not possible to type without constantly catching the trackpad. I fear this one may suffer from the same issue.

  22. lvm
    Facepalm

    Very impressive. There is a flaw though, and a big one - the screen may be 4:3, but it is a shiny one.

  23. John 62

    Trackpad

    "The massive trackpad was also welcome. Huawei said it was so you could drag an item across the full display, something professional and business users need."

    TL;DR: tap and drag with drag lock and acceleration for the win.

    The trackpad on the 2018 MBP is too big. Sometimes I wonder why the trackpad isn't responding and it's because the base of my left thumb is resting on the edge of the trackpad. Anyway. Long, long ago, back when I bought a 2nd hand Compaq Pentium 100 laptop, I discovered tap-and-drag and now I can't use a trackpad without it: on the Mac the setting has become hidden in the Accessibility Preferences > Mouse & Trackpad > Trackpad options > Enable dragging with drag lock. With drag lock set you can tap, lift your finger, put it back down, then start dragging things, then this is the genius bit: lift your finger and get relative movement instead of absolute! i.e. you can drag something all the way across the screen, in fact you can drag something as far as the screen compositor will allow, with a few taps and only moving your finger an inch each time. When you're finished dragging, you can single tap to leave drag mode. It's similar to using a mouse and lifting the mouse while your finger is holding down the mouse button.

    Further, I also think trackpads on Windows systems have the same option for acceleration, so fast movements of your finger move the cursor further than slower movements meaning you shouldn't be relying on absolute positioning anyway.

  24. John 62

    key travel

    I have become accustomed to the 2018 MBP's shallow keys and much prefer it to my 2011 MBP's keyboard.

  25. John Sturdy
    FAIL

    Mostly nice, but can't an on/off switch be just that?

    So with the fingerprint reader in the on/off button, if you need to read a fingerprint again once the machine is running, can you do that without it taking it as "off" and switching itself off again? Maybe short touch for fingerprints, long for on/off? Or touch vs push?

    I get annoyed with my work laptop (Dell) putting the power light inside the on/off button, so if you want to see whether you've held it down long enough yet, you have to put your finger only half-way on the button as otherwise it covers the light up.

    And thinking of accessibility for the blind, separate buttons for "on" and "off" so you don't have to be able to see the display or take some other action to find out, to know whether you're switching it on or off, would surely be better anyway.

    That's one of the aspects in which my first ever laptop, an Epson PX-8, was more advanced than most that have come after it: a proper slider switch with a positive action for on/off. You knew where you were with that! Not that in fact I have a problem with switching laptops on or off accidentally, but still putting more functions into that one control seems a bit like expecting your car's ignition key to control the windscreen wipers too. (The other way it beat modern laptops was that it had a carrying handle built in.)

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it cheaper without Windows ?

    Is the first question I was thinking .....

  27. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921
    WTF?

    If it doesn't have a removable battery, I'm not interested.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A shiny screen is disappointing but this reminds me of one thing: recently I considered getting a new phone and spent some time researching alternatives. I decided the choice was ... Chinese or Chinese. As my phone is a few years old that was surprise. Sure, I knew there were Chinese phones but I didn't think my shortlist would be Chinese.

    My laptops are Lenovo, apart from my Chromebook (CB3-431 w nice matt screen). All made in China.

    I think it'll be Linux and China for me from now on.

    It's not just computers and phones. I tried to find non-Chinese things in a local garden centre a few years ago, after I noticed that all their lawn mowers and tools were Chinese made (even the mowers with American engines). There wasn't much. And most of the remaining manufactured goods were German.

    1. Cavehomme_ Bronze badge

      Just wait until after Brexit and a trade deal with China, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

  29. Christian Berger Silver badge

    In a way this article is why reviews today are mostly worthless

    It gets the facts wrong while hammering about how it looks like. It ignores "no-go" areas like the missing Ethernet port or the non hot swappable battery. It doesn't actually test anything, like how long it takes to replace the keyboard. In short it's mostly worthless as it brings no information you couldn't get from the marketing blurb.

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