Huawei Matebook X Pro vs Dell XPS 13 (2020)

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In this Article we will compare the Huawei Matebook X versus the Dell XPS 13 in terms of Performance, Display Quality, Battery and Keyboard/Trackpad.

Winner
Dell XPS 9380 Laptop, 13.3" FHD (1920x1080), Intel Core 8th Gen i7-8565U, 8GB RAM, 256GB Solid State Drive, Windows 10 Home
Best Price
Huawei MateBook X Pro Signature Edition Thin & Light Laptop, 13.9in 3K Touch, 8th Gen i5-8250U, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD (Renewed)
Model
XPS 13 9380
MateBook X Pro
Test Result
Test Result 9.6/10 Excellent April 2020
Test Result 9.4/10 Excellent April 2020
Manufacturer
Dell
Huawei
RAM
8GB
8 GB
CPU
Intel i7-8565U
Intel i5-8250U
Graphics Card
Video CardIntel UHD Graphics 620
Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620
Storage Capacity
256GB SSD
256 SSD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
2.67 lbs
2.93 lbs
Pros
  • Best Performance
  • Beautiful Design
  • Battery and SSD exchangable
  • Great Display
  • Good Performance
  • Best Price
Cons
  • Only USB-C Ports
  • No SD card slot
Winner
Dell XPS 9380 Laptop, 13.3" FHD (1920x1080), Intel Core 8th Gen i7-8565U, 8GB RAM, 256GB Solid State Drive, Windows 10 Home
Model
XPS 13 9380
Test Result
Test Result 9.6/10 Excellent April 2020
Manufacturer
Dell
RAM
8GB
CPU
Intel i7-8565U
Graphics Card
Video CardIntel UHD Graphics 620
Storage Capacity
256GB SSD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
2.67 lbs
Pros
  • Best Performance
  • Beautiful Design
  • Battery and SSD exchangable
Cons
  • Only USB-C Ports
Best Price
Huawei MateBook X Pro Signature Edition Thin & Light Laptop, 13.9in 3K Touch, 8th Gen i5-8250U, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD (Renewed)
Model
MateBook X Pro
Test Result
Test Result 9.4/10 Excellent April 2020
Manufacturer
Huawei
RAM
8 GB
CPU
Intel i5-8250U
Graphics Card
Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620
Storage Capacity
256 SSD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
2.93 lbs
Pros
  • Great Display
  • Good Performance
  • Best Price
Cons
  • No SD card slot

First Rank: Dell XPS 13 9380

Dell XPS 13 9380 review

Pros

  • Best Performance
  • Beautiful Design
  • Battery and SSD exchangable

Cons

  • Only USB-C Ports

With the XPS 13, Dell has a compact multimedia notebook for the demanding business traveler in its portfolio. The current XPS 13 comes with Intel Core i7-8565U, 16 GB Ram and 512 GB SSD. In the 13-inch format, it is thus the perfect companion for on the road. We took a closer look at the notebook and tested what it really can do.

Dell has recently introduced the new edition of the XPS 13, but there is still enough time to put the current model through a thorough test. Dell offers high-end notebooks with the XPS series. This is not least evident in the price of currently $955, which Dell calls for the compact 13 inch notebook.

In addition to FHD display, the notebook is also available with UHD display, Core i5, 8 GB RAM up to 2 GB SSD, etc. The small 13 inchers do not have dedicated graphics cards. Prices currently start at $955 for Core i5-8200Y, 8 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD and end at around $1400 for Core i7-8565U, 16 GB RAM and 2 TB SSD. The tested model is thus in the lower midfield in terms of equipment with 955$.

Delivery

The Dell XPS 13 comes in a small box, which isn’t a surprise considering the size of the notebook. The device is well packed. The box contains the 45W power adapter with USB type C connector and the power cable. The cables are packed in plastic sleeves. Dell doesn’t do without the usual paperwork in the XPS 13. Because the notebook only has USB type C ports, Dell also packs a USB type C dongle on type A in the luggage. This is nice, but the Huawei Matebook 13 even has a real dongle with USB type A, type C, HDMI and VGA connection.

Design

The XPS 13 makes a very good impression at first, but also at second glance. The top and bottom are silver and are made of robust aluminum. Dell has placed the reflective company logo on the upper side. The XPS logo is found on the bottom. The black frame around the display is made of plastic. Dell has placed a soft-touch surface with a light carbon texture on the inside.

The display frames are very narrow. This is even true although Dell has installed the camera above the display. There is a reflective small Dell logo on the bezel below the display. The keyboard layout corresponds to the standard, but there isn’t a numeric keypad in a 13 inch device.

The keys have the classic notebook height and 1.3mm key stroke. You can type quite well with them and you shouldn’t have any problems with longer texts if you have worked with the notebook for a while and got used to the keyboard. The keyboard has a white backlight. The fingerprint reader is located in the power button.

All in all, there’s no reason to nag with the Dell XPS 13. The workmanship is on a very high level: nothing creaks, wobbles or has game. The case looks very robust and the soft-touch surface flatters the palms of the hands. Optically, the XPS 13 is reserved and trimmed for business and efficiency. Moreover, it only weighs 2.7 lbs with an overall height of just under 1.2 cm. Not only is it barely higher than a standard Edding, in direct comparison, the XPS 13 is also only slightly larger than an A4 page in terms of volume. This makes it ideal for users who are often on the move with their notebook.

Ports

The XPS 13 shows that it will no longer need USB type A ports in 2019 and will do without them completely. This allows the particularly slim design to be realized. On the left side there are two USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C (Thunderbolt 3) connectors available. You can connect two 4K displays with 60 Hz or one 4K display with 120 Hz refresh rate to the Thunderbolt 3 connectors. In addition there is the device for a Kensington lock. You can check the current battery level with five LEDs and the corresponding button.

On the right side there is a USB 3.1 Gen1 Type C port that supports DisplayPort. Dell also positions a MicroSD card reader and the 3.5mm combo on the right side. There isn’t a separate power connection. You’ll have to use one of the type-C connectors here, as the power supply is also connected via type-C.

If you need a USB-A port, you can convert a type C port to a type A port with the included adapter. Docking stations from i-tec (Test) can also help here. If you consider how many beamers in meeting rooms nowadays still shine with a VGA connection, dongles or docking stations should be a recommendable companion of the XPS 13.

Display

The Dell XPS 13 has a 13.3 inch display, as the name already indicates. The display in 16:9 format is based on an IPS panel and has a maximum resolution of FHD. It thus achieves a dot density of almost 166 PPI and has a refresh rate of 60 Hz. The brightness of the display is 250 to 300 cd/m² after calibration. The darkest area is at the bottom right with about 257 cd/m², in the center of the display the brightness is 287 cd/m². The brightest area is in the upper left with just under 300 cd/m². Without calibration, the XPS 13 has a slight blue cast, but is on average 50 cd/m² brighter due to the bench.

There are no problems with backlight bleeding on the display. There is a small atrium on the right, but it can’t be seen under normal room lighting. Since the display is anti-glare, you don’t have to be too considerate of light sources in closed rooms or in the fresh air. A touch input isn’t possible in the Dell XPS 13, though. The viewing angles are also stable, typical for IPS.

The display covers the common color spaces to a good percentage. We measured 99% sRGB, 70% NTSC and 76% AdobeRGB. These are good values in the notebook sector. The Matebook 13 from Huawei, for example, or the HP Spectre x360 13 achieve similar rates. The display is convincing all along the line for its intended use.

Software / Windows 10

The XPS 13 comes with Windows 10 Home 64 Bit. Besides Windows, some bloatware also lands on the disk. Besides two Candy Crush representatives, there is various Dell software, McAfee Scareware including occasional pop-ups and a graphical open source client for Windows called WinSCP. Fortunately, that’s all there is to it.

Of the 512 GB SSD with real 476 GB of storage space, 427 GB are still at your free disposal at the end. So you should have no problems with Windows and programs. If you want or have to store a lot of data on your notebook, you should work better with external solutions in the long run.

Performance

The XPS 13 does not focus on gaming. But with the Intel i7-8565U and 16 GB DDR4 RAM, you still have enough power for all everyday tasks. The hardware should even be suitable for small gaming sessions. However, the limiting factor here is the internal graphics unit Intel UHD 620, which is still suitable for older titles or very low detail settings. Classics like Diablo 3, GTA 5 or World of Warcraft should run with low details.

We have of course compared the XPS 13 through all current benchmarks, which make sense for a notebook with this configuration. In comparison to the compact office or multimedia notebooks with integrated graphics from our database, the XPS 13 stands out well.

Battery

The battery life also plays an important role in slim devices that are predestined for mobile use. After one hour the XPS 13 has lost about 11% battery life, so you should easily reach 9 hours. In other tests, the XPS 13 with comparable equipment is also praised for its very high endurance. Sometimes the notebook should last more than 15 hours. But as always, that depends on the selected energy mode in Windows and the work area.

The loudspeakers also offer a decent sound in view of the notebooks’ size.

Heating / Noise

Because the XPS 13 isn’t a gaming notebook, the cooling system doesn’t have to keep extreme performance at bay in a small space. A dedicated graphics card is not present as a potential heat source. Therefore, there are rarely problems with office notebooks in this chapter. This also applies to the Dell XPS 13. The CPU temperature averages 43°C in idle. In AIDA64’s system stability test, the two radial fans keep the CPU at an average of 73°C. So you don’t have to worry about this.

The notebook not only stays cool, but also very quiet. Despite the stress test, the cooling system is hardly noticeable. The wrist-rest also barely got warmer in the stress test than without load. The soft-touch surface functions here as light insulation in addition to the more pleasant touch feeling. A bit warmer, but not unpleasantly warm, the notebook only gets warmer on the bottom.

Upgrading

Ultrabooks are not necessarily known to be well suited for upgrading. But you can at least get the XPS 13 open by simply loosening the eight screws on the bottom. The easiest way to remove the fairing is to use a chip card on the front right as a lever. Since the gaps are so narrow and accurate and the fairing is also tight, a fingernail is not a recommended alternative.

Wenn ihr die Verkleidung abgenommen habt, zeigt sich euch der große 52-Wh-Akku, der fast die Hälfte der Oberfläche einnimmt. Die M.2-NVMe-SSD befindet sich unter einem Kühlkörper aus Metall, der sich nach dem Lösen einer Schraube abnehmen lässt. Die SSD lässt sich demnach einfach aufrüsten und durch eine größere ersetzen. Das gleiche gilt für den Akku, der sich problemlos austauschen lassen sollte. Der Arbeitsspeicher lässt sich nicht so einfach lokalisieren und ist daher wohl auch nicht wechselbar.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a fast, robust and light office and also multimedia notebook, you’ll find the Dell XPS 13 to be the almost perfect working tool.

Besides the very high-quality workmanship, the notebook shines with compact dimensions, a weight of only 2.7 lbs and a bright display with good color fidelity. Furthermore, the version with an FHD display convinces with a very long battery life. Even under load, the XPS 13 remains hardly noticeably quiet and is easy to maintain thanks to easy access to the hardware. SSD and battery can be exchanged quickly and easily.

Visually, the XPS 13 also gives no reason for criticism. The selected materials and colors harmonize well with each other, and the soft-touch surface in combination with the aluminum also give the notebook a very high-quality feel. Although the webcam sits above the display, the display frames are very narrow.

As with most Ultrabooks, the only downer is to be found in the connections. The XPS 13 doesn’t have USB type A ports, so docking stations in the luggage are probably still mandatory nowadays. The USB-C to A dongle, which is included in the scope of delivery, should only be sufficient in the rarest cases. The XPS 13 does not have an SD card reader either. The built-in microSD card reader must be sufficient as an alternative.

Ranking Second: Huawei Matebook X Pro

Huawei Matebook X Pro review

Pros

  • Great Display
  • Good Performance
  • Best Price

Cons

  • No SD card slot

MateBook doesn’t sound like MacBook by chance – Huawei, you have to say it like that, shamelessly coppers off at Apple. But the test of the MateBook X Pro also shows that the Chinese manufacturer surpasses the model in some places. Not only for this reason, the Huawei MateBook X Pro is one of the best notebooks currently available.

Even the product name sounds like a mixture of MacBook Pro and iPhone X, and at the latest when you open the Huawei MateBook X Pro, which is only available in “Space Grey”, it becomes abundantly clear who was actually in charge of the design: Apple. Even in the smallest screw, the optical relationship cannot be denied.

With the unibody case made of aluminum, Apple has set the bar high in design and workmanship. Time and again it serves as a reference, and editors compare notebooks with MacBooks time and again. So why not build a MacBook with Windows 10 and write MateBook on it, Huawei obviously thought.

We don’t know, but we can well imagine that the legal department in Cupertino is not very amused about it. Only recently Apple has achieved a partial success in a seven-year patent dispute with Samsung. Apple accused Samsung of having copied the design and technology of the iPhone. But between MateBook X Pro and MacBook Pro there are probably many more “similarities” to be found than between iPhone and Galaxy Pro.

Specials of the Matebook Pro X

But there’s no cheap copy of China in the MateBook X Pro, because the manufacturer also implements its own ideas, despite its close proximity to the MacBook. The most striking one is the display.

  • 13.9-inch screen in 3:2 format: The edges of the screen are extremely thin at just half a centimeter. We feel reminded of the Dell XPS 13. The Huawei touchscreen offers a screen to case ratio of 91 percent. A dream value. There’s no room for a webcam in the usual place.
  • Nvidia GPU: The Huawei MateBook X Pro has a dedicated graphics card (Nvidia GeForce MX150 with two gigabytes of memory) regardless of the selected configuration.
  • Webcam disguised as a button: Because there’s no room for a webcam either at the top or bottom of the screen, Huawei installs it in an unusual place on the MateBook X Pro. It is located in the form of a button in the upper row of keyboards. Only when you press it, it moves up, which has advantages and disadvantages. Advantage: As with Lenovo’s ThinkShutter solution, you don’t have to be afraid of prying eyes. Disadvantage: The 1-megapixel camera’s angle of view is unfavourable.

Design

If we try to twist the new MacBook Pro with both hands, which is also on display, it won’t work. The MateBook Pro X doesn’t bend either, and makes a few noises when we try, but they’re no cause for concern.

Generally, the workmanship of the only second Huawei notebook is very successful. It even scratches at Apple’s perfection. Only if we look very closely can we detect a slightly irregular gap on the back. Where display and case meet, there is a slightly larger gap on the right than on the left. Present. The display lid of the 1,335 gram Matebook can be lifted and opened wonderfully easily with a finger.

The Chinese manufacturer impressively installs a standard-sized USB port on the right side of the case. On the opposite side we find a Thunderbolt 3 port, a USB type C port, over which the notebook is also charged, and a headphone jack. You’ll have to do without an SD card reader and LAN connection. Instead, Huawei installs a well-functioning fingerprint scanner in the power button.

Screen

We can’t remember ever having seen so much screen with so little edge when opening a notebook lid. No, there is also a good corner more edge in the so-called infinity display of the Dell XPS 13 (2018). The MateBook Pro X’s screen is really a feast for the eyes.

The touchscreen’s 3:2 format takes some getting used to. Friends of Microsoft hardware, however, will find it familiar, as the Surface Pro models also rely on 3:2 displays. The format has advantages and disadvantages. For example, you often have to live with black bars when watching movies on YouTube. On the other hand, there is more space available for surfing or office work.

The resolution of an equally unusual 3,000 x 2,000 pixels results in a very sharp display of content that can also be viewed from an acute angle without any color distortion or a drop in brightness. Keyword brightness: This is quite high with 450 candelas per square meter (factory specification).

In everyday life, the maximum brightness is still not always sufficient to mask disturbing reflections. This is especially the case outdoors. Then it sometimes only helps to find a more suitable location. The illumination is mostly even. When displaying flat black, we can only see minimal halos.

Keyboard and Trackpad

We want to shout out loud: “You don’t need to do it” – but, not surprisingly, the basic keyboard layout of the MateBook is similar to that of the MacBook. But while Apple is still busy working out the problems with the Butterfly switches and making the keyboard quieter, Huawei was already further along.

The keys of the test device strike similarly softly as in the MacBook Pro. The stroke is also comparable. We would have liked a crisper pressure point. To our taste, Huawei places too much emphasis on a quiet typing noise. Most prospective buyers will get along with the keyboard.

In principle, the same applies to the trackpad. With a diagonal of 14 centimeters, it’s larger than average, but not as large as the MacBook Pro. The glass surface offers good gliding properties and supports multi-touch gestures, but only reacts properly in the upper area when pressed hard.

Performance and Battery

Thanks to Nvidia GPU it can also be played with the MateBook X Pro. At least it’s enough for titles like Fortnite in medium detail level. Our test configuration only rarely runs out of breath anyway. Programs always open quickly and even the most extensive tables land on the almost borderless screen without annoying delays.

The Test-MateBook only needs eleven seconds for a cold start – a very good value. After a warm start (close the display and open it again) it immediately reacts to our input. The high performance readiness is also shown in the executed benchmark tests, for example in Cinebench R15. About 92 frame repetitions per second are on the clock after completion of the OpenGL run.

The CPU test doesn’t show any heat-related performance drop (throttling) after 15 runs. As you can see in the included table, the MateBook X Pro achieves an average of 534 CB points (multicore). Thus, the Windows Ultrabook is clearly above the last reviewed business notebook, Toshiba Portégé X30, but below the new MacBook Pro generation.

The non-replaceable battery with a capacity of 57 watt hours fires the MateBook X Pro for up to eleven hours. For this, however, you have to reduce the display brightness to a minimum and also “push a quiet ball” in terms of performance. In practical use, with medium display brightness and a mix of surfing and office work, the lights usually went out after 6.5 to 8.5 hours.

Heating and Noise

Good news – the MateBook X Pro’s cooling concept works and keeps you cool even in high temperatures. The built-in fans often stand still and only turn up slightly under light load. The noise is then reminiscent of sea noise and isn’t pervaded by a high-frequency whistling sound.

The fan volume increases considerably under full load, but even then the individual fans work very effectively. The case temperature on the rear doesn’t exceed 45 degrees Celsius. We couldn’t detect the dreaded coil whistle in the test specimen provided to us.

We can’t and don’t want to get used to the unusual webcam shots from the frog’s perspective. The built-in loudspeakers reproduce (film) music quite balanced. In direct comparison to the new MacBook Pro, we miss pressure in the upper volume range.

Conclusion

Of course, Huawei was more than just inspired by the Apple MacBook when designing it. But the MateBook X Pro is not a cheap imitation. Processing: very good! Performance: high. Fan: quiet. Input devices: without learning curve. Display: excellent. The bottom line is that the MateBook X Pro climbs to the throne as one of the current best Windows notebooks and fights for the crown with the established competition in the form of a Dell XPS 13, which in the end wins just by a slim margin.


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