Top positive review
90% of a MacBook Pro for 70% of the price
Reviewed in the United States on May 23, 2018
To preface this review, I've been using this laptop for about a week now. I bought it from the Microsoft Store not Amazon, in case you're wondering why it doesn't say "verified purchase".
- Design: This is a very good looking laptop. The dark grey color is pretty much identical to the "space gray" that Apple uses on their MacBooks.
- Battery life: excellent. Watching youtube, editing documents, and other light productivity work yields about 8-10 hours of use.
- Display: Very bright and easy to use outdoors. Not quite as bright as the new MacBook Pros, but close. Color accuracy is skewed towards the reds, but that can be fixed with calibration.
- Keyboard: MUCH better than Apple's new keyboards. Very quiet comfy to type on. It feels very similar to the Surface keyboards (which is a good thing)
- Speakers: Excellent sound. The bass could be better, but the sound is very clear and can get fairly loud.
- The SSD is upgradable. Not easily upgradable, but it's not soldered in, which is a plus. If anyone is wondering, my unit has a Toshiba SSD. Write speeds are poor, around 300MB/s, read speeds are decent at around 1800MB/s.
NOT SO GOOD:
- Build Quality: After a few days of use, the laptop started to creak when I pick it up. I tried tightening the screws, but that didn't fix it. Very irritating. The USB C ports are also VERY tight. It feels like I'm going to break something when I remove the charging connector.
- Port arrangement: This is a minor one, but I wish they put one USB C port on either side instead of putting both on the same side. This would make it possible to charge the laptop from either side.
- Price: I think $1499 (for the 512gb model) is too much. At the time of writing this review, Amazon is including a $300 gift card, and that makes it easier to swallow.
THE TRULY AWFUL:
- Webcam: I can't think of a single scenario where using this webcam would be acceptable. Even for just casual video chatting, it's awful. I like that it can be hidden, but the positioning makes it impossible to get a "normal" view of your face. Not to mention the actual camera quality is poor as well. It's a 1MP camera.
- Touchpad: It's a Precision touchpad, but it sure doesn't feel like it. It doesn't even compare to the Surface touchpads. Even the "click" is very cheap feeling. Not to mention, the touchpad rattles quite a bit. Not what I expected for a $1500 device.
- Coil Whine: Similar to the older Dell XPS 13, this unit has quite a bit of coil whine. It's amplified when plugged in. This is pretty unfortunate, but some people won't notice it.
- Fan Noise: It's pretty much always on. It's not obnoxious, but it's loud enough to hear it in a very quiet room. If the laptop isn't plugged in and is on power saver mode, the fans do quiet down. On (almost) every other laptop, the fan is actually connected to a metal heatsink. On this laptop, there's about 0.5cm of space between the fan and the heatsink. This is just bad design and incredibly inefficient.
As for what comes in the box, you get:
- The laptop
- Power brick
- 2m long USB C cable
- A USB C dongle with VGA, USB A, HDMI, and charging passthrough. This DOES NOT support 4k@60hz, but hey, its included.
TL;DR: This machine is 90% of a MacBook Pro for ~70% of the price. It's a great value compared to a Mac, but compared to other Windows laptops, I think it's priced too high, especially for a "new" brand like Huawei.
Leave a comment if you have any questions and I'll do my best to answer them.