There's been lots of good laptops in 2018, but not that many laptops to get truly excited about. Annoyingly, one of the best didn't seem like it was coming to Australia: Huawei's Matebook X Pro, a 3:2 clamshell with a Macbook-esque design and a dedicated GPU for less than other laptops. It's finally coming to Australia next week, and it's priced really well.
It'll be available exclusively through the Microsoft Store, with two options available: an i5 with a 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM, available for $1699, and an i7 with a 512GB SSD, 16GB RAM and the MX 150 for $2299. Both models are discounted until next week: $200 off the base model, and $300 off the i7 versions.
There's two colours available for the i7 model (Mystic Silver and Space Grey), but the price remains the same. The MX 150 is part of what's so exciting here: while that extra GPU power isn't really designed for smashing out Crysis or anything, it will help low-end gaming and any Adobe suite editing you need to do on the road.
Ports wise, you'll get two USB-C ports, a single USB Type-A and a 3.5mm audio jack on all models. The laptop itself weighs about the same as the original Surface Laptop, so this isn't the lightest thing on the market, but most people would probably trade that to get a good price on 16GB RAM, a good sized SSD, and an i7 to boot.
And that's really what's caught my eye with this. Say you want something neat like the Surface Laptop, but you want an i7 and 16GB RAM, because you enjoy having more than three Chrome tabs open as part of your workflow. You know how much that'll cost you? $3300. You can configure the Dell XPS 13 with those specs, but you'll have to have the 4K touchscreen (which means less battery life) and it'll still cost you $2800.
The HP Spectre X360 costs $2700 if you want the same CPU, same amount of RAM and same SSD, and just like the other two laptops I mentioned, it still doesn't have a dedicated GPU. You could get a better GPU with the Razer Blade, as an example, but you'd have to fork out $3000 (and you're still only getting a 256GB drive, which vanishes real fast the second you install a couple of games).
That's why, most of the time when we talk about laptops, the base model ends up being the best value for money. The Matebook X Pro might be the first model where the higher end models are actually the better ones to buy, which hopefully might encourage other vendors to be a bit more competitive in their configurations.
The Matebook X Pro launches in Australia from November 22. Head here for the rest of the specs.
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