I will outline what Huawei has and has not fixed in the 2019 MateBook X Pro compared to the 2018 model. You can find the more obvious talking points on The Verge and other normie sites, but here are the small engineering changes that I noticed during my teardown and testing.
Screenshot from my teardown https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sxf_bU6OZXE&t=11974s
- Huawei has perforated the regions of the heatsink above the CPU VRM. Whereas 2018’s VRM would overheat and cause the laptop to abruptly shut down when the CPU is pushed to around 15W, 2019’s VRM can supply over 30W continuously just fine. The CPU starts thermal throttling way before the VRM has any problem keeping up. I did manage to find the VRM’s limit though: with a fan blowing at the laptop’s bottom, the VRM bumps into a hardware current limit when the CPU reaches about 48W. That’s the maximum power the VRM is designed for.
How common are the issues plaguing the MateBook X Pro? And how many users have taken solving them into their own hands? This past month, I surveyed 309 visitors of Reddit.com/r/MatebookXPro and BradsHacks.com about their experience with the critically acclaimed Huawei laptop.
The majority of the surveyed users reported having a loose or rattling touchpad. Based on my understanding of how the touchpad is installed into the frame, I suspect that all units actually have this issue to some degree and some users just don’t perceive it as an abnormality. After all, loose trackpads are quite common in laptops.
Similarly, the issues with temperature and various types of noise are inherently subjective. For example, the same laptop can be considered too hot or loud by one user yet be completely acceptable for another. Some people are more sensitive to the buzz of coil whine and work in quieter environments, so they could notice the coil whine much more than others.
Unlike most other headphone surround sound emulators, Waves NX does a relatively good job at preserving the quality of the original sound while simulating an out-of-your-head soundstage. But let’s see how it actually changes the sound.
I loaded a 192KHz Dirac delta impulse into Adobe Audition and applied Waves NX to it with these settings:
Sending an impulse on the left channel yields this:
I listened to the Bose SoundTouch 10 in their store today. I was absolutely disgusted.
The Bose SoundTouch 10 is a $200 wireless speaker. Since it’s mono, that means half the number of drivers needed, which means greatly reduced production costs, and therefore potentially better sound quality for the price, right? No. Continue reading
These are some frequency response measurements of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class’s optional Harman Kardon in-car sound system. While its frequency response is far from neutral, this 12-speaker sound system is quite enjoyable to the ear. The sub-bass boost compensates for the engine noise, and the treble roll-off makes a non-fatiguing sound, which is especially appreciable for long road trips.
(Disclaimer: I am not an audiophile.)
(August 5 2016 update: I am now an audiophile, but I was not when I wrote this review.)
My previous computer speakers, the Logitech Z523, developed an unbearable buzzing noise. I was tired of the mediocre-at-best sound anyway, so I bought a pair of M-Audio AV32 on Amazon in light of some extremely positive comments by someone who claims to be an audiophile.
In the Box
There is 1 huge reason why you should not buy a Gigabyte motherboard, and that is the lack of proper fan control. Please bear with me as I explain.
For example, Asus, ASRock and MSI allow you to precisely set your fan speed curves in piecewise linear functions within the BIOS, to achieve a perfect balance between low idling noise and good cooling under stress.
The same can be done on Gigabyte boards, but only using Gigabyte’s app called System Information Viewer (SIV). SIV has 2 major disadvantages: Continue reading