The Huawei MateBook D 16 is your typical mainstream workhorse laptop. It's capable enough for day-to-day computing tasks, but it's not really built for heavier, graphically-intensive workloads. But given that my Core i5 review model is a relatively inexpensive S$1,298, I think there will be quite a few takers, especially among students and retirees. After all, it's generally decent, except for battery life. And if you already have other Huawei devices, you'll get even more out of the MateBook with Huawei's collaborative Smart Office tools.
- 16-inch 1,920 x 1,200-pixel IPS screen
- Intel Core i5-12450H processor with 16GB system memory and 512GB SSD
- 60 watt-hour battery
With its silver chassis, black bezels, and minimalist appearance, the MateBook reminds me a bit of an older Apple MacBook. The Huawei laptop doesn't feel as sturdy, though. The lid, especially, flexes under pressure. Its 16-inch display (non-touch) is surrounded by pleasantly-narrow bezels. It's decently bright (300 nits max), while the 1,920 x 1,200-pixel resolution is acceptable for its size. The 1080p webcam is located at its usual position above the display, unlike the recessed version found in some older Huawei notebooks. The webcam exhibits a fair amount of noise. It also tries to keep your face sharp and in focus — even if you're moving your head around. You can disable the webcam with a shortcut key, but there isn't an actual physical shutter.
The keyboard offers decent travel and resistance. Like other Huawei notebooks, the power button conveniently doubles as a fingerprint sensor. Huawei also manages to fit in a number pad with narrow but usable keys. Other handy shortcuts include one that opens the Calculator and another for Huawei's PC Manager. The latter lets you update your drivers, and switch between Performance and Balanced modes. You can also connect to other compatible Huawei devices, like the P50 Pro smartphone, via this app to transfer files. Given the MateBook's 16-inch size, I would have liked a larger touchpad, but at least it feels smooth and supports Windows gestures.
The MateBook D 16 has a decent selection of ports — two USB-C ports (one for power), HDMI, and two USB-A ports. My only grouse would be the lack of a memory card slot. Huawei has gone for a 12th-gen Intel H Series processor, which is more power-hungry than the U or S models. As a result, the MateBook managed a paltry 4hr 41min in our usual video playback battery test. In comparison, the 16-inch LG Gram 16, which has a larger 80 watt-hour battery, lasted over 10 hours. But my Intel Core i5 review set produced solid performance numbers. In fact, its PCMark 10 score (5,064) is higher than U Series Core i7 notebooks like the HP Elite Dragonfly G3.
The MateBook performs up to expectations, with the battery life being my sole concern. It's probably a worthwhile compromise as this 1.7kg notebook is more suited for home use. And you do get better performance with its H Series Intel processor. At S$1,298, the Huawei MateBook D 16 is competitively priced for its specs. It's what you can expect to pay for similar 15.6-inch models from Acer and Asus. But Huawei is also sweetening the deal with attractive freebies such as a 27-inch MateView GT monitor (worth around S$498, while stocks last). The MateBook D 16 is available now on Shopee and Lazada.
Note: Review unit provided by Huawei.
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