Huawei MateBook D 16 hands-on: an affordable 16-inch notebook


Huawei MateBook D 16 hands-on: an affordable 16-inch notebook

The Huawei MateBook D 16 was announced at the company’s Smart Office 2022 event in Bangkok and is positioned as an affordable 16-inch notebook powered by Intel’s latest 12th-generation Core processors. Given the attractive price – simply € 1,298 – we decided we should take a closer look.

You can see the larger screen that brings the aspect ratio to the MateBook D 16.

The MateBook D 16 is available in one color, Mystic Silver, and has a metal body with a slight baby blue tint. It looks rather neat and classy, ​​with just the company name on the cover in a more reflective silver. It is 18.4mm thick and weighs 1.7 kg – very reasonable numbers for a 16-inch notebook.

But notebooks with black borders and silver metal casings are common these days, so I wasn’t that impressed with the look of the MateBook D 16. But I have to say, it felt substantive and big when I held it. With the screen closed, there was little bending. Unsurprisingly, the case flexed more when the notebook was opened, especially the screen moved a lot more, but I didn’t feel it would bend or break easily.

The power button also doubles as a fingerprint reader.

Huawei has also added some of its own proprietary software such as Super device. This creates a seamless connection for collaboration between all your Huawei devices, allowing them to function more or less as a single unit.

Open the Super Device app and you will see the device you are using appear as a floating bubble. Each other Super Device compatible device appears in its own bubble, orbiting the central device. Drag the bubble to the center and it will connect.

Plug in a smartphone and it allows users to transfer files from a Huawei smartphone to the MateBook to a MatePad or even a printer. Plug in a MatePad and it can be used as a secondary display, or you can use the Matebook’s keyboard and trackpad to navigate the tablet.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any other Huawei devices on hand, so I couldn’t test this.

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We tested the model with the Intel Core i5-12450H processor.

The MateBook D 16 is powered by Intel’s new 12th generation Alder Lake Core processors, specifically the more powerful H-series variant. The model I had was powered by a 12th Gen Intel Core i5-12450H processor – but there is another model that comes with the more powerful Intel Core i7-12700H processor. Regardless of which model you choose, the MateBook D 16 comes with 16 GB of memory and a 512 GB SSD for storage.

These are reasonable specs for a notebook in its class. The screen is 16-inch, uses an IPS screen and has a resolution of 1,920 x 1200 pixels. Huawei claims it covers 100% of the sRGB color space and has 300 nits of brightness.

The brightness was adequate for most of what I was trying to do, but I had problems in direct sunlight when trying to watch a movie. It wasn’t the last word in sharpness and colors weren’t particularly vibrant either.

You can see the downward-firing speakers in the base.

Audio is provided by two speakers on the bottom of the notebook. While I found it to be loud enough with no distortion at high volume, there was little depth to the sound. And like most other notebook speakers, it came across as a little tinny. When I watched a Top Gun 4K video, I wanted more bass from the sound, while the video itself was slightly faded.

Here you can see that the number keys are slightly narrower.

The power button also doubles as a fingerprint sensor, which saves space and is a useful feature. The keyboard itself doesn’t feel flimsy and the keys have a decent degree of tactility. Because this is a 16 inch notebook, Huawei has included number and arrow keys. They are slightly narrower than the main keyboard, but still perfectly usable. The trackpad is quite large, but slightly off center.

Our 4K test image was easy to see indoors.

The camera doesn't have to be a pop-up this time.

Instead of the camera being built into a pop-up on the row function keys like Huawei did in a previous MateBook X Pro, it’s now housed in a notch at the top of the screen. The resolution is a decent 1080P, but there’s no webcam cover for privacy.

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The MateBook D 16 has: four microphones to pick up sound and voices usually sounded crisp and clear on video calling. I tried this by using Zoom to call the woman while we were in different rooms at home. Noise cancellation wasn’t the best though, as the microphones were able to pick up the noise from the ceiling fan I had.

On the other side are two more USB-A ports.

The MateBook D 16 has pretty decent connectivity. It has two USB-C ports (both USB 3.2 Gen 1 with one supporting DisplayMode Alt mode for external displays), two USB-A (USB 3.2 Gen 1 and USB 2.0) ports, a single HDMI 2.0 port, and a 3.5mm audio combo jack. There’s no dedicated socket for power, so you’ll have to sacrifice one of the USB ports when you need to charge it.

I ran a few quick tests to see how this model would perform. To summarize, the model I tested in this hands-on is powered by a 12th Gen Intel Core i5-12450H processor with 16GB of RAM and a 512 SSD for storage.

Here’s how it compared to some of the other models we tested before:

Fashion model Display Processor Memory Storage Graphics
Huawei MateBook D 16 16-inch, IPS, WUXGA Intel Core i5-12450H 16GB 512GB SSD Intel UHD graphics
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14-inch, 2.8K, OLED, touchscreen Intel Core i7-1260P 16GB 512GB SSD Intel Iris Xe
ASUS ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition 14-inch, 2.8K, OLED, touchscreen Intel Core i7-12700H 16GB 1TB SSD Intel Iris Xe
HP Specter x360 14 13.5-inch, 3K2K, OLED, touchscreen Intel Core i7-1165G7 16GB 1TB SSD Intel Iris Xe
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 Carbon 14-inch, QHD+, OLED AMD Ryzen 7 5800U 16GB 512GB SSD NVIDIA GeForce MX450
Microsoft Surface Pro 8 13-inch, PixelSense Flow, 120Hz refresh rate Intel Core i7-1165G7 16GB 256GB SSD Intel Iris Xe
Vaio SX14 14-inch, Full-HD, non-touch (4K, as tested) Intel Core i7-1165G7 16GB 512GB SSD Intel Iris Xe

PCMark 10

Cinebench R23

Geek Bench 5

Overall, the MateBook D 16 performed within expectations. It’s faster than notebooks powered by Intel’s lesser 11th-generation Ice Lake U-series chips and was roughly comparable to the Yoga 9i which has a newer 12th-generation Core i7-1260P processor. However, it was no match for ASUS’ ZenBook 14X, which has a more powerful Core i7-12700H processor.

The included charger is small but certainly handy.

As for battery life, I drained the battery by streaming video over Wi-Fi while doing other browser-based tasks. I was able to get seven and a half hours on maximum brightness, which I thought was an average time. If it’s any consolation, the smartphone-style 65W charger is small enough to be carried almost all the time and used all the time. What’s nice is that Huawei claims you can get 40% off with about 30 minutes of charging.

Based on first impressions, the Huawei MateBook D 16 appears to be a well-rounded and affordable notebook that is ideal for users on a tight budget. It’s not too heavy and while the 16-inch screen isn’t the sharpest or most vibrant, it’s adequate for everyday needs. Performance is also within expectations for a notebook powered by a Core i5 H-series processor.

The MateBook D 16 is priced at: € 1,298 and can be found in Huawei’s official stores at Lazada and Shopee, as well as partner stores such as Challenger or Courts.


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