Huawei MateBook D 16 Review front

The Huawei MateBook D 16 is one of their latest laptops launched alongside the newly launched MateBook 16s that we tested a while back as well as the ultra premium MateBook X Pro.

With a price tag that starts from RM3,699, the MateBook D 16 is intended as a reasonably priced, mainstream workhorse laptop but is it worth the money? Our Huawei MateBook D 16 review puts it through its paces to find out!

 

@hitechcentury First look at Huawei’s latest MateBook D16 with a huge 16″ display, full sized keyboard and 12th Gen Intel H series CPUs. #matebookd16 #laptop #firstlook #tech #fyp #techtok #sembanggadget @Huawei #huaweifans ♬ Boom Cha La Ka Dance – LEA

 

 

Huawei MateBook D 16 Review – Build and Design

The Huawei MateBook D 16 is the most affordable of the new triumvirate of laptops that were launched at the recent Huawei APAC Smart Office 2022 launch in Bangkok, Thailand a few days ago. 

Where the MateBook 16s and MateBook X Pro both feature liberal use of weight-saving materials and have Intel Evo certification along with the hefty hardware and battery life to meet Intel’s lofty requirements the MateBook D 16 aims for a blend of specifications while retaining the essentials critical for a student, entrepreneur or executive on a budget.

This primarily translates to a large 16-inch non-touch FullView display, a full-sized keyboard including a numeric keypad and a modestly light chassis that weighs in at 1.7kg which is relatively light seeing the size of the laptop.

Our Huawei MateBook D16 review sample comes in their usual brushed metallic grey finish, gently rounded corners and a chassis that is made of a combination of aluminium and polycarbonate.

The top lid has the Huawei logo emblazoned in the middle with chrome accents but is otherwise bare with the finish repelling fingerprints nicely. Its underside features a set of grilles for the downward firing stereo speakers and ventilation for the processor as well as a set of rubber feet to raise it slightly off the ground.

Huawei MateBook D 16 Review underside

In terms of I/O, the MateBook D16 covers all the bases with the essentials. On the left side of the laptop, you get two USB-C ports, both of which support data and charging with the second one from the left having DisplayPort functionality with support for up to displaying out to a 4K@60Hz display. 

Huawei MateBook D 16 Review right side

Placed alongside it is a HDMI 2.0 port and a 3.5mm audio combo jack. Combined with the DisplayPort capable USB-C port, the MateBook D 16 is capable of porting out to two 4K displays.

Huawei MateBook D 16 Review left side

On the right side, you get two USB Type-A ports though one is a conventional USB 2.0 model for peripherals and the other one is a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port with data transfer support for plugging in external storage media. The hinge is sturdy though it is somewhat stiff which means that you’ll need both hands to open the laptop. 

Flipping the MateBook D 16 reveals its greatest draw – a generously sized 16-inch WUXGA (1,920 x 1,200 pixel) FullView display with a tall 16:10 aspect ratio, a modest 60Hz refresh rate and a hardware Low Blue Light eye protection solution for more comfortable use over extended periods of time. 

On paper, the display is rated for a 100% sRGB colour gamut with a peak brightness of 300 nits and a contrast ratio of 1200:1. It does not seem to have any official rating for the DCI-P3 colour gamut which precludes its use for content creators who prioritise colour accuracy.

Perched just on top of the display is a 1080P AI camera for video calls that has a number of refinements including the AI noise reduction and voice enhancement for clearer calls as well as an AI Background mode to create a virtual background for video calls.

Huawei MateBook D 16 camera

Our Huawei MateBook D 16 review sample features a 1080p AI camera mounted on top of the display which integrates

Unlike its pricier siblings, the Huawei MateBook D 16 comes with a full sized keyboard that includes a numeric keypad which will endear it to spreadsheet jockeys.

The keyboard also features a power button that doubles as a fingerprint reader, a relatively narrow touchpad and an NFC sensor in the lower right palm rest for their Huawei Share mode which allows for seamless pairing with other Huawei devices like their new FreeBuds Pro 2 headphones and smartphones.

Huawei MateBook D 16 Review compact charger

Our Huawei MateBook D 16 review sample features a compact 65W SuperCharge charger that makes charging it in the field much easier.

Overall build quality is fair for what you pay for, especially seeing that this is one of the cheaper 16-inch laptops in the market in a 15-inch chassis and Huawei is also tossing in a compatible 65W SuperCharge fast charger and cable to rapidly charge the laptop.

Huawei MateBook D 16 review – Benchmarks and Performance

For the Malaysia market, the Huawei MateBook D 16 comes in three configurations, each with different prices though all of them have an identical chassis and design along with similar features save for slightly different RAM configurations and what 12th Gen Intel Core processor is used.

In the case of our Huawei MateBook D 16 review sample, it’s the mid-tier model that costs RM3,999 and which has a 12th Gen Intel Core i5-12450H H-series processor, 16GB LPDDR4 RAM soldered in, a 512GB SSD and Intel UHD graphics. 

Huawei MateBook D 16 review display

Unfortunately, all variants of the MateBook D 16 lack Intel Evo certification but it’s typically not a criteria for its intended target market. If you’re really on a budget, you can opt for the cheaper variant which has 8GB RAM for RM3,699. The higher end version upguns the processor to a 12th Gen i7-12700H with better Iris Xe graphics as well for RM4,799. Here’s how it stacks up on paper:

Price RM3,999 ( i5/16GB RAM/512GB SSD), RM3,699 (i5/8GB RAM/512GB SSD), RM4,799 (i7/16GB RAM/ 512GB SSD)
Display 16-inch FullView Display, 1,920 x 1,200 pixels, 100% srGB, 300 nits peak brightness, 141ppi, 16:10 aspect ratio
Processor 12th Gen Intel Core 12450H processor (review sample) OR 12th Gen i7-12700H
OS Windows 11 Home
Memory 16GB LPDDR4 RAM (review sample) or 8GB LPDDR4 RAM/ 512GB PCIe SSD
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics / Iris Xe (for i7 version)
Battery 60Wh w/ 65W SuperCharge adapter
Size/Weight 356.7 x 248.7 x 18.4mm/ 1.7kg
Huawei MateBook D 16 review – Specifications

Much like other Huawei laptops of recent vintage, our MateBook D 16 review sample features their own Huawei PC Manager to handle housekeeping in the background like updating drivers and their Huawei Super Device feature which offers rapid pairing with other Huawei phones, headphones, tablets and other gear.

It also has a special Performance mode accessed by pressing the Fn and P keys simultaneously which kicks up CPU performance and fan speed for enhanced performance though at the trade-off of reducing battery life and only if the laptop is plugged in. 

Additional mod cons common to all MateBook D 16 variants include fast WiFI 6 paired with their new Metaline antennas which ensures more stable WiFi connections and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity. The cooling system is relatively standard with a single fan to cool the CPU rather than the more sophisticated dual-fan variants seen in the MateBook 16s.

When plugged in and kicked up to Performance mode, our MateBook D 16 review sample scored the following synthetic benchmarks:

3D Mark Time Spy 999
3D Mark Time Spy Extreme 458
3D Mark Fire Strike 2,097
3D Mark Fire Strike Extreme 1,411
3D Mark Fire Strike Ultra 713
3D Mark Night Raid 11,646
GeekBench 5 Single core 1,573
GeekBench 5 Multi core 8,368
GeekBench 5 OpenCL 10,011
GeekBench 5 Vulkan 10,115
Cinebench R23 Multi Core 7,298
Cinebench R23 Single Core 1,496 x 4.88 MP Ratio
PCMark 10 Extended 4,202
PCMark 8 Battery Life (Creative) 4 hours 27 minutes
Huawei MateBook D 16 – Synthetic benchmarks with Performance mode on and plugged in

In terms of overall performance, our Huawei MateBook D 16 review sample is fairly typical of other laptops with a 12th Gen Intel Core i5 processor with slight improvements on account of its Performance mode though its reliance on Intel UHD graphics precludes its usage for serious gaming or heavy content creator oriented tasks.

Huawei MateBook D 16 Review night raid

Even under heavy sustained testing in Performance mode, it remained relatively cool without substantial heating issues across its chassis on account of its somewhat unusual capillary heat pipe design that, according to Huawei, offers 20% improved performance over a traditional single heat pipe design. The Time Spy stress test also showed consistent performance without substantial frame rate drops with a 99.1% pass rate.

Huawei MateBook D 16 Review r23

Under practical workloads like web browsing, word processing, spreadsheets and basic gaming like DOTA 2 and Kingdom Two Crowns and Stardew Valley, our MateBook D 16 review sample performed in a highly competent fashion.

It easily handled swapping between a dozen open browsers in Chrome, handled Microsoft Office and Google Docs without issue and was able to even handle a bit of modest photo editing via Canva and handle preparing a PowerPoint presentation without issue for an upcoming pitch.

Video editing in the form of trimming short videos and a few simple transitions are about the extent of its capabilities for content creator work. All these tasks are well within the remit of its intended audience of students, entrepreneurs and executives who are looking for a capable laptop on a budget.

The white-LED backlit full sized keyboard uses scissor switch keys with a 1.5mm key travel and that bottom out with a soft click that make touch typing a pleasant affair, made more so with its inclusion of numeric keypad that made data entry tasks a less strenuous affair. 

Of particular note is the MateBook D 16’s large 16-inch display. The tall 16:10 aspect ratio and additional screen real estate grants it a significant advantage over lesser 15.6-inch 16:9 ratio displays.

Huawei MateBook D 16 review angled

Screen brightness is bright for indoor use and colours are sufficiently vibrant for casual movie watching movies with good detail and pin-sharp text for web browsing. The modest 60Hz refresh rate precludes usage for serious gaming but it’s not an issue seeing as it’s intended purely as a workhorse laptop.

The AI camera is better than average versus the usual cheaper 720P cameras festooning laptops and the built-in AI background mode is especially handy for those working from home though it does have slight problems working around hair when framing subjects.

Perhaps the biggest quibble here is its battery life and if you’re fairly conservative by eschewing heavy work and video playback, you’re able to yield a fair five or six hours though heavier work pares it down to about four to five hours of practical usage.

Huawei MateBook D 16 Review battery life

In PCMark 8’s Creative benchmark, you’re able to get about 4 hours and 27 minutes of practical use which isn’t stunning by any means but the fast 65W SuperCharge charging and compact size of the charger lets you get topped up in the field without issue.

Should you buy the Huawei MateBook D 16?

The Huawei MateBook D 16 represents a surprisingly good blend of features with the midrange i5 model offering a large display, a generous 16GB brace of RAM and enough performance for general computing duties for under RM4,000.

Hitech Century Gold Award

If you’re on the hunt for a highly affordable 16-inch workhorse, the Huawei MateBook D 16 comes highly recommended and is one of the most affordable16-inch laptops that you can currently find at this point in time.

Huawei MateBook D 16 Review front

Huawei MateBook D 16 review unit courtesy of Huawei Malaysia. To purchase please visit the HUAWEI Official MateBook D 16 site

Huawei MateBook D 16
3.8
  • Display
  • Performance
  • Battery Life
  • Design
  • Value

Huawei MateBook D 16

The Huawei MateBook D 16 makes for an appealing choice for those looking for an affordable 16-inch workhorse laptop with a 12th Gen Intel H-series CPU, a large display and a full sized keyboard.

Pros

Large and tall 16-inch display

Full sized keyboard with numeric keypad

Decent combination of ports

65W fast charging

Cons

Average battery life

RAM is soldered in

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