Huawei MateBook D 15 (2020) review: Stylish and solid, but battery life disappoints Review

When you consider of Huawei you possibly never consider of laptops, but the company’s MateBook

When you consider of Huawei you possibly never consider of laptops, but the company’s MateBook D has just been produced in a new 2020 iteration. Run by an AMD Ryzen processor it arrives in fourteen-inch and fifteen.6-inch measurements. I was despatched the bigger £599.ninety nine (inc. VAT) design to evaluation. 

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The fifteen.6-inch MateBook D fifteen has a strong metal chassis and weighs 1.53kg. It is run by an AMD Ryzen five 3500U processor with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage.


Image: Huawei

This fifteen.6-inch laptop is svelte and metal-clad. That metal does make this a rather weighty laptop at 1.53kg, but it’s solidly created with pretty minor flex in the lid section, inspite of its slimness. You could transportation this laptop without having a protective sleeve, whilst you may possibly want to shield the metal chassis from scratches.

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The pop-up webcam in the keyboard’s Fn essential row is intelligent and safe, but does give an unlucky ‘up-the-nose’ camera angle on video clip phone calls.


Visuals: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The MateBook D fifteen takes a minimalist and unpretentious method to laptop layout. The dark grey outer shell has a significant Huawei model marker on the lid, but apart from that matters are pretty restrained. But it’s not missing in panache. There is certainly a prolonged divot in the bottom edge, beneath the touchpad, that tends to make lifting the lid straightforward, and the fingerprint reader is housed in the on/off button, situated on the appropriate of the keyboard. This assists to keep the wrist-rest spot apparent of muddle, in line with the minimalist topic.

In one particular respect, this minimalist ethos brings about an ergonomic issue. Huawei has situated the 720p webcam beneath a pop-up button on the Fn essential row. This signifies you will find no need for a privateness protect, and Huawei has been equipped to go for broke with skinny monitor bezels. But it also benefits in an unlucky ‘up-the-nose’ camera angle for video clip conferencing, which is not suitable.

Huawei has managed to keep the chassis compact at 357.8mm wide by 229.9mm deep by 16.9mm thick. This is mainly down to individuals compact monitor bezels, which on a few sides measure just five.3mm (if you opt for the fourteen-inch design they are even shallower at 4.8mm). This tends to make for a rewarding viewing practical experience, and even the bottom bezel, even though substantially further, is comparatively shallow.

The fifteen.6-inch monitor is an FHD (1,920 x 1,080) non-contact IPS panel. The end is matte, which will be sure to consumers who choose not to see their personal reflection even though doing the job. The colour temperature controller involves an Eye Convenience mode that filters out blue mild and tends to make a discernible change. Viewing angles are billed as 178°, but feel a minor underwhelming on the vertical plane. Even now, it’s not a offer-breaker.

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The stereo speakers output through grilles on the underside of the chassis. Quantity is enough for non-public listening at close to 30% and ought to be high-quality for presentations or movie observing at close to sixty five%. Past this degree, distortion will become ever more apparent.

Huawei has integrated a new collaboration attribute which is a enhancement of OneHop. Appropriate phones can connect and share the laptop’s monitor, and consumers can drag data files from one particular product to the other. It is a wonderful way to go images close to or share work paperwork if you never have quick access to cloud products and services. You can also use a mouse or other peripheral linked to the MateBook to navigate and interact with the smartphone monitor — for example for texting. Not all Huawei phones are supported and you will find a checklist of compatible phones from the two Huawei and Honor, and specifics of the attributes supported by various Huawei laptops, right here.  

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The keyboard features a comfortable typing platform and the touchpad is significant and responsive. There is certainly a fingerprint reader created into the ability button to the appropriate of the top rated row of keys.


Image: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

This 16:9 laptop provides lots of area for the keyboard, whose significant, well-spaced keys are comfortable to use. They provide a slight ‘thunky’ and never depress pretty significantly, but I was equipped to contact-style at my normal pace. The touchpad is a superior size and pretty responsive. 

There are only two iterations of the MateBook D obtainable at the time of composing.

My evaluation sample, the fifteen.6-inch design, arrives with a 256GB SSD and charges £599.ninety nine (inc. VAT). It is a lot less expensive than the fourteen-inch design, which has a 512GB SSD and charges £649.ninety nine (inc. VAT). It is not apparent why Huawei would not provide the two storage possibilities at each monitor size. To incorporate to the confusion, my fifteen.6-inch evaluation device was basically geared up with a 512GB SSD.

The remainder of the specifications are the exact same among the two styles: an AMD Ryzen five 3500U cellular processor, 8GB of RAM and discrete AMD Radeon Vega eight graphics. The wi-fi is 802.11ac rather than the hottest 802.11ax (a.k.a Wi-Fi 6). Both versions of this laptop operate Windows 10 Property.

SEE: 20 professional guidelines to make Windows 10 work the way you want (free PDF)    

Connectivity is minimal but enough: two USB two. ports and a 3.5mm audio jack on the appropriate and USB-C, USB 3. and (entire-size) HDMI on the appropriate. The USB-C port supports charging and information, but not Thunderbolt.

There is a significant supporter grille on the underside, and Huawei is proud of its Shark Fin Supporter, which has undergone a layout revision so that its new s-formed supporter blades provide a lot more productive cooling. Through testing the underside of the laptop was interesting each time I checked.

Huawei would not deliver an estimate for the lifestyle of the 42Wh battery. All through testing, with the monitor set at the default 80% brightness and workloads involving web applications, songs enjoying and occasional video clip viewing, the battery dropped by close to 40% about numerous two.five-hour durations, becoming entirely recharged in among. It is unlikely that a entire eight-hour day is achievable under that routine, so if which is a essential consideration you could want to look at the fourteen-inch design, which has a bigger 56Wh battery.

Huawei has specified lots of assumed to the charging technique. Initially off, the charging brick is comparatively compact, with one particular retracting pin producing it less complicated to fall into a bag. Then you will find the demand cable, which is USB-C at the two finishes, so it can be removed from the brick and carried individually. The charger is a 65W device that can rapidly-demand from zero to 53% in 30 minutes, and also supports rapidly charging for phones. At last, it has an overheating protection technique that will minimize charging out just after a specified temperature is arrived at.

Conclusions

The Huawei MateBook D fifteen (2020) has some powerful as well as details, together with a strong metal chassis and a minimum-bezel IPS monitor with an successful blue-mild filter. Buyers of compatible Huawei and Honor smartphones might value the monitor-sharing and file-transfer abilities. Rapid charging is also welcome.

Having said that, battery lifestyle could be much better, a lot more versatility on storage capacity would be superior, you will find rather much too substantially speaker distortion at high volume, and the see from the pop-up camera in the keyboard is just not optimal.

Over-all nevertheless, taking into consideration the cost, this laptop is an attention-grabbing proposition. The monitor-sharing ability could just be adequate to sway homeowners of compatible handsets in its favour.

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