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

Maria J. Danford

When you think of Huawei you in all probability will not think of laptops, but the company’s MateBook D has just been released in a new 2020 iteration. Powered by an AMD Ryzen processor it comes in fourteen-inch and 15.6-inch sizes. I was sent the much larger £599.ninety nine (inc. […]

When you think of Huawei you in all probability will not think of laptops, but the company’s MateBook D has just been released in a new 2020 iteration. Powered by an AMD Ryzen processor it comes in fourteen-inch and 15.6-inch sizes. I was sent the much larger £599.ninety nine (inc. VAT) design to overview. 

huawei-matebook-d-15-screen.jpg

The 15.6-inch MateBook D 15 has a sound metallic chassis and weighs one.53kg. It is driven by an AMD Ryzen five 3500U processor with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage.


Picture: Huawei

This 15.6-inch laptop computer is svelte and metallic-clad. That metallic does make this a instead weighty laptop computer at one.53kg, but it really is solidly designed with pretty minor flex in the lid portion, irrespective of its slimness. You could transportation this laptop computer with no a protective sleeve, although you may in all probability want to shield the metallic chassis from scratches.

huawei-matebook-d-15-pop-up-camera.jpg

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


Photos: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The MateBook D 15 can take a minimalist and unpretentious solution to laptop computer structure. The dark grey outer shell has a huge Huawei model marker on the lid, but apart from that things are pretty restrained. But it really is not lacking in panache. You will find a extensive divot in the base edge, beneath the touchpad, that will make lifting the lid easy, and the fingerprint reader is housed in the on/off button, positioned on the ideal of the keyboard. This allows to maintain the wrist-rest place obvious of clutter, in line with the minimalist theme.

In a person regard, this minimalist ethos brings about an ergonomic difficulty. Huawei has positioned the 720p webcam beneath a pop-up button on the Fn vital row. This means there’s no need for a privateness address, and Huawei has been able to go for broke with thin display screen bezels. But it also success in an unfortunate ‘up-the-nose’ camera angle for video clip conferencing, which is not best.

Huawei has managed to maintain the chassis compact at 357.8mm vast by 229.9mm deep by sixteen.9mm thick. This is mainly down to individuals smaller display screen bezels, which on 3 sides evaluate just five.3mm (if you choose for the fourteen-inch design they are even shallower at four.8mm). This will make for a satisfying viewing knowledge, and even the base bezel, even though considerably deeper, is fairly shallow.

The 15.6-inch display screen is an FHD (one,920 x one,080) non-contact IPS panel. The finish is matte, which will remember to buyers who prefer not to see their very own reflection even though operating. The colour temperature controller involves an Eye Convenience mode that filters out blue gentle and will make a discernible difference. Viewing angles are billed as 178°, but appear to be a minor underwhelming on the vertical airplane. Still, it really is not a offer-breaker.

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The stereo speakers output as a result of grilles on the underside of the chassis. Volume is ample for private listening at all-around thirty% and should really be great for presentations or film observing at all-around sixty five%. Past this stage, distortion turns into significantly visible.

Huawei has incorporated a new collaboration function which is a improvement of OneHop. Suitable telephones can join and share the laptop’s display screen, and buyers can drag documents from a person device to the other. It is a terrific way to shift pictures all-around or share get the job done files if you will not have quick accessibility to cloud solutions. You can also use a mouse or other peripheral linked to the MateBook to navigate and interact with the smartphone display screen — for illustration for texting. Not all Huawei telephones are supported and there’s a checklist of compatible telephones from both of those Huawei and Honor, and aspects of the capabilities supported by various Huawei laptops, right here.  

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The keyboard gives a comfortable typing system and the touchpad is huge and responsive. You will find a fingerprint reader designed into the electrical power button to the ideal of the leading row of keys.


Picture: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

This sixteen:nine laptop computer gives a good deal of area for the keyboard, whose huge, perfectly-spaced keys are comfortable to use. They supply a slight ‘thunky’ and will not depress pretty much, but I was able to contact-kind at my standard pace. The touchpad is a good sizing and pretty responsive. 

There are only two iterations of the MateBook D offered at the time of writing.

My overview sample, the 15.6-inch design, comes with a 256GB SSD and prices £599.ninety nine (inc. VAT). It is fewer costly than the fourteen-inch design, which has a 512GB SSD and prices £649.ninety nine (inc. VAT). It is not obvious why Huawei isn’t going to provide both of those storage options at each individual display screen sizing. To insert to the confusion, my 15.6-inch overview unit was truly geared up with a 512GB SSD.

The remainder of the specifications are the similar in between the two models: an AMD Ryzen five 3500U mobile processor, 8GB of RAM and discrete AMD Radeon Vega 8 graphics. The wi-fi is 802.11ac instead than the latest 802.11ax (a.k.a Wi-Fi 6). Both of those variations of this laptop computer run Home windows ten Residence.

SEE: 20 professional recommendations to make Home windows ten get the job done the way you want (free of charge PDF)    

Connectivity is minimal but ample: two USB two. ports and a three.5mm audio jack on the ideal and USB-C, USB three. and (complete-sizing) HDMI on the ideal. The USB-C port supports charging and knowledge, but not Thunderbolt.

There is a huge lover grille on the underside, and Huawei is happy of its Shark Fin Admirer, which has gone through a structure revision so that its new s-formed lover blades supply much more effective cooling. During screening the underside of the laptop computer was great each individual time I checked.

Huawei isn’t going to deliver an estimate for the everyday living of the 42Wh battery. All through screening, with the display screen established at the default 80% brightness and workloads involving world wide web apps, audio playing and occasional video clip viewing, the battery dropped by all-around 40% about many two.five-hour durations, being entirely recharged in in between. It is unlikely that a complete eight-hour working day is achievable below that routine, so if which is a vital thing to consider you might want to seem at the fourteen-inch design, which has a much larger 56Wh battery.

Huawei has given a good deal of believed to the charging program. 1st off, the charging brick is fairly smaller, with a person retracting pin generating it much easier to fall into a bag. Then there’s the demand cable, which is USB-C at both of those finishes, so it can be taken off from the brick and carried independently. The charger is a 65W unit that can rapidly-demand from zero to 53% in thirty minutes, and also supports rapidly charging for telephones. At last, it has an overheating security program that will minimize charging out immediately after a specified temperature is achieved.

Conclusions

The Huawei MateBook D 15 (2020) has some persuasive moreover points, which includes a sound metallic chassis and a negligible-bezel IPS display screen with an helpful blue-gentle filter. End users of compatible Huawei and Honor smartphones might respect the display screen-sharing and file-transfer capabilities. Speedy charging is also welcome.

Even so, battery everyday living could be far better, much more flexibility on storage capability would be good, there’s instead far too considerably speaker distortion at higher volume, and the watch from the pop-up camera in the keyboard is not optimum.

General although, thinking about the price tag, this laptop computer is an attention-grabbing proposition. The display screen-sharing ability might just be sufficient to sway entrepreneurs of compatible handsets in its favour.

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