Huawei MateBook D16 review: A powerful & good-looking notebook

Rating

Huawei is still one of the largest tech companies in the world, despite having its share of issues in the smartphone market. The notebook sector is another matter, though. The company’s presence here is undoubtedly acknowledged by many. The laptops it makes are often impressive in terms of looks and build quality, and excellent in terms of price per performance ratio. Their latest Huawei MateBook D16 Intel-based notebook, with a 16-inch screen, and solid hardware, promises to deliver a lot of performance to people looking for a work or multimedia laptop. Do you want to know more about what to expect? Read this review and find out what the Huawei MateBook D16 has to offer:

Huawei MateBook D16: Who is it good for?

The Huawei MateBook D16 is an excellent choice for:

  • People who want a powerful laptop for productivity tasks
  • Those who want a laptop with a large 16-inch screen
  • Anyone who appreciates solid build quality and minimalism

Pros and cons

There are many good things to say about the Huawei MateBook D16:

  • You can equip it with the latest Intel processors
  • It has enough RAM and a fast SSD for any kind of office work
  • The quality of the display is excellent
  • It features a full-sized keyboard with backlit keys and a large touchpad
  • The laptop’s body is metallic
  • It looks good and has a minimalistic design
  • You get fast USB-C ports and fast Wi-Fi connectivity
  • The cooling system is efficient
  • The battery life is above average, and the laptop uses a USB Type-C charger
  • Huawei doesn’t preinstall a lot of apps on this laptop

I’ve found only one minor downside about the Huawei MateBook D16:

  • Some keys are too small (Left Shift and the Up and Down arrows), which can lead to accidentally pressing other surrounding keys
Product rating 5/5

Verdict

After testing and using the Huawei MateBook D16 for a couple of days, I can say that I am very satisfied with it. The performance it offers is excellent for productivity tasks such as working with Office apps, browsing the internet, and attending online meetings. I also like its design quite a lot, as I’ve always been a fan of minimalism, and I can’t but appreciate the solid build quality of the laptop. I recommend it to anyone looking for a work laptop or even a multimedia device.
This laptop will have special launch promos in many countries which include 100 USD/Euro buyback vouchers, and/or a bundle with a HUAWEI Display 23.8” included in the purchase price. Check out your local Huawei Store for details.

Unboxing the Huawei MateBook D16

The Huawei MateBook D16 notebook comes in an average-sized box made of standard cardboard. Its design is minimalist: only the company's name, logo, and the sketch of a laptop are printed on it.

Huawei MateBook D16: The box

Inside the box, you’ll find the Huawei MateBook D16 laptop (which looks good at first impression, a 65W power adapter with a detachable USB Type-C to Type-C cable, and the accompanying documents.

Huawei MateBook D16: What's inside the box

Unboxing the Huawei MateBook D16 laptop is straightforward. The packaging is simple, and the contents are limited to the essentials. At first sight, I thought the laptop looked good, and I appreciated the fact that Huawei chose to use a USB Type-C charger/cable.

Design and hardware specifications

The Huawei MateBook D16 is a 16” good-looking device that appears to target the mid-range to high-end laptops market. Its design is minimalist, the build quality impressive, and the hardware components powerful. The light metal body is one of the first things that catch the eye. Weighing only 1.71 kg (3.77 pounds), the MateBook D16 prides itself with a thickness of just 18.4 mm (~0.73 inches) and 4.6 mm (~0.18 inches) bezels.

A look at the Huawei MateBook D16

The Huawei MateBook D16 features a large 16” screen, but its dimensions are not much bigger, measuring 356.7 × 248.7 × 18.4 mm (or 14.04 × 9.79 × 0.72 inches). Thanks to the narrow bezels, the laptop manages a body-to-screen ratio of 90% on a 16:10 aspect ratio. The display uses an IPS panel (1920 x 1200 pixels) with a refresh rate of 60 Hz and 100% coverage of the sRGB color gamut. I like the fact that Huawei chose to use a matte screen with good color reproduction and wide angles. On the other hand, the panel’s brightness tops at 300 nits, which is certainly not on the low-end side, but it’s still not great for outdoor use in direct sunlight.

Huawei MateBook D16's 16" screen

Beneath the screen, you’ll find a full-sized keyboard (that includes a numerical keypad) and a large touchpad. The keys have white backlighting, and the power button next to the keyboard also includes a fingerprint sensor.

Huawei MateBook D16: Keyboard and touchpad

On the laptop’s lid, Huawei’s minimalist approach is clear: all you get is the company’s name engraved. There’s nothing else there: no patterns, no drawings, no LED lights.

The Huawei MateBook D16 when closed

The lid connects to the body of the laptop via a long hinge that seems robust while still letting you easily adjust the screen’s position. Furthermore, the metallic back feels quite robust and doesn’t let the screen bend (well, maybe just a little :).

Perspective of the Huawei MateBook D16

The bottom of the Huawei MateBook D16 is similarly minimalistic, holding only a long air grille towards the hinge and two small speakers towards the front of the notebook.

The bottom of the Huawei MateBook D16

Regarding ports, I have to say that there aren’t that many available on the Huawei MateBook D16. However, the ones you do get are very useful. For instance, on the left side of the laptop, you get two USB 3.1 Type-C ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, and a 3.5 mm headphones/microphone combo audio jack. Both USB-C ports can be used not just for transferring data but also to charge the laptop, and the second one (near the HDMI port) also supports DisplayPort connections (for external monitors).

Huawei MateBook D16: Ports on the left

On the laptop's right side, you get only two ports: a USB 2.0 Type-A and a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port. As you might have noticed, the Huawei MateBook D16 has no RJ45 LAN port and doesn’t support ThunderBolt either.

Huawei MateBook D16: Ports on the right

Under the hood, the Huawei MateBook D16 can be equipped with a 12th Gen Intel Core i5-12450H, i5-12500H, or i7-12700H processor. The sample I tested came with the most powerful one, the Intel Alder Lake Core i7-12700H.

The CPU has fourteen cores and a total of twenty threads. Six are performance cores able to increase their speed to 4.70 GHz, while the rest of eight are efficiency cores running at a maximum of 3.50 GHz. The CPU also offers 24 MB of cache memory. Its base power is 45 Watts, while the theoretical maximum turbo power goes up to 115 Watts. However, considering that the charger bundled with the laptop has an output of 65 Watts tops, the processor on this laptop is surely factory-limited in terms of power consumption.

Huawei MateBook D16: Processor specifications

In terms of memory, the laptop can have 8 or 16GB of DDR4 RAM running at a frequency of 3733 MHz. The RAM is soldered on the motherboard, and there are DIMM slots available. So choose well (I’d always go for more RAM) when you buy this laptop, as you won’t be able to upgrade its RAM afterward.

Huawei MateBook D16: Memory specifications

The laptop doesn’t have a dedicated video card inside. Instead, the graphics part is handled by the processor: Intel Iris Xe Graphics. It’s more than enough for office tasks, web browsing, and multimedia, but don’t expect it to perform well in demanding games.

Huawei MateBook D16: Graphics specifications

As for storage, there’s only one option for the Huawei MateBook D16 at the launch date: 512 GB NVMe PCIe 3.0 solid-state drive.

Huawei MateBook D16: SSD specifications

Although it doesn’t have an Ethernet card for wired networks, the Huawei MateBook D16 offers excellent wireless connectivity. You get Wi-Fi 6 (Intel AX201, 160 MHz) with 2×2 MU-MIMO and Bluetooth 5.1. Regarding audio, the Huawei MateBook D16 delivers it via a set of built-in stereo speakers found on its bottom.

Next on the list, a word about the laptop’s autonomy: the Huawei MateBook D16 includes a battery with a capacity of 60 Watt-hours. It’s not a huge battery, but it’s not a small one either. Considering the other hardware inside the notebook, it should be able to keep it running for more than just a couple of hours. But I’ll tell you more about that in the benchmarks section of this review.

Last but not least, you should know that Huawei delivers the MateBook D16 notebook with Windows 11 Home preinstalled.

The Huawei MateBook D16 is a beautifully minimalistic laptop that promises to deliver high levels of performance. I expect it to perform very well in productivity tasks.

On the next page of this review, I share the laptop’s results in benchmarks, as well as details about the user experience, software and apps offered by the Huawei MateBook D16.

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