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

When you believe of Huawei you almost certainly don’t believe 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.six-inch sizes. I was despatched the more substantial £599.ninety nine (inc. VAT) product to evaluate. 

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The 15.six-inch MateBook D 15 has a reliable metal chassis and weighs one.53kg. It truly is run by an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage.


Image: Huawei

This 15.six-inch notebook is svelte and metal-clad. That metal does make this a instead weighty notebook at one.53kg, but it is solidly developed with pretty very little flex in the lid section, even with its slimness. You could transportation this notebook without a protective sleeve, whilst you can almost certainly want to secure the metal chassis from scratches.

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The pop-up webcam in the keyboard’s Fn crucial row is intelligent and protected, but does give an regrettable ‘up-the-nose’ digital camera angle on video calls.


Visuals: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The MateBook D 15 can take a minimalist and unpretentious method to notebook design and style. The dim grey outer shell has a massive Huawei model marker on the lid, but aside from that items are pretty restrained. But it is not missing in panache. You will find a extensive divot in the base edge, beneath the touchpad, that tends to make lifting the lid effortless, and the fingerprint reader is housed in the on/off button, located on the appropriate of the keyboard. This aids to continue to keep the wrist-rest area clear of litter, in line with the minimalist theme.

In just one regard, this minimalist ethos triggers an ergonomic difficulty. Huawei has located the 720p webcam beneath a pop-up button on the Fn crucial row. This means there’s no need for a privateness go over, and Huawei has been in a position to go for broke with skinny display bezels. But it also success in an regrettable ‘up-the-nose’ digital camera angle for video conferencing, which is not great.

Huawei has managed to continue to keep the chassis compact at 357.8mm wide by 229.9mm deep by 16.9mm thick. This is largely down to those people tiny display bezels, which on three sides measure just 5.3mm (if you choose for the fourteen-inch product they are even shallower at 4.8mm). This tends to make for a gratifying viewing encounter, and even the base bezel, whilst substantially deeper, is fairly shallow.

The 15.six-inch display is an FHD (one,920 x one,080) non-touch IPS panel. The finish is matte, which will be sure to people who choose not to see their personal reflection whilst performing. The color temperature controller consists of an Eye Consolation mode that filters out blue mild and tends to make a discernible variation. Viewing angles are billed as 178°, but seem to be a very little underwhelming on the vertical plane. Nonetheless, it is not a deal-breaker.

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The stereo speakers output as a result of grilles on the underside of the chassis. Volume is ample for non-public listening at all around 30% and really should be fantastic for shows or movie viewing at all around 65%. Further than this stage, distortion gets increasingly apparent.

Huawei has included a new collaboration function which is a improvement of OneHop. Appropriate telephones can link and share the laptop’s display, and people can drag documents from just one gadget to the other. It truly is a great way to go images all around or share operate paperwork if you don’t have instant obtain 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 display — for example for texting. Not all Huawei telephones are supported and there’s a record of compatible telephones from both equally Huawei and Honor, and details of the options supported by diverse Huawei laptops, in this article.  

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The keyboard presents a at ease typing platform and the touchpad is massive and responsive. You will find a fingerprint reader developed into the electricity button to the appropriate of the top rated row of keys.


Image: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

This 16:9 notebook presents loads of room for the keyboard, whose massive, properly-spaced keys are at ease to use. They supply a slight ‘thunky’ and don’t depress pretty far, but I was in a position to touch-style at my usual pace. The touchpad is a great dimensions and pretty responsive. 

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

My evaluate sample, the 15.six-inch product, comes with a 256GB SSD and costs £599.ninety nine (inc. VAT). It truly is less pricey than the fourteen-inch product, which has a 512GB SSD and costs £649.ninety nine (inc. VAT). It truly is not clear why Huawei will not provide both equally storage solutions at each display dimensions. To increase to the confusion, my 15.six-inch evaluate device was basically outfitted with a 512GB SSD.

The remainder of the specifications are the identical concerning the two products: an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U mobile processor, 8GB of RAM and discrete AMD Radeon Vega eight graphics. The wi-fi is 802.11ac instead than the newest 802.11ax (a.k.a Wi-Fi six). Equally versions of this notebook run Home windows 10 Dwelling.

SEE: twenty professional ideas to make Home windows 10 operate the way you want (cost-free PDF)    

Connectivity is constrained but ample: two USB two. ports and a 3.5mm audio jack on the appropriate and USB-C, USB 3. and (comprehensive-dimensions) HDMI on the appropriate. The USB-C port supports charging and details, but not Thunderbolt.

There is a massive supporter grille on the underside, and Huawei is very pleased of its Shark Fin Enthusiast, which has undergone a design and style revision so that its new s-shaped supporter blades supply much more effective cooling. In the course of tests the underside of the notebook was cool each and every time I checked.

Huawei will not offer an estimate for the everyday living of the 42Wh battery. During tests, with the display established at the default 80% brightness and workloads involving net applications, music enjoying and occasional video viewing, the battery dropped by all around 40% over many two.5-hour periods, getting absolutely recharged in concerning. It truly is unlikely that a comprehensive 8-hour working day is achievable underneath that routine, so if which is a crucial consideration you may want to search at the fourteen-inch product, which has a more substantial 56Wh battery.

Huawei has specified loads of thought to the charging process. To start with off, the charging brick is fairly tiny, with just one retracting pin earning it less difficult to drop into a bag. Then there’s the demand cable, which is USB-C at both equally finishes, so it can be eradicated from the brick and carried separately. The charger is a 65W device that can quickly-demand from zero to fifty three% in 30 minutes, and also supports quickly charging for telephones. Eventually, it has an overheating security process that will slash charging out following a specific temperature is attained.

Conclusions

The Huawei MateBook D 15 (2020) has some powerful plus points, including a reliable metal chassis and a negligible-bezel IPS display with an helpful blue-mild filter. People of compatible Huawei and Honor smartphones may perhaps appreciate the display-sharing and file-transfer abilities. Rapid charging is also welcome.

Nevertheless, battery everyday living could be much better, much more versatility on storage ability would be great, there’s instead too much speaker distortion at large volume, and the view from the pop-up digital camera in the keyboard is just not optimal.

In general nevertheless, thinking of the selling price, this notebook is an intriguing proposition. The display-sharing capability may just be enough to sway proprietors of compatible handsets in its favour.

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