The global trend for light and thin laptops did not appear yesterday, but the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and the massive transition to remote work further spurred user interest in such gadgets. Therefore, it is not surprising that in recent years they have begun to appear like mushrooms after rain. One of these devices was the recently released Huawei MateBook D 16 laptop with a large screen and a powerful processor. Let’s see what he can do.
The laptop is enclosed in a thin metal case and comes to Russia in a single color — space gray. Of the bright elements, there is, perhaps, a brilliant Huawei logo in the center of the cover. Otherwise, the design of the gadget can be described as calm, minimalistic and status. In general, it is exactly the way we are used to seeing a real business laptop.
The laptop’s thinness of 18.4 mm is combined with its light weight of 1.7 kg. But the main thing here is that Huawei was able to fit the large 16-inch screen of the device in a body that is comparable in size to 15.6-inch laptops — 356.7 x 248.7 mm. All thanks to the very narrow bezels on three sides of its display. This solution looks very advantageous, greatly increasing the usable area of the screen.
Fully corresponds to the status of a business laptop and the keyboard of the Huawei MateBook D 16 is a small key travel of 1.5 mm, an additional number pad for better efficiency and a fingerprint scanner in the power button. There are also separate physical keys to launch the calculator, the AI Search function, return to the home screen, and turn off the camera. AI Search allows you to search for information not only on the laptop itself, but also on devices connected to it (more on that later).
The touchpad is not huge, but big enough. Although the surface is not glass, the finger glides easily, while the touch layer does not lose it. The touchpad feels just as good as on much more expensive laptops.
The 16.1-inch IPS screen of the MateBook D 16 has a resolution of 1920×1200 pixels, which is not the most typical for laptops. All because of the 10% increased display height for more comfortable work with charts, tables and web pages. Yes, and Huawei itself is sure that the 16:10 aspect ratio is more suitable for both work and entertainment.
The screen itself provides 100% coverage of the sRGB color space. In simple terms, this means that the image on the screen will have the correct colors and shades. By the way, about the flowers. Many manufacturers try to minimize eye strain when working on a laptop. But if in budget devices the colors in the blue part of the spectrum are programmatically cut for this, and the picture starts to frankly yellow, then the MateBook D 16 uses hardware technology certified by TÜV Rheinland, which protects the eyes without color distortion.
Claimed brightness is 300 nits. In general, it is enough to work in open spaces on a clear day, except that under the direct rays of the sun the colors fade slightly. But another point is important here: due to the matte coating, there is much less glare on the screen than in models with a glossy screen. And in fact, for comfortable work, this is much more important than an additional fifty nits of brightness.
Huawei MateBook D 16 is available in several different configurations, but we got a model with a productive i7-12700H processor. It includes 6 powerful Golden Cove cores, 8 energy efficient Gracemont and Iris Xe integrated graphics, and the processor itself can process 20 threads simultaneously and has a TDP of 40W.
In the case of the MateBook D 16, it is complemented by 16 GB of 2-channel LPDDR4x RAM and a 512 GB PCIe SSD. This configuration is enough to open a 1GB PowerPoint file in 2 seconds, compile 350,000 lines of code in C++ in 56 seconds, or perform calculations in Matlab in 36 seconds.
If you want to speed up your MateBook D 16 even more, just hold down the Fn and P keys and switch to performance mode. True, this “trick” will work only when the laptop is connected to the mains and the charge level is not lower than 50%.
In general, the laptop is designed for a variety of tasks that office workers, financiers or programmers may face. It will cope well with 2D design, but for heavy projects in 3D or rendering, we would advise looking towards solutions with discrete graphics.
In office scenarios, we were unable to get the MateBook D 16 to slow down. Despite a dozen tabs in Chrome, open communicators and text editors, the performance of the laptop remained stable. Separately, we note the quiet operation of the cooling system. The fans barely noticeably rustle under moderate load, and even when running resource-intensive applications, they do not irritate with a howl.
One of the main features of the Huawei MateBook D 16 is the Super Device feature. It allows you to connect smartphones, tablets, monitors and other Huawei gadgets to your laptop without using wires. More precisely, not only connect, but effectively interact with them.
For example, using this function, you can select an image on your smartphone and drag it into a presentation open on the MateBook. You can copy text and paste it into a document on another device, turn your tablet into a sketchpad for drawing and a secondary screen for your laptop, or use AI Search to search for information across all connected devices. The connection is as simple as possible: you need to bring the gadget to the right side of the keyboard, where the NFC module is hidden.
But, of course, the capabilities of the laptop are not limited to wireless interfaces. There are a couple of USB-C ports, one of which can be used to charge the device, a USB 2.0 port for connecting peripherals, fast USB3.2 Gen1 for external drives and HDMI 2.0 for a monitor or projector with the ability to output 4K images at 60 Hz. Provided in the laptop and a standard 3.5 mm audio output. Such an assortment of interfaces is a rarity in thin laptops these days.
Only a card reader is missing, but this is a specific thing, and not everyone needs it.
Almost any business laptop is actively used for video conferencing. Huawei has used a number of solutions to make this communication easier. These include the new Metaline antenna, which allows for more stable operation in poor signal conditions, and the Smart Video Conference feature, which allows you to replace the background regardless of the video service. Of course, it was not without a high-quality camera: here it captures an image in 1080p, and the FollowCam function allows you to stay in the center of the frame when talking.
The direct duty of any business laptop is to live without recharging the whole working day. 60 Wh of the Huawei MateBook D 16 battery in the mode of working with office programs via Wi-Fi was enough for us for almost 9 hours of work. Given the large screen, this is an excellent result.
A thin metal body in a minimalistic design, a high-quality display and decent performance are exactly the features that users expect from a good business laptop. Despite the large diagonal, Huawei MateBook D 16 turned out to be light, no heavier than a classic 14-inch laptop. It can be called universal: it is convenient to work on it during the day and watch the next series in the evening. And if you also use Huawei mobile gadgets, there is every reason to prefer the MateBook D 16 to similar models from other brands: get all the benefits of using a single ecosystem.
And most importantly — prices. They were, and still are, one of the Huawei MateBook’s strengths, and the D 16 is no exception. The top version with an i7-12700H processor, 16/512 GB of memory costs 790$. A simpler modification can be taken for 690$: it will already have an i5-12500H and the same amount of RAM and storage.