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

When you assume of Huawei you almost certainly you should not assume of laptops, but the firm’s MateBook D has just been produced in a new 2020 iteration. Driven by an AMD Ryzen processor it arrives in 14-inch and fifteen.6-inch measurements. I was sent the greater £599.ninety nine (inc. VAT) model to overview. 


The fifteen.6-inch MateBook D fifteen has a stable steel chassis and weighs one.53kg. It is really run by an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage.

Graphic: Huawei

This fifteen.6-inch laptop computer is svelte and steel-clad. That steel does make this a relatively weighty laptop computer at one.53kg, but it truly is solidly built with incredibly minimal flex in the lid area, regardless of its slimness. You could transport this laptop computer without a protective sleeve, while you can almost certainly want to safeguard the steel chassis from scratches.


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

Photographs: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The MateBook D fifteen will take a minimalist and unpretentious method to laptop computer design and style. The darkish grey outer shell has a huge Huawei brand name marker on the lid, but apart from that issues are incredibly restrained. But it truly is not missing in panache. There is certainly a prolonged divot in the bottom edge, beneath the touchpad, that would make lifting the lid quick, and the fingerprint reader is housed in the on/off button, found on the ideal of the keyboard. This can help to hold the wrist-relaxation spot distinct of litter, in line with the minimalist topic.

In one particular regard, this minimalist ethos causes an ergonomic trouble. Huawei has found the 720p webcam beneath a pop-up button on the Fn critical row. This implies there’s no need to have for a privateness address, and Huawei has been capable to go for broke with thin display screen bezels. But it also success in an regrettable ‘up-the-nose’ camera angle for video clip conferencing, which is not excellent.

Huawei has managed to hold the chassis compact at 357.8mm large by 229.9mm deep by 16.9mm thick. This is largely down to those small display screen bezels, which on three sides evaluate just 5.3mm (if you choose for the 14-inch model they are even shallower at 4.8mm). This would make for a worthwhile viewing working experience, and even the bottom bezel, although significantly further, is comparatively shallow.

The fifteen.6-inch display screen is an FHD (one,920 x one,080) non-touch IPS panel. The complete is matte, which will be sure to buyers who desire not to see their own reflection although operating. The color temperature controller includes an Eye Comfort and ease manner that filters out blue light and would make a discernible change. Viewing angles are billed as 178°, but seem a minimal underwhelming on the vertical aircraft. However, it truly is not a offer-breaker.

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The stereo speakers output by grilles on the underside of the chassis. Volume is suitable for personal listening at all over 30{d11068cee6a5c14bc1230e191cd2ec553067ecb641ed9b4e647acef6cc316fdd} and ought to be high-quality for presentations or movie observing at all over sixty five{d11068cee6a5c14bc1230e191cd2ec553067ecb641ed9b4e647acef6cc316fdd}. Further than this degree, distortion gets progressively obvious.

Huawei has included a new collaboration function that’s a enhancement of OneHop. Suitable phones can connect and share the laptop’s display screen, and buyers can drag documents from one particular system to the other. It is really a good way to shift pics all over or share do the job documents if you you should not have fast accessibility to cloud solutions. You can also use a mouse or other peripheral connected to the MateBook to navigate and interact with the smartphone display screen — for instance for texting. Not all Huawei phones are supported and there’s a record of compatible phones from equally Huawei and Honor, and specifics of the capabilities supported by unique Huawei laptops, right here.  


The keyboard features a snug typing platform and the touchpad is huge and responsive. There is certainly a fingerprint reader built into the electric power button to the ideal of the major row of keys.

Graphic: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

This 16:9 laptop computer provides plenty of area for the keyboard, whose huge, nicely-spaced keys are snug to use. They supply a slight ‘thunky’ and you should not depress incredibly far, but I was capable to touch-style at my usual speed. The touchpad is a good measurement and incredibly responsive. 

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

My overview sample, the fifteen.6-inch model, arrives with a 256GB SSD and expenditures £599.ninety nine (inc. VAT). It is really much less expensive than the 14-inch model, which has a 512GB SSD and expenditures £649.ninety nine (inc. VAT). It is really not distinct why Huawei isn’t going to provide equally storage choices at each individual display screen measurement. To include to the confusion, my fifteen.6-inch overview unit was actually outfitted with a 512GB SSD.

The remainder of the specs are the very same between the two designs: an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U cell processor, 8GB of RAM and discrete AMD Radeon Vega eight graphics. The wi-fi is 802.11ac relatively than the most recent 802.11ax (a.k.a Wi-Fi 6). Each versions of this laptop computer operate Home windows ten House.

SEE: twenty professional ideas to make Home windows ten do the job the way you want (absolutely free PDF)    

Connectivity is limited but suitable: two USB 2. ports and a 3.5mm audio jack on the ideal and USB-C, USB 3. and (total-measurement) HDMI on the ideal. The USB-C port supports charging and facts, but not Thunderbolt.

There is a huge fan grille on the underside, and Huawei is very pleased of its Shark Fin Enthusiast, which has gone through a design and style revision so that its new s-formed fan blades supply additional efficient cooling. Throughout screening the underside of the laptop computer was cool each time I checked.

Huawei isn’t going to present an estimate for the existence of the 42Wh battery. Through screening, with the display screen set at the default eighty{d11068cee6a5c14bc1230e191cd2ec553067ecb641ed9b4e647acef6cc316fdd} brightness and workloads involving internet applications, tunes playing and occasional video clip viewing, the battery dropped by all over forty{d11068cee6a5c14bc1230e191cd2ec553067ecb641ed9b4e647acef6cc316fdd} in excess of several 2.5-hour intervals, becoming thoroughly recharged in between. It is really not likely that a total eight-hour working day is achievable less than that routine, so if that’s a critical thought you may want to appear at the 14-inch model, which has a greater 56Wh battery.

Huawei has provided plenty of assumed to the charging method. Initially off, the charging brick is comparatively small, with one particular retracting pin building it simpler to drop into a bag. Then there’s the cost cable, which is USB-C at equally ends, so it can be taken off from the brick and carried independently. The charger is a 65W unit that can quickly-cost from zero to 53{d11068cee6a5c14bc1230e191cd2ec553067ecb641ed9b4e647acef6cc316fdd} in 30 minutes, and also supports quickly charging for phones. Eventually, it has an overheating safety method that will minimize charging out immediately after a certain temperature is achieved.


The Huawei MateBook D fifteen (2020) has some powerful furthermore details, including a stable steel chassis and a nominal-bezel IPS display screen with an efficient blue-light filter. Consumers of compatible Huawei and Honor smartphones could respect the display screen-sharing and file-transfer abilities. Quickly charging is also welcome.

However, battery existence could be much better, additional adaptability on storage capability would be good, there’s relatively much too substantially speaker distortion at large quantity, and the check out from the pop-up camera in the keyboard is just not exceptional.

In general nevertheless, thinking of the selling price, this laptop computer is an appealing proposition. The display screen-sharing capacity may just be adequate to sway house owners of compatible handsets in its favour.

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