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

When you believe of Huawei you most likely really don’t believe of laptops, but the company’s MateBook D has just been launched in a new 2020 iteration. Run by an AMD Ryzen processor it comes in fourteen-inch and 15.six-inch dimensions. I was despatched the greater £599.ninety nine (inc. VAT) model to evaluation. 


The 15.six-inch MateBook D 15 has a reliable steel chassis and weighs 1.53kg. It is really driven by an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage.

Picture: Huawei

This 15.six-inch laptop is svelte and steel-clad. That steel does make this a alternatively weighty laptop at 1.53kg, but it truly is solidly created with quite minimal flex in the lid portion, despite its slimness. You could transport this laptop without the need of a protecting sleeve, though you may most likely want to shield the steel chassis from scratches.


The pop-up webcam in the keyboard’s Fn essential row is intelligent and protected, but does give an unlucky ‘up-the-nose’ camera angle on movie phone calls.

Illustrations or photos: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The MateBook D 15 normally takes a minimalist and unpretentious method to laptop structure. The darkish gray outer shell has a large Huawei brand name marker on the lid, but aside from that matters are quite restrained. But it truly is not missing in panache. There is certainly a extensive divot in the base edge, beneath the touchpad, that can make lifting the lid simple, and the fingerprint reader is housed in the on/off button, found on the correct of the keyboard. This assists to keep the wrist-relaxation area distinct of litter, in line with the minimalist concept.

In just one respect, this minimalist ethos results in an ergonomic challenge. Huawei has found the 720p webcam beneath a pop-up button on the Fn essential row. This means you can find no want for a privacy protect, and Huawei has been ready to go for broke with slim monitor bezels. But it also outcomes in an unlucky ‘up-the-nose’ camera angle for movie conferencing, which is not ideal.

Huawei has managed to keep the chassis compact at 357.8mm vast by 229.9mm deep by 16.9mm thick. This is mostly down to these smaller monitor bezels, which on a few sides evaluate just 5.3mm (if you decide for the fourteen-inch model they are even shallower at four.8mm). This can make for a gratifying viewing knowledge, and even the base bezel, even though considerably further, is somewhat shallow.

The 15.six-inch monitor is an FHD (1,920 x 1,080) non-contact IPS panel. The finish is matte, which will be sure to people who like not to see their have reflection even though doing work. The colour temperature controller consists of an Eye Ease and comfort manner that filters out blue light-weight and can make a discernible distinction. Viewing angles are billed as 178°, but seem a minimal underwhelming on the vertical plane. Even now, it truly is not a offer-breaker.

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The stereo speakers output by means of grilles on the underside of the chassis. Volume is suitable for non-public listening at all around 30% and should be good for shows or motion picture looking at at all around 65%. Outside of this degree, distortion gets significantly apparent.

Huawei has incorporated a new collaboration attribute that is a growth of OneHop. Appropriate phones can hook up and share the laptop’s monitor, and people can drag documents from just one unit to the other. It is really a great way to transfer photographs all around or share do the job documents if you really don’t have speedy entry to cloud expert services. You can also use a mouse or other peripheral connected to the MateBook to navigate and interact with the smartphone monitor — for case in point for texting. Not all Huawei phones are supported and you can find a checklist of compatible phones from both of those Huawei and Honor, and facts of the functions supported by unique Huawei laptops, right here.  


The keyboard delivers a relaxed typing platform and the touchpad is large and responsive. There is certainly a fingerprint reader created into the ability button to the correct of the major row of keys.

Picture: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

This 16:nine laptop offers a lot of place for the keyboard, whose large, perfectly-spaced keys are relaxed to use. They supply a slight ‘thunky’ and really don’t depress quite much, but I was ready to contact-style at my regular speed. The touchpad is a excellent sizing and quite responsive. 

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

My evaluation sample, the 15.six-inch model, comes with a 256GB SSD and prices £599.ninety nine (inc. VAT). It is really fewer high priced than the fourteen-inch model, which has a 512GB SSD and prices £649.ninety nine (inc. VAT). It is really not distinct why Huawei doesn’t offer you both of those storage options at each monitor sizing. To insert to the confusion, my 15.six-inch evaluation unit was in fact outfitted with a 512GB SSD.

The remainder of the technical specs are the similar concerning the two products: an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U cell processor, 8GB of RAM and discrete AMD Radeon Vega eight graphics. The wi-fi is 802.11ac alternatively than the latest 802.11ax (a.k.a Wi-Fi six). Both of those variations of this laptop operate Windows ten Household.

SEE: 20 pro tips to make Windows ten do the job the way you want (totally free PDF)    

Connectivity is limited but suitable: two USB two. ports and a three.5mm audio jack on the correct and USB-C, USB three. and (comprehensive-sizing) HDMI on the correct. The USB-C port supports charging and information, but not Thunderbolt.

There is a large lover grille on the underside, and Huawei is happy of its Shark Fin Supporter, which has undergone a structure revision so that its new s-formed lover blades supply much more productive cooling. Throughout testing the underside of the laptop was neat each individual time I checked.

Huawei doesn’t supply an estimate for the life of the 42Wh battery. For the duration of testing, with the monitor established at the default eighty% brightness and workloads involving world-wide-web applications, music enjoying and occasional movie viewing, the battery dropped by all around forty% in excess of several two.5-hour durations, becoming absolutely recharged in concerning. It is really unlikely that a comprehensive eight-hour day is achievable beneath that routine, so if that is a essential thought you could want to glance at the fourteen-inch model, which has a greater 56Wh battery.

Huawei has presented a lot of considered to the charging process. Very first off, the charging brick is somewhat smaller, with just one retracting pin earning it less complicated to fall into a bag. Then you can find the charge cable, which is USB-C at both of those finishes, so it can be removed from the brick and carried independently. The charger is a 65W unit that can rapidly-charge from zero to 53% in 30 minutes, and also supports rapidly charging for phones. Lastly, it has an overheating safety process that will slash charging out soon after a selected temperature is reached.


The Huawei MateBook D 15 (2020) has some powerful as well as factors, which includes a reliable steel chassis and a minimum-bezel IPS monitor with an productive blue-light-weight filter. People of compatible Huawei and Honor smartphones could appreciate the monitor-sharing and file-transfer capabilities. Quick charging is also welcome.

However, battery life could be superior, much more overall flexibility on storage capacity would be excellent, you can find alternatively as well significantly speaker distortion at high volume, and the see from the pop-up camera in the keyboard isn’t really optimal.

Total although, thinking of the rate, this laptop is an appealing proposition. The monitor-sharing capability could just be enough to sway entrepreneurs of compatible handsets in its favour.

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