Working with the Huawei Matebook D15

We had access to a Huawei laptop for a while. Because we – and especially me – had no experience with these products from Huawei, we wanted to experience what it is like to work with a MateBook laptop from Huawei. Here you can read my first impressions.

Huawei Matebook D 15

In 2013, the Huawei Ascend P7 entered the market and in recent years the brand has grown into a recognized and appreciated player in the global smartphone market. Where in the early days we often questioned Huawei software, we did agree on one thing: the design and build quality of the devices was and is very good.

In addition to smartphones and tablets, Huawei has been able to expand the range of products in recent years. Different types of headsets and smartwatches came onto the market, all with their specific qualities. Yet Huawei has also been marketing its own laptops for much longer. Although this is a product that you don’t see very often on Androidworld, we were only too happy to discover it. For this ‘first impressions review’ we got access to the Huawei Matebook D 15.

Specifications

Dimensions: 35.7 x 22.9 x 1.6 cm
Weight 1.62 kg
Housing: Aluminium
Display: 15.9 inch IPS
Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
Graphics Card: Radeon ™ Vega 8 Graphics
Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD
Random access memory: 8GB DDR4
Battery: 42 Wh
Additional Fingerprint scanner, Huawei Share

Display

The Huawei MateBook D 15 has – as the name implies – a 15.6 inch IPS screen. It works with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and the screen is not touch sensitive. With a number of other models from Huawei you can choose this. For my daily work at Androidworld I use an ASUS UX31 with a 13 inch screen. This laptop is already 8 years old and when you compare it with the Huawei Matebook D15, it is a fossil from the computer museum. I don’t have any better comparison material available.

The first thing you notice when you open the lid are the extremely narrow bezels around the screen. Just like with smartphones, the screen to body ratio has increased enormously. The screen on this laptop also has no black borders, the image stops at the art theft which is less than an inch wide. That brings the screen-to-body ratio to 87% and in combination with the beautiful colors, this makes a very nice screen to work on.

Security

For security, there is a power button on the laptop that also has a fingerprint scanner in addition to the on / off function. That is of course not new for laptops, but it is a nice addition. I only noticed that with the sensor I never manage to unlock the laptop with the first touch. After three tries, the laptop finds it enough and lets you enter the pin code you have set. Also fine.

Huawei Matebook D 15 hands-on: laptop that connects to your phone

Keyboard

The keyboard has 6 rows and no separate numeric part which works fine for me. The top row has a button in the middle with a camera icon on it. The webcam is hidden below, which is not on the screen due to the thin bezels. The disadvantage of this is that your conversation partner has a good chance of seeing the often less flattering bottom of your chin. The advantage is that when you are not using it you can click it away, then you do not have to mount such a cover to ensure your privacy.

Huawei Matebook D 15 hands-on: laptop that connects to your phone

The keyboard itself works fine, in terms of touch and sound I notice little difference between my old ASUS and this Huawei laptop. The touchpad is located under the keyboard, which also works quickly and provides clear feedback and a clearly audible click.

Huawei Matebook D 15 hands-on: laptop that connects to your phone

Design

The eye wants something too and my eyes were thrilled with what they saw when the laptop came out of the box. My laptop has the color Space Gray, which is a beautiful, deep gray color against the anthracite. The material that the laptop is mainly made of is aluminum alloy and the metal gives it a sturdy and premium finish. Fortunately, Huawei has chosen to only put the name logo on the cover and not the red brand logo, so it remains a beautiful and stylish device. The device weighs 1530 grams, the version with the HDD weighs slightly heavier at 1620 grams. At the bottom is a thin rubber edge that tilts the laptop just a few degrees when it is on the table.

Connections

When you walk around the laptop you will encounter the following connections: USB-A 3.0, 2 x USB-A 2.0, USB-C and an HDMI You use the USB-C for the supplied charger and we (of course) also have a 3.5mm headset connection. What we ‘miss’ is the ability to insert an SD or micro-SD directly into the device. Depending on your work, that could be a disappointment, because I can imagine that as a photographer you don’t want to grab a dongle every time to transfer the photos.

Chipset and battery

The version I tested has an AMD Ryzen 5 3500 U chipset together with the Radeon Vega 8 graphics card, which according to AMD makes it suitable for gaming. I cannot confirm or deny that because I have not tested it for that purpose, but keep in mind that this laptop is not intended to just run the game Cyberpunk 2077 with a high frame rate.

What I tested it for is the daily work and the Matebook D 15 is more than suitable for that. The aforementioned combination of chipset and graphics card combined with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal storage makes it a great partner for a day of work. The 42 Wh battery works well, but if you are on the road for a day, do not forget the charger, because there is a chance that you will just have to charge during a long working day. Incidentally, I have never had to contend with an empty battery, but that was more due to the lack of opportunity to travel due to the corona virus.

Huawei Matebook D 15 hands-on: laptop that connects to your phone

Software and conclusion

After this test, Huawei is definitely on my shortlist for Windows laptop brands. It wasn’t there at first because I was more afraid of seeing strange things in the field of software, but that prejudice was unfounded. The only ‘special’ is Huawei Share, which allows you to quickly share content from your Huawei smartphone with your laptop.

There is also the PC Manager, which is a tool from Huawei with which you can easily place the screen of your phone on your laptop. This way you can easily use apps on your laptop. With the EMUI 11 update, Huawei announced even more connections between its phones and the MateBooks, but unfortunately this slightly older model cannot take advantage of that. The laptop does work with the OneHop sharing function that lets you share all types of files by tapping the laptop’s housing. This way you can quickly connect via NFC. You can discover more about this in the video below.

Sebastien previously tested the Huawei Matebook’s OneHop sharing feature

Everyone has different requirements for a laptop. I am one of those users where such a device ‘just has to do’. Reliability and being able to work smoothly are for me the points where I value a laptop.

Buy Huawei Matebook D 15

The Huawei Matebook D 15 is not the very latest model and partly for that reason it is very attractively priced. At MediaMarkt, among others, you can buy the above version for 629 euros. Also check out the more recent models of this laptop range if you need even more powerful performance. This year, the Huawei Matebook 14 came out with an i5 or 97 from Intel and with 512GB of internal memory.

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