Huawei MateBook D 15 – Beautiful and affordable

More and more laptops with an AMD processor are appearing on the market. Not just gaming laptops, but there are also affordable models for everyday use. The Huawei MateBook D 15 is such a laptop. We tested it.

Huawei MateBook D 15

Price € 649,-

Processor AMD Ryzen 5 3500U (quad-core, 1.8GHz)

Memory 8GB (GDR 4)

Graphic AMD Radeon Vega 8

Display 15.6" IPS (1920 x 1080)

Storage 256GB SSD

Operating system Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

Format 35.8 x 23 x 1.7 cm

Weight 1.53 kilos

Battery 42 Wh

Connections 2x usb 2.0, usb3.0, usb-c (charging, usb 2.0), 3.5mm, hdmi

wireless Wi-Fi 5 (2x2), Bluetooth 5.0

Other fingerprint scanner

Website www.huawei.com

8 Score 80

  • Pros
  • Housing
  • Good battery life
  • fast ssd
  • Fast processor
  • Negatives
  • USB2.0 ports (only 1x usb 3.0)
  • No backlit keyboard
  • Strange webcam

Just like the previous two Huawei laptops that we tested, the housing of the Huawei MateBook D 15 is fine. The laptop is made of aluminum that has been given a nice gray tint. Nice, because this MateBook D 15 is a lot cheaper than, for example, the MateBook 13. With a weight of 1.52 kilos, the laptop for a 15-inch model is also pleasantly portable. Huawei is often in the news due to the trade dispute between the US and China. For example, Huawei's latest smartphones are no longer equipped with the Play Store. Fortunately, it is quieter in the laptop area, this laptop just runs Windows 10 without any restrictions.

In terms of connections, the MateBook D 15 seems rich with an HDMI connection, USB-c port and three USB ports. Unfortunately, two of the three USB ports are just USB2.0 ports. Fine for a mouse or keyboard, but not quite what we expect in 2020. Only the other is a usb3.0 port. Charging is as we expect from a modern laptop via USB-C. Unfortunately, the USB-C port does not support video output, so the HDMI connection is the only form of video output.

To talk about the appearance: normally you pick stickers with logos from, for example, processor manufacturers off your new laptop without thinking about it. On the palm of the laptop, next to the sticker from AMD, there is a sticker from Huawei itself. In the packaging you will find a warning not to remove this sticker. It is not just a sticker, but an nfc tag that is used by Huawei Share. This is an app on Huawei's own phones that allows you to instantly share files between Huawei devices. If you do not intend to use this, you can safely remove the ugly sticker. Handy functionality perhaps, but Huawei should hide the NFC tag somewhere in the laptop.

Good performances

AMD has really become a formidable competitor to Intel since the third generation of Ryzen processors, also in the mobile field. Hence, more and more AMD-based laptops are appearing on the market. The Huawei MateBook D 15 is built around an AMD Ryzen 3500U, a quad-core processor that has to compete with Intel's Core i5 processors. And that works very well. In PCMark 10, the laptop scores 3748 points while Digital Content Creation comes in at 3416 points. That's just neat scores. In addition, the integrated graphics chip is also faster than what Intel offers. It is of course not a gaming monster, but you should be able to play older games in 1080p just fine. The laptop is equipped with 8 GB of ram, which unfortunately is not expandable. The nvme ssd used by Samsung is also remarkably good, which achieves excellent read and write speeds with 3557 and 1678 MB/s. The wifi chip is a Realtek 822CE with a 2x2 ac connection, for now the lack of wifi 6 is an understandable choice. The battery life is about 8 hours with normal office work.

clunky camera

This MateBook D15 features the pop-up camera we saw earlier in the MateBook X Pro. This camera is incorporated into a false key in the row of function keys. You press this key, after which the camera opens. A big advantage of this webcam is that you can be sure that you will not be spied on when it is folded. The camera can be turned on when it's folded, though, something I checked with a flashlight. In terms of privacy, there is something to be said for it, on the other hand, the viewing angle is particularly inconvenient, especially if you have the laptop on your lap. Your face is then regularly not in the picture at all and your conversation partner will at most see your chin in the picture. Inconvenient, especially now that the webcam is more important than ever. With your laptop on a desk, you're more visible, but you can't adjust the camera's angle. In short, the webcam in the traditional place at the top of the screen is much more convenient.

No key illumination

The keyboard itself has a nice touch, but the keys are made of a cheap-feeling rough plastic. Worse is that the keys are not backlit, functionality that I expected given the nice appearance of the laptop. The touchpad feels a bit stiff, but it works well and is a precision touchpad so that multi-touch gestures are optimally supported by Windows. Where the luxury of lighting is missing, the on/off switch is again equipped with a fingerprint scanner. This scanner works excellently, so you can log in very quickly if you want to.

The screen is a 15.6 inch IPS panel with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, which is provided with a matte coating. The basis for a pleasant work experience is therefore certainly present and in practice the screen is quite okay. The viewing angle is fine and the brightness is also satisfactory. A big downside is that the color temperature is not well adjusted, it is clearly visible with the naked eye that the colors are on the cool (blue) side.

Conclusion

AMD is back in the game: despite not AMD's latest laptop processor, the Ryzen 5 3500U performs particularly well. Huawei has also packed the processor together with an excellent SSD in a beautiful housing. Unfortunately, the perfectly good laptop does have a few drawbacks. The main one is the clunky webcam. Until recently, often an afterthought, but the webcam is currently more important than ever. The only 'luxury' that we really miss is an illuminated keyboard, something that is extra noticeable because a fingerprint scanner is present. All in all, this laptop is a good deal for what it costs.

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