The MateBook D16’s chassis is well-honed, with the Chinese manufacturer making only minor adjustments as the iterations go on. In the game of 7 errors, we notice that the speakers have moved under the chassis – giving way to a keyboard equipped with a number pad and some shortcuts – and that the webcam is no longer integrated into the keyboard between the F6 and F7 keys. . . The rest of the chassis is identical, with a sandblasted aluminum casing and a Huawei logo in the center of the cover. When it was released, this design was already heavily inspired by the productions of a certain Apple brand.
The home button sits above the keyboard and also acts as a fingerprint reader for unlocking. Opening the lid reveals a white backlight on the keys that is quite timid and almost invisible in broad daylight. The typing is pleasant, however the piano that accommodates the keys lacks rigidity in its center, causing slight pumping effects.
The well-sized touchpad offers good gliding and takes into account the different Windows gestures. Small flat on the left and right clicks that are easily heard and sink in slightly.
The connectivity of the MateBook D16 blows hot and cold. There’s still no Thunderbolt 4 despite using a 12th Gen Intel Core processor, but there are two USB-C ports. The one used primarily for charging is wired at USB2.0, while the one next to the HDMI port is at 5Gb/s. Two full-size USB ports are located on the right edge with the same cabling as the USB-C ports: one at USB2.0 and the other at 5Gb/s. Huawei could have made a little effort to connect all these little people in 5 Gb/s, or even 10 Gb/s, and say goodbye once and for all to USB 2.0 released 22 years ago!
For wireless connectivity, Huawei incorporates the Intel AX201 chip, which enables the MateBook D16 to support Wi-Fi 6 at 2400 Mb/s and Bluetooth 5.2. On the webcam an effort has been made with a 1080p sensor and software to change the background and make various cosmetic enhancements to your face, but the quality isn’t really there. Huawei could have settled for a good 720p sensor instead of this bad Full HD sensor.
As for cooling, Huawei took the design from the MateBook 16s and removed half of the cooling system. So all that’s left is a heat pipe, radiator, and fan. Inevitably, the MateBook D16 runs the risk of being louder, less cooled and therefore less efficient than the 16s, which is, however, equipped with the same processor. And indeed, in practice, we noted just over 50°C on the hinge and just over 40°C on the keyboard keys after our 15-minute encoding. Noise pollution has increased to 37 dB in our new audio lab, a contained but audible level of sound.
Access to the components of the MateBook D16 requires the removal of 10 Torx screws. Simply unclip the case to separate it from the rest of the chassis. So we see that the absence of a second fan leaves an untapped void, and that there isn’t even a second M.2 slot. The Wi-Fi card is for its part soldered. Only the battery and SSD are now replaceable. This does not prevent Huawei from declaring a repairability index of 6.9/10; the previous version had a rating of 8/10.
Our version of the Huawei MateBook D16 is equipped with an Intel Core i7-12700H processor accompanied by 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD. The Core i7-12700H is a hybrid processor with 6 performance cores called hyperthreaded and 8 efficient cores.
Thus equipped, the MateBook D16 achieves a performance index of 136 and sits between its cousin (Honor MagicBook 16 with a Ryzen 5 5600H) which obtains an index of 110 and the MateBook 16s equipped with the same processor (157). As we said a little above, the Core i7-12700H does not fully express itself due to its cooling system.
For comparison, we also tested the Alienware X14 with this same processor and it gets an index of 158; the Acer Nitro 5 even goes up to 161. These two notebooks, however, have more substantial cooling systems and are also much louder.
If we analyze the behavior of the Core i7-12700H during our encoding, it maintains its frequencies at 1.95 GHz for the P-Cores and 1.58 GHz for the E-Cores, all within an average power envelope of 45W.
A word about the SSD of the Huawei MateBook D16: it reaches 3.5 GB/s in reading and 2.2 GB/s in writing. Features that place it above average and that will be perfectly adapted to office use, including multimedia, such as moving large files (rush video, RAW photos, etc.). Note that Huawei is still partitioning the SSD, which no longer has any reason to exist.
Huawei did not go crazy with its screen and left the panel better defined to the MateBook 16s. However, the Matebook D16 does not have to be ashamed of its IPS panel that displays 1920 x 1200 pixels in 16/10 format. Its integration is neat and the degree of occupancy measured at 85%.
Under our probe, the screen proves to be faithful, with a delta E of 1.9, well below the threshold of 3 from which colorimetric variations are visible to the naked eye. The contrast ratio (1321:1) is in the middle for IPS panels, while the temperature (7094 K) is a bit above the video standard (6500 K).
The maximum brightness was measured at exactly 300 cd/m², a value again acceptable, especially for a laptop for sedentary use, especially since the reflectance of the panel is only 15%; a value worthy of the best matte treatments.
Finally, the remanence of the slab was measured at 18 ms. If this is a bit high for competitive gaming, you shouldn’t notice mouse dragging in office use or jerkiness when scrolling through windows.
Mobility / Autonomy
The measurements of the Huawei MateBook D 16 are imposing (35 x 24 cm by 1.8 cm thick) but within the standard of 16-inch laptops. To the weight of 1.7 kg, we must add 480 g for the 65 W charger. A power supply that is also sufficient for the MateBook D16 which, during our tests, consumes 55 W and demands a lot from this small charger that tends to heat up quickly. (56°C measured).
Huawei’s MateBook D16 has a 60 Wh battery. Despite this generous capacity, it only lasted 5 h 45 min in our usual test protocol (Netflix under Chrome, brightness at 200 cd/m²). An unconvincing performance, while the previous version on the Ryzen 5 4600H had lasted much longer (8h 39min) with a lower capacity battery (56Wh).
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