In 2021, the Huawei MateBook D16 AMD was released — a very successful and well-established laptop with a 16-inch screen. In 2022, it was replaced by an updated version with the same diagonal, but a different aspect ratio of the display and, more importantly, a more powerful 12th generation Core i7 processor. I know firsthand about the first model — this is one of the home laptops, so it was especially interesting to get acquainted with the latest version. What is it like, what has become better, and what is worse — in this review.
Table of contents
|Operating system||Windows 11 Home|
|Graphic arts||Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs|
|Memory||RAM: 16 GB (LPDDR4x, dual-channel, soldered)
ROM: 512 GB (NVMe PCIe SSD)
|Display||16″, IPS (BOE NV160WUM‑NH0), 16:10,
1920 × 1200 pixels, 142 ppi, 300 nits, 100% sRGB, matte
|Webcam||2 MP, 1080p|
|Ports||USB‑C (2.0), USB‑C (3.2 Gen 1, DisplayPort),
USB‑A (2.0), USB‑A (3.2 Gen 1),
HDMI 2.0, 3.5 mm audio jack
|Wireless interfaces||Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax, 2×2 MIMO), Bluetooth 5.1|
|Other||Stereo speakers, 4 microphones, fingerprint scanner,
full-size backlit keyboard
|Battery||60 Wh, 65 W charging (USB‑C)|
|Dimensions (H×W×D)||356.7 mm × 248.7 mm × 18.4 mm|
|The weight||1.7 kg|
The laptop received a metal case in gray color, which is already traditional for the MateBook series. The design can be called solid, restrained and at the same time universal. The build quality is excellent, with every detail fitted perfectly, including the touchpad panel, which laptops sometimes have problems with.
Opening the lid with one hand will not work: the hinge is quite tight. In the previous model, this action was facilitated by a special recess on the bottom panel, but now it is gone.
As a replacement, there is a small plastic protrusion on top, which is a continuation of the screen frame. It is easy to hook it with your finger to pull it up.
The display bezel itself is still very narrow on the sides, but slightly wider at the top, as the manufacturer moved the webcam there. Apparently, Huawei engineers listened to the complaints of users who did not really like the angle of the previous camera built into one of the keys. And these complaints can be understood: who wants to constantly watch and show others his chin, especially if he is not alone.
The new camera, by the way, is 1080p, which is still a rarity among laptops. Plus, she has a couple of useful AI-based chips, but more on that below.
The maximum opening angle of the laptop cover is about 155 degrees. This is generally enough to work on the road, for example in the subway, placing the laptop on your lap.
The keyboard now has a numeric keypad, which for some will be an added advantage. True, its appearance was the reason for the transfer of the speakers to the lower surface. If you do not place the device on something soft, then the sound is generally acceptable, but without frills. There is a large volume margin.
On the left side is a combined 3.5 mm audio jack for headphones and a microphone, an HDMI port and a pair of USB-C, one of which is with DisplayPort support for connecting additional displays. Any of the two Type‑C ports can be used for charging.
On the right are two USB‑A, and one of them is version 3.1 Gen 1, and the second is a modest USB 2.0. Unfortunately, there is no SD reader.
On the bottom cover, in addition to slots for speakers along the edges, there is one wide grille for cooling in the center and plastic legs.
The laptop has a fairly light weight — only 1.7 kg — and generally compact dimensions for the owner of a 16-inch screen. Carrying it behind your back in a backpack every day, perhaps, will not be very convenient, but in general the device is transportable. Take it to work or on a business trip — quite a. In addition, it will definitely fit into any backpack designed for 15.6-inch models.
The base of the keyboard, along with the substrate, is a single sheet of metal, with the exception, of course, of the touchpad. The key area in the center flexes when pressed, but you don’t notice it in everyday use.
The keys themselves are scissor mechanism. They are quite elastic and quiet, with a stroke of 1.5 mm, which is optimal if you often type large texts or conduct active correspondence.
The keys have a two-level backlight, but without automatic activation, since there is no light sensor.
From not quite standard — replacing the End, Home and PageUp / Down buttons above the number block with a set of function keys. They are used to launch the calculator, search (Ai Search — for all connected Huawei devices), minimize the active window and turn off the camera (it’s convenient to turn off the picture for a while when calling).
In general, I liked the keyboard, it is convenient for long typing. The only quibbles here are only regarding the size of the keys — I would like a little more — and the shape of the up and down arrows. The latter traditionally occupy the area of one button, which is not very practical, but, unfortunately, has already become the norm.
As for the touchpad, it is slightly shifted to the left relative to the center, slightly recessed into the case and has an average size, although the area under the keyboard clearly made it possible to make it larger. Sensitivity is good, pressing is tangible, with a click.
I will immediately note the power button, which is now located above the keyboard on the right. It has a built-in fingerprint scanner that allows you to unlock your laptop with one touch. Works without errors.
In the previous 16-inch model, the screen was classic, with an aspect ratio of 16: 9. In the new one, it is already 16: 10 — it is a little higher, but a little narrower. For web surfing and social networks, this format is better suited: more content in front of your eyes.
The matrix here is IPS from the Chinese company BOE. Brightness — up to 300 cd / m², which is clearly not enough for outdoor work, but this is partly compensated by the matte surface. The resolution was 1,920 × 1,200 pixels, which is also close to such a diagonal, but solutions with QHD and higher panels are a completely different class of devices.
In terms of color reproduction, full coverage of the sRGB gamut (100%) is declared. Compared to the AMD version, the shades here are a little colder, which is especially visible on a white background. There is technology to protect the eyes from blue light and flicker. But there is no HDR support, as in the previous model.
In general, the screen is not bad for the segment of office or home solutions. The colors are not caustic, the contrast is not too high, there are no serious highlights along the edges of the matrix. Pixels near, of course, are viewed, but this does not interfere with working with text at a comfortable distance for the eyes.
The camera deserves its own section in the review, since it’s 1080p, which is still a rarity among laptops. The picture is clear with wide viewing angles (178º).
The webcam also has a number of useful software options that can be enabled through the Huawei Control Panel. There is:
- the ability to change the background by adding an office, living room or any other image behind your back;
- auto-centering function, which allows you to automatically zoom in on the picture so that you remain in the center of the frame;
- the function of changing the look, with which the interlocutors will not notice when you take your eyes off the screen.
Here it is worth noting at once four good microphones for video communication, which are aimed at the user — they are located on the front edge of the case, next to the touchpad. The voice is not distorted, the audibility is good, even if you are a few meters away from the laptop, for example, during a presentation or a banal move around the room.
On my test, I had a modification with 16 GB of RAM and a fresh Core i7-12700H, released at the beginning of 2022. Also, this model is equipped with 8 GB and Core i5‑12450H. It is impossible to expand the RAM in either option: the dual-channel LPDDR4X memory with a frequency of 3,733 MHz is soldered. You can only replace the M.2 SSD.
SSD here with PCIe 3.0 interface. By default, the disk is divided into two partitions, where 120 GB is allocated for the system, of which a little more than 70 GB is free. In total, about 400 GB out of 512 are available to the user.
In terms of write and read speed, the MateBook D16 drive outperforms the SSD of the previous laptop in almost everything. Below is a comparison in CrystalDiskMark, an internal memory performance tester.
The 12th generation Core i7 is 14 cores (6 performance and 8 energy efficient) and 20 threads. The maximum frequency in the automatic overclocking mode reaches 4.7 GHz. In benchmarks, this chip performed very well, especially when compared to the AMD Ryzen 5 4600H in the previous D16 model. For example, tests in single-core and multi-core modes in Geekbench 5 (all benchmarks here and below were run in Balance performance mode).
For clarity, there are tests in Cinebench R23, which gives a comprehensive assessment of system performance. The 14-core Core i7-12700H again took the lead by a wide margin.
The graphics in this processor are integrated — Iris Xe Graphics G7 (96 EU). I have not tested it with games, but judging by the tests available on the network, it will fit only for old classics like GTA V, The Witcher 3 or Fortnite, but even then not at the highest settings. Still, this is far from a gaming solution.
In the Geekbench 5 OpenCL graphics test, the results are expectedly low, but the difference with AMD’s Radeon RX Vega card is also quite large.
The subjective impression of the performance of the new MateBook D 16 is very good. Even with 20 open tabs in Chrome, running Photoshop with a couple of complex projects, two active messengers and background music, there were no critical freezes.
True, with a high load, the cooler quickly starts to howl. He has only one laptop — paired with one heat pipe. The previous MateBook D16 with AMD has two fans and two tubes.
Given the difference in TDP (heat dissipation requirements), the differences in the cooling system look quite logical. The version with Core i7 is 35-45 watts, while the model with AMD is 35-54 watts. However, in practice, it seems that the cooling of the new laptop is still not enough. One existing cooler often turns on even when idle, and it works quite loudly.
At the end of the topic of the insides, I note the built-in Wi‑Fi AX201 module. It does not have support for the latest 6 GHz networks, but otherwise there are no complaints: in a week of use, there were no connection problems even at a decent distance from the router — through several walls and closed doors. Probably, thanks should be said to the new Metaline antenna, which the manufacturer lists among the main advantages of the laptop.
Out of the box, the MateBook D16 runs Windows 11 Home. The system is complemented by a set of basic HMS Core services for tying a Huawei account and branded services. One of them is PC Manager, which allows you to connect Huawei smartphones and tablets, troubleshoot problems, update drivers and change the operating mode (“Performance” for maximum power or “Balance” for energy saving).
Also, Huawei PC Manager provides access to the proprietary «Control Panel» (not to be confused with the system). Visually, this is a convenient window for quick access to screenshots, screen recording, search, notes, and quick connection of various devices. The panel is useful if you have a couple of other devices from Huawei.
The laptop received a 60 Wh battery, which is more than 56 Wh of its predecessor, but the autonomy was a little more modest. At 60% brightness in mixed usage (Chrome, Photoshop, Telegram), the laptop lasted about 7 hours. Increasing the brightness to the limit will reduce this time to 5.5-6 hours. Matebook D16 with AMD in the same scenarios runs about an hour longer.
The charging adapter has become noticeably smaller: it is literally like from a smartphone, and it weighs only 126 g. The power is the same — 65 watts. Of the minuses — a strong heating of the block and a very slow recharge at high load. In other words, it is better not to play games while charging.
The previous MateBook D16 with AMD was not perfect, but in terms of price and features, it turned out to be the best laptop for home and office. It was great for programming, designing, or surfing the web. The new model has exactly the same positioning, but offers much more powerful stuffing and a display with a more convenient aspect ratio, especially if you «live» in the browser. These are the two most important aspects of this model.
In addition, Huawei moved and improved the camera, added a couple of microphones, put a keyboard with a number pad — all these are useful upgrades. However, the new MateBook cannot be called a work on the mistakes of the previous model. Improving the device in one way, the company obviously tried not to go beyond a certain price tag. To do this, I had to make small compromises, which resulted in an insufficiently efficient and very noisy cooling system, a rollback of one port to USB 2.0, and insufficiently powerful charging — 65 W is still not enough for a new chip.
The previous D16 in the version with 16 GB of RAM now costs about 70 thousand rubles, and the new one in the same top-end configuration will be released in Russia for 80 thousand. And in general, taking into account a noticeable increase in performance, such a price tag looks objective, even despite some of the disadvantages of this model.
If you are looking for a really powerful device for years to come, with a lot of power, then the new D16 will be a good investment. Especially given the fact that so far there are very few non-gaming laptops with a 12th generation Core i7 on the market.
Advantages of Huawei MateBook D16 2022
- High quality metal case.
- Relatively light weight.
- Good performance.
- Comfortable keyboard with numeric keypad.
- Nice matte IPS display.
- Decent webcam.
- Compact charger.
Disadvantages of Huawei MateBook D16 2022
- Modest autonomy.
- Noisy cooling system.
- Slow charging under high load.
- USB 2.0 port.
- No Thunderbolt.
- No SD card reader.
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