Huawei Matebook D16 test: For some, the better notebook
Besides the most powerful Matebook to date, namely the 16s, Huawei introduced another 16-inch notebook in June that was a bit overshadowed by its stronger sibling. In our Huawei Matebook D16 review, we tell you why it might be the better notebook for you despite less performance.
|Processor||Intel Core i5-12450H ( 8 cores, 12 threads, 1.5 – 4.4 GHz)
Intel Core i7 12700H (14 cores, 20 threads, 1.7 – 4.7 GHz) – review unit;
Intel UHD Graphics;
|Display||16″; 2,520 x 1,680 pixels; 60 Hz|
|Storage||1TB SSD (M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4)|
|Memory||16 GB DDR5-3200|
|Keyboard||Full-size with backlight|
|Operating system||Windows 11 Home|
|Connectivity||WiFi 6 (802.11ax); Bluetooth 5.1|
|Battery||Li-polymer; 60 watt hours|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||356 x 248 x 14.1 mm|
|Weight||1.70 kg (without power supply)|
|Price||Price not available *|
Huawei Matebook D16 review: the scope of delivery
The premium claim of the Matebook 16s is not quite met with the Huawei Matebook D16. This is already evident in the packaging, which – unlike the more expensive brother – comes in a plain cardboard look.
The two new 16-inchers share more or less the same scope of delivery, which is also manageable for the D16. Besides the notebook itself, you will find a two meter long USB-C to USB-C charging cable in the box, which is supplemented by a 65 watt power adapter.
This is also a “Huawei SuperCharge” power bank, which you can also use to quickly power smartphones, tablets, and other devices. A compact quick-start guide, which actually only consists of two pictures and half a page of text in 29 languages, and a warranty card round out the package.
Design and workmanship
From a visual perspective, the Huawei Matebook D16 is almost like the 16s. With a few important differences. That’s why I’ll aim for a direct comparison between the two notebooks again in a moment.
But first, let’s take a look at the D16. It comes in a chic, gray color scheme (Space Grey). The manufacturer’s name is emblazoned on the lid. The notebook has a width of 356 mm, is 248 mm deep and is 14.1 mm high at the back and around 10 mm at the front when closed. The laptop weighs in at a pleasant 1.694 kg and feels good in the hand.
A plastic recess sits in the center of the front for easy opening. The hinge (also plastic) is quite tight, which means that the Matebook cannot be opened with just one finger.
On the left side, you’ll find a total of four ports in the rear area:
- 1x USB Type-C (supports data, charging and DisplayPort)
- 1x USB Type-C (supports data and charging)
- 1x HDMI 2.0
- 1x 3.5mm jack (2-in-1 combo port)
The four ports are complemented by two USB-A ports on the right side of the notebook, one of which supports the fast USB 3.2 Gen1 standard. The other, on the other hand, is unfortunately only a rather slow USB 2.0 port.
On the underside, you’ll find a rubberized stand on the top that stretches almost the entire width of the notebook, as well as two smaller stands on the bottom. Also noticeable in the center is the wide air vent, although you can only see a radiator on the right side. The built-in speakers are also on the left and right at the bottom. The air outlets of the cooling system are found on the back.
On the inside of the lid is the matte IPS display, which takes up 90 percent of the notebook’s body with narrow edges. The webcam and status LED are in the center above it. At the bottom, we find the flat full-size keyboard (including numpad!) with a touchpad that is slightly shifted to the left. The power button is located on the upper right above it, which also houses a fingerprint scanner inside.
Workmanship of the Huawei Matebook D16
The general build quality of the notebook is on a good level, although the D16’s cheaper price compared to the 16s is clearly noticeable. This already starts with the choice of materials, even though the hard plastic feels quite robust. However, the display lid yields threateningly under pressure, especially in the matte.
A similar picture is seen when opened up, as the keyboard and the entire lower part show a very similar picture. However, you really have to build up a lot of pressure. More than would be the case in normal use. Otherwise, the workmanship is right, measured by the price, especially for the keyboard and trackpad.
Huawei Matebook 16s vs Huawei Matebook D16: The differences
Apart from the installed hardware, there are some important differences that distinguish the Matebook 16s (our review), which costs around 1,700 Euros, from the D16, which costs 1,300 Euros. Visually, you can hardly tell the two models apart at first, at least from a distance. They are about the same width, the same height and offer similar looking ports).
On closer inspection, however, they are. Here we can see that the D16 is slightly less deep. Differences also reveal themselves in terms of workmanship. While the 16s is completely made of metal, the D16 uses cheaper plastic. This also results in a weight that is about 300 grams lower.
However, things get really interesting on the inside. The 16s offers a high-gloss display, while the D16 relies on a better, matte panel. In return, the more expensive model has a higher resolution (2,520 x 1,680 pixels compared to 1,920 x 1,200 pixels) and a slightly better contrast ratio. Nevertheless, the matte display of the D16 is much easier to read outdoors and we like it better. However, you have to do without the touch-sensitive touchscreen, which Huawei only offers in the more expensive model.
Another difference can be found in the keyboard and trackpad. Only the Matebook D16 offers a full layout including the Num Pad. While the stereo speakers of the 16s are located next to the keyboard (and sound better), they are installed on the underside of the D16.
This creates additional space for the Num Pad and four additional keys, which prove to be quite practical. On the other hand, the D16’s trackpad is much smaller. The other differences are mainly of a technical nature. For example, the D16 lacks Thunderbolt 4, the battery and the NVMe SSD are smaller, and the LPDDR4 memory is a bit slower than the LPDDR5 RAM.
The top Matebook D16 model uses the same Intel Core i7 12700H CPU as the 16s. You also pay a total of 400 Euros less for it. Theoretically, the D16 offers the better price-performance ratio. Whereby the faster communication, the double system and faster working memory, as well as the touchscreen could be worth the surcharge, depending on the application field.
Keyboard, trackpad and practice
The Huawei Matebook D16 also comes with a really excellent keyboard. Typing on the flat keys with a travel of 1.5 mm is simply a pleasure and is very precise. The discreet white backlight of the keys is also pleasant and practical. Due to the Num-Block, the keys are all a bit closer together. The layout looks a bit compressed, which caused one or two typos for me.
The trackpad supports multi-touch and also triggers precisely. However, with a size of 12 cm x 7.3 cm (width x height), it is significantly smaller than in the case of the 16s. Technically and in practice, however, it is absolutely on par.
A special feature of the new Matebook models or Huawei devices in 2022 is the Super Device function, which makes it particularly easy to connect other devices from the manufacturer and use them in combination. Very convenient if you are already in the Huawei universe. Works just as well in practice as it does with Apple.
The Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 (our review) were immediately recognized and can be connected. However, the basic requirement for use is a Huawei account, which you also have to be logged into.
Display of the Huawei Matebook D16
The Matebook D16 uses a FullView display with IPS technology and a screen diagonal of 16 inches. It relies on an aspect ratio of 16:10 and thus offers more space for content vertically.
It resolves in 1,920 x 1,200 pixels and thus offers a pixel density of 142 PPI. This is significantly lower than the Matebook 16s (189 PPI), which you will also notice in practice. The maximum brightness of 300 cd/m² and the TÜV-certified Low Blue Light filtering are shared by both devices, just like the 100% sRGB color space.
All in all, I like the display, which is mainly due to the matte panel that has to deal with much less reflections than the Matebook 16s. However, the colors, contrasts and fonts of the big brother are just a bit better. There is also only 60 hertz here.
But honestly? I prefer the matte display of the Matebook D16, because colors look nice and vivid and fonts crisp. Thanks to the lower resolution, navigation is also a bit easier.
Huawei Matebook D16 in the practical test
In practice, the new Intel Core i7-12700H CPU ensures a brisk working speed, although the working memory might be quite tight for demanding applications. Especially since it works slower with the LPDDR4 standard than in the Matebook 16s.
The graphics calculation via the integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics card is thus absolutely sufficient, but also disqualifies the Matebook D16 for any gaming ambitions.
I really like the relatively low weight in combination with the dimensions. A direct comparison of the two 2022 Matebooks clearly shows that just 400 grams can make a world of difference. The D16 feels much lighter than the 16s, which makes it seem more mobile and portable in practice.
What I also like, despite the position on the bottom, are the built-in speakers. They get nice and loud and emit a really good sound. Especially since this can be improved with the help of the Windows app Huawei Control Panel and the audio device settings there. By the way, this also applies to connected headphones or microphones.
A handful of handy settings can also be made on the webcam, including auto-centering or the ability to select different background images.
In the Huawei PC Manager, you can also choose between a performance mode and the “Balanced” mode. The former is supposed to offer better performance at the expense of higher battery consumption. However, the differences between the options are rather small in practice.
Benchmark: Productivity, system performance and SSD
So let’s move on to the endurance test for the Huawei Matebook D16. How does the notebook do in the benchmarks? PCMark 10 simulates different workflows that include word processing, web browsing and spreadsheets when running the benchmark. The notebook also had to prove itself in the Cinebench R23 and Cinebench R20 benchmark tests.
We also compare the differences between balanced and performance mode in all benchmarks and draw a direct comparison to the Matebook 16s. The operating temperature and fan noise also stand out pleasantly. The previous generation obviously had problems here, as I could see from other tests.
Huawei seems to have gotten a grip on this, because the fans hardly rev up even under load and remain largely inaudible. The heat development is also pleasing and is once again below that of the Matebook 16s. Even under permanent load in the PCMark benchmark test, the notebook’s underside and keyboard only get warm to the touch and can be used without any problems.
Cinebench and PCMark10
But what do the results look like? Let’s first take a look at the rendering benchmark Cinebench R20. Here, the D16 runs at 3,847 points in balanced mode (multi-core) and 577 points in the single-core test.
In performance mode, the scores do not change as much as we had hoped. In the end, we end up with 4,325 points (multi-core) and 662 points (single-core). Especially the multi-core score is surprisingly far behind the Matebook 16s, which scores 5,983 points (multi-core) and 698 points (single-core).
A very similar picture emerges in Cinebench R23. The D16 achieves 9,063 points (multi-core) and 1,437 points (single-core) in balanced mode. In performance mode, we get 10,513 points and 1,776 points, respectively. Again, both scores are clearly below those of the Huawei Matebook 16s (13,124 points / 1,816 points).
The third test in the bunch is also the most demanding. PCMark10 puts the Huawei Matebook D16 through its paces. Final result: 5,549 points, measured in performance mode. Here, the Matebook 16s landed at 5,879 points and thus not that far ahead of the cheaper model.
The results are surprising, at least in parts, since both laptops rely on the same CPU and a similarly fast SSD. The slower LPDDR4 memory is probably mainly responsible for the lower results in this case.
|Benchmark||Huawei Matebook D16||Huawei Matebook 16s|
|Cinebench R20 (performance)||4,325 pts/662 pts||5,983 pts / 698 pts.|
|Cinebench R23 (performance)||10,513 pts / 1,776 pts||13,124 pts / 1,816 pts.|
|PCMark 10 (performance)||5,548 pts.||5,879 pts.|
On the other hand, the performance of the installed Silicon Motion PCIe-8 SSD once again turns out disappointing, which is once again clearly behind the Matebook 16s variant, which is also connected via PCIe 3.0-x4, especially when writing.
Both notebooks are roughly on par in sequential read. However, the NVMe SSD in the Matebook D16 drops noticeably in write and only achieves 1,529.04 MB/s. Interestingly, all other rates are on par and the D16 even has the lead in some cases. The access times for reading (0.029 ms compared to 0.031 ms) and writing (0.017 ms / 0.024 ms) are shorter in the cheaper notebook.
Battery: run and charge time
Huawei includes a 60-watt power adapter with the Matebook D16, which can also be used to quickly charge smartphones, for example. It charges the laptop’s 60 watt-hour battery very quickly. The battery is fully charged from 0 percent to 100 percent in 1 hour and 48 minutes.
The battery life itself, on the other hand, is somewhat sobering. The laptop runs out of steam after almost exactly four hours in our mixed battery test of WLAN use, streaming and office work.
That is not only significantly less than in the Matebook 16s, but also about half as long as in the Matebook D16 predecessor model from 2021, which lasted between seven and eight hours (despite a lower capacity of 56 Wh compared to 60 Wh now). This once again shows that the 12th generation of Intel CPUs cannot keep up with AMD in terms of energy efficiency. Last year, Huawei relied on the AMD Ryzen 5 4600H.
Huawei Matebook D16 review: Conclusion
The new 2022 model of the Huawei Matebook D16 does quite a lot right in the test. For a relatively attractive price, the laptop combines a classy design with a high-quality build. It also scores with a really successful keyboard and a precise trackpad that makes working fun.
The performance is also on a good level and should offer more than enough reserves for most fields of application. However, you are at the wrong address for gaming ambitions. I also like the display very much.
Even though you have to accept some compromises compared to the higher-quality Matebook 16s (for example, the resolution or the missing touchscreen), I like the matte display with its rich colors and the crisp display.
With the same CPU configuration, the D16 costs a whopping 400 Euros less than the 16s, and comes dangerously close to the performance in many aspects. Only the slower working and system memory are noticeable in the benchmark test, but the difference is somewhat smaller in practice. The battery life of just under four hours is once again the Achilles’ heel of the notebook.
Thus, the Huawei Matebook D16 (2022) offers the more attractive price-performance ratio in my eyes, if you can live with the limitations. In the sum of its parts, it is a really successful notebook that you can have a lot of fun with.
Huawei Matebook D16
Design & workmanship
Value for money
Noble and high-quality notebook with a fast CPU, great keyboard and convincing display. Only the battery life and the slow RAM hold the new Matebook back. However, the price-performance ratio is convincing.
Gehört zum Inventar