Being a top contender in consumer electronics, Huawei has been introducing various products to consumers who are seeking quality at affordable prices. Aside from their phones, Huawei has also been introducing a series of laptops with decent specs starting with the MateBook D being one of its recent releases.
Launched not too long ago, we have a go at the Intel Core i5 variant which Huawei brought in to our shores.
Let’s address the elephant in the room immediately: the MateBook D looks uncannily like Apple’s signature laptops and there’s no two ways around it. If you could avert the gaze of fellow Starbucks patrons from the Huawei logos on the laptop, you’ll blend in almost flawlessly with Tim Cook’s faithful followers.
Visual similarities aside, the MateBook D sports a silver aluminium body with a 14” IPS display and a plastic keyboard in matte black finish. It’s aesthetically pleasing if you’re opting for a minimalist design and something not too jarring. It weighs less than 2 kgs and you’ll barely feel its heft when carrying it around on hand or in your backpack.
Fortunately, being a doppelganger to a MacBook is where all the similarity ends for Huawei’s laptop. For the better, as well. Inside, the MateBook D is packed with a 8th gen Intel Core i5-8250U processor, 8GB LPDDR3 RAM, and a 256GB SSD.
It’s no slouch in all things related to productivity, and multitasking is buttery smooth thanks to its hardware and the Windows 10 Home operating system. The MateBook D is sufficient to run applications such as PhotoShop and Illustrator, but don’t expect it to support the likes of Maya or 3DMax which are far more demanding in graphics. Speaking of which, forget trying to wow anyone with any form of high definition gaming due to its Intel UHD 620 graphics acceleration. Sure, you can still play certain current generation games at the lowest setting and at 30fps if you’re lucky. But gaming should not be a factor if you’re opting for a MateBook D, you lunatic.
The MateBook D’s 14” IPS screen is nothing groundbreaking, but it supports high definition at 1080p at least. It’s bright and vivid as one would hope, and it does not falter when enjoying videos on Youtube or even during a personal session of Netflix. Of course, there’s also the option of extending your display to a bigger screen via HDMI cable but the boost in resolution isn’t all that great since it doesn’t go up to 4K.
In an ergonomic sense, the laptop is fine as it is. The keys are situated nicely for typing, and its touchpad works perfectly fine along with some added gimmicks such the usual pinch-to-zoom, two-finger scrolling, and multi-finger screen swapping. The laptop comes with two USB ports, one USB-C, a HDMI port, and a 35mm headphone jack. Sadly, there are no slots for MicroSD or SD cards. The power button doubles up as a fingerprint sensor and is located beside the upper right part of the keyboard, which is a nice touch (no pun intended).
In the audio department, the MateBook D is equipped with two microphones for stereo input and four speakers: two beside both sides of the keyboard, and two beneath the laptop itself. Audio quality is above average at best with decent clarity, but high on treble while lacking in bass. On full volume, it performed well enough to play songs and videos without a hint of audio cracking. Again, the MateBook D was made for general use rather than entertainment, but it does perform quite well regardless.
The laptop’s battery capacity is no pushover either. It can run up to 12 hours of use even with video playback, multiple apps running, and several tabs opened in Chrome. As of typing, the laptop is now at 61% with 7 hours of life remaining since I unplugged it from the charger about five hours earlier. Charging is done via USB-C, and yes, it’s possible to juice up the MateBook D with a powerbank if you so desire.
Huawei’s MateBook D is a pleasant surprise with its commendable performance, and impressive battery power. All that at a price point of MYR 2999, which is actually not bad compared to coughing out a couple of thousands more for that other similar looking laptop from a certain established brand which also has a lesser performance.