There’s no denying that those of us here in Stuff Malaysia absolutely love the Huawei MateBook series, and as such we were definitely looking forward to what’s next from Huawei. Barely a month ago, Huawei launched the MateBook D15 and MediaPad 6 (which we will review soon enough) and were pretty excited with what we were shown.
After all, we were getting some pretty good specs for a really great price.
That being said, with such an affordable price, we have to see if it can live up to its predecessors in what it has to offer and its value.
Designed for style
The Huawei MateBook D 15 maintains that Mac-like look that we've brought up a couple of times in the past MateBook iterations, with very few distinctions to make it stand out from the MacBook. Heck, even the keyboard layout is even more alike than before which could be a pro for those who would like a more affordable MacBook and prefer their keyboard layout. I, on the other hand, am not a fan of this squeezed up layout as I tend to hit the wrong keys more but that's just personal preference.
It has replaced the logo on the back with the strong text of Huawei instead which I think makes it look a lot more stylish, and is currently only available in Mystic Silver made of aluminium alloy. While design wise, you can say there’s very little changes, that’s likely a good thing considering the design worked for the past MateBook series, and even MacBook if you think about it.
All in all, the overall weight you're getting from the MateBook D 15 is about 1.62 KG which sounds pretty light, but I found it to still be a bit on the weighty side. That's not a bad thing though! On the bright side, you can totally carry the device around easily as it's only heavy if you carry it with one hand. On the other hand, with a width of 357.8 mm and height of 229.9 mm, it's not exactly easy to slip this into your bag either.
Fully In-Love With Display
Even in my previous hands-on review, I can’t stop gushing over the display the screen of the Huawei MateBook D15 has to offer. I ain’t stopping there, cause I just love it so much.
The device comes with 15.6 inches of beautiful IPS HD FullView Display screen that makes every video and image you witness on this screen stand out even more. Watching some videos that have a 3D effect also seem to pop out from the screen, and colourful music videos look even more vibrant, standing out even further. Watching my favourite Korean Idol music videos was definitely a treat on this baby.
Featuring an incredible 87% screen-to-body ratio and narrow bezels which have been reduced to just 5.3 mm, the MateBook D15 is definitely perfect for watching movies, being creative, or getting some work done as you can see more content on the screen without scrolling down a lot. Too bad it's not a touch screen to add on to that creative aspect, but that would likely add on to the price tag more and this device is already so good for what it gives.
Packed with power… and limits
For the price that the Huawei MateBook D 15 has to offer, you also have to expect some level of power to make it truly worthy of the money you spent and Huawei didn't hold back. The MateBook D 15 comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor, and is fitted with a PCIe SSD3, and packing up to 8 GB in dual-channel architecture DDR4 RAM so this baby is pretty fast and can support my unhealthy habit of having a full line of tabs on my browser and a few programs at once.
Of course, there has been some level of lag even during normal use but it tends to happen when I'm doing too much at once - a common occurrence with me but the lags aren't as common. So far in my trial it has only happened once or twice throughout my use. Take that as you would like.
But due to this, I cannot really recommend it for heavy gaming or even heavy editing programs for video and photographs. Casual gaming that isn't particularly demanding is totally fine, and you can still push the device to the limit with editing but be prepared for some level of lag.
It's not necessarily bad considering the price you're paying, but if you're looking for more, then it's hard to suggest the MateBook D 15. It's definitely meant for those writing essays and articles, casual gaming or even watching your favourite movies or music videos.
And the pretty music videos on this baby are so good (yes, I will stop, I promise).
Oh, and if you’re hoping that you can upgrade the RAM, I have some bad news: it’s not upgradeable. So you have to deal with that 8GB RAM provided in the device already.
Charge it up
The Huawei MateBook D 15's battery promises up to 6 hours of use in a day, which is a good enough number for sure. But to be honest I noticed this 6 hours lasting if all I did was watched videos all day. The same cannot be said if I decide to actually work on it, where it lasted for about 4 hours so I would recommend having the charger on you at all times.
On the bright side, the device does charge quickly as it comes with a 65 W USB-C charger (and you can use a powerbank should you lack a power outlet), where you can get a full charge in an hour, and about 53% in half of that. While you're at it, go ahead and charge your own smartphones or other devices as the device comes three USB ports that supports fast charging and even data transfer should you need to.
It still lacks an SD card reader or even a USB-A port so it's definitely not the best device for camera users or those who use internet cables, but you still have a headphone jack port and even a HDMI port should you want to watch your videos on a different screen. BUT WHY WOULD YOU, THOUGH?
Features to look out for
The past Huawei MateBook D 13 review touched on the One Hop feature that enables you to share and transfer files quickly between the MateBook and another Huawei device. This feature remains even on the MateBook D15 with the Huawei Share, where I used it to transfer the pictures I took on the Mate 30.
I did have some issues getting it started as both devices were low on juice, but charging it up made it easy. Just tap the phone on the bottom corner of the MateBook D 15, approve the connection on both devices, and instantly you have an Android emulator on the MateBook D15 that will enable you to transfer files, or even copy texts in your smartphone directly to the MateBook. Definitely a great addition to look out for, though it being reserved for only Huawei devices remains a major barrier for those who don't use Huawei smartphones.
Other great features to look out for include the fingerprint login on the power button, which is a great way to log in for sure as it saves time and the need to memorise passwords. There's also the hidden camera module where the camera is set within the keyboard, and you can press it down for it to pop up when you need it, then pop it back down when you're done. Plenty of privacy for those who want a device with more security.
All in all, if you’re looking for a laptop to help you with essays, creative work and more while also be a viewing pleasure for your favourite videos or movies should you need a break. Sure, it’s not a powerhouse and has some level of limitation, but for the price of RM4599 you’re getting a pretty good device that will definitely be great for students and entry level work, with a side of entertainment for those in need of that too.
Now excuse me, a new BTS music video has come out and I need to enjoy it fully before I return the review unit of the Huawei MateBook D 15.