Huawei MateBook D16 laptop test: very efficient but not durable


The MateBook D16’s chassis is well-honed, with the Chinese manufacturer making only minor tweaks as iterations progress. In the game with 7 bugs, we notice that the speakers have gone under the chassis – giving way to a keyboard equipped with a numeric keypad and a few 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 shell and a Huawei logo in the center of the cover. When it was released, this design was already largely inspired by the productions of a certain Apple brand.

huawei matebook D16

You have to have a keen eye to notice the evolution of the chassis.

© The Digital

The home button is located above the keyboard and also acts as a fingerprint reader for unlocking. Opening the lid reveals a white backlight of the keys, which turns out to be quite timid and almost invisible in broad daylight. Input is comfortable, but the piano housing the keys lacks stiffness in the middle, causing slight pumping effects.
The touchpad, of a good size, offers good sliding and takes into account the different gestures in Windows. Small flat on the left and right click, which is easily heard and sinks a little.

Huawei Matebook D16

Leave the speakers and welcome to the numeric keypad.

© The Digital

The connection options for the MateBook D16 blow hot and cold. Still no Thunderbolt 4 despite using a 12th generation Intel Core processor, but two USB-C ports. The one mainly used for charging is connected to USB2.0, while the one located next to the HDMI port is in 5 Gb/s. Two full-size USB ports are located on the right edge with the same wiring as the USB-C ports: one in USB2.0, the other in 5 Gb/s. Huawei could have made a small effort to connect all these little people with 5 Gb/s, or even 10 Gb/s, and say goodbye once and for all to USB2.0 released 22 years ago!

huawei matebook d16

Two USB-C ports, but not at all the same speeds (44 MB/s and 470 MB/s)

© The Digital

For wireless connectivity, Huawei embeds the Intel AX201 chip, which enables the MateBook D16 to support Wi-Fi 6 at 2400 Mb/s and Bluetooth 5.2. Effort has been made on the webcam with a 1080p sensor and software to change the background and make various aesthetic improvements to your face, but the quality really isn’t there. Huawei could have settled for a good 720p sensor rather than this poor Full HD sensor.

In the shadow

Good brightness.

As for cooling, Huawei took the design of the MateBook 16s and removed half of the cooling system. So all that’s left is a heat pipe, a radiator and a fan. The MateBook D16 inevitably runs the risk of being noisier, less well cooled and therefore less efficient than the 16, which is nevertheless equipped with the same processor. And indeed, in practice we notice a little more than 50 ° C at the hinge and a little more than 40 ° C on the keys of the keyboard after our 15 minutes of coding. Noise pollution has increased to 37 dB in our new sound laboratory, a limited but audible noise level.

huawei matebook d16

With a single fan and a Core i7-12700H, your fingers will spend the winter warm.

© The Digital

Access to the components of the MateBook D16 requires the removal of 10 Torx screws. Simply loosen the shell to separate it from the rest of the chassis. We then see that the absence of a second fan leaves an unused void and that there is not even a second M.2 slot. The wifi card is welded for its part. Only the battery and the SSD can now be replaced. This does not prevent Huawei from declaring a repair index of 6.9/10 – the previous version had an index of 8/10.

huawei matebook d16

An underutilized space.

© The Digital

Editor's rating: 4 out of 5


Our version of the Huawei MateBook D16 is equipped with an Intel Core i7-12700H processor accompanied by 16 GB RAM and a 512 GB SSD Core i7-12700H is a hybrid processor with 6 so-called hyperthreaded performance cores and 8 efficient cores.

huawei matebook D 16 Core i7-12700H

Processor performance index (the bigger the better).

© The Digital

Thus equipped, the MateBook D16 reaches a performance index of 136 and is placed between its cousin (Honor MagicBook 16 with a Ryzen 5 5600H), which achieves 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 express itself entirely because of its cooling system.
For comparison, we also tested the Alienware X14 with this same processor and it scores an index of 158; The Acer Nitro 5 even goes up to 161. However, these two laptops have more extensive cooling systems and are also much noisier.

If we analyze the behavior of the Core i7-12700H during our coding, it maintains its frequencies of 1.95 GHz for the P cores and 1.58 GHz for the E cores, all within an average power frame of 45W.

A word about the Huawei MateBook D16’s SSD: it reaches 3.5 GB/si read and 2.2 GB/si write. Performances that place it above average and will be perfectly suitable for office use, even multimedia, such as moving large files (video rushes, RAW photos, etc.). Note that Huawei is still splitting the SSD, which no longer has any reason to exist.

Editor's rating: 4 out of 5


Huawei didn’t go crazy on its screen, leaving the best-defined panel to the MateBook 16s. However, the Matebook D16 need not be ashamed that its IPS panel displays 1920 x 1200 pixels in 16/10 format. Its integration is nice and the occupancy rate measured at 85%.

huawei matebook d16

The 16-inch IPS panel is well integrated.

© The Digital

Under our probe, the display proves faithful with a delta E of 1.9 – well below the threshold of 3 from which the colorimetric drifts are visible to the eye. The contrast ratio (1321:1) is in the middle of IPS panels, while the temperature (7094 K) is slightly 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 plate’s remanence was measured to be 18 ms. If this is a bit high for competitive gaming, you shouldn’t observe drag under the mouse cursor in office use or jerks when scrolling windows.

Editor's rating: 3 out of 5

Mobility / Autonomy

The dimensions of the Huawei MateBook D 16 are impressive (35 x 24 cm by 1.8 cm thick), but within the standard for 16-inch laptops. To the weight of 1.7 kg, we must add 480 g to the 65 W charger. A power supply, by the way, just sufficient for the MateBook D16, which during our test consumes 55 W and strongly demands this small charger, which tends to heat up quickly ( 56°C measured).

huawei matebook D 16 charger usb-c cable

The 65 W charger is extremely compact and the USB-C cable is removable.

© The Digital

Huawei’s MateBook D16 has a 60 Wh battery. Despite this generous capacity, it lasted only 5 hours and 45 minutes on our usual test protocol (Netflix under Chrome, brightness of 200 cd/m²). An unconvincing performance, while the previous version in the Ryzen 5 4600H had lasted much longer (8 h 39 min) with a lower capacity battery (56 Wh).

huawei matebook D 16 battery autonomy battery life

The autonomy of the MateBook D16 will not keep you in suspense for very long in front of your favorite series.

© The Digital

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