Huawei MateBook D 15 (2021) review: Still stylish and solid, but issues remain Review

Victoria D. Doty

Huawei has come to be an recognized notebook seller (outside the US, at the very least), and last calendar year its MateBook X Pro (2020) and MateBook D 15 (2020) both impressed — albeit with a pair of caveats. The 2021 refresh of the MateBook D 15 doesn’t make any basic improvements — this is additional of an update than a remodeling.    

Anybody on the lookout for a notebook whose requirements they can configure at order time should search elsewhere. There is certainly just one choice for purchasers in the Uk, with an eleventh-era Intel Core i5-1135G7 with 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, for £749 (inc. VAT). In other territories, you can get 16GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage. 

The dim gray chassis colour, which Huawei phone calls House Gray (I would simply call it slate), is fairly desirable. It won’t search out of position in an workplace atmosphere. 


Apart from upgrading to an eleventh-era Core i5 processor and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), the 2021 MateBook D 15 is minimal changed from its 2020 predecessor.

Visuals: Huawei

A critical function of the Huawei MateBook D 15 (2021) is its marriage of a large monitor with light excess weight. The 15.6-inch monitor sits in a chassis measuring 357.8mm vast by 229.9mm deep by sixteen.9mm thick. These dimensions are precisely the exact same as these of last year’s design. It weighs 1.56kg (up 3g from last calendar year). The aluminium alloy chassis allows to keep the excess weight down, and despite the fact that the dimension and excess weight will be obvious in a backpack, that large monitor may make the slight inconvenience well worth your while. 

Huawei states that the MateBook D 15 has undergone different tests, like the skill to withstand 40°C temperature and ninety{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f} relative humidity, together with tests for the toughness of the USB-C port and fingerprint critical, and daily life tests on the keyboard, monitor hinge and touchpad. Even so, you can find no official MIL-STD certification. 

The 15.6-inch monitor sits in compact upper and side bezels measuring five.3mm, despite the fact that the bottom bezel is fairly deeper. This outcomes in a claimed monitor-to-overall body ratio of 87{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f} (we calculated 81.five{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f}). The upper bezel isn’t really deep plenty of to household a camera, so the exact same convention is made use of below as was discovered in last year’s MateBook X Pro (2020) and MateBook D 15 (2020), with the pop-up camera located in the keyboard, beneath a Fn row critical. 


The Hd (720p) webcam pops up from the centre of the Fn critical row, offering an unflattering camera angle for online video phone calls.

Impression: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

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The camera pops up effortlessly when essential, but the positioning is much from great. With online video meetings now probable to keep on being a actuality of daily life for a lot of of us, the ‘up-the-nose’ camera angle shipped below is a lot less than satisfactory. It can be just one of two substantial challenges with this notebook that may be a deal-breaker. 

The monitor is a 15.6-inch IPS panel with FHD (1920 x 1080 pixels, 141.2ppi) resolution. It can be not contact responsive and has a highest brightness of only 250 nits, which usually means that out of doors use may be compromised on sunny days. Viewing angles on the two the horizontal and vertical planes are not wonderful. Possessing explained all that, the monitor is perfectly usable for every day creating and productivity jobs at property or in the workplace. 

The speakers, whose grilles are on the underside of the chassis, just as they were in last year’s design, supply very good quantity, but you can find some distortion at the best of the range, and bass tones could be more powerful. This is a skipped prospect, as a much better audio subsystem would significantly increase this notebook. Instead of sticking with last year’s chassis design and style, Huawei could have pushed the speaker grilles up onto the keyboard area, the place you can find loads of unused area to the remaining and suitable. 


The keyboard is a at ease typing platform with large, properly-spaced keys. The energy button (best suitable) has an built-in fingerprint reader.

Impression: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The keyboard by itself is at ease to do the job with. The keys are large and properly-spaced, with a a bit textured end that helps make a good adjust from smoother keys. The Fn row keys are comparatively significant, as are the cursor keys — the remaining and suitable cursor keys are whole sized. I had no hassle contact-typing at my standard velocity. 

The touchpad is large and responsive, and you can find a fingerprint sensor embedded in the energy button, which sits to the suitable of the keyboard, level with the Fn critical row. 

Huawei incorporates its PC Manager software, which is a hub for examining on driver updates, making energy administration configurations, troubleshooting features like the fingerprint sensor and wireless connectivity (the two Bluetooth and Wi-Fi 6), and for taking care of a cellphone connection. This is also the place notebook users access Huawei Share. 

SEE: Microsoft: This is how to defend your Home windows servers versus this credential thieving attack

Huawei Share is critical function of Huawei laptops. It lets up to 3 cellphone applications to be exhibited and made use of on the MateBook’s monitor, and includes aid for drag-and-fall file trade. Any data files up to date on the MateBook are also quickly up to date on a related handset. You can also initiate and acquire voice and online video phone calls coming into a related handset on the MateBook’s monitor.  

Huawei Share isn’t really supported by each individual Huawei handset. It can be compatible with phones in the Mate forty and Mate 30 series, P40 series and Nova 6 series, as properly as with a compact variety of Honor handsets. You can look at compatibility and aspects on which capabilities are supported by which handsets here.  

The Huawei MateBook D 15 (2021) operates on Home windows ten Property. As pointed out before, it’s out there in just just one configuration in the Uk, with an eleventh-generation Core i5-1135G7 CPU with built-in Intel Xe Graphics, 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. This configuration costs £749.99. Some territories have entry to 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. 


Still left side (best): USB-C, USB 3.two, HDMI. Correct side (higher than): 3.5mm audio in/out, 2x USB two.. 

Impression: Huawei

As with the chassis design and style, the array of ports and connectors is unchanged from last calendar year. There is certainly a pair of USB two. ports on the suitable edge, along with a 3.5mm headset jack. The remaining side has a USB 3.two port, a USB-C port with energy supply, and a whole-dimension HDMI connector. There is no Thunderbolt aid, which is disappointing.  

I stated the webcam locale as just one of two probable deal-breakers. The other is battery daily life. Analyzed beneath my standard workload of creating into world wide web applications, streaming some music and online video, and preserving a large amount of world wide web web pages open at the moment, the 42Wh battery slipped to forty four{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f} from a whole cost in 3 several hours. All-working day functioning on battery energy may not be probable. 

The MateBook D 15’s preserving grace may be its quickly charging capacity. Huawei provides a 65W USB-C mains charger, which it states will deliver two several hours of daily life from a 15-minute cost. Charging the battery from 25{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f}, I discovered that it rose to forty three{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f} soon after 15 minutes, and to sixty one{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f} soon after half an hour. 


Impression: Huawei


Huawei has up to date its MateBook D 15 for 2021, but its shortcomings from last calendar year have not been addressed. The chassis design and style is unchanged, which usually means that the speakers even now fire downwards fairly than working with area to the remaining and suitable of the keyboard, and the webcam is even now a pop-up in the Fn critical row. The ports and connectors are the exact same as in 2020, and Huawei has not furnished Thunderbolt aid, arguably missing an critical update.  

The battery won’t get you through a whole day’s use, despite the fact that quickly charging may appear to the rescue if you can entry a quick burst of mains energy. 

It would have been very good to see Huawei consider more challenging with its MateBook D 15 2021 refresh.

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