The new product has almost the same design as the 2020 models31 / 12 / 19 Visitors: 93
The MateBook D 15 flaunts a neat all-metal body with thin bezels around the display. Such a look is unlikely to surprise anyone. Nevertheless, the device still looks striking, and the choice of material gives confidence in the ruggedness of the design.
The device has retained the special arrangement of the webcam - it is camouflaged under the key between F6 and F7. This allowed not only to significantly reduce the frame around the screen, but also to increase privacy - to operate the camera you must mechanically press on it. However, the retractable placement has a disadvantage related to the camera's angle of view. Due to the low positioning of the lens, the focus is on the lower part of the user's face. And if you're typing during a videoconference, there's a good chance that the other participants will only see a flicker of fingers on their screens.
A fingerprint scanner has been integrated into the power button, a handy solution that eliminates the need for frequent password entry for an account. If more than one person uses the ultrabook, the fingerprint sensor also comes in handy: it will immediately load the account belonging to the specific owner of the fingerprint.
The screen is secured to the case by a wide hinge. It is rather tight, so it is not possible to open the lid with one hand. But there is no problem with backlash and fixation of the right position. The angle of opening is less than 180 degrees, but close to this value - sitting with a laptop on a bed or sofa is no problem.
The keyboard leaves mixed impressions due to the key layout. Despite the large 15-inch display, the unit has received a truncated version without a number pad. On the one hand, this is typical of ultrabooks. On the other hand, there is enough space on the sides of the keyboard so that the full-size version could fit in.
The MateBook D 15, unlike its 14" counterpart, traditionally lacks backlighting. Only the Caps Lock and Fn keys have small LED indicators. For the rest, a low-profile keyboard with an island arrangement of keys is standard for a compact notebook. The surface finish is rough. The keys have a smooth stroke and a good tactile feedback, it is a comfortable tool for typing.
The touchpad doesn't stand out as something special, but it doesn't have any obvious disadvantages either. The touchpad clearly handles touches and gestures, allowing you to do without a mouse in most situations. All is well with the workmanship: the panel does not backlash or rattle.
One of the typical drawbacks of compact laptops is the modest set of ports.
The MateBook D 15's slim chassis has room for a pair of full-size USB 2.0, an audio jack, full-size HDMI and universal USB Type-C. The latter is only available during standby or when a hub is connected, as it's the one used with the power adaptor.
Things are much better with the wireless capabilities. The smartphone works with both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi networks and supports the latest 802.11ax standard. It's also equipped with Bluetooth 5.1 and an NFC chip.
The NFC module isn't there for nothing. It's a key component of the HUAWEI Share technology, which sets the brand's laptops apart from the competition. The ultrabook can be paired with HUAWEI smartphones at the touch of a finger. In this way, files and images can be transferred quickly and wirelessly in both directions. Or you can activate the phone's screen transmission and control it from the notebook. Of course, HUAWEI Share only functions in conjunction with an NFC-enabled mobile phone. Another requirement for the phone: The shell version must be at least EMUI 9, and owners of models running EMUI 11 will get the full range of features.
The display of the new version of the MateBook D 15 has not changed much from the previous generation.
The device is equipped with an IPS matrix with a diagonal of 15.6 inches and FHD resolution. With a picture sharpness is complete order: at a distance of 40-50 cm from the screen you can not see individual pixels. The image does not feel loose, as it does with inexpensive HD panels. The matte display provides excellent viewing angles, the margin of brightness is enough to comfortably type in daylight. However, the matrix cannot boast a designer-level colour gamut. Nevertheless, it allows you to process domestic photos and video editing. All is well with the uniformity of backlighting: no glare at the edges. The screen is TÜV Rheinland certified. The vision protection mode reduces harmful UV radiation and prevents eye fatigue.
The audio part is represented by a pair of loudspeakers on the bottom of the housing. The speakers offer a good amount of volume, but they lack depth of sound. The MateBook D 15 is capable of opening a YouTube video or playing background music while working. But in the case of watching a Hollywood blockbuster or playing games, headphones are a better option.
The most significant improvement to the 2021 ultrabook range is the move to Intel's 11th generation Core processors. They are notable for several features. First, for the first time in several years, it is not just another cosmetic update, but a solution on a new architecture (excluding Cannon Lake and Ice Lake series chips, which are not widespread). Secondly, Tiger Lake CPUs are equipped with an integrated Intel Iris Xe video accelerator, which promises a significant increase in performance. Finally, the new products are made by 10-nm process Intel SuperFin. This provides a transistor density that's close to that of 7nm models and promises improved power efficiency.
The mid-tier Core i5-1135G7 gives the MateBook D 15 a processor that features four physical cores that support virtual multithreading and run between 2.4GHz and 4.2GHz. It also packs 16GB of DDR4-3200 RAM and a 512GB SSD. The doubled RAM size compared to the previous generation is worthy of a special mention. Since there is no expansion option, this is no less of an upgrade than the switch to the new chip.
When testing the novelty we wanted to know how the device with the actual processor will behave in benchmarks and games. Iris Xe video accelerators initially had difficulties with gameplay due to the dampness of the drivers and insufficiently optimized releases. But Intel has done some serious work on the situation in recent months. Now there are fewer problems with launching specific hits and the performance has been tightened up noticeably in some places.
Considering that we are talking about an ultrabook without discrete graphics, we tested the games at 1280x720 resolution with average picture presets. As for synthetic benchmarks, they showcased the high efficiency of the Willow Cove architecture. This is especially noticeable in single threaded tests. But only four physical cores make a difference: Intel processor, despite supporting virtual multithreading, not always looks so confident in comparison with competitors with 6-8 physical cores. Nevertheless, the laptop has plenty of power. Not only can you do office scenarios, but also perform serious tasks. For example, you can process photos and even edit video with moderate application of effects and colour correction. When opening demanding programs, a performance preset activated by pressing Fn and P will come in handy.
CPU and video chip temperatures are kept at about 38-40 ℃ during light workloads. Their peak values during games and benchmarks are 97 and 95 degrees, respectively.
The laptop gets a battery capacity of 42Wh. The battery capacity is enough to keep you from thinking about a power outlet during the working day. When playing an FHD movie, the laptop lasted 7 hours and 50 minutes (display half brightness, network interfaces disabled). Using the standard 65-watt adapter, the ultrabook replenishes 50% of its charge in 30 minutes. The charger is compatible with the manufacturer's smartphones.
The HUAWEI MateBook D 15 (2021) is an exemplary upgrade to the lineup. Keeping the recognizable design and branded features of the device, the vendor has improved the stuffing: there is a processor with powerful integrated graphics, and 16 GB of RAM, which was sometimes lacking in the previous generation. It's a versatile laptop, combining compact size with high performance and adequate battery life. Just as importantly, the price remains affordable.