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Introduction and unboxing

If you live outside of China, then Huawei smartphones have become somewhat of an afterthought for you in these last few years. We won’t go over the reasons for this here but we’ll add that it’s a shame for most of us at GSMArena, because Huawei makes some of the finest hardware (and particularly cameras) in the world and we rightfully feel like we’re missing out due to the software’s limitations.

But none of that affects the company’s PC business and Huawei has kept on making excellent laptops for just about every budget. Today, we’re looking at probably the best all-rounder – the Huawei MateBook D16 2024.

Huawei MateBook D16 2024 review

It’s a 16-inch laptop with two USB-A, one USB-C, and an HDMI port. There’s also a full-sized keyboard, a number pad, and Intel’s 13th Gen processors, all of which fit into just 1.72kg with the bigger 70Wh battery.

The laptop ships with a 65W Huawei Super Charge brick with a permanently attached cable.

Huawei MateBook D16 2024 review

Ours is the fully loaded model with 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD drive, the Intel i9-13900H processor, and the bigger 70Wh battery. It costs €1,399/£1,199 but there are a few other options – a selection of Core i5 processors and either 8/512GB or 16/512GB with a starting price of €649/£549 – less than half of our review unit.

Design and build quality

The MateBook D16 2024 looks like pretty much every other Huawei laptop from a distance. It comes in either (Mystic) silver or (Space) grey (our unit, which is trending toward purple at times) and you get a cool metal body and a HUAWEI logo on the lid.

Before we move on, it’s important to note the difference between the Huawei MateBook D16 2024 and the Huawei MateBook D16 2023. They looks nearly identical and have the same range of processors and seemingly the same display. But the 2023 model has a different and arguably better port selection – two USB-A’s on one side, two USB-C’s, HDMI, and a 3.5mm audio jack on the other side. The 2023 version is no longer sold by Huawei but certain retailers have it and it might be worth a more detailed look to be sure that you are getting the correct version.

Huawei MateBook D16 2024 review

The hinge is very firm and opening the lid requires two hands. We’ll deduct points from Huawei for this because every other laptop from the company can easily be opened with one finger – perfectly balanced as all things should be.

Opening the laptops reveals the 16-inch 16:10 1200p display with relatively thin physical bezels that rise above the display glass. The display is matte, has a webcam on top, and a brand logo underneath.

Huawei MateBook D16 2024 review

The keyboard leaves plenty of space for your palm on the bottom case and there are three stickers for Huawei Share, Intel’s processor, and the graphics.

Huawei MateBook D16 2024 review

The MateBook D16 2024 is very sturdy. There’s no flex when you push down anywhere on the chassis and the screen lid doesn’t budge when you press the corners.

Trackpad, keyboard, display, audio

The trackpad of the MateBook D16 2024 is regular-sized. Some might call it small for the class, especially compared to the same-sized MateBook 16S’.

The surface of the trackpad is smooth and feels natural to perform two or even three-finger gestures and taps on. If you insist on physically pushing down the trackpad to tap, you’ll find the edges harder than the center. The bottom of the trackpad is the easiest to press and it’s divided into single and double presses – a press on the right side is recognized as a right mouse click.


The trackpad, compared to the MateBook 16S
The trackpad, compared to the MateBook 16S

The trackpad, compared to the MateBook 16S

The trackpad is slightly off-center because the keyboard is offset to the left to accommodate the Numpad. It takes some getting used to but we expect Numpad diehards to feel perfectly at home here. The keyboard is fully backlit with a white backlight and two strength settings – half and full.

The keyboard has ample 1.5mm key travel and the keys are nicely damped. You have a two-row Enter key and a long Space key – something many will appreciate.

The function row has Huawei’s now-standard set of keys and you can lock the Fn button to either have function keys or the F1-F12 keys functional.

Huawei MateBook D16 2024 review

The Numpad has a classic layout with an additional four shortcuts up top for the Calculator, Search, a button to minimize the currently displayed window, and a key to disable the camera.

The power button is in the upper right corner and features a capacitive fingerprint reader on top. It’s up to Huawei’s usual great standard and has caching, meaning when the laptop’s turned off, you press it and it will power on and log you in without the need of a second touch.

Huawei MateBook D16 2024 review

The 720p camera is on the top of the display. It’s in the perfect spot for video calls – we don’t like “up-the-nose cameras” hidden in the keyboard – but that’s about as much praise as we’re willing to give this unit. It’s low resolution and the image from it is downright bad.

Huawei MateBook D16 2024 review

Huawei’s AI Camera software can put a virtual background behind you and apply a beauty filter on your face (with options to soften and brighten), but it looks bad and the poor 720p feed looks slapped over the uninspired fake background.

Huawei MateBook D16 2024 review

The display is a 16-inch IPS LCD with a taller-than-standard 16:10 aspect ratio and a resolution of 1920x1200px, which rounds off at 142ppi. Huawei says the panel covers 100% of the sRGB gamut and 45% of the NTSC one – and that it has a 1200:1 contrast ratio. There is no touchscreen option on the MateBook D16 2024, and the panel is limited to the standard 60Hz.

The display is rated at up to 300 nits. We measured 311 nits in the center as high as 330 at the top left edge, but only 280 nits at the bottom right one. That’s a uniformity of around 84%, which isn’t bad, but not amazing either.

Colors are reasonably saturated and there’s a good amount of contrast here. Huawei’s Display Manager app is here but it lacks any sort of meaningful display controls aside from adjusting the color temperature.

Huawei MateBook D16 2024 review

The display is matte, which we appreciate, especially compared to the glossy MateBook 16S. Huawei’s glossy panels are very reflective and they need to compensate with much higher brightness, which in turn requires higher battery use. A matte panel is simply more practical and it works in the MateBook D16 2024.


A matte display is better than a glossy one, fight me
A matte display is better than a glossy one, fight me

The MateBook D16 2024 next to the MateBook 16S (matte beats glossy, fight me)

There are two microphones at the front of the MateBook D16 2024 that produce good sound quality. Huawei’s PC Manager suite adds a solid amount of options. You can choose between Noise Cancelling, which tries to eliminate external noise, and Sound TrueHD, which does the opposite, trying to convey your environment to callers in a natural way. It sounds digital and a bit harsh, we left the Noise Cancelling on.

There are two speakers on the bottom right and left of the MateBook D16 2024. They are louder than your average laptop speakers and a pleasant, midrange sound. However, there’s no bass to speak of. Huawei’s PC Manager gives you three options to amplify the speaker’s output – Smart Optimization is on by default and makes the tiny speakers sound a little bit better. We’d steer clear of Ultra-Bass and Sound Turbo as they make little to no meaningful difference and none in a positive direction.

Finally, a word on upgradeability. To open the MateBook D16 2024, you need to unscrew ten Torx T4s and then use a pry tool to unsnap the bottom panel from the top one – start from around the heating vents on the back and gently work your way around, unclasping the panel. You can swap the Wi-Fi card, the battery, and the NVME SSD on this laptop. The RAM is soldered onto the motherboard and is not upgradeable.

Huawei MateBook D16 2024 review

Software, performance and battery life

Being a Huawei laptop, it comes with smartphone connectivity out of the box. You can link your Android phone (not just Huawei) and control its display from the laptop, back up its photos and videos to the laptop and have the phone’s data connection accessible through Instant Hotspot.

Huawei MateBook D16 2024 review

Huawei’s SuperHub lives at the top of the screen. Just drag a file up and a little virtual drawer pops up and you can deposit it there. It’s a convenient way to share files, photos, videos, as well as text and share it across apps and windows.


Huawei SuperHub
Huawei SuperHub

Huawei SuperHub

You can also access the phone’s files and share files across your laptop and phone.

Huawei’s PC Manager app is excellent. It gives tips on the laptop and features its control panel with quick toggles to jump to Notes quickly, Huawei Share, AI Search, enable the hotspot, or the display’s eye comfort mode.

It’s also a one-stop shop for all of the laptop’s drivers, and it’s where you choose the performance mode. You get a choice of Balanced and Performance.

Huawei MateBook D16 2024 review

We have the MateBook D16 2024 with the 13th Gen Intel i9-13900H and 16GB of 3733MHz DDR4 RAM, that’s not upgradeable so you can’t add more or get speedier RAM.

The processor is Intel’s 13th Gen i9 (Raptor Lake) and it’s the most powerful you could’ve gotten in a laptop last year. We’re now at Intel’s 14th Gen and its new line of Core processors, so while the crown has been lost it’s still a beast of a CPU.

The Core i9-13900H is a 45W processor with 14 total cores, divided between 6 performance cores and 8 efficient cores. The total number of threads is 20.

Huawei MateBook D16 2024 review

The processor posted a stellar single-core score in Geekbench 6 and an impressive multi-core score, beating laptops with the same chipset but more impressive cooling. The Geekbench 6 OpenCL score is about what you’d expect for built-in Intel graphics – much lower than just about any contemporary discrete GPU out there.


Geekbench 6
Geekbench 6

Geekbench 6

Diving a little deeper into the graphics performance of the Intel Iris Xe built-in graphics, we ran GFXBench’s suite of tests. In the high-level tests, the MateBook D16 2024 aced the 1080p Aztec Ruins based on the Vulkan API with around 160fps. The GPU kept around 60fps in the 1440p test and around 25fps in the 4K test.


GFXBench graphic tests
GFXBench graphic tests
GFXBench graphic tests

GFXBench graphic tests

The 1TB PCIe 4.0 NVME SSD inside the MateBook D16 2024 is a 321JN1024GB-TX01 model number and that’s about all we know about it. No word on the manufacturer but it’s a fast unit with excellent speeds across the board.

Huawei MateBook D16 2024 review

We did a 1-hour stress test on the CPU to see how the MateBook D16 2024 would handle its potent processor and were pleasantly surprised. The laptop kept the processor at its peak 3.4GHz for around 10 seconds and then quickly throttled down to 2.7GHz. It went back up to 2.8GHz in about 15 minutes and then settled at 2.6GHz for the remainder of the test.

Impressively, the ‘Shark fin’ fans, while constantly running, weren’t audible during our test. Huawei claims the dual fan solution is designed to boost airflow by 55% and generate as little as 22 dB of noise, and we have to say it works great. For comparison’s sake, the MateBook 16S and its Core i7-12700H throttled to 1.3GHz and stayed there during the stress test – a huge difference in similarly-sized and cooled laptops.

Battery life

Keeping up with the impressive streak, the MateBook D16 2024 managed solid numbers in our battery life test. It involves running an 11-hour YouTube video at maximum brightness and maximum volume until the laptop dies.

The MateBook D16 2024 managed an outrageous 7 hours and 34 minutes. That’s compared to the MateBook 16S’ little over 6-hour result. Bear in mind that that laptop has an 84Wh battery to this one’s 70Wh, though it has a slightly bigger, higher-resolution display.

Conclusion

The Huawei MateBook D16 2024 costs €1,399/£1,199 at the time of writing and that nets you the highest possible configuration of a Core i9-13900H processor, 16GB of RAM, 1TB of storage and a 70Wh battery. You could save €100 and go for the Core i7-13700H model but we wouldn’t. It’s a downgrade we’d value at around €200.

At €1,399, the MateBook D16 2024 isn’t cheap but a quick look at the current market yields much more expensive options or very slightly cheaper ones with two-year-old processors. We’d say this laptop is a great option to have today but it never hurts to wait a few months for a discount. Huawei runs promos all the time on its website and sometimes the deals are hard to resist.

We liked the MateBook D16 2024. it’s one of those working-class-hero type devices – it doesn’t look fancy or flashy, but it can do it all, and it’s perfectly suited for everything. The display is very good, the performance is impressive, and the battery life doesn’t leave you wanting. What more is there to say – this is as good as a 16-inch laptop can be.

If you want better, you may look for a more premium build, a brighter display that’s also touch-enabled, and perhaps for a discrete GPU – but all of that will cost you extra, quite a bit, and that right there is a whole other type of laptop.

Pros



  • Good, matte display with a taller 16:10 aspect ratio
  • Great backlit keyboard, has a Numpad
  • Sturdy build, good port selection
  • Very loud speakers
  • Long battery life
  • Powerful processor that’s well handled
  • Thoughtful Huawei software enhances the laptop

Cons

  • The display is only 300 nits, isn’t a touchscreen
  • Trackpad could be a bit bigger, is off-center
  • No bass to speak off
  • No option for a discrete GPU
  • While reasonably priced, it isn’t cheap

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