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Huawei MateBook D15

Summary: One year after its launch, the huawei matebook d15 remains a competitive notebook in its class. It isn’t built on the most up-to-date hardware platform and lacks some features, such as a backlit keyboard or USB-C port, but it has most of the other characteristics that regular buyers would expect from a compact & affordable all-day laptop: it’s well-built and lightweight, has an IPS matte screen & decent speakers, performs well, runs cool and quiet, and lasts a long time on a charge.


Design and first look

The entire outside shell and interior of this laptop are composed of aluminum, so everything you’ll actually touch is smooth and comfortable. The MateBook D is still nicer constructed and sturdier than most other 15-inch notebooks in its price range, yet it doesn’t feel as sturdy as some of the more expensive laptops out there due to some flex in the lid cover. I’d be cautious about carrying this in my backpack because the screen is a little flimsy, and pressing on the lid puts strain on the panel itself, so it’s best to put it in some form of a protective sleeve that will also protect the metal from scratches.


The bottom and sides of the phone are flush and leave no gaps, indicating that Huawei didn’t scrimp on the build quality. On our sample, the bottom bezel’s plastic tends to flake off, leaving a space between the bezel and the screen, and I’m concerned that dust could sneak inside there over time. I’m not sure if this is a problem with all MateBook D models, but if you do choose one, make careful to inspect the bezels.


Keyboard and trackpad

This MateBook D is also a capable typer. The keys are firm plastic and a touch unstable, but the layout is excellent, with wide and evenly spaced keycaps. There isn’t a NumPad area, but there is an extra row of function keys on the right that takes some getting accustomed to but is really handy once you do.


The deck’s sturdiness, 1.5 mm of travel, and general bouncy click contribute to the above-mentioned decent typing experience. The actuation, on the other hand, is a touch strange in that the keys must be pressed forcefully to register clicks, which can lead to mistakes while typing swiftly. Most people should be fine with this, especially if they aren’t used to the current ultraportables’ shorter stroke.



The VivoBok S530 has a 15.6-inch screen with a matte finish and rather small bezels, notably on the edges, as well as enough room at the top for a webcam and microphones.


Huawei chose a panel of medium quality, similar to what the competition in this class has to offer. The AU Optronics panel has acceptable viewing angles and contrast, but it isn’t particularly bright and only covers 51% of the AdobeRGB gamut. The image shown was captured with a Spyder4 sensor.


Hardware and performance

Our test unit is a Huawei MateBook D 15 in a lower-tier configuration, with a Core i5-8250U processor, 8 GB of RAM, and a 256 GB SATA SSD.


That’s adequate for surfing, watching movies, editing text, and other daily tasks. Add extra RAM (the single stick offered only works in single-channel) or a faster PCIe SSD to make it even better. On the inside, both the RAM and storage slots are accessible, although doing so requires removing the back panel, which is held in place by a number of screws (two of which are concealed beneath the rear rubber feet) and requires some effort to remove from its strong clips. In order to get to the components, Huawei used a thermal pad on top of the SSD and metal shields on top of the RAM slots, so you’ll have to remove those as well.



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