Huawei's Matebook D feels like a MacBook, at half the price

Joel Guinto, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 29 2020 04:12 PM

Huawei's Matebook D 15" laptop is shown in this handout photo from Huawei Philippines

MANILA -- With the look and feel of a Macbook, Huawei is making the case for a notebook that performs as well as it looks, and as is typical for the Chinese tech giant, at a much lower price point.

Unveiled in Manila on Wednesday, the 15-inch Matebook D is billed as a productivity machine (typing, graphic design) and a productivity killer (read: Netflix).

The Matebook D is "is the most balanced between design and cost," said George Li, Philippines country manager for Huawei consumer business group. "It will be an affordable but premium product."

Huawei is working to increase connectivity between devices under one ecosystem, he said.

The 15.6-inch IPS display, with its 87-percent screen-to-body ratio is immersive and big enough to place spreadsheets and documents side-by-side or streaming video in full screen. It maxes out at Full HD (1920×1080).

The Matebook D is powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U chip and Radeon Vega 8 Graphics. It has 8GB memory and a 256GB solid state hard drive with the option to add up to 1TB hard drive.

Huawei's Matebook D 15" is shown in this photo.ABS-CBN News

Huawei's Matebook D 15" is shown in this photo.ABS-CBN News

Huawei's Matebook D 15" is shown in this photo.ABS-CBN News

Huawei's Matebook D 15" is shown in this photo.ABS-CBN News

Huawei's Matebook D 15" is shown in this photo.ABS-CBN News

Huawei's Matebook D 15" is shown in this photo.ABS-CBN News

Huawei's Matebook D 15" is shown in this photo.ABS-CBN News

The Matebook D booted up fast and switching between windows was easy. Huawei claims it can handle multiple open tabs up to "double digits," but we'll have to test that in our full review.

Coming from a 13-inch Macbook Pro (and sometimes, a similar sized HP Pavilion), the Matebook felt big and heavy. The near bezel-less screen however, helped limit the notebook's footprint.

The upside to huge laptops: the keyboard and trackpad are also big, which I require for long hours of typing. The keys felt more tactile compared to the Macbook, which feels a little limp (especially the 12-inch model from a couple of years back).

The spaces beside the keyboards, however, are bare unlike the Macbook which houses speakers. Sound comes from the rear of the machine, which could get muffled if you use it on your bed or on your couch.

What I liked about the Matebook D, which other notebooks don't have, is Huawei Share, the Airdrop of this ecosystem. For the Matebook to Mate or P Series link, users can tap to transfer files and mirror the phone screen on the laptop screen.

Beyond mirroring the phone screen, users can drag and drop files between laptop and smartphone by simply navigating the laptop display. Imagine shooting hundreds of photos on your P30 or Mate 30 in a day and reviewing your shots on a 15-inch screen without cables or a WiFi connection.

The bundled charger is also slim and light and works with Huawei phones with USB-C ports. That's one less charger in the traveling electronics bag.

The power button also doubles as a fingerprint sensor for added convenience. Huawei says users can turn on the device and log into the device with just one press.

See the full specifications of the Huawei Matebook D 15" below. We will be posting a full review in the coming weeks.

The full specifications of the Huawei Matebook D 15" are shown in this handout photo from Huawei Philippines

The Matebook D 15" will retail for P37,990 and will be available on Feb. 15. Pre-orders start on Feb. 8.