Huawei MateBook D Review: Sleek, Attractive AMD Ryzen Powered Ultrabook

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Huawei MateBook D: Portable And Affordable AMD Ryzen

MateBook D Style
Although they are well known overseas, those of you that live in the United States are probably not as familiar with a little company called Huawei. The thing is, it isn't little, and it has been around for quite a while. In fact, Huawei has been around since 1986 and is actually the largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer in the world. As of 2018 they are also the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, second only to Samsung. Huawei pushed Apple into third place earlier this year by taking a 15.8% stake in the worldwide market. That's impressive seeing as just three years ago Huawei's market share was only 8.7%.

Not everything has come easy for the company, though. Breaking into the western market has been challenging, to say the least. Not only are they facing backlash from the U.S. Government over privacy concerns, but the United Kingdom recently found technical and supply chain “shortcomings” as well. As far as security concerns go we can't make any definitive statements either way, and many are speculating it's just a red herring that ensures U.S. companies stay at the top of the food chain. Or not. What we can definitively say is Huawei is trying to make inroads and the company is quite persistent, as evidenced by the AMD Ryzen-powered MateBook D that was recently released.

If you've followed Apple products over the years, you might be do a bit of a double-take. This is because the design between the Huawei MateBook and Apple MacBook are very similar. Many of the features are the same and even the color of the model we'll be showing you here (Mystic Silver) is reminiscent of an Apple MacBook. You don't need to take our word for it though. Just look at the names side-by-side: MacBook vs. MateBook. What's better is that Huawei isn't hiding from it. Instead they seem to be embracing it, and positioning themselves as an affordable Apple alternative.
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Here's where things get interesting. If you are strickily looking at Huawei's products as an Apple alternative, they are very appealing. The MateBook D we are looking at in this review is an entry level laptop, so it's comparable to the MacBook Air. However, when comparing them side-by-side you can see the MateBook is more affordable, more powerful, has better graphics performance, and even slimmer bezels. It's as if Huawei out did Apple's design in nearly every way and then body slammed them with a lower price. When we say lower price, we aren't even talking in the same ballpark. The cheapest Apple MacBook Air is going to cost you nearly $900 USD, whereas the Huawei MateBook D can be found for as low as $629.99 USD. The only thing MacBook fans will be missing is the macOS... 

Huawei MateBook D
Specifications & Features
Processor Options AMD Ryzen 5 2500U mobile processor
Display
1920 x 1080
Graphics Radeon Vega8 Graphics
Memory
8GB DDR4
Storage
256GB SSD
Audio Two digital microphone, four speaker Dolby Atmos sound system
Ethernet None
Wireless Connectivity
IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz/5GHz 2x2 MIMO
Interface (Left)
USB Type-C, HDMI, USB 3.0
Interface (Right)
USB 2.0, 3.5mm ste jack
Interface (Back) None
Webcam
Front Webcam: 1MP
Operating System
Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
Battery 57.4 Wh (7565mAH@7.6V) (Typical Capacity)
Dimensions 12.72in x 8.7in x 0.62in
Weight
3.5lbs
Manufacturer Warranty
3 year or 1 year limited warranty depending on country. 3 year limited warranty on HP Long Life Battery
Pricing $629.99 @ Walmart.com

As of now the Huawei MateBook D we have on-hand is a Walmart exclusive and retails for $629.99. While the current MSRP is below most laptops of this caliber, the price point was even lower when it launched. Just a month ago the price was a tantalizing $599. The thing is, when it comes to the budget market even small fluctuations in price can make or break a product. We did a little digging and found a Lenovo IdeaPad 330 laptop with nearly identical specifications at Newegg.com for $529.99. That's $100 less than the MateBook D. Newegg does show the Lenovo machine with a 22% price reduction, so this could be a one-time sale, but even still, the competition can be fierce in this segment.
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That said, we were eager to review the MateBook D for a few reasons. Huawei is an exciting new comer to the western market. One that shows a lot of promise, especially when it comes to value. The other reason is because the machine is powered by an AMD processor. Most of the laptops we've evaluated over the last few years use either Intel's 7th or 8th gen Core processors. The MateBook D on the other hand comes equipped with a AMD Ryzen 5 2500U quad-core processor with Radeon Vega graphics. So, it's going to be interesting to see how it stands up to all the Intel based laptops we have tested throughout the year. 

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