Huawei MateBook D Review: Sleek, Attractive AMD Ryzen Powered Ultrabook
Huawei MateBook D: Summary and Final Analysis
At just $629.99, the MateBook D offers a lot in terms of performance, portability, and value, due in large part to the use of the AMD Ryzen 5 2500U processor. AMD is fighting an uphill battle in the mobile market, where Intel has been dominant for many years. However, the AMD R5 2500U and Intel Core i5-8250U -- which is one of Intel's latest and greatest mobile processor -- were nipping at each other's heels in our testing. That was just in day to day computing tasks though; when it came to graphics performance the AMD Vega 8 IGP easily outpaced the Intel UHD 620 IGP. One of our benchmarks had the Vega 8 outperforming the UHD 620 by over 29%.
Even though it soundly beat the Intel UHD 620, AMD Vega 8 is still a mainstream, low-power IGP, so it's not going to allow you to crank the settings to max in triple-A game titles, but it will play many modern games on low to medium settings. We could easily see the MateBook D running Fortnite or PUBG with the right settings. This may not sound like much, but the fact a $600 laptop has any gaming chops at all is impressive.
On top of the gaming performance the Huawei MateBook D also managed to impress when it came to the build quality and portability. The exterior features a sexy metallic unibody chassis in a color Huawei has dubbed "Mystic Silver". The feel of the laptop is top notch and there was very little bend and give when testing for durability. The entire system also weighs in at only 3.5lbs and fits in a 13" chassis, despite the use of a 14" screen, thanks to some ultra-thin bezels. The display itself was also impressive. It was bright and vibrant, and offered very good viewing angles. Additionally, even when under heavy load the MateBook D ran cool and quiet.
Virtually every affordable laptop in this price range is going to have some drawbacks, however. In the case of the MateBook D, Huawei wasn't able to go all out in terms of connectivity and the machine lacks and wired networking or a card reader of any type. However, there is a USB-C port that offers some future proofing, but other than that options are limited. The keyboard backlighting was also a lacking in our opinion. When is a dark room you can see the lighting coming through the cap, but it was relatively dim, even at the highest setting. It would have been nice if the brightness was just a notch or two higher.
The MateBook D doesn't come with all the bells-and-whistles you'll find in more expensive laptops, but it stands out nonetheless. At just $629.99 it offers a lot in terms of graphics performance, portability and style. It also shows AMD as a truly viable option in the mobile market. It doesn't offer the same single core performance as Intel, but it has a better IGP, strong multi-threaded performance, runs cool and quiet, and is generally less expensive. All of this makes the MateBook D a great value for anyone on a budget and an easy recommendation.