Huawei laptops haven’t been widely to be had within the US for years. But they’ve historically been exceptional merchandise, with properly enough overall performance and construct nice to make them extreme MacBook competitors. So I figured I’d overview the MateBook 16, Huawei’s ultra-modern flagship pocket book, even though it can no longer be on the radars of our US readers. Keep in mind this a resource for the ones in markets in which Huawei continues to be working but also a short take a look at on what the relaxation of us are lacking out on.
on the outdoor, the MateBook sixteen… type of looks as if a MacBook pro. Huawei’s were given the colours and the general vibe down pat. Whether or not it performs as well as a MacBook is, of direction, some other question. Most of the MateBook 16 is extremely good, from the fast and cozy keyboard to the all-day battery life, massive 3:2 display, and enormously effective audio system. I understand human beings who’ve replaced MacBooks with MateBooks as a primary driver, and i’m able to see how for most office workers, the day by day experience is pretty comparable.
however the foremost distinction is that after I’m using a MateBook, I from time to time stumble upon bizarre things. They’re no longer matters that make or ruin the enjoy, however they’re simply odd flaws for such a pleasant laptop to have. And they add as much as make a product that’s notable but not as exceptional because it feels adore it without difficulty could be.
I should note, before we get too far into this, that the MateBook is only to be had in a really restricted number of countries. Currently, you may simplest order it without delay from Huawei’s site in case you’re in China or Germany as of this writing. (i will’t believe it will likely be available within the US any time soon, given Huawei’s relationship with the Biden management.) if you’re outdoor of these international locations however are inclined to ship one over, i’ve discovered models on AliExpress for as low as $1,259. My take a look at unit, which has a Ryzen 7 5800H, 16GB of reminiscence, and 512G of garage, is presently to be had for $1,469 on AliExpress. (Of route, the standard caveats approximately ordering from third-birthday party sites practice in case you’re going to shop there — you probable won’t recieve a warranty, you can want to get a separate charger, and you need to make certain you’re shopping for from a good dealer.)
in case you are capable of get hold of the sort of, it has some of selling factors. It’s fairly light for a 16-inch pocket book at four.39 kilos. The trackpad is smooth and roomy, even though it every so often had issues with palm rejection. The keyboard is robust and impressively quiet — it’s possibly the most MacBook-esque keyboard I’ve ever used on a windows computer (and that i suggest the latest models, no longer the god-lousy butterfly ones). There’s a beneficial port choice with two USB-C, two USB-A, a headphone jack, and HDMI. The speakers are pretty appropriate, with bass that’s a chunk susceptible. It’s got an unobtrusive, professional appearance.
The highlight of the tool, for me, is the show. Now not only is it a whopping sixteen inches, however it has a three:2 component ratio, that’s my favourite laptop component ratio. (sure, i’ve a fave.) There’s a ton of vertical area, and that i quite simply labored in multiple home windows side with the aid of side; as a person who typically uses a thirteen-incher, the greater room feels pricey. The panel itself, at the same time as not quite MacBook first-class, still displays strong colours and sharp info and kicked again nearly no glare. I loved looking at it.
Now, for the weird things. The MateBook’s microphones come prepared with Huawei’s Ai noise cancelation technology that’s alleged to lessen echo and ambient noise, however coworkers said that it made me sound very weird on Zoom calls. It became truely processing my voice while i used to be speaking; someone stated I gave the impression of i was underwater. They could nevertheless hear and apprehend me just first-rate, but it’s an bizarre caveat to such a pleasing computer. I’ve requested Huawei about this issue.
any other oddity: the SSD is partitioned? There are essentially drives on the MateBook 16. I’ve asked Huawei why this is, but I certainly can’t fathom why this will be important on a client computer. It seems likely to motive useless confusion and problem — I had diverse downloads interrupted halfway due to the fact they’d been dumped into a partition that didn’t have room, and i had to flow a group of factors round to house a big folder i was seeking to load that became nicely underneath 512GB but too massive for either partition. Locating files and programs that I needed was additionally more complicated, due to the fact I couldn’t always keep in mind which pressure they were on.
And subsequently, the webcam. The MateBook has a nosecam that pops out of the keyboard’s top row when you press down on it. This, to me, is the equivalent of getting no webcam — I’d alternatively be a black rectangular on Zoom calls than have coworkers staring up my nostrils. So that’s additionally a factor.
Huawei enthusiasts can use a Multi-screen collaboration characteristic to attach the MateBook 16 to a Huawei telephone or tablet. You can then drag and drop documents among the tethered gadgets, get entry to their apps interchangeably, or use the latter as a traditional outside display. I wasn’t able to test this, as I didn’t have any Huawei phones or capsules accessible, however it sounds convenient and just like Apple’s Sidecar function. It does seem that you have to enter a passcode each time you reconnect a device, which would in all likelihood force me up the wall after some time.
The MateBook additionally connects without difficulty to Huawei earbuds — according to Huawei, the two devices will prompt you to pair them automatically if you placed them near each other. Huawei is in reality moving closer to a sturdy and evolved ecosystem, even though whether people buy in will probable rely on how well the capabilities hold to paintings as new merchandise are launched. Regardless, it’s some thing I’m jealous of as someone whose Bose seven-hundred come disconnected from her floor book at least a few instances every week.
As a piece driving force, the MateBook’s 8-core Ryzen processor did an extraordinary activity. The lovers had been silent under lots of Chrome tabs, Spotify streaming, and Zoom calls. I used to be never concerned about something crashing or slowing down, and nothing become ever hot. You can transfer to a committed overall performance Mode via pressing FN+P, although I’m now not sure wherein a consumer who doesn’t have Huawei’s reviewers’ guide would locate that facts out.
As we typically count on from AMD Ryzen 5000 structures, the MateBook did pretty well on multi-center benchmarks and lagged behind a chunk on unmarried-center devices. It also did no longer blow any graphical responsibilities out of the water — AMD’s integrated photographs haven’t acquired a primary update for a pair years. We saw an average of 15 frames per 2nd on Shadow of the Tomb Raider at the MateBook’s local decision of 2520 x 1680 and 28fps at 1920 x 1080. Neither of these is a fantastic gaming revel in, and that they’re appreciably worse than what we noticed from the 13-inch M1 MacBook Air.
MateBook 16 Benchmarks
|Cinebench R23 Multi||11666|
|Cinebench R23 unmarried||1415|
|Cinebench R23 Multi looped for 30 minutes||11928|
|Geekbench five.Three CPU Multi||7213|
|Geekbench 5.3 CPU unmarried||1466|
|Geekbench five.Three OpenCL / Compute||15783|
The MateBook took thirteen mins and 44 seconds to complete our 4K export check. This isn’t a horrible end result among AMD structures with integrated pix, however it does underscore the delta between a device like this and a heavier-responsibility innovative notebook (which people frequently assume 16-inch laptops to be). The most current MacBook pros, even the 14-incher, all took underneath 3 minutes for the identical undertaking. On the Puget systems benchmark for most excellent seasoned, the MateBook additionally landed some distance in the back of Apple’s machines, which includes the very further priced MacBook Air. None of that is to say that the MateBook is a terrible computer; it’s simply to emphasise that you can get more portraits strength for this fee if that’s a concern for you.
What AMD’s chips tend to lack in unmarried-center power, although, they frequently make up for in battery lifestyles. The MateBook comes with an 84Wh battery, and that i averaged simply over 10 hours of non-stop use with the screen around 200 nits of brightness. (Huawei claims you’ll get 12.5 hours of “non-stop neighborhood 1080p video playback,” so I wager take observe if you do a variety of that.) That does beat the MacBook Air (although now not by means of a ton) and plenty of Intel laptops of this size.
To me, the battery life is the strongest argument in want of buying the MateBook. It need to get you through a workday with out a trouble, that is mainly astonishing thinking about the big high-decision display. I’d love with the intention to convey this around a conference, charger-free, and have a lot actual property to paintings with whenever I opened it.
while the MateBook 16 seems like a notebook with the ability to have great enchantment, the folks I’d most endorse it to are largely still Huawei superfans. The MateBook’s compatibility with different Huawei products is something that not anything from Apple or Asus can provide. I’m able to see that advantage outweighing the abnormal drawbacks for humans that already own other Huawei devices.
For anybody else, I assume the MateBook could be a pleasant purchase for a trendy work driver, but you may get other laptops with maximum of the identical blessings and with out the weirdness surrounding the webcam, audio system, and pressure. Despite the fact that MacBook pros are outside your price range, many Ryzen devices have comparable overall performance and battery life to the MateBook, as well as a functional webcam and microphones. The MacBook Air is basically there as well (and as horrific as its webcam is, I’ll take that over a nostril shot any day). Essentially, I suppose you have to definitely, actually need the sixteen-inch, 3:2 display screen for the MateBook to have a shot.