Huawei MateBook D 15 2021: An all around solid choice


Matt Hanson
Matt Hanson


Laptops

It’s no ‘beast’ because iit’s not trying to be

Being a dominant player in the smartphone scene, I’ve always been curious about how Huawei’s laptops perform.

Having forged their name onto the spectrum of smartphone enthusiasts with their premium Mate series, we know that Huawei has the ability to craft the same caliber for their laptops.

Carrying the Mate branding with its name, let’s take a look if the
Huawei MateBook D 15 2021 11th Gen
also has the right to be called premium and carry on this reputation.

Performance you didn’t see coming 

The MateBook D 15 2021 is running on the 11th generation of Intel’s Core i5 processor, the 1135G7. Paired with this is the Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics, 16GB DDR4 RAM, and 512GB of SSD internal storage.

On paper, the specs of the 2021 D 15 isn’t really something many of us would consider sensational, but surely this would be more than enough for online classes or even light to heavy work.

I tend to do a lot of photo editing on Adobe Lightroom so I could say that my power requirements do demand a bit of muscle power. The 11th gen Core i5 on the D 15 is able to handle this quite smoothly even with some headroom for web browsing and other multitasking tasks thanks to the considerable amount of RAM.

As you power on the device, you’d immediately notice the swift performance of the D 15.

A surprising contributor to this is its Smart Fingerprint power button which has been carried over from the previous generations of MateBooks.

Automatically tagging your biometrics upon pressing the power button, this move eliminates the need to input your login details which drastically decreases the boot time. I understand this may vary from other users but having recorded the BIOS time at only 2.5 seconds, this has been the fastest boot up time I’ve ever encountered on a laptop.

Classic never goes out of style 

“It looks like a MacBook” was the first comment I’ve heard from the people I was with as soon as I took out the D 15 from the box. Yes, you’ll definitely see the resemblance with Apple’s MacBook line but that’s not to say that it’s a bad thing especially if there are things that Huawei has improved on. Thankfully, this is exactly the case with the MateBook D 15’s body.

The MateBook D 15 2021 has smoother and rounded edges compared to that of a MacBook Pro which makes it more comfortable for your wrists to rest on while still bringing with it that sleek and professional look that we’ve grown to love.

For a 15-inch body, you’d notice that this MateBook is incredibly thin and light weighing in only at 1.56kg and just 16.9mm thin. An easy carry to coffee shops or even just transferring from room to room at home.

Kind of a nitpick on my part though but one comment I do have with this build was it had a very slight body flex on the right hand portion of the palm rest. I don’t know if this was an issue on the particular unit I’m using but whenever my hand lands on that part, it does feel like it sinks down a tiny bit.

More screen for work and play 

Mentioning the size earlier, the MateBook D 15 2021 has a 15.6-inch FHD IPS display panel. A bit bizarre though, is that at only 250 nits this display felt a lot brighter. I mostly stay just around two or three notches above the lowest brightness setting to keep it at comfortable reading levels.

I wasn’t very concerned with eye strain however, as this display has been certified under TÜV Rheinland’s reduced blue light and Flicker-free qualifications.

With super-narrow 5.3mm bezels and a rating of 100% on its sRGB color gamut, this display is just a tempting movie companion. The large size, almost bezel-less screen and accurate color reproduction truly makes video consumption an immersive experience.

No cramps for your fingers here 

Looking at the D 15, you’d notice immediately that the keyboard is decently sized and its spacing is quite substantial. Key travel on this however, wasn’t very long. While I personally would prefer keyboards with longer key travel over one with a bigger size, the key travel on the D 15 was where it somewhat fell short for me. That being said, I do think this is a matter of personal preference so this isn’t really something that would ruin the MateBook experience. 

You’ll also notice that for a 15.6-inch device, this doesn’t have a number pad on the side of the keyboard which I think contributes to how Huawei managed to extend the spacing of its keys and incorporate a decently sized trackpad below.

Speaking of the trackpad, I really appreciate its size as it’s able to accommodate my multi-finger gestures with precision and with only very minimal input errors.

Still placed between the F6 and F7 keys on the top is the iconic recessed 720p camera that the MateBook line pioneered.

 Power overwhelming

I personally see the battery and charging features of the D 15 to be its main strength. It took me a good 9 hours and 30 minutes running off of its 42Wh battery before it shifted to power saving mode. Meaning, this laptop can easily run you for more than 10 hours under controlled conditions and once you’re able to plug it in an outlet, its fast charger would only take you about an hour to charge it back up.

The 65w charger is quite comparable to a size of a smartphone charger that would barely add weight to your everyday carry. The charger also uses a detachable USB-C to USB-C cable. This makes it easy to replace if ever it gets worn out.

Also, this same cable can be used to charge our smartphones either from the charger or from the laptop as the 2021 D 15 also has support for reverse charging.

Next level of connectivity

A neat addition also on the MateBook D 15 is the inclusion of the new Wi-Fi 6 technology. This gives the D 15 the ability to connect to more frequency ranges for a cleaner and less interrupted connection. While this does require that we connect to a Wi-Fi 6 capable wireless network to fully take advantage of it, it does give us some sort of complacency with some future proofing. Giving us more reasons to hold on to our device for a few more years from our purchase.

In this category we also have quite a selection of ports with the inclusion of a USB 3.2, HDMI and USB-C port on the left side and two USB 2.0 and a 3.5mm audio port on the right.

Tap and drop files? Yes please!  

A handy feature for people who already belong in Huawei’s ecosystem is the Huawei Share with Multi-screen collaboration.

This feature enables Huawei smartphones to connect and share files, apps and even your phone screen with the D 15 by just tapping it on the dedicated Huawei Share portion of the laptop.

Gimmicky as it may sound at first, I have to say, it really does work. And if transferring files from other devices is something you do often, this might be a feature that you could maximize.

Is the HUAWEI MateBook D 15 2021 11th Gen your GadgetMatch?

The MateBook D 15 2021 isn’t what we may call a “beast” of a device as it really isn’t trying to be one. This is mainly designed with professionals in mind or simply people who’re looking for convenience, comfort and just an overall pleasant user experience and it does that very well.

A decent performer, sleek looker, ultraportable 15.6-inch device with a lot of nifty features with the Huawei ecosystem, Wi-Fi 6 and its smart fingerprint power button, the MateBook D 15 2021 is what we could really call a versatile machine.

But here is where it gets a little bit tricky. The MateBook D 15 2021 with the older Intel 10th Gen processor is also currently an available option from Huawei. A less powerful alternative but one that could set you back a few pesos which also gets you most of what the 11th Gen version offers.

If you’re willing to spend a little more for better performance though, the D 15 11th Gen is no doubt a solid choice.

The Huawei MateBook D 15 2021 11th Gen with 16GB RAM is available in Mystic Silver for PhP 59,999.

Matt Hanson


Laptops

Samsung releases three Galaxy Book models in the US

Galaxy Book Pro

Windows 11 is steadily making its way towards every compatible PC today. As with existing PCs, the race is also on to release fresh notebooks with the new operating system out of the box. In the United States, Samsung is releasing a trio of new Galaxy Book variants to fill up your Christmas stocking this year.

Galaxy Book

Sporting a lithe, full-metal frame, the 15.6-inch starting model can sport a variety of Intel processors going as high up as the 11th-generation Intel Core i7 with a dedicated graphics card. It can go up to 16GB of LPDDR4x RAM and up to 1TB NVMe SSD of internal storage.

It also features a touchscreen display and Dolby Atmos compatibility for total entertainment immersion. Finally, the first model touts a dependable 54Wh battery to power the device throughout the day.

The regular variant will come in Silver and will retail for US$ 749.99 starting November 15.

Galaxy Book Odyssey

Bumping up the pack, the Galaxy Book Odyssey is made for performance. Carrying the latest 11th-generation Intel Core chips, the higher-tier variant ships out with a powerful NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti GPU. It can go up to 32GB DDR4x of RAM and up to 1TB NVMe SSD of internal storage.

The beveled design houses a capable 15.6-inch Full HD screen with a 170-degree viewing angle and a slim 5.4mm slim bezel. It’s powered by a strong 83Wh battery.

Shipping in Mystic Black, the performance-oriented device will retail for US$ 1,399.99 starting on November 11.

Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G

The more flexible of the three, the Galaxy Book Pro 5G can switch between notebook and tablet configuration. It carries a 13.3-inch touchscreen AMOLED FHD display.

The device comes with an 11th-generation Evo-certified Intel Core 17 processor. It can go up to 16GB of RAM. As the name indicates, it also comes with 5G compatibility out of the box.

Available in Mystic Silver, the hybrid notebook starts out at US$ 1,399.99, releasing on November 11.

SEE ALSO:
Galaxy Book Pro and Pro 360 Hands-on: Samsung’s first “Pro” laptops


Accessories

New MacBook Pros, AirPods 3 now for pre-order in Singapore

MacBook Pros

Following Apple’s October event that saw the reveal of new AirPods and the much anticipated new MacBook Pros, the aforementioned devices are now up for pre-order in Singapore!

AirPods 3

The latest addition to Apple’s AirPods family features Spatial Audio and Adaptive EQ. Both features contribute to a more immersive and more surround sound experience as you enjoy your favorite tunes from Apple Music or your favorite podcasts.

It retails for SG$ 269. Delivery begins on October 26. That’s also when it’ll be available in Apple Stores.

MacBook 14″ and 16″

These 2021 MacBooks are the biggest update to Apple’s notebooks in years. Other than sporting the brand spanking new and super powered M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, the 14″ and 16″ MacBook Pros also got significant upgrades elsewhere.

Firstly, Apple has brought back the ports. Instead of just two Thunderbolt 3 ports, there are now three (3) Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI port, and a must for pros — an SD Card slot. The 3.5mm jack also gets an upgrade allowing support for high grade headphones.

The display also gets an upgrade promising 1,000 nits of sustained brightness, as well as Promotion for that oh so smooth 120Hz refresh rate.

Pricing are as follows:

Delivery begins on October 26. That’s also when it’ll be available in Apple Stores.


Laptops

Apple announces new MacBook Pros powered by M1 Pro, M1 Max

MacBook Pro

The MacBook Pro just got somewhat of a facelift as Apple introduces the new 14″ and 16″ MacBook Pros. Just with the sizes alone, longtime MacBook users will already see a difference as previous MacBook Pros used to come in 13″ and 15″ variants.

Let’s rundown everything that’s new in what Apple promises to be hyper-powered notebooks.

M1 Pro and M1 Max

The new MacBook Pros are powered by Apple’s latest and greatest processors. Want the numbers that fly over most people’s heads? Here you go:

M1 Pro — Up-to-10-core CPU with eight high-performance cores and two high-efficiency cores, along with an up-to-16-core GPU. That’s up to 70 percent faster CPU performance than M1, and up to 2x faster GPU performance. Delivers up to 200GB/s of memory bandwidth–nearly 3x the bandwidth of M1 and supports up to 32GB of fast unified memory.

M1 Max — Has a 10-core CPU and doubles the GPU with up to a massive 32 cores for up to 4x faster GPU performance than M1. It also has up to 400GB/s of memory bandwidth — 2x that of M1 Pro and nearly 6x that of M1 — and up to 64GB of fast unified memory.

This allows for real time rendering on hyper demanding tasks like video editing, 3D modelling, game designing, and many others.

It has a notch

Now that we know what matters on the inside, let’s address what will likely be the most noticeable aspect on the outside. Like the iPhone, the new MacBook Pros now have a notch. It sits in the middle of the menu bar to be less of a distraction.

Housed in the notch is the much improved 1080P FaceTime HD camera with an f/2.2 aperture to let more light in — crucial in our daily working lives that is now dominated by video calling. Other features include machine learning based noise reduction and face detection, local tone mapping, auto white balance, auto exposure, and Smart HDR. Noticeably missing — there’s no Face ID.

A display for discerning eyes

The display on the new MacBook Pros get significant upgrades. Officially called the Liquid Retina XDR Display, it features the same mini-LED technology found on the iPad Pro. It’s promising 1,000 nits of sustained, full-screen brightness, 1,600 nits of peak brightness, and a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. The display also has ProMotion which means a 120Hz refresh rate for an even more eye-pleasing experience.

As the sizes suggest, they are also indeed larger than their predecessors. The 16″ model offers a 16.2-inch display with 7.7 million pixels–the most ever on a Mac notebook. Meanwhile, the 14″ model has a 14.2-inch screen with 5.9 million pixels.

Bringing back the ports

Making a comeback in this iteration of the MacBook Pros are more ports. Both models will get the following:

Also making its way back to MacBook is MagSafe. MagSafe 3 makes connecting a charge cable quick and easy while protecting MacBook Pro. It also introduces fast charging to the Apple’s notebooks getting you to 50 percent in just 30 minutes.

M1 Pro users can connect up to two Pro Display XDRs. M1 Max, users can connect up to three Pro Display XDRs and a 4K TV, all at the same time. They also have Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless connectivity.

macOS Monterey

Apple’s latest hardware will naturally come with their latest software. These new MacBook Pros have macOS Monterey right out of the box. That means users will get to enjoy the best of what Mac has to offer.

The long list of features include, but are not limited to: Live Text and Visual Lookup, Continuity, Shortcuts, SharePlay, Universal Control, and many more.

Of course there are the popular Mac apps which will run even smoother now and will allow you to create more like Final Cut Pro and Garage Band.

Pricing and availability

In the US, the new MacBook Pro models with M1 Pro and M1 Max are available to order today on apple.com/store and in the Apple Store app. They will arrive to customers and will be in select Apple Store locations and Apple Authorized Resellers starting Tuesday, October 26. Pricing are as follows:

It will be available in soon with the following pricing:

Gadget Reviews