Hands-on with Huawei’s new MateBook D16 — An i9 powerhouse with an expansive display

The new Huawei MateBook D 16 is a powerful premium laptop built for professionals. Huawei provided us with the top-spec model to review before its release, and I spent several days putting it through its paces.

This flagship model is headlined by its 5.40Ghz, 14-core Intel i9 13900H processor capable of super-intensive workloads.

Huawei combined this with integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16GB RAM, and a high-speed 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD.

This hardware is packed into a Mystic Silver-coloured 16-inch metal chassis that creates an excellent first impression with a reassuringly sturdy feel when first handling the laptop.

Intel i9 performance

This was my first time using a computer with an Intel i9 processor, so I was excited to see what it had to offer.

After setting up the MateBook D 16 and installing my everyday work apps and several games, I ran a Passmark test to put it through its paces.

The two most impressive results were its CPU Mark and Disk Mark scores.

Scoring in the 99th percentile for Disk Mark, thanks to its NVMe PCIe SSD, and in the 93rd percentile for CPU Mark, thanks to its Intel i9 processor, it is clear this laptop is an absolute powerhouse.

Even its graphics scores — although in the 43rd and 37th percentile for 2D Mark and 3D Mark, respectively — are impressive, considering it doesn’t have a dedicated GPU.

Putting this rating to the test, I fired up a few popular games, including Counter-Strike 2, The Finals, Apex Legends, Far Cry 5, and Battlefield 2042.

With each game set to the native 1,920 x 1,200 resolution and other settings on low, there were the average frame rates:

  • Counter-Strike 2: 70–90 FPS
  • The Finals: 35–40 FPS
  • Apex Legends: 30–40 FPS
  • Far Cry 5: 25–35 FPS
  • Battlefield 2042: 15–25 FPS

These frame rates show that the MateBook D 16 can easily handle light to moderate gaming, though more intensive titles such as Battlefield 2042 push it to its limits.

Considering its lack of dedicated graphics, these results are solid.

Display and battery

The MateBook D 16 offers a 16-inch display that provides significant real estate for working and multitasking.

It also features a 16:10 ratio and narrow 4.6mm bezels, making the screen feel more like 17.3 inches except without the usual heftily-sized body.

Though I would have liked to see an option for a higher resolution display, the large 1,920 x 1,200 IPS panel looked great and was ideal for multitasking.

Powered by a formidable 70Wh battery, even with this large display and the MateBook D 16’s thirsty i9 CPU, Huawei claims the laptop offers up to 15 hours of local video playback.

I put this to the test by setting the laptop to Windows 11’s most extreme power-saving mode, “Battery saver”, and making a video file play on repeat in the standard Media Player.

The battery even surpassed Huawei’s 15-hour claim, reaching 17 hours and 22 minutes of local video playback.

I also charged and discharged the MateBook D 16 under other workloads.

Minimal workload: the MateBook D 16 was set to Windows’ ‘Best power efficiency mode’, with only a few essential work apps open, a wireless mouse and keyboard connected, and no external display.

With this low workload, the laptop lasted 9 hours on battery power, which is impressive for an i9 processor.

I then charged it from 0% while shut down, and its 65W charging took the battery to 100% in 1 hour and 31 minutes.

Heavier workload: the laptop was set to ‘High performance’ with multiple instances of File Explorer and Microsoft Word open, countless Google Chrome tabs, Slack, EA, WhatsApp, Spotify, Huawei PC Manager, and Huawei Mobile Cloud.

I also connected it to an external monitor and multiple USB devices through an external USB hub. Overall, no power-saving efforts were involved.

The battery died just shy of the 3-hour mark, at 2 hours and 56 minutes, and keeping with the same heavy workload it took 2 hours and 15 minutes to fully recharge.

Great features and security

Huawei PC Manager gave me access to the company’s new Super Device technology, enabling me to connect to other Huawei devices and share files.

I didn’t have many Huawei peripherals to test, but I connected my old P30 lite and could remotely back up its files to my MateBook D 16, with seamless file sharing, editing, device control, and other features available for newer devices.

In terms of internal hardware, one of the MateBook D 16’s standout features is its Huawei Metaline Antenna, which the company claims can achieve a long-distance connection of up to 270 metres.

This was difficult to test with any level of accuracy, but I found that it had better range than my flagship smartphone and laptop, which lost connection sooner as I walked further away from the router.

The quality and volume of its speakers was also impressive, and they retained their clarity at high outputs.

Conversely, the MateBook D 16’s fans were pleasantly quiet, generating nothing more than a faint hum even while I was gaming.

Focusing on the exterior, I found that the keyboard of the MateBook D 16 was great to type on, offering an excellent balance between responsiveness and a comfortable typing experience.

Two features I particularly liked were the numeric keypad and a backlight. Huawei also included a “Camera off” button at the top right of the keyboard that deactivates the webcam for added security.

It has a fingerprint sensor built into the power button just above this, making this laptop great for anyone who needs the added convenience of biometric security.


All of this is housed in a robust metal chassis, giving the assurance that the MateBook D 16 will last for several years without any issues compared to plastic builds.

The hinge also felt solid, and Huawei claims to have tested it over 25,000 times to ensure longevity. To put this into perspective, if you opened and closed your laptop twice per day (four hinge movements), the hinge would last over 17 years.

Huawei also tested the USB-C port over 10,000 times and the keyboard over 5 million times.

Final thoughts

While the chassis may be on the large side for some users, it is important to note the benefits of a 16-inch laptop.

For example, Huawei equipped the MateBook D 16 with a large 70Wh battery that wouldn’t be possible in a smaller device. Other benefits include the 16-inch expansive display, the full-size keyboard, and more efficient cooling.

However, I would have liked to see an option for a 32GB RAM configuration, and at least two USB-C ports would have been preferable, as the charger takes up the MateBook D 16’s only USB-C port.

That said, the Intel i9 processor and impressive performance of the MateBook D 16 ensure you quickly overlook these minor issues.


The MateBook D 16 is also available in an i5 configuration with Intel UHD graphics and a 512GB SSD.

I spent a short time with the i5 version, and it offers the same premium build quality and almost identical features to the i9 version, but at a more affordable price tag due to its reduced processing power.

The i5 MateBook D 16 was launched in South Africa today at a recommended retail price of R14,999.

The i9 version is still on its way to South Africa and will launch in the coming weeks.

The specifications of both units are listed below.

Huawei MateBook D16
i9 i5
OS Windows 11 Windows 11
Display 16-inch 1,920 x 1,200 IPS, 60Hz 16-inch 1,920 x 1,200 IPS, 60Hz
CPU Intel Core i9-13900H Intel Core i5-12450H
GPU Intel Iris Xe Intel UHD Graphics
Storage 1TB PCIe SSD 512GB PCIe SSD
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1 Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
Ports 1x USB-C, 1x USB 3.2, 1x USB 2.0, 1x HDMI, 1x 3.5mm combo audio jack 1x USB-C, 1x USB 3.2, 1x USB 2.0, 1x HDMI, 1x 3.5mm combo audio jack
Battery 70Wh, 65W fast charging 56Wh
Weight 1.72kg 1.68kg

Latest news

Partner Content

Show comments


Share this article
Hands-on with Huawei’s new MateBook D16 — An i9 powerhouse with an expansive display