The Huawei MateBook 16 is described by Huawei as a “creative” laptop in a thin and light aluminum case that looks classy in a boardroom or during any activity with customer contact.
It’s very strong for some Types of creative applications like bright Photoshoping and is characterized by multimedia and entertainment activities. In this test, we will show you its strengths and weaknesses in a highly competitive market.
note: the Ubergizmo definition a creative notebook is one that can take advantage of heavy graphics tasks like video editing and compression. Graphics processors speed this up a lot.
Specifications highlights & configurations
As usual, Huawei’s configuration options are manageable. The main variant lies in the CPU selection, where you can choose an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H or the more powerful AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU (like our test device). The 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD and the display are identical to all MateBook 16s.
The downside to this simplicity is that Huawei may not satisfy niches where users may need 32/64 GB of RAM or 1/2 TB of storage. I suspect that Huawei’s target user profile is the person who wants a classic 15.6-16-inch thin and light productivity computer, and for that these options are acceptable.
The Huawei MateBook 16 uses a twist on the tried and tested MateBook design language, as recently seen on the MateBook X Pro that we previously tested. It looks great and is likely the go-to for business room-friendly designs.
The chassis is made of CNC aluminum, which makes it particularly stiff and at the same time has a thin profile (17.8 mm) but at the expense of weight (4.38 pounds / 1.99 kg) compared to computers like the Lenovo X1 Extreme Gen4 (3.99 Lbs) or the MacBook Pro 16 (3.5 Lbs).
“THE POSTER CHILD FROM CORPORATE BOARDROOM FRIENDLY DESIGNS”
The aluminum surface treatment feels good and is quite resistant to fingerprints, so the laptop looks clean at all times. Currently, “Space Gray” is the only color available.
Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard appears to be the same as the MateBook X Pro in terms of width and key size, but the key travel seems to be a bit longer, which some users will appreciate. The keyboard has a comfortable tactile feedback that is firm and bouncy in the right amounts.
the oversized glass trackpad looks impressive, is ultra-fluid and is ideal for large scrolling movements or complex 3-4 fingers Windows gestures for optimal productivity. There are no physical trackpad buttons, but you can press with two fingers to emulate the right mouse button if you don’t want to go with one finger to the lower-right corner.
I find the inputs very comfortable and suitable for extensive typing, but I would have liked the keyboard to have a brighter background lighting.
Ports and connectivity
Because of its size, the MateBook 16 has a better port selection than its 14-inch cousin. On the right side you will find two full size USB ports. On the left there are two USB-C (+ power), a full-size HDMI and the 3.5mm audio port.
|2x USB-C (power, data, DisplayPort)|
|2x USB 3.2 Gen1|
|1x full size HDMI|
|1x 3.5mm headset and microphone 2-in-1 jack|
The lack of a full-size SD card reader means Creative users aren’t the primary target, even though this computer is fast with CPU-heavy creative apps like Cinebench.
The USB-C ports do not support Thunderbolt as it is an Intel technology that is not available on this AMD-based platform. That said, unless you plan on using this computer as a desktop replacement (with a cool laptop docking station) it shouldn’t be a practical problem.
Wi-Fi 6 (2 × 2 MIMO) and BT 5.1 make connectivity almost universal, but keep in mind that some competitors are now offering Wi-Fi 6E, which is more future-proof if you upgrade your router in the next few years.
With a symmetrical connection with 1000 Mbit / s, we achieved real WiFi speeds of 205/434 Mbit / s for downloads or uploads.
This 16-inch chassis leaves plenty of space for the stereo speakers, which are placed on either side of the keyboard. The two speakers are powerful and output great audio quality, something Huawei has worked hard on to incorporate and keep in all of its more expensive laptop designs.
Watching movies or listening to music is very enjoyable, and you can turn the laptop into an impromptu mobile speaker for a small outdoor gathering when needed.
The 16-inch display with an aspect ratio of 3: 2 is notable as it offers almost 9 inches of vertical usable space instead of the ~ 7 inches for a classic 15.6-inch (16: 9) laptop display. The additional surface makes every computer activity “more productive”. I love that, but I also wish there was multi-touch support.
the 2520 × 1680 resolution is not impressive, but I find it sufficient for office work, multimedia entertainment, and optimal battery life, which is the primary goal. There is no 4K option.
The brightness of 360 NIT we measured is average, as there are laptops that can reach up to 600 NIT. Since this screen has a reflective surface, you have to align the display to avoid as much glare as possible, especially outdoors. If you work in such an environment often, this is something you should think about.
“THE PICTURE QUALITY IS EXCELLENT WITH A HIGH COLOR GAMUT AND COLOR ACCURACY”
However, the image quality is excellent with high color gamut and color accuracy. Hence, the display also works for web development, light photoshop, and other activities where you need color-accurate visual content.
As usual with Huawei, the camera is hidden in a keyboard key between the F6 and F7 keys. Hiding the camera allows for a nice top bezel, but the lens position isn’t ideal for keeping you looking good during video calls.
Aside from the camera position, the image quality is average and nowhere as good as the selfie cameras on Huawei phones, but unfortunately it’s pretty standard for PCs.
As you know, Huawei also makes smartphones and tablets. The company has an ecosystem with Huawei share, a platform for connecting different types of Huawei devices. The laptop and tablet are connected via BT and are both simple and secure.
With it you can quickly transfer files between Huawei mobile devices and the laptop or control the phone remotely to interact with pure mobile apps without having to constantly reach for the handset.
It is also possible to mirror or extend the Windows desktop onto a Huawei tablet, turning it into an external monitor. I like this idea because the tablet you carry on a flight becomes your hotel monitor, which makes it even more helpful (and portable).
The content of the screen is shared over wifi so there is a little lag but I find it acceptable for office use. If you have both devices, the Huawei MatePad Pro 12.6 provides excellent display and you could even create a very interesting Photoshop sketch setup with the E-Pen.
I would suggest using the tablet’s USB-C input for the HDMI signal over a wired connection in the future (in addition to the Wi-Fi connection).
Finally, it is also possible to record the computer screen with a Huawei phone for demo purposes. Overall, Huawei stock can help keep customers in the same ecosystem.
Huawei MateBook 16 performance
Our MateBook 16’s AMD Ryzen 7 5800H (35 W) shows a CPU performance comparable to that of the Intel Core i7-11800H, which can be found in many high-end laptops such as the new ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen4. Benchmarks like Geekbench 5 or Cinebench clearly show this.
For the price you pay, the Huawei MateBook 16 has very good CPU performance and our Geekbench / pricing table shows this very well. This is precisely why AMD CPUs have been on everyone’s lips lately, but Intel is at least fighting back when it comes to desktops.
Among them, the PCMark 10 “Creative” subscore tends to be CPU-heavy (+ disk), which is why the MateBook 16 score is comparable to the ACER Predator Triton 300 SE, which has a much faster graphics, as 3DMark shows.
“For the price you paid, the HUAWEI MATEBOOK 16 HAS VERY GOOD CPU PERFORMANCE”
The CPU speed, paired with a very decent SSD performance, results in a high PCMark score, which confirms the status of this laptop as an excellent productivity laptop.
However, a lack of a discrete GPU makes GPU-intensive tasks (like gaming or GPU video editing) less powerful than computers equipped with an RTX 3050 Ti (and above). For many people who don’t need graphics speeds like this, that’s not a problem, but other “creative” laptops have better GPUs if you use graphics-heavy apps.
Huawei MateBook 16 battery life
With a 84 Wh battery capacity, the MateBook 16 uses its size to pack enough energy reserves with the 135W USB-C power adapter.
The laptop scored points in our office productivity tests 16 hours of battery life, one of the highest endurance we’ve seen so far. The graph also shows the difference in battery life for laptops designed for higher peak graphics performance, such as workstations or gaming laptops.
The battery charging speed is ok as you will roughly get 27Wh of energy in 30 minutes of charging time. Some laptops can do a lot better, but this is a typical charging speed.
the Huawei MateBook 16 (official page) is a classic computer that would be an excellent choice for office productivity and easy creativity Users who want a large display. I like the great industrial design and the build quality. The laptop is very pleasant to use, even if you work long hours with it every day.
From a technical / price point of view, there are strong competitors like the Dell Inspiron 16, Lenovo’s Legion 5i or the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE. But in this type of CNC aluminum chassis, the MacBook 16 could be an alternative for those willing to switch to macOS and pay a lot more.
“HAVING EXCELLENT CPU PERFORMANCE AND LONG BATTERY LIFE IS A RARE COMBO”
the Huawei MateBook 16 costs 1199 euros (~ $ 1385), almost half the cost of the cheapest MacBook 16 ($ 2499). This is an enormous difference in value for the application described.
This laptop could be very interesting for Creative users who usually require high CPU performance (Cinebench), because the Ryzen 7 5800H CPU can keep up with Intel’s Core i7-11800H at a significantly lower price. Great CPU performance and long battery life are a rare combination.
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