Huawei MateBook D15 (2021) Review – Great Value For Money!

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My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I recently found myself in the market for a new laptop. I wanted a device I could comfortably use whilst on the go and commuting to and from work. I scoured the internet in an attempt to find something decent and that’s when I came across the 2021 Huawei MateBook D15, so I decided to buy it.

The whole idea of me getting a laptop was so that I can comfortably edit videos, write blog posts as well as do practical tasks from Pluralsight courses I’m currently studying.

 Pros

  • Good value for the price
  • Light and slim
  • Solid State Drive (SSD)
  • Good quality aluminium alloy chassis
  • Good Battery Life
  • Comfortable touchpad
  • Upgradable to Windows 11

 Cons

  • No keyboard backlight
  • Average quality display
  • Poorly placed webcam
  • Ram is unupgradable
  • Single USB-C port that doubles as a charging port
  • USB-C has no video support

Why did I choose This Laptop?

I’m not one for being picky about laptop manufacturers. In fact, I don’t really tend to look at brands as I don’t think they matter a great deal compared to the specs and reviews of the actual product. All brands make good and bad products, the best way to see if the product is worth the price is by looking at customer reviews and the specs of the actual device.

We live in an age where portability is key, especially since we don’t want to be carrying a heavy device with us everywhere we go and as a 15.6” laptop the Huawei MateBook D15 (2021) is actually a very light laptop which fits in perfectly with why I actually got one in the first place.

Although I don’t really look at brands when searching for laptops, I wanted something different this time. I wanted a brand I haven’t had in a while or even ever before. I was actually looking at various Acer laptops until I came across the 2021 MateBook D15, which at the time I thought had great specs and was on sale, so I decided to go for it.

Hardware Specification

  • Processor (CPU): Intel Core i5-1135G7 Quad-Core (1.6GHz processor speed with a burst speed of 4.2GHz)
  • Memory (RAM): 8 GB DDR4 (Non-upgradable)
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6” Screen – Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels – Refresh rate60Hz
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Xe GDDR4
  • Battery Life: Up to 8.5 Hours
  • Interfaces:
    • 2 USB 2.0 ports
    • 1 USB 3.0 port
    • 1 USB Type-C port
    • 1 HDMI port
    • Headphones jack
  • Size: H1.69, W35.7, D22.9cm
  • Weight: 1.56 Kg

Build Quality and Design

The 2021 Huawei MateBook D15 looks and feels like a premium device and just by looking at it you wouldn’t expect it to only cost £499.99 which is the price I paid for it. The case has a smooth feel to it and as it’s not plastic, it doesn’t have that cheap feel to it that many laptops in this price range have.

Huawei MateBook D15 (2021): Cover

The Keyboard and Touchpad

Considering the price range, the keyboard isn’t actually bad. Initially, when I started using the laptop, I thought that the keyboard felt extremely cheap and plasticky but it grew on me and I started to enjoy the fast typing experience on it which by the way is not something I say easily.

Considering the amount of space on the chassis, I think that it would have been nice if the laptop had a number pad, but it’s something that Huawei has chosen not to include in this model.

Unfortunately, this model doesn’t come with a backlit keyboard, which is a shame but at this sort of price range we just can’t get everything and I guess they had to cut costs somewhere.

On the other hand, I’m a huge fan of the touchpad, especially as it has that nice glass feel to it which makes the overall experience so smooth! Like with many modern-day laptops, the touchpad is also compatible with gesture control.

Huawei MateBook D15 (2021): Keyboard

Power Button

It’s nice to see the power button not being part of the keyboard, I was never really a fan of this type of solution particularly if you are a fast typer as I would just fear turning the laptop off by accident. But Huawei has done this properly and made the button separate.

The power button also doubles as a Windows Hello compatible fingerprint reader, which is just a must in 2022.

Huawei MateBook D15 (2021): Power Button

Webcam

The webcam on this model is on the keyboard, you simply press the button and the webcam lifts up. The idea is pretty cool, especially since it hides the camera from view.

However, whilst it sounds good, the design is actually flawed pretty badly. The camera provides a pretty poor viewing angle which makes the video look bad but what makes it even worse is when you are in an online meeting because if you want to talk into the camera, you can’t see the people you’re talking to.

The overall camera quality is reasonable, you can’t expect any miracles at this price, the same can be said for the mic quality.

Huawei MateBook D15 (2021): Webcam

Build Quality and Design Summary

Overall, I think that the laptop is well built and feels premium. There are some design flaws, but nothing major. If you use your webcam a lot, I would recommend investing in a better quality cam anyway. The Logitech C920 is a good example of a pretty good webcam.

Performance and Specs

The 2021 Huawei MateBook D15 comes packed with some pretty impressive specs making the overall performance more than enough for everyday use. The 11th-generation Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor is perfect for everyday tasks as well as some heavier ones such as lite video editing.

The laptop also comes with a 512 GB SSD, in my case, it’s a Western Digital one, which is nice to see, as it’s quite a good brand for storage devices. The SSD is what likely makes this laptop so snappy. It’s very nice to see a 512 GB SSD included at this price range as other laptops either come with a traditional hard drive or a much smaller SSD.

This version comes with 8 GB of RAM which I think is a bit low for this day and age and what makes it worse is the fact that it’s built-in to the motherboard which means that we can’t upgrade the RAM should we want to. Considering the fact that the laptop only has 8 GB of RAM it performed very well when I was video editing 4K footage and running other tasks in the background.

The Battery life is also very impressive, I was able to get close to 4-hours with high-performance tasks and around 8 hours with the battery saver enabled.

To summarise the performance, the laptop is extremely snappy, even during boot. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend checking out the first impressions video on YouTube where I demonstrate the speed. I’ll embed the video at the bottom of this article, but you can also check it out here.

The Software Side

The laptop came with Windows 10 Home edition preinstalled, this is upgradable to Windows 11. I almost instantly upgraded it to Windows 11 Education which is similar to the Pro version of Windows 11. It gives the laptop more features than the standard home edition such as BitLocker encryption. I had it free of charge from university so I thought I might as well install it. Speaking about the operating system (OS), the hard drive has been formatted into two partitions, a 119 GB system partition and a 337 GB data partition. I’m not a fan of this solution but luckily it can easily be changed.

The laptop comes pre-installed with several Huawei programs, which some might call bloatware but I think are actually quite cool. The Huawei Control Panel is one of them, located in the start bar, it’s a shortcut for tools such as a screen recorder, screenshot tool and notepad.

Other than the Huawei software, the laptop also comes with the standard apps that come bundled with Windows 10 home by default. 

When setting up your laptop for the first time, there are a number of things you should do, such as uninstall bloatware you don’t need. I’ve written an entire blog article on what you should do after upgrading Windows or setting up your new device for the first time. You can read it using this link.

Huawei Share

This laptop is particularly beneficial for people with Huawei smartphones due to a pretty cool feature called Huawei Share. Huawei share allows you to easily connect your phone to your laptop, you can actually use the phone on it and benefit from a larger display. You can use it to drag and drop files easier. The overall way it’s thought out, is pretty cool but unfortunately, this feature only works with compatible Huawei smartphones.

So Who Is This Laptop For?

Without a doubt, this laptop is actually a pretty awesome laptop and it’s more than enough to be an everyday laptop. Based on my own experience, I would go as far as saying that the laptop is good for the more demanding tasks such as photo and video editing.

The very reasonable price of £499.99 makes this laptop a perfect choice for students or for anyone on a budget and not only.

The Verdict

Overall, I think that this is a very good laptop, especially considering the price tag. It looks and feels like a premium laptop and it performs extremely well. However, like with many good products, there are some disadvantages and I think that the two main ones have got to be the webcam placement and the fact that the keyboard isn’t backlit. I guess they have to save costs somewhere.

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Huawei MateBook D15 (2021): Unboxing & First Impressions Checkout my video on the laptop:

 

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