In 2021, HUAWEI released a few tiers of laptops, one being the MateBook D 15 NoteBook. With new versions coming to Canada soon, I wanted to have a base to compare to, so I happily checked out last year’s model. The HUAWEI MateBook D 15 NoteBook is the most affordable option at $998.99, with the MateBook 14 sitting at $1198.99, and the MateBook 14s at $1498.99. Being the lowest price point of the bunch, I was worried I’d be sacrificing a lot when switching over to this laptop, but I’m happy to report, the D 15 and I have been very happy together.
The HUAWEI D 15 NoteBook is a beautiful device. The laptop comes in Mystic Silver, and contrasts well with the black keys and 5.3 mm black bezel around its 15.6-inch screen. I was surprised with the size of the trackpad—it looks massive. But it was easy to use, responsive, and looks great. There aren’t a ton of ports, 2 USB-A and one HDMI, but that was plenty for me. Of course, this is a business laptop, so there are no RGBs and heavy-duty fans to speak of. In fact, the device is almost silent while in use, and I love it.
The D 15 is only 16.9 mm thick and weighs 1.53 kg, so it’s a breeze to travel with. I loved being able to throw it in my laptop bag or even my purse when heading to an event. My issue was the 15.6-inch screen, in this regard. Though it was great to work on, a 14-inch (or even smaller) laptop is a bit easier to carry around, as this one was pushing the limits of my laptop bag. Size is something to consider, not just weight.
One of my favourite features on the D 15 is the fingerprint sensor. This is a part of the power button, and seamlessly logs you into the laptop when you turn it on, or wake it from sleep. I usually have a lot of trouble with these sensors, but this one worked flawlessly. My only suggestion would be to make it your index finger. Out of habit, I made it my thumb like I would on a smartphone…turns out I don’t turn on my laptop with my thumb.
The screen is an IPS anti-glare, 16:9, 1080p resolution display. Its size was perfect for writing, watching Netflix or browsing. Of course, this isn’t a 4K display, but the colour on the HUAWEI MateBook D 15 NoteBook was rich, and it meets low light certification. This was my go-to device at night, curled up on the couch for work or play.
As for the laptop’s guts, the MateBook D 15 NoteBook features an Intel i5-1135G7 CPU, 512 GB SSD, Intel Iris XE Graphics and 8 GB of RAM. No, this laptop isn’t built for gaming, but it sure is built for work. I had no issues running multiple programs like Affinity Photo, while still streaming The Boys in the background. I did try my hand at a few rounds of Fortnite, and though it functions, and you could get by in a pinch with low graphic settings, I wouldn’t recommend it. After all, that isn’t what the D 15 is built for.
Something I will note if you’re picking this up for work, I would recommend an external webcam if you have a lot of meetings. The camera sits inside the keyboard, along the top, which is why the HUAWEI MateBook D 15 NoteBook can keep the thin bezel it has. Though it’s a neat concept seen in past HUAWEI laptops, I still hate it. No one—and I mean no one—should be seen from this angle. It’s great for privacy, so if you really don’t mind people looking up your nose, it will work for you.
“…you’ll be impressed with how quickly the HUAWEI MateBook D 15 NoteBook charges.”
Another area the MateBook D 15 NoteBook didn’t excel at was battery life. With regular use like browsing, Spotify and Word open, the device was almost half dead in around two hours. If you intend to be on the go all day, this might not be the laptop for you. However, if a charging port is readily available, you’ll be impressed with how quickly the HUAWEI MateBook D 15 NoteBook charges.
The device comes with a 65W USB-C charger, and this little guy has some power. In about 15 minutes I could get an additional 30% or so out of the laptop. HUAWEI has shown that they know a thing or two about charging with their Wireless Mouse GT in the past, and they carry that through to their more powerful devices too. Not to mention, the charger is tiny, so no more dragging along a charger heavier than the device itself. More than once, I just threw it in my purse and barely noticed it.
The HUAWEI MateBook D 15 NoteBook is meant to be the budget laptop in their lineup, so with price in mind, it meets the mark for everything I need. I won’t say it excels in any one place—aside from charging power—but I would absolutely recommend it for someone with basic laptop needs. This may not be a gamer or creator’s laptop, but the HUAWEI MateBook D 15 NoteBook is an excellent choice for business or browsing.