Huawei MateBook 16s Laptop Review

Huawei’s MateBooks are certainly very good laptops and the new “16S” model is unlikely to reverse that trend. This is a product with a refined design and solid performance, which frankly tempted us.

Huawei MateBook 16S Overview and Features

Huawei is definitely more and more aggressive in the laptop market and offers the “MateBook” range in all its flavors. We will not complain as long as the products are of high quality. This new model called “16S” is at first glance an almost exact copy of the MateBook 16 we tested a few months ago. The main difference is the presence of a 12th generation Intel processor, which replaces the Ryzen 7 5800H. But, you’ll see, there are some other new features that are pleasing.

Screen Size 16 inches
screen type IPS
Screen definition 2520×1680 pixels
refresh rate 60 Hz
Healer Intel Core i7-12700H
Graphics Card Intel Iris XE
RAM 16 GB DDR5
storage 1 TB NVMe SSD
connectors 2 USB-C, 2 USB-A, 1 HDMI 2.0, 1 socket
Dimensions 35 x 26 x 2.7 cm
weight 1.99 kg

Buy Huawei MateBook 16S on Amazon

Design and Build: Uninspiring appearance, but ultra-efficient

MateBook, MacBook… Are you starting to see a pattern emerge? Huawei hardly hides it: its laptops are very inspired by what we find in Apple and this MateBook 16 is further proof of that. The PC is based on an all-aluminum chassis with a matte treatment on top (effective against fingerprints) and an overall look of great sobriety. The gray/silver design no longer has anything to prove, and the slightly rounded lines are once again reminiscent of what’s going on on the Cupertino side. Nothing spoils the purity of the whole, if not for the brand name in the middle, which we’d probably prefer a little less.

Huawei MateBook 16S laptop review: As good as a MacBook, but under Windows

Lifting the hood, we are pleased to discover a very large touchpad, as well as a good-sized keyboard, with speakers on both sides. The ignition button on the top right also includes a fingerprint sensor, which is very handy for unlocking a Windows session without having to type in a password. When you’re told it looks like a MacBook…

Huawei MateBook 16S laptop review: As good as a MacBook, but under Windows

The keyboard of the MateBook 16S is also of excellent quality, providing a great typing feel despite the short key travel. You hear a very slight squishing when pressing, careful enough not to interfere, but it promotes comfort. The keys are a good size, nicely spaced between the wrists and perfectly on the large free surface around the touchpad. The backlight is adjustable on two levels (only).

Huawei MateBook 16S laptop review: As good as a MacBook, but under Windows

As for the touchpad, in addition to being an XXL, it offers impeccable accuracy and comfort. Well integrated into the body, it looks a bit hollow when clicked, but all the common navigation gestures under Windows 11 interact perfectly.

Connectivity-wise, the Matebook 16S goes all the way to basics, but still offers two USB-A 3.1 Gen1 ports, accompanied by two useful USB-C charging and DisplayPort-compatibility, an HDMI 2.0 port and a headphone jack. In contrast to the “AMD” MateBook 16, WiFi 6 is already present, as well as Bluetooth 5.2.

Huawei MateBook 16S laptop review: As good as a MacBook, but under WindowsHuawei MateBook 16S laptop review: As good as a MacBook, but under Windows

Finally, unlike the “AMD” model that was tested some time ago, this Matebook 16S has the advantage of offering a high-quality 1080p webcam, which is also positioned at the top of the screen. We remember that it was previously placed under a key on the keyboard, providing a very strange viewing angle during a video conference. Here, your interlocutors will not have an ugly look to your nostrils.

Huawei MateBook 16S laptop review: As good as a MacBook, but under Windows

Screen: Great 3:2 ratio panel, but watch out for reflections

The Matebook 16S display is certainly a strong argument and we are, once again, faced with an excellent panel. This is of IPS / glossy type and is 16 inches diagonally, for a total definition of 2520 x 1680 pixels. So the format is of type “3:2”, which provides a very tangible height to work with. The bezel around the screen is also very thin, with an occupancy rate of 90%. So the picture is particularly sophisticated. Note that the screen is touch sensitive, but that doesn’t raise much interest.

Huawei MateBook 16S laptop review: As good as a MacBook, but under Windows

The only drawback of this screen is its relatively high level of reflections, which is not helped by an adequate maximum brightness, without being exceptional (rises to 320 cd / m2). Outdoors with little to no sun, it would be very hard to see anything in there.

Reflections spoil the party a bit.

Huawei MateBook 16S laptop review: As good as a MacBook, but under Windows

But aside from this predicament, everything else is at stake: the contrast ratio is very good for IPS (1620:1), the colorimetry is absolutely perfect, with a Delta E at 1.9 and a color temperature of 6500K. Delta E is a sign of very high color accuracy, as it is below 3. Very balanced temperature, close to normal at 6500K, a sign of a good balance between warm colors and cool colors.

Performance: 12th generation Intel processor widens the gap

The Matebook 16S is a computer designed above all for office automation and productivity, since there is no dedicated graphics card. But this does not mean that it is not effective, quite the contrary.

Our test sample consisted of the latest generation Intel Core i7-12700H processor, 16GB of DDR5 RAM, and a 1TB SSD. The processor in particular is one of the fastest in its class. dedicated to performance and 8 dedicated to energy efficiency) and its frequency can reach 4.7GHz in Turbo mode. The default TDP is 45W, but it can reach 115W under heavy load.

Excellent Cinebench score

Huawei MateBook 16S laptop review: As good as a MacBook, but under Windows

Therefore, an excellent working computer, which will display fluidity at all times, in almost all types of tasks. Be it huge Excel spreadsheets, advanced image editing or even video editing, you will be very comfortable. However, the lack of a GPU will somewhat limit the applications that benefit from hardware acceleration.

However, the Intel Iris Xe iGPU is not completely out of the box for video games. It’s the kind of chip that allows you to play modern, low-power games, if you’re willing to make sacrifices at the level of detail or definition. For example, we were pleasantly surprised to see Elden Ring properly at 30fps, at 1280×720 and in “low” mode. It’s definitely not a “player” computer, but it can help with that.

Anyway, the onboard Intel configuration of the Matebook 16S is already very satisfactory and widens the gap with the similar but AMD Ryzen-powered model. The latter remains functional, but is clearly overtaken by the Intel CPU.

Independence: a comfortable work day

135W charger is provided

Huawei MateBook 16S laptop review: As good as a MacBook, but under Windows

With a large screen with a beautiful definition and a powerful processor, one can seriously doubt the autonomy of the MateBook 16S. But, again, we’re not disappointed, as the 84W battery runs a full day, not including lunch breaks. By being careful not to rely too much on CPU power with greedy apps, you’ll actually be able to easily use it for 8 hours before you have to plug it in. In video streaming, our test under Netflix lasted 8 hours. On the other hand, the “AMD” model performs better and can last up to 10 hours in office automation.

Buy Huawei MateBook 16S on Amazon

conclusion

strength point

  • Classic yet effective design
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Excellent level of Intel CPU performance
  • 16:10 screen with perfect color metering
  • good autonomy

Weak points

  • Lots of screen glare
  • The touchpad looks a bit hollow

Huawei’s MateBook 16S is a safe bet if you’re looking for a comfortable, high-performance laptop that also offers great visuals and solid battery life. Its subtle design, clearly inspired by the Apple MacBook and its 16:10 format make it an excellent everyday companion, whether working at home or on the go. Quite simply, one of the best laptops on the market.

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