Huawei MateBook 16s review: a 16-inch laptop that borders on excellence

Huawei MateBook 16s review: a 16-inch laptop that borders on excellence

Construction

No surprise here, the MateBook uses the codes of the series, this time with an aluminum chassis monohull (made of a single piece) which guarantees a solid construction. We particularly appreciate the very thin borders of the screen and its 3:2 format which displays a large work surface and an occupancy rate of nearly 90%.

Huawei MateBook 16s: a 16-inch laptop that borders on excellence

The keyboard has been revised with keys whose activation distance has been increased, which gives it a more damped and pleasant typing. The backlight is adjustable on 3 levels and there is a fingerprint reader at the top right of the chassis to unlock your session quickly. The touchpad is wide, but you can feel it sink in when you click, so it’s not at the level of what you find in other competitors, such as MacBooks among others.

The keyboard is pleasant to use, but the touchpad sinks a little too much.

The keyboard is pleasant to use, but the touchpad sinks a little too much.

© The Digital

On the connection side, Huawei has gone all out, with a USB-C Thundebolt 4 port, a USB-C 3.2 port, two USB-A 3.2 ports, an HDMI 2.0 port and a mini-jack output. So there is plenty to do, even if it lacks an SD card reader. Bluetooth is in 5.2 and wifi 6 is present.

The connector is provided.

The connector is provided.

© The Digital

The webcam has finally returned to the top of the screen, which we observed on the MateBook 14s at the end of 2021, but oddly not on the MateBook 16 AMD, which was released in the spring of 2022. With the 16s, the double is over chin filmed by the webcam which was located at the level of the keyboard. And the definition goes to 1080p, which is appreciable. In bright light, the result is very satisfactory, but in low light, it is of course more complicated and the image is much more noisy.

The badly located webcam on the old model has returned to a more standard location... and more flattering for the person filmed.

The badly located webcam on the old model has returned to a more standard location… and more flattering for the person filmed.

© The Digital

The components are accessible by removing 9 Torx screws under the chassis, after which you can easily change the M.2 SSD as well as the battery. Unfortunately the RAM is welded and it will be necessary to be satisfied with the 16 GB installed, without possibility of evolution.

You can replace the SSD and the battery, but not the RAM.

You can replace the SSD and the battery, but not the RAM.

© The Digital

This PC manages the temperature very well and most of the chassis stays cool. We noted a maximum of 49.6°C at the air outlet and around 39°C in the center of the keyboard. On the noise side, we logically hear a breath during heavy tasks, with a peak measured at 41.6 dB while using the Cinebench software.

The MateBook 16s manages its temperature well.

The MateBook 16s manages its temperature well.

© The Digital

Editor's Rating: 5 out of 5

Performances

Our test model is equipped with an Intel Core i7-12700H processor with 14 cores (including 6 performance and 8 efficient) clocked at 2.7 GHz and 4.7 GHz in Turbo mode. Its TDP (thermal envelope) is 45 W and can climb to 115 W under intense load. It also comes with a 1TB SSD and 16GB of DDR5 RAM.

Huawei MateBook 16s: a 16-inch laptop that borders on excellence

We have already tested this processor on several occasions and it is clearly one of the fastest at the moment (performance index of 157). It is thus faster than the Apple M2, but of course less than the big Core i9-12900HK. It offers around 27% more performance than the Ryzen 5800H-equipped MateBook 16 and 36% more than the Core i7-1260P found in thin chassis like Samsung’s Galaxy Book2 Pro 15.

Very good results that allow him to tackle any office or demanding task without flinching. Not being equipped with a dedicated graphics card, it does away with hardware acceleration in compatible software and is content with the integrated Iris Xe to play a few old or undemanding games.

We also tested the SSD which offers good read (3.5 GB/s) and write (3 GB/s) speeds, without however approaching the best M.2 which exceeds 5 GB/s.

Strong points

  • Top-flight performance.

  • Large screen in 3:2 format and thin bezels.

  • Accurate panel colorimetry.

  • Complete connection.

  • 1080p webcam.

Weak points

  • Panel too reflective.

  • Limited screen brightness.

  • Medium touchpad.

Conclusion

5 stars by LesNumériques.com
Global mark

Editor's Rating: 5 out of 5

How does grading work?

The Huawei MateBook 16s is an excellent laptop that corrects the few flaws of the latest MateBook 16 and improves the recipe, while significantly increasing the price. The webcam of the previous model notably returns to the top of the screen and the performance is clearly there, driven by a vigorous Intel Core i7-12700H processor. If the colorimetry of the screen is precise, we still regret, however, that the lack of light output of the panel and the absence of anti-reflective treatment worthy of the name.

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