That is the brand new Huawei MateBook 16S – a laptop computer matching the overal design of final yr’s MateBook 16, however a notable shift in internals to Intel’s Alder Lake. In the event you’re not conversant in Huawei’s MateBook 16, it has a 16-inch show with a taller 3:2 facet ratio, packed right into a svelte physique that weighs slightly below 2kg.
And for those who’re unfamiliar with show facet ratios, we’ll lay it down for you good and easy. A traditional laptop computer display is 16:9, good match for broad movies, whereas a 3:2 show is barely barely narrower, however has much more vertical area. It makes it much better suited to displaying internet pages and images (these are often 4:3 or 3:2). The squarer facet can also be extra handy for video modifying, the place it’s essential to match the precise video and a bunch of UI components under it.
Huawei reused the chassis of the MateBook 16, ports and all, however went with Intel’s twelfth gen Alder Lake H sequence chips, as a substitute of final yr’s AMD Ryzen 7 sequence processors. The selection this yr is between the 12-core i5-12500H (4 efficiency cores and eight environment friendly cores), and the 14-core i7-12700H and i9-12900H (each of which have 6 efficiency cores and eight environment friendly cores).
These are all 45W processors meant for high-performance laptops, however with this yr’s massive shift in Intel’s structure (the massive.LITTLE structure), we will count on a significantly better efficiency to battery life ratio. Extra on that later. Additionally, one USB-C port is Thunderbolt 4, and there’s Wi-Fi 6e help.
The show is similar as final yr for essentially the most half. It’s nonetheless a 16-inch 2560x1680px IPS LCD with 300 nits of brightness and a 1500:1 distinction ratio. The large change this yr is that the show is touch-sensitive, which might turn out to be useful every now and then, however we might’ve fortunately traded that performance for greater brightness.
The Huawei MateBook 16S has the identical 84Wh battery as its predecessor, with a alternative of the monstrous 135W charger or the more-reasonable 90W brick, relying on which CPU you get.
The laptop computer additionally brings an improved 1080p digital camera with the power to comply with you across the body and present a customized digital background. The speaker setup is similar, as are the keyboard, touchpad, and even the cooling beneath.
Design, show, ports, keyboard, and touchpad
For many intents and functions, the MateBook 16S is similar to the MateBook 16. It has the identical dimensions and the identical 1.99kg weight. The show has the identical diagonal and bezels, that are skinny, in a vacuum, however a bit wider than what some trendy 16-inch laptops supply.
We received the Area Grey mannequin and so will all people else, as a result of it’s the one obtainable coloration. We guess 16-inch laptops needs to be gray and utilitarian. On a constructive word, the case is steel.
You may open the laptop computer with one finger. You’re greeted by a full-sized backlit keyboard with out a Numpad (nor any kind of row of particular keys) and a generously-sized glass touchpad. The touchpad’s floor could be very pleasing to the finger and multi-touch gestures are straightforward to do.
The keyboard is superb. The keys have nice 1.5mm journey and are tender, but not mushy when typing. They’re properly spaced too, as you’d count on from a Numpad-less keyboard on a 16-inch laptop computer body. There are two ranges of backlight. Speaker grilles body the keyboard on each side. These are wonderful audio system – they get very loud and retain quantity of bass.
The palm rests on both aspect of the touchpad are giant sufficient to accommodate your fingers whereas typing. The touchpad itself has good palm rejection and we didn’t have points typing away on this gadget.
We have now blended emotions concerning the show. On one hand, it’s very sharp due to its excessive decision and ensuing 189ppi density. Viewing angles are good in that the show doesn’t lose its distinction when considered at an angle. Nevertheless, the shiny panel is extraordinarily reflective. You may see nearly every little thing round, mirrored on the glass, and the impact is much more pronounced at an angle.
Couple that with the one common brightness of the show and you’ve got a display that’s solely good in dim environments.
Huawei advertises the panel as 300 nits. We measured 320 nits within the middle of the show and round 280 nits on the corners. Not good uniformity, however it’s not dangerous both. We’d’ve cherished a brighter panel this yr, as 300 nits is changing into somewhat disappoint, particularly at this worth level.
Additionally, the show is barely 60Hz, we might’ve cherished to have seen a 90Hz panel as on a few of Huawei’s different laptops.
Regardless of the low brightness, the show could be very contrasty and the colours are properly deep and saturated. Huawei claims a mean Delta E of below 1, however we measured it at 2.5, which isn’t content material creation-ready. The show on our unit had an apparent blue solid. You may calibrate the panel to 100% match sRGB.
The display bezels are a bit wider than what you’d get on the 16-inch MacBook Professional, or the 16-inchers from Asus. However you wouldn’t discover this except you’re evaluating them instantly. Huawei made the top-mounted digital camera higher this yr. It’s 1080p and helps FollowCam, which retains you within the middle as you progress round, in addition to digital background and even a characteristic that may attempt to make it seem as for those who’re wanting on the digital camera whenever you’re not (we had been unable to make this work, although).
The digital camera isn’t Home windows Hey licensed, however you get a fingerprint reader below the ability button, which additionally helps caching, so it can activate the pc and log you in with a single press.
The MateBook 16S does properly relating to ports. On the left, there are 4 – a 3.5mm audio jack, a full-sized HDMI 2.0, and two USB-C ports (3.2 Gen 1) – each help charging and show output, however just one does 40Gbps Thunderbolt 4 (the underside one with the lightning arrow). There are two USB-A ports (3.2 Gen 1) on the precise aspect. The one factor lacking is an SD card reader.
Opening up the Huawei MateBook 16S is a simple process – simply unscrew 5 T5 Torx screws and also you’re in. Nevertheless there’s not a lot to do inside – there’s no second SSD slot and the Intel AX211 Wi-Fi 6E wi-fi card is now soldered to the motherboard.
Efficiency and battery life
Huawei made a shift to Intel silicon with the MateBook 16S and also you get a alternative of twelfth gen Intel Core i9-12900H, Intel Core i7-12700H, and Intel Core i5-12500H processors. They’re all 45W, however as we already talked about, the Core i5 has 4 efficiency cores and eight effectivity ones, whereas the Core i7 and Core i9 have 6 efficiency cores.
We’d say that the i7-12700H is the only option. It’s noticeably quicker than the i5, and but virtually similar to the i9 on this kind of laptop computer. The i9 presents round 300MHz greater clock speeds, which isn’t one thing you’d discover on a machine that’s not meant for gaming.
Persevering with that thread, the MateBook 16S lacks a discrete GPU and depends on Intel’s Iris Xe built-in graphics. It’s completely effective for workplace work and entry-level to midrange video games at decrease settings at 1080p, however you received’t be capable to take pleasure in triple-A titles on the MateBook 16S.
The Core i7-12700H we’ve in our assessment unit did simply effective for photograph modifying (after we did a display calibration), and even a spot of 4K video modifying after some proxies.
Shifting to Intel’s twelfth gen processors would profit efficiency in gaming and creator purposes, as there Intel at present has a lead over AMD. However that’s no good with out a discrete GPU to pair with the succesful processor. On this case, you’re probably not having fun with the efficiency advantages, whereas concurrently getting a less-efficient chip than final yr’s, doubtlessly hurting battery life.
The Matebook 16S has prolonged integration with different gadgets within the Huawei ecosystem – Huawei calls it Tremendous Machine. The laptop computer comes with Huawei PC Supervisor, which is one strategy to take pleasure in Huawei Share. The software program pairs a Matepad pill to make use of as a secondary display – you’ll be able to mirror the laptop computer, prolong the show, and even switch recordsdata by drag-n-drop gestures.
It really works the opposite means as properly – you should utilize the Huawei M Pencil on the Matepad and switch in right into a graphics pill or use it to function any software program, after all, with the obvious minuscule lag that comes as a result of wi-fi connectivity.
Huawei Share works with eligible telephones as properly – house owners can take care of their telephones by the laptop computer – they’ll reply calls (significantly helpful when you have some Freebuds ready), share screens, or drag and drop photos and different recordsdata. This all solely formally helps gadgets formally on the HarmonyOS 2.0 and never essentially all of them.
Let’s take a look at efficiency. The 1TB SSD posted spectacular numbers, however it’s a PCIe 3.0 disk and the motherboard of the MateBook 16S possible helps PCIe 4.0 given the Intel twelfth gen processor, so you can think about a PCIe 4.0 SSD for some additional efficiency.
At this level, Intel’s twelfth gen processors have been examined everywhere by nearly each respected PC reviewer, so we received’t do an excessively deep dive. Suffice to say that the Core i7-12700H is without doubt one of the finest performers in the marketplace proper now.
In Geekbench, the Core i7-12700H scored 20% higher than the Ryzen 5800H in final yr’s MateBook 16 in single core, and 54% greater in multi-core. The latter would massively profit apps like Photoshop, Premiere, or DaVinci Resolve.
Cinebench R23 re-emphasizes simply how briskly Intel’s newest processors are, nearing the highest of the chart for single core and topping it in multi core. We tried operating GFXBench, however the app stored crashing on each take a look at we tried.
When it comes to thermal administration, we noticed the identical tuning from Huawei as on its different MateBook laptops, irrespective of the processor sequence used. Huawei likes a quiet and funky laptop computer, and it tuned the MateBook 16S to be one.
The processor is ready to a base clock of two.3GHz, however it usually maintains round 1.4GHz. Once we ran a CPU burner take a look at, the cores spiked as much as 3.2GHz for just a few seconds, after which steadily ramped right down to round 1.3GHz. Because of this the laptop computer will hardly perk up its twin followers and so they’re principally inaudible. Even throughout our stress take a look at in a room at round 24°C, the followers had been very quiet.
Because of this, the laptop computer didn’t turn into uncomfortably heat both. Most individuals will admire the quiet and funky operation, however it implies that the highly effective Intel Core i7-12700H processor is significantly underused. It might make extra sense to place a decrease sequence chip if it could be tuned to run as cool and as quiet.
Intel’s newest processors are nonetheless inferior to their AMD rivals in effectivity. The 10mm structure is just not as environment friendly because the 7nm of the Ryzen 5000 sequence was or the brand new 6nm Ryzen 7 is.
We did a battery take a look at, which runs a YouTube video on loop at most brightness and quantity till the laptop computer dies. It offers you an thought of the longest you’ll be able to count on the laptop computer to run with every little thing maxed-out. It clocked a bit over 6 hours, which isn’t dangerous however doesn’t match final yr’s mannequin, which posted greater than 7 hours.
A 30-minute cost with the 90W brick returned 37% from 0%. A full cost took round an hour and a half.
The Huawei MateBook 16S is a good laptop computer. It’s constructed properly with high quality supplies and is a wonderful performer. Battery life is sweet, if probably not spectacular and the identical might be mentioned for the show.
The factor is, the MateBook 16S isn’t considerably higher than its predecessor, however it’s much more costly. The MateBook 16S is €1,700/£1,300 for the Core i7-12700H mannequin, distinction that to the €900/£800 you’d pay for the MateBook 16 – these are all official Huawei costs. Final yr’s AMD Ryzen 7 processor remains to be nice and it’s simpler on the battery than Intel’s Alder Lake chips.
The difficulty is additional sophisticated by Huawei’s personal MateBook D16, which is €1,300/£1,000 with the identical i7-12700H processor and close-enough specs, together with a 16-inch 1920x1200px IPS LCD – it’s no 3:2 panel, however at 16:10, it’s nonetheless taller than your typical 16:9.
Which implies we will not actually advocate the Huawei MateBook 16S in the mean time at its present worth. You can discover a laptop computer with a brighter show and related efficiency for much less cash and rather a lot higher show and equal efficiency for a bit extra money. We’d go together with Huawei’s MateBook 16 over the 16S because it’s virtually nearly as good and significantly better priced.
- Massive, sharp show with good head-on viewing expertise
- 3:2 facet permits for higher usability
- Highly effective Intel twelfth gen processors
- Glorious port choice – Thunderbolt 4 is good
- Keyboard and touchpad are each high-quality
- Good, loud audio system
- Costly, particularly in comparison with predecessor
- Solely 300 nits of brightness
- Little sensible impact of transfer to Intel Alder Lake
- Very reflective show