Huawei MateBook 14 Review
Huawei recently launched in the Philippines their latest notebook with a 14-inch 2K display, AMD RYzen 5 4600H CPU, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD — the Huawei MateBook 14. Should you get this laptop given the PHP 55K asking price? Find out in our review.
Design and Construction
The Huawei MateBook 14 sports a design that is similar to older MateBook products but more compact. We’re looking at an aluminum alloy chassis with a sandblasted finish in Space Gray. It looks premium, industrial, and professional. The lower body even has shiny chamfered edges that gleam when you shine a light on it.
The lid is easy to reach and lift, thanks to the recessed part on the front of the lower body. It’s not something you could lift with one hand, though, as the hinge is stiff. A little too stiff if you ask me, but not a bad thing.
For the display, you’re getting a 14-inch IPS screen with 2160 x 1440 resolution or 185ppi with a peak brightness of 300 nits. The bezels are slim, the colors are punchy, and the viewing angles are good.
You can also tilt the display all the way back up to 150-degrees, according to our measurement.
Below is the power button with a built-in fingerprint reader and the backlit keyboard with three brightness levels. It’s comfortable to type on, quiet and has decent travel. However, we would have preferred brighter backlighting for the keyboard.
Found in the middle of the F6 and F7 keys are the pop-out webcam for your video calls. Although nifty, we don’t like the camera’s awkward angle, which isn’t really attractive for video calls.
Below the keyboard is a large and smooth trackpad with a built-in Huawei Share tag so you can easily connect other supported Huawei devices like your smartphone.
For the ports, on the left, we have the USB Type-C charging port, 3.5mm headphone and microphone combo jack, and HDMI port.
On the right, we have two USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A ports. For wireless connectivity, it has WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 5.0.
Take a look underneath, and you’ll see four microphones, the rubber feet, the vents with visible dual Huawei Shark Fin fans, and the loudspeakers on the left and right-hand side.
All of that is housed in a body measuring 307.5 mm width, 223.8 mm depth, and 15.9 mm height. It has a small footprint that won’t take up much space on your desk or bag. It’s a bit hefty though, at 1.49kg but still easy to carry around.
Display and Multimedia
One of the best features of the MateBook 14 is the display. It has a 14-inch IPS screen with a 2160 x 1440 resolution or 185ppi and a 3:2 aspect ratio. It’s a sharp display with 100% sRGB support and good viewing angles. Brightness is standard at 300 nits. TÜV Rheinland has also certified the screen for reducing harmful blue light. It’s a nice screen for normal browsing and productivity tasks like editing photos and entertainment like watching videos.
When it comes to audio, the two speakers are loud and clear. There’s nothing special to wow your ears, though, but it’s good enough for watching videos and video calls. You can use your favorite wired headphones, though, thanks to the 3.5mm mic/audio jack.
If you want to tweak the audio quality, you can use the Nahimic software and select four profiles: Music, Movie, Communication, and Gaming. All you need to do is pick one profile based on your activity, and it will apply the recommended settings.
OS and Features
The MateBook 14 runs on Windows 10 Home and comes with exclusive features. One of them is the PC Manager, which checks your hardware’s health from the processor to the fingerprint sensor. It will also check if you have the latest drivers, and it will download and install it for you.
If you have a Huawei smartphone running EMUI 10, you can also connect it to the MateBook 14 by tapping the phone’s NFC to the trackpad. It will then launch a mirror of your smartphone to the desktop so that you can control it from there. This is handy as you don’t need to pick up your phone to respond to messages.
Huawei Share also lets you transfer files wirelessly from your phone to the laptop (and vice versa), open files on your phone, and edit on your PC, and take phone calls from the MateBook 14 itself.
Back to the PC Manager, your Huawei phone will also appear there, and you can also opt to auto-sync and back-up the photos and videos in your gallery.
As for storage, you’re getting a 512GB SSD, which is decent capacity. When it comes to pre-installed apps, there’s not much as we only saw Microsoft 365 trial and Radeon Software, which gives you system stats and additional settings for graphics, display, and video.
Performance and Benchmarks
Powering the Huawei MateBook 14 is the AMD Ryzen 5 4600H processor, AMD Radeon Graphics, 16GB DDR4 RAM, and 512GB SSD. The large RAM is very much appreciated as most laptops in this price range are equipped with 8GB.
The configuration is great for productivity tasks like heavy Chrome browsing, Office applications, photo editing, and light video editing. Although there’s built-in graphics, it’s not suitable for gaming as we got less than 20 FPS in medium graphics settings in Full HD resolution for titles like Ghost Recon: Wildlands and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Its purpose is mostly to accelerate productivity applications that might require some push from the GPU.
Check out the benchmark scores below.
• PCMark 10 Extended – 4,097
• 3DMark – 950 (Time Spy)
• Geekbench 5 – 1,112 (Single-Core), 5,707 (Multi-Core), 10,509 (OpenCL)
• Cinebench R20 – 3,092 (CPU), 453 (CPU – Single-Core)
• CrystalDiskMark 7 – 3,571.22 MB/s (Seq. Read), 2,988.08 MB/s (Seq. Write)
Connectivity and Battery Life
When it comes to connectivity, there’s WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (No WiFi 6), Bluetooth 5.0, and a slew of ports mentioned earlier. These are basic features but essential for most tasks.
The MateBook 14 is equipped with a 56Wh battery charged via the 65W USB-C charger included in the package. Using it for work, mainly heavy Edge browsing and photo editing in Better Battery, got us 6 to 7 hours of use. On the other hand, our video loop test, which involves playing a 1080p video on loop at 50% brightness and volume in Airplane mode and Better Battery mode, got us 10 hours worth of playback.
The Huawei MateBook 14 is a recommendable notebook for work, thanks to its hi-res and color-accurate display, capable CPU, large RAM, fast storage, and good battery life. At PHP 54,999, it’s less expensive than some ultrabooks with similar specs. We would have preferred a larger storage capacity, but that would probably push the price higher. It’s not a gaming laptop, though, but a great workhorse with features that will be utilized best by Huawei smartphone or tablet users.
The Huawei MateBook 14 is available via all channels and Huawei stores. When you purchase MateBook 14 from October 10 to 24, 2020, you will get first sale freebies worth PHP 11,998. This includes the Huawei Classic Backpack and Huawei FreeBuds 3i. You can also take advantage of easy payment plans with all major bank credit cards – up to 24 months installments with 0% interest.
The new Huawei Classic BackPack comes in two colors and sizes — Midnight Black for 15.6-inch laptops and under, and Forest Green for 14-inch laptops and under. It features a minimalist design with an exterior made of 290T nylon fabric and microfiber leather, while the interior uses 200T polyester fabric. Both backpacks feature a laptop compartment lined with 3mm EPE foam.
Huawei MateBook 14 2020 (AMD) specs:
14-inch IPS 2160 x 1440 display, 185ppi, 300 nits, 100% sRGB
AMD Ryzen 5 4600H CPU
AMD Radeon Graphics
16GB DDR4 RAM
512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
2x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A
3.5mm headphone/mic combo jack
Full-size backlit chiclet keyboard
Fingerprint Power Button
Touchpad with a built-in Huawei Share tag
720p pop-out camera
Windows 10 Home
56Wh battery w/ 65W charger
307.5 x 223.8 15.9 mm