Huawei MateBook D14 Review
Five months after they launched the MateBook D15 in the Philippines, Huawei has released two new notebooks in the market. These are the MateBook D14 and the MateBook 13. What we have here is the former, sporting a 14-inch screen, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U CPU, and exclusive Huawei features. So, what else are you getting from a laptop priced at almost PHP 43K? Find out in our review.
Design and Construction
Right off the bat, we can say that the MateBook D14 shares the same look as the MateBook D15, but smaller. It sports an aluminum body with a smooth texture, and cool to the touch. The chassis is rock solid, the lid has minimal flex, while the hinge feels sturdy. It measures 15.9mm thin, so it should easily fit in your bag or backpack and weighs in at 1.38kg, so you can easily lug it around.
On the lid, we have the reflective Huawei branding.
On the right is the USB-C port for data and charging USB-A, and full-size HDMI port.
On the left is another USB-A port, and a 3.5mm microphone and headphone 2-in-1 jack.
At the bottom are the rubber feet, stereo speakers on the left and right-hand side, and grills for ventilation. Intake and exhaust vents are also found between the hinge and chassis.
Open the lid, and you will be greeted by the 14-inch display with a slim top and side bezels, and a thick bottom.
We also have a full-size chiclet keyboard, a large trackpad, a power button that also doubles as a fingerprint scanner, and NFC at the lower right for Huawei Share.
The keyboard is comfortable to type on as it has adequately-sized keys with proper spacing. However, key travel is shallow. It’s almost quiet and produces this subtly clack when hit the keys hard. It also has back-lighting, but it’s too dim and only offers two levels of brightness.
One of the unique things about the MateBook D14 is the recessed camera that is found between the F6 and F7 keys. Just press it to make the webcam pop-up, then press again to close.
It’s a neat implementation for privacy purposes, but the low positioning gives an awkward view of your face. When placed on a desk, it provides a good view of your chin and nose. Putting it on your lap is even worse as it will show your stomach and chest.
As for camera quality, it’s a 1MP HD camera, so don’t expect excellent quality here, but it should be enough for video calls.
Display and Multimedia
The MateBook D14 features a 14-inch display with Full HD resolution. The hinge allows you to tilt the screen up to 180-degrees. Quality is good as it is sharp with natural colors and sufficient brightness. It also has a wide viewing angle while the slim bezels make the viewing experience more immersive.
If you want to tweak the display, there’s a Display Manager where you can activate Eye Comfort that filters blue light and set color temperature.
If you want to watch videos on YouTube or Netflix, the MateBook D14’s stereo speakers are loud and clear enough for casual use. But if you want a better listening experience, you can connect it to an external speaker or headphones via Bluetooth or 3.5mm headphone jack.
OS and Features
The MateBook D14 runs on Windows 10 Home, which is nothing special. However, this notebook comes with its exclusive software and features. One of them is the PC Manager, which checks the health of your hardware 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 D14 by tapping the phone’s NFC to the Huawei Share badge at the lower right corner. 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.
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 Dolby Atmos.
Benchmark and Performance
Powering the MateBook D14 is the AMD Ryzen 7 3700U CPU, Radeon RX Vega 10 Graphics, and 8GB of RAM. The configuration was able to breeze through productivity tasks, including heavy browsing, MS Office, and photo editing. It’s not a gaming notebook, but it can take on light games like Valorant or Fortnite. Check out the benchmarks below:
We ran Shadow of the Tome Raider benchmarks on it to see how it will handle demanding games. It has four graphic settings: Highest, High, Medium, Low, and Lowest.
Highest is already out of the picture as it crashes upon launch. In High settings, we got an average of 12 FPS. In Medium, it slightly improved to 14 FPS. In Low, we got 18 FPS. Then at Lowest, we only got 21 FPS. Again, not a gaming laptop.
The MateBook D14 has a 56Wh battery, which is larger than the 42Wh we saw on the MateBook D15. It was able to last us around 10-11 hours in Better Performance mode. While in our video loop test, which involves putting it in Airplane mode while playing a 1080p video on loop at 50% brightness and volume with a headset in at Better Battery mode, got us over 14 hours of playback which is good.
As for charging, the MateBook D14 comes with a charging brick that is capable of supplying 65W of power. It looks like your typical Huawei SuperCharger but two times bigger and uses a USB-C to USB-C cable. It was able to charge the notebook from -% to 100% in a little over an hour. You can also use it to charge your Huawei smartphone after the MateBook D14 is done with it.
The Huawei MateBook D14 is a very capable notebook for its price at PHP 42,990 for the Ryzen 7 3700U model. It’s better than the MateBook D15 (and slightly more expensive, by the way) and still offers exclusive features that will benefit Huawei mobile users.
However, the arrival in the Philippines is a little too late as laptops equipped with the newer Ryzen 4000 series, at around the same price range, have been released. If Huawei only made this available along the MateBook D15 back in early Q1, it would have been one of the best buys at the time.
But, if you have, let’s say, a P40 series smartphone, and/or the MatePad Pro tablet, having a MateBook such as this will improve your workflow. This is a laptop that has extras compared to other laptops in its class. That is if you’re within the ecosystem.
Huawei Matebook D 14 specs:
14-inch FullView (1920 x 1080) IPS display, 250 nits
AMD Ryzen 5 3500U, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U CPU
Radeon Vega 8 Graphics, Radeon RX Vega 10 Graphics
Huawei Shark Fin Design 2.0 cooling system
8GB DDR4 RAM
512GB PCle SSD
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 2×2 MIMO
1x USB-A 3.0
1 x USB-A 2.0
3.5mm headset and microphone 2-in-1 jack
2-in-1 power button and fingerprint scanner
1MP (720p HD) recessed webcam
2x 2W speakers
Windows 10 Home
322.5 x 15.9 x 214.8 mm
56 Wh battery
Mystic Silver, Space Grey