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Home / Trends / Huawei MateBook 14 Practical Review: The Little Sister of the X Pro

Huawei MateBook 14 Practical Review: The Little Sister of the X Pro



If you think of Huawei, you might think of phones, but the company also has some interesting Windows machines. Huawei announces a new MateBook 14 laptop. Located between the MateBook X and the MateBook D series, it promises world-class design for affordable devices.

But the Huawei MateBook 13 launched Huawei earlier this year. We spent some time at the Mobile World Congress hoping to find a solid alternative to Huawei's other laptop offerings.

Aluminum Everywhere

Many laptops find it hard to handle the comparison with the MacBook, especially with Huawei's MateBooks. Just like the MateBook 1

3 and the MateBook X Pro it has a sleek aluminum chassis with a minimalist design. This could make it look identical to his siblings, but there are some differences.

  Huawei Matebook 14 Hands-On
Arif Bacchus / Digital Trends

While the MateBook 13, weighing 2.82 lbs, had everything portability, the new MateBook 14 is a bit different. It's not that slim, and we feel the hefty weight of 3.3 pounds when we hold it in our hands. That makes it bulkier than the 2.9 pounds of the MateBook X Pro.

With a thickness of about 0.62 inches, the sides of the laptop are only slightly larger than the MateBook 13. It comes in the same size as the 0.59-inch thick MacBook Pro or the 0.62-inch ThinkPad X1 Carbon . This is still not a bad thing as it looks nice sitting on a table.

The MateBook 14's touchpad is frustrating and does not feel top-notch.

Another great element of the MateBook 14 is the keyboard. Instead of an edge-to-edge design like the MateBook 13, the buttons are instead designed in traditional island style. When we opened Notepad to start a storm, it was very pleasant. Yes, the keycaps are higher than the MateBook 13, but provide extra spring and buoyancy when you eject sentences quickly. You will also find the built-in fingerprint reader in the power switch directly above the keyboard.

The webcam is also different. Instead of being in the upper bezel, he lives in the keyboard between the F6 and F7 keys in the top row, just like the MateBook X Pro . It only appears when you press it. This is an innovative but somewhat unpleasant experience. When we opened it and started typing, our ankles were held in the camera angle. Even worse, the 1 megapixel quality does not look as good as the HD webcams of laptops like XPS 13 . The simpler solution of the MateBook 13 is a bit more comfortable.

  Huawei Matebook 14 Hands-on
Arif Bacchus / Digital Trends

The touchpad is also frustrating. Like the MateBook 13, it does not feel like a premium. While it's big and has plenty of sluggish surfaces, clicks create hollow and uncomfortable feedback. It adapts to the look of the case. We prefer that Huawei choose a glass surface instead of plastic like the MateBook X Pro.

All-in-One Connections

The MateBook 13 came with two USB-C connectors, but Huawei made a good impression with the MateBook 14. The newest member of the MateBook family is USB-C, HDMI, USB-A 2.0, and USB-A 3.0 connectors. Best seen with the XPS 13 or MacBook Air it has now become a rarity to see USB-A and HDMI in laptops. No dongles required!

Huawei MateBook 14 Compared to

Huawei can also install the same large battery as the larger MateBook X Pro. With a power of 57.4 watts per hour can be achieved according to Huawei up to 15 hours of battery life. This is an upgrade to the MateBook 13's 41-watt hour battery. Of course, more testing is needed, which looks promising given the positive results of last year's MateBook X Pro. The MateBook 13 barely changed at 5 hours in a video loop when we discussed it. In our practical time with the MateBook 14, a charge of 100 percent sustained for about 15 minutes, so the power supply is likely to stop there.

Eye Protection

The new MateBook 14 follows with its other siblings and comes with a 2,116 x 1,440 (185 PPI) 2,100 page display at a 2K resolution of 3: 2. That's less than the 3,000 x 2,000 (260 PPI) 3k resolution of the MateBook X Pro, but still a departure from the traditional 16: 9 aspect ratio of most Windows laptops.

Numbers aside, all that means whatever is on your display is extended to the bottom frame. When we opened Microsoft Edge, we stacked windows side-by-side and effortlessly flipped pages through the MateBook 14. Surfing the web and working through basic productivity tasks never looked more fantastic.

  Huawei Matebook 14 Hands-On
Arif Bacchus / Digital Trends

Huawei even packs a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio into the MateBook 14. That's more than the MateBook 13's 88 percent ratio The bezels are thin and almost at the level of the Dell XPS 13, but still not as much as newer Asus ZenBook S13 laptops .

As a further plus, the display also supports the touch. With a neat little gesture, you can swipe down from top to bottom to see what's happening on your screen. It might be a small niche, as built-in tools in Windows can help, but the movements are intuitive. In conjunction with the Huawei Share 3.0 notebook support, also found on the MateBook X Pro, screenshots, clipboard and photo synergies are provided between Huawei's Android phones and the laptop via NFC.

It is likely that the MateBook 14 could handle light games, but will likely have difficulty capturing big titles like Fortnite .

The software apparently reduces harmful blue light with built-in software, but we could not test it in our practical time. Again, it is not exactly a defining element, since Windows 10 already has a night-light capability. Fortnite -ready?

Along with the latest Intel Whiskey Lake processors, the MateBook 14 offers an option for the Nvidia MX250 GPU with 2 GB of VRAM. We could not test it in a hands-on game, but this is an upgrade to the MX150, which can be found aboard the MateBook 13. It's also the same GPU on board the new MateBook X Pro.

More testing is needed, but rumors say the GPU could be about 10 percent faster than the previous generation. If that's true, then it's not an upgrade. While testing the MateBook 13, the MX150 was already able to handle light games, but struggled with higher settings when playing big titles like Fortnite .

Huawei plans a May launch in the US for the MateBook 14. Prizes were not shared immediately, but we know that there will be several configurations available, including a Space Gray and a Mystic Silver Colorway. The MateBook 13 currently costs $ 1,000 and the MateBook X Pro $ 1,200, so the final cost of the MateBook 14 can fall into the same range.

Options include a model with Intel Core i5-8265U processor or Core i7-8565U processor. Memory can be configured to either 8GB or 16GB and the PCIe SSD up to 256GB or 512GB. The base models include the standard Intel UHD graphic 620 instead of the MX250 graphics card.


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