HomeBlogREVIEWHuawei MateBook 14s evaluation: Huawei's greatest compact laptop computer

Huawei MateBook 14s evaluation: Huawei’s greatest compact laptop computer

Huawei’s vary of laptops hasn’t modified a lot in the previous few years, no less than not bodily. Granted, the processors have been up to date however for those who have been to place the 2019, 2020 and 2021 fashions of the MateBook 14, MateBook X Professional or MateBook D15 aspect by aspect, you’ll discover it troublesome to find out which was which.

The MateBook 14s, nevertheless, is one thing new somewhat than an replace of an present mannequin, with fewer Huawei idiosyncrasies and a brand new specification display.

READ NEXT: Our information to the very best laptops to purchase proper now

Huawei MateBook 14s evaluation: What you have to know

The 14.2-inch MateBook 14s slots into the Huawei hierarchy slightly below the range-topping 13.3in MateBook X Professional and above the 14in MateBook 14, and with related specs and costs – because of the reductions Huawei provides – deciding which machine to go for is not simple.

That’s not essentially an issue, although. All of Huawei’s light-weight laptops have one thing to be stated for them, together with high-quality touchscreen shows, good keyboards and commendable construct high quality. 

Like the remainder of the MateBook vary, the Huawei MateBook 14s is a machine designed for productiveness and media consumption somewhat than gaming or overly demanding artistic duties, though it’s value noting that Intel’s newest built-in GPUs usually are not the gutless wonders they as soon as have been. Moderately intensive graphics duties and a bit of mild gaming, subsequently, usually are not wholly out of the query.

Huawei MateBook 14s evaluation: Value & Competitors 

On the time of writing the brand new MateBook is accessible from the Huawei web site at a value of solely £1,200.  That’s for the model with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. The pattern despatched in for evaluation has a bigger 1TB SSD and official Intel Evo accreditation (which suggests Thunderbolt 4 help) and prices £1,300. Nonetheless, this mannequin wasn’t available for purchase on the time of writing.

Each are good costs for the specification however Huawei is providing a collection of additional sweeteners for those who purchase the laptop computer from its web site. First up is a free 24in Full HD monitor and Bluetooth mouse, value a complete of £150.

On prime of that, you may select an additional free present of both a Huawei Watch GT 2, a pair of FreeBuds Professional wi-fi earphones or the Huawei Mild Monster Eyewear II sensible glasses. Relying on what you select that’s between £400 and £500 of free equipment and a suggestion to not be sniffed at.

Placing all of the free stuff to 1 aspect, for related cash, you may have your choose of some wonderful 13in and 14in laptops, together with the likes of the Razer Ebook 13,  Apple MacBook Professional 13, Acer Predator Triton 300SE and Lenovo’s Yoga Slim 7. It’s additionally value testing Huawei’s different fashions, which additionally at present carry vital reductions.

As for alternate options, they largely look worse worth than the MateBook 14s. The Razer Ebook 13 begins at £999 however to get a mannequin with a 512GB SSD, 16GB of RAM and a touchscreen you’ll have to shell out £1,499. And regardless of how a lot you spend, you’ll must make do with a 60Hz 1,920 x 1,080 13.2in show. The Razer 13 is a beautiful machine to behold and use and I prefer it quite a bit, however there’s no denying it appears somewhat costly alongside the brand new MateBook.

When you fancy one of many new 14in MacBook Professional machines, you’ll want even deeper pockets as a result of they begin at £1,899. Nonetheless, you get a 3,024 x 1,964, 254dpi mini-LED show with help for refresh charges as much as 120Hz and Apple’s newest M1 Professional processor.

We’ve lately examined the 16in MacBook Professional (2021), which has the same spec, and it’s a corker of a laptop computer, though the 13in M1 MacBook Air is extra comparable with the MateBook 14s and it solely prices £899 proper now.

When you fancy a 14in machine with discrete graphics for work or play then the Acer Predator Triton SE may match the invoice. It’s a bit greater and heavier than the opposite machines right here nevertheless it has a beautiful 14in 144Hz FHD display, an Nvidia GeForce RTX3060 GPU and a 1TB SSD. For £1,299 there are only a few extra omnicompetent laptops.

Lenovo’s Yoga Slim 7 is the plain alternative for the extra budget-conscious. Out there now for simply £749, you get an AMD Ryzen 7 processor, 8GB RAM and a 512GB SSD. The battery life is great, as is the Dolby Atmos speaker system, and the 14in Full HD show is fairly first rate too.

Purchase the Yoga Slim 7 from Lenovo now


Huawei’s personal MateBook X Professional additionally deserves a point out. With a really high-quality 3,000 x 2,000 show it is at present on supply for £1,249, decreased from £1,600. For that type of cash, I am going to even forgive a webcam that appears up my nostril. 

Huawei MateBook 14s evaluation: Design & construct high quality

I’ve usually criticised Huawei for its lack of journey with regards to design. For the previous 4 years, every successive mannequin in its laptop computer vary has seemed a lot the identical because the earlier one. Its bloody-minded refusal to ditch the ludicrous positioning of the webcam under a pretend operate key was one other stick I repeatedly beat it with.

Fortunately, the winds of change are blowing via Huawei’s design division, as a result of whereas the MateBook 14s has a powerful household resemblance to the likes of the MateBook X Professional and MateBook D15, the webcam has been moved to the extra conventional place above the show.

You possibly can select from two colors – spruce inexperienced (512GB mannequin) or area gray (1TB mannequin) – and each look somewhat elegant. The satin end specifically does an incredible job of not displaying fingerprints.

The chassis is constructed from CNC-milled aluminium alloy and it feels sturdy and effectively made in consequence. Each the bottom and lid heroically resisted my efforts to twist them and solicit a creak or a groan. And that solidity hasn’t come on the expense of weight, both. At 1.43kg, the MateBook 14s is way from the lightest 14in laptop computer we’ve ever come throughout, nevertheless it’s lighter than a MacBook Professional 14. At 314 x 230 x 16.5mm, it is also similar to the Apple machine in measurement.

Connectivity might be higher. On the left-hand aspect of the 14s you’ll discover an HDMI 1.4b output, two Sort-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports (each with DisplayPort help) and a 3.5mm audio jack, whereas on the other edge is a single Sort-A 3.2 Gen 1 port. The 1TB mannequin additionally helps Thunderbolt 4 via one of many Sort-C ports, however there’s nothing in the best way of a reminiscence card reader.

As you would possibly anticipate from a laptop computer this compact, improve choices are restricted. Take the underside panel off and the one part you may swap out is the SSD.

READ NEXT: Our information to the very best laptops to purchase proper now

Huawei MateBook 14s evaluation: Keyboard, touchpad and webcam

Just like the chassis, the keyboard deck is completely strong and demonstrates hardly any flex, even whenever you poke the centre. It has a exact and clear 1.5mm motion and a two-level backlight, though this can be a little dim even on the brighter setting. The touchpad, however, is giant and customarily faultless with a satisfying click-action.

Whereas the additional key between F6 and F7 conceals a pop-up webcam in different Huawei laptops, right here it launches Microsoft’s speech recognition software program, which is one thing I discovered much more helpful. I discovered myself dictating textual content much more usually than regular because of this helpful characteristic, and the laptop computer’s 4 noise cancellation microphones did a creditable job of selecting up what I used to be saying, regardless of how a lot background noise there was.

Talking of webcams, the MateBook 14s’ 720p digital camera is fairly poor when it comes to video high quality, nevertheless it does no less than help Home windows Hi there IR recognition and, if that’s not your biometric bag, there’s additionally a fingerprint scanner constructed into the ability button.

Huawei MateBook 14s evaluation: Show and audio

The MateBook 14s has a 14.2in, 2,520 x 1,680 3:2 LTPS show and it’s one thing of a triumph. Not solely is it as sharp as a tack at 213dpi, nevertheless it has a 90Hz refresh price and wonderful sRGB gamut copy at 98.9%. Add to {that a} good most brightness of 432cd/m², a wonderful distinction ratio of 1,820:1 and strong color accuracy with a Delta E common of 1.78 (decrease is best), and you’ve got a winner in your arms.

The panel has a high-gloss end however nonetheless manages to not be overly reflective, whereas the slim bezels and contact interface are cherries on an already somewhat delicious cake. Usefully, there’s additionally an ambient mild sensor that may modify the brightness of each the show and the keyboard backlight to match your environment.

The quad-speaker system is simply as technically spectacular because the display, pumping out loads of quantity and a good dollop of bass. It runs the speaker system within the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 a really shut second. The 14s is the primary Huawei pocket book to characteristic Huawei Sound, an in-house developed sound-processing system, which, judging by this maiden implementation, is one thing value searching for in future.

READ NEXT: Our information to the very best laptops to purchase proper now

Huawei MateBook 14s Evaluation: Efficiency & battery life

Contained in the Huawei MateBook 14s, you’ll discover a Tiger Lake Core i7-11370H processor, a chip we’ve already seen within the Asus TUF Sprint 15 and Acer Predator Triton 300SE. It’s a quad-core part with a most clock velocity of 4.8GHz and it strikes a very good stability between energy and effectivity.

The Professional Evaluations’ in-house media benchmarks returned a rating of 178, which is on a par with class leaders such because the M1-powered Apple MacBook Professional and the AMD Ryzen 7-powered Lenovo Yoga Slim 7. The identical proved true within the Geekbench 5 checks, the MateBook maintaining with the very best of them. It additionally carried out fairly effectively in our battery rundown take a look at, lasting 11hrs 8mins. That’s in need of the 15hrs 40mins that the Lenovo managed, however higher than the Razer Ebook 13.

In our efficiency checks, the MateBook 14s was put into Efficiency mode, which ups the processor TDP to the utmost 45W and runs the followers more durable. For the battery take a look at, it was put into Balanced mode however the display refresh price was set to 90Hz somewhat than the much less power-hungry 60Hz. You possibly can swap between refresh charges by merely hitting Fn+R.

With solely built-in Intel Xe graphics, the MateBook 14s lacks the ability to make full use of that top refresh price in a gaming context, however it is going to nonetheless play titles like Doom at a dependable 50-60fps and 90Hz simply so long as you knock the decision again to 1,280 x 720.

The 1TB SSD carried out solidly sufficient, being neither remarkably sooner or slower than the competitors however, somewhat irritatingly, it was divided into two partitions: one 120GB “Home windows” drive and one 815GB “Knowledge” drive. I solely observed this when Steam knowledgeable me my drive was out of area, necessitating a time-wasting reorganisation of information. Fortunately you should utilize the Huawei PC Supervisor to retailer information within the Knowledge partition by default.

Huawei MateBook 14s Evaluation: Verdict

Even when Huawei was promoting the MateBook 14s by itself for £1,200, I’d price it as an incredible purchase. However the truth that you’re getting it with a load of free gear, together with a monitor and mouse, makes it much more tempting.

It’s a beautiful machine to take a look at and use, the show and sound system are each top-notch and the efficiency can match another 14in compact laptops in its value bracket. Add to that the intelligent quad-microphone set-up and Huawei’s overdue realisation that placing webcams underneath pretend operate keys is a foolish concept, and you’ve got a machine that may be strongly advisable. 

Huawei MateBook 14s

ProcessorIntel Core i7-11370H
RAM16GB
Further reminiscence slotsNo
Max. reminiscence16GB
Graphics adapterIntel Iris Xe
Graphics reminiscenceShared
Storage1TB
Display screen measurement (in)14.2
Display screen decision2520 x 1680
Pixel density (PPI)213
Display screen sortLTPS LCD
TouchscreenSure
Pointing unitsTouchpad
Optical driveNo
Reminiscence card slotNo
3.5mm audio jackSure
Graphics outputsHDMI 1.4b. DisplayPort/Thunderbolt over USB-C
Different portsUSB 3.2 Gen 1 x 1, USB Sort-C 3.2 Gen 2 x1 Thunderbolt 4 x 1
Net Cam720p
Audio systemStereo
Wi-FiWi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
BluetoothBluetooth 5.1
NFCNo
Dimensions, mm (WDH)310 x 230 x 17mm
Weight (kg) – with keyboard the place relevant1.43Kg
Battery measurement (Wh)60Wh
Working systemHome windows 11 Dwelling
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