Huawei Matebook 14 Review: Unmatched in its Class

The Huawei Matebook 14 has been my daily driver for about a month now and i’m sad to say that as i type down my full experience, I am also counting down the days till i have to return this laptop – and that is a testament to how much i love this notebook. 2020 brought us many interesting devices but most ended up just varying in specifications and prices but none with so much so different. The Huawei Matebook 14, though, brings a lot at it’s pricepoint.

Keep reading to learn more!


Packaging and Contents

The laptop came in a sealed plastic that protected the outerbox from dirt and scratches. It’s a nice touch as many other laptops, even premium ones – are exposed to their environments and transportation and logistics can easily dirty them or damage them. Ofcourse, some premium models have inner boxes to compensate for the outer box exposure and given there was a sealed plastic for the Matebook 14, we already assumed there wasn’t going to be any inner box.

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After removing the seal of the plastic and the plastic itself, we further had to remove 2 seals from the box itself. Pretty commendable of Huawei to secure customers that the unit is totally brand new and has not been opened in anyway or tampered with.

After those 2 seals, there were no further surprises.

Upon opening the box, you will be greeted by the documentation in a rather premium plastic case, as is the case with the cable. The charging brick however was vacuum sealed in regular plastic. There was nothing else to see in the unit aside from those and the unit itself. For further accessories information, there’s nothing special about them except that the charger is a 65W brick and the cable is a typeC to typeC cable. Given that the laptop is powered by an H series processor from AMD, we did expect no less. It would have been nice to get a 90W adapter though for faster charging speeds. Hopefully, the battery is long enough to not ned multiple charges.

Design and Overview

The laptop itself is quite unassuming.

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It looks like any traditional ultrathin in the market and no one will ever think that this super sleek laptop actually houses a very powerful Ryzen H series CPU. Further, we loved every bit of the design of the Matebook 14 as it felt premium in every corner. It’s also quite clean, having a Ryzen sticker at the bottom left corner of the device. Every other sticker is found a the bottom of the device.

The laptop is adorned in aluminum everywhere including the bottom case and even the backlit keys and large trackpad felt solid. There’s also a fnger print scanner located at the powerbutton itself, saving you the trouble of logging in twice.

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Ports wise, it’s pretty minimalistic but it will do if your purpose is to travel light.

On the left you get a USB C port that doubles as the charging port, a 3.5mm audio jack and a full sized HDMI port (something most modern ultrabooks omit these days). On the right, it’s pretty bare with only 2 usb A ports, to be used mainly for hooking up a mouse or an external storage device.

It would’ve been great to see an additional typeC port though as you do lose the ability to expand via TypeC if you’re using that for charging. Unless ofcourse your adapter or hub supports pass through charging, i.e.

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Underneath, you’ll see plenty of ventilation – a nice touch from Huawei – given that this device is targeted as a workhorse ultrathin. The laptop was cool enough in most of our tests and activities and it never gave us a worry of feeling of being overworked.

Last but not the least, and definitely our favourite part of the device though is the panel.

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The Huawei Matebook 14 2020 sports really thin bezels all around and this is what helps keep it’s compact nature despite being a full 14″ laptop. What makes this even better is that it’s a 2160×1440 resolution IPS panel with 100% sRGB coverage making it ideal for content creation!

It’s a really wonderfull aspect ratio too at 3:2 and this makes it perfect for browsing websites and articles. While weird for wide resolution media though, we still did enjoy a lot of netflix and a lot of youtube on this device.

Performance and Upgrades

We ran the Huawei Matebook 14 through a couple of tests and we’re happy with the results. The Matebook sports a Ryzen 5 4600H with 6cores and 12 threads, with a boost clock of up to 4GHZ. This is paired with 16GB of ram and 512GB of speedy SSD. At PHP54,995 – Many would have said it’s ONLY just a fair deal but what many don’t know is that this specific cpu beats out corresponding laptops sporting a Ryzen 5 4500U or even the Core i5-1035G7 found in the same price range. That isn’t even the best part though – as this very same Ryzen 5 4600H even manages to beat out the Core i7-1065G7 which is usually found on laptops atleast PHP10,000 more expensive. How amazing is that? No wonder it felt like a breeze to go through our daily workload and tasks!

For games, though – it’s a different story. I’m pretty sure, you’ve already assumed that this wasn’t made for gaming but it will handle some lighter titles properly. A few e-sports titles like counter strike and Dota 2 worked just fine on medium to high settings though we had to crank down the resolution down to FHD instead of the native 2K resolution.But nevertheless, the integrated RX VEGA 7 is still much better than similar options with non-discreet gaming cards.

For upgrades, we didn’t open up the back of the device but we were told that the memory is soldered on but you can upgrade the WIFI card and SSD. If 512GB isn’t enough for you – you can swap it out for a 1TB or even a 2TB NVME SSD drive.

Battery Life

The Matebook 14 houses a 56Whr battery and this one is not big nor small. We’d say it’s quite average for a laptop of it’s size, even though we’ve seen laptops of the same size but with battery sizes up to 65-70Whr. Nevertheless, the Matebook 14 gave us some good results as the AMD Renoir platform is pretty efficient versus competing processors of the same generation.

For a day just connected to wifi and editing texts and reports, the Matebook 14 gave us a solid work day without needing to be plugged. That’s over 8 hours of use, with just a breaks in between.

For days wherein we watched some Youtube or videos though, we found ourselves needing to charge around the 5 hour mark.

Those are great numbers for a really thin and portable powerhouse, if you ask me!

VERDICT

Before we end this review, here are the full specifcations:

Processor: AMD Ryzen 6 4600H
Graphics: AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
Memory 16GB DDR4-2666
Display 14″inch 3:2, 2160 x 1440 pixels, 100% sRGB
Storage 512GB SSD
Ports: 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 3.5mm Audio , 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, USB-C
Networking Wifi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0
Size 15.9 x 308 x 224mm
Battery 56 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Webcam: HD 720p
Weight 1.49 kg

The Huawei Matebook 14 2020 retails for only PHP54,995 and on paper offers much more than what it’s current competitors do. At PHP54,995 you’d usually get a measly 4 core, 8 thread cpu paired with 8GB ram and 512GB SSD running a FHD display but the Matebook 14 ups them with a 6core/12thread CPU, double the ram at 16GB and a 2K 3:2 aspect ratio display with 100% sRGB coverage. AMAZING. JUST AMAZING.

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Currently, we feel that the Matebook 14 is unmatched in it’s class. At PHP54,995 you can get competing laptops with a FHD panel, 8GB of ram and 512GB SSD but only paired with ULV CPUs which as we’ve found performs less than the R5 4600H of the Matebook 14.

You may find better battery life in the likes of the Zenbook 14 with R5 4500U or Yoga Slim 7 with R5 4500u as well but neither will give you the performance prowess of the Matebook 14 or it’s sharp 2K resolution + 100% sRGB.  Further, if Huawei manages to bring a Ryzen 7 4800H version at 59,995 (a P5000 premium usually found between R5 and R7) – then that would definitely crush the competition and change the game entirely for the ultrathin market in the Philippines.

It is 2021 now, though, and we do also feel that most manufacturers will be upping their game by offering better feature sets at similar prices. At this point in time though, Huawei is the clear leader in the best performance with relatively good portability and battery life to boot!

Huawei Matebook 14

54995
9.4

Design

9.6/10

Features

9.0/10

Performance

9.4/10

Price

9.6/10