Most people probably know the Chinese manufacturer Huawei mainly from their very new smartphones. Its product portfolio is by no means limited to these. Huawei has also been building premium laptops for many years.
As a new model in the MateBook series, the 14s wants to compete with the best devices for its relatively low price of 1,149 euros. About the premium design, Intel Core i7-11370 processor and 90Hz 2.5K touch screen. As always, there are special Huawei advantages through the program in combination with the Huawei smartphone.
Matebook 14s On the typical design of high-end Huawei laptops. All three sides are made of aluminum and are properly processed. The high-quality hinge ensures that the device can be opened with one hand. There are high gloss rounded corners in every corner, which can look very nice with light reflection. Compared to previous models, Huawei moved the front camera to the top of the screen with the same ultra-thin bezels. For most users who do video conferencing frequently, this situation is more humane than filming it from the bottom up. Weighing just 1.43km, the 14-inch laptop definitely belongs in the lighter category. The height of 16.7 mm is also very portable.
On the outside there is only a large Huawei logo, so the overall design looks very clean. After Huawei released the MateBook X Pro it has already presented the emerald green color, this year there is again a green version to choose from: it is called Spruce Green. With much less saturation and a subtle look, I think the look is very successful. You can stand out from the crowd with it. Unlocked, the display is located directly inside with the keyboard, trackpad and fingerprint sensor.
Ports On the side of the Matebook There are two full USB-C ports on the left, all supporting data transfer and charging and a DisplayPort, a 3.5mm jack and an HDMI port. On the right side there is a classic USB-port with the default USB 3.2 Gen 1. It should also be noted that the MateBook 14s version with terabytes of storage on the second USB-C socket on the left supports Thunderbolt 4.
Display and speakers are surprisingly good
On the front we can see a 14.2 inch screen. It comes in a higher 3:2 screen format, which is especially useful when reading and writing documents, that is, in terms of productivity. With a resolution of 2.5K by 2520 x 1680 pixels, it comes to a dpi of 213, which is more than sharp enough for a laptop display.
The material of the display is high gloss, so it is also sensitive to touch. Together with a refresh rate of 90 Hz, which can be activated with the key combination Fn + R, the display is very nice. According to real tests, it covers 94.8 percent of the sRGB color space and achieves a brightness of 484 nits.
Especially with the 90Hz refresh rate and accurate color rendering, I really enjoyed using this screen, more than the MateBook X Pro, for example.
The recently marketed Huawei audio system was used in the Huawei MateBook 14S. This is a solution consisting of four speakers, which is supposed to provide high quality sound overall. I was really surprised by the first impression. Even if the sound can’t compete with the Apple MacBook Air, it is much better compared to many of the other Windows laptops we’ve heard before, including the MateBook X Pro. The sound system will be enough to just listen to the music in between.
The keyboard of Huawei MateBook 14s has a key travel of 1.5 mm and of course backlit. A longer keystroke makes the typing experience very enjoyable, and typing longer texts on it shouldn’t be a problem.
In comparison, the trackpad can’t quite keep up with that. It’s made of plastic, which feels less high quality than glass. As with other Windows laptops, pressure points are lower quality and cannot be clicked everywhere. Compared to the Apple MacBook or Huawei MateBook X, which in my opinion is the best Windows trackpad on the market, I always recommend using a mouse.
To get around the lock screen, the MateBook 14s supports both Windows Hello through infrared facial recognition, as well as unlocking via a fingerprint sensor. Both are very fast and reliable, so that you never have to enter your PIN in everyday life.
Performance and battery life
As a business-oriented laptop, performance isn’t the top priority of course, but an Intel Core i14-7H processor with Intel Iris graphics, 11,300 GB of workflow and 16 GB of massive storage are standard in the Huawei MateBook 512S. There is a choice between Balanced and Performance-oriented mode, which can be activated when plugged into the mains via FN+B or via PC Manager. The difference in performance is not huge, which is why you can use your laptop like a smartphone as long as the battery has endurance.
Pure performance in everyday life is that the CPU is very powerful in terms of performance and cooling is excellent for such a thin laptop, even with the most complex multitasking, of course, very good. Even simple video editing in Adobe Premiere Pro I tested is possible, the performance here is better than that of the pre-tested Huawei MateBook X Pro 2020. Even users who often perform complex tasks should prefer a laptop with a dedicated graphics card. The built-in fans are visible during complex tasks, but they are relatively quiet and have a pleasantly resonant sound.
As for the battery, the Huawei Matebook 14s is equipped with a 60Wh battery. Even if the uptimes are of course much worse for me as an Apple M1 user, they are still higher in comparison to Windows and not a weak point. Surprisingly, a 90W fast power supply is included. This is the fastest speed that a Huawei laptop ever had. Moreover, the size of the power supply is similar to that of smartphones. It also supports some fast charging standards, for example to charge a Huawei smartphone quickly.
Highlighting the exclusive programs for Huawei product users
On the software side, the Windows 10 user interface is used as a standard, where an upgrade to Windows 11 is already available for free. Huawei PC Manager makes it very easy to update drivers and detect hardware errors.
Speaking of a Huawei laptop, of course, you should not neglect the exclusive features. A few months ago, I already had a detailed report on the functionality of the new Harmonius 2.0 ecosystem published. What stands out especially for him is the simple connection between different hardware products.
Users of current Huawei smartphones, such as Huawei Nova 9, have functions such as multi-screen collaboration, in which the smartphone screen is displayed on the MateBook screen with a tap on the NFC-enabled trackpad. In this mode, you can simply operate the smartphone across the MateBook screen or trackpad, exchange files by drag and drop and maximize multitasking efficiency. Instead of logging in to Tabuk via WhatsApp Web, you can, for example, simply answer WhatsApp messages with the laptop keyboard on your smartphone. Latency with this feature is surprisingly low. Users of existing Huawei tablets simply have the option of using this as a portable second screen.
Based on the above test results, it can be seen that Huawei MateBook 14s is a very comprehensive package in terms of design, display, keyboard, performance, battery and more. Because it has hardly any major weaknesses and, in my opinion, even scores much better than the company’s main model in many areas, I can recommend it to Windows users without any problems.