Here are several reasons why the new Huawei MateBook 14 is good but unmemorable.

Here are several reasons why the new Huawei MateBook 14 is good but unmemorable.

My experience with the MateBook 14 left me shaking my head, having seen the Huawei MateBook X Pro destroy the M3 MacBook Air. This 14-inch aluminum unibody laptop, which previously astounded me with its magnesium grandeur, is nice, but largely forgettable.

Do not misunderstand. Everything runs quite smoothly thanks to the Intel Core Ultra 7 processor, which has a 40W TDP and Super Turbo mode. This is kept up beautifully by the excellent thermal management. Furthermore, the 2.8K OLED panel with a 3:2 aspect ratio is visually pleasing.

Here we have yet another unremarkable metal slab that has been restyled to resemble a fake M1 MacBook Air. But props to the craftsmanship for the dot-patterned air vents around the rear and the lowering of the keyboard frame to provide an exquisite typing experience.

Generally, I wouldn’t be too harsh on maintaining an extremely simple and elegant style; if that’s your thing, I’m sure you’ll adore it. However, after seeing the X Pro, I’m convinced Huawei can create far more aesthetically pleasing and ergonomically sound designs (particularly for the touchpad).

HUAWEI MATEBOOK 14: SPECS

Display14.2-inch (2880 x 1920) touchscreen OLED, 3:2, 120Hz refresh rate
CPUIntel Core Ultra 7 155H
GPUIntel Arc integrated graphics
RAM32GB DDR5 RAM
Storage1TB SSD
Ports2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1x USB-C, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x 3.5mm audio jack
ConnectivityBluetooth 5, Wi-Fi 6
Battery70 Wh
Size12.3 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches
Weight2.9 pounds

HUAWEI MATEBOOK 14: THE UPS

With its 40 W TDP Intel Core Ultra 7 processor and 32GB DDR5 RAM, this machine’s internal components provide you with impressive power for your workload.

I didn’t detect the slightest slowdown in all of the tasks I put at it in my typical day-to-day, which included opening a few different apps to boot, playing music in the background, and multitasking between a ton of Chrome tabs.

Furthermore, even while it’s not a gaming laptop—don’t expect it to run your demanding AAA titles smoothly—you can play around with the settings and get a good number of games to work. Forza Horizon 5 has some strange Intel Arc visuals, including rubber banding, but it’s impressive that it can get 50 frames per second in 1080p at low settings.

You will also notice a noticeable performance increase with Super Turbo 2.0 while opening important applications, such as big Microsoft Office files and thick RAW PSDs. An updated dual shark fin fan system keeps everything nice and cool, and there is no visible thermal throttling.

Versatile usability

This is an extremely flexible device when the touchpad is taken out of the picture (more on that later). A pleasant touch of customer friendliness is the pen’s inclusion with the multi-touch display, which lags almost little when writing on virtual paper.

Additionally, a joy-to-use keyboard is included with this. I didn’t detect any difference in the physical aspects of typing between this and the MateBook X Pro. Each key has a good amount of travel, and each push results in a pleasant, tactile, soft landing.

However, Huawei has eliminated the metallic border that typically encircles the keyboard, making it more noticeable (you can see this on a MacBook Pro for example). When your fingers wander to the edge keys, it feels much less constrained thanks to this minor adjustment.

When you’re feeling particularly creative, the MateBook 14 is always there to support you, whether it’s through written expression or visual displays.

HUAWEI MATEBOOK 14: THE DOWNS

Apart from a few sacrifices I noticed during my hands-on experience, there are two more things that, considering what I know Huawei is capable of with the MateBook X Pro, just look like their own goals. Let’s start with the major one.

I have faith that Huawei can work real magic here. The X Pro’s compactness, elegance, tactile click, and remarkable user-friendliness are all things I find remarkable. It is therefore a little disheartening to return to a touchpad that is a little limiting and has a somewhat spongey click.

While none of the edge controls are retained, multi-touch choices are fortunately responsive, so that’s something.

HUAWEI MATEBOOK 14: OUTLOOK

And so the Huawei MateBook 14 is just a good laptop, nothing more. Considering how much of a MacBook Pro me-too the design is, I can’t help but feel a little let down after the joie de vivre I experienced with the MateBook X Pro.

That touchpad sponge notwithstanding, this is a decent all-arounder for working during the day and playing/binge-watching at night if you can get over it. Particularly considering the OLED display’s magnificence.

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