Huawei Matebook 14s review in a nutshell: this Windows PC is a sleek powerhouse of a laptop, it might be pricey but you won’t be disappointed by everything it has to offer. It’s one of the best laptops for Huawei fans who need a PC for work.
If there’s one thing Huawei do brilliantly, it’s making good looking tech. Not long ago I reviewed the Huawei MateBook X Pro 2021, a sleek day-to-day laptop with loads going for it under the hood. The Huawei Matebook 14s is no different, and the Chinese tech manufacturer has finally got the memo and moved the webcam back to the top bezel where it belongs - fixing one of the issues we had with their laptops before.
Let’s get straight to it, here’s everything you need to know about the Huawei Matebook 14s.
Huawei Matebook 14s review: price and availability
The Huawei Matebook 14s starts at £1,200 in the UK and AU$2,400 in Australia for the model with 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage and the Intel Core i7 processor. You won’t be able to buy this in the US.
Take look at the widgets on this page to see where you can buy one online.
Huawei Matebook 14s review: design and screen
One thing you can’t deny is that the Huawei Matebook 14s is a stunning piece of kit, available in Spruce Green and Space Gray, with a strong aluminium-alloy body and a glossy matte finish. If you want your next laptop to look sleek, modern and professional then you’ve come to the right place.
Not only does it look the part, but measuring 313.82 x 229.76 x 16.7 mm and weighing 1.43kg, it’s slim and lightweight too which makes it a good choice for carrying with you on a day-to-day basis.
Huawei laptops have had one design problem in common - the placement of the webcam. To save on bezel space, they have been putting it on the keyboard, but in the age of video calls and remote working, that just means unflattering angles from underneath your chin. So it’s great to see that has been moved back to where it should be on the top of the screen. That doesn’t mean they’ve had to make sacrifices on the thickness of the bezels though, as Huawei has still managed to achieve a 90% screen-to-body ratio.
To unlock the display, the power button doubles up as a fingerprint sensor, so you just need to power it on and it will unlock for you with the same press. If you prefer there is IR facial recognition here as well. Typing is just as satisfying, the full-sized low-profile keyboard is well spaced out and has 1.5 mm key travel. It’s very quiet to use. The keyboard feels really nice to type out long documents on, and it’s very well suited to touch typing too. Then, when it comes to the touchpad, it’s large, responsive and accurate so there aren't any problems to note there.
On the frame, there are a number of ports including two USB-Cs (supporting charging and DisplayPort), one USB-3, an HDMI and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Even without a MicroSD card slot, that covers most bases.
The 14.2inch 2.5K Huawei FullView Display has an aspect ratio of 3:2 which is longer than you’d get elsewhere and means you can fit more onto the screen, whether that’s documents or photo edits. Huawei promises the screen will be comfortable on your eyes as well, with TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light and Flicker-Free certifications as well as a smart brightness feature that will adjust the screen according to your surroundings.
The touchscreen display looks fantastic with 400 nits peak brightness, vibrant accurate colours and 1500:1 contrast ratio. It’ll be good enough to use for everything from streaming TV shows and movies to editing video. You get impressive levels of detail and everything looks incredibly sharp. Meanwhile, the refresh rate can go up to 90Hz so using the laptop looks and feels silky smooth as well, even when you’re playing video games. If you’re running out of battery, Huawei has included a keyboard shortcut (Fn + R) which will reduce the refresh rate to 60Hz giving you more time before you need to plug it in.
Huawei Matebook 14s review: performance and battery
With Intel Evo certification, you’re almost guaranteed good performance across the board, but let’s break that down a little. To be given the Intel Evo badge, laptops have to achieve a minimum standard when it comes to power and portability. To name a few of the requirements, Intel Evo laptops need to use one of Intel's latest Tiger Lake processors, with at least 9 hours of use from the battery and it all needs to be within a portable, lightweight body.
The Huawei Matebook 14s ticks all of the boxes. Under the hood, you get an Intel Core i7-11370H processor or if you want to save some cash you could opt for the Intel Core i5-11300H CPU instead. That’s paired with Intel Iris Xe Graphics, and a choice of 8GB or 16GB of RAM. Storage-wise there’s a choice of a 512GB or 1TB SSD. For the purposes of my testing, I had the highest spec model with the Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM and 1TB of storage.
You’ll be able to use this laptop for just about anything, be that creative tasks like photo or video editing, less demanding tasks like opening spreadsheets and browsing the web, or even playing a few video games here and there. That’s backed up by the scores it achieved in benchmark tests. On Geekbench 5, the Huawei Matebook 14s scored 1,527 in single-core and 5,604 in multi-core, while on 3D Mark’s Time Spy test it got 1,815. Across the board, the laptop achieved outstanding scores so you know you'll be able to rely on it day-to-day.
On top of being a fast and efficient PC, the Huawei Matebook 14s has a battery that will last you through a whole day of casual use.
When it comes to video, I downloaded and ran a movie on full brightness over two hours to see how long it would last. In that time, the battery dropped by 34% suggesting it would have lasted almost 6 hours of video playback in total which is pretty good going.
Charging it up again using the included 90W USB-C charger was really quick, it took just over an hour to recharge it from empty to 100%. The charger itself is tiny, it looks more like a smartphone charger so it’s not going to be a problem to keep it at the bottom of your bag.
Four speakers are packed into the Huawei Matebook 14s, the sound is full-bodied, strong and it goes very loud. It’s still not going to be as good as the audio quality you’d get from a separate speaker but for watching TV shows and movies it’ll certainly be more than good enough.
You’ll also get four microphones built-in that can pick up your voice from up to 5m away and they use AI noise cancellation to filter out ambient noise. But the really special feature of the mics is the Personal Voice Enhancement which will make your voice sound clearer while cutting out distracting background noise, including other people’s voices. Perfect if your kids were to run in the room during a meeting!
The Huawei Matebook 14s runs on Windows 10 out of the box, but you will get a free upgrade to Windows 11 when it's more widely available.
As well as having everything you'd expect from a Windows laptop, you can use the Huawei Matebook 14s seamlessly with other Huawei devices. For instance, when you take the Huawei Freebuds 4 out of their case, the laptop immediately recognises them and hook itself up to them. It speeds up the process a lot.
Similarly, if you own a Huawei phone or tablet, you can easily transfer files between your devices by opening up your phone screen on the laptop which allows you to drag and drop files onto the PC. Huawei Share will also let you take calls through the Matebook screen so you don't need to switch between devices when your phone rings.
If you own a Huawei tablet, you’ll easily be able to extend the Huawei Matebook 14s screen as well, which means you can run multiple programmes at once, using the same mouse and the same keyboard on both. You can even drag files, folders and windows across between the devices.
Huawei Matebook 14s review: verdict
The Huawei Matebook 14s is a powerful PC with an excellent screen, an accurate trackpad and a smooth keyboard - plus it looks incredibly smart.
It'll be perfect for anyone who needs a new work PC, whether you type all day, manage spreadsheets or even if you spend your days performing more creative tasks like graphic design. I am really pleased to see the back of the keyboard webcam for remote working as well, it means this laptop can be used for video calls much more comfortably.
Without other Huawei devices, you won’t be able to make the most out of all of the smart features this computer has to offer, like Huawei Share. So while anyone can use this and will like this, the Huawei Matebook 14s will be best suited to Huawei fans.
Huawei Matebook 14s review: also consider
The Huawei 14s still can’t beat the Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020) which is the best laptop for most people. It’s slim, light and silent packing plenty of power in with fantastic battery life and a really good screen. It’ll be the best choice for Apple users as well.
If you’re not a fan of iOS then the best premium Windows laptop is still the Dell XPS 13 (9310) - it’s Intel Evo certified like the Huawei Matebook 14s, so it looks and feels fantastic as well as being powerful with impressive battery life.
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