Huawei MateBook 14 (2020) First Impressions: Potentially a powerhouse

Huawei MateBook 14 (2020) First Impressions: Potentially a powerhouse

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The Huawei MateBook 14 (2020) is here, amid a slew of other products from the company. While their offerings in the smartphone space are currently under siege, their accessories and laptops are fine for the moment. I’ve had the Huawei MateBook 14 for 24-hours now, and I really, really like it. While I’ll have more time to play with it for my full review, these are my first impressions so far.

huawei matebook 14 full body

About this hands-on: We received the Huawei MateBook 14 for review from Huawei UK yesterday. This is just our initial impressions over 24-hours of usage. Huawei did not have any input into the contents of this hands-on.

    Huawei Matebook 14 2020
    The Huawei MateBook 14 is a really small laptop that plays host to some fantastic hardware. It's sleek and stylish but doesn't compromise on features to get there. After just 24 hours, I really like it!

Huawei MateBook 14 (2020) Specs

Huawei MateBook 14 specs

SpecificationHuawei MateBook 14
Dimensions & Weight
  •  307.00mm x 223.80mm x 15.90mm
  • 1.49kg
Display
  • 14-inch IPS LCD FHD (2160×1440)
  • Touchscreen (some models)
  • 3:2
  • 300 nits
Processor
  • Ryzen 7 4800H APU
GPU
  • AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
RAM & Storage
  • 16GB DDR4 @2666MHz Dual DIMM
  • 512GB M.2 NVMe Western Digital SN730 SSD
Battery & Charging
  • 56Wh
  • 65W fast charging
I/O
  • 2x USB 3.2 Type-A
  • 1x USB Type-C
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth 5.0
OS
  • Windows 10 Home Edition
Other Features
  • Microsoft Office 365, 30-day trial


Huawei MateBook 14: Design and Build Quality

The Huawei MateBook 14 isn’t much of a departure from the company’s previous laptops in terms of design. It features the same sandblasted aluminum shell with the “HUAWEI” insignia printed across and is very thin and light, coming in at 1.49kg. Being a 14-inch laptop, it’s really small and super-easy to carry around the place in one hand.  While it took a little bit of an adjustment coming over from the Honor MagicBook Pro, a 16-inch laptop, I adapted quickly. With slim bezels as well, the laptop’s form-factor is a lot smaller than anything I’m used to.

The Huawei MateBook 14 has a 1440p display in a 3:2 aspect ratio. It’s a bit weird but I got used to it quickly. The touchscreen is intuitive to use, and the oleophobic coating on the screen helps to prevent the build-up of oily fingerprints on the screen.

The slim bezels on the Huawei MateBook 14

There’s a backlit keyboard here too, and it’s absolutely serviceable in low-light. It’s not the most noticeable during the day, but obviously that’s not really when you’d want to be using a backlit keyboard anyway.

The backlit keyboard on the Huawei MateBook 14

This is a membrane keyboard, not a mechanical keyboard, but it’s nice enough to use. I don’t have any issues with it, and it’s definitely not a bad keyboard. Obviously laptops at this price range will cut some corners, and if I’m honest, this is probably one of the better corners to cut than what could have been. The keyboard also houses the 1MP camera, which you can pop out just by clicking it down.

The webcam built into the Huawei MateBook 14

On the left and right, underneath the laptop, are a pair of 2W speakers. They do the job just fine though entirely lack bass, and there’s a fingerprint sensor on the top right as well. On the left are a USB-C port, an HDMI port, and a 3.5mm headphone and microphone jack. On the right are two USB-A 3.2 ports.

Overall, the Huawei MateBook 14 is a really small laptop that plays host to some fantastic hardware. It’s sleek and stylish but doesn’t compromise on features to get there.

Performance

fingerprint sensor on the huawei matebook 14

Given how little time I’ve had with the Huawei MateBook 14, I can really only rattle off specs for you at this point in time. The Ryzen 7 4800H is one of the higher-end laptop chipsets that you can get at the moment, and it’s incredibly battery efficient too. It features 8 cores and 16 threads and will be even beefier than the Honor MagicBook Pro’s Ryzen 4600H. 16GB of dual DIMM DDR4 RAM will certainly get you by in nearly all scenarios, and the 512GB nVME SSD means that games and large applications will launch quickly. I’ve had no issues with performance whatsoever throughout the day of setting up all of my applications and writing this review, so that’s definitely a good sign. I’m impressed at the moment.

Battery & Conclusion

The Huawei MateBook 14 packs a 56Wh battery, and the Ryzen 7 4800H is a pretty power-efficient chipset.

Huawei MateBook 14 is a sleek and stylish small laptop with some fantastic hardware that doesn't compromise on features to retain its size.

Setting up all of my apps and getting other work done saw the battery drop from 70% to 15% in the space of about 5 hours of usage. I’m a big fan of that kind of battery life in a laptop, especially when you consider that installing applications and setting up a new device is a more power-intensive process than most productivity workflows.

Overall, I’m very impressed. While I don’t want to make any recommendations or any conclusions based on the little amount of time I’ve had with this laptop so far, I think it’s definitely one to look out for. The Ryzen 7 4800H is no slouch, and with other power-house specifications, it may well be worth the asking price.

    Huawei Matebook 14 2020
    The Huawei MateBook 14 is a really small laptop that plays host to some fantastic hardware. It's sleek and stylish but doesn't compromise on features to get there. After just 24 hours, I really like it!