Huawei MateBook 14s looks every bit a stylish, everyday workhorse laptop

Well-specced in almost every department; let's hope the local pricing will be attractive.

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If there’s one thing Huawei has been good at, it’s coming up with truly stylish devices, complete with the kitchen sink, and for its laptops, aggressively priced.

The new MateBook 14s probably won’t be as cheap as before but generally, the company is still sticking to its playbook of offering a sleek-looking portable that isn’t always the lightest but makes up for it by having respectable hardware. That and the fact that they have a soothing Spruce Green (if you’re into that sort of thing) in addition to regular Space Grey.

Huawei went with a 2520 x 1680 resolution (3:2) panel, which is pretty sharp at typical viewing distance, and coupled with a 90 per cent screen-to-body-ratio, which should strike a pretty good impression the moment you open up the laptop. It’s a ten-point touchscreen as well. They’ve listed screen brightness at 400 nit, which is just slightly below the likes of a MacBook Pro. However, their panel does have a 90 Hz refresh rate and 100 per cent sRGB coverage, which should make for a very vibrant and fluid experience.

Because the 90 Hz display is admittedly on the extraneous side of things, Huawei has chosen to set 60 Hz as the default seeing, with the option to turn it up to 90 Hz with a shortcut combination (Fn+R) when needed. To combat eye fatigue, there’s dual eye protection with TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light and Flicker Free certifications.

For audio, the MateBook features a quad-speaker audio system that the company calls Huawei Sound – not to be confused with the Sound X speaker co-designed with luxury speaker giant Devialet – and uses algorithm magic to create a surround-sound experience.

Surprisingly, webcam resolution is only 720p but the quad microphone configuration with a 360-degree pickup and AI-powered noise cancellation sounds promising. But the camera does offer facial recognition on top of fingerprint recognition for security.

At its heart is an 11th Gen Intel Core H-series processor coupled with Iris Xe graphics, but what’s really convenient is the inclusion of a shortcut (just press Fn+P) that raises the CPU TDP cap to 45W. It’s an easy and intuitive way to call on more power only when you need it. The HUAWEI MateBook 14s has a decently-sized 60Wh battery and a 90W power adapter for fast charging (3 hours use on a 15-minute charge). Great if you need to fast charge your phone as well.

Software features

Much like Samsung, Apple and Xiaomi, Huawei has been hard at work in trying to create an ecosystem for its devices. If you have the MatePad Pro 12.6 and above, you can use the tablet as a secondary display and expand your workspace. In mirror mode, it can be a useful platform for sketching. Or switch to collaborate mode so you can also use your keyboard and mouse on both devices as well as drag and drop files across operating systems.

Huawei intends to bring its own app store – AppGallery to the laptop in due course, albeit in beta. This feature is touted to let users conveniently use mobile applications from the PC AppGallery, so you don’t have to keep shuttling between your phone and your laptop.

But the truth is that I think most people are more concerned with the hardware than the software, given that you need to be practically married to their ecosystem to reap the benefits. Fortunately, the hardware alone looks pretty good on its own.

The MateBook 14s has been confirmed for Singapore but more details will be revealed closer to launch. In China, pre-order prices start from 7,000 yuan (approximately $1,500) for the basic i5 model with 16GB RAM and 512GB storage.

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