huawei Matebook 14s in the test: high-quality Laptop with top performance
Notebooks with 14-inch displays are becoming more and more popular: the form factor is still sufficiently compact for mobile work, but offers greater utility than conventional 13-inch devices. This is exemplified by the Matebook 14s, with which Huawei rounds off its range of notebooks in this area. Priced in the upper middle class, the transitions to the mobile premium segment are fluent in some test categories.
2.5K touchscreen at 90 Hertz
This becomes apparent immediately after unpacking: In terms of look, feel, processing quality and stability, the ultrabook, which is available in the colors “Space Gray” and “Spruce Green”, definitely exudes a premium class feeling. An impression that is strengthened after opening the device when the high-quality input devices and the almost frameless screen with a screen-to-body ratio of 90 percent become visible.
Not only the fast refresh rate of 90 Hertz is unusual for a folding computer of conventional design, but also that the 14.2-inch panel can be operated via touch inputs, which further increases usability. The display (aspect ratio 3:2) also has an unusual resolution of 2,520 x 1,680 pixels. At 213 ppi, the pixel density is significantly higher than that of classic Full HD screens. There is also nothing to complain about in terms of brightness and color contrast. A light sensor for automatic brightness control is also available.
However, the real highlight is hidden inside the Matebook 14s: an Intel Core i7-11370H processor with an integrated Intel Iris X graphics unit, which is designed for slimmer gaming notebooks and workstations. In conjunction with 16 GB of RAM, this CPU power helps the noble Chinese to achieve an outstanding system and graphics performance that we have not yet seen in the 14-inch segment and which is rightly rewarded with the maximum score in the performance rating. This is associated with slightly larger dimensions and more weight than is possible in this price and size class, but you are happy to accept that.
- Find the Matebook 14s at Huawei
In addition, there is a really fast SSD with 512 GB under the hood. If you add another 200 euros, you even get a whole terabyte of SSD storage. The interface supply is befitting: the built-in HDMI port and the obligatory headphone jack are joined by a USB-A port (3.2 Gen 1) and two chargeable USB-C slots with DisplayPort support. However, you will look in vain for a card reader or a Thunderbolt-capable connector.
The fingerprint sensor for biometric login via Windows Hello is conveniently hidden in the power button above the keyboard. We also find it practical that the webcam can be found in the usual place above the screen and is no longer integrated into the function key bar, as is the case with the top model MateBook X Pro. Because this construction provides an unfavorable viewing angle. Small disadvantage: The camera cannot be deactivated at the push of a button.
In return, Huawei provides users of the Matebook 14s with a most amazing sound. It is astonishing because the narrow case of an ultrabook basically does not offer a reasonable sound box and the speaker openings are located on the bottom of the device in this case. Nevertheless, the folding computer not only produces exceptionally loud tones, but also beautiful ones in the form of powerful bass and clear trebles. In any case, the model is one of the best that we have ever heard from a notebook in terms of sound technology.
Decent battery life
It was clear that the endurance of the Matebook 14s would not be record-breaking given the energy-hungry computing unit, despite the 60 Wh battery. Nevertheless, the mobile computer lasts for an impressive ten hours on battery power in the “Modern Office” scenario before it has to be recharged, which is also done quickly thanks to the 90 W power supply unit.
Conclusion: Top notebook at a moderate price
The Huawei Matebook 14s is one of the best ultrabooks of the year despite the low price – given the high-quality equipment. There are slimmer and lighter 14-inchers, but none with such outstanding performance. In addition, there is a sound quality that is convincing by notebook standards.
By the way: Anyone who decides to buy the Matebook 14s by November 11, 2021 will receive a home office bundle from Huawei as part of an introductory campaign consisting of the Huawei Display 23.8” (RRP: 159.99 euros) and the Huawei FreeBuds 4i ( RRP: 99 euros) free of charge.