A laptop that’s more than a laptop. If you’re getting déjà vu, I’ve already written this intro for our first look at the Huawei MateBook 14. But that really is how I see Huawei laptops; they aim to act as a hub for all the other Huawei devices you may have. And that’s quite a powerful tool if you are steeped into its ecosystem.
But other productivity tools aren’t kept behind Huawei’s walls. And I’d like to talk about a mix of that and what having different Huawei devices can do to help you get your work done on this laptop.
The most significant part of Huawei’s cross-device plans is Super Device. This term covers a wide range of connectivity features primarily anchored on what it calls the Smart Office.
You can also use the Super Device feature for health, fitness, and entertainment. At its core, it’s designed to connect different Huawei devices in as few clicks as possible.
I’ve had a taste of this since I started using the Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8 with a MateBook D 15 through tools like Multi-Screen Collaboration. It’s been so much easier for tasks like file transfers, using the tablet as a second display for the laptop, or using the computer to control the tablet without holding the tablet in my hand. This also works with Huawei smartphones, which I’ve done with the P50 Pocket on the MateBook 14 and the MatePad Pro 10.8.
It has made my workflow so much easier because I could easily do things like copy photos from the phone into the laptop or vice versa. I can get a link from the computer and paste it into an Instagram story I’m posting on the phone.
I’ve hardly experienced any connection drops when a phone or tablet is connected to the Huawei MateBook 14. It quickly detects a connected device, and a simple drag and drop or a couple of clicks will reconnect them.
Huawei has also started testing the use of mobile apps on the PC through the Huawei Mobile App Engine. I didn’t tinker with that because Multi-Screen Collaboration has been enough for me to access the mobile apps on the phone without leaving my laptop screen. (Not sure if this needed to be said, but you can’t cast Netflix this way. You’ll just have to use the app on the laptop, which does make more sense anyway.)
But I can see this being useful for some users who want to do things like play games or access the experience of a mobile app on a Huawei laptop.
I find these features to be this laptop’s biggest strength. And I like that it extends beyond Huawei’s ecosystem. We have to thank this for being a Windows device (which updated to Windows 11 the moment I took it out of the box).
Windows offers a multi-screen experience through its Phone Link app. And this benefits Samsung smartphone users. I’ve connected the Samsung phones I have on hand (Samsung Galaxy S22+ and Samsung Galaxy M23 5G) to the MateBook 14. I can control the phone hands-free without looking away from the laptop and transfer photos and files wirelessly.
My use case is potentially not as intensive as yours. I mainly used the Huawei MateBook 14 to do a lot of writing, word editing, browsing and researching online, video calls, and video and music streaming. I don’t really video edit our short vertical videos on the laptop, but I did try it out with the P50 Pocket connected on here, and it worked without any issues. So, the specs on this machine have been more than enough for my daily use.
If you want a refresher on what the Huawei MateBook 14 runs on, here’s what you get: an 11th-gen Intel Core processor, up to 16GB RAM, and 512GB PCIe SSD. This model I’m testing runs on a Core i5-1335G7 with 16GB of RAM. This laptop also comes with Huawei’s Shark fin dual fans and dual heat pipes to help keep it cool. Heating wasn’t really an issue I encountered while working.
LiTT Tip #1: Huawei’s Super Device feature is easily accessible through the Control Panel. All you have to do is click on the icon that looks like a slider in the bottom right of the taskbar. It’s between the cloud icon for OneDrive and Huawei’s PC Manager icon. That will pull up the Huawei Control Panel, where you’ll see a section for Super Device there.
LiTT Tip # 2: If you’re like me and use the Pomodoro technique for getting work done, you can use a built-in app. And that’s Windows 11’s Clock app. It has a focus sessions mode where you can set a timer that you can see as you work. It even has built-in breaks to remind you to get up from your desk. However, this app won’t keep you from accessing specific apps or sites. But if you just want to have a timer on your screen to monitor your progress, this is an excellent option.
Display built for work
Huawei designed the MateBook 14 to be a modern office worker’s or student’s laptop. If you spend hours in front of the computer digesting document upon document or spreadsheet after spreadsheet, you’ll appreciate the 2K FullView 14-inch display. It has a 2,160 x 1,440 resolution screen with a 90% screen-to-body ratio and 3:2 aspect ratio. Huawei opted for this square-ish aspect ratio because it gives more vertical space. That means you can see more of the document or whatever file you have open. It’s come in handy for me when I want to see my notes for long-form features like this as I write.
Of course, you will get that black bar if you want to watch films or shows that adhere to a different aspect ratio. But after a while, I really don’t mind as much. It’s still actually a treat to watch content on this high-resolution display. I’m typically not a fan of glossy screens, but I like this one somehow.
The text and images always come out crisp and clear even when I’m using it on a sunny day and the light comes into my office. Glare and reflection are unavoidable, but I can usually ignore that. I personally still prefer a matte finish to a screen, but I’m not really put off by it here.
One design feature I’m really not a fan of is that camera hidden in the keyboard. I like it from a privacy perspective, but it’s not the most flattering angle at all for practical use. I would prefer it if Huawei finds a way to put it somewhere around the MateBook 14’s slim bezels.
One other thing I can think of is this laptop also feels a bit heavier than its size. Of course, it’s still lighter than bigger laptops, but it just feels hefty. Thanks to its size, you can still easily slip it into a laptop bag or backpack when you need to head out.
Consistent battery life
Most of the work I have done during this test has been at home, and I’ve seen it consistently last a full 24 hours before needing to charge. And by that, I mean if I had it at a 100% at 9:00 a.m. today, I would typically need to recharge its 56Wh battery at around 9:00 a.m. the next day. I spend at least eight hours working on this laptop.
Of course, I have to remind you again of my work. If your tasks aren’t processor- or graphics-intensive, I can see this machine lasting you through your workday. But if that isn’t the case for you, you should assume this would use up the battery much more quickly. Huawei claims up to 11 hours on a single charge for this laptop.
If you’re wondering about charging time, it usually takes around an hour and 45 minutes to finish charging when I leave it alone to just recharge. Charging is quicker thanks to the compact 65W charging brick. I mentioned this before, but it’s worth saying again. The charger supports SuperCharge, so you can even use it to fast-charge compatible Huawei smartphones.
What’s lit and what’s not?
What’s lit about it:
- Easy file transfer and use of other Huawei devices with the laptop
- Supports the Windows Phone Link feature to connect non-Huawei phones to the laptop
- Stable performance
- High-quality display built for word processing
- Long-lasting battery and decent charging speeds
What needs the extra spark:
- Conversely not a display for a movie-like experience
- Not for those who don’t like glossy/reflective screens
- Camera placement is still questionable
- Heavier than it looks
I will continue to call out the design decision of putting the webcam in the keyboard. But I really don’t have many other gripes with the MateBook 14. Huawei shows its expertise when it comes to making a premium laptop. The MateBook 14 also proves its ecosystem works to improve your workflow. It is easy to connect different devices to this central hub.
The Huawei MateBook 14 is a laptop to consider if you’re looking for a machine to get things done.
The Huawei MateBook 14 retails for PHP 59,999 (around USD 1,147 converted) from Huawei’s Online Store or through the brand’s Lazada and Shopee pages.
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