It wasn’t so long ago that no one had heard of Huawei but the Chinese brand is now well established in the globe market, although it’s struggling to gain a foothold in the US thanks to concerns that Huawei's infrastructure equipment may enable surveillance by the Chinese government. Whether that’s true or not is something for the Trump administration to figure out. This political situation means Huawei cell phones aren’t available but those concerns aren’t getting in the way of sales of Huawei laptops so the Matebook D14 is widely available in the US.
When you’re buying on a budget, you’re always balancing features against the price. The MateBook D14 is a device that makes that choice a lot easier than most. At $1,340 it’s not cheap but the specs mean that you can justify the price. The entry-level device has a Whiskey Lake Intel Core i5 processor (CPU), 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, a Nvidia MX250 graphics processor (GPU) contained within a beautiful, thin case. The 14-inch QHD display isn’t a touch screen. You’ll need to pay more for the next spec up with comes with an IPS touch display.
There’s lots to like about the Matebook D14 but it doesn’t have Thunderbolt 3 and there’s an odd in-keyboard camera that just makes no sense at all but the specs on the $1,690 version make up for all that. If you’re willing to spend more, you get an Intel Core i7 CPU, double the RAM at 16GB, and twice the SSD at 512GB. There’s also the touch display to consider. All that for an estimated $350 more makes so much sense.
At just 0.63 inches thick and weighing only 3.28 pounds this is a thin and lightweight laptop. But its quirks might make you consider something else. The biggest rival for the Matebook D14’s higher spec model comes from the Chinese tech firm. The Matebook X Pro is considered a premium machine. It’s $449 more than the high spec D14 but it comes with Thunderbolt 3 and a higher resolution screen. Although both those features make a difference, it’s hard to justify the massive price rise so the Matebook D14 is the best all round laptop now.
This is a versatile machine that can be used at work or at home. Thin machines like this normally sacrifice ports but that’s not the situation here. You’ve got two USB A ports, a USB C 3.1 port, HDMI connectivity and a 3.5mm headphone jack when you want to switch off from those around you.
None Sound and Vision
The 14-inch IPS display is one of the laptop’s very best features. This touchscreen is very responsive and it doesn’t wobble when you press the screen. At 300 nits it’s not the brightest screen on the market but it’s more than good enough for everyday use. Although the screen’s good, the same can’t be said about the speakers. They’re on the bottom of the device as they are with a lot of laptops which means the sound muffles if you have the laptop on your lap. They’re fine if you have the device on a desk.
If you’re going to type a lot of stuff on this device, you’ll find a comfortable keyboard. The keys have deep travel for a machine that’s so thin so this is one of the best laptops for anyone who needs to write. As mentioned before, the laptop’s webcam is housed in the keyboard. You’ll find it between the F6 and F7 keys. You press a button and the webcam pops up out of the keyboard. The webcam’s fine at 720p but the angle you’re filmed at is unusual. The touchpad is one of the best on the market so you won’t need to add a mouse even if you’re using the laptop for a day’s work. It’s not the widest trackpad but it’s responsive and very accurate. There’s also a fingerprint reader on the keyboard which you can use for logging into Windows Hello. This piece of hardware is also among the best on the market. It reads your fingerprint accurately and quickly.
Overall there’s very little to complain about with this laptop. The Huawei MateBook 14 is a match for the more expensive MateBook X Pro in every way that matters and the hardware is a match for other more expensive laptops. It’s lightweight and thin and it looks great so as long as you can ignore the odd position of the webcam and the lack of Thunderbird 3, this laptop is recommended for anyone who wants high specs and a low cost.
To Consider Before Your Purchase
The only thing you need to consider when buying a laptop is which is more important - low cost or high spec.
- The Matebook D14 weighs 3.46 lbs
- The Matebook comes with Windows 10 Home
- The Matebook’s display is 1920 X 1080 pixels
What Do They Say on Other Sites
“I love this laptop. The display is beautiful, the boot up time is lightning fast.” (Justin on Amazon)
“The notebook has great battery life. Period. Those getting less than 10 hours of ""normal"", meaning ordinary use need to tweak their settings.” (VRM on Amazon)
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