Huawei Matebook 14 review (AMD Ryzen 5 4600H, 3:2 display)

24 Comments

  1. Colin

    December 5, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    Hi @Andrei,
    Thanks for this review that also helps me build my opinion about the Honor MagicBook Pro.
    I expect this latter, with its 16" chassis, to better cool the processor and let it run at lower temperature or higher performance level.

    By the way, I would like to point out an error in the specs : the dimensions you mentionned match with a classic 16/9e 14" chassis.
    Dimensions advertised by Huawei are 307.5 mm (w) x 223.8 mm (d) x 15.9 mm (h).

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 6, 2020 at 12:11 pm

      Thanks, you're right about the dimensions. Updated.

  2. Piotr K.

    December 6, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 7, 2020 at 10:22 am

      Right. Sry for the confusion, and updated

  3. wck

    December 6, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    The name of this laptop is Matebook 14,not D14.
    They are different.

  4. Rev

    December 6, 2020 at 10:10 pm

    Slight mistake, the model D does not have 4600H, it is just Matebook 14, please double check it but so far this is how it is in EU

  5. Garett

    January 7, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    Thank you for a very fair review of the Matebook 14. I am still facing some difficulty deciding if I should purchase this laptop.

    I understand that at 15% more of its price, I could buy Asus UM425IA which has a 4700U processor, a larger battery and weighs considerably lighter. At the same price point, I could also get a matebook 14 with the 4800H processor and a touch screen. Unfortunately, Huawei has not brought that into my country yet.

    Would be grateful if you could share your thoughts on this. Should I spend a bit more to get the UM425IA? Or should I wait on the chance that Huawei brings in the 4800H alternative? Are there worth the higher prices?

    I will be using the laptop for both work and leisure. The former involves lots of reading (dozens of Chrome tabs, PDF, Google Drive and word documents open at the same time) and handling of large Excel databases. The latter would really be just be Netflix and music.

    Thank you.

    • Andrei Girbea

      January 7, 2021 at 8:00 pm

      You don't need the Ryzen 7 4800U for those activities, but if possible, I'd get a configuration with 16 GB of RAM with either Ryzen 5 or Ryzen 7 processor.

      The choice is mostly between the 3:2 display with a brighter panel on the MateBook, and the lighter weight and larger battery of the ZenBook, as well as the fact that the MateBook is glossy and the ZenBook is matte. Hard choice, I personally would lean towards the ZenBook because I resent glossy non-touch displays, but that's just me. Also, the ZenBook has been around for a while and perhaps you could hunt for some discounts if not in a hurry.

  6. Pi

    January 13, 2021 at 12:19 am

    Hello Andrei, thank you for your detailed review! This laptop is one of the two I'm considering, with the M1 MacBook Air. In particular, the two configurations I'm evaluating are respectively:
    Matebook 14 R5 4600H 16GB/512GB for about 850 euros;
    Macbook Air M1 8GB/256GB for about 1050 euros.
    I'm a Machine Learning student, so the main use of the notebook would be related with coding and training some ML models, besides doing some browsing and other basic stuff.
    My concerns are as follows:
    Is it worth to spend 200 euros more for the MacBook?
    Is it convenient to invest on a 8GB of RAM device? Besides, I read that these 8GB devices use a lot of swap memory which should adversely affect the life of the non-replaceable ssd. Do you think this can have a significant impact on longevity?

    Thanks in advance :)

    • Andrei Girbea

      January 13, 2021 at 8:49 am

      You're probably put that extra memory to good use with your needs, so I'd favor the Huawei. Also, think about whether all your coding software is going to properly run on ARM M1 hardware, that alone might be a reason to go with a more standard x86 architecture

  7. Dan Grover

    January 21, 2021 at 12:54 pm

    Fyi you can change the keyboard backlight timeout (including no timeout) in the PC Manager software.

    Also I'm not sure if this is a difference in the 4600H Vs 4800H (I have the latter, from the UK) but the USB-C port on mine can absolutely charge whilst also doing other stuff. I have a dongle on my desk right now with power, ethernet, 3.5mm audio, a few USB devices and an HDMI monitor plugged in, all going into the laptop via the one USB-C port, and it charges to boot. Then again my charger is "only" 65W – you mention yours is 100W? – but it's the one that came with the device.

    • Andrei Girbea

      January 21, 2021 at 1:07 pm

      Hi,

      Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it.

      1. I couldn't figure that out in PC Manager at the time, but I've updated the article to reflect that's an option in there. Perhaps they've updated PC Manager in the meantime?
      2. Want I meant is that the USB-C port is blocked by the charger and you cannot hook up an external monitor/other accessories while the charger is plugged in. Of course, that can be circumvented with an external dock, just like you're saying. I've updated the article to make this clearer. In general, I prefer laptops that either offer two USB-C ports (so you can use one for charging and one for peripherals without a dock), or those that allow both barrel-plug and USB-C forces you to use that dock (or the included adapter), which I'd rather not. Probably not important for most buyers, just my preference.
      3. Mine came with a 100W charger, it says 5V 20A on the brick (zoom into the picture, you can see the label). I also got the same on the MateBook X tested later. I'm seeing 65W mentioned on the official website, so perhaps Huawei just provided something else with this review sample. 65W is enough even with demanding loads, so I wouldn't worry about it.

      A

  8. step

    January 29, 2021 at 10:59 pm

    Hello! I'm dealing with 2d pixel art and 2d game development. Do you think the graphics card will be a peoblem for me or do you think it would make more sense to wait for AMD's new processors and the more powerful graphics cards that come with them?

    • Andrei Girbea

      January 30, 2021 at 10:08 am

      hard to tell, you should figure out if the programs that you're using benefit from a more powerful GPU or the increased IPC of the newer 5000 CPUs. Just keep in mind that there's always going to be a next best thing, so at some point you should just go and get the product that helps you do the job at the time you need it

  9. step

    February 1, 2021 at 2:41 pm

    I think I'll wait for the new laptops with ryzen's new proccessors to arrive. Also thanks for this very great review and the helpful reply :D

  10. Nia Price

    February 2, 2021 at 12:38 pm

    I had wanted to buy the Ryzen 7 version as I operate accountancy software, excel docs etc at the same time. But its out of stock in the uk and only this Ryzen 5 is available – the price differnce isnt that great so cant decide whether to wait or buy the Ryzen 5, given that I probably dont need the 7, what do you think?

    do you have any idea if stocks get replenished soon? or are there new laptops due to be released that might be worth waiting for, as I'm not in a huge hurry?

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 2, 2021 at 12:45 pm

      I'd say the Ryzen 5 model should be just fine, especially if it comes with 16 GB of RAM? Hard to tell about the stocks, I don't think the situation will improve in the next couple of months.

      As for the next best thing, sure, there's always going to be something better announced or scheduled for future availability. My advice is to just go and buy the better value product for your needs at the time you need it, and be done with it.

  11. Nia

    February 2, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    Thank you. I am trying to future proof my purchase, so it lasts me a good few years. where you able to test the Ryzen 7, apart from the touch screen, what are the major differnces in them, if you know?

    thank you so much for your help – it makes a huge differnce to a non techy like me, to have experts guiding the decisions..

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 2, 2021 at 1:07 pm

      the Ryzen 7 is a more powerful processor in demanding loads that require a powerful CPU. The difference is roughly 25% on top of the Ryzen 5. No difference in daily use, battery life, etc.

  12. Nia Price

    February 2, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    So one last question, if I may – how would the Matebook 13 i7 (16gb) compare – would that be superior the Ryzen 5?

    i hope to buy today and an caught between

    Matebook Pro x (i5)
    Matebook 13 (i7)
    Matebook 14 R5

    all 16gb ram

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 2, 2021 at 1:38 pm

      it wouldn't. see this article for reference: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/?s=matebook+13

      The Ryzen platform is quite powerful and efficient, and what I'd go with over the Intel options. The MacBook P is not really in the same class. Performance-wise, the Ryzen 5 MateBook wins, but that's nicer built, gets a better screen, audio, etc. It's way more expensive, though, and a different operating system/set of standard aplications.

  13. davejones2

    February 16, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    I'm not sure this review really does the laptop justice when considering the likely user-base.

    In the UK this is £680 (or less with a good bundle deal). There is no competing laptop for this sort of money with a good quality 3:2 screen, premium unibody build & battery life.

    I actually have this laptop; it is fantastic. Beautiful build quality, silent & cool in normal use, zippy multitasking, fantastic screen, great 6 hr+ battery life, lovely keyboard and trackpad. There is almost zero bloatware so it runs as it should out of the box, unlike almost every competing laptop from HP/ASUS and Lenovo (in particular). Even the Huawei PC Manager app is actually very useful; non-intrusive but capable limiting charging to 20-70% / keyboard backlight timeout.

    Comments on the hinge stiffness and "sharp edges" are completely ridiculous unless you are an arthritic 90 year old!

    Downsides actually worth mentioning are that there is a bit of backlight bleed and the webcam is terrible. However, whilst the webcam is definitively awful, the physical security is excellent & there is no way on earth I'd swap a bigger bezel / laptop dimensions in to accommodate an alternative. As it is, it has the same external dimensions as my 12.5" laptop from a few years ago….

    Huawei have surprisingly nailed it; this is not really the take-home message I was left with from your review.

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 16, 2021 at 3:24 pm

      Hey, I'm glad you like your laptop. I do agree it's good value in some markets in Europe and a good overall laptop. I'm sticking by my complaints though, even those you claim to be ridiculous, so we'll have to agree to disagree there :)

  14. matebook

    February 22, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    Thanks for smart reviewing!

    I got a question:
    What version of HDMI in it?
    I got it but I don't know it supports HDMI 2.0 which can handle 4k 60 hz

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