Huawei MateBook 14 (2021) review: aluminum, glass and powerful iron

In most cases, laptops are equipped with 16: 9 widescreen displays – convenient for movies and other multimedia, but not for work. It’s all about adapting the same Internet pages to more square screens. Huawei has a solution MateBook 14 with an aspect ratio of 3: 2. It is a practical work machine with powerful hardware and the utmost attention to detail.

Form style

Huawei laptops are made in a consistent style: aluminum, flowing lines, and a neatly printed brand name on the lid. The main feature is the violet-bluish body, whose final hue is highly dependent on the ambient light. The high class of the MateBook 14 is reflected in the details: beautiful bevels on the base and lid, a glass-covered display, and a skinny bezel.

The build quality is excellent, the metal feels very thick, and the glass adds some rigidity to the lid. The laptop weighs 1.5 kilograms and feels heavy. This is a bit too much for a 14 “model. Nowadays, such a mass is typical for laptops with a diagonal of 15”.

Huawei MateBook 14 (2021) review: aluminum, glass and powerful iron

Another hallmark of the high-end MateBook 14 is the chic display hinge with a notch for easy finger-prying. The lid opens smoothly with one hand and does not shake when open. The opening angle slightly falls short of the reference 180 degrees.

Huawei MateBook 14 (2021) review: aluminum, glass and powerful iron

Convenient 3: 2 ratio

The area of ​​the 14-inch IPS matrix installed here surpasses standard laptops with the same diagonal and 16: 9 aspect ratio. The main advantage is the higher height, as a result of which more information is placed on the screen – you have to scroll much less frequently on documents and web pages. The 2160×1440 resolution is a great compromise between FHD and 4K. Also, the convenience contributes to supporting touch input, but without a stylus.

Huawei MateBook 14 (2021) review: aluminum, glass and powerful iron

Measurements showed a wide color gamut and good calibration out of the box.

A glass of an unknown brand without an air gap is installed on top. This gives excellent visibility at all angles. The measured brightness of our sample is 349 cd / m² and exceeds the declared 300 cd / m². The display fades only on especially sunny days due to the reflected light – this is the peculiarity of the glossy coating. The minimum brightness of 6.8 cd / m² is fully comfortable at night. The measured backlight uniformity pleases – the discrepancies are minimal. In real conditions, a slight glare is only noticeable along with the lower frame.

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The built-in utility with display settings has an eye-protection mode and three profiles with fine adjustment of color temperature. You can find it by right-clicking on the free space of the desktop.

The final score of the MateBook 14 display on the DataColor scale is 4.5 points.

A pair of speakers are on the bottom side. The secret to powerful sound is bouncing sound off the table. Thus, a chic volume and good volume without wheezing are achieved – the laptop can rock a small room.

Huawei MateBook 14 (2021) review: aluminum, glass and powerful iron

Keys for comfortable typing

The overall impression of a laptop largely depends on the keyboard, and in this sense, the MateBook 14 fully lives up to expectations. It has everything for comfort: quiet running, clear feedback, indicators in three buttons, and the usual 78-key layout.

Huawei MateBook 14 (2021) review: aluminum, glass and powerful iron

The only problem was the two-level backlighting – dull and not even enough around the edges. The last one is nagging at a typewriter for 100 thousand rubles. The second nuance – turning off the glow after 15 seconds of inactivity – is corrected through the preinstalled PC Manager utility.

The front-facing camera trait between the F6 and F7 is in place. Apparently, Huawei’s long-standing experiment has come to the liking of users. The advantage of this solution is guaranteed privacy. The disadvantage is an unsuccessful bottom-up perspective.

Huawei MateBook 14 (2021) review: aluminum, glass and powerful iron

The screen with an aspect ratio of 3: 2 made it possible to accommodate a large 120 × 72 mm touchpad. The panel is precise and well plastic coated. However, before updating the corresponding driver through the built-in PC Manager, three-finger touches were incorrectly processed in one out of five cases. If you encounter the same, check for updates.

Huawei MateBook 14 (2021) review: aluminum, glass and powerful iron

A fast and accurate fingerprint scanner sits directly on the power button.

Huawei MateBook 14 (2021) review: aluminum, glass and powerful iron

Ultimate iron

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-1165G7, 4 cores, and 8 threads, up to 4.7 GHz peak frequency, 10 nm.
  • Graphics chip: Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7.
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4 3200 MHz, dual-channel mode.
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe x4 NVMe SSD.
  • Wireless module: Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 (Wi-Fi: 802.11ax, 2 × 2 MIMO; Bluetooth 5.2).
  • Model Number: MateBook 14 2021 KLVD-WFE9.

My disposal was an older version with Intel Core i7-1165G7, 16 GB of RAM, and 512 GB of internal memory. The processor is familiar to me from other laptops, but this does not detract from the need to test the MateBook 14 thoroughly. Maximum performance is achievable on AC power after activating the Performance profile in the built-in PC Manager utility.

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There is a whole section in the interface for the two profiles.

If you leave the “Balance” profile in PC Manager and use “Max. performance “in Windows, the results of Cinebench R23 decrease by a noticeable 15%, the rest of the tests show comparable figures.

Indicators on battery power with the profile “Max. performance ”are not inferior to other scenarios. This is a great outcome of the lack of attachment to the outlet. Before us is a truly portable machine.

Also available is a modification with Intel Core i5-1135G7 and the same amount of memory – 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of built-in. The difference between mobile Core i5 and Core i7 in this generation is small: the frequencies and the number of integrated graphics execution units are slightly different. Therefore, the need for an additional payment of 15 thousand rubles for the Core i7-1165G7 is personally questionable for me.

The processor control algorithm allows the temperature of all cores to rise above the throttling limit, that is, above 90 degrees. The heat pack is 28 W.

Let me remind you that the MateBook 14 is one step higher than the mass series MateBook D. This is noticeable even in the cooling system. Here the heat from a single chip is removed by two fans and two heat pipes. The turntables start only under load. Most of the time, the cooling remains passive and silent. Other potentially hot chips are covered with copper shields for heat dissipation – this is important attention to detail.

Huawei MateBook 14 (2021) review: aluminum, glass and powerful iron

The drive is connected via PCI Express x4 and provides the highest possible speed indicators for this interface. The total capacity is 512 GB, out of the box. It is divided into two partitions, 119 GB for the system and 341 GB for personal data. The drive is removable and can be replaced with any similar M.2 2280 format.

Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 NIC supports the latest versions of wireless interfaces, dual-band 802.11ax Wi-Fi with support for 2×2 MIMO frequency aggregation and Bluetooth 5.2.

An NFC tag for pairing a Huawei or HONOR smartphone is integrated into the touchpad. With this option, you can transfer files, merge the clipboard and display up to four mobile applications on the computer screen simultaneously.

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When it comes to connectors, the left side houses USB-C, a combined audio jack, and HDMI. There are two complaints about USB-C at once. Firstly, there is only one connector and, as a rule, it will be busy with charging. Secondly, Thunderbolt 4 is not supported, only data transfer at standard USB 3.2 speed and image output via Display Port. However, this is an extremely relevant option for an expensive laptop with a full set of other options.

Huawei MateBook 14 (2021) review: aluminum, glass and powerful iron

On the right are two full-size high-speed USB 3.2.

Huawei MateBook 14 (2021) review: aluminum, glass and powerful iron

Working time and autonomy

The undoubted advantage of the MateBook 14 is the 56 Wh battery that takes up all the free space under the lid. Runtime in mixed mode with browser predominance is 7 hours without saving – at medium brightness and with keyboard backlight on. After a few years, the battery can be changed: fastening with screws, detachable connection.

Huawei MateBook 14 (2021) review: aluminum, glass and powerful iron

Charge via USB-C with Power Delivery. The standard power supply unit with a detachable cable has a power of 65 W. Simple 10-watt adapters are also supported. The battery stays the same in this mode and charges slowly when the laptop is “asleep.”

Huawei MateBook 14 (2021) review: aluminum, glass and powerful iron

To increase battery life, you can limit the maximum charge level. This is especially true when the laptop is working with the power supply connected most of the time since lithium batteries do not like to be constantly recharged.

Recall after two weeks of use.

In many ways, the MateBook 14 is woven from solutions familiar to other Huawei models. A sturdy aluminum body, a purple tint exterior, a keyboard, a hidden camera, and a fingerprint reader are proven solutions. The older model was supplemented with high-end options: a convenient 3: 2 touch screen under glass, a cooling system with two fans, and a set of modern interfaces. The result is a perfectly balanced device, which can only be criticized for the lack of Thunderbolt on the only USB-C. After all, this is a mandatory option for a laptop for 95-110 thousand rubles.

Huawei MateBook 14 (2021) review: aluminum, glass and powerful iron

Pros:

  • convenient touch display 3: 2;
  • real brightness 350 cd / m22 higher than stated;
  • safety glass;
  • sturdy aluminum body;
  • opening the lid with one hand;
  • quiet short-stroke backlit keyboard;
  • 11th Gen Intel Core processor
  • uncontested 16 GB of memory;
  • charging via USB Type-C;
  • nimble and error-free fingerprint scanner.

Cons:

  • just one USB-C without Thunderbolt.

May not like:

  • incorrect recognition of three-finger gestures before updating the driver.

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