The new Huawei Matebook 14, vintage in 2020, shines with its autonomy and versatility but hardly meets the challenge when the user takes it out of his (restricted) comfort zone.
In September, at the Berlin 2020 IFA, Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei unveiled two new versions of its "notebooks": the Matebook X (2020) and the Matebook 14 (2020). The latter has benefited from an overhaul of its performance and an upgrade of its components. Does the revised recipe work? The Matebook 14 (2020) does it live up to its very versatile Honor counterpart, the MagicBook 14 Pro?
|Dimensions||30.75 x 22.3 x 1.59 cm|
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 7 4800H|
|Graphic card||AMD Radeon Graphics|
|RAM||16 GB (DDR4 RAM)|
|Storage||512 GB (PCIe SSD)|
|Screen||14 inches (FHD – 2160 x 1440)
– Screen borders = 90% of the frame
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home|
|Keyboard||– Backlit Keyboard
– Fingerprint reader + 1 MPx "pop-up" webcam
|Food||56 Wh (charger at 65W)|
|Login||– WiFi (type IEEE 802.11ac)
– Bluetooth 5.0
|Input and output ports||– 1 x USB-C
– 1 x USB-A 3.0 + 1 x USB-A 2.0
– 1 x HDMI
– 1 x 3.5mm Audio Jack (Combo Jack-Micro)
– 4 x Microphones + 2 x Speakers
Note that another version, operating under 10th generation Intel processors, is also available. Two configurations are then possible: Intel Core i5 10210U or i7 10510U. Two RAM capacities are also available: 8 Gb or 16 Gb.
Design & Ergonomics
As its name suggests, the Huawei Matebook 14, vintage 2020, has a 14-inch screen with superb resolution Full HD of 2160 x 1440 pixels. The screen takes up 90% of the frame area in a very elegant crystal-looking finish. It is very bright and very colorful. This makes any streaming session very enjoyable, even for 4K or 8K video. In this, it reiterates the successful recipe of its predecessors and the recent MagicBook Pro. As with the rest of its laptops released this year, Huawei is offering this PC a keyboard with extremely well-arranged keys despite the small space of this "notebook". This Matebook 14 (2020) is also equipped with a pop-up webcam, hidden by a spring housed in the middle of the row of Fn keys to compensate for the screen size. Again, the idea is good (and avoids being the target of blackmail on the webcam) but the angle of the optics continues to make it unusable in practice (see below). Likewise, to reduce the energy required to supply it as much as possible (and therefore the heat emitted and managed by the new generation of Shark Fin fans under the hood), the backlighting of the keyboard is still far too dim even in the most total darkness.
In addition, the power button has a fingerprint reader that offers an additional unlock option. In addition, coupled with the 512 GB SSD on which the Matebook operates, it allows an almost immediate and extremely smooth start. Thanks to its small size (yet impossible to notice thanks to the excellent resolution of its screen), the Matebook 14 (2020) weighs less than 1.5 kilograms according to its manufacturer. As a result, it doesn't even feel in the backpack or in the hand and truly positions itself as THE lightweight and versatile laptop that many nomads are looking for.
Performance & Autonomy
Designed for nomads, who carry their work around with them all the time, however, this computer was not designed for gamers or creatives. Its AMD Ryzen 7 4800H microprocessor (in the AMD version of the model) shines especially in the management of multitasking – not without the help of 16 GB of RAM – but quickly shows its limits. With an active app (Steam) and an open Microsoft Edge window with multiple tabs in the background, the Huawei Matebook 14 (2020) struggled with several sluggish processing and action during a simple AV editing session (that's that is, without graphically heavy effects) on the Camtasia software. If the PC remains operational in practice, it becomes completely incompetent in the face of a heavy video game. Once the game is installed and a game has started, Jurassic World Evolution automatically configures itself to "very low" graphics quality upon detection of the Matebook configuration. If playing remains possible, the graphics offered by the Huawei PC take us back 15 years (see below). The computer is not a hot plate, however, under these conditions, and its fans remain extremely quiet. Ditto for the adventure game tomb Raider.
When it comes to online gaming, there's no real lack of WiFi 6 – tied to good fiber, the Matebook 14 (2020) isn't slow. It also benefits from a new functionality. Its large and beautiful screen is touch-sensitive and is particularly geared towards creative people, Photoshop or Illustrator enthusiasts. It even allowstake screenshots without going through the keyboard and touchpad, using our simple fingers. The technique to achieve this, however, is not as easy as it seems. The user must position three fingers slightly apart in the center of the screen to trigger the touch screen capture option. It often takes several tries to successfully wake up the application, and not leave the center of the screen. Once triggered, the feature offers several capture options, from a simple rectangular selection to more circular shapes. One touch prints the entire screen. Very conveniently, the application automatically detects the presence of text and transcribes it to facilitate certain copy / paste. The capture is then saved in the “Huawei Share” folder under “Screenshots”. The bad news: After only a few tries, the coating sold by Huawei as "anti-fingerprint" shows many … traces, which will not remain printed on the screen until it is cleaned with an appropriate product.
Finally, the Huawei Matebook 14 (2020) scores points with its autonomy. It is estimated on average at 14.7 hours for consistently watching 1080p video. If the user is effectively content with " binge-watcher His favorite Netflix series, the Matebook is indeed approaching ten hours of battery life. However, during a working day of alternating editing and conventional office automation, he loses endurance. 1h54 of multitasking resulted in the loss of 27% of its battery. Its rapid recharge – from "Three hours of office automation in three minutes" – keeps his promise. In fifteen minutes, our copy has regained 2.5 hours of battery life. Amply sufficient for, for example, a train journey.
What are the differences with the Honor MagicBook Pro?
Apart from the gain of a touch screen on its screen (of a slightly higher resolution) discussed above, the Huawei Matebook 14 (2020) has some differences with its Honor counterpart, the sub-brand of Huawei. While the Honor MagicBook Pro is also equipped with 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD, the new Matebook 14 vintage 2020 benefits from theoretically greater computing power thanks to an AMD Ryzen 7 processor (4600 H), with 8 cores and 16 threads, against the Ryzen 5 with 6 cores and 12 threads. Compared to the MagicBook Pro, the MateBook loses connectivity and audio quality. First, it concedes the 3 USB 3.0 type A ports, found on the MagicBook Pro, for only one USB-A 3.0 port and one USB-A 2.0. Second, the speaker columns on either side of the MagicBook Pro's keyboard have disappeared into the back of the machine. The qualitative difference is hardly felt, however.
Where to buy it?
The Intel version (two possible configurations) of the Huawei Matebook 14 (2020) is currently available at less than 250 euros, or 1,049.99 €, in Space Gray color.
HUAWEI MateBook X Pro 2019, 13.9 '' FullView Touch Screen, (Intel Core i5-8265U, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Huawei Share OneHop, Win
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