Huawei MateBook 14 review

A killer flagship value

Huawei MateBook 14

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The Huawei MateBook 14 we tested here is packed with an Intel Core i7-8565U, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and an Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU. Needless to say, for most day-to-day use, this laptop absolutely demolishes pretty much anything we can throw at it.


Here’s how the Huawei MateBook 14 fared in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark Sky Diver: 10,959; Fire Strike: 3,476; Time Spy: 1,278
Cinebench CPU: 618 points; Graphics: 99.97 fps
GeekBench 4: 5,186 (single-core); 17,281 (multi-core)
PCMark 8 (Home Test): 3,482 points
PCMark 8 Battery Life: 3 hours and 22 minutes
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 8 hours and 55 minutes

Whether we are casually browsing the internet or working, we don’t notice any kind of slowdown – even when we have more than 20 browser tabs, Tidal and Slack open. With this kind of horsepower, nothing short of robust video editing is going to slow it down. 

And, because the Huawei MateBook 14 is packed with an Nvidia MX250 graphics chip, it actually can handle some light video editing and even casual gaming – though this isn’t exactly one of the best gaming laptops. Still, it’s good for playing some Civilization VI in our downtime. 

Things get especially interesting as we move on to the benchmarks. Because the Huawei MateBook 14 has virtually the same specs as the Huawei MateBook X Pro, this laptop has incredible performance for the money. 

In fact, in our testing, the MateBook 14 exceeded its more expensive companion. For instance, in Cinebench, it scored 618 points, compared to the MateBook X Pro’s 495. Numbers were a bit closer in the GeekBench multi-core test, where the MateBook 14 scored 17,281 to the MateBook X Pro’s 17,152.

Graphics benchmarks continue the trend: in the 3DMark FireStrike test, the Huawei MateBook 14 scored 3,476, compared to the MateBook X Pro’s 2,709. This is likely because of the MateBook X Pro’s sharper display resolution demanding more graphics power all the while, but considering that the Huawei MateBook 14 is up to €500 (about $560, £430, AU$760) cheaper – this is impressive performance nevertheless.

Huawei MateBook 14

Battery life 

Battery life in Ultrabooks keeps getting better and better, even for models featuring discrete graphics like the Huawei MateBook 14. In the PCMark 8 battery life test, the laptop lasted 3 hours and 22 minutes, which compared to the MateBook X Pro, is about 30 minutes short. 

Unfortunately, the same is true in our video playback test, where we loop 1080p video with the display and volume set to 50%. In this test, the Huawei MateBook 14 lasted just 8 hours and 55 minutes, which falls short of the 10 hours and 8 minutes that the Huawei MateBook X Pro scored.

These discrepancies in battery performance are likely due to the MateBook 14’s slightly smaller 56.3 Watt-hour capacity against the 57.3Wh within the MateBook X Pro.

This might sound alarming, but the Huawei MateBook 14 is more than capable of lasting throughout the work day without having to reach for a charger. The laptop will last even longer if you get creative with battery saving options.

Huawei MateBook 14

Software and features 

The only software that was preinstalled on the Huawei MateBook 14 is the Huawei PC Manager, which will scan for any drivers that are missing. This software also features Huawei Share, which allows users to sync data between the laptop and a mobile device. Unfortunately, this feature isn’t available for iOS, so we weren’t able to test it out ourselves. It does seem like a useful piece of software, but the lack of any other bloatware is the huge selling point here.

That means the Huawei MateBook 14 is as close to a pure Windows 10 laptop experience as you can get short of picking up something like the Surface Laptop 2. Windows boots up extremely quickly, as there is nothing preinstalled to slow it down. 

There isn’t much in the way of unique features here, but that doesn’t matter – the Huawei MateBook 14 is an incredible value, especially considering that the price of the operating system wasn’t subsidized by third-party software.

Huawei MateBook 14

Final verdict 

At the end of the day, the Huawei MateBook 14 is an incredible value for the money if you’re in the market for a flagship laptop experience. The level of hardware you’re getting here, along with the gorgeous QHD touch display and robust build quality is absolutely worth the price of entry. 

This is especially true when you compare it to the more expensive Huawei MateBook X Pro. Sure, the MateBook 14 doesn’t feature Thunderbolt 3, and has a lower-resolution display, but when you’re saving hundreds of dollars it’s a no-brainer.

Huawei laptops have been getting better and better, and devices like the MateBook 14 show why they consistently rank among the best laptops and Ultrabooks on the market – something that this laptop achieves with flying colors. 

Bill Thomas

Bill Thomas (Twitter) is TechRadar's computing editor. They are fat, queer and extremely online. Computers are the devil, but they just happen to be a satanist. If you need to know anything about computing components, PC gaming or the best laptop on the market, don't be afraid to drop them a line on Twitter or through email.