Huawei MateBook 14s Review and Price

Huawei MateBook 14s

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Huawei MateBook 14s

When it comes to evaluating Huawei laptops, a common mantra is to ignore the Chinese manufacturer’s persistent Android issues because the Windows laptops are excellent.

But there’s usually a significant qualifier after that: excluding the webcam. The persistent usage of a hidden under-keyboard webcam—a fantastic idea when webcams weren’t widely utilized, but less so now—has let down the company’s laptop line.


With a redesigned keyboard, 90Hz refresh rate display, and improved fast charging, the MateBook 14s modifies the formula slightly. However, the decision to place the webcam back atop the display eventually proves to be the most welcome improvement.

And notice, not even a notch exists. You go, Apple.

Build and design

Not ultra-thin, but still slim
numerous ports
conservative aesthetic

The premium MateBook X and X Pro series get Huawei’s ultra-slim design, whereas numbered variants like this one are often a little bit chunkier.

MateBook 14s 2021 ports

With the lightest spec weighing 1.43kg the MateBook 14s is certainly still portable, but feels much more substantial than the lightest laptops on the market, some of which go below the kilo line. There is a slightly smaller MateBook 13s too, but it’s not launching in every market – including skipping the UK.

The footprint is compact, with a slim bezel around the 14in display preventing the laptop as a whole from getting too big. And it’s thick enough to fit in a few ports, but the aluminium alloy body is still fairly slim.

Speaking of, you’ll find a single USB-A 3.2 port on the right-hand side, with a 3.5mm headphone jack, HDMI, and two USB-C ports on the left. They can be used for data, DisplayPort, and charging, and if you buy the top-spec model – look for an Intel Evo certification to be sure – then one of them also doubles as Thunderbolt 4.

The MateBook 14s appears classy but unmistakably restrained in Space Grey, but it has more personality in the light “Spruce Green” finish, which has a less formal appearance.
Trackpad and keyboard

a fantastic, redesigned keyboard Windows Hello IR webcam that is in the bezel a power button for the fingerprint sensor

I’ve really enjoyed the keyboards in recent MateBooks, so I was worried when Huawei said that the keys had been redone this time.

MateBook 14s 2021

Fortunately, I didn’t need to worry. The new illuminated keyboard has a greater travel distance of 1.5mm, which is relatively deep for a laptop. Although this is undoubtedly not a desktop mechanical keyboard, typing on it feels quite natural and gratifying. My biggest keyboard pet hate is that soft, silent keyboards always seem mushy, but this one just might become my new favorite laptop keyboard.

One other significant change, which I’ve already highlighted, is the removal of the webcam that was previously concealed inside a phony Fn key. Interestingly, it has been replaced with a genuine key that still rests between F6 and F7 and is reserved for enabling a dictation mode that makes use of Microsoft’s integrated speech recognition. Although I doubt I’ll use it frequently, I’m sure some folks will value the alternative.


The webcam itself has now moved up into the bezel above the screen. This not only gives it a much more flattering angle on the user, but has also allowed Huawei to pack in infra-red tech so that you can use Windows Hello face recognition to login – though there’s also a fingerprint sensor packed into the power button.

Unfortunately, the webcam itself isn’t all that impressive; it’s 720p and very grainy. Although I’d want to see more of Huawei’s well-known smartphone camera prowess transfer to the laptop market, the positioning alone makes this an improvement.


Last but not least, the touchpad is roomy and comfy, and I really have no problems. It’s a shame that it lacks the cutting-edge pressure-sensitive haptic technology included in the most recent MateBook X models, but the Huawei Share technology is still included if you wish to link the laptop to other Huawei devices.
both visual and aural

90Hz refresh rate, 2.5K resolution, and 3:2 aspect ratio
Mics and four speakers

One area where Huawei laptops frequently stand out is the display.

This touchscreen display is 14.2 inches in size and has a high 2.5K (2520 x 1680) resolution, which puts it ahead of most of the competitors. There won’t be the deepest blacks because this display is LTPS LCD rather than OLED, but there isn’t anything to be upset about when it comes to the vivid, bright colors.

Using a SpyderX for testing, I discovered that the laptop produced 100% of the sRGB color gamut, as well as 77% of AdobeRGB and 76% DCI-P3. Although it isn’t at the very peak of color accuracy found in creative gadgets, for a typical consumer laptop, this is about as good as it gets thanks to a punchy maximum brightness of 423 nits.

Like many Huawei laptops this uses a 3:2 aspect ratio, which essentially means the display is taller and boxier than you might be used to. That might not necessarily sound appealing, but in practice it means that you get extra vertical screen real estate, which is great for everything from scrolling through Twitter to working through spreadsheets and Word documents – though you’ll get extra letter boxing when watching TV or film, so this is better suited to productivity than content consumption.

The big change this time around is the upgrade to a 90Hz refresh rate. Faster refresh rates are now commonplace on smartphones – the tech even made it into this year’s iPhone 13 Pro – but on the PC side it’s mostly been limited to gaming laptops and monitors.



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