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Huawei Matebook D14 Review

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Sporting a familiar and well-loved design, is Huawei’s Matebook D14 a perfect choice for those wanting to work, watch and play on a big screen? Find out in this Rapid Review.

Two laptops side by side. On the screen is an abstract blue swirl
The Gorgeous Panel.

Feeling Good

Immediately out of the box, I was impressed by the sturdiness and premium materials of the Matebook D14. With a lightness that still felt sturdy, the metallic textures instantly evoked a feeling of a high-end laptop. Turning on the laptop for the first time, I was led through the standard Windows set-up with the addition of biometrics being a welcome touch. Housing a fingerprint reader within the power button, I could bypass the usual pin-entry screen and arrive straight into my work. Typing was a treat and a backlight behind each individual key made it easy to navigate the keyboard at night.

Beauty of Bezel-Less

The D14 features a gorgeous low-bezel 14” panel with a notable screen-to-body ratio of 84%. With all this screen estate, content viewing, working and even basic webpage browsing felt fantastic. When using the editing software DaVinci Resolve, I had ample space for media folders, the timeline itself and the viewer panel. Huawei classes the screen of this Matebook as a “FullView” display and it’s a suitable description. Video content featured colour and clarity and spanned from corner to corner, and I was never let down by the picture. On the other hand, the dual speakers of the Matebook are found underneath the keyboard and, whilst sounding good when alleviated on a desk, the audio became muffled whilst on-lap.

A screen full of beauty.

Performance Power

Housing an SSD, the D14 is lightning fast. Logging-in was instantaneous, the file explorer never slowed and having multiple tabs and windows open at once was never a problem for the 16GB of ram. Alongside the responsive keyboard, the speed meant that this was the perfect machine for review-writing (an activity I am doing on the laptop at this very moment). I could effortlessly switch between my word processor, game trailers and press kits thanks to the gesture-based mousepad. I never ran out of battery and when power ran low, the USB-C charger provided a fast power topup.

The D14 also responds to more powerful demands and I was available to use DaVinci Resolve 17 for basic cutting, transitions and colour editing. Whilst the lack of a dedicated gaming GPU disallowed 3D text rendering, simple HD editing worked very well. In terms of gaming, the Ryzen 7 and 16GB of RAM plays low-demanding games such as card roguelikes and platformers without a hitch. In fact, even 3D titles such as Rocket League provided a stable frame rate in the high-performance mode. Game streaming services such as Google Stadia also provide an excellent way to play graphically demanding titles on the large FullView screen.

Privacy Vs Functionality

The D14 features a central webcam recessed with the function keys, with a press on the keyboard camera icon flipping up the webcam towards me. Whilst this prevents issues with privacy and allows more room for the screen, I found that the angle was far from flattering with my call partners being greeted with a worm’s-eye view of my chin. In an age of increased conference calling, I doubt many would benefit from using this camera in a professional setting. Of course, there are many options for clip-on USB webcams but a better in-house option would have been greatly appreciated.

Rapid Recap

+Breathtakingly Fast
+ Lightweight but sturdy
+ Gorgeous Panel
+ Convenient Built-In Biometrics
+ Premium Feel
– Webcam POV is far from ideal

If you’re looking for a laptop for work and light play, then the Huawei D14 offers an excellent choice. Breathtakingly fast and with a premium look and feel, it’s a perfect choice for those wanting a great-quality screen on the go.

Rapid Reviews Rating

4 out of 5

4

You can purchase the HUAWEI MateBook D 14 2020 AMD from the Huawei Store

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