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Huawei MateBook 13 and MateBook 14 review: Hands on with the new notebooks

The company launched two new powerful notebooks alongside the MateBook X Pro at MWC in Barcelona

Huawei has just announced two premium notebooks, the MateBook 13 and MateBook 14, at its press conference ahead of MWC in Barcelona. Priced from €999 and €1999, respectively, the laptops aim to bring the lightweight design and superb performance of the MateBook X Pro to a slightly wider audience.

Having been hands-on with all Huawei’s new laptops, I can confirm that the MateBook 13 and MateBook 14 are worthy additions to the Chinese manufacturers growing line, not least because they offer more configuration and pricing options. For everything you need to know about these notebooks, read on.

Read Next: Huawei MateBook X Pro: Hands on with Huawei’s portable powerhouse

Huawei MateBook 13 and MateBook 14 review: Key specifications, price and release date

MateBook 13

  • 13in 2,160 x 1,440 touchscreen (3:2 screen ratio)
  • 88% screen-to-body ratio
  • 8th-gen Intel Core i5-8265U / 8th-gen Intel Core i7-8565U processor
  • Intel UHD Graphics 620 / Nvidia MX150
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB PCIe SSD / 512GB PCIe SSD
  • Two USB Type-C ports
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Dual speaker setup (with Dolby Atmos)
  • Camera above display
  • 1.28Kg
  • 14.9mm thick
  • Price: Between €999 and €1,399 (UK price TBC)
  • Release date: February 2019

Matebook 14

  • 14in, 2,160 x 1,440 touchscreen (3:2 screen ratio)
  • 90% screen-to-body ratio
  • 8th-gen Intel Core i5-8265U / 8th-gen Intel Core i7-8565U processor
  • 8GB/16GB of RAM
  • Nvidia MX250 discrete graphics
  • One USB Type-C and two USB-A ports
  • HDMI port and 3.5mm
  • Keyboard-recessed camera
  • One touch to go – fingerprint sensor in power button
  • Bluetooth 5
  • Quad-microphone array
  • Price: €1,199 or €1,499 (UK price TBC)
  • Release date: February 2019

Huawei MateBook 13 and MateBook 14 review: Design, key features and first impressions

The MateBook 13 and MateBook 14, like the MateBook X Pro, are excellent looking laptops with portability and performance at the very heart of their designs. Both models have high-resolution 1440p/2K IPS displays and though they can’t quite match the 91% screen-to-body design of the MateBook X Pro, they’re not far off, with 88% and 90% of their bodies filled by their touchscreen panels, respectively.

That’s pretty impressive when you consider the MacBook Air offers only an 81% screen to body ratio by comparison. And Huawei has achieved these impressive numbers while using the very latest components.

Each model uses up to an 8th-gen Intel Core i7-8565U processors, the same chipset found in the new MateBook X Pro, and the 14in model can also be specced with the same Nvidia MX250 discrete graphics used in Huawei’s flagship notebook.

If you opt for the smaller 13in laptop, you’re limited to the Nvidia MX150 used in last year’s MateBook X Pro, but that chip will still handle graphics-intensive tasks more easily than the integrated graphics found in the vast majority of notebooks.

Like the Huawei Mate X Pro, both devices also come with Huawei’s new Share 3 OneHop technology, which lets you transfer photos, videos and documents at up to 30Mbits/sec. You need a Huawei smartphone that runs its EMUI 9.1 software to make the most of this tech, but from what I’ve seen it works very well, with photos appearing on your laptop screen almost instantaneously.

So how else do Huawei’s new premium notebooks differ? With the MateBook 14, you get considerably stronger connectivity. It has two USB-A ports and a USB Type-C port along with an HDMI output, while the 13in model has only two USB-C ports. That could be a significant determining factor in which model you pick, especially if you want to connect an external display. Whichever model you choose, though, there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The MateBook 14 also uses a quad-microphone arrangement, which makes it better suited for making video calls where there are multiple people in a room. However, depending on your viewpoint, a perk to the 13in model is that it comes with a conventional webcam above the display rather than the one recessed in the keyboard, as found on the MateBook 14 and MateBook X Pro. Prepare for double-chin syndrome with that one.

Other differences include the MateBook 14 having faster Bluetooth 5.0. It also has the same one-touch-to-go power button with an integrated fingerprint scanner that’s found on the Huawei Mate X Pro.

In terms of price, the MateBook 13 and 14 have a range of pricepoints, depending on the loadout you opt for. With the MateBook 13, an i5 processor with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage will set you back €999, with the top-tier i7 model, with 8GB RAM and 512GB storage costing €1,399. The MateBook 14 has two options – an €1,199 i5 model with 8GB of RAM and a €1,499 i7 model with 16GB of RAM.

Huawei MateBook 13 and MateBook 14 review: Early verdict

The MateBook 13 and MateBook 14 both have plenty of appeal, then. Indeed, each model has the potential to steal the new MateBook X Pro’s limelight when you consider they have very similar internals but start at lower prices.

We’ll be putting all three laptops through their paces over the coming weeks, so be sure to check back and see which of Huawei’s new notebooks represents the best value for money.

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