Over the last decade, Huawei had established itself as the world’s leading smartphone maker best-known for their flagship “P” and “Mate” series smartphones.
However, beyond the smartphone realm, the Chinese technology giant is gradually expanding their presence in other consumer electronic products as part of the company’s 1+8+N Seamless AI Life strategy.
Here, we’re not just talking about smart watches or TWS earphones, but also premium laptops that are capable of competing with other top dogs in the market.
These laptops, launched under the MateBook series, are not just highly competent but also offer great value for money considering they’re priced at a fraction of what its competitors would otherwise set you back.
Earlier this month, Huawei Singapore had launched a new member from the MateBook series – Huawei MateBook 14 2020 AMD – in the local market which comes with a mouth-watering price of just S$1,298 (US$977).
Having spent more than two weeks with the MateBook 14 2020 AMD, I would like to share some of my favorite features and highlights of this latest machine from Huawei.
Sleek & Premium Design
On the outside, the Huawei MateBook 14 2020 AMD dons an outrageously sleek and minimalist design that inevitably reminds me of Apple’s MacBook series especially with its Space Grey colorway.
Despite its affordability, the MateBook 14 2020 AMD certainly doesn’t cut any corner in terms of build quality. The laptop features a robust and durable metal chassis which feels premium on hand. What’s commendable is that its sandblasted finish isn’t prone to smudges as well.
Handling-wise, its compact design makes it ultra portable. The laptop can be easily slotted into any medium sized backpack and its 1.5 kg weight is definitely manageable.
Opening up the laptop will reveal its 14-inches display that comes with an unique 3:2 aspect ratio which is embraced only by a small minority of laptops in the market including select models from Microsoft Surface line.
Although this aspect ratio isn’t widely adopted, but I find it more ideal than the traditional 16:9 aspect ratio due to its productivity gains. That’s because the taller aspect ratio allows browsers or any other apps to show more contents onscreen than what a wider aspect ratio could possibly offers you.
This effectively reduces the amount of scrolling required to go through the contents and is great for those who indulge in reading e-book on the laptop. Additionally, the 3:2 aspect ratio actually enables you to fully fit two A4 sized documents side-by-side onscreen which is really beneficial if you need to cross reference any data or information from one of the document.
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While Microsoft and Huawei are among the first to recognize the benefits of 3:2 aspect ratio, we can see that other laptop makers are slowly edging toward the same direction. For instance, ASUS recently announced the new flagship ZenBook S with a similar aspect ratio as well.
Coming to the specifics, the MateBook 14 2020 AMD’s display is based on an IPS LCD display that delivers an immersive 2160 x 1440 pixels screen resolution. Overall, colors are sharp and depicted with great accuracy thanks to its support for 100% sRGB color gamut.
Most importantly, the display offers sufficient peak brightness of up to 300 nits to ensure the screen remain visible even when you’re replying email or streaming your favorite movie in an outdoor cafe.
Comfortable Keyboard, Responsive Trackpad
The Huawei MateBook 14 2020 AMD continues to impress with its keyboard setup which brings along a comfortable spread of keys. On top of that, it also brings along a delectable amount of key travel which is crucial for those who type a lot throughout the day.
One unique feature with the keyboard is the presence of a spring-loaded button which sits between the “F6 and “F7” keys. This is actually where the webcam is hidden. I won’t say this is an ideal spot to house a webcam since it usually requires me to do some readjustment to either the laptop or my sitting position in order to fit my face amicably into the frame.
Despite that, its still a necessary feature in order to minimize the screen bezels for a full screen experience. After all, this feature is likely to stay for subsequent models since most of the Huawei’s mid-ranger to high-end MateBooks tend to favor slim bezels over a typical webcam setup.
In fact, the new Huawei MateBook X Pro 2021 and MateBook 13 2021 which were recently launched in the Chinese market sport an identical setup as well. Hence, it’ll probably be ditched only when Huawei is able to employ an in-display camera solution for the MateBook series line years down the road.
Although its a bit of an oddball, but embedding the webcam this way do have other benefits as well. For instance, it can solve our usual paranoid of having a webcam directly in front of us since we can easily close it back with a gentle press. This way, we can totally forget about sticking some unsightly cover or sticker over the webcam.
Next, Huawei MateBook 14 2020 AMD also did well in terms of ergonomic by providing a spacious wrist rest area below the keyboard which is another indirect benefit of having a laptop with a higher aspect ratio as it results in a taller design for the keyboard area as well.
Overall, it’s trackpad is really responsive and accurate hence there’s nothing much we can nit pick about regarding the overall design of its user input system.
Blazing-fast Performance with Enduring Battery Life
Performance-wise, the Huawei MateBook 14 2020 AMD is powered by AMD’s Ryzen 5 4600H processor built upon a 7nm process. No doubt, the Ryzen 5 4600H is a pretty powerful mid-ranger processor that’s based on a hexa-core architecture, offering a maximum clock speed of up to 4GHz.
Whether you’re using the laptop of productivity or entertainment, its highly capable and reliable in delivering a smooth and consistence performance. For gaming or video editing, the Ryzen 4600H do feature a built-in Radeon Graphics to assist with graphic renderings.
Speaking of consistence performance, the newly designed dual Huawei Shark Fin 2.0 fans also has a significant role in eliminating throttling with its efficient heat dissipation. Besides producing greater air flow, the new cooling technology is also surprisingly quiet as well.
On a day-to-day usage, its 56Wh battery is capable of supporting around 8 to 9 hours of usage with 40% screen brightness. Its shipped along with a 65 W USB-C Power Adapter which delivers a full charge slightly under the 2 hours mark.
Additional Perks For Huawei Smartphone Users
As usual, Huawei smartphone users will also be able to take advantage of the Huawei Share/ Multi-screen collaboration feature by simply tapping your phone on the touchpad.
Once connected, your phone screen will be mirrored to the Huawei MateBook 14 2020 AMD which will open you to all sort of possibilities including controlling your phone apps or seamlessly transfer files or pictures from your laptop to your phone.
This is definitely an intuitive feature that’s unique to Huawei laptops and set them apart from other models. However, do note that this feature only works for Huawei smartphones running on EMUI 10 and above. Likewise, some of the more complex tasks like running multiple phone tasks using your MateBook may require the latest EMUI 11 software as well.
For more information about the supported models and requirements. you may visit Huawei’s official support page which gives you every single bit of details.
With all that in mind, we can’t deny that the Huawei MateBook 2020 AMD certainly punch above its own weight and offers the most value for money within its price range.
Its stylish design, sharp display, capable processor and reliable battery life is what the majority of mainstream users need for a smooth productivity and immersive entertainment experience.
If you’re interested, the Huawei MateBook 14 2020 AMD will be available for purchase in Singapore through all Huawei Concept Stores, Huawei official online stores in Lazada and Shopee, as well as selected consumer electronic stores including Best Denki, Challenger, Hachi.tech, Courts and Gain City.