The new Huawei MateBook 14 is fine, but forgettable — here’s why

Another aluminum block? Meh.

Huawei MateBook 14 (2024) on a desk
(Image: © Future)

Early Verdict

The new Huawei MateBook 14 is a fine piece of kit, don’t get me wrong. The OLED touchscreen display is fantastic, and the power under the hood is fantastic. But in the face of the MateBook X Pro, this simple aluminum slab is rather dull.


  • +

    Gorgeous OLED display

  • +

    Keyboard is a typist’s dream

  • +

    Decent Intel Core Ultra power

  • +

    Plenty of AI smarts

  • +

    Reverse fast charging is great in clutch


  • -

    Uninspired design

  • -

    Touchpad is a little squished

  • -

    No Thunderbolt 4

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After witnessing the Huawei MateBook X Pro kill the M3 MacBook Air, my time with the MateBook 14 left me shrugging. After blowing my mind with magnesium magnificence, this 14-inch aluminum unibody laptop is fine, but rather forgettable.

Don’t get it twisted. That Intel Core Ultra 7 running under the hood with a 40W TDP and Super Turbo mode keeps things running oh-so smoothly, which is maintained nicely with the impressive thermal management. Plus, on top of that, the 2.8K OLED panel with 3:2 aspect ratio is a dream on the eyes.

But here we are — another basic slab of metal, redesigned to look like a knock-off M1 MacBook Air. Hats off, though, to the craftsmanship, particularly the dot patterned air vents around the back and dropping the frame around the keyboard to allow for a sublime typing experience.

Normally, I wouldn’t be so critical of keeping things super minimalist and refined, and if this is your thing, I’m sure you’ll love it. But in the face of the X Pro, I just know Huawei is capable of so much more visually alluring, physically satisfying designs (especially when it comes to the touchpad).

Huawei MateBook 14: Cheat sheet

  • What is it? A 14-inch Windows 11 laptop that's quite portable at under 3 pounds.
  • Who is it for? This is an ideal laptop for productivity (courtesy of that Intel Core Ultra chipset) and content consumption (seriously, that OLED display is gorgeous).
  • What does it cost? In Europe, we know that the MateBook 14 will start at €1,099. Since this is the same as the past generation, I'm confident the same £999 starting price will remain in UK too.
  • What do we like? The big highlights are that super sharp OLED touchscreen display with pen support, the keyboard and the premium feel of the aluminum shape.
  • What don’t we like? The 40W TDP of the Intel chip (while good for performance) does impact the battery life; the webcam is underwhelming; you’ll miss Thunderbolt 4; and the touchpad is disappointing in the face of the MateBook X Pro. Oh, and the design is rather dull.

Huawei MateBook 14: Specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Display14.2-inch (2880 x 1920) touchscreen OLED, 3:2, 120Hz refresh rate
CPUIntel Core Ultra 7 155H
GPUIntel Arc integrated graphics
Storage1TB SSD
Ports2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1x USB-C, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x 3.5mm audio jack
ConnectivityBluetooth 5, Wi-Fi 6
Battery70 Wh
Size12.3 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches
Weight2.9 pounds

Huawei MateBook 14: The ups

Regardless of my design diss, this is a solid laptop in use due to three key reasons.

Intel Core Ultra cranked up to 40

Huawei MateBook 14 (2024) on a desk

(Image credit: Future)

Under the hood, the Intel Core Ultra 7 of this machine (with a 40 W TDP) paired with 32GB DDR5 RAM gives you an admirable amount of power for your workload.

In all of the work I threw at it in my average day-to-day — plenty of multitasking between a ton of Chrome tabs, regular Photoshop editing, playing music in the background and opening a few other apps to boot, I didn’t notice a single hint of slow down. 

Plus, while it’s not a gaming laptop (don’t expect this to run your beefy AAA titles well), you can fiddle with the settings and manage to get a good chunk of titles working. There is some Intel Arc graphics weirdness such as rubber banding in Forza Horizon 5, but hitting 50 FPS at low settings in 1080p is admirable.

Super Turbo 2.0 gives you a visible improvement in the speed of opening key apps too like large Microsoft Office files and dense RAW PSDs. And all of it is kept nice and cool with an upgraded dual shark fin fan system, with no identifiable thermal throttling in sight.

Versatile usability

Huawei MateBook 14 (2024) on a desk

(Image credit: Future)

Taking the touchpad out of the equation (more on that later), this is a versatile system to use. Including a pen with the multi-touch display is a nice bit of consumer friendliness — with virtually no lag between putting it to virtual paper.

And this comes paired with a keyboard that is simply a joy to use. Compared to the MateBook X Pro, I noticed no real difference in terms of the physical qualities of the typing experience. You’re getting a nice amount of travel on each key with a nice soft-yet-tactile landing to every press.

But one way it does edge clear is that Huawei has removed the metallic framing that usually surrounds the keyboard (you can see this on a MacBook Pro for example). It’s a small change, but one that makes it feel a whole lot less limited when your fingers move to the edge keys.

Whichever way you’re feeling creative — be it through visual presentation or the written word — the MateBook 14 stays right there with you.

Sweet, sweet OLED

Huawei MateBook 14 (2024)

(Image credit: Future)

It may not be X Pro levels of sharp and bright, but the MateBook 14’s OLED display is still a sight to behold. The 2.8K resolution is super crisp, while the 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio adds a super lovely HDR depth to everything, and that’s before even mentioning the flash flood of color.

Huawei claims a 450-nit peak brightness, which is fine for most bright rooms with big windows letting in a ton of light — not necessarily in direct sunlight from personal experience. But whether it’s watching Rush Hour 3 for the 1,000th time or editing images, this screen will not let you down.

Huawei MateBook 14: The downs

Outside of a couple compromises I spotted in my hands-on time, there’s two other things that just seem like own goals given what I know Huawei is capable of with the MateBook X Pro — starting with a big one.

Spongey touchpad

Huawei MateBook 14 (2024)

(Image credit: Future)

I know Huawei is capable of true magic here. I can’t get over the X Pro’s size, grace, tactile click and incredible user-friendliness. So to go back to a slightly constrained touchpad that has a rather spongey click feels a little disappointing.

None of the edge controls make the transition over, but luckily multi-touch options do work responsively — so at least there’s that.

Compromises can be felt

On one side, it’s good to see a 3.5mm combo audio jack. I never thought I’d have to say that, but with its absence on the X Pro and the Dell XPS 14, this is supposedly good news rather than just the norm now. But without Thunderbolt 4, I really felt my external SSD slow down. 

On top of that, the 1080p webcam does have some AI-enabled smarts like eye-contact, but the picture has quite a mushy quality that turns quickly into fuzziness with any slight challenge of light.

And finally, with that 40W TDP running through the veins of the Intel Core Ultra, the battery life when really getting to work on it will constrain you slightly. It’s not gaming laptop levels by any stretch of the imagination, but in reaching 0% in roughly six hours of use, just make sure you’ve got a charger nearby.

Not so green with envy

Come on, Huawei. You killed it in the design department with the MateBook X Pro — why is this so run-of-the-mill? Don’t get me wrong, the green option does look good. But another aluminum block makes this next to impossible to pick out of a line of a ton of other slabs. Put simply, it’s just a little bit boring.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Huawei MateBook 14 (2024)12.2 x 8.7 x 0.5 inches2.9 pounds
M3 MacBook Pro12.3 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches3.4 pounds

And I understand the game plan: match the MacBook. It’s a utilitarian frame that everyone looks up to for its solid rigidity and premium quality, but let’s be honest, it’s getting exhausting now. With the amount of innovation Huawei pumped into the frame of its more expensive option, could the MateBook 14 not take at least a couple of notes from it?

Maybe the giant touchpad, the condensed edges to really make the screen-to-body ratio a slither of bezel, or even just the slight tapering of the side profile. Something? Anything!

Huawei MateBook 14: Outlook

Huawei MateBook 14 (2024)

(Image credit: Future)

And that’s the story of the Huawei MateBook 14 — a solid laptop and nothing more. After the joie de vivre felt with the MateBook X Pro, I can’t help but feel a little let down by how much of a MacBook Pro me-too the design is.

If you can look past that (and that touchpad sponge), this is a good all-rounder for working by day and play/binge watching by night. Especially with the marvel of that OLED display.

Jason England
Managing Editor — Computing

Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a Managing Editor of Computing at Tom's Guide. He has previously written for Laptop Mag, Tom's Hardware, Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.