We reviewed a version of the Huawei MateBook 14s in Issue 620, but back then it came with an 11th-generation Intel processor and Windows 10. This latest version has been updated by the Chinese manufacturer, and now comes with a 12th-generation Intel Core i7-12700H processor and Windows 11 installed, which makes it a much more attractive proposition. Read our Huawei MateBook 14s Review.
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Its robust build, decent speeds and impressive screen don’t quite justify its price
At list price it’s more expensive than our current favourite laptop, the Acer Swift 3 14in, which costs £ – we’ve seen it discounted to £ so keep your eyes peeled.
Huawei’s choice of the i7-12700H processor gives the MateBook 14S a performance boost over the Swift 3, but that in itself isn’t enough to justify its significantly higher price. In our benchmark tests, for example, the MateBook performed around 13 per cent better than Acer’s Core i7-1260P chip, but dropped to only five per cent faster when we ran Windows-based tests.
The rest of the specification is similar to its predecessor. It comes with 16GB of RAM (though this is soldered to the motherboard, making it impossible to upgrade) and a 1TB SSD. Its battery ran for 12 hours in our video-playback tests, which is slightly down on the previous version, but is still a good result.
Fourteen-core Intel Core i7-12700H processor • 16GB RAM • 14.2in 2520×1680-pixel LTPS touchscreen • 1TB SSD • Wi-Fi 6E • Bluetooth 5.2 • 1x HDMI port • 2x USB-C port • 1x USB 3.0 port • Windows 11 Home • 16.7x314x230mm (HxWxD) • 1.4kg • One-year warranty
The case is reasonably sleek but the powerful processor needs airflow to keep it cool, so it isn’t quite as slim as some of its rivals. The case is 16.7mm thick at its slimmest, but this increases to 21.6mm at the rear, thanks to a rubber foot that spans the width of the chassis. It isn’t going to win any beauty contests but the grey finish is all metal, and is sturdy enough to be carried around in a rucksack.
The screen isn’t an OLED panel like the one on the HP Pavilion Plus 14 we reviewed, so don’t expect the same level of clarity, but it achieves impressive colour accuracy, covering 97 per cent of the sRGB standard in our tests. It has narrow bezels around the screen’s edges and a useful 3:2 aspect ratio, which is better for working on than regular widescreen models.
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What hasn’t changed is the webcam, which is located above the screen but remains low quality. If you have no use for a webcam or have one of your own to plug in, this may not bother you, but it’s a disappointing oversight in an otherwise very appealing laptop.
Decent performance and a high-quality build, but it costs too much to topple our current favourite
Best Huawei MateBook 14s prices ?
See also THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO…OLED laptops
Acer Swift 3 14in
This laptop is almost as fast but significantly cheaper, making it much better value for money