Huawei MateBook D14 review: The paint is good, but the wood is not up to par

Tram Ho

MateBook D14 is the latest laptop distributed by Huawei in Vietnam. The MateBook D14 with a 14-inch screen is considered a miniature version of the MateBook D15 (15-inch screen), which Huawei sold in June last year. In Vietnam, MateBook D14 is priced at 17.99 million. Users will receive some gifts such as Huawei Watch GT smartwatch, Huawei backpack, Office 365 copyright … when owning the device.

Specifications MateBook D14

– CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700U

– RAM: 8GB

SSD: 512GB

Screen: 14 “, Full HD IPS

– Ports: 2xUSB-A, 1xUSB-C, HDMI, 3.5mm

Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0

– Battery: 56Wh

Attractive “paint”

The point that makes users most attracted to the MateBook D14 is “paint”, or more specifically, the design and perfection of the machine.

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The MateBook D14 has an exterior made entirely of aluminum. Currently in the price range of less than 20 million VND, it is not difficult to find a laptop advertised as having “aluminum cover”, but many of them are in fact only the upper lid and the palmrest. Made of aluminum, the rest of the lid below or the side is still made of plastic.

In the MateBook D14, except for the bezel surrounding the screen, all remaining details are made of aluminum, which means that users always have a premium feel when holding the device. The quality of the MateBook D14’s aluminum housing is also very good. If the aluminum material in some other cheap laptops is often quite rough, when users drag their fingers through it, it feels quite “hiss”, then in the MateBook D14, it is perfected by Huawei to become smooth like on products. high-end products.

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However, good “paint” is not simply the shell, but also the existing equipment of the machine.

MateBook D14 has a screen bezel on / left / right quite thin compared to other laptops in the same segment. This makes the image displayed on the screen seem to blend with the surroundings. The display quality of the MateBook D14 is also good: Full HD IPS screen is considered standard equipment for most laptops in the segment under 20 million, and users can hardly ask for anything more.

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To get a thin bezel, Huawei moved the webcam down to the keyboard, specifically between the F6 and F7 keys. When users need to use the webcam will press this button and the webcam will pop up. The plus point of this design is that it helps the screen border of the device be thinner, in addition users can also be assured of privacy concerns. The weakness is that the angle from the bottom of the webcam makes the viewing angle of the face unnatural, the opposite person will see more of the chin, neck, even fingers than the eyes.

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The MateBook D14 keyboard offers an acceptable typing experience, enough key travel and good bounce for comfortable continuous use. In particular, this keyboard supports keyboard lights with 2 different light levels, assisting users when working in the dark.

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The trackpad of the MateBook D14 is very large, is covered with glass and gives a smooth feeling of fingers. This trackpad meets Microsoft’s Precision Trackpad standard and fully supports Windows 10’s multi-point operations.

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Not stopping there, the MateBook D14 also integrates a fingerprint sensor directly into the power button. Practical experience shows that it has the ability to authenticate fingerprints very quickly and accurately, just like on smartphones.

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In addition, another special feature is that this fingerprint sensor is capable of reading the user’s fingerprint from the moment the user has a cold boot. In most laptops today, after the user presses the power key and the computer enters the login screen, the user will have to authenticate by fingerprint again. But with MateBook D14, if the user uses a valid fingerprint to press the boot power key, the device will be able to read the fingerprint right from the BIOS to skip the authentication step and log into Windows.

In terms of connectivity, MateBook D14 is equipped with 1 USB-C port, 2 USB-A ports, HDMI port and headphone jack. Obviously, this is not the laptop with the most variety of ports, but each is enough to satisfy the majority of basic users.

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A commendable point for Huawei is that it uses the USB-C charging standard for the MateBook D14. If the majority of products in the same segment still use their own charging standard with very poor compatibility, the MateBook D14 comes with a 65W USB-C charger that supports Power Delivery with a two-end USB-C cable. This allows users to carry around a single charger that can charge both laptops, phones and many other devices. The charger and charger cord, one of the most frequently broken components in laptops, can also be replaced with great ease.

Overall, there is nothing to criticize about the exterior of the MateBook D14. Not only is it sleek, luxurious and has good machining quality, Huawei also gives users many conveniences such as thin bezel screen, keyboard light, large trackpad, fingerprint sensor or USB-C charger.

“Wood quality” is not worthy

However, “paint” is only half of the story. Because, a good product not only needs “paint”, but also “wood” as well. And, with Huawei having spent a considerable amount of money to create a beautiful paint for the MateBook D14, it is not surprising that it was forced to cut down on the “wood” of this machine.

The most prominent issue with the MateBook D14 is the Ryzen 3000 series CPU. Our version uses Ryzen 7 3700U chip, in addition the machine also has a version with Ryzen 5 3500U chip.

Ryzen 7 3700U, Ryzen 5 3500U or Ryzen 3000 series are generally not bad chips, especially considering the integrated Vega GPU quite strong. But, whatever you say, they’re still chips that came out two years ago.

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Currently, AMD has launched Ryzen 5000 series. Of course, we cannot demand that Huawei immediately release Ryzen 5000 series laptops, especially when partner TSMC is in a state of overload. However, it may not be too much to ask Huawei to equip MateBook D14 with a Ryzen 4000 series chip, especially when the Ryzen 4000 series is a leap over the 3000 series in performance and energy efficiency. amount thanks to 7nm process and Zen 2 architecture (compared to 12nm and Zen + of Ryzen 3000 series).

In fact, Huawei launched the MateBook D14 with the AMD Ryzen 4000 series chip from the end of July 2020 in China. But in Vietnam, for some reason, this company decided to sell the Ryzen 3000 version. This is a confusing decision of Huawei Vietnam.

However, in fact, at the present time, the Ryzen 3000 series is still powerful enough to support the applications that the MateBook D14 targets, which is office applications. So, the CPU performance limitations of the MateBook D14 will not be an issue at the moment, but it may take a few years to reveal.

However, there is another “throbbing” issue that MateBook D14 users will immediately recognize, which is RAM. The MateBook D14 has 8GB of RAM, but the actual user only gets 6.94 GB due to a cut for the integrated GPU. Only 6.94 GB RAM capacity is quite confusing even at the present time, especially for users with high multitasking needs.

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For other laptops in the same segment, if there is a lack of RAM, users can easily upgrade. But with MateBook D14 it is different, when the RAM of this machine is soldered directly to the board and users cannot upgrade. The only thing that users can upgrade in the MateBook D14 is the SSD.

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In terms of appearance, the MateBook D14 is easily one of the most attractive laptops in the segment today. With a luxurious design, relatively small and light, the keyboard, trackpad and port equipment are all invested; The MateBook D14 is perfect for office users. This user audience does not care too much about configuration, so the disadvantages of MateBook D14 can be considered acceptable.

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However, if you are in the group of users with high demand, want to use a laptop for a long time and “connoisseur” technology, it will be a mistake to buy the MateBook D14. The use of the outdated Ryzen 3000 platform, plus the limitation of the ability to upgrade RAM, will make this machine quickly expose a performance disadvantage and it is difficult to meet future needs.

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So the question “Buy MateBook D14 or not?” In essence, it only revolves around a single problem: Are you a person who values ​​”paint” or “wood”?

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Source : Genk