Huawei MateBook 14 Huawei MateBook 14

Laptops

Huawei MateBook 14 review: Energy-efficient workflow

The work-from-home laptop that keeps you working

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At this point in time, everybody is already used to a 9-5 grind from their homes. As we continually adjust to the pandemic’s ways, we also need the proper devices dedicated for our workload in the day. Even if you’re a student taking online classes, you want a laptop that can keep up with all your requirements.

Enter the Huawei MateBook 14, the company’s take on a more productive work laptop. With a sleek design, a powerful processor inside the device, it offers what is essentially a balanced machine. Upon first glance, I thought that it was simply a mixture of the Huawei MateBook D14 and the MateBook X Pro.

The question is whether it stacks up as a power-efficient, balanced work laptop. Well, here’s what you get with the Huawei MateBook 14:

It comes with a 14-inch, 2K FullView Display

An AMD Ryzen 4000-series processor powers the device

It comes with a recessed camera at the top-middle of the keyboard

It only comes in Space Gray

Admire the design first

I know that I usually go straight to how this device performs, but I honestly couldn’t ignore its build quality. Compared to most Huawei laptops I’ve looked at, the Matebook 14 remains consistent with all of them in terms of design. They go for the sleek, subtle yet professional tone with how the laptop looks and feels.

Huawei MateBook 14

Upon knowing that the build was mostly CNC-ed in, I was expecting durability and hardness in the device. It felt durable enough for me to toss it onto the bed most of the time, and I was pretty confident it wouldn’t break. Also, for a device that weighs almost 1.5 kg, it sure feels light to carry around.

These were some of my observations on the Huawei Matebook X Pro, which I felt is a more powerful version of the Matebook 14. It’s nice to see that Huawei brought that in, leaving no rough surface behind.

Performance that’s great for any type of work

Huawei’s Matebook 14 comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 4600H processor, with 16GB of RAM — which is what most people want out of a work laptop. Because a newer AMD chip is inside, I was expecting great performance right out of the gate. Not to mention that this device also comes with a 512GB SSD, so booting up should be fast.

Just as expected, the device performs well for most work-related tasks I threw at it. I tried using it as my main work laptop for three days, and I was able to do my work in an efficient way. I mean, I still finished overtime for work one day but the device lasted long enough and performed well. Also, I felt that most applications ran pretty smoothly while I was using it. 

It was even able to handle close to 100,000 rows of Microsoft Excel data without slowing down significantly. Also, I felt that I didn’t have to manually switch to Performance Mode just to do that. However, because this only comes with built-in Radeon Graphics, I wouldn’t recommend it for creative work and advanced data processing.

Long lasting battery, and it’s surprisingly not warm

The Matebook 14 boasts its 56Wh battery to last all day when you’re doing your usual tasks. Realistically, I don’t think you could keep a laptop running the whole day without plugging the charger. However, on a full charge, I managed to get close to 14 hours mixing work, watching YouTube and streaming Netflix.

Charging the device didn’t take long, either as I got about two hours to fully charge it. That whole thing about a 15-minute charge granting 2.5 hours is close to the truth. Also, I appreciate that Huawei thought of putting a charger that supports SuperCharge, which also charges smartphones.

The biggest surprise I found was the thermal setup for the device. Compared to the Matebook X Pro, this did not feel that warm to hold at all — especially while working. Honestly, I give full credit to the AMD chip in keeping it energy-efficient. The dual fan, dual heat pipe design worked wonders, even in a much smaller chassis.

More things that deserved to be noticed, for better or worse

Other things I wanted to bring to light include the usual features it comes with. The hybrid of a fingerprint sensor and the power button still works wonders. It’s pretty easy to set up, and it recognizes your fingerprint pretty fast so you start working right off the bat.

Also, I’m a big fan of the keyboard mostly in terms of the key travel. I’m not drawn to the whole backlit keyboard since it still looks dim in the dark. But in terms of my typing experience, it provides a great one every time I use it. Honestly, it made me work a lot faster so it’s a win for me.

What isn’t a win, and will honestly continue being an L for Huawei is the camera. It’s not because the quality is bad, but it’s just the placement of it. I know that they had to do it for the FullView Display, but it really is an unflattering angle.

Is the MateBook 14 your GadgetMatch?

For PhP 54,999 (US$ 1133), the Huawei MateBook 14 delivers on many fronts as a work laptop. It checks all the important boxes on what you need so you can work better. Plus, it lasts as long as you want it to without reaching for the charger, and stays cool too.

All the usual features Huawei puts in their laptops have their moments to shine. From the keyboard to the display, everything fits quite nicely for what you need it for. At this point, there’s really nothing you can do about the camera being where it is.

If you need a more than decent laptop for work or school, this is a great option to consider. All in all, It gives you premium yet energy-efficient performance that will keep you at the top of your game.

Apps

Microsoft could bring Android support to Windows in 2021

Feeling the heat from Apple’s move to ARM

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Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system is widely used globally and has remained the laptop and PC segment’s undisputed leader. However, Linux, as well as macOS, have gained considerable traction in the last few years. To maintain its edge, Microsoft could bring Android support to Windows soon.

According to a Windows Central report, internal discussions are ongoing over the possibility of bringing Android runtime to Windows 10. Currently, you can install a third-party emulation software like Bluestacks to run Android apps on a Windows device. But the experience is far from perfect and still requires a bit of a learning curve.

Apple has a significant lead in this regard because its move to an ARM-based M1 processor allows it to run iOS apps on macOS seamlessly. This ideally helps in bridging the software gap between two very different devices.

Microsoft has tried to achieve a similar goal with the Universal Windows Platform. But the results are still limited because there are barely any devices with a smaller form factor leveraging the operating system.

More importantly, Microsoft wants to bring Android apps to its Microsoft Store. While there’s no information on how it intends to achieve this, the report does say the release is expected by Fall 2021.

Microsoft no stranger to cross-platform apps

Microsoft has whole-heartedly adopted cross-platform compatibility and has a host of apps on iOS as well as Android. If it’s able to bring Android apps to Windows, it’ll challenge the status quo of Chromebooks, which has long been a pain for the Redmond giant in the affordable segment.

This isn’t the first time a company is trying to incorporate Android within its proprietary operating system. BlackBerry 10 supported Android runtime, and the brand leaned on it to make apps easily available. While the move was too late for BlackBerry, it isn’t the same for Microsoft.

It’s worth noting that the idea is in a very nascent stage right now. We don’t know how Microsoft intends to distribute Android apps or whether it’ll start supporting Google Play Services. Although one thing’s for clear — Microsoft is feeling the heat from Apple.

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Computers

Exclusive freebies up for grabs with ASUS laptops this holiday season

It’s the best time to buy at ASUS!

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This year has proven the importance of reliable laptops as companies switch to a remote working setup for their employees. For those looking to upgrade their current laptops, now may be the right time to do so. ASUS has launched its Share 2020 Christmas promo where customers can snag exclusive freebies on a vast number of laptop models from the brand.

From November 25 until December 31, 2020, buyers can snag up to PhP 27,490 worth of bundled items when they purchase any ASUS laptops from concept stores and resellers nationwide. Laptops from different price ranges will receive the following items for free:

  • TUF H3 Headset worth PHP 2,100 for laptops worth PhP 30,000 to PhP 59,000
  • ZenScreen Portable Monitor worth PHP 13,390 for laptops worth PhP 60,000 to PHP 99,000
  • ZenBeam S2 Projector worth PHP 27,490 for laptops worth PhP 100,000 and up

To redeem the bundled items, register on this website.

Exclusive bundles for gamers at heart

Bundles are also up for grabs for ROG and TUF Gaming laptops this November 25 to January 26, 2021. More than PhP 53,000 worth of bundled items can be had when one purchases the ROG Zephyrus 15 Duo with the latest 10th-gen Intel Core i9 processor and ScreenPad Plus secondary display. Included in these bundled items is the ROG Chariot Core gaming chair which is worth PhP 18,000.

Steam credit vouchers, ROG gaming monitors, and more will also be given away for purchases of select ROG and TUF Gaming laptops.

Just visit this website for more information on the promo. Meanwhile, the mechanics for item redemption can be found here.

Professional gear for business laptops

With the opening of the ASUS for Business laptop store on Shopee, the brand is giving away up to PhP 196,000 worth of prizes on purchases done from January 1 to December 31, 2020.

Nope, that’s not a mistake — those who purchased their laptops from the start of the year are still eligible to win a brand-new ASUS all-in-one PC, ExpertBook laptops, and ZenWifi routers. Furthermore, the first 30 customers who will purchase from the store will also get the chance to receive an ASUS Wi-Fi Router worth PHP 4,250.

Customers can register from November 25 to December 31 on this website to redeem their prizes.

More exciting freebies and exclusive perks await laptop buyers this Christmas. Visit ASUS Philippines’ website for more information on their Share 2020 holiday promo. Follow ASUS Philippines, ROG, or ASUS for Business Facebook page for more updates and developments.

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Laptops

Apple could launch redesigned MacBooks with new silicon in 2021

Will it be even more powerful?

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Apple’s transition to custom ARM silicon began this month with the launch of the new MacBook Air. The new iteration sports Apple’s proprietary M1 chipset, but the exterior remains the same. New leaks suggest that its successor will be way more powerful and not too far.

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s research note, the Cupertino giant is planning to launch redesigned MacBook models with its in-house silicon in the second half of 2021. First obtained by MacRumours, the note says Apple will populate its laptop lineup with new models powered by the ARM-based M1 chipset, but those models will look different.

Due to the ARM architecture, Apple is also able to make flexible apps. Hence, apps designed for iOS can seamlessly run on macOS. The current Apple M1 chip is seen on the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro 13-inch.

The design changes that Kuo mentioned might include changes in display sizes and other minor design changes. Kuo has previously suggested that redesigning is in plans for the 13- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models.

It’s also worth noting that Kuo’s second half of 2021 means it’ll be announced practically one year after M1’s debut. It’s a fair assumption that Apple has followed the yearly cycle for its A-series processors and would follow a similar timeline for MacBooks as well.

According to LeaksApplePro, the M1’s successor could be called the M1X and would debut on the next 16-inch MacBook Pro iteration. Originally introduced in 2019, it is yet to get a successor and is due for a refresh.

Apple has proven it can make bleeding-edge chips that can deliver maximum performance along with thermal management. A-series processors currently power the iPhone and iPad, and they’ve delivered exceptional numbers. Building on its existing expertise, Apple intends to shift its MacBook lineup to in-house silicon completely.

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