Laptops

Huawei MateBook 14 Unboxing and First Impressions

AMD-powered, 2K FullView Display

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Huawei is sticking to formula with their notebook lineup but with some tweaks here and there. That means the Huawei MateBook 14 will come with a sleek, understated design along with all the Huawei goodies you’ve come to expect from their laptop line.

Just like the laptop itself, the box looks pretty simple.

Open it up and you’ll see the laptop on the left. USB-C cable and power adapter over on the right.

There isn’t anything else on the box other than the aforementioned plus the product manual.

Here’s the MateBook 14 out of the box.

Here’s what it looks like facing you.

On the left side you have the USB-C port, headphone jack, and HDMI port.

Over on the right are two USB-A ports.

As the name suggests, it has a 14-inch display, 3:2 aspect ratio.

It has a 90% screen-to-body ratio, so you get as much display as possible with pretty slim bezels.

That’s an IPS 2K FullView Display.

It’s pretty darn good for binge-watching series. You get a nice full view of what you’re watching. It supports 100% sRGB color gamut, has a good contrast ratio, and gets bright enough (300 nits).

There’s built-in hardware for eye-comfort and it’s also TUV Rheinland-certified. That also seems to be a staple for most laptop these days. It filters excessive blue light that can be harmful to your beautiful eyes.

The speakers are decent for movie viewing, but if you can hook this up to some external speakers like say the Huawei Sound X, then you’re in for a really good bingeing experience.

Huawei’s staple power button/fingerprint sensor is also here.

Speaking of staples, the MateBook 14 also has the signature recessed camera

If there’s one thing that Huawei really needs to work on, it’s this. The recessed camera is great for security but that’s a really unflattering angle. It’s fine at first, but after being forced to go on multiple video meetings due to the pandemic, you really start to notice how inadequate that angle is.

Putting the web camera where it’s usually found might mess with the laptop’s design, but this could one case where function should be prioritized over style. Alternatively, perhaps Huawei can utilize Huawei Share to have your Huawei smartphone be a camera source instead of the laptop.

Why not just take the video call on the phone, you ask? Sometimes you have to communicate via chat during calls. The mobile versions of apps like Zoom does let you chat, but that also means ruining your framing.

If Huawei manages to do this, that’s another way of really harping up the capabilities of Huawei Share. There is some sort of workaround to doing this with Huawei Share. You can link up your device and take the call using your Huawei Phone while it’s synced on your laptop. However, that still feels clunkier than just wirelessly pulling the smartphones’ camera as a source.

The hinge feels tougher but more fluid.

This is a rather largely unnoticed part of most laptops. However, it’s one that I personally noticed right away. It feels a tad different from other Huawei MateBooks I’ve tried like the MateBook D 15 and the MateBook X Pro 2020. There’s something about the hinge on the MateBook 14 that feels sturdy but flexible.

Power and performance for your work needs

On to the nitty-gritty. Should you decide to do so, you’re likely buying this for work needs. That means a lot of typing and running multiple apps from your browser, the entire MS Office Suite, perhaps Spotify, and what have you.

Powered by the AMD Ryzen 5 4600 H processor (with AMD Radeon Graphics), you’re sure to get more than adequate performance on this thing. Briefly using it mostly for drafting articles and previewing powerpoint decks, the MateBook 14 handles such tasks easily.

The keyboard though, might take some getting used to. It feels really similar to the chiclet-type of keyboard that Apple slapped on MacBook Pros for a good 3-4 years. It’s more than useable, no doubt. But you don’t get the clickety feeling that you typically get from keys with better travel.

Keyboards can make or break your experience with a laptop, and personally, I wish Huawei went with their usual keys instead of the one they put on the MateBook 14.

Other things of note

It comes in one configuration: That’s 16GB DDR4 2666MHz of memory and a 512GB PCIe SSD. Battery is 56Wh and promises up to 10 hours on continuous 1080p local video playback.

We haven’t fully tested the capacity but judging by initial use, you should get a decent 6-7 hours on a regular work day.

Click here to BUY

In the Philippines, the Huawei MateBook 14 comes bundled with the Huawei Classic Backpack. The exterior is made of 290T nylon fabric and microfiber leather while the interior is 200T polyester fabric.

The backpack comes in two options: Midnight Black (11.5L capacity) and Forest Green (8.5L capacity).

Pricing and availability

In the Philippines, the 16GB+512GB version retails for PhP 54,999. For a limited promo period running from October 9-24, the MateBook 14 comes with a free Huawei Classic Backpack and a Huawei Freebuds 3i (total value of PhP 11,998).

Click here for global pricing and availability

Laptops

Apple might bring back SD card slot to the MacBook Pro

Coming in 2021 or 2022

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Does anyone believe in the dream of a completely port-less device? For years, smartphones have slowly eradicated some of the formerly long-standing ports such as audio jacks and memory card slots. However, if a new rumor is true, those same phone makers might have made a rash decision. According to renowned Apple analyst Mark Gurman, Apple is bringing back the SD card slot to the MacBook Pro.

According to the Bloomberg report, the upcoming MacBook Pro with the SD card slot will launch sometime this year or next year. For years, the premium-tier notebook has not had a SD card slot after a 2016 redesign.

This isn’t the first MacBook Pro leak, though. A few weeks ago, another renowned Apple analyst, Ming-chi Kuo also revealed details about an upcoming redesign. In that leak, the series will reportedly come in two sizes: 14-inch and 16-inch.

Who can blame Apple for bringing back the SD card slot? Though the company eradicated the feature years ago, an SD card is still a major essential for both smartphone and notebook users. Even with Apple’s insistence, the memory card isn’t going anywhere.

In addition to this new slate of leaks, the MacBook recently got a major revolution last year, caused by Apple’s latest in-house processors. If the new leaks are true, Apple has a lot more up its sleeve.

SEE ALSO: Report says MacBook Pro 2021 won’t have the Touch Bar

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Laptops

Samsung is making the world’s first 90Hz laptop screens

Coming to a notebook near you

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Smartphone screens are getting better every year. However, though a significant chunk of commuters can now watch their favorite shows in buttery smooth 120Hz on the train, laptop users care still stuck with the same old screens. It’s time to show some love to laptops. Samsung is already moving towards this new direction, promising the world’s first 90Hz laptop screens.

According to a statement from CEO Joo Sun Choi, Samsung Display will start mass manufacturing the new laptop displays in March. The 14-inch, 90Hz OLED screens will eventually make their way to laptops can notebooks soon. The company will help laptop makers around the world reach a new standard this year.

Besides the world’s first 90Hz laptop screens, Samsung Display is also working one of the world’s first under-display cameras for a laptop. The upcoming device, currently called the Blade Bezel, features a brilliant edge-to-edge display and a disappearing camera.

With the world slowly acclimating to perpetually working from home, laptop display technology is taking drastic steps forward to keep everyone online and up to speed. In fact, last year saw a dramatic jump in laptop and PC sales in preparation for a telecommuting lifestyle. As the world waits for their turn on the vaccine waitlist, telecommuting won’t go away just yet.

SEE ALSO: Samsung teases laptop with under-display camera debut

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Laptops

Report says MacBook Pro 2021 won’t have the Touch Bar

But MagSafe will make a comeback!

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Apple could be planning a major revamp of the MacBook Pro lineup, and it’s expected to go official in the third quarter of 2021. Interestingly, the redesign will include removing the Touch Bar and the return of the MagSafe charging port.

According to TF International Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo, this will be the first major redesign of the MacBook Pro since 2016. Furthermore, it’ll have square-off sides like the iPhone 12, flatter top and bottom panels, and brighter screens.

It’ll be available in two sizes — 14-inch and 16-inch. And yes, they’ll feature Apple’s in-house processors that leverage Arm architecture. There will not be an Intel option, and Apple’s next-generation chipsets will power it. They’re expected to feature more cores and enhanced graphics.

At the end of November 2020, a MacBook Pro 16-inch with 12-core Apple M1X processor was tipped to be even more powerful than the M1 processor. Earlier that month, a MacBook Pro 14-ich model with Apple’s M1 processor was also tipped.

A report by TechRadar suggested that the 16-inch MacBook Pro model looks a bit slimmer. This could be due to the processor’s efficiency since it doesn’t need aggressive cooling like Intel-powered options.

Most importantly, though, Apple is going old-school and bringing some of the features we’ve always loved. The pill-shaped MagSafe charging connector could make a comeback, and physical function keys could replace the digital Touch Bar. Kuo has also hinted that Apple could provide ports generously to reduce dependence on dongles.

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