Huawei has announced the MateBook 13s and 14s, a pair of new Windows laptops that finally fix the company’s long-standing under-the-display webcam placement.
Recent Huawei laptops – including the MateBook 16, itself only given a global launch today - have all featured a webcam hidden inside a fake key on the keyboard – ideal for privacy and keeping the display’s bezel slim, but not so optimal during a global pandemic that’s seen many of us dive headfirst into Zoom calls six hours a day.
The MateBook 13s and 14s are the first Huawei laptops to finally move the webcam back into the top bezel. Disappointingly it remains at only 720p, but is at least supported by a new AI noise cancellation algorithm that will kick in during video calls to improve the sound of your voice. The move to the bezel also means it now supports Windows Hello, so can be used for login with facial recognition.
Despite the move the bezel itself remains slim, with a 90% screen-to-body ratio, so you’re not compromising on an uglier display to fit the webcam up there. In fact nothing about the laptop is ugly really, with a metal body in a choice of Space Grey or a new, frosty Spruce Green colour.
The displays on both models are impressive in other respects too. Both offer 2.5K resolution in the familiar 3:2 aspect ratio beloved by Huawei, offering extra vertical real estate for productivity. More uniquely, both will let you jump between 60Hz and 90Hz refresh rates, so you can get a smoother and more fluid display – a rare feature outside dedicated gaming hardware.
Other upgrades include improved travel on the keyboard – now 1.5mm; fast charging over USB-C (90W on the 14s and 65W on the 13s); and 11th-gen H-series Intel processors, with a choice of an i5 or i7 in each size, and up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB storage.
In fact the MateBook 14s even boasts an Intel Evo certification, though this is limited to the top spec version – simply because it’s the only one to feature a Thunderbolt 4 port, a requirement for the new Intel standard that guarantees a certain level of performance, portability, and connectivity.
On the 14s that Thunderbolt 4 port is found alongside another USB-C port, one USB-A, an HDMI 1.4 port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The i5 model still has two USB-C ports, but no Thunderbolt support in either; while the 13s only includes the dual USB-C ports and a headphone jack, with no USB-A or HDMI.
The laptops ship with Windows 10 but are confirmed to be eligible for the free Windows 11 upgrade as it rolls out over the next few months. Both will also support the full suite of Huawei Share features for compatibility with the rest of the Huawei product ecosystem.
The MateBook 14s will be available in the UK from 27 October, though pre-orders are open now from Huawei’s website. It starts from £1,199 for an i7 model with 512GB storage, jumping to £1,299 for a 1TB version with the Thunderbolt 4 support and Evo certification. Availability for other markets, and for the smaller MateBook 13s, is yet to be confirmed.