Honor has been present on the market for many years, but only relatively recently began supplying laptops to the market. In mid-September, Honor introduced a new series to the market – 14- and 15-inch MagicBook ultrabooks based on Ryzen 5500U processors.
Today we’ll talk about the first model. It should be noted right away that the Magic Book 14 and MagicBook 15 are shipped only with the AMD Ryzen 5500U chip, unlike other markets where there is a version on the AMD Ryzen 7 5700U. The storage capacity in both versions is the same – 512 GB. The main difference between the models lies in the size of the screen and the amount of RAM, so choosing the configuration that suits you is easy.
Unlike last year’s Honor MagicBook, which was based on the Ryzen 4500U, the new processor supports simultaneous multi-threading (SMT) technology, which doubles the number of threads, but this is still the same Zen 2 architecture with last year’s Vega 7 video core, so a significant increase in performance not to be expected.
MagicBook 14 specifications
Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5500U 6 Cores 12 Threads 2.1GHz (4.0GHz Turbo)
Display: 14“, 1920 × 1080 (FHD, 60 Hz), IPS
RAM memory: 8 GB DDR4, 3200 MT / s (in the two-channel, soldered, without the possibility of an upgrade)
Storage: 512 GB SSD (PCI-E 3.0 x4, M.2, SSSTC CL1).
Video card: Radeon RX Vega 7 (integrated).
Ports: USB-C, USB 3.2 Gen1, USB 2.0, HDMI, TRS 3,5 мм.
Communication: Wi-Fi 6, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, Bluetooth 5.1
Sensors: Fingerprint scanner (built into the power button)
Multimedia: Pop Up HD 720p camera, 2 microphones, 2 audio speakers.
OS: Windows 10 Home (upgradeable to Windows 11)
Battery: 7330 mAh, 56 Wh, up to 11 hours of battery life.
Dimensions: 323 x 215 x 15.9.
Extras: Keyboard backlight (white), NFC for Honor MagicLink 2.0
Price: From $745
MagicBook 14 is available in a single configuration – 8 GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM and 512 GB of storage. The 15-inch model carries up to 16 GB of RAM onboard, the storage capacity is the same. Both computers ship with Windows 10 Home and are officially compatible with Windows 11.
In addition to the laptop itself, the package includes:
- Power cable (USB Type-C to USB Type-C)
- AC adapter 65W
- Brief instructions
- Warranty card
Over the years, the case of the MagicBook 14 has not undergone any changes, except that the silver version of the device has disappeared. Now for ordering Honor MagicBook 14 is available in a single color copy – “space gray”.
The laptop case is made of aluminum, around the screen are plastic frames with a thickness of only 4.8 mm. It was possible to achieve such a thin bezel of the matrix by removing the webcam from the front panel. But more on that later.
Around the perimeter of the lid, there is a beveled blue color to match the recessed brand name on the outside of the lid. The screen itself rests on hinges that allow the structure to be expanded up to 180 degrees.
Alas, for several years of existence of a single design of the Honor Magicbook line, the configuration of USB connectors has not acquired additional ports – there are still only two USB Type-A connectors – one for each end.
One has only to connect a computer mouse, USB headset and now there is no place for a flash drive. In addition, of the two available connectors, only one supports USB 3.2 Gen1, that is, it works at modern speeds.
One of the distinctive features of the Honor laptop is the pop-up webcam hidden between the F6 and F7 keys. When you press the corresponding key, the camera pops up with a characteristic click.
The decision is quite controversial, the desire to protect users is commendable and can really be useful to someone, but because of this angle, the user’s fingers inevitably fall into the frame. The camera does not shine with its characteristics, the resolution is only 1280×720.
There are no complaints about the key mechanism: pressing is practically silent, the covers are well stabilized in the plane, have a rather long stroke and quickly return to the neutral position after pressing. The layout does not contain any extra keys. All auxiliary features of the device are activated by function keys.
Manufacturers often save space and reduce certain buttons; as a result, the user has to retrain. There is no such problem here. From the inconvenience, we can only note the significantly smaller size of the up / down arrow keys, and the “~” (ё) key is much smaller in size compared to other typed buttons, but you can get used to it. But what is really difficult to get used to is the fact that, unlike the usual popular combination method, the Fn key here acts as a state switch for function keys, since this is partially corrected in the built-in system manager.
The keyboard has two backlight modes, switchable with the F3 button in the active Fn mode.
In the center, under the keyboard block, there is a large area for the touchpad, which is comfortable enough to completely abandon the use of a mouse in most tasks. The touch panel is covered with glass and supports gestures, the manufacturer’s declared resource is more than 1,000,000 touches.
The power button is moved to the side – and for a reason: a fingerprint scanner is integrated into it to unlock the device. The authentication process is fast enough, the fingerprint is recognized from any angle, no shortcomings of the scanner were found.
The Honor MagicBook 14 laptop has a 14-inch IPS display. The resolution is 1920 × 1080 with a screen refresh rate of 60 Hz. The screen color rendition covers 100% of the sRGB range, which will be a great bonus for those who often work with photos and videos.
The screen covering is matte. Unlike a glossy one, this solution has at least two positive points. Firstly, such a display creates less glare in the sun, that is, there is no need to turn the brightness slider to the maximum, being in an open illuminated space. Secondly, the matte screen collects fewer fingerprints, so the display looks clean and does not need constant wiping.
The starter package of programs is unobtrusive, there is nothing in it that could be called superfluous. Of the main, it is worth noting the proprietary system manager who accompanies the device during the entire working cycle. Its key features:
- Checking the relevance of all drivers and their automatic update
- Checking all system elements for a malfunction
- Switching Between Performance and Balanced Modes
- There is a handy clipboard log containing the last 50 saved entries
- Journal-list of documents viewed in the last week
- Multifunctional notification center
- Built-in screen capture software for taking screenshots and recording videos
- Quick access to notes, calculator
- Honor Magic-link multi-screen technology control
The latter needs to be discussed in more detail. In the area of the touch panel, there is an NFC sensor used for the operation of the Honor Magic-link technology – the one whose sticker flaunts on the case. It can be used to instantly pair with an Honor or Huawei smartphone with EMUI 10.0 or higher, or Magic UI 3.0 or higher.
This will open up quick access to the contents of the smartphone. As long as both devices are in contact, it will be possible to receive calls directly from the display, a common clipboard, a common history of documents, fast file transfer, and the ability to display the smartphone screen on a laptop will appear.
In general, the proprietary technology looks attractive, a kind of ecosystem performed by Honor, capable of bringing a lot of conveniences, is a pity only available to the owners of branded devices from the company and Huawei.
Read also: Honor Band 6 Review