HONOR MagicBook: Incredible Value, Incredible First Try

Pros

  • VERY value for money
  • Decent IPS Panel
  • Excellent battery life
  • Fingerprint scanner is accurate and quick

Price

256GB/8GB : RM 2,299

Cons

  • No Memory card reader (amongst other ports)
  • Soldered RAM slot

Colors

Grey

Box Contents

  • Honor MagicBook
  • USB-C to USB-C cable
  • 65W 3-pin Charging brick
  • Quick Start Guide

HONOR’s MagicBook was released in April with an eye-opening price tag of RM 2,299. My initial impressions were skeptical; where did this random 14-incher laptop come from and why is it priced so attractively? Surely there’ll be some weird cons about it.

After using it for about a month now, I was sorely mistaken. Let me share why. 

Design Highlights

  • Simple Metallic design
  • Flat keys, quiet typing
  • Power button doubles as fingerprint scanner
  • 1.38KG light weight

The design approach is simple and sweet. A sleek metal finish with the simplicity of a MacBook, with just a simple HONOR logo on the top right. It definitely feels premium to the touch, and definitely lightweight at nearly 1.4KG. The keyboard comes in a black color scheme, with the keys being flat, making it easy to type on quickly. You’re just going to have to get used to the smaller size. I actually typed this entire review out on the MagicBook and have no complaints about it. The trackpad has just the right amount of real estate, not too big, not too small. It’s nothing more than regular, and that’s alright considering mice exist for a reason. The power button is also the fingerprint scanner, and unlocking the device was quick and easy to set up, so no complaints there.

USB-C Charging (No Thunderbolt 3), HDMI, USB 3.0
USB-C Charging (No Thunderbolt 3), HDMI, USB 3.0

3.5mm Audio jack, USB 2.0
3.5mm Audio jack, USB 2.0

Power button (Also Fingerprint Scanner)
Power button (Also Fingerprint Scanner)


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Display

  • Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Panel
  • 14-inch size

This 14-incher come with a Full-HD IPS LCD screen that does a decent job displaying whatever you want. The colors aren’t the punchiest i’ve seen, but there’s no con about it considering the price-tag and why you’d buy a laptop like this. The viewing experience is good, with relatively thin bezels, with an open webcam top center of the laptop. What’s a definite highlight is the flexible hinge, being able to go all the way down to nearly 180 degrees. This provides a lot of convenience for users who work on all sorts of orientations, whether they’re on a table, their bed, or lazing over a bean bag.

You won’t even get this on most laptops of its class these days! 

Great Productivity Hours with Lightweight Performance

  • Retail Price: RM 2,299
  • 14-inch FullHD IPS Display
  • AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor and 8GB DDR4 RAM (Soldered)
  • 256GB SSD
  • Windows 10 Home 
  • 1.38KG 
  • Dimensions: 323 x 215 x 15.9mm

The Honor MagicBook 14 has modest specs, AMD’s Ryzen 5 3500U with 8GB of RAM. 

For student-related work such as assignments and anything Microsoft, it’s definitely ideal. The RAM slot is soldered and not user-upgradeable. It’s something I’ve never been a fan of, but this laptop is incredibly bang for your buck. As long as you’re doing light work, media consumption and other small tasks, 8GB is enough here to provide a smooth user experience.

256GB of storage is small, but it is speedy. The single M.2 slot is occupied with it, and it is user-upgradeable. I’d go for a 512GB down the line, but for now, it’s more than enough for just work and media consumption. 

For games, you may run very light games like CS: GO, LoL or Dota 2, but the screen may be too small. You’ll definitely get about 50-60Fps on each game, considering the CPU also comes with AMD’s Radeon Vega 8 integrated graphics inside it. That 1GB of VRAM can only go so far, and gaming isn’t encouraged here if you ask me. You’re also able to get some decent performance out of Android game emulators, with hot titles like Call Of Duty Mobile and Honkai Impact. The laptop managed to stay just warm during the entire test period.

Battery

Battery Life is where the MagicBook does well. It has a 57.4Whr battery pack that managed to last nearly 7 hours worth of Office work, coupled with Spotify and Photoshop running in the background. The included 65W charger is small and compact, and using the bundled USB Type-C to Type C cable, you can get about a full charge in 2 hours. This is comforting as you don’t need to charge it overnight and instead charge it in the morning when you’re getting ready. 

You might want to get a dongle

The Honor MagicBook comes with a set of the following ports: 

Left

  • USB Type-C (Charging, not Thunderbolt 3)
  • Full-sized HDMI
  • USB 3.0

Right

  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • USB 2.0 

I have mixed feelings on this, as the only USB Type-C port is for charging and you’ll have to take it out if you want to use a USB Type-C dongle for additional ports. Other than that, you may use the other ports for their intended uses, and the USB’s are alright for a mouse and sticking in a flash drive or external hard drive. I recommend getting a USB memory card reader as there isn’t one built in on the laptop. There’s no LAN port either, but that’s fine considering we’re more likely to use WiFi these days. However, if you’re only stuck with LAN, you may simply just buy a USB LAN port or a dongle that has one. They’re not hard to find and are inexpensive. This solves almost any problems you have with the port selection on the Honor Magic Book.

Who Would Buy The Honor Magic Book?

By far, this is the most premium laptop that’s student-friendly. It’s RM 2,299. You’re getting a great 14-incher with decent specs and a strong battery life. You can get your work done and pack a lighter loadout when you’re going out. The typing experience is great and the charger is small enough to even fit in your pocket. 

Dongles solve the port issue (if you have any), and simply upgrading the SSD immediately gives you more storage. We pretty much can’t do anything about the RAM, but it’s definitely enough to run light to medium tasks. I hope this market success is enough to bring a MagicBook 2 in the future. HONOR really did a stellar job creating the MagicBook

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